Contemporary Romance

Happy Release Day to Olivia Cunning!

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Olivia Cunning’s Sinners are going to the chapel and going to get married!

Olivia Cunning's Blog

So, the paperback proof copy of Sinners at the Altar just arrived on my doorstep. Freaking finally… *grumble, overnight airmail my ass, grumble*

And all those lines that were on the digital proof’s cover are nowhere to be seen on the hard copy, so in celebration of the release (of the breath I’ve been holding since Friday *cough*) of Sinners at the Altar, I’m giving away 10 autographed copies of the book w/ a Sinners on Tour wristband. (Two are in the picture so you can see both sides.)

SatA Prize 1

And since I’m feeling generous, I’m giving away 20 additional wristbands. 1 per winner.

SatA Prize 2

So that’s 30 prizes up for grabs!

Well, you do have to enter…

Click on the link below to enter for your chance to win.

Sinners at the Altar Release Day Giveaway!

Good luck!

And yes, it’s open internationally.

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Sinners at the Altar Available for Pre-Order on Amazon!

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Olivia is the Queen Mother of rocker erotic romances. She is second-to-none and her “Sinners” series knocks all other “rock star” stories out of the park. She uses her behind-the-scenes knowledge of the music industry to create a realistic, sometimes depraved, but always entertaining world for her characters. Highly recommended!

Olivia Cunning's Blog

Sinners at the Altar Cover finalWe finally have a definitive release date for Sinners at the Altar!

March 11, 2014

And it’s already up for preorder on Amazon.com.

AmazonBUY

I encourage you to take advantage of the special introductory price. This massive, 450-page collection of Sinners goodness is only $3.99 until March 18th and then the eBook price will go up.

So I’m anticipating some questions. Check the FAQ below before you barrage me with questions. Thanks!

FAQ

Q1. When will Sinners at the Altar be available for preorder on B&N, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, etc, etc, etc?

A1. I don’t know. But I will let you know as soon as it is. And yes, it will be at the special price on those sites too. The process for setting up pre-orders is a bit different on those sites, so Amazon got first dibs. If the pre-orders don’t happen on those sites, the book will be available…

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5-Stars for Hayson Manning’s “Winning the Boss’s Heart” – Book Review

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Manning-winning-bosss-heartMason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new, and then he’s getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay – a tiny New Zealand coastal town. Not even his temporary secretary and personal assistant–the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod–will deter him, but there’s no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he’s felt in three years…
Billie has one dream: save enough money to finish her degree. That’s why she’s agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian–a man who has every intention of destroying through modernization the town’s most cherished historical home. Before she can say ‘see ya’ she’s signed on the dotted line and is contractually bound to be Mason’s forty-second assistant. But working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A–as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day…

My Review

42 Gives Magic Man the Last Offer He Will Ever Refuse

With her second book, Winning the Boss’s Heart, Hayson Manning took us to her beautiful home country of New Zealand.   Set in the bucolic coastal town of Footsteps Bay, Mason Christian hired Billie McLeod to work as his personal assistant on a project he hoped would be completed quickly.

Billie was a heroine who knew her own worth.   After suffering some personal setbacks, she was saving money to finish her degree, and working for Mason seemed like the fastest way to earn the most money.   She fearlessly challenged Mason and the sarcastic nicknames she created for him, were inspired.  Nothing like treating the boss with the same impersonal disdain, as he treated his employees.

Mason was a deeply broken man, sublimating his emotions in his work and keeping people at arm’s length.   As his feelings for Billie grew, he was forced to confront some painful events from his past.   Little did Mason know that fate would intervene, to give him a compelling second chance at love story.  Ms. Manning beautifully constructed and sensitively handled, Mason’s heartbreaking past.

Billie and Mason’s interactions ran the gamut of emotions from trepidation, to antagonism, to friendship, and finally, acceptance, and love.  Lovingly meddlesome townsfolk and growing spicy, sexy action rounded out this terrific story.

With Wife in Name Only, Hayson Manning became a must-read author for me.   After, Winning the Boss’s Heart, she became a must-preorder or must-1-click author for me.     I highly recommend her books for well-developed characters, richly illustrated locations and secondary characters and multilayered storytelling,

Links to my review on Amazon and Goodreads.

About the Author

Author Hayson ManningHayson Manning grew up in a small New Zealand town in a family of scientists and engineers Hayson was told firmly that her ‘day dreaming’ phase would end. Soon, she’d be entranced by the inner workings of the periodic table and be spellbound by quantum physics. But Hayson loved living in the lands she created. Oh, the creatures that stopped by. The princes and princesses, unicorns and Frank a friendly chain-smoking shark.

It soon became apparent Hayson wasn’t going to be awarded the Nobel Prize for services to the atom.

She conformed and has worked as a demon word processor, sliced ham in a delicatessen, sorted freight, pulled midnight shifts in a bank and counted baked bean cans in a stock-take. She never stopped dreaming of writing alpha dudes and sassy woman.

She’s lived in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, London, California and is now in Sydney. All she ever wanted to do was write fun and flirty people who aren’t perfect but will fight for that one person who will love them for who they are.

Represented by Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates, that dream has come true, writing for Entangled Publishing. She loves a good glass of wine, dreams of winning the lottery, cries while watching Antiques Roadshow and cannot speak she’s sobbing so much by the end of Undercover Boss. She is also an expert at finding new and inventive ways to avoid exercise.

Find out more about Hayson on her website, follow her on Twitter and like her Facebook page.  She loves to hear from her fans.

5-Stars for Gina L. Maxwell’s “Fighting for Irish” – Book Review

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Maxwell-Fighting For IrishFormer MMA fighter Aiden “Irish” O’Brien hasn’t stepped into the ring since he accidentally took someone’s life in the heat of rage. When his friend calls in a favor that sends him south to check on family, Irish figures he’s got nothing to lose. His life is on the ropes. The least he can do is make sure the sexy redhead is safe.

Kat MacGregor has forty-eight hours to settle the twenty thousand dollar debt her deadbeat ex-boyfriend owes a crime boss. If she doesn’t, she’ll pay for it–with her life. Kat’s halfway out the door when a sexy new guy walks into the bar and insists he’s there to help.

Irish is forced to fight in the underground MMA circuit to win the money she needs. But he’s been lying to Kat. About who he is, about knowing her sister, about why he comes home bruised every night. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to him, but breaking her trust will cost him the most important fight of his life: the one for her heart.

My Review:

Like Irish’s favorite cranberry juice – Fighting for Irish (A Fighting for Love Novel) (Entangled Brazen) was a bitter, sweet, tart and delicious 5 stars!

We learned about Kat MacGregor, Vanessa MacGregor’s sister, in Rules of Entanglement (A Fighting for Love Novel) (Entangled Brazen). Kat’s upbringing, tough at best and cripplingly devastating at its worst, left her with deep emotional scars and a protective covering around her heart. She was on the run from the Tennessee Mafia and unable to communicate with Vanessa. A worried Vanessa, led Kat’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, Jax, to hire his friend Aiden O’Brien “Irish”, to find, follow and if need be, protect her, in Fighting for Irish.

Irish, a retired MMA fighter, was also hiding a tortured past and despite their best efforts their mutual attraction brought them closer. Together the tore down each other’s walls, brick by brick, exposing more deep seeded pain and allowing the possibility of love to blossom. Both Kat and Irish were beautifully broken characters who deserved healing, forgiveness and the opportunity at happily ever after, as they faced their pasts.

In true Gina L. Maxwell fashion, the sex was explosive. However, the slow, deliberate, yet gentle, buildup to their lovemaking was handled with care, respect and sensitivity for two characters who believed they were unlovable. Ms. Maxwell’s pacing of their relationship, amid the suspense, was impeccable. Of the three books in the series, Fighting for Irish was the most poignantly moving.

While Fighting for Irish, may be read as a standalone novel, I highly recommend reading the first two books in the series – Seducing Cinderella (A Fighting for Love Novel) (Entangled Brazen) and Rules of Entanglement, to get a complete sense of the previous relationships and characters that brought Kat and Irish together. In addition, I am looking forward to reading Xander’s story, as he will be another tough nut to crack, and deserves his own ladylove.

About the Author:

Gina L. Maxwell is a shameless romance addict with no intentions of ever kicking the habit.

Gina L Maxwell promo photoGrowing up she dreamed of helping people escape reality with her acting abilities…until college when she realized she had none to speak of.   Another ten years passed before she discovered a different means to accomplishing the same dream: writing stories of love and passion for addicts just like her.  Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, landed on the USA Today and NY Times Bestseller lists in less than a month.

Now she splits her time between writing more books and acting as Boss of the world’s first organized romance mafia, the Maxwell Mob.Thanks to the support she receives from her amazing family, Gina is finally able to live her dream of bringing a little romantic fantasy to the world, one steamy novel at a time.

Find out more about Gina on her website, follow her on Twitter, and Pinterest and like her Facebook page.

5-Stars and 2 Snaps in Z-Formation for Avery Flynn’s “High-Heeled Wonder” – Book Review

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Flynn-HighHeeledWonderSylvie Bissette may be one of Harbor City’s youngest glitterati, but only her best friends know her most closely guarded secret. She’s the woman behind The High-Heeled Wonder, the newest must-read blog for fashionistas everywhere. Gossip, fashion advice, exposés. Too bad some people can’t take a little criticism. When an internet troll discovers her secret identity, Sylvie turns to security expert Tony Falcon for help. The investigator from the other side of the tracks is the olive oil to her Evian water, but it’s not just her temper he’s inciting…

Tony Falcon wouldn’t know a kitten heel from a tabby cat, but since most of the bad guys he tracks down aren’t wearing stilettos, it’s never been a problem…until he meets Sylvie. The feisty fashionista may be his best chance at catching the criminals responsible for his best friend’s murder. But solving that case means going after the people Sylvie cares about, and soon the attraction—and the danger—has him wondering if solving the case is worth hurting the woman he can’t stop fantasizing about …

When Sylvie’s stalker escalates from sending nasty e-mails to trying to run her over in broad daylight, Tony goes undercover as Sylvie’s boyfriend to infiltrate the close-knit fashion community. In a world full of overblown egos and cut-throat ambition, Tony and Sylvie must work together to find her revenge-obsessed stalker before Sylvie ends up with a literal knife in the back.

My Review:

Bogie Meets Gracie Lou Freebush and they “Make it Work”

Sylvie Bissette was the mastermind behind the popular, “High-Heeled Wonder,” a blog that exposed all of the fashion industry’s dirty little, and not so little, secrets.   Her scoops garnered her huge a fan base, the ire of both a magazine’s editor-in-chief and a self-absorbed, talentless designer and her very own cyberstalker.   This troll indicated he/she would stop at nothing to reveal Sylvie’s identity and take down her blog.

After a very public attempt on her life, she relented to having Tony Falcon, former cop turned security expert, pose as her boyfriend to discover who was threatening her.    At the same time, he was trying to track down the criminals who killed his best friend.   Tony, who never had a problem maintaining his distance from his charges, met his match in feisty Sylvie, who was determined to “help” with the investigation.    As the threats against Sylvie escalated, so did Tony’s innate need to protect her.   The more time they spent together, the more problematic their mutual attraction became.   When they finally gave in to temptation, it culminated in a fully clothed, sultry exploration that only heightened their appetite for each other.

Clues were pieced together to deduce the identity of the perpetrator, while Sylvie and Tony continued to become close.  He narrowed down the list of suspects.  Unfortunately, that list included people Sylvie cared deeply for.  Hell-bent on retribution, yet blinded by hurt, Tony uttered one of the most touching boy-loses-girl lines “You’re going to hate me later.  You will and when you do, promise you’ll give me the chance to fix it,” as he broke Sylvie’s heart – along with his own.

Like a delightful visit to Imelda Marcos’ legendary shoe closet, High-heeled Wonder (A Killer Style Novel) (Entangled Ignite) took readers on a sexy, chick lit ride worthy of early Helen Fielding or Sophie Kinsella.   Additionally, Avery Flynn added classic thriller plot twists, thrills and surprises.  Her characters were multi-layered, balanced and intelligent.  Sylvie was a fully developed, professional woman who overcame a tragic childhood and Tony was the wounded alpha, with a heart of gold, who needed her to begin to heal.  A colorful and motley crew of secondary characters – their families, friends, and coworkers, provided further action, suspense and comic relief.

Both my inner fashionista and nerd girl appreciated the references to the fashion industry, as well as, the nod to Doctor Who and the gaming world.   High-heeled Wonder (A Killer Style Novel) (Entangled Ignite) earns an old-school, Men on Film, two-snaps in Z-Formation and my recommendation as a great book to curl up with on a cold winter’s day.  I look forward to Ms. Flynn’s next book.

Disclaimer:  I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.   Then purchased the book for my private library.

About the Author:

Author Avery FlynnAvery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter and Pinterest, and like her on her Facebook page.  Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the Internet, she’ll be your best friend for life.

5-Stars for Robin Covington’s “Sweet Southern Betrayal” – Book Review

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Covington-Sweet Southern BetrayalPrivileged and ambitious attorney Teague Elliott is on the fast-track to getting everything he wants. All he has to do is stay on the straight and narrow and a high-profile political career is his for the taking. Until he wakes up naked with a Vegas showgirl…

Risa Clay has worked hard to put her showgirl past behind her and start fresh. But she owes ten grand to the wrong people, and to pay off her debt, she agrees to betray a stranger. . .but she ends up with a husband and guilty conscience.

Savvy and determined, she double-crosses the mob, goes on the run, and turns up on Teague’s doorstep armed with a dangerous secret, a marriage license, and the power to ruin his well-planed future. She thought using Teague again would be easy, but the passion that exploded between them in Vegas didn’t stay in Sin City and betrayal is the last thing on her mind.
Now Teague has to choose between the future he’s planned for all his life, or the one with Risa that he can’t turn away from.

My Review: 

“Messy is where the good stuff lives.” ~ Risa Clay

Sweet Southern Betrayal: A Boys Are Back in Town Novel (Entangled Indulgence), the third book of Robin Covington’s “Boys are Back in Town” series, featured attorney, Teague Elliot.  Known as a “fixer” among the elite power brokers of Washington D.C., he worked at one of the most prestigious firms and had political aspirations.  He stayed away from anything he considered “messy,” like relationships.  While attending his sister, Taylor’s wedding to his best friend, Lucky, in Las Vegas, he met redheaded bombshell, Risa Clay – his new showgirl wife.  His showgirl wife who owned a side business selling tasteful “marital aids.”  Not exactly the ideal woman for a man with dreams of living in the White House.  Everything about Risa was “messy.”  And personal.  And amazing.

They agreed to keep their marriage a secret.  Unfortunately, secrets have a way of taking on a life of their own, and soon Teague’s family, friends and colleagues found out about Risa.  As beautiful as she was on the outside, Risa was even lovelier on the inside.  She immediately tried to protect Teague from the possible repercussions of their Vegas nuptials, and knowingly placed herself directly in harm’s way.

At its core, Sweet Southern Betrayal was an “opposites attract” story, but as the layers were peeled away, we learned that both Risa and Teague were survivors.  They saw the dreams they never believed could be realized, in and with, each other.    It required that they to look past their set life plans, and into an unknown, unexpected and uncontrollable future.   How they navigated it was beautifully crafted, through self-doubt, heartbreak, betrayal, forgiveness, and the possibility of love.  In addition to some very steamy sex.

Many series have recurring characters that make cameo appearances, but Ms. Covington created a deep connection between the four friends – Teague, Lucky, Jack and Beck – that was itself another fully developed character.   The men formed a bond in childhood that sustained them through personal and professional successes and failures.   Ms. Covington took that circle of friendship and expanded it, as each man found love, and their family of friends grew.

While each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, I highly encourage readers to read A Night of Southern Comfort (The Boys are Back in Town Series) (Entangled Indulgence) and His Southern Temptation (The Boys are Back in Town Series) (Entangled Indulgence).  Ms. Covington is writing Beck’s book and it promises to be as emotional, entertaining and hot, as the rest of the series.

Disclaimer: While I received an ARC of this book for an honest review, I purchased it for my “Boys are Back in Town” Collection.

About the Author:

Author Robin Covington

Robin Covington, who NYT Best Selling authors, Robyn Carr and Carly Phillips, said was their new “auto-buy author”, writes sizzling hot contemporary and paranormal romance.

A Night of Southern Comfort, her best-selling debut novel was a 2012 finalist in the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Awards, earned 4.5 stars and was touted by RT Book Reviews as bringing a “fresh, modern feel to the genre while still sticking to the things that get our adrenaline pumping — sex and danger”. When she’s not exploring the theme of fooling around and falling in love, she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, and stalking Joe Manganiello.

Robin is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Washington and Maryland Romance Writers, a faculty member at Romance University, a member of the Waterworld Mermaids, and a contributor to the Happy Ever After blog at USA Today. You can find Robin on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (@RobinCovington).

Robin lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband, brilliant children, and ginormous puppies.

Another Year. Another Birthday. Hell, Yeah!

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happy-birthday-to-me-21117388Ponder this thought for a moment: middle age rocks.  I speak of this from experience, as a member of the last generation to have a truly “innocent” childhood and adolescence.

I grew up during the Cold War, learned what GRID/HIV/AIDS was and how it was really transmitted, in middle and high school.  I watched the Challenger accident happen live.  I remember the launch of MTV, and when the “M” was synonymous with music, like the “US Festival” and “Live Aid.”  “Lollapalooza” was a little known festival advertised on college radio that took place in an empty field in Orlando, which now houses another shopping center.   Trips to New York City included a stop on the observation deck of the World Trade Center, as well as, dodging drug dealers and prostitutes on Broadway and 42nd Streets.

Some days I feel every bit of my age, as I reach for my bifocals to read menus or an article online.  Often, however, I do not.   I have been told consistently that I look about ten years younger than I am.   I have no desire to pretend to be anything but 46.  I earned each grey hair, extra pound and stiff joint and muscle.   I have also earned the right to look back upon my life fondly, but choose to look forward with a renewed sense of adventure.  I have no desire to be in my twenties, or thirties, again.  Did you hear that Madison Avenue?

The best part about being in my mid-forties is the ability to say, “fuck it,” and mean it.  I am not going to be an attorney, police officer or super-heroine, as I dreamed about in my youth.  I am happy to know it and move on.   Age brings wisdom, but also self-reflection and self-care.   It is liberating, sexy, peaceful and joyful.

My goal is to help contemporary fiction authors realize they are missing a rich demographic by not writing about middle-aged characters, who are sexy, intelligent, independent, quirky and fully developed.   After all, we have more disposable income to purchase books, and will, if we see ourselves reflected back.  The beauty of self-publishing is that consumers, not publishing companies, are driving demand.   I will be demanding more experienced characters, loudly.   I am 46 today, hear me roar!