Thursday, January 30, 2014

Defy by Sara B Larson!!

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

There is something about YA books that I just love. I may be passed the "age" of a young adult novel but I feel a sort of satisfaction when I read books such as these. Books like The Hunger Games, Fire & Flood, and Thrown of Glass. These stories all have heroines that I wish I was able to read as a young adult. They are fearless, independent, and great role models to young girls. In my opinion.

Sure fairy tales are great; as are damsels in distress but there is nothing at all wrong with women who can fight for themselves. And before you ask, no, I'm by no means a feminist because I can appreciate a man who is still a gentleman. You know, holding the car door open for me and standing up when I leave a know what I mean?

There's still nothing wrong with loving today's literature where girls aren't always the ones who need saving. Maybe just maybe it's the man who needs saving. Or in this case a whole country.

Alexa has pretending to be a boy on the Prince's personal guard. The time came when she had no choice but to chop off all of her hair and pretend to be her twin brothers, brother; instead of his sister. Alexa is the best guard and is easily able to take down anyone she comes in contact with.

The night that Alexa, Damien, and Rylan get captured from a powerful sorcerer; their lives as they know it, will never be the same again.

Prince Damien was a huge yet pleasant surprise. I don't want to spoil anything but he's your typical spoiled prince who has no regards to anyone's feelings. There are instances where Alexa feels like he's a different person but then he's back to be the jerk. I don't know what is it I love about "jerks" but I think everyone will have a hard time resisting his charm;)

Rylan is the loyal friend. The loyal friend who may or may not know Alexi’s secret?? I really like his character because...well...hmmm...
I guess I liked Damien more.

The book is one romantically, action packed and fun read! I'll be patiently(or not)awaiting the second book. Thank you to Scholastic via NetGalley for providing me a review copy for an honest review.

About Author:
My debut YA fantasy DEFY was published on January 7, 2014! I'm represented by Josh Adams. Mommy of three. Lover of chocolate, desserts of all kinds, and Swedish Fish. Also good books.

Due to time constraints, I'm not on goodreads very often and can't usually check all my messages. But I AM active on Twitter, FB, and my blog! All requests for interviews/guest posts/etc. need to go through my publicist, Sheila Marie Everett at Scholastic. Please email her at severett (at) scholastic (dot) com and she will get back to you as soon as she can!

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cover Reveal:
Deviant by Callie Hart!!


Title: Deviant (Blood & Roses, #1)
Author: Callie Hart
Genre: Erotic Romance
Pre-Order: I-Tunes
Expected Release Date: February 20, 2014
Hosted by: Love Between the Sheets Promotions




I'm not proud of the things I've done.
The things I've had to do.
The things I've given away.
but I'd give it all over again to find her.

Even if i die trying,
I have to find Alexis.


She wants me to help her,
But I won't.
She wants me to save her sister,
But I can't.
She wants me to be her hero,
But I'm not a good man.

I am her damnation.

Book Trailer:


Connect With the Author:

Facebook | Goodreads


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Release Day Blitz Feat Excerpt and Giveaway
Changing Course by Aly Martinez!!!

CCRelease Blitz Banner

Changing Course Cover

Title: Changing Course (Wrecked and Ruined #1)
Author: Aly Martinez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 27, 2014


Buy the Book

Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble


I met Sarah Kate Erickson when I was 21 years old. I was lucky enough to keep her for seven years before a tragic accident stole her from me. She didn’t die, but sometimes I think it would have been easier if she had.

I lived in a haze for those four years after the accident. Catering to her every need, even though she hated the very sight of my face. I tried to hold on to her and the future that we were supposed to build together. But you can’t hold on to someone that doesn’t exist anymore.

It wasn’t until I met Jesse Addison, a barista at the local coffee shop, that I realized I didn’t just lose Sarah that tragic night, I lost myself as well. Jesse taught me how to let go of the past and learn to love again. But what happens when your past haunts your present and the woman you used to love refuses to accept the woman you can’t live without?


I met Sarah Kate Erickson seven years ago during a chance meeting at the local library. We were both reaching for the same William Shakespeare Collection. Our hands brushed, sparks flew, and it was love at first sight. We dated for three years, got married, and had sex for the very first time on our wedding night. Well, at least that is the story she made me promise to tell our future children.

The truth is that, I met Sarah in a bar while she was approximately one drop of alcohol away from spending the night praying to the porcelain gods. She had on some ridiculously tight red dress and the tallest pair of black fuck-me heels I had ever seen. It was whore-tastic, but damn, she looked amazing. She was already tall for a woman, but in those cock-hardening shoes, she towered over the other women. Her friends were dressed in similarly sexy and in somewhat coordinating outfits. A collaborative effort that was no doubt on purpose.

I watched as she asked for another drink from the bartender who stood staring at her partially exposed breasts for a beat too long. She reached across the bar, pushed one finger under his chin, and guided his gaze back to her eyes while she ordered drinks. She then turned and leaned her elbows behind her, propping herself up on the bar, and effectively thrusting her barely covered breasts into the face of every man in the room. It was then I knew I needed to meet them...I mean her...I had to meet her.

Sure, staring at her was probably creepy as hell, but I just couldn't take my eyes off her. As cheesy as it sounds, there was just something about the tall blonde that commanded my attention. It didn't hurt that I got an insta-hard on when I thought about those long legs wrapped around my waist. Okay, so maybe staring wasn't the only creepy part.

About the Author:


I’m a 32 year old wife and stay at home mom to four kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. My life is crazy, which is probably why I drink entirely too much wine. Oh who am I kidding, I had a love affair with wine long before the kids came along. I was born and raised in Savannah Georgia, but we recently moved to Chicago. Let me tell you, this southern girl was not ready for the cold weather up here!

I’m an avid reader, but I haven’t always been that way. A few years ago my sister loaned me her Nook Color, and it changed my life forever. In the span of about two years, I read over 500 books. My newfound love of reading led me to start a book blog with two of my best friends. (Insert shameless plug here: Through WZ Bookends, I've had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing authors, bloggers, and readers out there. Now that I have taken the leap into writing my own book, they’ve all shown me endless amounts of encouragement and support.

While driving home from Walmart one day in late October, a story embedded itself in my head and would not let go. It spiraled out of control until I finally opened my laptop and started writing. This journey has been a wild ride filled with tears, hand cramps, and tons of laughs. I love company, so follow me at one of the social links below and join me aboard this crazy train!

Connect With Aly:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Email / Goodreads


$50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card (winners choice)
(3) Signed Paperbacks of Changing Course with Swag Pack (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By

Love Between the Sheets Promotions

Promo badge


Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott!!


A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?


Fire & Flood was everything a book needs. The plot was original, the characters were simply amazing, the romance was done well, and the writing was superb.

Full review will be up once I've processed this awesomeness.

6/5 stars<===not even kidding.

*Edit* 1/28/2014

"I'd like to officially welcome you to the Brimstone Bleed. May the bravest contender win."

Fire & Flood was a brilliant piece of work. The story takes place with Tella; who just so happens to have a very sick brother. Her life changed when her family up and moved to Montana after her brother became ill. It's then that Tella find a little blue box on her bed that contains a white ear piece device. When she puts the device to her ear, a woman's voice comes on and starts talking about the Brimstone Bleed. But before she can finish the message, her father takes the device away and later on tried to get rid of the device.

Tella then knows that the device is no ordinary device and that she needs to go and get it and see what's making her parents so uncomfortable.

It turns out that Tella is a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed, a 3 month long race that has the ultimate prize of winning the Cure. By cure, I mean the medication that could save her brother Cody's life. The race takes place across the jungle, desert, ocean, and mountains. Although, we only see Tella go through the jungle and the desert.

Along the way through this epic race, all Contenders get what's called a Pandora. A type of animal that is made up of different breeds with special powers. Um, well that explanation sucks but once you read it, you'll understand:)

Anyways, the cast of characters we get to meet and the descriptions placed in the jungle and desert; was absolutely phenomenal. There was never a dull moment while reading and the story was intriguing. Fire & Flood is full of secrets, twists, conspiracies, and romance that will make you tingle all over.

The feels. I have the feels for this book. After I finished reading the book, I laid in bed and just kept thinking about it. You're probably wondering who the sexy guy is in the story. Fear not my friends, our hero's name is Guy. He is the strong, silent type. And not to mention he is sexy as all get out. From the very beginning Guy is helpful to Tella yet he still glares at her as if she is the plague. Even through those glares, you could still feel their chemistry. I liked Guy immediately.

Usually I hate when books get turned into movies, but in this case, I welcome it. I could totally see Fire & Flood being made into a movie. I believe it could possibly be the next "Hunger Games". But that's just my opinion.

Tella is a likeable character; she's quirky and fun. I loved seeing her grow into a warrior and I can only see her getting stronger. I need this next book asap.

Trust when I say you don't want to miss out on this wonderful book full of so many surprises. You will not be able to put this down!

*review copy provided by Scholastic via NetGalley for an honest review. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Release Blitz: More Than Him by Jay McClean


Book title: More Than Him
Author: Jay McLean
Series: More #3
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Release date: January 28, 2014
Hosted by: Forever Me Romance

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us." - Marianne Williamson

We live in a world of darkness and shadows,
where monsters hide and aim to ruin.
And they did.
They ruined us and turned our dreams into nightmares.
But now we're back.
And we're fighting.
Not just for us, or for each other, but for our light.


More Than This (Book 1)


More Than Her (Book 2)


More Than Him (Book 3)


Amazon US link:

 Author of Mature YA / New Adult contemporary novels, MORE THAN THIS, MORE THAN HER, and a soon to be released sequel, MORE THAN HIM. I enjoy reading and writing books that make people laugh, cry and swoon for dreamy book boyfriends. When not doing either of those, I can be found looking after my two little boys, and trying to avoid house work at all costs.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Tease by Amanda Maciel


Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.

At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page.


This was a emotionally powerful book for me to read. It dealt with bullies, and not in the typical fashion most people are used to. Usually we read a book where the heroine or hero is the one getting bullied but in this case it's the exact opposite.

Sara, our protaganist...or is she our antagonist; is under fire along with her friends from school, for contributing in a girl committing suicide. They are mean, cruel, jealous, and everything you see in a bully. Emma Putman, the girl who committed suicide, was already emotionally damaged to begin with, and the jokes and torment she went through did not make it any better.

What consitutes as a slut? Is it someone who flirts with everyones boyfriend and steals them away? Or is it a girl who is overly "friendly" with the opposite sex, and by friendly, I mean just giving it out like its ice cream? Seriously, WHAT MAKES A GIRL A SLUT? And why in the hell do girls have to call each other such an UGLY word?Afterall, that's what's got all these jealous girl's panties in a huge twist. 

Sara and Brielle are the sole reason for giving women and girls everywhere a bad name. I was able to <i>feel</i> the hatred and jealousy through the pages and then I started feeling the same as well. There was a reason I hated high school and Tease brought back all those memories as if I was in school just yesterday.

The book goes through past and present. So we get to see Sara at the time of her bullying and then the consequences after the fact. I admit, towards the beginning I was not a fan of Sara or Brielle. Definitely not Brielle, that girl needs help. In a way I could see Sara's pov and I think that's what the author was trying to say. That there are many different sides to every story and even though Sara was in the wrong, her story still deserved to be heard.

I never really thought about it that way. Seeing all these children and adults everyday getting bullied and feeling as if nothing gets done, it really makes it hard to feel sympathy for the ones who caused it. But this book has opened my eyes to try and not be so judgmental. I'm still going to be against bullying in every way possible. Only now I'll try to see from both sides and not be so quick to condemn. 

In a weird and depressing way, I enjoyed Tease. I think teens and adults everywhere should read it. It has a great message even if the heroine is the one doing the bullying. 

*Review copy given to me via Edelweiss and Balzer+Bray for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Review of Whore by Michelle Hughes


Title: Whore
Author: Michelle Hughes
Release Date: November 30, 2013


Can a virgin be a whore?  I guess it depends on your definition of the word.  Working a minimum wage job, I was struggling to save up money for college.  Things were tight but I was managaing to scrape by. At least I had a roof over my head, right?  Wrong.  My mother was moving on to husband number five and decided to sell the house without giving me notice.  The bank took care of that with a thirty day grace period.

Taylor Ross walked into the coffee shop where I worked and offered me the perfect solution. His father was a regular customer and apparently thought highly enough of my service to mention me in his will.  I couldn't just take money but when offered me a job with a great salary including room and board, how could I refuse?  I didn't know at the time just what services Taylor thought I'd offered his father.  

He wanted me to embrace my inner whore and in return my financial worries would be over. There was only one problem.  I had no idea what that meant.  Taylor was willing to train me, so the only real question was what was I willing to do to have everything my heart desired?

Whore was surprisingly a great book. I say surprisingly because of that cover. I'm not a fan of it and being one of those people who actually do judge a book by its cover, well let's just say I didn't really have high hopes. 

But from the very first page...I was intrigued. Laura is working at a coffee shop so she can save up money to go to college. One day while at work, a regular of the shop's son shows up offering Laura the opportunity of a lifetime. 

It's an offer she can't say no to, no matter how offensive it may be. 

Taylor Ross is an alpha male to the max. He demands and gets everything he wants; he's extremely sexy! 

I loved the chemistry between Laura and Taylor, it was both inevitable and undeniable.   The way the author wove the title Whore into the story was just brilliant. 

I feel like the ending was rushed and a bit unrealistic but overall it was still a good book. It's a short read and I sort of wish it were longer!

If you're looking for your next alpha male, Whore is for you!

Author Bio:

Michelle Hughes began her career in writing as a paranormal romance author.  In 2009 she released her first book, A Night at Tears of Crimson.  In 2011 she was hit with an idea for a romance that had nothing to do with vampires and readers seemed to relate more to the alpha male and virgin romances, so she continued along that line.
Prior to a career in writing she was a singer/songwriter who performed all over the US with a satellite syndicated talent showcase as their host.  Michelle lives in Alabama with her husband and five children.  Writing is her second love with family always being first.  If you’d like to find out more about Michelle, pleasevisit her links.

Social Media Links:

Buy Links:

Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cover Reveal feat Excerpt and Giveaway:
Stolen Grace by Arianne Richmonde!!!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]
Title: Stolen Grace
Author: Arianne Richmonde
Genre: Suspense/Women's Fiction
Release Date: February 3, 2014
Hosted By: Book Enthusiast Promotions


A marriage on the rocks.
Their little daughter caught in between.
And a woman who will stop at nothing.

Sylvia and Tommy Garland and their five-year-old daughter Grace have moved from the bright lights of New York City to the peaceful wilderness of the Wyoming countryside. But with the recession on their heels, Tommy leaves for LA for a job interview, and Ruth, an old friend of Sylvia's comes to stay.

In an unexpected turn of events, a family tragedy forces Sylvia to leave Ruth in charge of little Grace for just one day.

A decision that will tear their lives apart.

Stolen Grace is a roller coaster of emotions with twists and turns, a tale of lies and deception, of redemption and forgiveness.

And ultimately, a love story.


Sylvia sat uneasily at the edge of the silk-backed bed and kicked off her shoes. She needed to do this. She needed, just for a snatch of time, to escape. She needed to help him too—give him strength. She inhaled the scent of him and rested her head against his shoulder. He smelled of sweet grass and sun- warmed skin. He unzipped her dress. His generous hands slipped around her waist and moved up the length of her body, then stroked her back. She shivered. His fingertips caressed her skin and she closed her eyelids—a twirl of colors swam beneath them: red, twinkling green. She could hear some birds tweeting outside the bedroom window, perched on the weeping willow tree and, as one flew past, the shadow darted across her colored vision, just a second, just a flash. Tommy continued to stroke her—his touch tender. Warm.

She remembered how much she loved this man. How she ached for him. How much she desired him physically.

He pushed the dress away from her shoulders and it fell in folds about her waist. He pressed his hand under her white cotton panties and cupped her crotch, lifting it a millimeter from the bed. She cried out. Taken aback, almost, by the tingling flurry between her legs. She had forgotten that could happen. She could feel herself moisten, and she wriggled out of her dress, letting it fall to the floor. His hands moved upwards toward her breasts, his touch soft, hardly there, letting a finger flicker on her nipple, quiet and restful. She turned herself around to face him, her legs straddled either side of his, the saddle of her thighs and bottom pressing against on his groin. He was rock hard. Bigger than she remembered. Her stomach pooled with desire and she heard herself moan quietly. They kissed. He tasted of sun and apples. She let her tongue explore his top lip, then his mouth, and felt the rough stubble of an unshaven face. He groaned and pulled her closer. She remembered how little they kissed these days, really kissed— deep, probing—and she remembered, too, how he craved that.

She could feel the steady throb between her legs, and edging herself up on her knees, still straddling him, she offered his mouth her nipple. He licked it. Softly. The end of his tongue flickered like a glinting light. She let out another little cry. Her need for him, like a volt, made her push him to the bed. His head thumped on the puffed linen pillows and hungrily she unbuttoned his shirt, grappled the belt, reaching for the buttons of his jeans, feeling the rock that was his desire, the pulse in her groin rhythmical and hot.

She drank in his chiseled abs, the definition of his pectorals. She pulled off his pants, halfway. She kissed him on his muscular thighs, her head resting against his hips, her tongue and lips searching for his cock as she looked up at him, a monument of flesh and bone and blood and love. They needed each other. For the first time in years, they could really give to one another. They needed each other’s strength, each other’s weakness.

Being united was imperative right now.

“Come here, my angel, my light. I need you close to me.” He grabbed her, pulling her up toward him from the waist, placing her on top of him. Her toes tingled, and she heard him hold his breath for a second as she let him slide into her, her hands guiding him in. It felt huge, unfamiliar, as if it were her first time. She caught her breath at the smarting pain. It lasted a second and then it was over, her wetness welcoming the man she loved, the fit perfect. She had forgotten how well they slotted together.

She had forgotten that.

Meet the Author

Arianne Richmonde is an American writer and artist who spent her formative years in both Britain and the US. She has also lived in Spain and France.

She has traveled to many corners of the globe and meeting people from all walks of life and different countries is a passion of hers. She speaks fluent Spanish and French. She lives in France in an old stone farmhouse amidst sunflower fields and vineyards, with her husband and coterie of animals.

Social Links

FB button FINALtwitter button FinalGoodreadsFINAL

Goodreads Button with Shadow

a Rafflecopter giveaway
promotionsbutton with TRIM

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cover Reveal feat Chapter 1:
Angels in Leather by Bella Jewel!!

Angels In Leather Cover

Title: Angels in Leather
Author: Bella Jewel
Expected Release Date: February 15, 2014
Cover Model: Miles Logan
Photographer: Jennifer Tanner Photography



A girl on the run.

Her father gave her one task before he died. To deliver a package.

Now she has the baddest biker in the state after her.

He wants what she's got.

Secrets in both the past and the present threaten to destroy what she is working so hard for.

He threatens to ruin her heart.

Two worlds will collide to make something explosive.

Angels in Leather Jacket

Chapter 1:

Unedited and subject to change.

You can run but you can’t hide,

I know what lies deep inside.

I lower my glasses and rush across the road, head down, hoodie covering my head and face. A small woman standing outside of the door, watches at me as I dart around behind the gas station, backpack tightly wrapped around my shoulders, clipped at the front. My sneakers are worn, and they squeak on the pavement as I scurry into the ladies toilets. I rush into the small, crappy room, kicking in the doors, and when I realize it’s empty, I lower my hood.

My long blonde hair tumbles out when I remove the cap from my head that was sitting firmly under my hoodie. It’s my usual look these days. Jeans, sneakers, singlet top, hoodie and a cap. It’s the easiest look to disguise who I am when I’m forced to get out in public. I lower my face, and turn on the tap, filling my hands with water and splashing it on my skin. I close my eyes, letting the cool feeling calm my nervous, frightened body.

They’ve found me.

It’s only the third time Axel Wraithe has managed to catch up with me in just over a year, which isn’t bad considering he’s got sources and I don’t.

He’s the President of the MC club Angel’s In Leather, and he’s been chasing me since the moment my father sent me running with a case containing information on USB Drives. I’ve never plugged the drives in to see what’s on them. Whatever is, though, I imagine is extremely important. They wouldn’t be chasing me like this, if it wasn’t important.

Axel wouldn’t have let his men kill my father if it wasn’t something he needed.

Would he?

I still don’t know what went down that day, all I know is that whatever my father has in this case, Axel wants. Axel and my father used to be best friends, until my father started up his MC club Joker’s Runners, and they had a falling out. They became sworn enemies, and were constantly at war, but more often then not, it was kept at a certain limit. Then that one day, it went over.

I found out after I started running that the Angel’s In Leather took out the Joker’s Runners in a war that stopped the entire town just after my father died. They were looking for the case. The case I’ve been running with for just over a year. The case that’s clearly been more important than anything else that’s come up in that time, because Axel hasn’t stopped looking for me.

Which means I haven’t rested.

There have been times I’ve wanted to just give in and let him take it from me, but then I think of my father’s face the day he died in the front of our SUV, and the desperation when he made me promise to run, and deliver this case. If I let him down…I’ll never live happily. This is my mission, and sadly, it’s become my life. I don’t have anything else. Without this…I’m nothing. I have nothing…no one.

I am struggling to find this Raide fellow, without resources, it’s very hard to locate him, and until I do I can’t stop. So here I am, in a women’s bathroom, trying to calm myself down and figure out a way to escape Axel a third time around. He’s not an easy man to escape. He’s a god damned genius and he’s managing to get closer and closer to me no matter what I do. I have to think of something new. Maybe I’ll cut all my hair off and dye it red, or purple, something crazy.

I pat my face dry with my sleeve, and stare in the mirror at the empty blue eyes looking back at me. Most girls my age would be out partying, being in love, enjoying their life, their jobs, their friends….but me, I’m running, living a criminal life that I never chose. On the rare days I get where I manage to relax, I find myself imagining what it would be like to just be normal.

I shake my head. It’s never going to happen.

I hear the distinct rumble of Harley Davidson’s outside, and I know they’ve stopped. I feel my palms become clammy, and my heart speeds up. I have to get out of here and into the trees behind the gas station. They’re thick and lush, and I can run for miles through them. The problem is getting out. This was the closest place I could find to gather myself, and it took Axel a matter of minutes to locate me. It’s never a coincidence with him. Never.

I swallow, and lift my hair up onto the top of my head again, tucking it under my cap. I pull my hoodie back over and grip the straps that are sitting around my waist. My bag is strapped on as good as I can get it, because I don’t want it to be taken from me. If it gets taken, then all this has been a waste of time for me…and my father.

I pull my sunglasses down over my eyes, and I peer out the window. And there he is. I feel my body tingle with fear as I lay my eyes on Axel. He’s standing out the front of the gas station, speaking to the young woman, flashing a photo at her. I know it’s a photo of me. She nods, and points to the bathrooms. God dammit. Axel lifts his head, and his eyes turn in my direction.

I gasp.

The years ... they’ve been kind to him. The last few times he got close to me, it wasn’t close enough for me to get a good look at him. To see how the years have changed his face.

Axel Wraithe is a gorgeous man, he always has been, but he’s got a heart of steel. I remember as a little girl, in the years before he and my father had a falling out, I used to think he was one of the most handsome men I’d ever met. He was just a young man back then, but he had the kind of face that women would drool over. Now ... now he’s older, and more defined, and even more breathtaking.

He has this thick black hair that sits messily on his head. His body is huge, tall and well built, yet unlike most bikers, not covered in tattoos. He has a few, but not many. His shoulder’s put most body builders to shame. His eyes are the color of turquoise water, and are the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen. He’s got a few days growth of stubble on his face, and his ears are filled with silver hoops.

His body is covered in all black clothes. Large, chunky black boots. Black jeans. A black shirt covered with his black jacket, with, what I know, has a large angel surrounded in fire on the back. Their club’s patch. He wears chains around his neck and leather bands around his wrists, hanging off his jeans, he has silver chains, topping off his look.

Axel is about forty years old, and while he was my father’s best friend, he was ten years younger than him. They met a few years after my parents had me. I know my father helped him out of some bad things, and felt a connection to him. Things went well right up until I was about ten, and that’s when my father created his club and he and Axel had a massive falling out.

I never saw Axel again…until the night he saved my life.

Now, he’s standing, staring at the bathroom’s, a small, deadly smirk on his face. Sweat trickles down my face as I turn, peering around the bathroom for an escape. There’s a small, narrow window above the far toilet. It’s not locked, and I could squeeze out of it with enough effort. I glance back out the window and see Axel still staring at the bathroom, nodding to the lady as she speaks.

I have minutes.

My adrenalin spikes as I rush towards the toilet. I peer up at the window, and use the toilet and basin to launch myself upwards. I take hold of the window sill and use my free hand to rattle the window. It’s rusty, but it dislodges itself easily enough. I shove it out, and it lands with a crash on the ground. My heart begins to hammer.

I unclip my backpack, there’s no way I can get through with it on my back. I peer out the window, and when I see it’s clear, I shove the bag through and let it drop down onto the ground. That’s when I hear the rattling on the toilet’s main door. My heart lurches and I feel my jaw begin to tremble.

“Meadow, you didn’t honestly think you could hide in a toilet, did you?”

Axel’s voice has me freezing, but only for a split second. I’ve been running long enough now to know how to keep myself from freezing for long enough to cause a problem. I lift my leg up and try to be as quiet as possible as I jump three times, and shove my body through the small gap. I lose my balance when I push through too hard, and land on the dirt the other side with a thump. I roll, gripping my bag and throwing it on quickly, before leaping to my feet.

And there he is.

I scream and leap backwards as he appears around the side of the building. Up close, he’s powerful, huge and dominating. He has a tattoo of a bird on his neck, and it seems to be staring at me, taunting me. I lift my eyes to meet his, and I gasp softly. Beauty, it just doesn’t cover what he is. He can’t be classed as beautiful. There is only one word I could ever use to describe him, and that is ... devastating.

“Hello Cricket,” he purrs, using a nickname for me that he used to use when I was a little girl. “Long time, no see.”

I swallow, and grip my backpack. “Axel.”

He smiles, showing me a row of perfect, white teeth. Two dimples appear in his cheeks. “And here I was thinking you’d forgotten about me, I mean, you’ve been running for me now for…what has it been, Cricket? Over a year?”

“One year, three months and six days,” I whisper, shuffling backwards.

He chuckles. “And you know I was going to catch up to you eventually, so we could have avoided all this if you had just given me what I wanted back then.”

I don’t say anything, I just grip my backpack straps tighter, and let my eyes dart around behind my sunglasses to look for a way out. I see a thick mass of trees behind him, probably about fifty meters. If I could get to them, I could hide myself…I also see a pile of rusty metal poles in the corner, leaning against the wall. I turn my body slightly toward them, and begin very slowly backing up. Axel steps forward, suddenly gripping the side of my face. His other hand grips my backpack. I snarl and shove, pushing hard enough to get him to let go. He stands back with a smirk.

“Don’t touch me!” I hiss.

His smirk widens. “Nice disguise you have there, but you know, when you live in a disguise, people start looking for it. Should have changed it, Cricket.”

“Don’t call me that,” I growl, gripping the straps on my backpack even tighter.

“Take off your hoodie, Meadow,” he rasps. “Let me see you. Let me see the girl who has fucked my life up for the past year. It’s been so long, hasn’t it? Last time I saw those baby blue eyes, you were jumpin’ off a bridge tryin’ to end your life.”

I flinch and anger builds in my chest.

I let go of my backpack and grip my sunglasses and I pull them off, then I lower my hoodie and rip my cap off. I want him to see me. I want him to look into my eyes and see the determination there. He won’t beat me, it doesn’t matter how hard he tries – I’ll try harder. I lift my face and I stare him right in the eyes. And it’s because of that, I notice his reaction.

His body flinches, only just barely, and his eyes widen. He hasn’t seen me since that awful night. Our interaction after that, was done with me being fully covered. I stand on trembling legs as he takes me in, letting his eyes move over my body. I notice when he narrows his eyes, that he has small lines beside his eyes, the only indication of his age.

“Well fuck me, Cricket. You grew up and became a knock out, and here you are, wastin’ it by runnin’ when all you have to do, is give me what I want and you can go on your way. Wouldn’t it be nice to be a normal girl?”

“Do you think I’m stupid?” I say, trying to stop my voice from trembling.

He glares at me. “You are fuckin’ stupid, because you’ve been wastin’ your time running for me for the past year.”

“And I’ll continue running from you, Axel. I won’t stop. And if you think I’m going to fall for your promises of freedom for me if I hand over the goods, then you know nothing about me. I’ve lived with bikers before, remember? I’ve seen the promises made. You’ll not get your hands on me…”

His eyes harden and he takes a step forward. I brace myself to run.

“Is that so? Funny, because you’re the one trapped against a toilet wall with no where to go.”

“Again,” I whisper, reaching around behind me and gripping the long metal poles I’ve been edging closer to. “You don’t know me, if you knew me, you’d know that I know what I’m doing by now, and no one traps me against a wall.”

I swing the pole. His body moves to block it, but it hits his hands so hard he goes reeling back with a roar. I swing it again, connecting with his kneecaps. When he drops to the ground, I run. It’s one thing I do know how to do. I put my head down, my arms by my side and I run as fast as I can move.

I hear Axel’s bellow, and I know he’s calling for his men. I have seconds. I hit the trees just as I hear the shouts beginning to grow louder behind me. I skid to my left, running through a narrow set of tall trees, in an attempt to get into the thicker shrubs. My sneakers crunch, and I know there’s no way I can pull this off quietly, but I will pull it off.

I hear the sounds of boots crunching in the distance, and I have no doubt Axel has his entire group of men spreading out to chase me. My adrenalin spikes, and I pick up my face, ignoring the sweat pouring down my face, or the branches scratching into my skin. I won’t let him beat me now, not after everything I’ve fought for.

I pick up my pace when I come to a clearing, running hard and fast. It’s never good to be caught in a clearing, I’ve learned that. I put my head down, and run as hard as I can. I can hardly breathe through my panting, it’s so intense. The sweat begins to fill my eyes and it burns. I blink rapidly, lifting my hand to swipe it quickly across, trying to remove some of it. It only makes it worse.

“Stop, Meadow, do yourself a favor!” Axel bellows.

I look over my shoulder to see him and six other men running towards me. My adrenalin spikes and I focus my attention in front of me. The only thing I can see is a large river off what looks like a small ledge. My heart skitters. Can I jump off that?

“Stop now and I’ll make it easier for you.”

I don’t have a choice.

I have to jump.

I run to the edge, and skid to a stop as I look down at the flowing water. My entire body stiffens and my breath hitches. Memories of that night on the bridge flash through my mind. My skin begins to prickle, and it becomes even harder to breathe. It’s not the same, you can swim now and the water is nice, clear and safe. You won’t die. You just have to get over the other side.

“She won’t jump,” I hear Axel yell.

“Hurry it up!” someone else bellows.

I hear the sound of boots crunching coming closer. God, if they get hold of me now, all this has been for nothing. I stare down at the water, and goosebumps break out over my skin. I can’t breathe, I can hardly concentrate. I know they’ll get me any moment. I close my eyes, taking a deep breath.

“Promise me, Meadow…”

My father’s words spring back into my mind and I know I have to do this. So, without opening my eyes, I jump. It happens in what feels like slow motion, my entire body plummets to the water below. I hit it flat on my stomach, knocking the wind out of me. I sink quickly, even though I can swim now, the panic has my body stiffening in fear.

I begin to struggle.

My backpack is too heavy.

I shake my head from side to side, keeping my mouth clamped shut, kicking my legs as hard as I can. I feel a set of hard arms go around me, and I sieze. I’m slowly being pulled to the surface, on that surface I’ll be taken somewhere I don’t want to go. At the realization of that, I start kicking harder, until I hit the person holding me.

When I surface, I gasp a breath of air in, and I kick hard towards the other side. I hear Axel’s crackled voice sound out behind me. “Stop fuckin’ running Cricket, we’re not going to keep doing this.”

Oh yes we are.

I kick harder, using everything inside me to get to the other side. I reach the bank and launch myself up, gripping the sides with my hands. I’m about to pull my body up, when those arms go around me again and yank me back down. With a scream, I go crashing back into the water. Axel has me, and he spins my body around so I’m facing him. Up close I can see his eyes, and I hate that he makes my heart flutter.

I’m supposed to hate him.

“Quit this fuckin’ bullshit and just give in.”

“No,” I growl, shoving at his chest.

“I won’t play this game with you any longer, Cricket. If I have to, I will hurt you.”

I lean in close. “Does it look like I care?”

He growls and pins me tighter against his body. When I’m this close to him, and my body is pressing against his, I can feel every part of him. His powerful form is twice the size of mine, and a good solid foot taller. His arms tighten around me, and I know I have to think quickly. I stare up at him, meeting those devastating eyes.

“Please,” I whisper. “Don’t do this to me.”

His eyes soften a touch, but only a touch. “Then give me what I want.”

I’m playing, only he doesn’t know it.

“I cared about you Axel, can’t you just remember that and let me go. Remember how once, you cared for me too.”

He shakes his head. “Nice try, Cricket. It ain’t gonna work.”

I let my eyes fill with fake tears. “He was all I had left and you took him from me, now you’re going to take the last of him and leave me with what?”

He narrows his gaze. “You’ll find a way, that’s what strong people do.”

“No, Axel, that’s what you would do. I’m not you.”

“Girl I knew wouldn’t have a problem being that strong.”

“I’m not the girl you once knew, I grew up, Axel. Or hadn’t you noticed?”

I press myself harder against him and he growls. I want to lean up and kiss him, I can smell his masculine scent and it’s killing me that it’s affecting my control. I realize I’m staring at his lips, and I quickly turn away, biting mine.

“Stop fuckin’ doin’ that,” he murmurs.

I look back up at him, and slowly I lean up so my lips just graze his ear. I’m having him on, I need to escape, but my body is betraying me, because it’s enjoying the feeling of being in his arms. “Doing what?” I murmur.

“Fuckin’ hell, stop,” he growls.

I let a warm puff of air tickle his neck, and then I lean down, and I bite him so hard I draw blood. His bellow of pain as he reels backwards is enough to let me know it fucking hurt. I spin quickly, not looking back. I launch up onto the bank, and without stopping, I run into the line of trees.

“I’ll fuckin’ find you, Willow,” Axel roars. “Mark my fuckin’ words.”

I have no doubt he will.

But like always, I’ll find a way to escape him.

I always do.

About the Author:

Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.

Facebook | Website | Goodreads

Hosted By:

Love Between the Sheets Promotions

Promo badge


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Blitz: Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy

Title: Fighting Redemption
 Author: Kate McCarthy
 Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: December 2, 2013

TOP READ FOR 2013 by 22 Book Blogs

✦★☆ Reviews by Tammy & Kim voted Fighting Redemption BEST BOOK OF 2013!☆★✦

✦★☆ Give Me Books voted Fighting Redemption TOP BOOK OF 2013 and ALL TIME FAVOURITE!☆★✦

✦★☆ Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews voted Fighting Redemption AND Give Me Strength in their TOP BOOKS OF 2013!☆★✦

What reviewers are saying about Fighting Redemption

6 Stars! I just want to shout from the rooftops -- READ THIS BOOK, EVERYONE!!!! Fighting Redemption was everything I could want in a story and more!! It's an unforgettable story about a broken soldier's undying love for a woman who'd always held his heart. I loved every word of this powerful, captivating and emotionally charged book. This is a must-read!! Truly breathtaking! Aestas Book Blog

"5 ++++ Beautiful and Emotional Stars! This was a love story in every sense of the word. It was highly emotive, beautiful, moving, tragic, romantic, passionate, haunting and breathtaking which all makes up to this being one of our favourite reads of 2013." Totally Booked

"Fighting Redemption is heartbreaking, gut punching, inspiring, and beautiful. This is an amazing, poignant journey that I will never forget and goes beyond 5 stars for me and is one of the rare ones that I have to give 6 stars." Reviews by Tammy & Kim

"5 stars - 6 if I could! It's nigh on impossible to put into words how much I loved this book and how much it touched me. Fighting Redemption is unforgettable, powerful, incredibly moving and it will live on my heart for months and years to come." Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews

Ryan Kendall is broken. He understands pain. He knows the hand of violence and the ache of loss. He knows what it means to fail those who need you. Being broken doesn’t stop him wanting the one thing he can’t have; Finlay Tanner. Her smile is sweet and her future bright. She’s the girl he grew up with, the girl he loves, the girl he protects from the world, and from himself.
At nineteen, Ryan leaves to join the Australian Army. After years of training he becomes an elite SAS soldier and deploys to the Afghanistan war. His patrol undertakes the most dangerous missions a soldier can face. But no matter how far he runs, or how hard he fights, his need for Finlay won’t let go.
Returning home after six years, one look is all it takes to know he can’t live without her. But sometimes love isn’t enough to heal what hurts. Sometimes people like him can’t be fixed, and sometimes people like Finlay deserve more than what’s left.
This is a story about war and the cost of sacrifice. Where bonds are formed, and friendships found. Where those who are strong, fall hard. Where love is let go, heartache is born, and heroes are made. Where one man learns that the hardest fight of all, is the fight to save himself.

Later that morning after their workout and shower, Jake fell asleep on the couch. Feeling at a loss with nothing but time on his hands, Ryan wandered down the hall towards Fin’s room. She was sitting at a little study nook in the corner, laptop open with one foot resting on her chair. She was wearing a tank top and a little pair of shorts. Leaning up against the doorframe, he couldn’t tear his eyes away from those long, delectable legs.

As though sensing his presence, she turned in her chair. He forced his eyes upwards, catching a sexy flush fill her cheeks at his blatant perusal.

“Morning, Ryan.” She took off her black framed reading glasses and tossed them on the desk.

“Morning, Fin,” he replied.

Against his better judgement, Ryan pushed away from the door and walked farther into the room. Fin hadn’t changed at all and neither had his desire for her. His heart kicked over when she met his eyes. He knew everything he was feeling right now was written all over him, but he couldn’t seem to shut it off.

Her eyelids fluttered closed and she whispered, “Why now?”

Ryan took a deep breath. “I don’t know,” he replied honestly.

He shouldn’t still be feeling this way after so many years. Why was he doing this to her, and to himself? It was better for everyone if he stayed away like he was supposed to.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come. I’ll go stay at the barracks.” He turned to leave.

“Ryan!” she called out. Scrambling out of the chair, she grabbed his arm as he was halfway out the door.

“Fin,” he warned, looking down at her hand pointedly.

She took a step closer and he breathed her in, her scent like jasmine on a hot summer’s day. He was surprised when he looked into her eyes and saw anger burning hotly in their depths.

“Six years, Ryan. Do you know how hurt I was, each day passing by and getting nothing—not even a note or an email? I didn’t just lose you. I lost my brother too. Both of you left me, and I was okay with that. I understood that this was what you needed to do, so I moved on. I built a life that doesn’t include you. That was what I had to do.” She paused and raised a shaky hand to cup his cheek. “I’d have given you my entire heart if you’d only asked, but it’s not yours now. It’s not yours.”

Ryan closed his eyes, agony for losing what was never his rose in his chest until he felt strangled by it. He placed his hand over hers, holding it there until she tugged it away.

“You’re right,” Fin told him. “You should stay on the barracks … but I don’t want you to. Damn you, Ryan,” she whispered fiercely. “I don’t want you to.”

Ryan used his bulk to crowd her against the wall until there was no room for her to move. Leaning one hand against the wall, he grabbed her hip with the other. Her breathing rose rapidly and he leaned in, ducking his head until their mouths hovered a mere breath apart.

“Why can’t I force myself to leave?” He rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. “I hurt too. For six years I fought every day not to think of you, and I lost, because every day you were all I could see. You were the best thing in my life—so sweet and innocent, and so goddamn tempting.” His hand strayed from her hip and slid down to grip her ass. He swallowed the groan. “I stayed away so you could move on.”

Kate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come from being raised in a friendly, small town area.
She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing.
She is married with two children, has two dogs and house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.
When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce Mutha.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
© The Lovely Books. All rights reserved.