Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Recent Enjoyable Reads of Mine

On occasion I share recent reads that I have enjoyed. Some books stand out more than others and these are the books that I have enjoyed over the past few months.

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.
Verdict: I really enjoyed this book. Philippa Gregory is known for her historicals. The people are real, but the story is fictional. It was interesting to get a glimpse of what it was like to live and survive back  then. At times I did feel like I was reading a history book, but saying that the author definitely kept my interest. And I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, The Red Queen.

Finding out she was a witch had upended Mari Saguna's staid life, but being thrown into a war between dark, otherworldly creatures in New York City surpassed the surreal. Her coven battled a clan of vampires…and caught in the middle were Mari and one vampire hell-bent on rescuing his kidnapped brethren.
No spells could protect her from Nicholai, the potent, mysterious seducer. No potions could assuage the longing he'd awakened in her. In his lair, Mari wasn't sure she wanted protection…until she discovered Nicholai's dark intention. Could she believe the enemy she'd come to love meant to destroy her? And would it matter when Nicholai discovered she—and her blood—were her coven's secret weapon?
Verdict: This was on my TBR pile since forever! I picked it up because I wanted to get through some of the older books I'd purchased. I was pleasantly surprised. The story contained many twists and turns in the plot and I whizzed through it in two days. Vampire's are a tad overdone these days, but this book was enjoyable and fresh!

"Wanted: one husband, not too particular. Small dowry, several books, sundry furnishings, and elderly aunt included. Idlers, time-wasters, and gentleman without other attachments need not apply." —Miss Sophie Valentine

A Scandalous Lady

Sophie Valentine knew placing an ad for a husband in the Farmer's Gazette would bring her trouble—and she was right. When the darkly handsome, arrogantly charming Lazarus Kane shows up on her doorstep, the nosy residents of Sydney Dovedale are thrown into a gossiping tizzy. After all, it's common knowledge that Sophie is a young lady In Need of Firmer Direction. But even Sophie isn't so scandalous as to marry a complete stranger . . . is she?

Seeks Handsome Stranger

Lazarus Kane has been searching for Sophie half of his life. She may not remember him, but he could never forget her. But the past is a dangerous thing, and it's best if his remains secret if he wants to tempt Sophie with...

A Most Improper Proposal

Verdict: This is the first in a series of Regency's by Jayne Fresina. I loved this book! It was a joy to read. What I liked most was that there was a lot of humor in the story. It wasn't stuffy or traditional which was completely refreshing. There was also just enough heat to keep things moving along nicely without it being a raunch fest! 

Added Note: I've also enjoyed a variety of m/m shorts from the M/M Romance group on Goodreads which they do every year as part of their Don't Read in the Closet Event. Check them out: http://www.mmromancegroup.com/ There are some great stories listed there!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Sean & Toby(Lust at First Sight 1) Release Day!

It's finally out! You can purchase it directly from Evernight Publishing at a discount or from Amazon, Bookstrand, and All Romance.


 Lust at First Sight, 1

First time meetings can lead to many things, but when you meet the one guy you're automatically attracted to—the chemistry sizzles. Strangers or not, it doesn't matter. It's lust at first sight and anything's game...
Sean's mundane job at a call center leads him to make some changes in his routine life. Getting fit is one of his goals and after joining a local gym, he meets cute and twinky Toby.
Toby nearly knocks the breath out of Sean with not only his cute looks, but also his wit and charm. Their attraction to each other is instant and Sean can't stop thinking about Toby and his perfect butt. 
Things quickly heat up between them, but Toby isn't who Sean thought he was. Looks can be very deceiving. There's another side to Toby's personality. Sean's definitely met his match!
Toby returns with our order and glides back into his seat. “Coffee for you, and café mocha for me.” He takes a sip and licks his lips. “I like it when the whipped creams melts into it,” he says.
There’s a pause of silence as we look at each other. The tension’s thick between us, but it’s the good kind. I want to tell him straight out that I find him adorable.
“I like cream,” I say. I blush instantly. Where in the hell did that come from?
I feel something brush against my foot under the table. I jump from sheer surprise, and Toby winks at the same time. He’s being bold with me. This is something unexpected, but I’m liking this side of him.
“You’re cute,” he tells me. He takes another sip of his café mocha. “You surprised me in the locker room. I didn’t think you would speak to me.”
I swallow hard and clear my throat. “Normally I wouldn’t. I am out, so it’s not like I’m living in the closet or anything like that.”
“You caught me off guard. You could probably tell that.”
“You looked a little uncomfortable,” I admit. “It can be a little awkward when you know nothing about the other guy. I try to tread lightly in such cases.”
“So, you hit on a lot of guys when out and about?” Toby asks.
I nearly choke as I swallow a mouthful of java. “Hardly,” I mutter, shaking my head. “This…You and me.” I cough. “Sorry. This is the first date I’ve been on since forever.”
“This is a date?” Toby asks. “I thought it was coffee.”
See, it’s like I was saying. The two can easily get confused. “It is coffee, I guess.”
“I’m screwing with you. It’s whatever we want it to be.” A mischievous look is all over his sexy face as he waits for me to respond.
I nearly gulp down the last of my coffee. I honestly don’t know what to say. Toby’s brashness makes me almost nervous, but inside my jeans I’m rock hard. His foot nudges mine again.
“You’re something,” I say, almost laughing. “Looks are most certainly deceiving.”
“Are they? I’m being too forward, and you can’t handle that.”
“You’re playing with me. That’s what I think.”
“And you don’t like that,” Toby adds. He runs his hand back through his hair. “So asking you to leave here and come back to my place would be a terrible thing.”
“No, definitely not.” I don’t want him to think that I’m not interested because I am.
“That’s a yes or no?” Toby pushes his cup to the side.
“Yes,” I reply quickly. “Let’s go.”
“This is it,” Toby says once inside his apartment. We drove the short distance in my car from Joe’s. “It isn’t big, but I call it home.”
Toby’s apartment is extremely clean and neat. That’s the first thing that stands out to me. The design is what I would call comfortable modern. The furnishings are sleek and contemporary, but the place has a homelike feeling too. I settle on the couch, and I can’t believe that I’m sitting there. I’m surrounded by his personal space and everything feels extremely intimate.
“I like it,” I say. “You have a flair for design.”
“Isn’t that typical.” Toby smiles. “I’m a bit of a walking cliché. But anyway, would you like a drink?”
“Sure,” I reply. “This really is a great space.”
I’m a little envious. There are times when I wish I didn’t have a roommate. My situation with my roomie and friend has become way too complicated.
“I have sodas,” Toby says coming back into the room. “Since you’re driving, booze isn’t going to be in the picture.” He takes a seat next to me, and our knees touch. “Perhaps you don’t drink. I’m jumping way ahead. I know very little about you.”
“I drink on social occasions.” I’m very aware of Toby sitting so close to me and inside, I feel like someone is doing flips in my stomach. The sweaty palms have returned. “But don’t think I’m a lush or anything remotely like that.” The last thing I want is for him to get the wrong impression.
“I don’t think that.”
“You surprise me,” I suddenly blurt out. I feel hot, like I’m burning up. My cheeks are flushed, and I can’t help but squirm a little. “At the gym when we first met, I kind of had you pegged as being more…How should I say this?” I pause to find the right word and then it comes to me. “Submissive.” That’s the word.
“Like ‘Fifty Shades’ submissive?” Toby rolls his eyes. “I like it hot and a little rough, but I’m not into BDSM if that’s what you’re hinting at.”
“The book. Surely you have read it?”
“It makes no difference. I’m not a submissive type of guy.” Toby’s voice goes a little deeper. “I like guys like you.”
“Guys like me?”
“Yes.” He leans in close to me. I shiver as his hot breath caresses my ear. His arm now rests around my shoulders, and he draws me even closer to him. “If I saw you on the street or at the gym and didn’t know any better, I’d think you were one hundred percent straight. It was only when you kept looking at me and struck up that conversation in the locker room that I knew you and I played for the same team. You smell fucking awesome.”
A small moan escapes my lips as I feel Toby kiss my earlobe and he moves to my neck. This is my weak spot. “You don’t know what you’re doing to me,” I manage to mutter. My cock strains inside my jeans to get free. My excitement is obvious.
“I think I do,” Toby replies. He’s coy and sexy at the same time, which is a deadly combination. “I’m not that innocent.”

Friday, July 5, 2013

A New Cover and a Freebie!

This is the cover for my upcoming release from Evernight Publishing! It will be out July 12th, 2013! If you would like to add it on Goodreads, here is the link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17936376-sean-toby . Also I have a freebie out on Smashwords. The short story, Summer Surprise was originally included with my novella, Worth Waiting For. You can download it here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333011