PURPOSE

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Release Blitz & Review ~ The Prisoner: A Christian Walker Novella (Replacement #1.5) by Rachael Wade

Release date: July 26th
The Replacement will be free 1 day only on release day!

***THE PRISONER IS AN ADDITION TO THE REPLACEMENT. IT IS A STAND-ALONE NOVELLA INTENDED TO BE READ AFTER THE REPLACEMENT.

My name is Christian Walker, and Elise Duchamp is my drug of choice.

No matter how hard I try to break the habit, it’s a lost cause. Okay, maybe I haven’t really tried to quit this particular habit. All I can think about is owning her. Making her mine. Can you really blame me? With that sinful body, luscious mouth, and wicked tongue, she’s every man’s dream, and she knows it.

No one is immune to her charm, not even me, a man who has everything—a beautiful wife, an office with a view, and more money than most people can spend in one lifetime. Only I know how to make her toes curl. Only I know her body better than the other men she screws in her free time. None of them can compare to me.

But the joke is on me. I’m the prisoner.

The one who will never compare to him. The one man who makes me see red. His name is stored in her cell phone. It’s the first one she calls out to, the first one she cries for when all hell breaks loose. Ryder Jacobson.

The name makes me cringe.

She loves him, and I love her. In my own way, I always will. But the bad guy doesn’t always belong with the bad girl. Sometimes the bad girl needs a good man to believe in her, to give her that final push toward ultimate transformation. I wish I was that good man. That I could be her happily ever after. I guess that’s the thing about prisoners, though. They’re left alone with their torment, and in the end, they have no one to blame but themselves.
4.75-5 Stars


This is Christian Walker's book, people! CHRISTIAN's!! 

Sigh...

**Possible spoilers**


“I like what I like. It might be flashy, but it’s what I want. Make no mistake,” I give her hand a firm but gentle squeeze, “same old can be a good thing. When it’s good, it never grows dull.” 

While reading the Replacement back in November, I fell in love, well rather, in lust with Christian Walker. No, he wasn’t the main Hero in that book, but his persona was very hard to ignore. He was sexy, hot and insanely Alpha. I wanted more of him and wanted him happy. So when I heard the author was going to do a novella involving my beloved Christian, I couldn’t wait. In this novella, his soul is stripped bare and standing before us is a man walking a thin line between lust and love.

She’s the epitome of true female sexuality – the stripped down, raw, honest kind. Every woman wants to get fucked in an alleyway like a three-dollar hooker. They might not all admit it, but the truth is they love getting dirty. Dirty equates with desire. Desire means reckless abandon. And every woman, nun and porn star alike, loves to be immersed in desire. Everyone wants to be wanted. 

If you didn’t already know, this novella is an elaboration of Christian’s time with Elise and not of him finding love after her. We watch as his struggling marriage crumble, while his obsession with Elise grow. We also witness the inevitable downfall of their arrangement/relationship. My heart broke even more for him. Will he ever find happiness? 

She’s the perfect angel for me – just as dirty, just as daring. 

A few points of caution before picking this up:

~ This is not a standalone and must be read after you read the Replacement, otherwise you might be lost. 
~ If you have read Elise’s story but not a fan of Christian, then this story might rub you the wrong way only because we see Elise more with Christian than of her and Ryder. With that said, I can safely say that this book was insanely HOT, like, video-camera-and-multiple-partners-type of HOT! Damn!
~ Lastly, there really isn’t a happy ending, per se, but more a of hope for happiness for my beloved Christian. 

I loved this novella, even though we all know he doesn’t get the girl. I just wanted a little more of Christian Walker and I’m forever thankful that Ms. Wade decided to give us just that.
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*Contains sexually explicit content and mature subject matter, including language and elements of abuse.*

A gritty New Adult drama about a young woman’s self-destructive quest to find purpose, self-worth, and love in a broken world.

My name is Elise Duchamp. I’m twenty-three years old and I’m known as the town whore.

No, not the kind who exchanges sexual favors for money. The other kind. The kind who gives it all away for free, whenever and however she likes. I am that girl. The one everyone whispers about and the one none of the girls seem to like, because all of their boyfriends either want to sleep with me or already have. Promiscuity is my thing—the kind that slowly, violently turns my insides black, but gives me something I need.

All things considered, I’m not completely reckless. I’m safe, and contrary to popular opinion, I do have a heart. I live in a world of careless choices, and with those choices come careless people. I cannot judge them, because I am one of them. I too bow down to the altar of the self-serving. I am not a good friend. I am not and never could be anyone’s girlfriend. I’m convinced any goodness in me shriveled up and died long ago.

But I am a replacement. That is something I know how to be, and this is a story of the lengths I’d go to in order to keep it that way.
PURCHASE LINKS

ABOUT RACHAEL
Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade
AUTHOR LINKS

Blog Tour ~ Back to You by Jessica Scott ~ Top 5 Heroes / Excerpt / #Giveaway


I read and LOVED Back to You back in January. It is my favorite in the Coming Home series. My 5-star review can be viewed HERE. I'm so happy to help celebrate the release of Back to You in paperback!

Thanks, Jessica Scott, for stopping by and letting us know who your favorite heroes are!


Jessica Scott's Top 5 Heroes

1. Patty Collins – She’s a real life example of making decisions not to be stuck in an unhappy place. She inspires me every day.

2. Stephen King – He gives back to his community and is conscious of the decisions he makes as a writer and how they impact the industry.

3. My husband – He’s given so much for our family and he can make me laugh no matter what’s going on.

4. My mom – She took my daughters so I could continue to soldier and raised them like they were her own. I wouldn’t have been able to stay in the army after our daughters came if not for her.

5. My daughters – They’ve been through a lot in their young lives and they keep smiling and keep laughing. They’re some pretty amazing little kids (of course, I’m biased).




He's in for the fight of his life . . . 
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn't explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family-so he deployed again. And again. And again...until his marriage reached its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs ...if she'll have him

. . . to win back his only love.

Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she's just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried-and a love that won't be denied. But can she trust that this time he's back to stay?


Excerpt
His uniform scraped the edge of her cheek. His body was a solid wall beneath her skin and for a brief moment, she simply let him hold her. His strength wrapped around her, his scent pulled her close, reminding her that somewhere inside this man was the man she’d married. The man she’d loved.
She hadn’t meant to cry in front of him. Not again. But the truth had simply slipped free of the chains she’d attempted to bind it with, breaking her resolve until it emptied out of her, tearing free and leaving her drained.
It was a long time until the tears stopped. Her eyes felt swollen.
Now, she rested against Trent and closed her eyes. She simply stopped. Stopped fighting. Stopped arguing. Stopped resisting her stubborn heart that still loved this man no matter how many times he hurt her or lashed out.
His leaving, his anger: He wasn’t in control of those things. Not like she’d convinced herself he was in those dark days when the rumors and innuendos had been breeding like a live thing in the silence between them. But there was more at work here than her husband simply walking out on her.
He’d made a huge step by talking to the counselor. And he hadn’t needed to tell her about their conversation, but he had. Laura leaned back, refusing to believe the insidious voice in her head that said he was just telling her this out of sheer selfishness.
She lifted her gaze, looking deep into his eyes. She started to shift and pull away but Trent moved first, cradling her face with his palms. Gently, his thumbs caressed her cheeks, wiping away the tears.
“I’m so tired of screwing everything up, Laura,” he whispered. “I want to fix this. Not for the trial. For us.”
“It’s not that simple.”
“Yes, it is.” His voice was urgent and harsh. “I can’t fix what I’ve done. And I damn sure don’t deserve your forgiveness.” He lowered his forehead to hers, his palms warm and solid against her skin. “But I’m asking you to help me. Help me reset my normal. Help me learn how to be a dad again. A husband.” He blinked rapidly.
She pressed her lips together, biting back fresh tears. “And what happens when you leave again?” she whispered. “What do I do then?” She sniffed quietly. “You keep breaking my heart.” Her voice cracked.
His fingers crooked around her jaw. “I want to stop.”
They were tucked away in a quiet corner of the coffee shop. The couch was blocked by a high booth. No one could see them. Laura kept her eyes locked on his. Finally he’d laid his fears, his hopes, his dreams in her lap.
She could crush him so easily. A stronger woman might have walked away, doing to him what he’d done so many times to her. But she was not that woman. She wanted to end the pain between them, not prolong it.
She’d thought divorce was the right answer. Ending the sham their marriage had become, protecting their children from more pain. The kids were her life now and she would not apologize for that. For all intents and purposes, she’d been a single parent for years and that was okay because she knew how to do that. Now fear latched on to her heart. Fear that he would leave her again. That he would once again shatter her into a thousand pieces.
But he was here. At this moment, it was all she had. Without giving herself time to think about the consequences, she leaned closer and brushed her lips gently against his.
She pulled away before he could deepen the kiss. Fear and awareness and arousal skittered through her veins, making her off balance, like a needful, sensual thing. She’d grown accustomed to the hugs of her children, their wet kisses and enthusiastic embraces.
What she craved now was something darker. The faintest brush of lips against lips had sparked something primitive inside her. Something deeper and richer. A long-forgotten need to be touched by a man. But not just any man—by this man. His hands, roughened by combat, sliding up her thighs. The coarse pads of his fingertips caressing her skin.
Memories bombarded her as she attempted to lean away and salvage the remnants of her pride.
But Trent was not operating under the get-some-space battle plan. He reached for her, his eyes rich with dark emotion. His palms scraped against her cheeks, his fingers strong as his lips claimed hers.
His breath was a gasp against her tongue and for a moment, Laura was stunned into stillness, unable to move beneath the assault on her senses. But then her body remembered his taste, her tongue remembered his touch, and a warmth awakened inside her. She opened for him, stroking his tongue with hers, her body folding into his like it was meant for him.
Her every nerve came alive. A cascade of long-denied arousal mixed with bittersweet memories of other homecomings, other farewells. It crashed into them both, driving them under a torrent of emotion.
This was the man she had married. A man who could make her body purr just thinking about him inside her. A man who knew exactly how to kiss her to drive her wild.
This was the man she’d been waiting for. She wanted nothing more than to crawl into his lap and have that urgent, passion-filled sex of first homecoming.
It was a long moment before the arousal faded and she became aware of the tender, sucking kisses he placed on her lips.
Another moment before he rested his forehead against hers.
An eternity passed before the words she’d never thought she’d ever say again slid past her lips. “I miss you,” she whispered.

And for once, he did not pull away.

About the author:
USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas. She's pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

Social Media Links:


Tour-Wide Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Falling for the Groomsman by Jen McLaughlin/Diane Alberts #Review #WeddingDare


Title: Falling for the Groomsman
Author: Jen Mclaughlin writing as Diane Alberts
Series: Wedding Dare #1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, Brazen imprint
Release Date: June 9, 2014

Synopsis:
She’s the one that got away. He’s the one she can’t forget.

Photojournalist Christine Forsythe is ready to tackle her naughty little to-do list, and who better to tap for the job than a hot groomsman? But when she crashes into her best friend’s older brother, Christine realizes her list needs updating. And fast. Tyler Dresco took her virginity during the best night of her life, then bolted. Now that they’re trapped together at a destination wedding, she’s going to get her revenge.

Tyler has never forgiven himself for how completely he lost control all those years ago. Being in Christine’s arms had felt right…until he realized what he’d taken from her in the hallway of a cheap motel. And oh, how she’s making him pay for it now. The insatiable heat between them has only grown stronger, but every time things heat up, Christine walks away. 

With every encounter, things go a little bit further until Christine’s caught in her own trap of seduction. And before their time’s up, Tyler’s not the only one wanting more…

Chapter 1 excerpt can be read HERE



Four Stars

Falling for the Groomsman is such an adorable and sexy story! Something happened between Tyler and Christine way back when, and things didn’t go so well. They haven’t spent any time together in years, but they’re destined to now at Tyler’s sister’s wedding. Oh boy! Christine wants a little revenge, but will she be able to focus on this game of seduction when the heat is reignited with Tyler?

I loved that this was a second-chance story between two people who clearly connected early on, but didn’t do anything with their attraction for one another through the years. Now they get to deal with what had happened between them in the past. I thought Jen McLaughlin put them through situations that had good balance of humor, heart, tension, and steam.

I’m really enjoying the Wedding Dare series a lot. I started with the prequel, Dare to Resist, and then I jumped to Best Man with Benefits. The stories can all be read as standalones. I will definitely keep reading on.


Book Links:

Wedding Dare series
(Prequel) 0.5: Dare to Resist by Laura Kaye, (my review)
Book 1: Falling for the Groomsman
Book 2: Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey
Book 3: Seducing the Bridesmaid by Katee Robert
Book 4: Best Man with Benefits by Samanthe Beck, (my review)

About the Author:
Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. 
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

#BlogTour ~ Tortured (Tortured Soul #1) by Kate Givans

A contemporary romantic drama about loss, healing, and love's ability to reach beyond scars and secrets, no matter how deep or hidden.


WARNING: This book is intended for 18+ readers ONLY. Potentially triggering content and concepts in books to follow.

More than a year after the death of his best friend, Josh is still tormented by the past. Everything changes when free-spirited Willow barges into his life. She challenges him, helps him feel something other than the overwhelming pain, sadness, and anger.

There’s just one problem.

Underneath that carefree spirit, Willow is elusive and secretive. Josh believes she may be fighting a few demons of her own, but he harder he tries to uncover the truth, the more she pushes him away.

Can Josh get her to open up before it’s too late? Or will he discover that some secrets are better left untold?
About Kate
Quirky, clumsy, and always a little off-key, Kate Givans has always loved books and the words contained within. Now that she’s writing the stories, she’s filling them with broken characters, angst, and even a few of those happily-ever-afters that seem to evade us in real life.

When not writing, this gypsy-hearted wife and mother of five can be found guzzling coffee, day-dreaming, dancing for no reason at all, playing with the voices in her head, watching her favorite shows (Originals, Grey’s, OUAT, The Following), listening to music, and reminding herself to “breathe.”
Connect with Kate
 
Four Solid Stars

**Possible spoilers ahead**

To me, death is peace. Peace from pain, and from an existence much worse than death: torture.

First things first: This was a fantastic debut novel. I honestly couldn’t believe how well written this story was; and from a first time author. BRAVO, Kate!!

Secondly: This was not an easy read.

There. Whew! I thought I’d get that out of the way only because this was far from a typical romance story. I wouldn’t necessarily call it dark or anything like that, but parts of this did make me want to jump off the emotional rollercoaster. However, I was drawn to story, so much so that after I jumped off the ride, I had to pick it right back up and jump back in.

I knew so little about her past, but I knew her present. She was a friend, a lover, an old soul that connected with me on a level that couldn’t be explained.

Ok. How do I accurately describe Josh and Willow? The words broken and complicated come to mind.

Josh is going through a lot in his life. After the death of his best friend, in which he blames himself for, he almost completely shuts people out of his life. He has no room for complications or relationships. But when Willow suddenly enters his life, he finds himself being drawn by her free spirit. The draw she has on him was almost instantaneous and he had no choice but to see where it would lead.

All I’d wanted was for her to open up to me, to let me in, let me love her and for her to love me back. I hadn’t ever considered whether or not the relationship would be healthy for either one of us.

Willow is full of secrets; a whole boatload of them. This woman remains a pure mystery to Josh, and if I’m being honest, me. She was such a whirlwind of energy that I understood why Josh was drawn to her. But as much as she wants to be with Josh, something is holding her back.

“I hide for a reason, Josh.”

That quote right there says A LOT! I had big issues with Willow, like HUGE. The biggest of them all was that I knew nothing about her. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. I liked her free spirit attitude, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to make sure that whoever this chick is, she deserves my beloved Josh.


This book isn't all rainbows and butterflies. In fact, we deal with a lot of heavy emotions. And I will warn you: This is NOT a standalone and there are two more parts of the series. I know, I know…not all of us are fans of these types of books, especially me, but I’m really happy to have given it a chance. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next book. Bravo, Kate!
Excerpt
     I first met Willow out on Old Mill Road. Standing on the ledge of the arched concrete bridge, her arms spread wide, she looked like a bird about to take flight. I probably would have taken more time to admire the absolute freedom she embodied in that moment, the auburn curls whipping around her upturned face, the way the moonlight made her porcelain skin shimmer…but it looked like she was about to jump.

     I remember my hesitation, how desperately I wanted to turn back the way I’d come and pretend I’d never seen her. I know it makes me sound like an insensitive prick, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled at having the life or death of some crazy chick thrown in my lap. Not that I didn’t understand, at least on some level, what might be going through her head. Hell, I knew, better than most, what it meant to feel like life would never get better.

     It’d only been six weeks since my release from Shady Oak’s mental facility. I wasn’t the person to talk her down; I didn’t know the first thing about helping someone find the light at the end of the tunnel. Hell, I still had days that I’d much rather jump right along with her than try and brave another day.

     Thankfully, that particular day hadn’t been one of them.

     I stood there a few moments longer, considering my options. I could turn around and go back the way I came, but I wasn’t exactly up for that. I could go past her and risk spooking her, but the last thing I needed was the aftermath of watching her plummet to her death – calling the police, filing a report, explaining what had happened. It wouldn’t hurt to at least try and talk her off the ledge, right?

     Having made my decision, I edged cautiously along the gravel path, taking slow and calculated steps towards bird-girl. Stopping just feet away from her, I weighed the risk of grabbing ahold of the oversized sweater jacket she was wearing. My luck, the damn thing would come clean off and she’d end up in the water anyway, so I decided against it.

     I was still trying to decide how to go about helping her when she spoke, voice confident as she kept her face upturned towards the night sky. “I’m not going to jump.”

     I cleared my throat and hoped to God the irritation didn’t seep through. “No offense, miss, but that’s not what it looks like from here.”

     Her head tilted slightly, as if she were trying to shrug, but the movement came up short. I waited for some other response, but the uncomfortable silence stretched on, giving me the impression that my presence was both unwanted and unnecessary.

     “Well, you…uh, have a nice night,” I finally said, taking a couple backward steps towards town.

     “You could join me.” Her words, prying and inquisitive, stopped me dead in my tracks.

     “Yeeaaah….Thanks, but I prefer to keep my feet on the ground.”

     She chuckled. The light, carefree sound intrigued and, for some unknown reason, annoyed me all at once. Maybe because I’d never laughed like that. Hell, I didn’t know anyone that had. It left me questioning what the hell she was doing up there in the first place.

     Crazy. Definitely crazy.

     Determined to get as far away from her as possible, I started backing away. I didn’t make it but a few steps when she glanced over her shoulder at me. The wide-eyed conviction in her sparkling, crystal blue eyes ensnared me, rooted me to the ground beneath my feet.

     “How will you ever learn to fly if you don’t take time to spread your wings?” she asked.

     And just like that, the pull I’d felt just seconds before shook free, floating away with the cold, bitter wind. I’d taken enough rides on the crazy train to last a lifetime. “Well, anyway. It was, uh, nice meeting you.” 

Playlist
Get Scared, Built for Blame: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k82La8Lkra8
The Fray, How to Save a Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjVQ36NhbMk
Jasmine Thomspon, Everybody Hurts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWGL3SbhLDQ
Goo Goo Dolls, Before It’s Too Late: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtSAIhP1-5s
Evanescence, Bring Me to Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YxaaGgTQYM
Little Green Cars, The John Wayne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJEVkuNsEi0
Breaking Benjamin, Diary of Jane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWaB4PXCwFU