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Risky Business (Bomb Squad 1) by Melissa Cutler #Review #SportsRomance

Title: Risky Business
Author: Melissa Cutler
Series: Bomb Squad #1
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Publication Date: August 19, 2014

Synopsis:
Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of the Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. But the season’s biggest match-up isn’t on the ice as one of their own prepares to go head to head with his new boss...

Allison Whitely’s ex left her with a mountain of debt and Cloud Nine, a struggling boat rental business. With zero job skills, her only hope of getting back in the black lies in a brooding ex-soldier who has her seeing red…

Theo Lacroix’s teammates are counting on their star player to help them win an upcoming high profile hockey game. But when a sexy tornado of a woman sweeps into town and expects him to help her with Cloud Nine, Theo is tempted to skate away from it all.

Theo vowed to never again be someone’s knight in shining armor, but his feelings—and desire—for Allison are becoming harder to ignore. He longs to save her, but to win Allison’s love, he’ll have to throw out his old playbook and take the ultimate risk…playing from the heart.




5 Stars

I loved so many things about Risky Business! The premise surrounding the Bomb Squad series is very intriguing. The Bomb Squad is an ice hockey team made up of wounded war veterans, and you know what that means…a team full of tortured ex-military heroes!

Risky Business tells the story of Canadian Theo Lacroix. From his injury to the way he deals with life, I found everything about Theo to be very interesting.  He’s definitely one fighting some huge internal demons! When his emotional backstory is finally revealed, you’ll understand why his defenses quickly kick up when Allison comes crashing into his life.

Allison Whitely comes to town ready and willing to change her life for the better. She’s determined to stand on her own after everything that happened with her ex-husband. Boy, do Theo and Allison butt heads all around, but I like her so much! She’s not perfect. She’s made mistakes, but she’s exactly the type of spark Theo needs in his life. Their romance is slowly built up, which I appreciated. Melissa Cutler made me root for both of them!

What a great start to a series! Ms. Cutler warmly welcomes the reader to the small town of Destiny Falls. I loved the sense of friendship and community where the people are so passionate in what they do. I loved the brotherhood within the hockey team both on and off the ice. Book 1 introduces many characters that I can’t wait to read more about in the next books! Liam’s book (Undefeated) is next, and he seems way more tortured than Theo. I’m so looking forward to learning more about him!


Book Links:
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
iBooks | Kobo

Books in the Bomb Squad hockey series:
Risky Business (Bomb Squad #1)- August 2014
Undefeated (Bomb Squad #2) - November 2014
Game Changer (Bomb Squad #3) - April 2015


About Melissa

Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world, dividing her time between her dual passions for writing sexy contemporary romances and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin, Penguin, St. Martin’s Press, and Kensington Books. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.
http://www.melissacutler.net/

UnWritten by Chelsea M. Cameron #Review

Title: UnWritten
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Published: July 2014

Synopsis:
Children's librarian by day. Romance novelist by night.
British single father.
Someone else is writing this love story...

Blair Walton isn't your average curvaceous tattooed children's librarian. She's also one half of bestselling romance author, Scarlet Rose. Along with her BFF Raine, she spends her nights writing books so steamy, she's afraid they would shock her Southern conservative grandmother to death . . . if she knew about them. That's why she and Raine write in secret.

On deadline for their latest book and out of ideas, Raine suggests (demands) that Blair find a guy and "do some research". Declan Bennet has all the qualifications: He's British, looks fabulous in a suit, has glorious blue eyes and gets bonus points for being an amazing single dad to his adorable son, Drake. But what starts out as a research project quickly turns into something much more. And Blair's not the only one with secrets.



Four Stars

What a great story, I enjoyed every minute!!

I mean seriously what is not to love about a book who's heroine is described as 'curvaceous tattooed children's librarian who is also one half of a bestselling romance author team' and a hero who is a British single father with an adorable little boy? Sounds amazing right? It totally did to me!

“I've told you that I like a well-read woman. Well-read woman tend to know more about a wide range of topics. And you can never be bored with a woman who reads”

Blair Walton is half of the romance writing team Scarlet Rose, with her best friend, or as she refers to her 'PLP - platonic life partner', Raine - this made me laugh every time!! By day, Blaire is also a children's librarian and she absolutely loves her job, everything about it, the books, the kids, the stories, you name it. I also loved the fact that even though she didn't fit the stereotype and was covered in tattoos, she wasn't judged based on this, by anyone! As Blaire is heading up story time one day she meets the sweetest little boy, Drake. Who seems to be unattended simply because his nanny is a total twat who really couldn't care less about Drake but more about landing his wealthy father as a husband. See, told ya, total twat!

Blair and Drake immediately hit it off, so much so that Drake talked so much about the pretty librarian that he wanted his father to meet her. Enter the gorgeous, wealthy, British man that makes Blair's breath catch. She soon discovers that he is a young, single father who recently went through an ugly divorce and although he is instantly attracted to Blair he only wants them to enjoy each other but is not looking for a relationship....yeah, can you guess where this is going??

There are plenty of things that happen in between the 'I don't want a relationship' and the 'I've fallen in love with you' parts, as usual but it is all wonderful!

I really enjoyed this book, if you are looking for story with a HEA and characters that you have a hard time not falling for, then I highly recommend this one :)

**This book was provided to me by Netgalley


Book Links:

About the Author:
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Before He Was Gone (Starstruck 2) by Becky Wicks #Review

Title: Before He Was Gone
Author: Becky Wicks
Series: Starstruck #2
Published: August 25, 2014

Synopsis:
Standalone sequel to Before He Was Famous

Sometimes, you have to get lost to find yourself...

When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.

Joshua's different to everyone she's ever known - a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she's left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise, but in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret - one he won’t risk anyone finding out. 

Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose - a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and mature situations. Not intended for young adult readers.***



Four Stars

Going into this book I wasn't sure how much I was really going to like it since it has a Survivor feel to it and personally I can't stand that show. I should totally know better, this was a wonderful story, and fun too. :)

I really enjoyed the first book in this series so I was definitely going to give this one a chance, even with my preconceived notions and all, as wrong as they might have been.

You don't need to read book one to read this one, but if you do you will meet Alyssa already and know her a little bit before you begin. If not, no worries, because you will have no problem loving her from the very start.

When Alyssa is dumped by her rock star boyfriend she decides she needs a change of scenery, something to totally take her out of the tabloids as the girl who got dumped by the hot rock star. What better way than to audition for a reality TV show on a desert island, right? When Alyssa wins a spot, her only goal is to win the million dollar prize to go to culinary school and start her own restaurant. Soooo....let the games begin, right?

Next we meet Joshua, who has a whole other reason for heading off to the island to compete for the prize money. We don't get to know what Joshua wants or needs the money for just that he does, so yeah, a little mystery in there as well! Of course this island has the most delicious cast of characters - the celebrity, the jock, the nerd, the hippie and the hilariously great gay man to name just a few. 

As you can imagine, Joshua and Alyssa have an immediate connection, but they are also both really amazing at the survival portion of the game they have to play for the show. We spend pretty much the whole book on the island as one by one the players are eliminated. What fun that was. But as time goes on, with the manipulation of the characters by the shows creators, things get kind of serious and it was incredibly entertaining to watch this story play out!

Really nothing like book one in the series at all, Before He Was Gone was just as good and I highly recommend both books to anyone who enjoys a really good, entertaining story with a HEA.


Book Links:

About the Author:
Becky Wicks lives in Bali and scribbles books, and she's mostly powered by coffee. She had three travel memoirs published by HarperCollins before going the indie route. Her first book in the Starstruck Series, Before He Was Famous recently reached #1 in Amazon's Coming of Age and New Adult & College categories. Before He Was Gone takes another look behind the scenes of fame and celebrity, and she's currently working on the third book in the series. She blogs most days at beckywicks.com and always welcomes distractions on Twitter: @bex_wicks

#ReleaseBlitz ~ Every Time I Think Of You by Tracey Garvis-Graves ~ Guest Post, Excerpt #Giveaway



We're celebrating the release of Every Time I Think of You by best selling Author Tracey Garvis-Graves! Check out how Tracey came up with the idea for the book and take a peek at the excerpt below. Don't forget to enter the giveaway!


Title: Every Time I Think of You
Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense


Amazon US (e-book and paperback) | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | 

SYNOPSIS:
Thirty-year-old Daisy DiStefano has two people she holds dear: the grandmother who raised her, and her three-year-old son, Elliott. But when Daisy’s grandmother is killed in a seemingly random act of violence, Daisy must take steps to protect herself and her child.

Despite a thriving career in San Francisco, thirty-six-year-old Brooks McClain has returned home to spend what little time his mother has left before she succumbs to the deadly disease that is ravaging her. The seasoned investigative reporter has taken a position with the local newspaper and been on the job less than twenty-four hours when he’s summoned to cover the death of Pauline Thorpe.

Brooks is all business, but the more time he spends with Daisy DiStefano, the more invested he becomes; there’s something about a single mother, a defenseless child, and an unsolved crime that has stirred Brooks’s protective instincts like nothing ever has before.

And when the unthinkable happens, Brooks will do whatever it takes to clear the name of the woman he’s fallen for and the child he’ll protect at any cost.

Romantic and suspenseful, Every Time I Think of You shows how far two people will go to fight for the ones they love, and the life they’ve always imagined.

An idea was born. 
One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How did you come up with the idea for this book?” My books are fairly plot-driven, and Every Time I Think of You was no different. I could see the opening scene in my head like a movie so I knew what the inciting incident – in other words, the event that would send the main characters’ lives in another direction – would be. But in this case, my opening scene was the result of not only plot, but also a character. I have wanted to write a book where the main character was a crime reporter for a while now. I tend to gravitate toward heroes who are regular guys, and I wanted to see what would happen when I put this particular hero into various situations (and a little hot water). What would he do? How would he react? What, exactly, was he made of?
However, if main character Brooks McClain was going to be a crime reporter, that meant I had to come up with a crime (which ultimately, I’d have to solve). I’ve never written a book with a mystery or suspense element before, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in the way of telling this story. I’ve said time and time again that I never want to be an author who writes the same book over and over, but with that motto comes challenges. I have to deal with the discomfort that comes from tackling something different than I’ve done before, and often this means learning new things.   
I have a love/hate relationship with research. I keep telling myself I’m going to write a book that doesn’t require as much research, and then I write a book that requires extensive research. I should really start listening to myself! Some of the things I did in the name of research for Every Time I Think of You included taking a four-hour firearms safety course and learning how to load and shoot a gun, which was something I didn’t have any experience with.
I also studied ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, by reading memoirs and poring over countless websites dedicated to the disease. Although the timing of the recent ALS ice bucket challenge is merely a coincidence, it makes me happy to know that this devastating illness is receiving such an outpouring of support from the general public.
I studied addiction, specifically methamphetamine addiction. What I learned was heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and often tragic. In total, I read six memoirs about addiction and read countless online articles. I watched a fascinating Frontline documentary from PBS about methamphetamine addiction and its effects on law enforcement and the community.   
I reached out to a criminal defense attorney in California so that I could gain an understanding of that state’s legal processes, and I spent several hours in person and on the phone with my cousin Jack, who is a detective with the Des Moines Police Department. Jack was instrumental in explaining the outcomes of all the different scenarios I proposed (naturally, I named the detective character after him). I interviewed three different crime reporters (who all told me slightly different things), and one of them saved me from a potentially embarrassing gaffe. In Every Time I Think of You, I include an actual newspaper article written by Brooks McClain. Newspaper reporters use the Associated Press Stylebook to ensure that their articles are written correctly whereas The Chicago Manual of Style is the go-to guide for fiction writers. The crime reporter who proofed my article had me make a small tweak so that it was correct in form.
I spoke to a nurse, to make sure I got the details of Daisy’s DiStefano’s work schedule correct. There were less significant things I needed the answers to, such as what kind of jewelry a nurse would be permitted to wear to work and what floor she might work on if she were involved with a particular patient.
In addition to the factual research necessary to write this story, I also had to choose the path I’d take to solve the crime. I learned that there were a few different ways I could handle this: One, I could write the story in such a way that the reader would probably not know who committed the crime until the very end. Two, I could choose the slightly-less-suspenseful route and let the reader be privy to clues that would allow them to guess the identity of the perpetrator much earlier. That way, I could let the focus of the story rest on how the person would be brought to justice. I chose option two because I felt it would lend emotional resonance and depth to the story.
Now that I knew how I’d tell the story, I needed to concentrate on the characters. I usually have a pretty good outline in place before I sit down to start writing. This method doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it helps to have a roadmap of sorts so that I don’t waste too much time writing myself into corners. This is not a spoiler because you know from the blurb that the book deals with the aftermath of the death of Daisy’s beloved grandmother. However, once I was about a fourth of the way through the first draft, I realized that the character I’d chosen to commit the crime didn’t actually do it.
I fought it for a while, but the more I got to know these characters, the more I realized my inner muse was right. This person couldn’t have done it.
Delete, delete, delete, delete. Sigh.
The real perpetrator had a motive, but it was subtle and at first I couldn’t see it. And the person who I’d originally intended to commit the crime was actually somewhat responsible. But it will be up to the reader to draw their own conclusions about what transpired that evening in Daisy’s grandmother’s apartment, because the opening chapter of the book is narrated by Daisy’s three-year-old son, who has a very limited ability to explain it. I actually first wrote this opening chapter from the point-of-view of Daisy’s grandmother, Pauline. It gave the book a much darker tone than I wanted so I scrapped it and decided to let Elliott take the reins.
There is also one final plot thread that I chose not to tie up with a big red ribbon. Initially I wrote a paragraph that would have explained why a certain character made the choice that he did, but then I realized it wasn’t necessary. Readers are smart and book discussions are extra fun when there’s a bit of speculation involved. 
I’m not an especially fast or prolific writer, and that’s fine with me. Between the research and the actual writing time, this book took fourteen months to complete, and there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. I’d told my husband there were a couple of twists I was hoping to pull off, but wasn’t sure I knew how to accomplish them. I told several people that writing this book made my brain hurt (but one of the readers who received an advance copy told me she kept saying to herself as she read it, “This book is so smart!”). When I hear feedback like that, it tells me that everything I did in the name of Every Time I Think of You was worth it.
I hope you enjoy Brooks and Daisy’s story.

 EXCERPT
I glanced at my watch. “I need to get going.” I stood and Daisy followed me toward the door. “Don’t hesitate to call the police for any reason. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Keep your door locked. Don’t ever open it without the chain on.” I paused, once again struck by how alone she seemed. Was anyone watching out for her? “Listen, I don’t mean for this to sound as sexist as it’s going to, but is there a guy around?”
Rarely did I ask such a personal question, especially when the answer was absolutely none of my business.
And I’ll admit to being more than just professionally curious as I waited for her answer.
“There was, but not anymore,” she said. “It’s just Elliott and me. We’ll be okay. When someone knocks, I look through the peephole. If I don’t recognize the person, I leave the chain on when I open the door. I also bought a gun.”
She said that last part with such nonchalance that it took me a second to process it.
“You what?” I probably said it with a little more force than I should have.
She looked taken aback. “Shane helped me pick it out.”
I was speechless. “I’m sorry, but you don’t—”
“Look like the type of person who would own a gun?”
It was hard to argue with that statement when it was exactly what I was going to say. “Yes.”
“I didn’t buy the gun because I wanted to. Frankly, I would rather not own one. They scare me,” she said. “But I bought one anyway because the thought of looking something evil right in the eye and knowing that I’m more than likely going to come out on the losing end of it terrifies me. The fear that I’ll be assaulted, or raped and left for dead, or worse yet, that someone will try to harm my child, is the reason I have this gun. That’s the type I am.”
I saw her then, really saw her. Five foot seven, maybe, but small-boned. She was wearing a fitted V-neck T-shirt that emphasized her slight build. I could see the prominent ridge of her collarbone and the deep hollow at the base of her throat that I suddenly couldn’t stop looking at. She’d be no match for anyone. If she wanted a gun, I was hardly in a position to tell her she couldn’t have one.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I was out of line. It’s really none of my business what you do.”
“It’s okay. Pam reacted the same way you did. But I’m doing everything I can to be a responsible gun owner. I’ve signed up for the safety class so I can learn how to handle the gun. How to shoot it. I’ll apply for the permit as soon as I have my certificate. I’ll go to the shooting range, and I’ll practice.”
Taking her to the shooting range was something I could do to help her. It would also give me a chance to spend time with her, which was something that was becoming more appealing by the minute. I could feel the boundary between witness and reporter starting to blur, but I really didn’t care. It had been a while since a woman had sparked my interest the way Daisy had. “You don’t have to justify anything to me. It sounds like you’re doing everything right,” I said. “I’ll let you know if I hear anything on the case.”
“I would really appreciate that.”
Elliott put down his coloring book and ambled across the room.
Daisy lifted him into her arms. “You look tired, buddy. Are you ready for your nap?”
“I’m not tired,” Elliott said, yawning and rubbing his eyes.
“Oh, my mistake,” Daisy said, smiling at him. “I think we’ll try a nap anyway, just in case.” She looked at me. “Thanks for stopping by.”
“It was no problem. I’ll see you soon.”
As I stepped into the hallway she said, “Brooks?”
I turned around. “Yes?”
“Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but you seem to genuinely care about my safety, and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I need all the help I can get.”
I met her gaze and held it for a moment. “You aren’t reading it wrong at all. Take care, Daisy.”
She smiled and it illuminated her face, making every feature even prettier. She closed the door, and I made my way down the hall.
It was true that I cared about Daisy’s safety. Maybe Scott DiStefano had never abused or neglected Elliott, but Daisy’s decision to arm herself made me wonder what he’d done to her.




GIVEAWAY
ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE (INT):
ONE signed copy of On the Island, Covet, and ETITOY. Also included, a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Also, the winner will receive an ARC of Tracey's next work-in-progress, The Girl He Used to Know (an adult contemporary second-chance romance novel). And finally, Tracey will either use the winner's name in The Girl He Used to Know (first name or last name only, or the actual real name if comfortable) OR the winner can suggest a name for a character. 
**The restrictions to this are that it will not be the name of a main character. It will be a supporting or minor character. Also, this is a fictional character. It is not a character based on the winner. 



About the Author:

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Todaybestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Timesbestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish. She is hard at work on her sixth book.
Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

#Release Blitz ~ Melancholy (Jokers' Wrath MC #2) by Bella Jewel

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Title: Melancholy (Jokers' Wrath MC, #2)
Author: Bella Jewel
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: September 15, 2014
goodreads   
Synopsis
"There's never been a time I've cared about anything more than my club. Today that all changed. Today I got you."

To truly understand a story; you need to start from the beginning, but to start from the beginning; you have to go back, further than just you. After all, our stories don’t start with us, do they? Our stories start with the person before us, and the person before them. We are created from the stories of those people - from their mistakes, from their achievements, from their love and their hate.

No one’s story is ever truly their own.

I tried to create my own story, my own path, and my own actions. I’ve seen things people only see in their worst nightmares, but I never let it beat me down. I never let it become who I was. I picked myself up, and I kept going. Everything was what it was.

There was no point analyzing what it could be.

Could be’s didn’t matter.

Until Maddox came into the picture. He saved my life. He changed my world; giving me the second chance some of us only dream about. There was only one thing missing in my second chance, and she was the reason I fought so hard to survive.

My sister.

My sister who is supposed to be dead, well, at least, that’s what I thought.

That’s what he told me.

Now is where my story changes, but to understand this story, you have to start at the beginning…where it all began…and before.

This story is the second book in a series. You can get the first book on all major retailers. (Precarious - Jokers' Wrath MC Book 1)

This contains no cliffhanger and has a HEA. 18+  

Jokers Wrath MC seriesJokers' Wrath MC
Precarious (Jokers Wrath MC, #1)
 
Melancholy (Jokers Wrath, MC, #2)
   
About the Author
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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.
   
Check out more of Bella's work
 
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