Flash Giveaway:  The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Flash Giveaway: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

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Hey, hey, hey y’all!  Patti here…  I know it’s not the weekend but I have a special treat for you today:  a FLASH giveaway of an e-copy of Elle Kennedy’s new release: The Deal.  This book has been getting glowing reviews and I can tell you they’re well-deserved; I read The Deal in one sitting last weekend and loved it!  I’ll be posting my review this weekend, but today I have an e-copy to give away to one lucky winner!

The Blurb:

The DealShe’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

 

Sounds so good, right? And that cover – rawr! How about an Excerpt:

Thirty minutes before my shift ends, I find Garrett Graham in one of my booths.

Seriously.

Does this guy ever give up?

I have no desire to go over there and serve him, but I don’t have much of a choice. Lisa, the other waitress on duty, is busy tending to a group of faculty members at a table across the room, and my boss Della is behind the baby-blue Formica counter dishing out slices of pecan pie to three freshman girls sitting on the tall swivel stools.

I set my jaw and march up to Garrett, making my displeasure obvious as I meet his twinkling gray eyes. He runs a hand through his cropped dark hair and flashes a lopsided grin.

“Hey there, Hannah. Fancy meeting you here.”

“Yeah, fancy,” I mutter, yanking my order pad out of my apron pocket. “What can I get you?”

“A tutor.”

“Sorry, that’s not on the menu.” I smile sweetly. “We serve really good pecan pie, though.”

“You know what I did last night?” he says without acknowledging the sarcasm.

“Yep. You were text stalking me.”

He rolls his eyes. “Before that, I mean.”

I pretend to think it over. “Um…you hooked up with a cheerleader? No, you hooked up with the girls’ hockey team. No, wait, they’re probably not ditzy enough for you. I stick with my original guess—cheerleader.”

“Sorority sister, actually,” he says smugly. “But I’m talking about what I did before that.” He raises one dark eyebrow. “But I’m very intrigued by your interest in my sex life. I can give you details about that another time if you want.”

“I don’t.”

“Another time,” he echoes in a dismissive tone, folding his hands on the blue-and-white-checkered tablecloth.

He’s got big hands with long fingers, short nails, and knuckles that are slightly red and cracked. I wonder if he’s been in a fight recently, but then I realize the busted-up knuckles are probably a hockey player thing.

“I was at study group yesterday,” he informs me. “There were eight other people there, and you know what the highest mark in the group was?” He blurts out the answer before I can hazard a guess. “C-plus. And our combined average was a D. How am I supposed to pass this makeup if I’m studying with people who are as dumb as I am? I need you, Wellsy.”

Wellsy? Is that a nickname? And how on earth does he know that my last name is Wells? I never told—argh. Damn sign-up sheet.

Garrett notices my surprised look and cocks his brows again. “I learned a lot about you in study group. Got your number, your full name, even found out where you work.”

“Congratulations, you really are a stalker.”

“Nope, just thorough. I like to know what I’m up against.”

“Jesus Harold Christ! I’m not tutoring you, okay? Go bug somebody else.” I point at the menu in front of him. “Are you ordering? Because if not, then please go away and let me do my job in peace.”

“Jesus Harold Christ?” Garrett snickers before picking up the laminated menu and giving it a cursory glance. “I’ll have a turkey club.” He sets the menu down, then reaches for it again.  “And a bacon double cheeseburger. Just the burger, no fries. Actually, I changed my mind—yes to the fries. Oh, and a side order of onion rings.”

My jaw almost hits the floor. “You’re seriously going to eat all that?”

He grins. “Of course. I’m a growing boy.”

Boy? Nuh-uh. I’m only noticing it now—probably because I’ve been too distracted by how insufferable he is—but Garrett Graham is all man. There’s nothing boyish about him, not his chiseled good looks or his tall frame or that ripped chest of his, which suddenly flashes to mind as I remember the picture he sent me.

“I’ll also take a slice of that pecan pie and a Dr. Pepper to drink. Oh, and some tutoring.”

“Not on the menu,” I say cheerfully. “But the rest is coming right up.”

Before he can argue, I abandon his booth and head to the back counter to place his order with Julio, our night cook. A nanosecond later, Lisa rushes over and addresses me in a hushed voice.

“Oh my God. You know who that is, right?”

“Yep.”

“It’s Garrett Graham.”

“I know,” I answer dryly. “That’s why I said yep.”

Lisa looks outraged. “What is wrong with you? Why aren’t you freaking out right now? Garrett Graham is sitting in your booth. He talked to you.”

“Holy shit, he did? I mean, his lips were moving, but I didn’t realize he was talking.”

I roll my eyes and walk over to the drink station to pour Garrett’s drink. I don’t look his way, but I can feel those smoky gray eyes following my every movement. He’s probably sending ​t​elepathic orders for me to tutor him. Well, too bad for him. There’s no way I’m wasting the little spare time I have on a college hockey player who thinks he’s a rock star.

Lisa trails after me, oblivious to my sarcasm and still gushing about Graham. “He’s so gorgeous. Like unbelievably gorgeous.” Her voice lowers to a whisper. “And I hear he’s amazing in bed.”

I snort. “He probably started that rumor himself.”

“No, Samantha Richardson told me. She hooked up with him last year at the Theta kegger. Said it was the best sex of her life.”

I have no response, because I couldn’t care less about the sex life of some girl I don’t even know. Instead, I shrug and hold out the Dr. Pepper. “You know what? Why don’t you take his booth?”

The way Lisa gasps, you’d think I just handed her a check for five million dollars. “Are you sure?”

“Yep. He’s all yours.”

“Oh my God.” She takes a step forward as if she’s going to hug me, but then her gaze darts to Garrett and she appears to have second thoughts about broadcasting her terribly unwarranted joy. “I owe you so big for this, Han.”

I want to tell her that she’s actually doing me the favor, but she’s already dashing toward the booth to wait on her prince. I watch in amusement as Garrett’s expression clouds over at Lisa’s approach. He picks up the glass she sets in front of him, then meets my gaze and slants his head.

As if to say, you’re not getting rid of me that easily.

Buy Links:
Amazon
Kobo
Barnes and Noble
itunes
About Elle:
A USA Today bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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The Giveaway:

I have one e-copy of The Deal by Elle Kennedy courtesy of the author.  Enter via rafflecopter below:

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The Master by Kresley Cole #Review

The Master by Kresley Cole #Review

The Master by Kresley Cole #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
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The Master by Kresley Cole #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: Kresley Cole has a gift for storytelling – whether it’s young adult fantasy, paranormal or historical romance, or an erotic contemporary romance featuring Russian Mafia heroes, you know it’s going to be good. And The Master is good. Really good. As soon as I finished the last page of The Professional I have been waiting for The Master – Kresley Cole has rewarded my patience.

Review:
Catarina “Cat” Marin is a woman who is running from her past. She’s got a list of six rules to live by that keep her safe. The most important rule: Stay in one place no longer than six months. Her six months in Miami is almost up and she doesn’t have enough cash to leave, so in desperation she agrees to fill in for her sick friend – as an escort – one night only and then she’ll have enough money to leave.

Maksimilian “Maksim” Sevastyan is a politician in his home country of Russia who also has ties with the Russian mob. (His brother is Aleksandr from the first book in the series, The Professional) He’s in Miami on business and has hired an escort for the evening – he’s requested the same type he always asks for: tall, blonde, submissive. What he gets is a fiery Latina who challenges him at every turn and surprises him when he realizes he wants to see her again.

When Maksim makes Cat an offer she (literally) can’t refuse, she knows it’s going to force her to break more than one of her rules, but he makes her feel safe and that’s something she hasn’t felt in a long time. Maksim wants to know her secrets, but keeping her secrets is what’s kept her alive…

~~~~~

Let me start off by saying that The Master should be sold as a ‘combo pack’: a copy of the book and an insulated cup to ensure you have a cold beverage nearby while you’re reading. (Seriously, Gallery Books, design a cool ‘Game Makers’ cup and I’ll buy it) Kresley Cole’s Game Maker series is, for me, pure escapist reading. I know I shouldn’t be lusting over mafia killers, but I just can’t help it – Maksim is so male, so alpha, so sexy! He’s the ice to Cat’s fire and when they get together I’m the one who melts.

Be forewarned, there is a LOT of sex in The Master. But believe it or not it moves the plot forward: these two spend a lot of time together and the intimacies they show slowly bring their characters closer together. That
being said, there’s more to it than just sex: throughout the story we get glimpses into Cat’s past and that kept me wondering what was going to happen to her and how she was going to get out of her situation and maybe stop running, because I knew there was no way she and Maksim could have a HEA with all those threads left dangling…and these two NEED an HEA together.

If you haven’t read the first book, The Professional, then you’ll be surprised by Maksim’s childhood; once you read about his childhood you will immediately see him as a more sympathetic character instead of an ice-cold killer. We also learn a bit about the third brother, Dimitri, who is the most damaged of the three brothers. I cannot wait to read his story!!!

Something else I liked about Maksim and Cat was that they both had different native languages and when they were carried away with passion (whether it be angry, frustrated, or sexual) they would blurt out things in their native language. And there is a LOT of passion between them. Every time she calls him “Ruso” (“Russian”) and he calls her “Katya”, I can hear it in their sexy accents and I melt.

Recommendations:
If you like erotica and romance, or elements of suspense, kidnapping, and a hint of mafia life, I would definitely recommend The Master. If you’ve read and enjoyed other books by Kresley Cole but want something with a little more ‘fire’, hit the 1-click button now, you won’t regret it!

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The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid

five-stars
Published by: Self-Published on February 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
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The Hooker & the Hermit by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid

five-stars
Published by: Self-Published on February 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
Amazon Goodreads
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: More books like this please!  I was nervous when Penny Reid said “don’t expect this to be like my usual stuff” but I should not have doubted.  A nice blend of humor and intensity, The Hooker and the Hermit will be on my list of favorite reads this year.  (Also, once you’ve read the first chapter you’ll think the cover is awesome!)

Review:
Ronan Fitzpatrick is Rugby’s fastest rising star – a phenomenal hooker, maybe the best ever, but since punching out one of his teammates he’s also earned the title of ‘bad-boy’.  He doesn’t care about his image and he knows why he beat up his teammate – and would do it again – until he stumbles across Annie at the PR firm and wants to get to know her better. He hates social media but says he’ll work on his image…if she’s the one to help him do it.

Annie Catrel is a shy, borderline anti-social woman who works for a top PR firm and does her job well.  Annie loves her job because she can usually work from home, but she’s also got an ironic secret: she’s The Socialmedialite, a popular internet blogger who comments on the rich and famous.  When her firm puts her on the case of cleaning up the image of Rugby’s latest bad-boy – a Colin Firth look-alike with a gorgeous Irish accent – she can’t say no, and not just because her boss insists.

When they accidentally fall into a fake relationship, that’s when things start getting real…

~~~~~

Short version:  I loved this!

Long version:  The Hooker and the Hermit was hard to put down.  As a shy person myself, I could easily relate to Annie: her desire not to be noticed, being shy around even her co-workers, all of it. And then she has Ronan practically thrown at her (or she was thrown at him) – he’s famous and outgoing and all the things she’s not.  But somehow they work.  I thought there was nice character growth for Annie, thankfully not with a ‘magic penis’ cure-all.  Lest you think I’m having an All-Annie-Love-Fest, I loved Ronan too!  He was cynical and blunt and is surprised when he realizes that he genuinely likes Annie; I liked his character growth too and thought the two of them nicely complimented each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  There were secondary characters that were supportive but not scene-stealing, and I liked that even though the set-up was external, the basic conflict was between Ronan and Annie themselves.

I should also mention that the sexy stuff was hot – even when there wasn’t any sex happening. <–Yes, you read that right.  Good stuff, I’m telling you!

One thing that I didn’t get was the little blurbs at the beginning of each chapter, they were supposed to be different ways to catch a celebrity on camera, but they kind of seemed all the same to me. Maybe I missed how they related to each chapter?  I don’t know…but it didn’t pull me away from the book so *shrugs*

I was already a huge fan of Penny Reid, and while I own a few books by L.H. Cosway, I haven’t read any of them yet. After reading The Hooker and the Hermit, I will definitely be going back and reading them!

Also, I really, really hope this one comes out in audiobook format, because I cannot wait to hear Ronan’s sexy Irish accent!

Recommendations:
Fans of sports romance, contemporary romance, sexy Irish heroes, socially awkward heroines and plain old good storytelling should enjoy ‘The Hooker and the Hermit’.

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Rough Justice by Sarah Castille #Review

Rough Justice by Sarah Castille #Review

Rough Justice by Sarah Castille #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.
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Rough Justice by Sarah Castille #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: I enjoy Motorcycle (MC) romance, but I find it’s hard to find authors who really pull me in to the whole MC lifestyle.  Sarah Castille’s Rough Justice was entertaining but didn’t quite take me ‘all the way’.

Review:
Jagger Knight is the President of the Sinners Motorcycle Club. When the club is attacked by rival group, the Black Jacks, they grab one of the Jacks, planning on torturing him for information and then killing him as retribution, until they realize he‘s a she.

Arianne “Vexy” Hunter is the daughter of  the Black Jacks MC President, Viper.  After suffering a lifetime of abuse, she’s been planning to escape the brutal MC with her brother, but when he gets sent on a mission to attach the Sinners, she runs behind to try to stop him.

Jagger is intrigued by the sexy prisoner and her fiery personality but doesn’t want to claim her as his and make her a target for rival gangs. Arianne is attracted to Jagger but her desperation to escape the MC lifestyle hasn’t gone away. Danger and deception surrounds them, and Arianne is forced to accept Jagger’s protection from an ex-club member and her father.  Their attraction to each other grows, much to the chagrin of them both.

~~~~~~~

I’m going to start by saying that while I did enjoy Rough Justice, it was not as edgy as other MC books I’ve read.  And while I liked the characters, for me it felt like we just got the surface.  Jagger was a total bad-ass but I had a hard time believing he went from career military to running illegal guns and murder.  I loved that Arianne was one tough woman and the MC didn’t shock her delicate sensibilities. Their rival MCs were reminiscent of the Capulets and the Montagues.

There was plenty of action and deception, and I liked the twists and turns the story took.  The attraction between the hero and heroine was a bit ‘insta-love’-ish, but I liked them together and the sexy stuff was hot.  That being said, a scene near the end made me think that maybe he really didn’t ‘get’ her, and for that changed my whole view of their romance.

There is a set-up for Arianne’s best friend and one of the MC guys, and I am interested in her past and their potential future, so I will be checking out the next book, Beyond the Cut.

Recommendations:
If you haven’t read a MC romance before, this would be a good book to ‘dip your toe in’ and see if MC romance is your thing.  If you enjoy books by Joanna Wylde, Kristen Ashley, and Madeline Sheehan, Rough Justice might feel a little tame.

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Edged Blade by J.C. Daniels #Review

Edged Blade by J.C. Daniels #Review

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Edged Blade by J.C. Daniels #Review
At parajunkee.com we accept books in exchange for a review, we also use affiliate links for Amazon.

PJV Quickie: If you’ve been looking for that ‘Next Great Series’ and you want shapeshifters and vampires and a kick-ass heroine, look no further: J. C. Daniels’ Colbana Files is just what the book-doctor ordered, and Edged Blade is a fabulous installment to this ongoing series.

Review:
Kit Colbana is a half-human, half-aneira (kind of Amazonian) private investigator (and occasionally assassin-for-hire).  Her BFF Justin (a witch) has come to her with concerns about missing witches.  As their investigation intensifies, they realize it’s not just witches but other non-humans as well.  Of course the mystery is bigger than they thought, and while Kit is willing to risk it all to save her friends, Damon is less enthusiastic about risking losing her again.  To solve this case, she’s going to work with the vampires, and then things get even more complicated when one of missing is Damon’s ex-girlfriend, who disappeared while she was on her way to see Damon…

~~~~~~~

For those who don’t know, J. C. Daniels is actually Shiloh Walker.  I did not know that when I picked up Book 1, Blade Song.  I started reading J. C. Daniels’ Colbana Files in December 2014 (I’m late to the party, I know!), and I fell in love with this series. Other reviewers have noted a similarity to Kate Daniels, and while there are some similarities, the Colbana Files stand on their own merit.  I devoured the first three books, back-to-back, in less than a week. And after the ending  in Book 3, I had to get my hands on book 4, had to.  I was not disappointed.  There is a big underlying story arc is happening over a few books, so while there is a conclusion to the main part of the story, Kit’s still working on a much bigger end-game.  So Edged Blade kind of felt like a ‘bridge’ book, but with essential plot, if that makes sense.  The last page left me re-reading the last line, thinking “oh snap!”

J. C. Daniels writes great action, but she really writes the emotions of her characters really well, and that’s what keeps bringing me back.  Kit’s still damaged from previous books, and parts of Edged Blade are painful to read, but there’s a hope, and a refusal to give up, that I really love about these books. The romance is not the main focus of this series, but it is an important part of Kit’s character growth; not that she needs a man to love her, but that because of her respect for him, she sees the good things in herself that he sees (if that makes sense).  Note: if you’re in this series for the romance, you won’t be disappointed. Just sayin’…

I also love that Kit is loyal to her friends, and they are loyal to her.  Her witchy bff Justin, and Damon’s nephew Doyle are two of my favorite characters and I’m hoping that as the series progresses we’ll be seeing much, much more from them.

Recommendations:
I really think that fans of Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, or Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series will enjoy J. C. Daniels’ Colbana Files.  If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, I would not recommend starting with Edged Blade – start from Book 1, Blade Song, because this series is that good.

 

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His Witness by Vanessa Waltz #Review

His Witness by Vanessa Waltz #Review

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His Witness by Vanessa Waltz #Review

His Witness by Vanessa Waltz

three-half-stars
Vittorio Crime Family #1
on December 27, 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance
Amazon Goodreads

PJV Quickie: Wow! I took a chance on His Witness (I don’t normally start with the 4th book in a series) and was not disappointed.  His Witness starts off strong and grabs your attention immediately.  I had a few issues that I’ll discuss below, but I spent most of the book fascinated with the characters, especially the Hero’s mafia life.

Review:
All Melanie Ronaldo wanted was to go to college and have a normal life like her friends.  Instead, she’s running her father’s club and working with the mafia.  Her father’s restaurant business was failing and he made some bad decisions, now they can’t get out because the mafia uses the club.  She hates when the guys come in and store their drugs and money.

Tommy O’Sullivan is a half-Irish, half-Italian mobster.  He was taken in by Jack, the mafia boss, when he was younger, and he found that being the mob’s butcher (in more ways than one) helps with his anger issues.  He’s taken with Melanie, the girl who runs one of the clubs – she’s got a sassy mouth and doesn’t take shit from anyone. And she’s sexy as hell.  Unfortunately, he can’t convince her to go out with him.

When Melanie is trapped into being the government’s star witness against the mafia, Jack needs her to recant her testimony.  Tommy knows this is his chance to grab her…and keep her.

~~~~~~~

I am a sucker for mob romance, kidnapping stories, and BDSM stories, so of course I hit the “one click” button.  I have to tell you the story jumps right in on page one – Tommy is doing what he does best, which is killing people for the mob. He’s the best at what he does and he takes pleasure in making people suffer before they die.  I have to be honest, Tommy fascinated me: he’s sick and twisted and vulnerable and volatile and is a pretty complex character. Melanie is a good match for him: fiesty and furious but an overall nice person. I liked the way their story progressed…up until the kidnapping.

Once the kidnapping occurred, I feel like the story lost some of it’s complexity and attention to detail. Tommy wants to break her and make her dependent on him, and we get glimpses of that but the story skips over a lot of the details and lets the reader fill in the blanks themselves – the blurb says “day by day” but I feel like we only got a few days here and there.  The good thing about His Witness is that I was so into the story that I did fill in the blanks and went with it, but I did feel like it weakened the story.

I don’t know anything about mob life or the RICO act or how the FBI handles their undercover cases, so I can’t vouch for any accuracy or non-accuracy in the story. I found it to be interesting and couldn’t stop reading to find out what was going to happen next.

I’m always leery of reading a new-to-me self published author because usually the grammar and editing is bad, but that’s not the case with His Witness. I think there were 2 or 3 spots where I had to re-read a sentence but other than that, grammar and spelling were not an issue.

This is book 4 in the series but can be read as a stand-alone; I didn’t read the first three and I don’t feel like I’d missed any back story.  Now that I’ve read His Witness, however, I am going to go back and read the first three books in the series.

Recommendations:
If you read and enjoyed Kresley Cole’s The Professional, or Jill Myles and Jen Frederick’s Last Hit series, I’d recommend giving His Witness a try.  For 99¢ it’s definitely worth the read.  Also, I never watched the show Dexter, but from what I heard about it, I think His Witness might appeal to fans of the show.

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