Thursday, December 18, 2014

Aloha to Lori Wilde and DOUBLE TROUBLE


I loved these books!  I read both before I became a reviewer/blogger ... so I will make it a point to post reviews.  

Meanwhile, you have a special opportunities for two Lori Wilde romances together for the first time in print!

CHARMED AND DANGEROUS

When her thrill-seeking twin sister goes missing, Maddie Cooper must come to her rescue-which means teaming up with irritating, arrogant, and altogether way too sexy FBI agent David Marshall. David isn't one to get easily distracted but his new self-proclaimed partner has him completely sidetracked with her delectable curves and knockout smile. His first priority: follow the leads in the case. Then he can go about the all-too-enjoyable task of following his heart . . .

MISSION: IRRESISTIBLE

PR specialist Cassie Cooper loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned party. And a masquerade ball at the museum is her best yet. But when a legendary amulet is stolen practically from under her nose, she needs the help of her nemesis, archaeologist Harrison Standish. No-nonsense Harrison has all the intensity of Indiana Jones. Though just when he needs his full attention on their mission, he's having the damnedest time keeping his mind-and his hands-off Cassie . . .

Amazon: link
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Wilde has written sixty novels. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensics. She volunteers as a sexual assault first responder for Freedom House, a shelter for battered women. Lori is a past RITA finalist and has been nominated four times for the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, the Lories, the More Than Maggie, the Golden Quill, the Laurel Wreath, and the Best Books of 2006 Book Award. Her books have been translated into twenty-five languages and featured in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, All You,TIME, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill.

loriwilde.com
@LoriWilde
facebook.com/LoriWildeBooks

Aloha to Katie Lane and THE LAST COWBOY IN TEXAS


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Katie Lane is the USA Today bestselling author of the Deep in the Heart of Texas and Hunk for the Holiday series. Katie lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and when she isn't writing, enjoys reading, going to the gym, golfing, traveling, or just snuggling next to her high school sweetheart and cairn terrier Roo.

Learn more about Katie Lane at:
katielanebooks.com
Facebook.com/katielaneauthor
Twitter, @ktlane3



Katie joins me for a cozy chat to celebrate THE LAST COWBOY IN TEXAS ....


Kim:  Favorite golf course? 

Katie:  Pebble Beach. I got to play there once during a major monsoon. But if you get a chance to play Pebble, you play Pebble--even if you almost get blown away in hundred-mph winds and soaked to your undies. We only made it through nine holes and I think I shot a 120. It was still amazing to golf where so many legends had golfed!

Kim:  Favorite ride on your motorcycle? 

Katie:  South 14. It’s a highway on the south side of Albuquerque that winds through the Rocky Mountains. The scenery is beautiful and the dips as fun as a roller coaster ride.

Kim:  Favorite cowboy from TV or movies?

Katie:  I’m going to have to go with the Sundance Kid. Robert Redford’s squinty-eyed look was so darn sexy, and the school marm scene is still one of the best silver-screen sex scenes of all-time. “Keep going, teacher lady.”

Sundance Kid and wife-clean.jpg
The original Sundance Kid (and wife)
Public Domain (link)

THE LAST COWBOY IN TEXAS, Book 7 in the Deep in the Heart of Texas series

Country music princess Starlet Brubaker has a sweet tooth for moon pies and cowboys: both are yummy-and you can never have just one. Now Beckett Cates may not be a cowboy, but he certainly has the heart, soul-and body-to whet her appetite. He's a sexy ex-Marine with a touch hotter than the scorching Texas sun and arms strong enough to catch her when she lands into trouble.

Playing bodyguard to America's sweetheart isn't easy for Beckett. But falling for her sure is. Unfortunately, Starlet has a reputation for keeping a guy or two wrapped around her finger and Beckett refuses to be anybody's backup. So now it's up to Starlet to prove that she's put her cowboy-crazy days behind her. Otherwise, she'll be singing solo instead of living in harmony with the man who's loved her even before her fame and fortune.

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Forever is hosting a giveaway at this link.


Check out these titles from the series ...

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Aloha to EIGHT NIGHTS WITH A HERO Blog Tour with Katie Reus

 
Cold Nights, Hot Heroes, and Eight Deadly Secrets…

Snuggle up to 8 riveting Romantic Suspense stories involving 8 Hot Heroes from all walks of life who will do anything to protect those they love.

PLEASE NOTE: This box set will be available only through January 31, 2015!

Dee J. Adams, Award Winning Author
IMMINENT DANGER (Adrenaline Highs Series Book 5) - Bad Timing Can Cost Your Life.

“…Between the sweet and steamy romance and the heart-pounding (literally) suspense... It was such a thrill…"

Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey, Readers’ Favorite Gold Award Winning Authors
COUNTERMEASURE (Countermeasure Series Book 1) - They’ll Have To Trust Each Other In Order To Survive.

“Amidst the heartwarming and beautifully written love story was a very cleverly and intelligently constructed suspense and mystery.”

Carolyn Crane, RITA Award Winning Author
OFF THE EDGE (Undercover Associates Series Book 2) - He’s A Spy Who Uses Language To Hunt Criminals. She’s A Poet With Deadly Enemies.

"Off the Edge is such a well-crafted romantic suspense story. Full of action and sparkling chemistry between Laney and Peter, this book is so much fun to read."

Misty Evans, USA Today Bestseller
OPERATION SHEBA (Super Agent Series Book 1) - He’ll Go Under The Deepest Cover Possible to Save Her Life.

"Evans takes readers on an edge-of-your-seat thriller into the secretive world of CIA operatives. A love triangle and a mole in the agency make this one story you won't want to put down."

Adrienne Giordano, USA Today Bestseller
THE EVASION (Justifiable Cause Series Book 2) - The World Of Knock-Offs Isn’t As Frivolous As It Appears.

"Adrienne Giordano delivers everything romantic suspense readers want…"

Stacy Green, Best Selling Mystery and Thriller Author
TIN GOD (Delta Crossroads Series Book 1) - The Truth Can Be As Deadly As Any Weapon.

“Stacy Green has written an emotionally charged, thought-provoking and stunning mystery/suspense that will capture and hold you hostage until the last page is read.”

Katie Reus, New York Times - USA Today Best Seller
MIAMI, MISTLETOE, and MURDER (Red Stone Security Series Book 4) - She’ll Fight To Protect Those She Cares About. He’ll Fight To Protect Her.

“Well written and a beautiful addition to an interesting series, Miami, Mistletoe, & Murder is a great read to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night.”

Joan Swan, New York Times - USA Today Best Seller
FIRST TEMPTATION (Covert Affairs Series Book 2) - He’ll Have To Go Deep Undercover To Expose Her Darkest, Sexiest Desires.

“I love Joan Swan's writing as even in a novella she manages to capture the heart of her characters.”

Amazon:  link
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Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

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Blurb for Miami, Mistletoe & Murder (Red Stone Security Series, Book 4)

Fierce and sexy, former Marine Travis Sanchez has always held himself back from the rest of the world, using his tattoos and piercings as armor. But when the woman he’s wanted for months is threatened, he knows it's time to strip away the bad boy image and show her just how much he wants to be with her. As one of Red Stone Security’s best contractors, Travis is trained for almost any situation. But nothing prepares him for the most dangerous threat of all: the one to his heart.

Kind-hearted Noel Baskov’s only wish for the holidays is that her Miami coffee shop has a successful Christmas season. But her focus on work is interrupted when the family of the young girl she mentors is threatened, and the man she’s been lusting after for months steps in to handle it. Unfortunately the danger is far from over. Can this sexy and mysterious warrior protect Noel, or will he be the one to shatter her heart?




Excerpt from Miami, Mistletoe & Murder

It was nearing six, which meant she’d be closing soon so Travis picked up his pace. He passed a few people on the street, all of them bundled up wearing hats and coats, an odd sight in normally sweltering Miami. As he neared her shop, he slowed down and forced himself to get his shit together. For all he knew, she wasn’t even working. Before he’d reached the door, Noel of all people, walked out. Carrying an oversized purse and looking at her cell phone, she didn’t even glance up. He tried to move out of the way but she slammed into him.

Her purse slid off her shoulder as her head snapped back. Wide eyes met his and her mouth formed a small ‘O’ as he steadied her. He gently held her upper arms as she stared at him for a long moment. She was slender, but not exactly fragile. There was a subtle strength he’d picked up on the first time they’d met.

“Travis.” She practically breathed his name. It was like a seductive caress, but then she shook her head and that’s when he realized her pale eyes were bright with unshed tears.

He automatically tensed, hating to see any woman cry, but especially her. “What’s wrong?”

Glancing away from him, she shook her head and bent to pick up her purse.

Kneeling with her, he started gathering some of the things that had fallen out and nearly choked when his fingers wrapped around a box of condoms with a red bow wrapped around it.

“Oh my…that’s not…well, it is mine. One of my friends gave it to me as a gag gift for my birthday.” She snatched it out of his hand and shoved it into the mammoth black bag she called a purse.

Travis struggled to talk, as he always did around her. Thinking about her and condoms in the same sentence was threatening to short-circuit his brain. He hated his reaction because it made him feel like a randy teenager with a crush. Which is basically what he had on her. A giant crush. Her tan cheeks were a bright crimson as she met his gaze again. At least he didn’t see tears in her eyes anymore. He couldn’t handle the thought of her upset.

“You leaving? I thought I might catch you before you got off work.” He was pretty sure his sleep-deprived brain had taken over but he wouldn’t complain. He needed to ask her out and if she rejected him, he’d get over it and find another place to get coffee.

Her face brightened for a moment, her cheeks flushing even darker. “Really?” Before he could answer she sharply shook her head. “Uh, I’ve got to go. I don’t have time to talk right now, Travis. But I’ll see you later.” Now the stress was back, full force. It was so potent, it was practically surging off her in visible waves.

As she started to hurry down the sidewalk to the end of her building where she usually parked, he fell in step with her. “What’s going on, Noel?” He’d never seen her like this before. Normally she had a bright smile for everyone.

She gave him a guarded look and he could practically see the wheels turning in her head. He’d taken out his ear and eyebrow piercings for his last job but he still had visible tattoos and, for some reason, he felt as if she was sizing him up. Finally she sighed as they rounded the corner of the building. “I mentor as a Big Sister and Juanita, that’s my mentee’s name, called me a few minutes ago and she’s really worried. Her mother’s ex-boyfriend has been hanging around lately and she swears he’s never been abusive to her, but he’s been giving her the creeps. He only stops by when her mother is working and she said she thought she saw him drive by more than once.”

Adrenaline punched through him. Noel was tall and lean with a runner’s body so she wasn’t some fragile thing, but still… “You’re going over there by yourself?”

She shot him an annoyed glance. “Yeah.”

“Do you know anything about this guy? If he has a record, or possible weapons or—”

“I don’t know anything other than Juanita is scared. I tried calling the cops but they said they couldn’t do anything other than send a patrol car down the street.”

He admired her protective response but he wasn’t letting her walk into a situation like this alone. “I’m going with you,” he said as they reached her green, four-door hybrid car.

“Excuse me?” She looked up at him now, her keys dangling from her left hand.

Bending down, he lifted his pants pocket where he had a weapon holstered. “I have a permit and you already know who I work for. What harm can it do to have me along? If the guy is there, chances are he’ll be more apt to walk away if I’m with you.” People tended not to fuck with him because of his outward appearance. And if they did anyway, they learned fast that he fought dirty and took down his enemies any way he could. When she bit her bottom lip but didn’t respond, he continued. “Think about what’s best for Juanita.”

At those words, he could see the decision made in her eyes. Even though she still looked slightly unsure, she nodded. “Get in.”





Follow the Blog Tour to meet all the authors and read excerpts from the different books in the bundle at this link.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Hump Day News - State of Romance, Avon Roamnce's KissCon, and Optimism

Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina
Released to Public Domain (link)  

Aloha!   For the evening crowd ....

Today is the 111th anniversary of the Wright Brother's first flight at Kitty Hawk.   To celebrate, State of Romance visits North Carolina this link.

I dedicate the first paragraph to Mary Gramlich, the Reading Reviewer, who has taught me how to relax during air travel.


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Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk
Public Domain (link)

Avon kicked off its KissCon in Seattle last month.   From Avon's own publicist, Jessie Edwards:

I’m so pleased to share this fun reel from the Speed Round of our first ever KissCon: An Avon Affair in Seattle—a grand event that took place just before Thanksgiving and featured 14 Avon authors, including Julia Quinn, Rachel Gibson, Sarah MacLean, Ilona and Gordon Andrews, Laura Kaye, Lorraine Heath, Lori Wilde, Elizabeth Boyle, Cathy Maxwell, Sophie Jordan, Jennifer Bernard, Julie Brannagh, and Darlene Panzera. In the speed round, the authors were asked some wild and wacky questions by their intrepid publicity director. They only had 3 seconds to answer. What did they say???

Check out the video at this link.

KissCon will be visiting Sarasota, FL and St. Louis, MO in 2015.   Mary has already signed up for KissCon in St. Louis.  I'm waiting for KissCon to come to Baltimore.


Sharing ice cream with Cathy

Notice who is has the biggest smile in the video ... the always optimistic Cathy Maxwell.   She is spotlighted in Fox News' online article, Thankful for the Gift of Optimism, at this link.

Thank you, Cathy, for keeping me grounded.  I think the Wright Bros. may have been related to your ornery relatives!

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about any of the following  ...

... what you know about North Carolina
... any romances set in North Carolina
... how you relax on air travel
... you favorite Avon Author
... any "ornery" relatives in your family

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, December 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 21.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

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North Carolina is home to Fort Bragg
Image released to Public Domain (link)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Aloha to Nancy Lee Badger and SHIVER


In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire new art history professor, Jacob Oliver, hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and reinjures his knee.

Destiny Blake hears a noise. Someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon, assumptions pull them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.


When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, and urge Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten before the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny's mountain...alive?


An Excerpt from SHIVER


A scream echoed over the mountain, and heightened terror propelled Jacob’s aching legs up the trail toward the sound. His knee throbbed in agony as daybreak arrived. The morning sun’s brilliant rays lit upon a scene that stole his breath. Two grappling bodies tumbled toward the precipice called Garnet Cliffs.


He grabbed a fallen tree branch. Clenching his fingers around it, he smacked the bigger of the two figures on the back. It growled. Jacob hit him again, harder. The monster flung Destiny away and turned toward Jacob, who watched in horror as her screaming, twisting body sailed over the edge of the cliff.


Baring his teeth as his hatred toward the man on the ground boiled over, Jacob pounced. With his bare fists, he beat the snarling form and managed to bloody the monster’s frozen lips. Fingers bent, and then snapped. Destiny’s attacker yelled in pain as the two men rolled across the snow-covered ground, growling and screaming.


Crushed beneath the body of a very angry man, Jacob’s bad knee throbbed in agony. Rolling free, Jacob cradled his knee with both arms in a vain attempt to protect it from further damage. Too late. Destiny’s attacker rose to his feet and staggered in his direction. Massive fists clenched below a face contorted by rage.


Unable to move, Jacob held his breath. The moment the monster’s shadowy form loomed above him, a flying missile glanced off the beast’s temple. The man screeched, wobbled, and then fell from the cliff, while spewing a litany of curses.


Jacob listened as the man’s voice faded away until he heard no sound—nothing but the wind. Soon, even the bitter gusts of air fell quiet. Surrounded by the profound silence of the once-windy ridge, Jacob lay on his back in the snow and gave in to the pain. Both the agony of his bruised knee and the sense of deep loss, from witnessing Destiny’s fall, threatened the release of hot tears. Catching his breath, he forced himself back up into a sitting position.


“What do I do now?” Then a question popped into his mind. Where had the rock come from that hit the bastard in the head?


In honor of Nancy’s Father, a WW2 Navy veteran, she has included her short military romance, UNWRAPPING CHRIS, inside each ebook and print version of SHIVER.


Print ISBN-13: 978-1502558725

EBook ISBN: 9781310538964

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After growing up in Huntington, New York, Award-winning author Nancy Lee Badger attended college, married, and raised two sons in a small town in the shadow of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She volunteered at Scottish Highland Games, and was an EMT and volunteer firefighter for a small NH town. After nearly a decade as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for the State of NH 9-1-1 service, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, the Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and the Triangle Area Freelancers.

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Amazon Author Page

GIVEAWAY! Nancy will award a PRINT copy of SHIVER to one reader! Leave a comment sharing how you would keep warm on a snowy night.


Mahalo, Nancy, for the giveaway!  Comments are open through Saturday, December 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, December 21.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Monday, December 15, 2014

Aloha to Kelley Bowen and I'VE GOT MY DUKE TO KEEP ME WARM



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Kelly Bowen joins us today to celebrate the release of I'VE GOT MY DUKE TO KEEP ME WARM.  She shares the five "hidden" gems  in Canada  ....


I am a huge outdoors person who loves to swim, hike, fish, and canoe, so take this with the grain of salt!

1)Lake of the Woods, Ontario

2)Nahanni Falls, North West Territories

3)Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia

4)Quebec City, Quebec

5)Hayes River, Manitoba (or for that matter, any back country lake within a 2 hour drive of Winnipeg)

I’VE GOT MY DUKE TO KEEP ME WARM

WHERE SECRETS SMOLDER . . .
Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion-her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele "disappeared." Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele's carefully constructed facade and igniting her deepest desires.

. . . PASSION IGNITES
This isn't the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?

Amazon: link
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Kelly Bowen

Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She worked her way through her teenage years as a back country trail guide and ranch hand and spent a year working on a cattle station in Australia. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology. 

But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.

Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

Facebook link

Forever Romance is hosting a giveaway at this link


I've got Lucky to keep me warm.  We both miss Hawaii.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Aloha to Larissa Ione and REVENANT


My fellow Air Force veteran, Larissa Ione, joins us today to celebrate the release of REVENANT ...

Kim:  What is your favroite Star Trek character, episode, movie, or franchise?

Larissa:  THIS is a super hard one, because I have SO many favorites when it comes to Star Trek. I will say that my favorite franchise is the original series, but The Next Generation is a very close second. I’m LOVING the new Star Trek crew, though, and I think the first new Star Trek movie might actually be my favorite of all of them, just barely edging out Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country. Gah…I could talk Star Trek for HOURS!

Kim:  Do you watch the weather channel and/or make your own predictions?

Larissa:  I do watch The Weather Channel sometimes, especially if there’s a major weather event happening. And yes, I’m a bit of a weather geek, so I tend to grab surface and pressure charts from NOAA websites and make my own forecasts. I’m actually really good with radar, and I can generally time a weather event like rain or snow almost down the minute (if it’s happening the same day. Any farther out than that, and things get dicey!)

Kim:  What brand of champagne is chilling in your fridge? Do your characters like champagne?

Larissa:  Right now, I’ve got Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante in the fridge. We’ll probably have it on Revenant’s release day. Celebrate everything! J And yes, my characters LOVE champagne. Because yum.

Thank you again for having me! It’s ALWAYS a pleasure. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!



REVENANT by Larissa Ione (December 16, 2014; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; $8.00)

HELL HATH NO FURY . . .
For five thousand years, Revenant believed he was alone in the world, a fallen angel beyond any redemption. Now he finds he has a twin brother who had all the light and love Revenant was denied. Caught in a tug of war between Heaven and Hell, he must weigh his thirst for revenge against his desire for a mysterious female named Blaspheme-a female whose very origins could deliver him into salvation . . . or destruction.

LIKE AN ANGEL SCORNED
Blaspheme has a deadly secret: she's the forbidden offspring of an angel and a fallen angel. Hunted by both heavenly and satanic forces, she has survived only by laying low and trusting no one. When Revenant claims he can save them both, how can she possibly believe him? But the powerful angel is persistence incarnate and for Blaspheme, there's no place she can hide in Heaven or Hell where he won't find her . . .


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A former meteorologist and EMT, Air Force veteran Larissa Ione now gets her daily dose of excitement from vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She lives in wintery Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat, and her hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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Forever is hosting a giveaway at this link ....

... and offers an excerpt below: 

Since the moment Revenant bumped into Blaspheme at the hospital a few weeks ago, he’d been obsessed, and now, as her long legs ate up the asphalt as she walked toward him, he imagined them wrapped around his waist as he pounded into her. The closer she came, the harder his body got.

“Blaspheme.” He stepped out from between two black ambulances, blocking her path.

She jumped, a startled gasp escaping full crimson lips made to propel a male to ecstasy. “Revenant.” Her gaze darted to the hospital doors, and he got the impression she was plotting her escape route. How cute that she thought she could get away from him. “What are you doing lurking in the parking lot?”

Lurking? Well, some might call it that, he supposed. “I was on my way to see you.”

She smiled sweetly. “Well, you’ve seen me. Buh-bye.” Pivoting, her blond ponytail bouncing, she headed in the opposite direction.

“Come home with me.”

“Wow.” She turned and crossed her arms over her chest, which only drew his attention to her rack. Niiice. “You get right to the point.”

He shrugged. “Saves time.”

“Were you planning to wine and dine me at least? You know, before the sex.”

“No. Just sex.” Lots and lots of sex.

He could already imagine her husky voice deepening in the throes of passion.

“Oh,” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “You’re charming, aren’t you?”

Not once in his five thousand years had anyone ever called him charming. But even uttered with sarcasm, it was the nicest thing anyone had ever said to him.

“Don’t do that,” he growled.

“Do what?” She stared at him like he was a loon.

“Never mind.” Dying to touch her, he held out his hand. “You’ll love my play room.”

She wheeled away like he was offering her the plague instead of his hand. “Go to hell, asshole. I don’t date fallen angels.”

“Good news, then, because it’s not a date.” And he wasn’t a fallen angel.

“Right. Well, I don’t fuck fallen angels either.” She made a shooing motion with her hand. “Go away.”

She was rejecting him? No one rejected him. No one.

She started to take off again, and he blinked, confused. This wasn’t right. He had his sights set on her, and she was supposed to surrender. This was something new. Something…titillating.

He moved in slowly, matching her step for step as she backed up.

“What are you doing?” She swallowed as she bumped up against a massive support beam.

“I’m going to show you why you need to come home with me.” He planted both palms on the beam on either side of her head and leaned in until his lips brushed the tender skin of her ear. “You won’t regret it.”

“I already told you. I don’t fuck fallen angels.”

“So you said,” he murmured. “Do you kiss them?”

“Ah…no, I—“

He didn’t give her the chance to finish her sentence. Strawberry gloss coated his lips as he kissed her, and he swore he’d never liked fruit as much as he did right now.

Her hands came up to grip his biceps, tugging him closer as she deepened the kiss. “You’re good,” she whispered against his mouth.

“I know,” he whispered back.