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Happy Release Day & ARC #Review of Her Sexy Challenge (Firefighters of Station #1, book #1) by Sarah Ballance w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @entangledpub @entangledpublishing @SarahBallance @SarahBallance34 #NewRelease #EntangledLovestruck #Contemporary #Romance

Her Sexy Challenge

by Sarah Ballance
Firefighters of Station 1, #1
Publication Date: August 14, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Lovestruck, Contemporary, Romance

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SYNOPSIS:

She might be the one fire he can’t put out…

Caitlin Tyler doesn’t do bridges—she just doesn’t know it until she lands her dream job and freezes halfway across her new town’s towering death span. Cue the cocky, infuriating fireman who goads her off the bridge. He’s hot, but he’s also exactly the kind of guy she wants to avoid…which she manages to do for a whole four hours.

Lt. Shane Hendricks is only two weeks away from leaving Dry Rock. He sure as hell doesn’t need to get involved with a woman he has to rescue twice in one day. The fact that she’s clearly annoyed by him doesn’t deter him from throwing down a challenge—one that proves hard to resist for all the wrong reasons.

They’re moving in different directions. Leaving should be easy, but falling for Caitlin might be the one fire he can’t put out…

EXCERPT #1

 

“Private Sex Advice to Women,” he said, making her jump. 

 

This was ridiculous. It was her store. Maybe it hadn’t burned down because of him, or at least the rest of his shift had handled it while he goaded her, but that didn’t give him an unlimited open-door policy. 

 

“I’m not interested in your advice,” she muttered. 

 

“It’s a book,” he said. “So far you’ve given me childbirth, feminism, and sex. Is there a message here?” 

 

Yes, yes there was. A message not to hang out in her store. 

 

“An ABZ of Love.” The sound of flipping pages cracked the silence. “Hey, did you know alcohol can provide a form of substitute for a reasonably harmonious sex life?” 

 

“You’re not getting me drunk,” she said, though she made a note to research if that might be true. As if a bottle of anything could compare to the smallest touch from a guy like him.

 

 “I don’t recall offering,” he told her. His tone could have been teasing, though she didn’t know him well enough to make that call. All she knew was that her face was on fire, and it would just have to burn because there was no way she was putting in another call to the fire department, even if he clearly wasn’t on duty at the moment. “But,” he added, “if it’s a substitute for sex, and you’re refusing it, does that mean you’ve found other forms of self-plea—” 

 

“Stop. Enough.” God, she hoped he was only there until she gave in, because otherwise she was about to make a huge fool of herself. Again. “I’ll do one thing. One. One nonsexual, non-alcoholic thing on what is absolutely not going to be a date, and then we’re done.” 

 

She’d managed to emerge from the stacks before spitting out the entire sentence, which meant she had an unobstructed view of his infuriatingly cocky grin when he closed the book. 

 

“I thought you’d never ask.”

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So most people know that I’ve been reading Ms. Ballance since she starting with Noble Romance.  Yes, we’ve both been around that long.  The one thing that I can tell by reading this jewel of a book is that her writing just keeps getting stronger.  I know, when I read my inner editor/writer takes a vacay but when it comes to authors that I have read for years, she likes to take a peek, too.

Ms. Ballance never ceases to amaze me with her dialogue.  Suspense, romance, humor, etc., Ms. Ballance brings her “A” game.  Caitlin and Shane are no exception.  I was in tears, of laughter, during the bridge scene at the beginning of the book.  Tears, I say.  The dialogue between these two are always spot on, funny, intelligent and smexy all at the same time.

In fact, Shane gets bonus points because he reads and doesn’t down play that Caitlin has a book store.   He encourages it, even if she tried to almost burn it down.  Again, massive giggles.  Knowing that this is a Lovestruck book, I know going in that the angst will be low and the black moment while there, isn’t a wimp out either.

Shane is the one that has to do the most growing up in the relationship.  I loved watching him go from a cocky firefighter with one foot out the door to, wait…what IF I stayed?  Caitlin knew where she was in the relationship and also where she was going in the long term.  Shane just had to figure it out on his own.

The secondary characters that we meet are perfection.  The town is adorable and the other firefighters are good, too.  In fact,  Matt and Lexi…OMG, like REALLY?  I can’t wait to read their story next.

If you are looking for a great romance, low on the angst, this is for you.  But Harlie, you haven’t talked about the “challenge” portion of the book.  You just need to read the book to find out what they are.  And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with sex.  There’s no challenge in that.  LOL!

ABOUT SARAH BALLANCE

SARAH BALLANCE is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, historical, and supernatural romance and romantic suspense. She’s been married to her own romantic hero for what he calls a “long, long time” (and no, he’ll never hear the end of saying that). Together they have six children … and clearly too much time on their hands. She currently writes for Entangled Publishing.

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Happy Book Birthday to Royally Endowed by Emma Chase! @emmachase #contemporary #romance #new release

 

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
***
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

 

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Prologue

Logan

Some men think with their cocks.

You know the type. Quick smooth-talkers, shifty eyes always scanning for a nice pair of legs, a set of full tits, or a tight arse they can pant after.

Other blokes think too much with their brains. You know that type too. Annoyingly careful, slow-moving, constantly parsing their words like they already know whatever they’re saying is going to come back and take a bite out of them.

I’m not either of those.

I always go with my gut. When it clenches with a warning, I act—no hesitation. When it tugs and nudges, I pause and reevaluate. When it twists and writhes, I know, guaranteed, I’ve cocked up big-time.

My gut is my best friend, my conscience, my most lethal asset.

And it has never let me down.

It’s my gut that drags me to her door. That roots me in place as I knock. That gives me the words—pleading, unfamiliar remorseful words—I’ll gladly say to make this right.

To get her back.

Because while my gut is brilliant, sometimes I can be a real fucking idiot.

Yesterday was one of those times.

“Ellie. It’s me—open up, we need to talk.”

I sense movement on the other side of the solid oak door—not in sounds or shifting shadows beneath it, but more of an awareness. I can feel her in there. Nearby and listening.

“Go away, Logan.”

Her voice is tight, higher-pitched than usual. Upset.

“Ellie, please. I was a twat, I know . . .” I’m not keen on begging from the hallway, but if that’s what it takes . . . “I’m sorry. Let me in.”

Ellie is difficult to anger, quick to forgive; she just doesn’t have it in her to hold a grudge. So her next words fall like an axe—cutting my legs right off from under me.

“No, you were right. The princess’s sister and the East Amboy bodyguard don’t make sense—we’ll never last.”

Did I actually say that to her? What the fuck is wrong with me? What I feel for her is the one thing in my life that makes sense. That matters.

But I never told her that.

Instead . . . instead, I said all the wrong things.

I brace my palm against the smooth wood, leaning forward, wanting to be as near to her as possible. “Elle . . .”

“I’ve changed my mind, Logan.”

If a corpse could speak, it would sound exactly like my Ellie does now. Flat, lifeless.

“I want the fairy tale. I want what Olivia has . . . castles and carriages . . . and you’ll never be able to give me that. I would just be settling for you. You’ll never be able to make me happy.”

She doesn’t mean that. They’re my words—the insecurities I put on her—that she’s hurling back in my face.

But God, it fucking hurts to hear. Physically hurts—stabbing deep into the pit of my stomach, crushing my chest, grinding my bones. I meant it when I said I would die for her . . . and right now, it feels like I am.

I grab the doorknob to walk inside, to see her face. To see that she doesn’t mean it.

“Ellie—”

“Don’t come in!” she screeches like I’ve never heard her before. “I don’t want to see you! Go away, Logan. We’re done—just go!”

I breathe hard—that’s what you do when pain wrecks you, breathe through it. Then I swallow bile, straighten up, turn around and walk down the hall. Away from her. Just like she wants, like she asked. Like she screamed.

My brain tells me to move faster—get the hell out of there, cut my losses and lick my wounds. And my heart—Christ—that poor bastard’s too battered and bloody to say anything at all.

But then, just over halfway down the hall, my steps slow until I stop completely.

Because my gut . . . it strains through the hurt. Rebels. It shouts that this isn’t right. This isn’t her. Something’s off.

And even more than that . . . something is very, very wrong.

I glance up and down the quiet hall—not a guard or a maid in sight. I look back at the door. Closed and silent and still.

Then I turn and march straight back to it. I don’t knock, or wait, or ask for permission. In one move, I turn the knob and step inside.

What I see there stops me cold.

Because whatever I was expecting, it sure as fuck wasn’t this.

Not at all . . .

 

 

 

 

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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#Review of For Joy’s Sake (Where Secrets are Safe #12) by Tara Taylor Quinn w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @PrismBookTours @HarlequinBooks #HarlequinMyRewards


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

For Joy’s Sake
(Where Secrets Are Safe #12)

by Tara Taylor Quinn
Adult Contemporary Romance
Mass Market Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
August 1st 2017 by Harlequin Superromance

There’s something about Julie

Hunter Rafferty is committed to two things: his bachelor lifestyle and his career as an event planner. But working with Julie Fairbanks on a fund-raising gala is quickly becoming the best part of his day. He can’t stop thinking about the mysterious beauty—despite her refusals to have dinner with him.

Everything changes when seven-year-old Joy comes to The Lemonade Stand, a shelter for victims of abuse. To help Joy overcome her trauma and the mystery surrounding it, Hunter and Julie push beyond their boundaries, confronting their own past pain…and feelings for each other.

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER TWO, Part 3

“I hope you consider all of us here your friends,” Lila said, finally picking up her cup of tea and sipping. “But I’m not just talking about friends. Look at Sara and Lynn—” full-time counselor and resident nurse at the Stand “—they’re both committed to this place and have personal lives, too. They have spouses and children.”

“You don’t.” Even as she let the words loose, Julie knew they came from her defensiveness. Not the right reason at all.

“I’m fifty-three years old,” Lila said, appearing completely unflappable. “Past my childbearing years.”

“I’m not opposed to having a future,” Julie said slowly, trying her best not to be defensive. Lila wasn’t completely wrong to have concerns. Julie’d had similar conversations with Dr. Larson.

“But you haven’t been on a single date since high school.”

“That’s right.” Not that she hadn’t been asked—and fairly often, too. Until just over a year ago, she hadn’t set foot out of her house for any kind of social function. And not for a business one, either, if it was at night. Except on rare occasions when she’d gone somewhere with Colin—having vetted the guest list to know who would not be present.

“From what I understand, you haven’t been out with girlfriends, either. Other than for lunch.”

“No. But only because, as you said, they all have lives, families…” Which had come about during the years Julie had been holed up in her suite in the Fairbanks mansion.

Lila nodded. “So what do you say to a girls’ night out? You and Sara and Lynn and I? We can go wherever you’d like, do whatever you want, the only caveat being that we don’t discuss The Lemonade Stand, our residents or our work for the entire evening.”

What? Lila was asking her to do something socially? Not trying to gently tell her she was nuttier than she’d realized? She hadn’t seen that coming.

“I’ve already spoken to them. They’re both in.”

Julie was confused again. Lila wasn’t reprimanding her? “But…why?”

“You’re a strong, talented, giving woman, Julie. We all like you and enjoy your sense of humor. We thought it would be fun.”

A mental flash of her studio called to her. She needed her easel. Needed a pencil and paper—time to create the simple stories that always helped her see more clearly.

“Why?” she asked again. Was Colin behind this? He’d promised her he’d back off, that he’d let her take charge of her own healing.

“Because we want to show you that you aren’t alone.”

I’ve just been waiting for this book since book #7 featuring Julie’s brother, Colin.  Yes, I’m a patient person but lordy, I read 4 more books in the series before hers.  I’m glad that I waited.  It was also nice to see Chantel and Colin again and getting caught up with them.  🙂  I also knew that this book was going to be dealing more with Julie’s issues than anything else.  I still wish that her tormentor got more than what he got.  He’s vile, evil, and for the whole town to cover it up?  Trust me, it will make you mad in ways you never thought.  Just think “white privilege” and I’ll leave it just like that.

Anyway, I really liked Julie but man, I figured that she wouldn’t be a scared as she was in the beginning.  I loved how Hunter was persistent but not a clinger.  He respected her wishes and was honest with her.  Julie never had to worry about where she was in Hunter’s life and what she meant to him.  I also liked that little seed of doubt near the end of the book.  Everyone has doubts but to see it through the eyes of children’s book was priceless.  Speaking of which, the thread with Joy, Edward, Mary and her parents…I wish I had more closure with that but I’m sure that more will be explained in the next book.  Joy and Edward’s story isn’t finished.

One of the best scenes in the book was the pool scene at Julie’s house with Hunter.  I had to chuckle a bit when Colin and Chantel showed up and spoiled it.  Trust me, it was touching but also funny.  Poor Hunter didn’t know what hit him.  Hunter is a dream.  He’s honest with Julie and he totally didn’t deserve what happened to him towards the end of the book.  Grrr…

Julie’s love story was a long time coming but for me, it ended as an HFN.  True, the 3 little words were spoken and I feel the connection between them but I would have liked a bit more intimacy between them.  I know, I know…she has issues but after the pool scene at Hunter’s house, I felt like the book ended too soon.  I needed more, much more.

Overall, Julie’s story is good.  And I’m glad that Hunter is her man.  But I just felt the ending was a bit rushed and seemed incomplete.  Otherwise, another awesome installment revolving around The Lemonade Stand.

 

Other Books in the Where Secrets Are Safe Series
(Books released as of July 2017. Each can be read as a standalone.)

About the Author

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. A 2015 RITA finalist Tara appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists, and multiple showings on the Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

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Domestic Violence Shelter Drive

As Tara supports speaking out against domestic violence and supporting those who have been abused, both through her books and in her community, she would love for you to join her in donating items to a shelter in your area. Find out more here.

Tour Schedule

August 5th: Launch
August 6th:
Angels with Attitude Book Reviews
Nicole’s Book Musings
August 7th:
Beck Valley Books
Thoughts of a Blonde
August 8th:
Brooke Blogs
deal sharing aunt
EskieMama & Dragon Lady Reads
August 9th:
Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader
Becky on Books
August 10th:
underneath the covers
Book Lover in Florida
Harlie’s Books
August 11th:
Colorimetry
Harlequin Junkie
August 12th: Grand Finale

Tour Giveaways

1ST RAFFLECOPTER:
1 winner will receive ebooks of Where Secrets are Safe series books 1 – 13 (open internationally)
1 winner (per the four tour segments) will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)

2ND RAFFLECOPTER:
1 winner will receive 25,000 Harelquin My Rewards Points, equivalent to 5 books (US and CAN only)
1 winner will receive 5,000 Harelquin My Rewards Points, equivalent to 1 book (US and CAN only)

Both Rafflecopter giveaways end November 30th, 2017

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