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#Review of Claiming His Secret Heir (The McNeill Magnates #5) by Joanne Rock w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @givemebooksblog @HarlequinBooks @JoanneRock6

 

 

Title: Claiming His Secret Heir
Series: The McNeill Magnates #5
Author: Joanne Rock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Release Date: January 1, 2018

 

Blurb
Can he win back his wife?
When Caroline McNeill shows up outside her husband’s mansion, she claims to have no memory of the past year…or their passion-filled honeymoon. But faking amnesia is the only way Caroline can find out if Damon was behind her abduction. She needs to trust him—a man she craves but still barely knows—before she can tell him about their infant son.
Did the Silicon Valley mogul merely marry to claim an inheritance then dispose of her?
Or is what they share real and forever?

 

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Excerpt
He shook out the waterproof blanket on the snow—plastic on one side, wool plaid on the other. She watched him line up the sled at one end of the blanket before he knelt in the snow to open the picnic hamper. All the while, Caroline rocked the carriage gently, tilting it back and forth. Thankfully, their bodyguard sat outside the trees, keeping an eye on the hill below to make sure no one intruded on their space. She didn’t feel “watched,” per se, although she felt certain the guy kept an eye on them somehow. The team Damon hired seemed very skilled at maintaining a discreet presence.
“I know that I’m not alone any longer, and I’m glad for that.” She debated lifting Lucas out of the baby carrier, but then changed her mind, putting the brakes on the contraption and facing the carrier toward the blanket so they could keep an eye on him.
“Are you ready for the winter picnic to end all picnics?” Damon asked, waiting to open the picnic basket until he had her attention. He shoved his gloves into the pockets of his vest. His dark hair had a few fresh snowflakes coating the top where he must have brushed against one of the evergreen boughs.
“Do you know what’s in there?” She peeled off her own gloves, ready to eat. “I can’t imagine what a winter picnic entails, so my expectations are fairly low.” 
“I packed this myself. And believe me, my expectations run permanently high.” He tipped open the lid with a flourish. “I present to you, the Post-Sledding Woodland Feast.”
Caroline felt her eyes go wide. Crammed inside the huge basket were two brightly colored thermoses and insulated mugs, a red-and-white-checkered tablecloth, a wooden
cheeseboard with fresh fruits and cloth-covered cheeses, a tray of shrimp on ice, a stack of Sternos and a lighter, a bag of huge, homemade-looking marshmallows, a tin of graham crackers, chocolate-covered strawberries…
“And champagne!” Her gaze finally reached a bottle of a highly recognizable brand of bubbly inside a champagne bucket. “Is that even legal?” She glanced around, half expecting a park ranger to issue a citation.
“Alcohol in the park is regulated, but not prohibited, so no one will bother us unless we start causing trouble.” Grinning, he gestured for her to have a seat on the blanket.
“Get comfortable and I’ll serve us.”
She did as he asked, her eyes still on the stuffed hamper.
“You packed this?” It was a feat of engineering, the way everything was stacked and prepped.
“The technical mind is good for more than designing software, you know.” He pulled out fondue sticks and set them beside the Sterno cans so they could toast their own marshmallows. “And under the champagne is a bottle of whiskey if you’d rather doctor up the hot chocolate.” He produced a smaller basket with airline-sized bottles of Jameson and Baileys, plus a variety of add-in flavors from vanilla and almond to butterscotch.
“You have outdone yourself.” She glanced up into the carriage to check on Lucas.  Surrounded by trees on three sides, their picnic spot felt safe and surprisingly private considering the view of the mayhem near Cedar Hill and the row of emerging snowmen lining the biggest walking trail less than fifty yards away.
“I will admit, it’s been hell keeping a lid on the surprise all day.” He found two small hurricane lanterns and placed candles inside them even though the sun still shone brightly outside. Then, he uncapped one of the containers of cocoa and poured her a mugful. “Here. You can add what you like while I work on the seating.”
He scrambled around to the back of the blanket where he used one arm to scoop a pile of snow under the edge of the wool plaid. It took her a moment to understand why he wanted a big lump of snow under the spot where she was sitting. But then he covered it up again, packing the pile into a U-shaped curve to create a support for her back.
“Genius,” she announced, settling into the snow seat with her mug of hot chocolate, the picnic spread out at her feet. “It really is the picnic to end all picnics.”
“I’ll drink to that.” Damon poured his own hot chocolate and settled on the blanket beside her. “Here’s to our first real day as a family.”
She met his blue gaze, his eyes all the more crystalline in the bright sun. He’d taken considerable time and trouble to make the day perfect for her, and Lucas, too. While she’d been sleeping late to catch up on rest, he’d been ordering a special sled and packing the perfect picnic.
“To family,” she echoed, softly clanking her pewter cup to his. Tipping the drink to her lips, she savored the complex swirl of flavors. She hadn’t added much alcohol, just enough to give a pleasant jolt of warmth on the way down. The almond and vanilla notes were especially good, and the melting homemade marshmallow she’d set on top was a gooey bonus.
She was about to compliment the first beverage course, but when she turned to him again, she felt a flash of heat from the simmering look he gave her. His mug remained untouched, his attention fixed on her mouth.
He was very still.
“What?”

Self-conscious, she set her cup aside in the snow. “I have marshmallow all over my face, don’t I?”  
Her hand went to her nose, but Damon caught it. He’d set his own drink aside, too, freeing his hands.
“Let me.”  He canted closer, his focus shifting to her eyes. The heat ratcheted up so much it was a wonder they weren’t melting snow.  She could feel her heartbeat quicken, the answering spark she’d always experienced with this man. Time and distance hadn’t broken it. Even forgetting him completely for weeks on end hadn’t erased the response she had to him.
 
A few things before I start.  I’ve been reading Ms. Rock since she started writing for Harlequin.  It’s been a while.  Karen Rock is her sister in law.  Yes, that Karen Rock who also writes for Harlequin.  And yes, I read her books, too.  I love both of their writing styles and they are as different as night and day.  While Karen writes the sweeter side, Joanne likes to keep it spicy and I love that.  Her Desire books never disappoint.  Damon McNeill’s book is one of those books that I eagerly waited for and I was sad when it was over.
We are introduced to Damon in the last book and I really felt for him and his quest to find Caroline.  We get a sneak peek into that quest but it wasn’t until the very end of it do we understand the depth that he will go to, to find her.  Man, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that with just a few paragraphs can set up a book with that much grief, love, and determination to find the heroine.  *sigh*  With that in mind, the intro to Caroline in this one is kinda funny actually.  I know, I shouldn’t say that but once you read it, you will understand what I’m saying.
Ms. Joanne has written a true love story that ended so abruptly but quickly picks up with some unanswered questions in regards to Caroline.  While reading the story, my heart just broke for Caroline.  I’ve read some stories with some horrible fathers but her’s takes the cake.  I was surprised at the depths that he went through and the end…oh wait.  I almost spoiled it but let’s just say that Caroline, not Damon got the final say.  Woo Hoo!  These two had a long way to go but once they finally figured everything out, in the beginning, their romance and love for each other shined through.
Let’s not forget about Lucas, their son.  Oh, my.  To say Damon was shocked would be the understatement of the year but again, Ms. Rock shows us how its done in the romance world with her writing and ability to not make the child a plot point but a real character in the book.  Not to mention, that she brings Caroline’s two brothers and sister into the mix and it was perfect.  And Cam.  Yes, that Cam.  I still love him.
Again, I was bereft when this one ended.  I know, you shouldn’t get too attached to couples and their stories but Caroline and Damon’s has stayed with for a while.  NOTE:  I read this one during the Christmas holiday and I’ve read it again.  Yes, it’s that good and again, their love story will forever be in my heart.  Bring on the last McNeill.  Oh wait, there are now more McNeills that have been discovered in…I’m not telling you THAT.  You have to read the book.
 
Author Bio
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann.

When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
 
Author Links
Excerpt, New Release, Release Day, Reviews

#Review and Happy Book Birthday to Deep (The Deep Duet #1) by M. Malone & Nana Malone! @minxmalone @nanamalone

 

 

Title: Deep
Series: The Deep Duet #1
Authors: M. Malone & Nana Malone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 8, 2018
Blurb

I am the ghost that haunts your dreams. I am a liar, a protector…a killer…I am death.You think you know my story, but you have no idea. My death was just the beginning.I’m a dead man.

In the years since I escaped the shadow organization that owned me, my vow to protect my family is the only thing that kept me alive.

Until I meet her.

Too bad I need the monster to protect her from the demons of her past.

Too bad she’s not that innocent.

Cliffhanger Warning: I know you want the whole story right now. But that’s not how things went down. And I think you know by now when it comes to ORUS, things don’t always go according to f*cking plan.

(The Deep Duet unfolds over the course of two books. Deep will be followed by Deeper, releasing on January 29th)

 

 

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Excerpt
Ovary up, bitch. This is the plan.If she wanted her plan to work, it was going to require sacrifice, which meant getting this car down the fucking ravine and then climbing down herself. Time
to put on her big-girl thong.She gathered up her long blond hair and secured it with a ponytail holder. Time to get to work. She only had a couple of hours. She’d been following Rafe DeMarco every Tuesday for months. This was the path he’d take. It was too late for another plan. Besides she’s been setting this up for months.She had selected the perfect spot for this. Right before the guardrail began. As an added bonus, there was a path she could use to initially climb down and a rock outcropping she could stand on to wait for him.She’d scattered broken glass to make it look like an accident. Once the car was in neutral, she jogged around to the trunk and started to push.

Her ribs throbbed. That asshole in krav maga class had forgotten they were training and had gotten in a brutal hit. She’d have bruises for days. But it wasn’t like she could wait to heal up.

Even as the sweat popped on her brow and her body screamed, inch by inch she pushed until she finally started to get some momentum. And then managed to get car right up to the edge. With one more deep breath, she rolled the car over the edge.

The crash, boom, thud sounds echoed all through the ravine as the car tumbled front-over-end down the jagged edges of rocks. A quick glance at her watch told her she needed to haul ass. DeMarco was likely turning on to the road by now, so she didn’t have time to waste.

It was a stupid thing, but she felt a pang of hurt looking at the shiny blue paint she’d picked out, all crumpled and cracked. That was the first car she’d ever bought for herself.

She’d never had her own car before. Her father had preferred for her to be chauffeured, and her brothers had felt the same way. So she’d been excited to pick out a car on her own. And look at it now… a martyr for the cause.

“Your sacrifice will not be for nothing, young Toyota.”

The back of the car was now completely smashed and bent, so it looked like the car had skidded off the road and plunged down the embankment. She shivered. Under her coat, she only wore a thin dress, one that clung to her curves. But it was part of the plan, so she’d pushed past the mortification. It would all be worth it soon.

She clasped her forehead, rubbing at the stress ball of tension that had settled behind her eyes. Now or never.

The entire scene had been meticulously planned. With a deep breath, she scooted around the guardrail and held her breath as she started down the nearly nonexistent trail. Sand and razor-sharp rocks were more than happy to mingle with her toes and cut up her feet, but she kept moving.

The son of a bitch had better take the bait. He will. This whole plan banked on Rafe DeMarco being a decent enough human being to care about someone else potentially being hurt. Either that or curious enough to stop and see what the hell was going on.

The glass was hard to ignore. As were the random clothes she’d strewn about. She just prayed some other stray motorist didn’t decide to be a Good Samaritan. But this was an access road, rarely ever traveled.

She shoved aside the lingering feelings of doubt and concern and guilt. This man had taken everything away from her, deliberately and systematically. She was going to return the favor. And she was going to get her life back. It didn’t matter how long it took.

She shivered again when she remembered his dark eyes peering at her from behind the mask. He’d just killed her father. Two bullets in the skull. Cold. Efficient. His lips had been set in a firm, grim line.

She’d gasped from her hiding place, the fear and the shock and despair leaking through her body like a chemical spill. She still remembered the sound of his voice as he muttered a single word. “Fuck.” When he’d pulled aside the curtain, she’d been so sure he was going to kill her too. Positive he was going to murder her like he’d done her father. But he hadn’t. He’d let her live.

That was his first mistake.

Maybe he’d assumed she’d be so traumatized by the situation that she wouldn’t remember. Maybe he thought she’d be grateful he hadn’t killed her. Maybe he thought she’d forget his face, his voice, the way he made her feel.

Bad luck for him. She remembered that day in startling clarity. The day he’d turned her family upside down. Come to think of it, she needed to have a slogan for when she saw him again. Like in The Princess Bride.

“My name is Diana Vandergraff. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” She wasn’t the villain here, so she wasn’t going to have some long, drawn-out bragging speech. But he would know. She’d make sure he understood the series of events that had led to his world crumbling.

She wanted him to know.

You know what makes this duo so good?  Besides their writing style?  The heroes and heroines that they come with.  Seriously.  I’ve read every book in this series featuring Blake Security and I’m still just blown away at how they have come up with the different characters and storylines but still manage to pull them all together and it makes sense.  When reading a series like this each duet can be read on its own which is good but you still have that one person that ties it all together.  That person is Rafe.  Yes, Rafe.
Let me explain, hopefully without spoilers.  Rafe is an ex-assassin/deep undercover FBI Agent/ORUS agent that most people believed died.  He left his sister, Lucia and best friend, Noah Blake to go on with their lives.  Little did he realize that Noah and Lucia would fall in love, get married and start a family.  Then you have Jonas, the ex-cop, and JJ, Lucia’s best friend that are now with Blake Security.  Plus, let’s not forget Oskar and Matthias, who also work for Blake Security.  BTW, can’t wait to read their stories.  Of course, when Rafe reappears, not everyone is happy about it or trusts him for that matter.
Enter Diana and all bets are off.  I wish I could tell you about the story but I can’t without spoilers.  What I can tell you is that this story is more character driven than the others.  Not as much action but that’s perfectly fine by me.  We finally get to meet and understand Rafe and what he has been doing and why he did it all those years ago.  Diana is tied to his past but not everything is what it seems.  Of course, Rafe doesn’t have a clue except that he knows that Diana is hiding something.  He just thinks it something else.
The smexy times are plentiful and meaningful.  There is nothing that these two couldn’t do together but I’m not sure that the road to happiness is going to be a good one.  There are too many secrets, a betrayal that is going to cut deep but there is a love brewing that cannot be denied.  Plus, with the men and women of Blake Security behind them, nothing will and can stop them.  Like I said, Rafe and Diana’s story is a bit different.  We get to know them as individuals and then as a couple.  But I’m sure that the action will be non stop in the conclusion.
A couple things a bit off topic.  Yes, I know going in that the book ends with a cliffhanger.  And yes, it drives me crazy but I’m not left hanging too long.  And also I have a bone to pick with Nana.  You lied.  I thought this was going to be Matthias’ book.  Sneaky dog you!
Also Available
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Coming Soon
Releasing January 29, 2018
M. Malone
NYT & USA Today bestselling author M. Malone lives in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and their two sons. She holds a master’s degree in Business from a prestigious college that would no doubt be scandalized by how she’s using her expensive education.
Independently published, she has sold more than 1/2 million ebooks in her two series, THE ALEXANDERS and BLUE-COLLAR BILLIONAIRES. Since starting her indie journey in 2011 with the runaway bestselling novella “Teasing Trent,” her work has appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than a dozen times.
She’s now a full-time writer and spends 99.8% of her time in her pajamas.
Nana Malone
USA Today bestselling author Nana Malone’s love of all things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense novel she “borrowed” from her cousin.
It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick-butt heroines ever since. With her overactive imagination constantly channeling her inner Buffy, it was only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin, Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit as brazen and kick-butt as she thinks she is.
Cover reveal, Giveaways, Teaser Excerpts

Cover Reveal for Taming Him (a Bishop Brothers novel #1) by Kennedy Fox w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @kennedyfoxbooks

Title: Taming Him
Series: Bishop Brothers
Author: Kennedy Fox
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Trope: Vacation Romance
Photographer: Wander Augular
Model: Zac Aynsley
Designer: RBA Designs
Release Date: January 30, 2018
*Each Bishop Brothers novel is an interconnected standalone*

Alex Bishop is your typical cowboy.
Charming, sexy, and wears a panty-melting smirk.
Working on the ranch helped build his solid eight-pack and smoking body. He’s every girl’s wet fantasy and he knows it too. Alex doesn’t follow the rules of your typical playboy bachelor. After wining and dining his dates and giving them the best night of their lives, he always sends flowers and calls the next day—even if it’s to say, let’s just be friends. His mama taught him manners after all and his southern blood knows how to be a gentleman. Still, that isn’t enough to tame the wildest of the Bishop brothers.

River Lancaster has finally met the man of her dreams. Too bad after six months of romantic bliss, she finds out he’s married. With a broken heart and blind rage, she books herself a ticket to Key West, Florida. Tired of cheaters and liars, she’s set on escaping to forget he ever existed. Who needs a man when there’s an all-you-can-drink margarita bar, anyway? That’s what she tells herself until she bumps into the right guy who can make all those bad memories disappear.
Even if it’s only temporarily.

Two weeks on the beach is what they both need. No strings attached, no expectations, no broken hearts. Too bad the universe has other plans—one that’ll change the entire course of their lives in just nine short months.

**A complete standalone contemporary romance with a little southern drama**

iBooks: http://apple.co/2xZ1Men
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Amazon: Pre-Order Notification

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Cover reveal is scheduled for March 19, 2018
Release is scheduled for April 10, 2018

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Taming Him Cover Reveal Giveaway

Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox who share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!

Instagram: instagram.com/kennedyfoxbooks | @kennedyfoxbooks
Twitter: twitter.com/kennedyfoxbooks | @kennedyfoxbooks
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