Friday, February 28, 2014


IT'S ALWAYS BEEN YOU by Jessica Scott (March 4, 2014; Forever E-Book; $2.99)
She plays by the rules . . . 
Captain Ben Teague is many things: a tough soldier, a loyal friend, and a bona fide smart-ass. He doesn't have much tolerance for BS, which is why he's mad as hell when a trusted colleague and mentor is brought up on charges that can't possibly be true. He's even more frustrated with by-the-book lawyer Major Olivia Hale. But there's something simmering beneath her icy reserve-and Ben just can't resist turning up the heat . . .

. . . and he's determined to break them
The only thing riskier than mixing business with pleasure is enjoying it . . . and Olivia can't resist locking horns-and lips-with Ben. He's got more compassion in his little finger than any commander she's ever met, a fact that makes him a better leader than he realizes. But when the case that brought them together awakens demons from Olivia's past, she will have to choose between following orders-or her heart . . .

An Excerpt:

Olivia looked away. The first packet was heavy in her hand. “The quick summary is that you have five drinking and driving, two assaults, three hot urinalysis tests and five soldiers caught with other intoxicating substances.”
“Define ‘other intoxicating substances’? What the hell does that mean?”
“Huffing, spice, bath salts.”
“Bath salts? What the hell are bath salts?”
Olivia pulled out her phone and pulled up a website explaining the drug. “They’re really new but we’re starting to see more of them. They’re meant to be a synthetic drug that mimics cocaine and ecstasy but they’re really bad stuff. Some of it is variants of plant food.”
Ben reached for her phone and angled it so he could see. His hand was big and rough against hers. Hot where their skin met. If he noticed, he didn’t give any indication. “Plant food?”
Olivia tried to ignore how his hand felt against hers. Because, oh yes, she’d noticed. Heat spread across her skin, sliding up her forearm and tingling down her spine. “Soldiers will smoke anything these days,” she said quietly.
“That’s a whole ’nother discussion,” she said, easing her hand out of his. “The short version is that intoxicating substances are prohibited by regulation and I advise you to do two things with these kids: send a strong message that this behavior won’t be tolerated but also enroll them into drug abuse counseling to send a message that you’ll help those who want it.”
Ben studied the paperwork in front of him. Tormented emotions flickered over his face and it was everything she could do not to ask him what was on his mind. She didn’t have time or reason to go crawling around Ben Teague’s head but that didn’t stop the want pulsing warmly over her skin.
“I know this kid,” Ben said quietly. “I served with him downrange last deployment but ever since he’s come home, he’s been nothing but trouble to the old commander. Zittoro has three previous drug charges,” he said.
“Private Zittoro is a different case. I recommend you separate him from the military under a chapter nine, rehab failure.”
She heard his quick intake of breath. Saw the conflict flicker over his sharp features.
He cleared his throat roughly in the awkward silence. “Zittoro… he’s got nowhere to go. He’s got a deadbeat dad and his mom is… well, she’s not winning any parent of the year awards.” His fist clenched on the table in front of her. “If I throw him out of the army, what happens to him? He’s an addict.”
She flinched at the pain in his words. Ben had only been a commander for a couple of hours but the strain was already obvious in his voice.
“You can’t save everyone,” she whispered. She waited until his eyes met hers.
“You know that, right?”
“Yeah. Sure.”
There was no comfort she could offer. This was the burden of command: to balance the needs of the army over the needs of the individual. A tightrope he had to walk alone.
All she could do was give him the facts and her opinion. But in that moment, she had the sudden urge to save him from this. “If you keep him, do you have the manpower to keep going to his room and making sure he hasn’t overdosed every night? Do you trust him enough to give him a weapon and believe he’ll do his job?”
Ben’s throat moved as he swallowed. “Guess not,” he said quietly. He leaned back and it was as if a wall of glass crystallized between them. “What other fun things do you have in there for me?”
Olivia wasn’t convinced by the sudden shift in Ben’s mood but now wasn’t the time or the place for digging any deeper. She reviewed the rest of the drug packets, watching him tense more with each one. She stopped after the last driving under the influence.
“Why is this bothering you so much?”
He offered a half-assed cocky grimace that failed to mimic the smile he was going for. A pretty shitty attempt to cover the darkness twisting beneath the surface. He took a deep breath. “I’m a big boy. I’ll do what has to be done.”
“I didn’t imply that you wouldn’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s not bothering you.”
He drummed his fingers on the table. “Let’s finish this up. I’ve got to get down to my company and start digging out from the mountain of crap that my predecessor left me.”
He brushed her off. The action was as insignificant as a paper cut.
She leaned back and picked up the next packet and wished it didn’t sting like it did. Then she made the mistake of meeting his gaze. There was such a dark lack of hope in his eyes. A bleak resignation to the things he was forced to confront. She almost reached for his hand. It would have been a simple gesture of support. But he looked at her as though a single touch might have shattered him.
He was not her problem. She didn’t do damaged and introspective.
Because there were people counting on her not to get distracted.

But looking at him now, she wondered about the glimpse of the tired warrior she saw behind those tormented brown eyes.

About Jessica Scott:
USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well-adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.

She's pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one ofEsquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

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The truth is subjective to what the lonely lets in.

Emalyn Spicer has lived with it for a long time. She thinks it goes back further than her memories do. She knows it goes back further than the OCD.

When she arrives at college, her OCD's and the lonely refuse to let her have her wish to be normal.

When she meets Sebastian and starts to fall for him, she lets herself believe it's possible to outrun the things chasing her from the past. But how to you get away from the things inside of you? How do you run from yourself?

Just as she gives up and succumbs to the lonely, the unthinkable happens. She finds herself once again trapped in the dark, once again held against her will.

This time she meets the lonely head on. In the darkest corners of her mind, she discovers there is more to her world than she ever imagined. She discovers that the lonely was there for her, protecting her from herself and her secrets.

How far would you go to find yourself?

This is a dark and captivating novel, tread lightly
Kindle Edition356 pages
Published February 2nd 2013 by Tara Brown Publishing 
Source: received via Netgalley in exchange for review
Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

First, please don't be afraid of this book. I realize that the cover has more paranormal vibes than new adult romance, but it is indeed geared toward a new adult/romance audience. And I have to say...I am over the top shocked at what I just read. I really connected with it in a way that I'm not sure that a lot of people did on Goodreads (as in I think there is a lot of mixed feelings about it) but I have hope that you might at least try out a sample because it's goodness just crept up and bit me. Hard. I liked it. Yes. This is definitely one that requires an open mind and a little patience, but it's so worth it.

Emalyn is starting college with her best friend from highschool and immediately you realize that she has some pretty heavy issues. The blurb tells you that she is OCD but I was seriously in awe of how well the author portrayed her having this illness. Instead of it just being these repetitive actions that she had to complete, we got to be inside her head for it with her feelings of loathing of herself for having to do it the absolute gut wrenching she went through at the thought of touching someone or someone touching her. And that is just the tip of the iceberg for the insanity of this book. Being inside of Em's head and seeing how frustrated she was with herself and yet how dependent she was on the comfort zone she created was very interesting. I enjoyed reading this unique perspective.

She is trying out college and tries out dating this really cute, nice guy...but there is an anonymous voice that is in contact with her constantly. Her benefactor. The person who helps her pay for stuff and keep her safe with a personal chauffeur included. Who the heck is this dude and what the hell is going on were constant questions battling it out in my head. And that basically ends any of what we can tell you.... 

Em's friends--Shell and Stuart and Sebastian--are all so good and patient and eager to help her achieve the 'normal' that she so dearly once. They also add to the intriguing events that happen around the 25% mark. Meanwhile we have this mysterious voice/texter who seems to know everything about her and seems to be the ultimate control freak. All of this contributes to some interesting stuff that I cannot really say any more about without ruining this read.

I really enjoyed this book (and Shelley is reading this a little bit later than I am writing I hope she does too...can't wait for her thoughts) and even though there is some far fetched-ness to a few plot didn't keep me from devouring it...because why can't it be far fetched I ask you? Emalyn has a huge journey to go on for this story, and regardless of what was happening external to her, her journey was epic and I loved finding out about it to the very last page. It was a very good read; I really enjoyed it.

Courtney: 5 Stars
Shelley: 4 1/2 Stars

Connect with Tara Brown: Goodreads | Website | Twitter


WHEN YOU ARE MINE (June 17, 2014; 9781455556816) introduces the story of Kerris Moreton, a foster child who has thrived despite her circumstances and is ready to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal. Unfortunately, the only thing missing in her would-be-fiancĂ© Cam is the passionate connection he believes is overrated but Kerris craves. Lucky for her, she meets a man who lights her up like the Fourth of July.

Walsh Bennett is one of the East Coast’s most eligible bachelors, and Cam’s best friend. He’s used to plenty of female attention, but lately he’s been distracted by the one woman he can’t have. Kerris is the soulmate Walsh never thought he would fine, but too bad his best friend found her first.

LOVING YOU ALWAYS (October 17, 2014; 9781455556861) is book two in The Bennett’s Series. We don’t want to spoil anything, so you’ll just have to wait to see what happens with Kerris, Walsh and Cam in WHEN YOU ARE MINE first!

Author Kennedy Ryan has had several signs that she would be a writer, and finally circled back after years of gainful employment. She is a mom to a wonderful son living with autism. This is her debut novel and a percentage of her royalties are donated to families living with autism through her personal foundation as well as through TACA, Talk About Curing AutismYou can learn more about Kennedy Ryan at her WebsiteFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.


His name was Joshua Carter. Now it's whatever she wants it to be.

She is a Deliverer.

She lures young men and delivers them to be sold. She delivers the strikes that enforce their obedience. She delivers the sexual training that determines their purchase price. 

As long as she delivers, the arrangement that protects her family will hold. 

Delivering is all she knows.

The one thing she can't deliver is a captive from slavery.

Until him.

And her stubborn slave thinks he can deliver her...from herself.

Romantic Thriller
Stand Alone (no cliff-hanger). The sequel is coming Summer 2014.
Content warning: Graphic sex, violence, and psychological abuse. Age 18+ only.

Pam Godwin lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.

Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Pam's Social Media Links 

1 winner will win a signed copy of Deliver by Pam Godwin (Open international) 
1 winner will win a $50 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blurb:  Book One in the Jayne Series

Jayne King lived in a world of players. She’d been groomed by her father to win, taking no prisoners in her quest to reach the top. But, it was never enough. She wanted out, and just when she finds her escape, she’s pulled back into the underground crime world of Las Vegas. One phone call spins her life out of control and she once again has to live her life behind a mask of lies.
Her body is for sale, but her heart is off limits.

Flynn Maguire, professional gambler and notorious ladies’ man always wins. Always. As the heir to the Maguire Grand Hotel and Casino fortune, he’s always had his desires delivered on a silver platter. When he crosses paths with Jayne King, he will stop at nothing to have her. Nothing has ever stood between him and what he wanted, and there wasn’t any amount of money too high to pay to own her. He realizes too late that money can’t buy her heart and finds himself in a place he never thought he’d be. Out of luck.

A few hours later, I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed, surrounded by the entire contents of my closet, freaking out.

I had very little red, surprisingly, and I wasn’t sure how my handsome client was going to take it when I showed up disobeying his wishes. He seemed like the type that expected everyone to submit to his whims, especially the people he paid.

My phone vibrated from beside me and I picked it up, seeing it was Vince calling.

“Hello,” I answered.

“What’s taking you so long? The car is sitting outside.”

I got up and peeked out the window, and sure enough, a sleek black town car was parked at the curb, Collins standing beside it.

“Shit,” I huffed. “I’m not ready yet. Give me ten, and I’ll be right down.”

I ended the call and grabbed a silk blouse from my bed, shaking the wrinkles out and slipping it on.

It was sheer and red, and I hoped the lacy red bra I wore underneath would appease Flynn. I
matched it with a slim skirt and in an effort to make him happy, I slid on a pair of red satin pumps.
I found myself wanting to impress him, and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. He was a client, not my boyfriend. I resented him for it, and irrationally, I wanted to hate him. At the end of the day,
I’d always be what I was, and he’d always be him. We were two different people from very different walks of life. It was ignorant to think otherwise.

I grabbed my purse and flew down the stairs to meet Vince outside. I wanted to get the date over with so I could come home and sulk. Alone.

I opened the door, and was surprised to see Flynn standing on my steps instead of Vince. He looked peeved, and that just set my back tight and defensive.

“It’s past five.”

I pressed my lips together and bit my tongue. I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself, but that was the last thing I needed to do. He’d paid to fuck me, or not fuck me if things went the same direction as the last time we met. So, instead, I took a deep breath, relaxed my hips, and gave him Jayne’s winning smile.
“Beauty takes effort, Mr. Maguire. I wanted to look special. Just for you.”

His eyes danced. He gave me a quick glance, up and down, and then cocked his lips into a small smile.

“You do look beautiful, as always, Miss King.”

He held his arm out for me, and I tucked my hand into his elbow, tightening my grip as he turned to walk down the steps. I could feel the muscles underneath his coat, and the warmth from his body sent shivers up and down my spine.
I looked side to side, hoping to spot Vince. I wanted to make sure our plan was still in place without Flynn catching on.

“Your friend is waiting in his vehicle across the street.”

I laughed nervously. “He’s protective. It’s just a precaution.”

He hummed but didn’t comment. Collins opened the door for us and stepped aside while Flynn helped me inside. Sliding across the leather seats, I noticed right away that Flynn’s scent permeated the space. Delicious and spicy.

He moved in next to me and immediately threw his arm over the back of the leather seat, letting it settle on my shoulder. I moved in closer, enjoying the way it felt to be tucked under his arm.
I liked the way he took charge. It wasn’t so much arrogance as it was confidence. There was something very attractive about a man that knew what he wanted. It was even better when he took it.

Once the car began to move, Flynn turned sideways, facing me. I smiled at him, batted my lashes a bit, and adjusted myself so I could see him better. He was so devastatingly handsome. The line of his jaw was cut so sharp, and the smooth skin of his lips was so inviting.
I’d had my share of handsome men, but there was something so raw about his beauty, something wild. It danced in his eyes and played in his smile. There was darkness underneath, but I could definitely see some tenderness in him.

He was a player, same as me. His game was different, but not by much. He was well known for the high-stakes card games he played, a proud member of the Millionaire’s club. He may have been born into money, but he probably never had to touch it. A night at a table would set him ahead for years.

That was sexy to me. He was smart, a challenge. Pretty boys with brains were hard to come by, and it was refreshing to have someone that I could actually have a conversation with.
“Where are you taking me tonight, handsome?”
I ran my finger over his trouser-covered thigh, watching my fingernail leave a trail of red against the charcoal of the fabric.


I looked up, confused. “Well, it feels like we’re moving, so we have to be on our way somewhere.”

His eyes darted between my eyes and my mouth, and for a brief moment I thought he might kiss me.

It thrilled me. I wanted him to touch me in the worst way.

“Take off your shoes.”

I blinked several times, puzzled by his sudden request. His eyes told me there was no questioning his words, so I shifted around so I could do as he asked. As I bent over, I made sure he got a good glimpse of my tits in my low-cut dress, and slowly slid the shoes off my feet and dropped them to the floor.

“I thought you’d appreciated the shoes. They’re red.”

“I do,” he said, smiling. “But I want to touch your feet. Put them in my lap so I can rub them.”
I moved quickly, happy to finally have his hands on me. There were far needier places that I needed him, but having him touch me at all was good enough.
His hands were strong, smooth, and his fingers gave the perfect amount of pressure on the arches of my feet. It felt amazing, and I couldn’t remember the last time a man had touched my feet, if ever.

His eyes were bright as he stared at me. He never missed a beat, rubbing and probing my feet like a professional. I was mesmerized, once again, lost in his eyes like a tamed lion.

“So, tell me, Miss King, do you enjoy being a tease?”
I couldn’t help it—I laughed. “I think you have it all wrong, Mr. Maguire. I only tease if I’m paid to tease. Otherwise, I always deliver.”

He hummed. “Yes, I guess you do. Up.”
He threw my legs off his lap and I scrambled to get up. It was no easy task, being that we were in a limo and all.
“Where do you want me?” I asked. My voice cracked. The look in his eyes told a thousand stories, and I wanted to read them all. I needed to know what he was thinking.

My confidence was failing. Miserably. He left me frustrated and confused. I had to get myself together and take control.


Looking up into his eyes, I gasped. His voice was so soft, I had a feeling he hadn’t wanted me to hear him. I could see there was more to his comment.

I had to turn things around. The fire was burning out and strange emotions were stomping it out, so I got up on my knees and pressed my palms against his chest. “Lean back, Mr. Maguire.”
His lips twitched, but he held back a true smile. He wasn’t used to releasing the control, but I had a feeling he liked it. Wanted it.

I climbed over him once his back was against the cushion of the seat. He was absolute perfection, and that niggling in the back of my head started tugging again. It still made no sense that he was paying me to do what hundreds of women would gladly do for free.
Sacrifice a limb for.

“Tell me, Mr. Maguire,” I purred. “Do you always play hard to get?”

He finally smiled. “Hard to get? I have no intention of playing games.”


He shook his head and moved his arms around to grasp my legs, pulling me down against him.
“The only thing hard around here is me. That’s what you’re here for.”

My skin pricked with excitement.

“I want you to rub your pussy on me. Make me come.”

His words shot through me like a stiff swig of harsh whiskey. Hearing him say he wanted anything from me was like gasoline. My engine roared to life, and my body was ready to give him everything I had.

The dark, bracing look in his eyes pushed me back into the reality of the situation, but there was no way I was turning my body off.
I would give him what he wanted.

“And I want your tits,” he spat. “Take that off so I can touch them.”

I wiggled out of the top, and began to gyrate on his lap, moaning when I felt his hardened cock press against my heat. I wanted him inside desperately. Like never before, I needed it.

“Just like that, and don’t stop. I want to watch you make me come.”

I rolled my hips, pressing myself down on him and moving back up again. Over and over again I went through the motions while he twisted and pulled at my nipples.

He was enthralled with them, never letting his eyes stray. He groaned, biting his lip as he concentrated on his hands and what they were doing with me, but never moved his hips to match my motions.

“I like this,” he murmured, letting his hand slip down my torso and placing it on my stomach. “So soft.”

My head fell back, my eyes rolling and my jaw slack. I wanted to cry out and beg him to touch me, to push my panties out of the way and thrust his fingers deep inside. It was ridiculous how badly I craved his touch. There was electricity between us, a true and undeniable attraction that was driving me slowly insane.

“You want me to fuck you, don’t you?”

I whimpered and raised my hips before slamming back down on his lap. He was tempting me, playing with my head, and I was glad he’d thrown me a reminder. This was not seduction. I was there to fulfill his needs, and only that. I wasn’t about to let him patronize me into begging for something from him.

“You like fucking all those men, Jayne? Their sweaty bodies pounding into you without knowing who you are?”

My eyes snapped open and then narrowed. Who the hell did he think he was?

“Does it bother you?” When I didn’t answer, he grabbed my hips, dragging his fingers across my hipbone and spreading his palms across my abdomen, barely avoiding my aching pussy underneath.

“I see. It does, doesn’t it?”

I didn’t answer. I merely gritted my teeth and continued rubbing myself harder and harder over his clothed cock. I would get off, damn it. If he wanted to mess in his pants, that was fine with me. I would still walk away with his money, and an orgasm was just a bonus.
I’d take it.

He smirked, and I’d finally had enough. Rich, handsome, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter that I indeed wanted him to fuck me, and badly, but I was no one’s bitch.

Queen of Hearts #2 Jayne Series (Cover//Blurb Not yet Released)

Sleep was hard to come by.  As the weeks went on, things between Jack and me had fallen into a routine of evading and comfortable avoidance. He hadn’t pushed for me to move in with him again, or even mentioned it for that matter. He just somehow understood that I needed time to figure out my issues.
I used that time without him. I dug deep and ticked off all the pros and cons and analyzed my reasons for running off after my dad and Vince died, and came to terms with my decision to stay with him as long as I had.
My conclusions weren’t easy to take.

I was a coward and a liar. Simple as that.

Jack had become my cushion; my tiny dilapidated motel room became the fortress that held my demons on the outside. The small town was a Mecca for all the things I thought I was missing out on and wanted in my life.

But it wasn’t. It was as solid of a trap as my previous life had been. I’d fallen into the same pattern, only a different outcome. I’d settled on a dismal job because it was easy, a hole in the wall motel because it was cheap, and a false relationship because it fed my insecurities and my fear of being alone.
I still had no idea where I fit in. I still wondered where I belonged, what I wanted. That mask I’d donned for as long as I could remember was still strapped to my skull, embedded into my skin with a grip so tight I thought I’d suffocate.

Coming to terms with the cold, hard facts was a blow for sure. I knew I would eventually go back to Vegas. It was inevitable. I wasn’t sure I’d stay, but I had to return and deal with the aftermath of what went down. The death of my family, the deceit from Flynn, my business, and most importantly, to face the ghosts that wouldn’t leave my mind.

Doyle Maguire.

That man had to pay, one way or another.

I could just picture that rat bastard sitting on his throne with a big shit-eating grin on his face, satisfied that he’d taken us down.

He had, to an extent. My father withered and died at his hand, he’d chased me off, and taken everything Vince had, including his life.

But, he was in for a surprise. I still had some fight in me. The more I pulled back the curtains and looked out the window of my mind, it was coming back. I was stronger than I gave myself credit for, and running off with my tail between my legs had never been my style. I’d slithered away, snuck off with the excuse of starting over, but in reality, I’d never stood my ground the way I should have.
It was time to bolster the courage to take the jerk to war.

About the Author

Jami Denise is a romance writer from Southern California. While she waits for the next felon to come along and sweep her off her feet, she writes about swoony bad boys and sassy gals that make them squirm. She also loves cats, cars, cupcake flavored lip balm, and cherry limeade.


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