5/11/2016

Love of the Game (Stardust, Texas 3) by Lori Wilde Excerpt and Review


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LOVE OF THE GAME
Stardust, Texas #3
Lori Wilde
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Avon Books



A sexy sports superstar discovers his body isn’t the only thing that needs healing in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde…

With major league good looks and talent, Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond was living the good life. Even if the roar of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But now with an injured shoulder and his career on the line, Axel is stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas . . . striking out only with his gorgeous physical therapist.

Kasha Carlyle has one week to get Axel back in action or she can kiss her much-needed job with the Gunslingers goodbye. And any chance to seek custody of the orphaned half-sister she never knew existed. She quickly learns that Axel’s guarded heart also needs healing . . . requiring all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings.

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Source: Publisher
This is my honest review.
Rating: 5 Stars ~ Excellent

Absolutely delicious with a pinch of added magic! My favorite of the series!

I’ve been a fan of Lori Wilde’s Stardust, Texas series from the beginning. Kasha was the Carlyle sister that intrigued me the most, so I was looking forward to reading her story from the start. Lori Wilde did not disappoint me! Love of the Game is my favorite in the series thus far!

Axel Richmond is the injured baseball pitcher for the Dallas Gunslingers, and Kasha Carlyle is the Gunslinger’s physical therapist. She steps up to the plate to help Axel with the recommended rest and recovery. Let’s just say that their want to keep things professional made the tension all the more sweet! These two both had walls around their hearts, and I loved how Lori Wilde unfolded both their stories. She made me tear up, smile and feel all warm and fuzzy.

I adored both Axel and Kasha. Kasha is a yogi. I practice yoga myself, and I loved how yoga played a big part in the story and in the healing process. Axel is the classic, dreamy baseball hero we all love to read in our romances. I found their story absolutely delicious with a pinch of added magic. There’s one more Carlyle sister left! Readers of this series know what that means, I “hope”.

If you’re in search for a small town romance with an injured sports hero, give Love of the Game a chance!


It starts like this: an unexpected spark, instant attraction, the jolting jab of oh-so-you-feel-this-too? Flash fire in the belly. A corkscrew twist in the center of the chest. A physical ache that punches low and heavy and spreads out hard and fast through muscles and tendons, blood and bone.
            Heady.
            Erotic.
            Thrilling.
            Physical therapist Kasha Carlyle had felt it before, this hot flare, runaway-mine-train-express that stirred fear in the dark recesses of her mind. She’d resisted it then. Resisted it now.
            But this? This here? This was something more.
            Stronger.
            Bolder.
            Scarier.
            Coal black eyes melted her resistance, seared it to ash. In that stopwatch moment when her gaze struck, and stuck to the steely stare of the Dallas Gunslingers’ most valuable pitcher, Axel Richmond.
            He’d just completed a physical therapy session with his trainer, Paul Hernandez, and he was sitting on a bench wearing nothing but red workout pants, his bare chest on display. Every glistening muscle was finely etched. Not a drop of fat on him. He was a splendid specimen of adult male in top physical shape, life and passion oozing from his pores.
            The only thing that seemed out of place was the black tattoo over his heart that spelled out
            “Dylan.”
            One look and everything and everyone blended and blurred as white-hot need transported them into their own little world far from the sports medicine facility in North Dallas, where baseball coaches, managers, administrators, and sports medicine specialists surrounded them.
            For a split second.
            Then pure panic set it.
            It was Tuesday, May seventeenth, and the second week of Kasha’s three-month probationary period at her new job working with injured major league baseball players.
            And she was already falling in lust.
            No. No. This simply would not do. Keeping her job was essential.
            Now that she had Emma to consider, she urgently needed the bump in salary to pay off the student loans that had gotten her through her PhD. Not to mention the excellent health insurance coverage. Finding out about Emma had changed everything.
            Quickly, Kasha peeled her gaze from Axel’s and studied the insignia on the wall above his head—the blue and green Gunslingers crossed dueling pistols logo—but she didn’t see a darn thing. Purposefully, she slowed her breathing, and forced herself to listen to the conversation.
            “I wish we had better news,” Dr. Tad Harrison, the lead physician on the team, said to Axel.
            Dr. Harrison had been the one to hire Kasha, and the one to caution her that only thirty percent of probationary employees made it past the first three months. “It takes a special breed to work with these ballplayers. They’re long on arrogance and stubbornness and always think they know best.”
            “I have a lot of patience,” she’d said because it was true.
            “I heard they call you the Exorcist in your current job,” Dr. Harrison had said. “Why is that?”
            She couldn’t keep from smiling. “My colleagues say I have a talent for taming difficult clients.”
            “And do you?”
            “I consider physical therapy a calling.” She folded her hands in her lap, and said without a hint of ego. “I was born for this work.”
            Dr. Harrison stroked his chin. “That’s what Rowdy said too.”
Rowdy Blanton was the field manager for the Gunslingers. He was also Kasha’s brother-in-law, married to her younger adoptive sister, Breeanne, and he’d recommended her for the job.
            “If I hire you,” Dr. Harrison had continued. “It will be on your own merits, not your relationship to Rowdy. He got you this interview, but that’s as far as nepotism goes.”
            “As it should.” Kasha bobbed her head.
            The uncertainty of the job was why she hadn’t yet rented an apartment in Dallas. Every day, she made the one hundred and thirty-five mile, one-way trek to the stadium from her hometown of Stardust.
            While she was optimistic, she was also practical. She’d learned that fate could derail even the best intentions and you had to be ready to flow whichever way the current took you. For the next three months, until she solidified the job, she would keep making that drive.
            For Emma.
            Her thoughts took off in a hundred different directions at once. Stalled. Spun. Gathered momentum like an encroaching hurricane. Realizing her mind had wandered, she forcefully shut down the unproductive thoughts and directed her attention back to the patient.
            Axel Richmond.
            One more look and Kasha was on fire and she hated it. The last thing she wanted right now was to meet a guy, especially this guy. Whose stark dark hair was drenched in the heady sheen of sweat.
            He was as sexy as ten kinds of sin, and twice as handsome, and he was studying her through heavily lidded eyes as if she was the most fascinating creature he’d seen in years.
            Um . . . yes . . . that’s why her mind had wandered. To keep from dealing with the feelings his hot-to-trot gaze churned inside her.
            She let out such a long sigh that everyone in the room swiveled to stare. She kept her face blank and examined her fingernails, pretending she’d discovered a ragged cuticle.
            From the moment Axel had strolled into the therapy room with his pro-athlete swagger and princely sense of entitlement, she’d been mesmerized.
            Spellbound by the way his fitted T-shirt hugged his intricately muscled body. Then he’d stripped off the shirt, giving her an even more arresting view. A thick head of lush brown hair curled around his ears, and those powerful thighs strained at the seams of his workout pants.
            Whew.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses.

Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic.


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4/26/2016

Ride Hard by Laura Kaye Release Blitz + Excerpt #RavenRiders

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The first book in Laura Kaye's hot new Raven Riders Motorcycle Club series, RIDE HARD, is finally here! RIDE HARD is about a new kind of MC with a protective mission. You might’ve first met the Ravens in the Hard Ink world, but this series stands on its own and is even sexier, edgier, and grittier! So read on for a taste and grab your copy of the first book in this sexy new series! 


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Get a FREE bonus story from Laura’s Hearts in Darkness world for buying RIDE HARD before April 30!

About Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1):
Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…
Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.
Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.
The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before…

Nervous excitement rippled through Haven’s belly as she approached Dare. His brow was furrowed and his eyes were narrowed, his whole expression painted with an intensity she couldn’t read. But, oh my God, did he look hot sitting on that bike. Strong thighs straddled the motorcycle. Lean, cut arms stretched to the handlebars. Long hair all blown back from his face.

Wild. Hard. Raw.

As excited as she’d been to ride with Jeb, she was about a million times more ecstatic to ride with Dare. After last night, arousal flowed lazily through her just to look at him. So getting to be so close to him when she wasn’t sure that would happen again? She couldn’t have been happier.

“Okay,” she said, slipping the helmet back on. Dare wasn’t wearing one, and Jeb hadn’t either. Weren’t they supposed to wear helmets? Wasn’t it dangerous not to? But his face was wearing that serious, shuttered look he sometimes got, the one that wasn’t much open to answering questions, so Haven didn’t ask.

He gave her a hand on, and then she had no choice but to wrap her thighs around the outside of his and press her front against his back. She rested her hands lightly on his hips, suddenly feeling awkward about holding on to him the way she’d done so innocently with Jeb. She was probably way overthinking it, but what had felt easy with Jeb felt more weighted, more significant with Dare.

“You ready?” he asked over his shoulder.

“As I’ll ever be,” she said.

Dare pulled her hands around him, making her embrace his chest. Their closeness shot butterflies through Haven, because he felt so good in her arms. “Hold on to me, Haven,” he said, beckoning even more butterflies. And then he took off, slowly at first, like Jeb had done.

She couldn’t believe she was touching Dare this way, but between their closeness, his hard heat, and the ride, Haven was grinning into her helmet. They rode down the mountain at an easy pace, Dare leaning them gently into the curves.

Haven loved the openness of the ride, the way the warm air rushed over her skin. It made her feel like she was flying, like she could go anywhere, like she was free. When the road flattened out into a straightaway, they passed a big parking lot and stadium—the racetrack she’d heard people talking about. A huge mural filled one whole exterior wall—the words Green ValleyRacing painted in green over a waving black-and-white checkered flag. She’d never seen a car race in person, but she would love to. Maybe that was another thing for her list.

And, oh man, the fact that she got to check another item off after having done it with Dare absolutely tickled her. Which made her wonder again why Dare had come after her and Jeb.

I need Haven.

His words came back to her, making no more sense now than they had when he’d said them. What did that even mean? What did he need her for? Did it have anything to do with what happened last night? Haven didn’t know whether to be excited about that possibility or scared—after all, Cora had said he’d seemed agitated. What if whatever had agitated him was why he wanted to talk?

Her shoulders sagged at the thought.

They came to a stop sign at the edge of the racetrack’s long driveway, and Dare looked over his shoulder at her. “Wanna take it fast or slow? Your call.”

Something in his eyes made her belly flip. “Fast,” she said.

The corner of his eye crinkled. “Was hoping you’d say that. Hold on tight.”

Don’t forget you can grab HARD AS STEEL, a Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Novella out now and pre-order RIDE ROUGH, book 2 in the Raven Riders Series (out April 25, 2017)!

    RIDE HARD - RWB Teaser 1  
  
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.      

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter Sign Up | RIDE HARD on Goodreads

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4/20/2016

Didn't I Warn You by Amber Bardan ~ Guest Post, Excerpt


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DIDN'T I WARN YOU
Bad for You #1
Amber Bardan
Releasing 
April 18th, 2016 (Digital), May 24th (Print)
Carina Press
April 18th, 2016 (Digital), May 1st 2016 (Print)
Harlequin Australia


Hero Profile 

Name: Haithem
Age: 31
Occupation: Well now, in Haithem’s case that would be a spoiler! Angelina would very much like to know what he really does…
Physical Description: Why don’t we leave the description to Angelina!
“He’s gorgeous—dark hair, darker eyes, olive skin, body and features all chiseled hardness. But that’s not what makes my veins jump under his hand. That’s not what makes my skin slick with sweat. There’s more to this man than meets the eye.”

Likes (3) Understanding how things work—technically, scientifically, and psychologically. Being in complete control of all said things. Angelina.

Dislikes (3) Losing the upper hand—something he’s only experienced recently with a certain hostage… Television. Yoghurt.
Relationship Status: Relationships are not something he can contemplate.
Typical Friday Night: For Haithem, a Friday night is like any other night. His life is consumed by his purpose.
Drink of Choice: This is not a man who drinks or indulges in anything that would impair his thinking—but if he must he prefers straight spirits.
Favorite Food: He has a sinful sweet tooth, especially when it comes to Turkish Delight.
Favorite Song: If he could listen to anything, it would be the songs he was sung as a child.
Choice of Transportation: The vehicle that gets the job done. He loathes sea travel yet frequently travels in yachts.
Boxers or Briefs: Commando
Best Memory to Date: Haithem had a loving and happy childhood. Those memories bring him comfort in dark times.
Words to live by: Haithem carries this quote by Aristotle with him in all his travels. “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”
“I swear—you never existed. I never met you at all.”
His gaze flicked to my touch, and stuck there as though the touching of him was not something that was usually done. His expression shivered and whatever I thought I saw vanished. He rose to his feet. “I’m afraid a promise made under duress is no promise at all.”
“What do you mean, duress?” I leaped off the bed.
He strode for the door. Apparently, he thought our conversation was over. Pity—I wasn’t done. I followed him onto the deck.
Salty air swept hair across my face.
“It’s not as if you’ve threatened me, so I’m not under duress.”
He paused, pushed the notepad into his pocket and turned. “You think someone has to hold a gun to your head for you to be helpless?” His movements changed, went sharp yet somehow also slinky. He walked—not to me but around me. “I have all the power, all the say. And you—” he pointed his finger directly at me “—you, Angel, are a scared girl who wants to go home.”
His words whipped me like lashings from the wind. Painful, cutting lashes that made me want to cry. He stalked me, closing his circle just as surely as a shark. My veins spurted adrenaline, instinct compelling me to run.
But I didn’t run. That would break the dubious politeness he’d affected, and this small glimpse at what lay underneath was enough to shake the skin around me.
There was nowhere to run. He’d catch me, and—god help me—I might even enjoy it.
I might enjoy something so real and so raw as being caught, even if it hurt. No polite control. Nothing proper or respectable. Just real.
He walked and walked, round and around. My neck strained to keep up with him. I couldn’t drop my gaze, couldn’t let him out of my peripheral vision.
“You owe me nothing. I expect nothing from you. I trust no promises from you.” His voice softened, whispered around me from what felt like all directions. He stopped directly behind me, his hands coming down on my shoulders so I couldn’t turn. “But this doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It doesn’t have to be a trap or a prison.” He pulled me back against him, and suddenly his arms were around me and the beast was gone, replaced instead by a comforting protector.
My pulse jumped. How quickly he could change.
“This isn’t fair. For that, I owe you, and I always honor my debts.”
I’d slipped into hyperawareness—of the arm around my waist, the body at my back, the voice in my ear. I could almost see myself in his arms, standing like a waxwork, so still and glassy-eyed. Mesmerized.
“I saw your face when you told me you’re smothered so tightly you can’t breathe,” he whispered. “You could be free…” He brushed his cheek against my temple. “No one around. You could be yourself.”
He rocked me, so softly I almost missed the shift of my weight from one side to the other. I no longer knew if I was holding myself up.
“I can give you sunsets on the ocean. I can show you space so endless you’ll lose yourself.”
My hair caught on his bristles.
“Have you ever run down a deserted beach, Angel?” His hand moved on my belly. “Have you ever swum naked in salt water?” His voice penetrated my head, my blood, sinking down somewhere even deeper.
“Imagine three weeks where anything you ask will be indulged. All your demands met. Ask me for something—ask me for anything.”
My eyes closed.
“Do you need someone to hear you?” His word curled into my ear so gently, I felt the heat of his body in his breath. “I’ll listen to you talk for days.”
He touched my chest, pressed his palm flat against me.
I twitched.
“You can tell me what it is you keep buried in here. What you’re holding on to so tightly that you can’t let go. You can give it all to me, Angel. Just hand it all over to me…”
Air flooded my lungs, and I lunged out of his grasp. My heart beat so fast, I could imagine coronary damage taking place. I turned and faced him, backing out of reach.
Had I let him read me so thoroughly? Had I laid out my weakness so well that he could drive himself into my head and fuck me there?
Because that’s what he was doing—he was fucking my mind. I knew it. He knew it.
It was working

Synopsis:
Not everything dangerous is bad.

From the moment Angelina laid eyes on him, she fell into a fantasy. Mysterious, foreign, gorgeous, Haithem offered her what she needed most—a chance to feel again.

But Haithem is much more than he appears to be. He lives in a world of danger where everything comes at a price.

For Angelina, that price is her future.

He's made sure the life she's left behind is in tatters. Made her family believe she's dead. Still, he talks about protecting her, about keeping her safe, but she can't distinguish his truth from his lies. She can't separate her pleasure from his betrayal.

Haithem warned her. He told her he'd make her heart race, her body come alive and her most primal needs rush to the surface. His for the taking.

He didn't say she'd come to love the devil who's destroying her, even as he keeps her prisoner.


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After spending years imagining fictional adventures, Amber Bardan finally found a way to turn daydreaming into a productive habit. She now spends her time in a coffee-fueled adrenaline haze, writing romance with a thriller edge.

She lives with her husband and children in semi-rural Australia, where if she peers outside at the right moment she might just see a kangaroo bounce by.

Amber is an award winning writer, Amazon Bestselling Author, and member of Romance Writers of Australia, Melbourne Romance Writers Guild, and Writers Victoria.

Can't Wait for Book Two...Pre-Order Now

DIDN'T YOU PROMISE 





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(Grand Prize Winner will receive a $25.00 Amazon eGift Card, and Three Runners up win a Print Copy of DIDN’T I WARN YOU)
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