All posts by Angie J

#WOTR18 #Review #Paranormal – Blood Bound (Blood Bound #1) by Traci Douglass


Blood Bound (Blood Ravagers, #1)

Anna Frost had a bad feeling when her twin sister, Liz, told her she’d run off with a member of the notorious Otherworld biker gang, the Blood Ravagers. And her unease skyrockets when her sister subsequently vanishes. The police have no authority and little interest, so Anna decides to take matters into her own hands by infiltrating the group to discover for herself what happened to Liz, where she meets….

Dante, half demon, half human. A mix of two worlds, accepted by neither, he’s had no choice but to learn the hard way how to play whatever side of the fence kept him alive during his nearly 500 years of existence. Now, as second-in-command of the Blood Ravagers biker gang, his survival depends on keeping his humanity a secret. Dante’s ultimate goal is to fulfill the vows he made over two centuries ago to create a world where half-breeds can live in safety and equality.

But when sheltered schoolteacher Anna finds unexpected, white-hot passion in the arms of Dante, will her quest for the truth cost him more than he ever bargained for? Or will they find a way to save Liz – and their love – together?

Goodreads

Amazon

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

When the author approached me to read the book all she has to say was Paranormal and I was on board.  Yep I kinda like paranormal.  Anyway, I really had no idea what the book was about until I read the blurb that said demons, shifters, vampires who all hang at a bar and are in motorcycle gang…Uhm double and triple check right there.  Throw in they are 1%ers annnnd my heart is going wild.

This book is about Anna who is looking for her sister Liz.  Liz is the wild and crazy twin while Anna is the school teacher, responsible one.  She walks into Seven, the bar of the biker gang, and her entire world changes.  She meets Dante who is a lot more than JUST a human.

Dante is floored at this woman.  She is sassy, feisty and the other half to what he needs to save his people from the evil he is currently working with.  Don’t get me wrong, Dante is no angel, but he is trying to do right and fix some of the bad in the world.  He is also looking to make a safe haven for otherworlders like himself who have no place to go.

Anna and Dante had some steamy hawt sexy time for sure. Seems our Anna is a but of a masochist which our pain demon, Dante, is quite happy to help out *Wink wink*  The final conflict of the story will leave you super emotional because of the struggle our characters have to go through to stop the evil.

I enjoyed the book a lot and totally wanna read book 2 like ASAP.

Thrilling Tales of Suspense, Fantasy, and Happily Ever Afters…

USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass writes fiction bursting with romance and action, usually mixed with a healthy portion of fantasy, urban edge and/or snark. Her stories feature sizzling heroes with quick wits and dark pasts and smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get.

 

#WOTR18 #AuthorSpotlight – Attending Author, Event Sponsor & Event Host Jillian Jacobs @GreenMooseProd

Jillian Jacobs

Tell us your name and then a bit about yourself.

Jillian Jacobs
I write in the following genres: Paranormal and Contemporary with suspenseful elements. I love moose, polish pottery, and hot tea.
I am the co-founder of Healing with Words—a not for profit agency established for healing survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking, and prostitution. The mission is to bring together readers, authors, and survivors in a positive manner that affects change and relief from negative influences. Writers on The River, an author event in Peoria, Illinois is hosted by Healing With Words.

When and Why did you start to write?

I started to write because I thought I’d be the next Nora Roberts with my books on every shelf. I learned quickly that’s not how it works. And I’m an avid reader and thought, I’ll give romance writing a try because I love it so much.

What authors do you always read or suggest to others?

I read a lot of historical over the years and some paranormal because that’s what’s sold in stores. I’ve since found many self-published authors I enjoy. My favorite new author of 2017 was TJ Klune. One author I suggest to everyone is Karen Marie Moning. I love her highlander series. I suggest you look at the Writers On The River website under the Authors tab for a whole list of awesome authors.

What is the most surprising thing you have found out with the writing process?

That the comma is not your friend. But seriously, I’ve found that the author community is a lovely, wonderful place, and I’ve made lasting friendships that I’ll cherish forever.

What are you working on now?

My very first Male/Male romance called Spotlight.

When writing are you a pantser or plotter?

Pantser.

What are your social links?

Website
Twitter

Facebook
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads

What are your buy links?

www.jillianjacobs.com

 

Angie’s review of Ember’s Center, Book 1 of the O-Line Series HERE

Kristi’s Review of Fire’s Field, The Elemental Book 2 HERE

#WOTR18 #UglyCry – Don’t Be Afraid by CA Harms

Don't Be Afraid

Have you ever looked at someone and just knew,
knew that they were put in your life for a reason?
The one person that would be not only your best friend,
but would be your absolute everything?
That’s how I felt the first time I saw him.

That one day when a few little words changed our entire lives forever…

Don’t be Afraid, he said.
Life can change so quickly.
One moment you can be smiling and feeling as if you’re walking on clouds and the next, everything you love, everything you treasure crumbles at your feet.

I told him to fight, I told him I needed him.
We needed him.
But there are just some fights that can’t be won…

He was my angel then, and he’s still my angel now.
In a way, I believe he’s still looking out for us, giving us a future.
Sometimes it’s as if I can still feel his presence,
guiding us and keeping us safe.

So, I won’t be Afraid.
I’ll live. I’ll fight.
It’s what he would have wanted.

I’ll do it for him…

Goodreads

Amazon

Don’t Be Afraid by CA Harms

I receive this book from the author for an honest review.

I don’t know if I will be able to get through this review without stopping to blow my nose or wipe the streams of flowing tears from my eyes.  Sweet Baby Jesus I am completely destroyed in the most beautiful of ways.

This book is such a simple idea but CA writes it with such depth of emotion if you don’t cry you must be a heartless person!  LOL  The story is all about love.  Pure and simple love.  The love of a man and wife.  The love of 2 brothers willing to do for each other and their family.  The story is about what happens when one person loses the love of their life or the person they consider to be their brother.  How do the remaining two continue on without their missing link plus what happens when feelings begin to develop between the remaining people?

Sawyer has had a sad life and when she meets Pat everything clicks for her.  She seems to have a golden life with the man of her dreams.  When Cancer tears her happily ever after apart she learns to lean on Gage.  Gage and Pat have grown up together and are brothers.  When Pat asks Gage to watch out for his family. Gage does it because his feels Sawyer is his family too.

The story has me sobbing through most of the beginning of the book.  Chapters 14 and 21 had me a hot mess so be warned!!  But as the middle to end of the story is being told we are facing life without our Rock Pat but also looking to Gage for MORE.  The end of the book throws a few amazing scenes that made my dried eyes begin to leak full force again.

The emotion and depth of story totally knocked me for a loop.  I was stunned at how well CA Captured the emotion of each character in the story.  The anger Pat felt.  The sadness Sawyer felt, and the guilt Gage felt.   Such a raw and emotionally gritty story this book is intense so be ready with the tissue.  Be ready to have some Tylenol to help with the raging headache you will have from the snot sobbing tears you will be shedding!!

C.A. Harms is a lover of HEA stories, mixed with a little heat and drama make it perfect. She needs some excitement, some angst, and moments that make her fan her face are always good too. She’s an Illinois girl, born and raised. Simple and true, it honestly doesn’t take much to make her happy. She loves the little things; they truly mean the most. She may have a slight addiction to her Keurig—oh my, that thing is a godsend. And so fast too. She is the mother of two children who truly are her very best friends, and their faces never fail to put a smile on her face. She has been married to her husband for eighteen years, and looks forward to many more. Even after all these years he is still able to make her heart skip a beat.
She is one of those authors that adores her fans and loves to hear from them. After all, it is because of each one of you that she continues to write.
Be sure to follow her to stay up-to-date on all her upcoming releases and news.

 

#WOTR18 #AuthorSpotlight – Attending Author Brynn Paulin @brynnpaulin

Brynn Paulin

Tell us your name and then a bit about yourself.

I’m Brynn Paulin and I’m the author of over 55 books in multiple romance genres. In addition to writing, I love cooking, reading, hockey and dogs–especially my three spoiled furbabies.

When and Why did you start to write?

I started to write in the late 90s and was first published in 2007. I’ve always loves creating stories.

What authors do you always read or suggest to others?

I always read: Ruby Dixon, Penny Wylder, Frankie Love, Aurora Rose Reynolds, Kristen Proby, Kelly Elliott, Kaylee Ryan and Kelly Jameson.

What is the most surprising thing you have found out with the writing process?

I don’t know if anything has surprised me about the process. What has surprised me is how different everyone’s processes are.

What are you working on now?

A dystopian zombie book

When writing are you a pantser or plotter?

I’m a plotser – plotting with the freedom for surprises.

What are your social links?

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest

What are your buy links?

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

#WOTR18 #review #Paranormal #Shifter #Erotica – Rumble and Growl (The Holloways Book 3) by Lacey Thorn

Rumble and Growl (The Holloways Book 3)

Five years ago they were attacked. The alpha was the first to die, but his murder was followed by carefully planned attacks focused on one thing: find and kill the female shifters.

Xandra Blackstone is out for blood. She’s spent the last five years forced to hide and wait while the person responsible for the deaths of her parents and youngest sister remains free. Separated from her surviving siblings, her rage has only grown. She and her bear are in agreement. They’ll settle for nothing less than blood.

Declan Holloway is on a mission. Now that he and his brothers know there are female shifters still hidden among them, they’ve made it their focus to find them and protect them. What he didn’t expect was to find himself pursuing one frustrating female who seems hell bent on killing him. With each trap he dodges, his temper rises. When he gets his hands on Xandra Blackstone he might just take her over his knee for the trouble she’s caused him.

With one glance, neither can deny what their bears know is true. No matter how much they rumble and growl, they belong to one another.

*NOTE: Though Rumble and Growl is part of the Awakening Pride: The Holloways series, it is a standalone book with an HEA and no cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Amazon

I purchased this book.

OMG Xandra and Declan!! They are quite a pair.  Declan is Mr. Logical where as Xandra runs on pure emotion.  I knew the little clip we got of them in book 2 showed they were going to be a fun read but man was I loving this book.

Declan is the most trustworthy and dependable brother of the Holloways.  When he is sent to find Xandra he is blow away once he catches her scent because HELLO she is his mate.

Xandra has been living in a personal hell for the 5 years following all the female bear massacre.  The “Uncle” she was tasked to live with seems to be the reason for all the treachery against the Holloway Pack.  She is finally free and after blood for her family and lost bears.  When she sees Declan’s she is not about to let this whole MATE thing get her…..nope not happening.  She is going to run and avenge everyone wronged.  She is pulling the whole “I am an island” dynamic.

I loved seeing the pack dynamics really starting to come into play.  We learn a lot more about each brother and their job for the pack.  We learn more and more about the expectations for revenge for the past wrong doings too.

I am super excited for the next book and I really hope its Laramie’s books because come on and Alpha needs his mate!!!

Lacey Thorn spends her days in small town Indiana the proud mother of three. When she is not busy with one of them she can be found typing away on her computer
keyboard or burying her nose in a good book. Like every woman she knows just how chaotic life can be and how appealing that great escape can look. So toss aside
the stress and tension of the never ending to do list.

 

#WOTR18 #Review #Paranormal #Shifters #Erotica – Claimed by the Grizzly (The Holloways #2) by Lacey Thorn

Claimed by the Grizzly (The Holloways, Book Two)

Five years ago the bear shifters were attacked. The alpha was the first to die, but his murder was followed by carefully planned attacks focused on one thing: find and kill the female shifters.

Sidia Blackstone is running for her life. Someone has discovered the existence of the remaining female bear shifters and is determined to hunt them down. One of the elders is dead and her twin is missing. Her guardian, Nicholas, sends her to find safety among the Holloway brothers. Her best chance at survival is to find them and if her bear is willing, claim one of the last remaining grizzlies as her mate.

Koby Holloway is one furious grizzly. They’ve just discovered there are surviving female bears hidden among them. Though he swore the one who came to them belonged to him, she chose another as her mate. He doesn’t understand the pull he feels until he learns she has a twin who also survived. Now, nothing will stop him from finding her.

He’d protect her, see to all her needs, and keep her right by his side. From the moment he found her, she was claimed by the grizzly.

*NOTE: Though Claimed by the Grizzly is part of the Awakening Pride: The Holloways series it is a standalone book with an HEA and no cliffhanger.

Goodreads

Amazon

I purchased this book.

*Clapping* Shifters…YESSSSS!!!  I love shifter books thank you very much!!

Ok so last book Koby was kinda a major pain in the ass for Hot and Jaeda.  He kept demanding Jaeda was his mate….wellllll not her so much as her TWIN Sidia!!! Once Koby found this news out, dude was GONE to find and save his mate from the hunters.

I loved the raw lust and then love between Koby and Sidia.  They are both shifters so they KNEW what would happen with the mating unlike poor human Holt…he is learning the ways thought guys.

We get a lot of “mating” time with the couple but we also see the pack trying to figure out what the heck happened 5 years ago.  Who was the traitor and why did they decimate the female bears????  Once we get the information plus we get a sneak peak of the next couples books we know everything is going to change drastically for the pack, the hidden females and the news about a new bear pack!!  GASP so much happened in such a small book!!!

Anyway, look out for book 3 because both bears are going to be a handful.  I so cannot wait to see what shenanigans Xandra pulls for Declan.

Lacey Thorn spends her days in small town Indiana the proud mother of three. When she is not busy with one of them she can be found typing away on her computer
keyboard or burying her nose in a good book. Like every woman she knows just how chaotic life can be and how appealing that great escape can look. So toss aside
the stress and tension of the never ending to do list.

 

#WOTR18 #review #Paranormal #Shifters #Erotica – His to Bear (The Holloways #1) by Lacey Thorn

His to Bear (The Holloways, Book One)

When a marine and a shifter-on-the-run collide, beware! Sparks will fly. This human isn’t all to sure of the mating and the bear… Well, bears will be bears and she wants him NOW!

Jaeda is all alone, desperate to find safety, and there’s only one place she can go. She’ll have to run for the Holloway land and hope they’ll help her and not force her into a mating she doesn’t want. With hunters hot on her tail, she isn’t sure she’ll make it. Until something carries to her across the breeze, and she meets the bluest eyes she’s ever seen.

Holt never planned to stay with the Holloways. He was only there to offer temporary help. Then a dream ran to him and threw herself into his arms. Her fear was palpable, and when she begged him to protect her, he knew he wasn’t leaving.

He’d protect her, see to all her needs, and keep her right by his side. From the moment she sought his help, she became his to bear.

Goodreads

Amazon

I purchased this book.

Oh sisters. My favorite books to fall back and read are shifters. I am a total book whore for a good shifter series and this one is going to be a favorite for dang sure.

I loved this dynamic of this book. Female bear shifters are all thought to be dead until one falls on the Holloway lands and claims…..not a bear……but human as her mate. I was loving the fact that the female is the one who can fully decide who she wants to mate, and she chose a human. Not any of the tough as nails Alaskan Grizzly bears but a human marine who wont back down for the bears either.

Jaeda has been taught to hide from hunters and fear the Holloway clan. She doesn’t know why but she has and does fear them. As she runs on the land she sees and senses her mate in Holt. Holt makes a promise to her right then and there to protect her when she is scared and begs him for help.

The little trouble maker that Jaeda is tricks Holt into mating with her and then all hell breaks loose because one of the bears thinks she is his mate and is uber confused by this. He goes as far as to challenge Holt for her. YIKES!! So yeah, the friendships are all put to the test.

I flew through this hot little read and immediately bought book 2 because I am so curious about who betrayed the clan, if Koby finds his mate and more about the Holloway family.

Lacey is a hyper blonde, bouncing through life with her magical bracelets of positivity. A die hard gamer (she refuses to call it an addiction), she resides in the Midwest, mom to three awesome children, one demanding bulldog, and two crazy cats. She has a passion for life and tends to leap long before she checks for safety exits. She writes possessive, alpha heroes who demand everything from the women they love. Believing sex is an integral part of a healthy romantic relationship, she doesn’t believe in closed doors, or even confining things to the indoors. Her stories reflect her strong family ties, friendships that showcase how some family consists of those we choose, and a goofy sense of humor that helps keep her laughing through all life’s ups and downs.
She loves to chat with anyone and often does to the annoyance of her children who are always in a hurry. If you want to talk books, television, movies, actors, World of Warcraft, prepping for the zombie apocalypse, or music (she loves music!), drop her a line at lcy_thrn1@yahoo.com.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

 

#WOTR18 #Review #Western #Historical – Smolder on a Slow Burn by Lynda J. Cox

Smolder on a Slow Burn

Allison Webster dreams of having an adventure like the characters in the books she loves. But there is no romance in being pursued by a man who wants her dead for educating the children of former slaves. Unlike the heroines she reads about she doesn’t have a trusty companion to rescue her…until she literally runs into A.J. Adams, a former Confederate cavalry officer. Now, she just has to convince A.J. he really is the honorable man and hero depicted in the dime novel she is reading.

Branded a “traitor” for more than ten years, scarred by harsh treatment in an inhumane prisoner of war camp, A.J. Adams wants revenge. Allison Webster’s arrival into his life provides the bait to destroy the men who murdered his wife and daughters and kidnapped his little brother. The men pursuing Allison are the very same men he has sworn to kill. Falling in love and admitting he might actually be a hero means surrendering his need for vengeance. Surrender is not part of A.J.’s battle strategy

Goodreads

Amazon

Smolder on a Slow Burn by Lynda J. Cox

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

I love Historical books, but I have never tried a Western Historical and jumped when given the chance. I mean you will never know until you try I right??

This book was interesting in that it interweaves real life history with a made-up hero and heroine.  We get to read about the Civil War while also having the author embellish stories to go with the history of the time.

We meet Allison as she is about to miss her train.  She is on the run from some bad men when a not so polite gentleman pulls her onto the train she is chasing after.  The two spend some tie together in an inappropriate way given she is a single woman without a chaperone.

AJ is stunned by the beauty he pulled in to his cargo railcar, but he can’t look at her.  Since his wife Cathy has passed he can’t get over everything especially the guilt that he is why she is gone.

The two ends up running for some bad guys when Allison’s past is spilled.  As the two are running they slowly discover the attraction they have plus the few stolen kisses makes it impossible to walk away from the other….especially after the tub scene.  That was one of the funniest parts of the book.  AJ was pretty determined, and Allison was not about to be tempted.  The following meal conversation about his planned seduction was funny too.  Allison is no wallflower like she claims and pretty much tells AJ the way it is and isn’t going to be.  Gotta love a strong woman!!!  When she tells him “It’s not sleeping that gets people into trouble. It’s what happens when they’re awake!”  so cracked me up!!  But then when AJ offers us his whole heart…. “Allison, I have nothing to offer you other then myself.  I am offering you my whole heart, all my love, and my unswerving loyalty.”  I did kinda swoon bit.   How the heck do you NOT!!!

I liked that both characters had secret and both characters had some of the same enemies and how it all intertwined together.

Lynda J. Cox

Once upon a time there was a little girl who said when she grew up, she was going to have dogs like Lassie, own horses, and live on a ranch just like the Ponderosa. Two out of three isn’t bad. If she can’t live on a ranch, Lynda J Cox writes about characters who do. She writes steamy westerns, what one reviewer called an authentic blend of Old West action and happily ever after romance.

Her favorite authors are Leigh Greenwood and LaVyrle Spencer.

You can contact Lynda on Facebook or through her website 

#Review #Dark #DarkDuet – Viole[n]t Obscurity (Violent #1) by Megan D. Martin

Aaron Whitman is my patient. That’s all.
The murky words in his skin don’t call to me.
His twitchy gray eyes don’t make me desire more than I should.
He’s my patient.
I’m his psychiatrist, Dr. Adeline Violet.
I’m in control.
I’m fine.
Why are you worried?
I can help him. I can cleanse his sadistic tendencies.
He’s my patient. Don’t you know?
Maximum security Ward Z at Silent River Psychiatric Hospital for Violent Criminals is our home.
He’s just my patient.

I promise.

*Viole[n]t Obscurity is a dark and twisted romance. It is the first book in a two part duology about Aaron and Adeline. Some of the content of this story may not be acceptable to all readers. Read at your own risk.

Goodreads

I received this book from the author for an honest review.

WTF did I just read.  It’s a crazy ass story and I FLOVED it …like HARD and I am flipping out that I have to wait until SUMMER to read the second part of the duet!!  Holy Shit Balls Batman!!  This book was hella crazy as allllll of Megan’s dark books are.  They are so complex and twisted and just WHUT!!!!!!!!

Dr. Violet is the new psych doctor on Ward Z. This is pretty much where all the Charles Masons are going.  These people are not getting out…EVAH!!!  But she is young and hopeful that she can make a difference.  She has limited staff, but she knows she can get this stuff done.  She befriends one staff member, Richard who tries to help her stay away form the darkness that is inside of her and starts to shine when she pends more and more time with Aaron.

Aaron is hella crazy but at the same time I LOVE HIM.  He loves hard and is so loyal to the people he trusts.  The conversations between Aaron and Violet start to consume each of them.  Their professional relationship starts to dance and then definitely crosses over inappropriate very quickly.  But I was falling more and more in love with Aaron and wondering more and more for Violets sanity.  I guess when you love someone who is nuts you tend to become nuts yourself???

The last couple of chapters shit goes down in a huge way.  Secrets are spilled, and holy hell does Aaron come back to the crazy side of life even crazier after the way Violet misuses his trust.  People I am dying to know what is going to happen to them….DYING!!  Plus I wanna see the body count total because these two are going to definitely leave a lot of bodies in their wake.

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ViolentObscurityAmazon

B&N:  https://tinyurl.com/ViolentObscurityBN
iBooks:  https://tinyurl.com/ViolentObscurityiBooks 

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/ViolentObscurityKobo

Megan D. Martin

Megan D. Martin is a multi-published author, mother, student, editor, and history lover.
In her spare time Megan plays video games with her incredibly sweet son, buys fish for her many fish tanks, and has long talks with Gandaldore (the little writing wizard that sits on her desk.) She is well known for losing her keys and has more than one nerdy tattoo.
Megan lives in North Texas with her wonderful husband and son

#NewRelease #Excerpt – Darker Water by Lauren Stewart

Title:             Deeper Water

Subtitle:       Carson and Laney’s After Happily-Ever-After

Series:          Once and Forever #3

Author:        Lauren Stewart

Genre:          New Adult/Romantic Comedy

Release        Date: Feb 11, 2018

Word Count: 57,000

Two people can only tread water for so long

 A steamy new romantic comedy with the characters you fell in love with in Darker Water and Virtually Impossible.

My name is Carson Bennett.

The first time I slept with Laney Temple was two years ago.

At the time, I thought I deserved a medal for all the effort I put into making it happen. I ended up with so much more than I’ve ever deserved.

Now, with everyone and my brother getting hitched, I think I’m finally ready for the next big step. To make what Lane and I have better and stronger. Deeper. I’m just not sure if she’s ready.

Unfortunately, life isn’t all bacon and glitter just because we say three little words to each other.

When we’re horizontal, our communication couldn’t be better. And the other forty-nine percent of the day—when my pants are zipped, her bra is hooked, and nobody’s hands are anywhere fun—it’s still easy and full of laughs.

It’s just that last one percent we haven’t quite figured out yet.

Time’s ticking. And if we don’t repair the cracks soon, water is going to rush in and break this whole damn thing apart.

~ ~ ~

Carson and Laney are back! Just in time for Valentine’s Day. Get a look at their after happily-ever-after and be there for Hayden and Andi’s island wedding.

*Deeper Water is not a true standalone contemporary romance novel like the others in this series. You will enjoy it much more if you read Darker Water first. I suggest starting there.

Darker Water, book one in this series, will be on sale for only 0.99

from Thursday, Feb 8 until Thursday, Feb 15th

Email: ReadLaurenS@gmail.com

Website: www.LaurenStewartAuthor.com

FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/LaurenStewartAuthor

FB Reader’s Group: www.facebook.com/groups/laurenstewartauthor/

Twitter: @ReadLaurenS

Bookbub Author Page: www.bookbub.com/authors/lauren-stewart

Newsletter: www.LaurenStewartAuthor.com/news

 

iBooks Exclusive Pre-order: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/deeper-water/id1334953702

Amazon, Nook, Kobo & Paperback pre-order links available Februrary 8th

Goodreads

Lauren Stewart’s other work

Darker Water (Once and Forever #1)

Virtually Impossible (Once and Forever #2)

Hyde, an Urban Fantasy (Hyde, Book I)

Jekyll (Hyde, Book II)

Strange Case (Hyde, Book III)

No Experience Required (a Summer Rains novel #1)

Second Bite

Lauren Stewart grew up reading Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, James Clavell, Piers Anthony, and Agatha Christie, which explains why she can’t seem to stick to one genre at a time. She loves emoticons and hates when people speak in the third person, so…

I got to the more romantic stuff pretty late, but paranormal romance was what changed me from an obsessed reader into an obsessed reader AND writer. I think my writing style comes from a mash-up of all my early favorites and my new ones, women like JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Nalini Singh, Charlaine Harris, and Janet Evanovich. Wow, how much would you pay to be invited to that dinner party?

I want to make people think, cry, and giggle, not necessarily all at the same time (although it’s great when it happens). In every one of my books, you’ll find elements of other genres – fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women’s literature, all with a touch of humor.

Because what doesn’t kill us should make us laugh.

What Inspired Me to Write This Book?

This whole series began on a dare—that I wouldn’t be able to write a standalone novel that ended in a happy ending (until then, I’d always written series where one couple takes a few novels to reach their happy ending).

What can I say? Definitely not that I can pass up a challenge because I can’t. And so, I wrote Darker Water.

Darker Water was a twist on The Frog Prince, with the heroine believing she has the metaphorical power to turn good men—princes—into assholes—frogs. Because all the men she’d fallen for had seemed perfect right up until she found out they were total pricks. So what does she need to make her believe in love again? A frog, of course. An asshole who, because of her love, finally shows us that he’s been an amazing man all along.

The fairytale at the beginning of that book (and for the next five books) came to me as soon as I started typing. It just flowed and set up the entire framework for the story. The second part of Laney and Carson’s fairytale, at the end, encapsulates what they’ve learned and where they’re headed.

When I was challenged by readers (remember how I said I can’t say no to a challenge?) to give them more of Carson, I did.

Deeper Water is a continuation of Carson and Laney’s love story, what I call their after happily-ever-after, as well as that of Hayden and Andi, the main characters from Virtually Impossible (Book #2). I’ve always been a firm believer that stories don’t end on the last page of a book, just like our love stories don’t end when we say “I do.” At least I hope they don’t because that would be awful.

So in this book, Carson and Laney run into some hurdles and have to repair a few cracks that occur in all relationships, regardless of how wonderful they are.

Who Will We Meet in This One?

First let me say that it turned out to be a great way to explore relationships at every stage. For instance, Laney’s parents who’ve been married for almost thirty years are in this book. Hillary and Eric, Laney’s ex-roommate and her boyfriend have been together for more than a few years. Emilia, Andi’s married bestie/boss and her husband have been married for a few. And Carson’s mother, Renee? Well, she’s had experience with a lot of different phases with a lot of different husbands. Ha.

As for other people we’ll meet or meet again? Carson’s evil stepsister, Anna. Hayden’s ex-wife who I absolutely adore, Clare. And we also get to know Andi’s screwed-up friend Sara whose story will be in Immaterial Defense, the next book in this series.

So it’s a pretty full cast for my shorter-than-normal book. I guess I just can’t say goodbye to any of my characters. Don’t be surprised if one of my paranormal characters appears in this series.

It might be a challenge, but then, you know how I feel about challenges.

 

Lane pulled me deeper until the water was about waist-high. She slipped her hands around my neck and jumped into my arms. I gratefully caught her under her ass, and she wrapped her legs around me.

“Am I too heavy?”

“Not at all. But if a shark comes along, you know I’m going to drop you and run for it, right?”

“Of course,” she said, smiling. “No problem—I can handle a shark.”

“What if it’s a big shark?”

“Depends who’s measuring.” Laughing, she ground her hips on mine, and my big shark woke right up. “Men always seem to think things are larger than they actually are.”

“You’ve never complained before.”

“I complain all the time, just not about that.”

“I’ve never heard you complain. You must be doing it wrong. Try whining more next time so I know.”

“Like this?” she asked in a high, nasal voice, her nose and upper lip rising and making her look as close to unattractive as possible.

“That’d do it.” I tried kissing her, but with her mouth contorted like that, I got more teeth than lip. Pina Colada-flavored.

She pulled away. “What were you talking to your brother about at the bar earlier?”

“Do you always think about my brother while we’re kissing?”

“Jealous?” she asked. The brat. “Or do you just not want to answer the question?”

“Always, and no. I’d rather make out than talk about Hayden.”

“Then answer quick so we can get back to it.”

I sighed. “Fine.” I spoke faster than an auctioneer on speed. “He planned a surprise wedding gift for Andi back home. I’m helping him with it.” Done speaking, I leaned in for my prize.

“Really?” Pulling away, she did that girlie inhalation that lifted her breasts up beautifully, as well as her brow and the corners of her mouth. Like she was the world’s most perfect marionette or something. “How romantic! What is it?”

I shook my head. “If I tell you, it won’t be a surprise.” I would’ve zipped my lips if my hands weren’t happy where they were—cupping her ass so nicely. Good thing the water was deep enough to cover us or the thirteen-year-old kid staring at us from shore would’ve gotten quite a show.

“The surprise is for Andi, not me. So spill.”

As much as I liked to tease her, she’d find out eventually. “Promise you won’t say anything.”

“I promise.”

“Promise me that if you break said promise, you will let me do every deviant thing I can imagine to you while saying, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more?’ Complete with the English accent.”

She stared at me for a minute, stunned or maybe trying to figure out what deviant thing I could be referring to that we hadn’t already tried.

“Promise,” she said finally, in an English accent.

“That’s my girl.” I kind of hoped she told someone.

 

Short Book Quotes

Fairytale Beginning:

Once upon a time, there was a frog who, with great care, held the heart of the most beautiful woman in his entire world.

 

Fairytale Ending:

For this couple, as with all others who are destined to be, “happily ever after” means they will never give up… on themselves or on each other.

 

Laney:

It was as if we were both experiencing the same thing, feeling the same emotional component.

Oh, who am I kidding? He probably wasn’t thinking anything at the moment. Or, best case it was something like, “Ahhh…oooh…goooood.”

 

Carson:

I need to know—yes or no.” He swallowed. “Do you believe we have a future together?”

“Yes,” I said without thinking. “I can’t imagine my life without you. But we still have a lot of stuff to work on before—”

“Sorry,” he said, his smile stopping my heart for a second. “I quit listening after you said yes. We’ll deal with the rest of it later.”

 

“Well,” she said, still waving to her parents, who’d just gotten caught by the crowd. “My father might still be under the impression I’m a virgin, and the man I’m with respects my decision.”

I swallowed my laugh. She wasn’t kidding. “Oh, I respect your decisions, babe. Completely. For instance, I respected your decision to ride me like a cowgirl the other night. And I had all kinds of respect for you when you dragged me into that restaurant bathroom a couple weeks ago because you needed to fuck right then and there. And that thing you did with your tongue the other—”

 

“Get dressed.” She pulled away from me and tossed me a t-shirt. “I promised them we’d be there.”

“And I promised myself we’d use all these condoms before going home. I allocated a certain number for each day, and we can’t fall behind.” I shrugged. “One of us is going to have to break their promise, Lane. Guess what my priority is.”

 

As much as I liked to tease her, she’d find out eventually. “Promise you won’t say anything.”

“I promise.”

“Promise me that if you break said promise, you will let me do every deviant thing I can imagine to you while saying, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more?’ Complete with the English accent.”

She stared at me for a minute, stunned or maybe trying to figure out what deviant thing I could be referring to that we hadn’t already tried.

“Promise,” she said finally, in an English accent.

“That’s my girl.” I kind of hoped she told someone.