Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Romancing the Bookworm

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel. It's spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Rony, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she's wrangled into waiting tables with Rony at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick's Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational's organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her. Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he's concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he's convinced it's a risk worth taking. What he hasn't planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme. Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete? 3 of 5 stars false


****I received an ARC of this book for my honest review; my review is based on content only. The copy provided to me was not the final copy.****
 Tamara spends her life caught up in her romance books; she is so oblivious to everything around her she doesn't notice Xavier keeps trying to get her attention. Xavier concocts a plan to get her to Maverick Bay and have her notice him. Once Tamara is there it seems that nothing will go as planned, even with everything going wrong the two of them manage to get to know one another, but what will happen when she finds out that what Xavier planned? I liked this book, it was a good easy read, yes parts of it were kinda cheesy but that's ok I like a little bit of that ever now and then. Xavier seems to be the guy who has it all, girls want him, he is a great surfer and he has money. However, he feels responsible for his alcoholic drug addict step brother and the only girl he wants is Tamara. Tamara is a beautiful girl, but she spends all her time reading books and doesn't connect with people. The two of them fit together well and it was sweet how both of them opened up to each other. The secondary characters, Zander, Hudson and Ronni added some conflict and at times much needed support for the two main characters. Romancing the Bookworm is a good quick read, the perfect cure for a book hangover.  

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Persuasion Skills

Persuasion Skills - MEGA PROMO BLITZ
By Laurel Cremant
Erotic Contemporary Romance
Date Published: 7/5/2013

In the aftermath of a major health scare, Pepper Holts makes the relief-inspired decision to seize the day. Unfortunately, most of her “seizing” involves a bit of merlot and her best friend's pants! After a shared night of passion she realizes that her feelings for Jax are a lot more complicated than she ever thought. 

Jax has finally realized that his allergy to marriage has nothing to do with the institution itself, and everything to do with the women in his bed—or more specifically, the one woman not in his bed. Her reaction to their one night together has him scrambling to regroup. So he does what he knows best—he disappears, and he thinks. The plan?—convince Pepper into staying with him at a secluded cabin for one week. One week of pretending to be a happily married couple to show her how great they could be together.


“Hell, Pep, I missed you,” he said before dragging her from her chair into his waiting lap.
He dipped his head to the crook of her neck and engulfed her into a tight hug.
There was nothing quite like a Jaxon Grey hug. He hugged with his whole body. His tall frame and broad shoulders always curved just right around her, immersing her in a mantle of warmth and shelter.
She dipped her head and rubbed her chin onto the top his head and closed her eyes.
“I missed you, too, jackass.”
His resulting rumble of laughter caused his chest to shift against hers, and just like that, her back stiffened in addition to a few other things along her body.
She bit back a groan as her nipples tightened against the lace of her bra.
The warm gust of his breath against her neck wasn’t helping matters either.
“You’re such a sweet talker,” he said. “And since I like you so much, I promise not to spank you for your bad behavior.”
He pulled her in tighter and began to rub the base of her back. His stroking hand was far from soothing as it settled low, and his fingers grazed the swell of her ass. All it did was remind her of how good his big hands had felt stroking her naked flesh.
She shifted uncomfortably on his knee, trying to scoot away from the heat of him.
“I’m sorry, but I left my Emily Post handbook at home.”
He lifted his face from the crook of her neck and drifted his hands lower. Holding on to her hips, he dragged her forward and caught her gaze with his.
“Really? That’s too bad. Chapter six is dedicated to the perfect way to drape yourself across a man’s lap. Feel like practicing?”
Both his suggestion and hooded gaze held her captive for a few silent seconds. The idea of his strong hands spanking her ass flushed her body with heat.
The thought of him holding her down at his leisure and pleasure was surprisingly arousing. She knew that Jax liked to control things in bed, but how far did his need for dominance go?
“I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.”
He continued speaking as if he hadn’t just casually filled her mind with raunchy goodness. She tried not to pout before responding.
“It is what you’re known for,” she said, trying hard not to stare at his mouth. Her clit was already warming at the recollection of what that mouth could do.
She yelped at the pinch he gave her hip.
“Brat. I’m serious. After Mom died, I really started thinking about what I wanted in my life. I started thinking about all of the things missing.”
“Jax, you can’t expect to fill the void your mom left with things. It’s just gonna take a little time to heal.”
“I’m not talking about things, Pep.”
He smoothed a hand up and began to rub the nape of her neck.
“Mom was always pestering me about settling down and starting a family, but I always thought there was plenty of time. You know me. I’ve never been one to believe in love and marriage.”
Pepper tried not to flinch at his words. Jax had always considered love to be an illogical emotion. He always joked that it was just nature’s chemical drug designed to propagate the species. His outlook on love was one of the reasons why she had always been able to avoid acting on her attraction to him. There was no use ruining a perfectly good friendship for Jax’s idea of a romantic relationship.
His words only served to remind her that falling in love with him was a lost cause.
“But, ever since the funeral, I’ve realized she was right.”
It took a few seconds for his words to sink in.
“Uh, what exactly was she right about?” she asked, confused at his line of thought.
“She was right. I should be thinking about getting married and starting a family,”
“What? Okay, who are you, and where have you hidden the real Jaxon Grey?” she said, laughing desperately, and hoping this was his version of a horrible joke.
The look on his face sobered her up quickly.
“You’re not joking, are you?”
“No. I’ve analyzed the situation and determined that my mother was right. So I’ve decided to get married,” he said.
The words came out of her mouth in a whisper of disbelief. Married? Married?
“Yeah, married. And I’ve concluded that you would make me the perfect wife,” he said before pulling her head down and covering her shock-slackened mouth in a hot kiss.

Excerpt #2

The smooth humming of an engine finally wove its way up the road as he continued to chop.
He glanced up from his task in time to see a slate grey SUV make its way up the gravel path that passed as the driveway to his cabin. Within a few seconds, he could see Pepper’s face peering at him through the front window.
The usual sense of peace that her presence always gave him rushed through, right before his skin tightened in a zing of awareness. Seeing her never failed to jumpstart his senses. Her features had changed very little since college, but she’d grown her afro out to a long mass of curls that stretched past her shoulders.
At that moment, the mouth he’d secretly lusted after for years was set in a firm line, and a blaze of anger shone in her steady gaze. Neither warning sign prevented a smile from spreading across his face as the car drew near.
She wore a white snow cap with earflaps, her curls spilling around her shoulders, and what looked like a heavy white winter coat. She looked like a ferocious bunny.
If looks could kill. He chuckled softly.
He swung the axe one last time and planted the blade firmly in the chopping block before walking leisurely to the top of the drive and waiting.
It wasn’t hard to keep the smile on his face as his gaze caught hers and held. He could practically feel the waves of rage rolling off of her as she pulled the car to an abrupt stop only inches from where he stood.
He merely winked at her and gave a cheerful wave. God, he loved hunting rabbits.
She stared at him for a searing moment before climbing out of the tall vehicle and dragging out a medium-sized piece of luggage. She snapped up its telescoping handle and marched the few steps it took to stand in front of him.
He let his gaze wander over her frame, taking in the rapid rise and fall of her chest, the tight grip she had on the luggage handle, and the clenching and unclenching of her free hand. Yet the only thing that caused his smile to dim was the hurt mingled with the outrage on her lovely face.
He let his gaze drift back to her clenching fist for a moment before looking at her face again. Staring into her eyes, he let loose a loud sigh as he widened his stance and shoved his hands into his coat pockets. This is going to hurt.
“Go ahead. Do it. You know you want to.”
He let the taunt hang in the air, waiting for her to speak, react, do anything.
She stared at him for a few seconds before her eyes swelled with unshed tears.
The sight caused a small ache in his chest. Nothing ever hurt as much as seeing Pepper cry.
The thought barely registered in his mind before she pulled back her clenched fist and slammed it squarely on his jaw.
His head jerked to the side with a snap.
He let loose a few more choice expletives. Trust Pepper to have a killer right hook.
The stars in his eyes cleared just in time for him to watch her turn and stomp toward the porch steps and up to the front door of the cabin.
“Feel better now?” he called out to her retreating back.
Her answering response was a decisively unladylike hand gesture over her shoulder before she entered the cabin and slammed the door behind her.
He rubbed his jaw for a few seconds before turning and walking to the car door. Peering inside, he glimpsed the keys still dangling from the ignition.
Reaching inside, he pocketed the keys before popping the hood of the SUV open.
“Well, let the games begin,” he muttered to himself as he walked to the front of the car and reached under the hood.
He barely winced in pain as a smile spread across his face while he reached into the belly of the car and yanked out a bundle of wires.

Laurel Cremant
 Author Bio:

Laurel is a romance author, who like most writers loves to read. Her first love (pun intended) has always been romance. From the sappy YA romance novel to the more risqué erotica novels, Laurel is a sucker for a good love story.

Laurel writes paranormal and contemporary romance and is a self proclaimed, out of the closet nerd. She admits that she can't seem to avoid adding a bit of "nerdology" or "geek-dom" to all of her books. Living in Miami, she also admits that she can't seem to avoid giving her heroines gorgeous shoes, "In Miami, we worship everything strappy, open toed and just plain hot!"

Author Links

The Never

The Never by Kristina Circelli
Genre: Fantasy for 18+

“Out of nothing, we create something.”
Arianna has spent her entire life being called a dreamer, an artist who created a world no one else can see. And for her entire life, she has taken the medication that keeps that world – and the one who brought her there – at bay.
Now an adult, Arianna reawakens that part of herself kept locked away in the darkest corners of her mind. When she hides her medicine from her fiancé’s ever-watchful eye, he returns – the shadow in the night who collects her for an adventure known only in her fantasies.
But something is different about this world called The Never. It is no longer the cheerful place filled with light and laughter that she knew as a child. Now, the sea creatures drag their visitors into the depths of murky waters. The natives battle to the death against the tribe of children. And the pirates, led by the feared captain called The Hunter, seek out Arianna for their own sinister plans.
As Arianna goes deeper into The Never, she discovers just what her connection to the land means – and must choose between her life rooted in reality, and the world where anything is possible.

The Never is currently FREE on Amazon, from now until the 20th!! Head over to Amazon to take advantage of the deal!

Chapter 4 - No Longer a Child

      She saw him off, making earnest promises to always remember her medication, putting on the happiest face she could manage until his car disappeared down the driveway. Lily the puppy pulled on her new leash, eager to explore her surroundings. Although the sun was setting, Arianna allowed the dog to pull her into the woods, taking her on an evening stroll before they settled in for the night. Lily sniffed at the plants as she passed them, pouncing on flickering shadows and barking at nonexistent figures.
      Arianna laughed softly as she watched the puppy play, giving her plenty of room on the leash to wander and explore. She’d always wanted a dog as a child, only to be told by her mother that animals were dirty and not meant to be kept as pets. The refusal only fueled her desire, as did the promises that maybe, if she was good and took her medicine, then a puppy would one day be hers to hold and cherish.
      The sun slipped below the horizon, casting the woods in shadows. Arianna glanced over her shoulder and was comforted by the glow of lights in the cabin not too far in the distance. She tried not to wander too far from home at night, knowing what dangers lurked in a forest of heavy brush and wildlife. John didn’t  like her strolling through the woods at dark – or during the day, for that matter – so she tried not to upset him by staying close to home.
      “A gift of life, to keep death at bay.”
      Arianna turned about, searching for the familiar voice. She saw only night and darkness instead. Her heart beat wildly, both at the surprise intrusion and the possibilities of what the voice’s return may mean. “What…what death?”
      “Death of love, of heart, of soul.”
      She took in a deep breath, grip tightening on the leash. She wanted to see the figure’s face, needed to see it. Lily sensed her new owner’s hesitation and barked once, taking a stance at her master’s feet. “Who are you?” Arianna asked, narrowing her eyes.
      “You know who I am. You have known me since you were a child.”
      “I knew a child as a child. You sound like a man.” She felt a brush of fingers against her neck, as though a hand was pulling her hair back. She turned but saw only empty air.
      “I have watched you, Arianna of the Stars. I have watched you, dreamed with you, grown up with you.”
      Lily pulled at the leash and scratched at Arianna’s ankles, eager to get away from whatever was agitating her master. Arianna let the leash slip through her fingers, not noticing the dog as she ran back for the cabin on four wobbly legs and waited on the back steps, whimpering quietly.
      Free to wander on her own, the enraptured woman began to walk, slowly passing tree after tree. Her hands grazed over tree trunks, eyes grazed over leaves and shrubs. Moonlight streamed in through the canopy, creating a white glow that softened the night setting. “Who are you?” Her repeated question traveled a light breeze, laughter echoing back at her.
      “I am the one you dream of, the one you seek.”
      She saw something then, an outline moving through the trees. The figure was watching her, moving with her. If she looked hard enough, she could almost see a face, eyes. Not bright eyes, but seeking, piercing nonetheless. “Who are you?”
      Those eyes, dark green and ever watchful, latched on to hers. They followed her as they walked, peering around leaf and branch, staring through the moonlight. “I am the dream. I am the reality,” he answered, voice like a secret spoken in hushed whispers. “I am the eternal. I am the forgotten.” They moved closer together in the woods, yet still at a distance. “I am the always. I am the never.”
      Something inside her mind clicked. Arianna paused between two trees, one hand on either trunk. She knew that name. In the farthest corners of her mind, she remembered, and the memory hardened in her gut. Oh yes, she knew, and wished that her mind wasn’t suddenly filled with recollections of salted shores and pale pink skies. “You are not The Never. The Never left me. The Never forsook me. The Never forgot me.”
“No,” came the soothing, reassuring croon. “The Never did not forget you. The Never could not reach you, Arianna of the Stars.”
“Stop calling me that,” Arianna snapped, taking a step back. “Stop pretending to be him. Tell me who you are.”
“I have told you. You must believe me”
She heard the desperation in his request, but ignored it and instead slipped a hand in her pocket. “Have it your way. I know how to get rid of you.” She swallowed the blue pill and he reacted fast, exploding into her line of vision and grabbing her wrist.
“What was that?” he demanded. “What did you take?”
Unable to respond, Arianna simply stared up at him. This was not the boy the remembered, the boy who spoke to her as a child and led her on exciting other-worldly adventures. This was a man, perhaps a year older than her, perhaps even a year or two younger. There was something innocent about his forest green, almond-shaped eyes, and yet, something very sinister in the way he pressed his full lips together in a knowing smirk. His jawline was strong, as were his cheekbones, strong enough to take one of many hits she suspected he was used to enduring, and maybe even encouraged.
      He was tan, the tan of a man who spent his days in the sun, with wild hair the color of the setting sun. For the briefest of moments she longed to run her fingers through those thick locks, which hung down to his ears in messy strands. Bamboo pieces decorated his ears, pierced through twice in each.
His clothing, if that’s what it could be called, matched his eyes. His torso was wrapped in a soft, thin shirt that clung to his skin, with wide straps that crisscrossed at his shoulders to reveal finely toned muscle. The deep green of a material Arianna didn’t recognize covered his legs with leaf-shaped designs, ending just below the knees. He was barefoot, which only added to his mysterious aura. Strapped around his waist was a leather belt, with a dagger sheathed at his side.
Boy had most certainly become man.
“What did you take?” he asked again when she only gazed at him. His grip tightened on her wrist, causing her to wince.
“Um…just, just my medicine.”
“Medicine.” He said the word quietly, as though trying to understand it. Then he took her by the shoulders, almost too urgently. “Medicine! You must never take it again.”
Her brow furrowed. “I have to. It keeps me well.”
“No. You must never take it, my Arianna. It is why I could not find you for so long, why we could not be together.”
Arianna hesitated, savoring the feel of his rough hands on her bare skin. She had never known this figure in her dreams as a man, and was fascinated by the creature he had become. “We…we had adventures together, as children?”
He smiled, gently brushing back a strand of her hair. “Yes, we did. You cannot remember them all now, but you will. Promise me you will not take your medicine again. Promise me, and I will return tomorrow to show you what you have forgotten. We will fly from this place, and have our adventures again.”
An internal alarm was triggered, a familiar word, a familiar worry. Arianna ignored it and smiled up at him just before he faded into the night. “I promise.”

A lover of the written word since the time she first picked up a pen, Kristina Circelli shares her passion for fiction in her multi-genre novels.
Circelli is the author of several fiction books, including The Sour Orange Derby, a young adult novel about family and childhood imagination steeped in southern traditions; Beyond the Western Sun, Walk the Red Road, and Into the Shadow Realm of The Whisper Legacy, which centers on Native American cultures and the legends that come to life in the spirit realm; and The Helping Hands, a book that follows a gang of friends who rescue abused children. 
Currently, Circelli works as a copywriter, author, book editor, and creative writing professor at the University of North Florida, where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English. She resides in Florida, with her husband and two kittens.

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