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Blog Tour & Review!!! – Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

HappilyEverNinja_Tour

Happily Ever Ninja

by Penny Reid

Publication Date:

Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor

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Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except… not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in

the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5

About the Author

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like

thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

IndieSageBlogger

 

Review:

Penny Reid – You will never ever be bored reading any story of hers. Any chance you think you’ve been there, read that? Then it’s probably time to give a Penny Reid book a go. I can be a fickle reader at the best of times… At the worst I’m downright schizophrenic, however these books have never failed to keep me loyal…

Happily Ever Ninja is the latest instalment in the Knitting in the City series… The series follows the love lives of a group of women united by the love of knitting/crocheting/generally being awesome. I’ve personally been waiting for this book with a lot of curiosity… The character Fiona has been married to her husband Greg for a long time… long enough to already have a couple of kids… So I was so interested to see how you could approach a ‘romance’ where the 2 characters were already signed, sealed and delivered!

Turns out you can make this one of the most interesting stories in the series to date. It doesn’t rely on just one formula, instead it very cleverly mixes the mundane realities of married life with kids with the more intriguing and unexpected realities of current events and global issues that to be honest, you will never ever expect. It takes a clever touch to try and meld these together and I’m not sure that it would work every time… But under Penny’s careful guidance it just does. It works. It’s interesting, and interesting will always get my vote.

I’m not going to give away the plot, it deserves to be read and discovered. However I will say, before you read this book you really should take the time to read the short story about Greg & Fiona’s meeting (Ninja at First Sight). It will add so much more to the story if you do.

This latest offering is yet another example of everything that is good about authors who love to write different stories and push the boundaries. I love that every time I start a new Penny Reid book I never quite know what to expect. Long may it continue!

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Release Day Blitz and Review: The Air He Breathes by Brittany C. Cherry

Title: The Air He Breathes

Author: Romance Elements #1

Cover Design: Brittainy C. Cherry

Genre: Romance

 Release Date: September 25, 2015

Blurb

I was warned about Tristan Cole.

“Stay away from him,” people said.

“He’s cruel.”

“He’s cold.”

“He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.

But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty.

We were both looking for something else. Something more.

We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.

Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK


My Review

“You know that place in between nightmares and dreams? The place where tomorrows never come and yesterdays don’t hurt anymore? The place where your heart beats in sync with mine? The place where time doesn’t exist, and it’s easy to breathe? I want to live there with you.”

This book! I have no words. You know how there are just some books that move you? They give you so many feels. They become a part of you and just consume you. You know, that book makes you want to do nothing else, but read that book? It’s that good, that it seems like time doesn’t exist? Well, for me, this is that book.

From the moment I started this book, I was pulled in. I was a goner. That prologue totally did me in and I had to read more. The Air He Breathes is told from dual points of view and follows the story of Tristan and Elizabeth. Tristan and Elizabeth are two lost souls who are no strangers to loss. They are both trying to just take one day, one moment at a time. Tristan is the man that the whole town is afraid of. He has the nickname of the town asshole and doesn’t do much to prove people wrong. Elizabeth is the first person in a long time to actually see past what Tristan is putting out there. As time goes on, the two of them bond over those that they’ve lost. For a while, it’s easy to pretend, until real feelings become involved. The road to HEA for Elizabeth and Tristan is not an easy one. It is one that is filled with many obstacles, insecurities and twists that I don’t think anyone saw coming.

The Air He Breathes is beautifully written and at times heart-breaking. Tristan and Elizabeth’s story was so real, so moving. It was exactly what a second chance romance should be. Their story filled me with hope and showed that it was ok to love again and it was ok to move on; that there is light amongst the darkness. And the writing. Gosh, the writing. It was captivating. It was  so beautiful and at times just made my heart so full. I mean with lines like these: “You don’t have to be good all the times. It’s okay to be hurt sometimes. It’s okay to feel lost like you’re wandering around in the dark. It’s the bad days that makes the good ones so much better.” or “If love was a moment, this would be where it existed.” or even “Sometimes the hardest part of existing without your loved ones was remembering how to breathe.” I was just lost in the words…..

This review is really hard for me to write because I just have no words. I don’t feel that I possess the right words to do this book the justice that it deserves; to make you understand just how amazing this read is. This book was so special. I could really tell just how much heart and soul the author put into it. For me, this book really touched my heart. I have never experienced loss the way that these two characters have, but their story, it captured my heart and really made me feel things. It’s one of those stories that I know will stay with me for a very long time.

If you’ve been thinking about reading this book, I highly recommend that you do. You will not be disappointed. This book will take you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It will make you feel. It will touch your heart. It will give you hope. It will make you fall in love and believe in second chances. I don’t know what else to say other than I Loved This Book!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via Give Me Books Promotions, in exchange for an honest review*

Author Bio

Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing–poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she’s not running a million errands and crafting stories, she’s probably playing with her adorable pets.

Author Links

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Book Review – Grayson’s Vow by Mia Sheridan

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No two Mia Sheridan books are ever the same. Each book of hers is a new and refreshing experience. Her stories are a vibrant mix of her beautiful writing, lovable characters and some of THE most gorgeous settings I’ve ever read about. In Grayson’s Vow we follow the story of an imperfect pair of strangers who come together in a marriage of convenience, but who end up falling into a deep and long lasting love. I was absolutely hooked from the very first chapter.

Kira Dallaire is desperate.

Some challenges in life seem too hard to overcome. With little money, and even fewer options, the quick-witted and vibrant twenty-two-year-old needs to reinvent herself. Known for her generous heart and impulsive personality, she devises a survival plan, possibly her most outrageous idea yet.

Grayson Hawthorn is losing hope.

Some obstacles in life seem too hard to overcome. Betrayal definitely being one of them. With limited capital, and dwindling resources, he is attempting to resurrect his failing family vineyard, a self-imposed vow seemingly destined to fail. That is until a young woman enters his office with an outlandish, unexpected proposition impossible to refuse.

What begins as a temporary business arrangement, soon evolves into more as vivacious, spirited Kira challenges detached, arrogant Grayson to want more from life. To want more for himself. But as their wills clash and fiery passion ignites, they’ll realize that sometimes the past creates walls too difficult to climb, and that lies and deception rarely precede a happily every after.

As Kira and Grayson race toward their destiny, they will discover that some vows are meant to be broken, and others are worth risking everything for . . . even your very own heart.

Mia Sheridan is well known for her intensely deep, and often dark and desperate romances, but Grayson’s Vow didn’t seem to carry a lot of that heaviness that her other stories have. It had a lighter. almost summery feel to it that left me feeling very satisfied throughout that book. Don’t get me wrong, it still had some pretty serious undertones, but not the stark, bleak, desperation I’ve felt (and loved) from the last 2 or 3 books of hers. This is what I mean by each of her books being so different – I love that she changed things up and gave us, the readers, something different but equally as beautiful.

The story is told in dual POV so you get to fully experience and appreciate both sides of the story. Their personality traits seemed to balance each other out perfectly – I enjoyed Kira’s playful and mischievous side equally as much as I swooned over Grayson’s damaged hero vibe he had going on – yin and yang.

Grayson’s Vow was blast from start to finish with elements of everything that make up a great romance – fantastic writing, broody hero, sassy-pants heroine, gorgeous supporting characters, all wrapped up in a beautiful setting. This is another winner by Mia Sheridan!

*ARC received in exchange for review – thank you!

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Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

Truth or Beard

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-headed heart is she willing to risk?

I have been acting like some next level creeper-stalker person over this book… Ever since I read the excerpt for this story in the Shiver Anthology last year I’ve been counting down the months until I could get my hands on ALL of the story. So when I finally got hold of it last week I was a very VERY happy human. Since everyone knows my Penny Reid fan status (Big, HUGE fan) I’m going to try and keep this review less on the fan-girl side and more on the explaining why I’m fan-girling so much side…. So here goes!

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters most, in the end” – Ernest Hemingway

Truth or Beard is the first instalment in the series that Penny Reid has dedicated to the 6 Winston brothers who were first introduced to us in Beauty and the Mustache. I love this idea, I love how this series connects with the Knitting in the City series. I love how we are going to get a (much) more in-depth look at each brother and his story, because they were so intriguing in BatM. And most of all I love how I just know that Penny will take each brother and create a story that is as unique as he is. Starting here, with Duane.

I love Duane! Yes, he comes across distant and broody on the outside, but once I got into his head he was so much more. The depth of his feelings made him a complex character. For a lot of the book he was battling his own emotions as much as he was battling Jessica’s. He had big plans for the two of them and no matter what he wanted to make sure everything was planned and executed to perfection so that he could give her everything that he felt she deserved. However, what Duane didn’t take into account was that life can’t be organized perfectly, sometimes you just have to live and chase your dreams. He was so busy trying to do the right thing by everyone that he almost missed out on his own dream in the process.

He nibbled on my ear, whispering my name like it was a dirty word – but not a curse word – a dirty word. Something erotic and scandalous. I had an odd thought then, that I liked my name on his lips more when it was whispered.

Jessica was instantly likeable. I loved that she was busy obsessing over travelling and experiencing the world rather than obsessing over finding a husband and a white picket fence. She had long dreamed of all of the places she would go and she was determined. So determined, that when her heart started to travel on it’s own path she had no idea what to make of it or how to reconcile the fact that even if she hadn’t planned on love, it may have found her and if it had found her, then how on earth was she going to be free to embark on her childhood dream?

Penny Reid is super duper talented at dual POVs. She knocks it out of the park every time. The tone, the subtle details, these things really make all the difference when you’re the reader. She always gets it right and this book is no different. So I LOVED having the book set up like this, the story called for it. It really added to the back and forth between Jessica and Duane. The angst of not knowing what to do next with their feelings, the hotness of the hot looks, the intricacies of their relationship and themselves… All of these things were magnified from being able to look through both sets of eyes.

…I wanted to hold on to this moment for as long as possible, because it was the first time – and maybe the only time in my life – I felt truly seen, known and understood. And I wanted to give him everything in return. I wanted him to know I saw him. I knew him, too.

So! Like I promised, fan-girling moments aside… I  FREAKING loved this book! Penny Reid is an exceptionally talented writer who never shies away from writing exactly the type of story she feels like she needs to write. I’m positive this is why her books always hit the mark and why every time I read a new one I find it harder and harder to have a firm favourite. This is a definite must read whether you are familiar with Penny Reid’s work or not. This book… This freaking book It’s definitely made it into my top reads of the year that’s for sure,

ARC received in return for an honest review

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Book Review – Maybe by Amber L. Johnson

I am always keen on an ARC of an Amber L. Johnson book. Keen as a bean. Amber L. Johnson has a knack for writing characters that I LOVE. Always different, always interesting, you won’t find any same/same in any of her books. Maybe was told in true ALJ style – original, engaging, heart melting. 

Letting go is hard. Admitting you need each other is harder.

Emily Portman loves her job. A writer for Breakout! Magazine, she shadows and showcases up-and-coming bands. When her next assignment takes her to Austin, Texas, she can’t wait to add the city to her map of places she’s visited. Places she’s left without looking back. Her plan is to keep moving on, and the last thing she needs is a man holding her back. She’s not going down that road again.

Tyler Macy is stuck in a rut. Despite his exceptional talent as a musician, he has chosen to take a back seat with his music and let others grab the limelight. Wounded and mistrustful, he doesn’t appreciate his friends’ efforts to bring him back to center stage. Emily comes onto the scene and sees his full potential, but he fights to stay in the shadows, shutting her out before she can add to the scars another woman gave him.

For Tyler to find his music again, he needs to accept the help that Emily and their friends offer. When he discovers that his muse lies underneath Emily’s skin, it is still not enough to keep her from walking away. Neither will admit what they really want until it is too late.

Emily is once again thrown in Tyler’s path when she is assigned to join them on tour. Despite the pain in his past, Tyler sees that she is worth it, even if she’s stolen both his heart and peace of mind. In order for them to be together, they both must discover whether the music and their passion are enough to overcome the obstacles that separate them.

Maybe finding love is worth the risk.

Maybe is a little different to the other books I have read by Amber L. Johnson, but the common theme among theme is a very sweet, very real love. Her stories tend to be low on angst and high on quality content. All too often it’s easy to get so caught up in the angst between two character that their real story and true personalities get lost amongst the drama. This is not the case at all in Maybe. Both characters had depth and charisma that kept the reader fully engaged in their story. However, I loved Emily and Tyler so much I wouldn’t have minded having a little more back story on them, and on Emily in particular. I felt like there was room to get to know her just a little more. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that Maybe took me a little longer than usual to get into BUT it’s entirely possible (and, in fact, probable) that this was a ‘me’ thing and not an ‘it’ thing. Once my full attention was captured there was no putting this book down. 

Once again Amber L. Johnson has proved herself to be one of my favorites. BOOM! Bring on the next ALJ .book!

**ARC provided in exchange for review

 

Connect with Amber L. Johnson!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amberlynnejohnson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/whereisjakeryan
Website: http://www.amberlynnejohnson.com/

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Blog Tour and Review: Second Debt (Indebted #3) by Pepper Winters

Second Debt by Pepper Winter  is LIVE!

Read the dark & sexy continuation to Jethro & Nila’s Story!

NOW AVAILABLE

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1uK1Sjc

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1z6Ea2g

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1ufkO3z

Nook: http://bit.ly/1xRAbAv

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1xgCSvb

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1BRsIGR

Synopsis

“I tried to play a game. I tried to wield deceit as perfectly as the Hawks. But when I thought I was winning, I wasn’t. Jethro isn’t what he seems—he’s the master of duplicity. However, I refuse to let him annihilate me further.”

Nila Weaver has grown from naïve seamstress to full-blown fighter. Every humdrum object is her arsenal, and sex…sex is her greatest weapon of all.

She’s paid the First Debt. She’ll probably pay more.

But she has no intention of letting the Hawks win.

Jethro Hawk has found more than a worthy adversary in Nila—he’s found the woman who could destroy him. There’s a fine line between hatred and love, and an even finer path between fear and respect.

The fate of his house rests on his shoulders, but no matter how much ice lives inside his heart, Nila flames too bright to be extinguished.


Excerpt :

I’D TAKEN HER, but ultimately, she’d taken me.

I’d tried to destroy her, but serendipitously, she’d destroyed me.

This was the beginning of the end.

Not the end of my feelings for her but the way of my life, my world.

Something would have to change.

Something would have to give…..

Someone would have to die.

I EXISTED WITH a brain full of betrayal, schemes, and plotting.

Living with the Hawks was utterly exhausting. Every day was a challenge to figure out the truths from the lies. But no matter how hard I worked, I could never seem to unravel reality from fiction.

He’d won.

And with a winner came a loser. One triumphant and one depressed. A trophy over misery.

Two days had passed since Kestrel had granted the truth to one huge mystery. Two days in which I hadn’t been able to think of anything else.

I wanted to hate Jethro for duping me—for stringing me along like an idiot.

But whenever my anger boiled over, needing desperately to confront him, I remembered one thing.

One important, vital thing.

He’d initiated contact before he was told.

He’d communicated with me almost as if it were a cry for help, rather than a plot to deceive.

If this were another trick, then so help him, I’d find a way to castrate him.

But, somehow, I didn’t think it was.

I had a horrible feeling this was the one way that he would let me in. An avenue of truths that he felt comfortable enough to continue, because a silent written word didn’t have as much weight as a loudly spoken one.

Which brought me back to my vitally important conclusion:

Jethro wants to be honest.

He wanted to stop playing charades and show me everything he kept hidden.

He wanted to talk to someone. Perhaps, for the first time in his life, he wasn’t satisfied with the hand life dealt him and…

Stop fabricating excuses.

All day, I’d been coming up with theories on why he was how he was and reading too far into things that he’d done.

It could be as simple as: he’d been told to get in touch. Told to initiate contact in a way that could potentially mould me into a more submissive captive, especially if I were to believe he was on my side.

I wanted to believe he’d acted against his father. But no matter how much I wished it, it didn’t make it was true.

How do you explain the knowing then?

I slouched against my pillows in bed. That was true. A part of me just seemed to know. Call it either sheer idiocy or feminine intuition. I believed he’d texted me because I was the first outsider permitted into his world—the only one not a Hawk.

My brain hurt.

When we were alone, when we weren’t arguing or fighting, there was an enchanting 

calmness. A connection.

Closing my eyes, I let my mind skip back to Kes’s unwilling promise. The way his eyes had darkened with secrets as I’d collapsed into his arms from the vertigo spell two days ago.

“Nila?”

A crushing headache appeared from nowhere. It was the most I could do to stay present and not permit my mind to relive every text Jethro had sent to see the hidden agendas now that I knew it was him.

“I’m—I’m okay. You can let me go.” I struggled out of Kes’s embrace, my skin humming from his touch. I needed some space. I needed a world full of space to get over the treachery and lies.

“You didn’t know? You hadn’t guessed?” Kes crossed his arms, never taking his golden eyes from mine.

I glowered. “How could I know? I thought the messages were from you!”

He flinched. “Yes, that was the plan. To make you believe it was me, so he could continue on with whatever little mind games he was playing.” Leaning closer, he added, “I haven’t been privy to any of the messages he sent you or you sent him—so don’t feel like I’ve intruded on details that I shouldn’t.”

Anger infused my blood. “If you were both in on it—why didn’t he show you the messages? Why were you so nice to me? What does all of this mean?”

Kes moved away, reclining against a sapling. “I was nice because that’s just who I am. Yes, I come from a family with twisted up morals and I’m loyal to those twisted up morals, but I also did it out of loyalty to my brother. If you’re pissed, direct it all on him. Not me.”

“Oh, believe me. I’m pissed. Beyond pissed.” My hands balled as my mind filled with crazy ideas of retribution and revenge. I would make him pay.

“I’d cool down before you spring it on him. Best to keep it quiet. Cut doesn’t know. It was just me who knew Jet had been in touch with you before he was given the go-ahead to collect you in Milan.”

I froze. “Why did he initiate conversation with me almost five weeks before he could claim me?”

Kes shook his head. “The day I understand my brother is the day I’ll gamble my entire inheritance on the stock market. I can’t work him out. The only thing I can do is be there for him. And I only found out ‘cause he changed pretty much around the same time he started messaging you. Something was different—we’re close. So, I saw it before the others.”

My brain throbbed trying to figure out just what had changed in Jethro. He’d seemed the perfect Hawk when he’d come to collect me. Cold as ice and deadly as a sword.

Now that I knew his secret, I had power. And I had no intention of giving that power back. Jethro had been playing me for far too long. He’d successfully screwed with my head. It was time for payback. “Don’t tell him that I know.”

Kes’s eyes popped wide. “Pardon?”

“You heard me. Don’t tell Jethro about today. Let him continue to think I’m clueless.” My heart frothed with rage and unhappiness. I was so stupid to believe I’d gotten through to him on some level. The sex between us left both of us stripped bare. Something more than family feuds and hatred existed when he slid inside me and sent both of us shattering into dust.

I’d let him inside me. In so many ways. It was my turn to do the same.

“You know I can’t do that, Nila. As welcome as you are in our household, and as much as I like hanging out with you, I can’t betray Jet. Not after everything he’s been through.”

I pounced on the small thread of truth about my tormentor. “What has he been through, Kes? Tell me and I’ll march back to the Hall right now and tell him myself.”

Kes shifted uncomfortably, refusing to meet my eyes. “Slip of the tongue. Forget it.”

Crossing my arms, I hissed, “Fine. Seeing as you’re so capable of keeping secrets, keep this one for me.”

Kes scowled. “Keeping my own flesh and blood’s issues hidden isn’t the same thing as helping out a Weaver.”

My heart raced. If Jethro hadn’t taught me how to stand up for myself, I would’ve cowered at the thought of being so pushy with a full-grown man all alone in a forest. Now, I was raging and fully intended to get my own way. “Give me two weeks. Two weeks before you tell him that I know. Do that and I’ll be forever grateful.”

His shoulders slumped in defeat. “How can you be forever grateful when forever isn’t something anyone has.”

Especially me, seeing as my lifespan was destined to be significantly shorter than his.

“Just…please, Kestrel. One favour.”

It took him a while to give in. His allegiance to his brother was strong.

Finally, he huffed. “Fine. But it won’t save you from his temper when he finds out.”

However, I had no intention of suffering Jethro’s wrath. I had every right to deceive him after he did it to me. My revelations were safe—for now. I trusted that Kes wouldn’t say anything. I didn’t know why, but on some level I did trust Kes—just enough to use him in my plans. And I was fully committed to tripping Jethro up.

It was his turn to divulge things he might not have if he’d known the truth. Hiding behind the pretence that Kite was Kes had made him softer the past few weeks. I would use that chink to make the crevice I’d been trying to form since I gave him a blowjob after hunting me down.

I couldn’t think about anything else. I couldn’t focus on sketching, sewing, reading.

Nothing.

My brain was a whirly-gig of Jethro. Kite. Jethro. Kite.

And I’d had enough.

Throwing myself out of bed after another sleepless night, I wrenched back the curtains and glowered at the dismal weather.

The watery dawn did nothing to inspire either anger or contentment. The sky was grey. Fog looked like haunting ghosts, threading its ghoulish tentacles over the lower woodland of the estate. No birds chirped or sun shone.

Summer had truly abandoned us. The bite in the air shouted ‘go back to bed where it’s warm’ but my brain had no such intention.

I hadn’t relaxed for two days. I’d stared at my phone, determined to text Jethro and trip him into revealing everything he kept secret, only to stare blankly at an empty message.

Now that I knew it was him, my willingness to show so much had gone. Knowledge was power and he had too much of mine already. How could I dig deeper into his mystery while maintaining all of mine?

The answer—I couldn’t. And that made me incredibly nervous. To find out who he truly was, I had to show everything that made me real. And despite the emotional growth spurt I’d endured at the hands of the Hawks, I wasn’t ready to evolve again. I’d lost so much of myself already—how much was I prepared to leave behind before I became a perfect stranger?

“Ah!” I dug my fingers into my hair. I needed a reprieve from my racing thoughts, and I knew exactly how to do it.

Mother Nature’s sudden urge to switch seasons from summer to winter couldn’t stop my itch.

I needed fresh air, and I needed it now.

Racing around my room in the new Weaver quarters where Jethro had made me beg and come apart with his cock deep inside me, I found my black spandex shorts and highlighter pink sports bra. Pulling the clothing on, followed by my sneakers, I quickly smoothed my hair into a bun, and shot from the room.

I hadn’t worn my exercise gear since the morning of the Milan runway show. I’d sprinted until I’d collapsed off the treadmill at the hotel, hoping I could dispel my anxiety enough to hide my stupid nerves and prevent a vertigo spell in front of the press.

It had worked—mainly. Until Jethro arrived, of course.

The moment when I’d set eyes upon him, I’d been done for. He’d been so dashing with his suit, tie, and diamond pin. So perfectly refined with his elegant haircut, chiselled physique, and sculptured lips. Even though his soul was dark, his body had summoned me.

He’d called to me, and like the stupid Weaver I was, I’d followed him blindly.

Now, it’s his turn to follow my whims, my rules.

Jogging down the corridor, my racing mind and temper eased, already reacting to the stress relief I’d sought all my life.

I need him out.

It wasn’t fair. I was supposed to seduce him and make him care for me—not the other way around. I wasn’t supposed to fall for my own games.

Lust was as dangerous as love. Only it was worse because it had the power to make even the worst ideas seem plausible—and even recommended—when a sexual reward was given.

The moment Jethro gave in and kissed me, I’d betrayed more than just myself. I’d betrayed my entire family line and all the Weaver women who’d died before me.

I had feelings for him.

A dangerous softness toward my would-be-killer.

It has to end.

I had to find a way to seduce him…to make him love me, all while I kept my heart frigid and locked away in an ice fortress.

I laughed under my breath. You sound just like him. I wanted to turn into the female equivalent of his glacial shell.

Only, ice wasn’t impervious. Ice melted and succumbed to fire.

I’d proven that over the past month.

The house breathed around me with gentle heartbeats only ancient dwellings could have. Spirits of past generations lived in its walls, revenants danced in the drapery, and figments of long forgotten lovers floated through the tapestries.

A grandfather clock tick-tocked as I jogged past, showing the time at six thirty a.m.

After being privy to the business meetings with Kes and the Black Diamonds, I knew the men never got up this early. They worked late, dealing with shipments and the transportation of stones worth more than any dress I could sew. Darkness was their asset, the sun their foe.

At least I could run and be back before anyone tried to stop me.

I didn’t want them to draw the wrong conclusion that I was trying to escape again. I blinked as I ran head first into a horrendous conclusion.

Even if you found the boundary this morning, you wouldn’t leave.

My heart thumped harder at the tangled web I lived.

Freedom was something I wanted more than anything. But even if I escaped the Hawks, I would only run back into the trap of pity and vertigo. I wanted more than that. I deserved more than that.

If I found the estate edge, I wouldn’t disappear. I couldn’t.

My captivity wasn’t just about me anymore. It was about the future. It was about Jethro.

Admit it…

It was about living.

The passion, the intensity, the blazing ferocity of existing with enemies and plotting beneath their noses was a much worthier cause than sitting at home sewing for the masses.

This was about me. Me standing up for myself, and for a future I wanted, not a future already planned for me.

This was about so many twisted things.

I wrenched open the French doors at the end of the corridor and stumbled into the foggy dawn. Fresh air welcomed me and I found a reprieve from my scrambled thoughts.

I can’t forget my ultimate plan.

No matter how Jethro endeared himself to me—giving me glimpses of someone barely coping inside his wintry armor—I wasn’t going to forget my goal.

Freedom.

Not just for myself, but for the rest of my legacy. My children and their children and their children’s children would never have to go through this. I intended to be the last Weaver stolen.

It’s time for a new debt—one that owes us life, not death.

Sucking in lungfuls of crisp air, I steeled myself in what I had to do. In order to win, I had to guard my soul. I had to play along with Jethro’s mind games and hope to God I won first.

A cool breeze whistled through the trees, sounding like haunted laments. I shivered, wishing I’d brought a jacket.

You’ll be sweating in ten minutes. Ignore it.

Gritting my teeth against the cold, I bent over and stretched my quads. The tug and slow release of muscles was heaven after the stress of the past few days.

My body hummed with the knowledge it was about to run.

And run.

And run.

For fun this time, not for survival.

Bouncing on the spot, I rolled my shoulders, eyeing up the sweeping lawn before me. If I went right, I’d loop around the stables. If I went left, I’d cut through the sprawling rose garden and orchards.

Go straight.

Down the meandering path that disappeared over the horizon.

I switched from bouncing to jogging.

“And just where do you think you’re going?” a cool voice whispered through the silver fog.

I wrenched to a stop, peering behind me.

No one.

“I thought you’d realised running wasn’t a viable option, Ms. Weaver.”

His icy voice sent a strange mixture of hot and cold desire down my spine. Jethro morphed into being, seeming to solidify from the mist like a terrible poltergeist. He leaned against one of the pillars holding up the portico, crossing his arms.

My heart collapsed, unable to untangle the maze of hypocrisy between us. My skin begged for his touch. My lips tingled for his. Every inch of me craved what he could deliver.

Heat. Passion. An eruption that I felt in every cell.

But none of that was real.

And I refused to believe in trickery any longer.

Mirroring his body language, I crossed my arms. “I realise escaping isn’t a viable option. But I’m not escaping. I’m running. Running is my only option to escape the mess you’ve made.”

His jaw clenched. “The mess I’ve made?”

“Yes.” I took a step backward as he advanced. “You’re messing me up, and I’m done playing whatever it is that you’re doing.” I sucked in courage and embraced honesty. It seemed to work around him, and I needed him to see how serious I was. How hurt I was with his deception.

He’s Kite.

Bastard.

Baring my teeth, I said, “It seems I have a weakness for you, but I changed my mind. I don’t—”

A low growl escaped him. “A weakness? You call what happened between us a fucking weakness?”

My breathing ratcheted as if I’d already run two miles. “The worst kind of weakness.”

He smiled, but no mirth entered his gaze. If anything, his golden eyes were luminous with anger. “You’re the one who started it…Nila.”

I gasped at the delicious decadence of my name on his lips. The sound echoed in his mouth, shooting straight to my core.

Shit.

Jethro advanced again, his body trembling with barely veiled lust. “You’re the one who created this problem.” His hand came up, fingers slinking through my tied-up hair, tightening around the back of my skull. “I can’t hear the name Weaver without getting fucking hard. I can’t even think of you without boiling with need.”

His nose brushed against mine, his lips so damn close to stealing all my scrambled plans and sending me headfirst into a life of debauchery.

“You should never have said those two words, Ms. Weaver. I told you. We’re both fucked now.”

My mind was blank, every synapse focusing on his fingers in my hair and his mouth only millimetres from mine. “What two words?”

He chuckled. The sound was self-deprecating and almost morbid with dark intensity. “Kiss me.”

I shivered in his hold. “You’re reminding me of what started this mess, or you’re asking me to kiss you?”

Ask me. And I will. God, how I will.

I’d kiss him until I’d stripped him of his arctic armor and destroyed it, I’d lick him until I tasted his truth, and I’d bite him until I’d eaten every morsel of his soul.

I’d do all that so he had nowhere left to hide.

We stood wrapped in foggy silence. The drawn out anticipation of a kiss turned my legs to jelly. If he pressed his mouth to mine, I wouldn’t be going for my run. I would climb his body and impale myself on his cock.

Fakery be damned.

Kite’s messages and deceit be damned.

I just wanted a raw connection—with this man, who made my soul whimper for wrongness.

Jethro’s tongue slipped between his lips, hypnotising me. Then…he let me go. “No, I’m not asking you to kiss me. I won’t ever ask anything from you.”

I flinched as if he’d slapped me. “Why not?”

“Because I own you. Everything I want will be given, not requested.”

Double shit.

I should hate him. I should smite him. So, why did his every word seduce me, even while I knew his morals were chauvinistic and heartless?

Forcing my body to obey, I shoved the weakness I had for him as far away as possible. My eyes trailed down his front. He wore tan jodhpurs, black riding boots, and a tweed jacket. The bulge between his legs looked heavy and far too dangerous to be legal.

“You’ve been riding.”

A gentle gust of early morning air blew his scent directly into my nose. I inhaled, soaking my lungs in hay, horse, and all things Jethro.

He nodded, crossing his arms once again. “You run. I ride. Seems we have something else in common.”

Something other than being forced into this debt and finding each other irresistible, you mean?

“Oh, what’s that?”

Jethro stepped closer, seeming to bring shadows into the smoky light of dawn. “We both need time alone to hide from the things that chase us.” He stiffened, his eyes churning with things he refused to voice. A five o’ clock shadow decorated his strong jaw, his lips parted while his gaze was pure brimstone.

Swiftly, he cupped my cheek.

Oh, God.

Electricity instantly sparked beneath his fingertips.

Would I always suffer the rhapsody of his touch?

My skin smouldered; pinpricks of light, of fire, of hell, all burnished beneath his hold. I swayed, pressing my face harder into his palm.

He sucked in a breath, his fingers digging harder against my cheekbone.

The chemistry and need to devour each other thickened with every heartbeat.

One beat.

Two beat.

Three.

We stood there, frozen on the stoop of Hawksridge Hall just waiting for the other to move. The moment we did, our clothes would disintegrate and I would willingly let him drag me into a bush and fuck me.

Lust and tension swirled.

I had so many questions and doubts; so many reasons to hate and fear him. But when he touched me…poof.

I no longer remembered, nor cared.

We swayed closer, drawn against our will to close the aching distance.

I couldn’t breathe.

Kiss me. Please, kiss me.

The moment stretched until it hummed with overwhelming possibilities.

Then, it snapped.

Loudly.

Painfully.

Shattering around our feet.

“You’re too fucking dangerous,” Jethro muttered, removing his touch and stepping away. Dragging his hand through his hair, he commanded, “Wait here. Don’t go anywhere.” His hands went to his jacket buttons, undoing them with nimble fingers.

I blinked, struggling to shed myself of heavy need and focus on the true reason why I stood barely dressed in the freezing morning. “I’m not escaping. I’ll be back in forty minutes or so.”

He shook his head, slipping out of his tweed and revealing a black long-sleeved jumper.

My mouth went dry. Even in clothing, I could make out every ridge of muscle in his stomach, every ripple of energy as he breathed in and out. He was designed straight from my fantasies, and I hated him for being so splendid.

My core clenched, sending flutters of wetness between my legs.

I hadn’t seen him in two days, yet I’d panted after him as if he’d been missing my entire life.

If he suspected I knew that he was Kite, he hadn’t let on. After Kes had told me the truth, I’d waited for Jethro to barge into my room and swear me to secrecy.

But he hadn’t.

He didn’t look at me any differently; he gave no outward sign that his lies had begun to unravel. As much as he confounded and frustrated me, I couldn’t help admiring his perfection at hiding.

I wanted to be like him. I wanted to protect my secrets so damn well that whatever I did next would come as a surprise.

I wanted to rule him.

“I’m coming with you. Don’t leave.” He disappeared into the house, leaving me abandoned and covered in chills from both the morning air and his departure.

Jogging on the spot, I deliberated ignoring him and leaving.

Just go.

What was the worst that could happen? He’d have to chase me again. My tummy coiled at the thought. I liked that idea way too much. I liked the thought of what would happen after he found me.

The power I’d felt giving him that blowjob. The awe and attraction that’d glowed in his eyes.

I want that again.

Screw waiting like a good little captive.

Make him hunt.

And then I would make him explode.

I bolted.


My Review

Wow! Just wow! I am at a complete loss of words! What an amazing ride. I knew from the moment I read this:

“I’d TAKEN HER, but ultimately, she’d taken me. I’d tried to destroy her, but serendipitously, she’d destroyed me. This was the beginning of the end. Not the end of my feelings for her, but the way of my life, my world. Something would have to change. Something would have to give…. Someone would have to die.”

I knew  I was in for one hell of a ride and what a ride it was.  Second Debt picks up right where the last book left off. Nila finally knows the truth of the identity of Kite and is struggling with what to do with with this information. She is going to have to find a way to use it to her advantage. Now that the First Debt has been paid, we are left wondering what will be in store for us next. Is there any hope for Nila? She has grown so much stronger than when we first met her. Will she be able to prove the Hawks wrong and somehow win her freedom?

Jethro Hawk is trying to be the son that he was raised to be or so it appears. He’s tryin to “fix” himself, but is finding that his old ways are no longer working.  He’s quickly discovering that Nila is meaning  more to him than he ever thought was possible. He tries, man does he try to be cold and stay in the darkness……

“I knew where he was. He was in the dark abyss–the depth of pain where he normally lived. Only in the darkness existed stars and comets and lightning bolts just waiting to shatter and shower us with light”-Nila

As much as Jethro tries to fight it, he soon realizes that Nila may be his only salvation. As much as Jethro wants Nila to hate him, how can she hate someone who is just as trapped as she is? Jethro has somehow found his way into Nila’s heart and if that wasn’t bad enough, his own armor is cracking everyday. Little by little he is letting Nila in.There is a thin line between love and hate. Will love save them or will fear take over?

“She wanted me. All of me. The twisted parts. The dark parts. Me. She was…peace. She was….sanity. She was….home.”-Jethro

Second Debt is dark, sexy, thrilling and frustrating. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next: Would Nila finally get through to Jethro? Are we finally going to see who Jethro really is and what he hides behind is walls? Will Jethro and Nila’s secret be discovered? What is the second Debt? All of these questions will be answered and more.

The last few chapters….OMG!! There are no words. This book ends on one of the best cliffhangers I have ever encountered. I have soooo many questions, so many. As I said before this book takes you on one crazy ride and I can not wait to find out what is going to happen next!!!

* I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

*Quotes taken from ARC copy and may slightly differ from finalized copy*


Debt Inheritance (Book One) Indebted Series

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1kMqS41

Amazon UK: http://amzn.uk.to/1kMqS41

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1ptt8wO

 iTunes: http://bit.ly/1t7Qiug

 

First Debt (Book Two) Indebted Series

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1BjpblH

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1sMEyQo

Nook: http://bit.ly/10PcYWi

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1qmB3d7

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/15ijHdF

 

Second Debt (Book Three) Indebted Series

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1uK1Sjc

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1z6Ea2g

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1ufkO3z

Nook: http://bit.ly/1xRAbAv

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1xgCSvb

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1BRsIGR


About The Author

Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.

She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

Her Dark Erotica books include:

Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark #1)

Quintessentially Q (Monsters in the Dark #2)

Her Grey Romance books include:

Destroyed

STALK Pepper: Website | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY

Signed Paperback of Second Debt

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0

Spotlight Tour and Book Review: The Legend of Arturo King by L.B. Dunbar

Title: The Legend of Arturo King

Series: Legendary Rock Stars #1

Author: L.B. Dunbar

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 27, 2015


Synopsis:

My name is Arturo King, and I’m told I’m a legend in music. My band is called the Nights and we got our start at the underground Round Table in New York City. Raised by a foster father, I didn’t know the extent of my inheritance until I was twenty-one, and it was all more than I bargained for. I wanted to play the guitar and rule the world with song, but I learned I have a mother from old money, a dead father who was once a real estate mogul, and a record company that needed some rebuilding. Mure Linn, my friend and mentor, has been by my side through it all, teaching me to play, strengthening my lyrics, and guiding me in the music industry. There was one area he couldn’t guide me, though, and that was love. Guinevere DeGrance changed everything for me, I suppose, including the reason I’m here learning the legend of my life without remembering any of it.

The legendary rock star series begins… 

Add to Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23675986-the-legend-of-arturo-king?ac=1


Purchase Links:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/eH3CA7

Amazon CA: http://goo.gl/yVQl1Q

Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/55gUwR

Amazon AU: http://goo.gl/vTSj7a

B&N: http://goo.gl/uIW9JZ

Kobo: http://goo.gl/bTDpeZ

iTunes: Coming Soon


My Review

This is my first book by author LB Dunbar. She is known for taking classic stories and giving them a modern twist.  That being said, I couldn’t wait to dive into The Legend of Arturo King and check it out for myself.

This book started off a little slow for me, however once I got into it, I was hooked. The Legend of Arturo King is a modern retelling of King Arthur. I knew some of what King Arthur’s story was about, so I was excited to see where LB Dunbar would take us! This story takes you for an interesting ride. There’s music, romance, deception, and lies. And I loved all the twists along the way. I was left wondering what the true motives were for certain characters.  The writing was smart and kept me eager to find out how everything would play out. 

I like Arturo and Guinevere right away. Arturo was sexy, successful,  broody at times, and doesn’t give up on what he wants. The perfect compliment to Guinevere, who was more reserved, innocent and still trying to find herself. They both frustrated me at times, but their chemistry was undeniable. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow and the path that it took. 

Overall, I really did enjoy The Legend of Arturo King. I thought the story line was really unique and found the characters to be very enjoyable.  It had everything that I look for in a good read and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

* I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*


About The Author

I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?

As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.

I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.

So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created. 

I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.

Contact Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LB-Dunbar/716870221703877 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lbdunbarwrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8195738.L_B_Dunbar?from_search=true

Website: http://www.lbdunbar.com/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lbdunbar/

Tsu.co: www.tsu.co/lbdunbar


GIVEAWAY

3 – Signed Paperback Copies of The Legend of Arturo King (INT), 3 – eCopies (Kindle only) The Legend of Arturo King (INT), 1 – Signed Paperback Copy of Sound Advice (US Only), 1 – Signed Paperback Copy of Taste Test (US Only), 1 – Signed Paperback Copy of Fragrance Free (US Only)

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