Review: Just Say Maybe by Tracy March

just say maybe
sassysynopsis4

 

Real estate lawyer Holly Birdsong’s hike in the Rockies takes an unexpected turn when a smokin’-hot stranger tumbles off his bike and into her path. Turns out he’s purchasing the abandoned Lodge at Wild Rose Ridge, and Holly agrees to take him on as a client—despite her family’s traumatic history with the previous owner, who shamelessly abused the town’s goodwill at every turn. But when their professional relationship turns personal, Holly must reconcile the past with her hopes for the future.

 Adding the rustic lodge to his portfolio of adventure properties isn’t just a business decision for Bryce Bennett. The rugged mountains also offer a killer setting for his extreme-sports camps for at-risk teens. What’s not in the blueprints is finding a kindred spirit in his irresistible lawyer, even if she seems apprehensive about getting involved in the deal. Bryce’s plan to ease her mind just might work, as long as no one discovers his secret. Yet he can’t stand hiding the truth from the woman who makes him want to build something permanent: a happily ever after.

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tracy march

(all information obtained from authors website)

Award-winning author Tracy March writes romantic thrillers and lighthearted romances inspired by her real-life happily ever after.

 Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves hiking in the Rockies, Nationals baseball, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without craving pizza.

 Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA.

 

sassyreview

As always a thank you first goes to Netgalley and Random House Loveswept for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review.

Now you all know that I originally started this series because the description in book 1 was that it was about a little town in Colorado the state I happen to live in. But as I got through with the first book I knew that I would need to read book 2 because really I fell in love with these characters. Holly has been in love with the look of the resort at the top of the mountain for years, sadly that resort has been nothing but a sore spot for her and her family since the beginning. So to have someone come in and say that they want to resort it and re-open it isn’t easy for Holly to accept. Bryce has the right intentions when he comes to Thistle Bend and decides to restore the resort, but sadly he lives with the ghosts of others haunting him. He isn’t able to get to the point he wants to until those ghosts are put to rest. Though he falls in love with Holly the effects of his relatives are long lasting.

I give this book 5 restoring kisses….

Happy Reading… Adri

Review: Should’ve Said No by Tracy March

shouldve said nosassysynopsis4

A year after being laid off from the Smithsonian, Lindsey Simms says yes to a job offer as curator of a heritage museum in Thistle Bend, Colorado (population 1,519). It could be worse—and it is. Because the new museum has escalated a dispute between the Karlssons, Lindsey’s relatives, and the Crenshaws, a blood feud which goes way back to a land deal that changed the fortunes of both families. Trying to stay objective, Lindsey can’t tell anyone about her conflict of interest—especially not the ruggedly handsome handyman fixing up her cabin, who seems to be keeping secrets of his own.

Although he’s the executive director of the family trust and one of Colorado’s most eligible bachelors, Carden Crenshaw prefers getting his hands dirty in town and on his sprawling ranch. Staying busy has given him an excuse not to risk heartbreak, but getting to know the beautiful “museum lady” makes him reconsider. Little does he know, the heat between them will only add fuel to the fire—unless this unlikely couple can prove they’re lovers, not fighters.

 

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Amazon : B&N : Random House : iBooks

sassyauthorinfo

tracy march

(all information obtained from authors website)

Award-winning author Tracy March writes romantic thrillers and lighthearted romances inspired by her real-life happily ever after.

 Always up for travel and adventure, Tracy has flown in a stunt plane, snowmobiled on the Continental Divide, ziplined in the Swiss Alps, and been chased by a bull in the mountains of St. Lucia. She loves hiking in the Rockies, Nationals baseball, Saturday date nights, and Dairy Queen Blizzards—and rarely goes a day without craving pizza.

 Tracy lives in Yorktown, Virginia, with her superhero husband who works for NASA.

 

sassyreview

As always my first order of business is to thank Random House Loveswept and NetGalley for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review.

I will admit the first thing that attracted me to this book was that it was based out of Colorado, and being a CO resident myself I always like to read on how others write the beautiful state I live in. Even though Thistle Bend is not an actual city in Colorado, it does describe some of the mountain towns pretty perfectly. Now I will admit when I first started to read this book I thought it would be another Hatfield/McCoy’s kind of rivalry. But I have to admit that it was so much more than that. I love the sisters they are so much fun. My heart at times goes out to Lindsey and the position she is in. Carden has such a great heart, he doesn’t let the fact that he has money go to his head and that is awesome. He doesn’t have an inflated ego and treats everyone exactly the same. He works hard to show Lindsey he isn’t about his money or his families influences. He also has a hard time fulfilling his grandmothers request.

The review for book 2 will be coming up shortly, but I had to make sure I gave this book 5 historic kisses…

Happy Reading… Adri

Review: Taking it Off by Claire Kent

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Can’t get enough Magic Mike? Let bestselling author Claire Kent introduce you to Matt Stokes, the sexy-as-sin male stripper and club owner who knows what it really means to bare everything.

Preschool teacher Elizabeth Marks isn’t exactly thrilled to be attending a college friend’s bachelorette party at a male strip joint. The sights—screaming women, half-naked hunks—are just as sleazy as she expected, with one exception: the man standing at the back, radiating sensual heat despite being fully clothed. When Elizabeth takes refuge outside, he chases her down and dares her to stay. It turns out that her mystery man is the owner—and, as tonight’s headliner, the one guy Elizabeth wouldn’t mind seeing naked.

Matt Stokes lives his life one day, one dance at a time. But as he challenges Elizabeth to get in touch with the passionate, impulsive woman behind her prim façade, she brings out another side of him as well. This girl isn’t just another pretty face—or paying customer—and Matt can’t help wanting more. Onstage, he’s used to exposing his body. Now Matt will have to expose his heart. Because when it comes to real love, that’s the one striptease that matters.

 

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Amazon : Barnes & Noble : iBooks : Kobo

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As always I would like to thank Netgalley and Random House Loveswept for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review.

I will have to say that I could totally identify with Elizabeth and her feelings about male strip joints. But it is so much fun to see how much she changes and opens herself up to new experiences with Matt. Even though there are points in time that it can cost her a lot, the fact that she learns to enjoy life is important. Especially when she has spent so much of her life worrying about her appearance and how her actions are seen by everyone. Matt sometimes breaks my heart having spent so much time not knowing what love should be like. The way he grew up doesn’t allow him the chance to feel love. He only knows it is to work hard and be efficient. He is also the best one to help Elizabeth out of the shell she has been in most of her life. He enjoys each and every second of life and teach Elizabeth to do the same. I enjoyed this book because it was so much fun especially watching the fun that Matt introduces Elizabeth to.

I give this book 5 stripping kisses…

Happy reading… Adri

 

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Bodychecking by Jami Davenport

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BODYCHECKING
Game On in Seattle #7
Jami Davenport
Released April 30th, 2016
Cedona Enterprises
As the wild child of the family, Bellani Maxwell isn’t interested in settling down. Between a fledgling party crashing business, teaching self-defense at a martial arts studio, and hitting the bar every night, she has her hands full. She doesn’t need the added responsibility or commitment of a relationship.
Hockey star Cedric Pederson has all the puck bunnies he could ever want, but a chance encounter eighteen months ago leaves him with eyes only for the gorgeous, free-spirited Bella. Too bad she isn’t interested in what Cedric has to offer beyond frequent hookups, and he’s grown tired of their on-again, off-again non-relationship. He wants to be all-in or all-out.
When a brutal attack leaves Bella in need of comfort, protection, and healing, the only person she wants is Cedric. But once she’s living in his condo, Bella is confronted with a decision she’s been avoiding—can she finally commit to Cedric, or will she let him go one last time?
CONTENT WARNING:
Contains graphic and potentially disturbing descriptions of an assault.
 
BUY NOW
While all books in this series can be read as standalones, you’ll most likely enjoy
reading the other books in the Game On in Seattle sports romance series:
Book 1–Skating on Thin Ice (Seattle
Sockeyes Hockey)
Book 2–Crashing the Boards (Seattle
Sockeyes Hockey)
Book 3–Crashing the Net (Seattle
Sockeyes Hockey)
Book 4–Love at First Snow (Seattle
Sockeyes Hockey)
Book 5–Melting Ice (Seattle
Sockeyes Hockey)
Book 6–Blindsided (Seattle
Steelheads Football)
 
Purchase Here

 

USA Today
Bestselling Author Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami’s new releases consistently rank in the top fifty on the sports romance and sports genre lists on Amazon, and she has hit the Amazon top hundred authors list in both contemporary romance and genre fiction multiple times. Jami ranked Number Seven on Kobo’s Top Ten Most Completed Authors, an honor bestowed on the year’s “most engaging” authors based on an average page completion rate by their readers.
 

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EXCERPT:

Birthdays sucked.

As a child, her parents combined her Christmas and birthday gifts, if and when they remembered to buy gifts at all. She’d learned to keep her expectations low to curb her disappointment after too many childhood hopes and dreams were shot down by a pair of disengaged, free-spirit parents, who Bella had subconsciously emulated—at least, the partying part.

This year’s birthday hit her harder than usual.

Twenty-fucking-six years old.

She’d rather curl up in bed with a box of chocolates and an ugly cry movie than be subjected to a birthday party tonight, especially one orchestrated by her judgmental oldest sister. Every one of her sisters had their act together, was settled down with a wonderful man, and was looking to the future.

Bella, instead, found herself focusing on the past and how little she’d achieved. She was closer to thirty than twenty, and therein lay the crux of the problem and the reason for her current crappy mood.

Bella bounced from interest to interest, never settling on one thing. She had no direction, but that hadn’t been a big deal in her early twenties. Now it was.

She faked a smile and cocked her head, pretending to be captivated by whatever bullshit was being spouted by the young Seattle Sockeyes hockey players who gathered around her, vying for her attention. Normally, she’d be flattered and completely enjoying their efforts.

Not tonight.

She sought out Cedric in the crowd, still a little peeved at his disappearing act with the blonde last Saturday night. In fact, as soon as he’d slipped into the VIP room, she’d left alone.

He met her gaze, winked, and headed toward her. Her heart skittered with excitement and her lady parts tingled with anticipation. She fought their insane chemistry with every fiber of her being, as futile as it was. Cedric had always been different—the way he touched her, the way he looked at her as if she were special, the way he made her feel as if she were the only woman who mattered. Maybe he made every woman feel like that, maybe it was part of his allure, his charm, and maybe she was delusional for thinking she meant anything more than a fantastic lay. Cedric had the power to ruin her, crush her heart in his skillful hands, and blast away at her carefully constructed, and completely fabricated, air of confidence.

He was oh, so wrong for her.

Sarah’s Review:

Thank you to Jami Davenport and Tasty Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book.  Once I read the blurb, I knew I wanted to read the entire series.  So I did!  It took me about 3 weeks since I can’t read all day long.  (Why can’t I get paid to review??  J/K!!)  I am hooked on this series and have been since book one.  While I have really enjoyed each of the books, this book hit a special place for me.

In the 3 days since I finished this book, I have struggled about how to write this review because how I reacted to it.  I guess this review is going to be more personal for me than anything.  That being said, I haven’t been shy about sharing that I am a DV survivor.  While this IS NOT a DV story at all, as a survivor,  I was more critical about how the recovery time was handled.  I have to say, Ms. Davenport wrote an amazing version and didn’t down play the brutal attack that Bella went through.  For that, I gained a lot of respect for Ms. Davenport.

From the time Bella and her sisters were introduced, I have loved “watching” Bella be the strong and confident woman that she is.  I caught the attraction the Cedric and Bella had toward each other and was rooting for them.  After Bella was attacked and she went right to Cedric, I was not surprised.  I enjoyed watching Cedric change his ways and truly show Bella that she is the only one that he wanted.  Watching Bella regain her self confidence and face her attacker head on gave me such hope that more women will realize that they do not need to be anyone’s victim.

I can’t wait to read what comes next!

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Review.

REVIEW: Captivated On 5th Avenue by Abbie St. Claire

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Synopsis

Author Abbie St. Claire brings you the 3rd installment in the 5th Avenue Romance Series. There is no cliffhanger in this installment, you will be captivated by the happily-ever-after.
What harm is there in having a little romance with the man next door?

Chelsie, a single mother, knows what it’s like to feel loss and regret. Her drive to wake up each day is her precious son Ty, but even her strength has its limits. The world was a cold and lonely place until she saw handsome sports physician, Ian move in next door.

Abusive, troubled, addict was the label everyone in his life gave him, and Ian lived up to that reputation until the day he discovered he was a father. When a horrible accident cripples him mentally and physically, his hard won sobriety is left hanging by a thread.

The attraction between Ian and Chelsie is electric, and they can’t help indulging in one night of passion. When Ian is forced to move to California, Chelsie keeps a secret that could harm them both. Can Ian overcome his addiction and prove he’s the man Chelsie has been dreaming of?
Buy Links
All books are free on Kindle Unlimited!


Conflicted on 5th Avenue (Book 1)




Complicated on 5th Avenue (Book 2)




Captivated on 5th Avenue (Book 3)


My Review
I want to start by saying I was NOT happy with Ian at the end of the second book. I was angry with him. Almost to the point that I hated him. Nothing he did made sense. Why did he do the things he did? Why did Chelsie still hang on? Why couldn’t she just  move on and forget that jerk?
Then I kept reading. I was still not entirely sold on Team Ian but I began to understand more. I really felt for Chelsie.  I just wanted the poor girl to be happy. She deserved it. But holy smokes do they take you on a ride!  Both of them are so stubborn! I wanted to throttle them several times.
I fell in love with this story in the first book. And Captivated gave me the ending that I needed for Chelsie and Ian. So  much heartache and misery for two people to go through, it makes it even harder to watch when you know they love each other so much.
The rest of the gang is back too and I can’t cant wait to see what Ms St. Claire does for them. There are two in particular that I need to know the details on!
If you are looking for a trilogy that will break your heart, make you want to throw things, make you hate the characters then fall in love with them even more, then you need this series. It’s perfect.
Any book that canmake me feel like this one did gets 5 well deserved captivated kisses

Author Bio

Abbie St. Claire is an International Bestselling Author in the romance genre.
With a tagline of “Romance with suspense, sizzle and sass,” one can imagine many things happen under her covers.
Claire hails from central Texas and has an addiction to cookie dough. She writes from her kitchen, the heart of her home and family. 
For 2016/2017, she states having lofty goals which include Saddles and Sins (A steamy cowboy tale), Worn Jeans, Blue Collar Dollars, IAN for 5th Avenue Romance, participation in First Glance and The Diamond Club anthologies, and two Kindle World projects.


Author Links


REVIEW: Chasing Eva by Camellia Hart

 

Book: Chasing Eva
Author: Camellia Hart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Synopsis

An addictive, suspenseful, sensual story about a man and a woman whose lives are about to get sizzling hot…
After living through her share of disloyal relationships, Evangeline Avery will be damned if she lets another man cheat her. A beautiful and confident woman, Eva is the owner of an interior design firm at the brink of collapse. She swears to bring her company back to its past glory, even if it involves sweet talking the one man who caused this turmoil in the first place – Clive Stanton.
Notorious playboy Clive Stanton is a powerful businessman and a formidable enemy of many. He doesn’t do love, or at least not until he meets her again, fifteen years after he saw her last. Eva, his crush from teenage years, the one that got away, is back in his world and he is determined to do anything to make her his.
Will passion and lust bring them together or conflict and the unforgettable scars from their pasts forever tear them apart?



Buy Links
My Review
I’m so glad I took a chance on this book! Chasing Eva has everything that I could have wanted and more. It not only has Clive,  the hot sexy billionaire, but the heroine,Eva,  is just as strong as the Hero is. She is smart, witty, and totally out of her element running her father’s company.  This story could have told a thousand ways but I’m so happy the author wrote it her way. Serendipity meets romantic suspense suspense. I LOVE it!
The story is told mainly by Eva’s point of view, with a bit of Clive’s thrown in there. I hope the next book gives us more of him. I need to know what’s in his head.
What sucked me in to Eva and Clive’s story aside from their sizzling chemistry was the suspense. I can’t wait to find out all the dirty little secrets.
Camellia Hart has one heck of a debut on her hands! 5 suspenseful kisses!
Author Bio


Camellia Hart, a techie turned author of romance, lives in San Francisco with her husband, the love of her life. Other than writing her next romance novel, her hobbies include traveling, lazing on a beach with a good read, watching movies with happy endings while gorging on endless buckets of popcorn, red wine, and champagne truffles.
http://www.camelliahart.com/

Social Links

Review: Midnight Wrangler by Cat Johnson

Midnight-Wranglersassysynopsis4

Rohn Lerner is a successful Oklahoma rancher. He’s old enough to know what he likes, and still young enough to enjoy it. But losing his wife five years ago wore him thin. He’s not ready to date, but he needs someone to share a meal with as badly as someone to warm his bed.

 Bonnie Martin fled her Oklahoma home years ago, leaving behind her abusive father, and Rohn, the lost love she never forgot. Now she’s back to settle her father’s estate, but she has no idea that she’s about to bump into Rohn or that they’ll fall for each other all over again.

 

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Amazon : B&N : iBooks : ARE : Kobo : Kensington Publishing : Google Play

 

sassyreview

I would like to thank Kensington Publishing and Netgalley for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review.

This was such a cute second chance love as well as an older couple love. Though Rohn and Bonnie aren’t that much older than I, it is so different from the twenty somethings that are the most common in the books I normally read. Yes there were things that caused them to be separated but I think if Bonnie would have just been a little stronger or had better support system they could have had such a different life. Though if that would have happened Rohn wouldn’t have known what it was to love two women in his life. There are a few things with this book that I didn’t like, but these were my personal feelings on some things and had nothing to do with the writing. I also don’t want to give parts of the book away so I will not really mention what they are. I will just say that its what shaped my belief that Bonnie wasn’t as strong as she could have been.

I give this book 4 ranching kisses… 

Happy Reading… Adri

 

Review: Fighting for Delvin by Jessica Lemmon

Fighting-for-Devlin_Lemmon_LS1-768x1024sassysynopsis4

Devlin Calvary makes his own luck. Orphaned as a young child, he was taken in by a crew of bookies and gamblers—and they became his family. They’re the reason Dev’s running a trendy bistro, living in a high rise, and enjoying the good life with a string of women who never ask for too much. Until, one night, he finds out how much it hurts to trust the wrong people. . . .

Rena Lewis sticks to the straight and narrow, determined not to slip up again . . . like the terrible night of partying four years ago that ended in tragedy. A waitress at Oak & Sage, she knows that sleeping with her boss is not a smart move. But when Dev shows up on her doorstep, beat up and clearly shaken, Rena’s not about to turn him down . . . or kick him out of bed.

Dev reawakens something primal within her—a need to go wild. And Rena soon finds out that the heart she’d sealed away years ago still has the power to fight for love.

 

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sassyexcerpt

(All information obtained from the authors website. No copyright infringement intended.)

Chapter 1

Rena

The first time I’d seen Devlin Calvary, I held my breath until my chest inflated like a party balloon. Today hadn’t been any different, considering the moment I saw his profile as I strode in, I ducked my head and ran for the kitchen. He was like the sun: hot, and he made me squint if I looked directly at him.

Other than the flooring good looks of the man who was my boss, my new job had started without a bang. Oak & Sage hadn’t hit a dinner rush yet. My Nazi-like trainer, Melinda, and I were attempting to stay occupied while (according to her) out of shift manager Chet’s sight.

“How can anyone take him seriously with that slur?” she spat. Melinda spat everything. She reminded me of an angry cat most of the time.

I frowned, dusting the broad leaves on one of the fake plants lining the top of the empty booths where she and I were cleaning. Well, where I was cleaning. She was gossiping about everyone she laid eyes on. I didn’t like her all that much, but she was the only co-worker I really knew here. I missed my friends at the recently gone-out-of-business Craft Palace. Right about now, we’d be opening a shipment of new scrapbook paper and dishing about the cute delivery guy.

“What if he dated a girl with an ‘S’ at the beginning of her name?” Melinda said, an evil smirk on her face. “Like . . . Sarah. ‘Sthara, you’re stho sthexthy.’”

I tried not to laugh, but it was funny. Mean, but funny.

“Nervous about tonight?” she asked as I moved to the next plant. “It’s your first time alone.”

“No, I think I can do it.”

“It’s a lot of pressure. Don’t underestimate a Thursday. It’s usually twice as busy as Friday but in fewer hours. Plus, you have a three-table section.”

I glanced at her uneasily.

“And your tables aren’t in the direct path of the kitchen, so you’ll be double-timing it back there most of the evening.”

I blinked at her. “Are you trying to freak me out?”

She smiled, her eyes holding a lazy-cat look, then her gaze slid over my shoulder. I watched as her smile turned . . . something. Almost lusty. Then I realized why.

It’s him.

Crazy as it sounded, I could feel whenever he approached. I clutched my dust rag when his low, commanding voice washed over the air and etched into my skin.

“Melinda, help the hostesses roll some more silverware, will you?”

Devlin Calvary. General manager of Oak & Sage, though I would swear he couldn’t be much older than my twenty-two years. The youngest man I’d ever seen in charge of my paycheck was dressed in a suit. He always wore suits rather than the khaki-and-button-down-shirt combo Chet wore. I guess to show he was in charge. But let me tell you, Devlin didn’t need a suit to alert anyone of his authority.

I ran a gaze up and down the length of his lean body, appreciating his height, broad shoulders, and the air of power and control ebbing off him like expensive cologne.

When his long, dark lashes gave me a once-over, I felt my throat close off. I’d been introduced to him in passing when Chet hired me. Devlin hadn’t done more than tip his chin in acknowledgment then.

And he hadn’t spoken a word to me since.

“Sure thing.” Melinda started, then pointed to me. “Unless you’d rather Rena do it. She really doesn’t know how to do much of anything else.”

I glared at her, but she didn’t see me, as she was attempting to blind him with the bazillion-watt smile pulling her shiny, red lips. Devlin’s bored expression remained; his chiseled jaw stayed firm.

“Just you. Rena’s . . . ” He lifted his brows and studied the rag I’d clutched against my chest like a handkerchief. “. . . petting the plants.”

Melinda snapped her head toward me, her dark blond ponytail flicking behind her like the end of a very short whip. He walked away and I continued “petting” the fake orchid in front of me as I watched his legs eat up the long aisle leading to the kitchen.

“You may as well forget about whatever fantasy you’re cooking in your head.” She sneered at me.

I shook my head in fervent denial—like I suffered any delusions that someone as hot and powerful as Devlin might look at me twice. I knew who I was. I wasn’t the type of girl who snagged the attention of a guy like him.

“He doesn’t date the help,” she continued. “He flirts with me, but I’d never.” She cut a look in the direction he’d disappeared, biting her lip. A brief flicker of longing lit her hazel eyes before she muttered, “I don’t have any interest in him.”

Oh, the lies she told. I rolled my eyes as she turned and walked to the hostess station. I knew damn well that Melinda, or any of the other females in this restaurant, would trade an ovary to be under Devlin’s intense blue-eyed stare for fifteen minutes.

To be under him, period.

Devlin

I cut through the clatter of silverware and tinkling of crystal glasses wearing a smile on my face. Oak & Sage restaurant had been my second home for as long as I could remember. My dad opened it when I was in diapers, and I’d cut my teeth on the corner of table 31. You could say I was born into this life. Along the way, I had inherited another.

We were busy tonight, even by Thursday standards. I smoothed my tie and buttoned my jacket. As I stepped out of the way of an incoming server with a platter of ribs, I nodded at the guy sitting at table 31. Benny was one of the regulars, his shirt buttons nearly popping as he polished off the end of a very large piece of chocolate cake. He lifted his fork to signal he had money for me, but my sights were set on Sal Crawford: the older man at table 36.

Mr. Crawford sawed into an overcooked rib eye—why patrons insisted on ruining a forty-dollar steak by ordering it well-done was beyond me—and gestured at his wife who primly flaked her salmon and listened with half an ear.

I’d never be the kind of prick to say I had it all, but I had it pretty damn good. When my father died, he left Oak & Sage to me. I was eighteen at the time and his friend, Sonny Laurence, taught me the ropes of running a restaurant. Thanks to our history, and my being Sonny’s go-to guy in this small town, I knew every degenerate who placed bets within a fifty-mile radius.

But “degenerate” wasn’t a term I’d use to describe the Crawfords. They were wealthy, thanks in part to me, I reminded myself as I approached the table. Which made this visit almost pleasant.

“Sal.”

“Devlin,” he greeted, cheeks rosy from the bottle of Merlot on the table. At my arrival, his wife perked up, batting her lashes and adjusting her pearls. Never mind I’m thirty years her junior, Annabelle Crawford would have me for dinner instead of the fish if I said yes.

I wouldn’t.

He patted his mouth with a black cloth napkin as I leaned over the table and winked at his wife. “Anna. Looking beautiful this evening.” My lips tipped into a wry smile and her hand landed on mine.

“Oh, you.” She toyed with one of her earrings. Women were one of the things I was really good at. The other was what I did to them to make them howl. Too bad for Anna. Another ten years closer to my age and I could’ve had her clawing the bedsheets.

“I believe we have business to attend to,” I told Sal. Mrs. Crawford fished a small compact from her giant purse and patted her nose, intent on ignoring this part of the meal.

He nodded, his lips twitching slightly at the sides. I made people nervous. Not that I was some massive block of muscle with a thrice-broken nose or anything, but I was the man with the power. I carried the weight of Sonny Laurence, and had a frame that was six-two and two-twenty to back that up. In a town like Ridgeway, Ohio, reputation was worth more than any fortune Crawford could amass.

“Next time”—I reached into my jacket pocket and Sal’s eyes widened the slightest bit—“I’ll be the one collecting from you.” I proffered an envelope with curly gold script on it that read, Gift Certificate, but we both knew it contained a few cool thousand Crawford had won fair and square. “Sonny says hello.” Which was code for, Call him to place a bet today.

Sal smiled, getting the message, and accepted the envelope. Mrs. Crawford shut her compact with a snap. I pressed my palms together in typical manager-of-a-restaurant fashion and said, “Your meal is on me this evening.” I raised a brow at Sal. “I’m sure I’ll see you again soon.” I flicked a glance at the envelope.

“A pleasure, Mr. Calvary.” He nodded. Once. A sign he’d be calling Sonny later to give back some of those crisp hundreds in his hand now.

I turned for Benny’s table to relieve him of the eight hundred dollars he owed Sonny feeling the slightest bit smug. Sal had addressed me as Mr. Calvary. Twenty-four years old and I garnered more respect than an orphaned kid from West End had ever dreamed. But this was the game.

Thanks to Sonny, a game I’d mastered.

 

sassyauthorinfo

(All information obtained from the authors website)

jessica lemmonBio

A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. Jessica is a social media junkie who loves to hear from readers. You can learn more at: jessicalemmon.com.

Short Bio

Jessica Lemmon is a contemporary romance writer, artist, dreamer, wife, and den mother to a rescue dog. You can learn more about her sexy heroes and the women who fall for them at www.jessicalemmon.com.

Contact

Email Jessica: jessica@jessicalemmon.com
Email Jessica’s Agent: nicole@theseymouragency.com Website: www.jessicalemmmon.com

Social Media

Facebook: fb.me/authorjessicalemmon Twitter: @lemmony
Instagram: @jlemmony

Career Highlights

  • ▪  USA Today Recommendation A Bad Boy for Christmas
  • ▪  Publisher’s Weekly Review A Bad Boy for Christmas
  • ▪  RT Top Pick! Bringing Home the Bad Boy
  • ▪  RT Seal of Excellence Nomination Bringing Home the Bad Boy
  • ▪  #1 Nook Bestseller A Millionaire Affair

Photo credit: Nicholas Long

Agency Representation

Nicole Resciniti, The Seymour Agency nicole@theseymouragency.com

Publishers

Grand Central, Forever

Love in the Balance (series) Second Chance (series) Billionaire Bad Boys (series) Random House, Loveswept Lost Boys (series)

Forgotten Promises (Standalone title)

Entangled Publishing

If You Dare (Standalone title)

 

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As always a special thank you to Netgalley and Random House Loveswept for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review.

Delvin puts himself in a tight spot and has to ask someone he doesn’t quite know for help. Now the fact that he is attracted to her. He is torn between two alliances to the man who sacrificed so much after he was left alone in the world and the one who taught him how to survive. This book through a few twists at me that weren’t all the best ones. But I did see the need for them. Rena made some mistakes, but to me they didn’t seem like the biggest ones someone could make that would be life altering. Yes one big decision did change things for her and left her with a deep scar. I liked the fact that even though Rena has the hots for Delvin she does act cautiously and thinks about how her life could be affected by the actions and things Delvin wants her to help him with. Delvin did have a tough life, but it was nice to see that he was able to turn it around and do better.

I give this book 4 fighting kisses…

Happy Reading… Adri

 

Review: Strip You Bare by Maisey Yates

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Sparks fly when a society belle and a biker with a troubled past get down and dirty in the Big Easy. Maisey Yates turns up the heat in the sizzling finale of a series co-written with Megan Crane, Rachael Johns, and Jackie Ashenden.
 
Micah Carpenter hates New Orleans. Hell, after ten years he no longer has much affection for the Deacons of Bourbon Street motorcycle club, either. But when the brotherhood calls, Micah answers. Joining the hunt for their mentor’s killer, he crosses paths with a Southern belle who exudes class—and sex appeal. Micah knows better than to mess with ice princesses: No matter how hot things get, they never melt. And yet he can’t stop himself from offering her a taste of the wrong side of the tracks.

Sarah Delacroix understands that reputation is everything. The daughter of a prominent family rocked by scandal, she’s desperate to restore their good name. Micah’s exactly the kind of man she should be avoiding. Behind his sleek and sophisticated exterior beats the heart of a predator—and she knows it. But, like the tattoos beneath his tailored suit, his rough edges are irresistible. And all too soon Sarah finds him getting under her skin . . . and living out every one of her hottest fantasies.

 

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(all information obtained from the authors website we own nothing and no copy right infringements are intended.)

There was a feeling of homecoming that people often waxed lyrical about. It was immortalized in songs, in literature and in film. Peace, belonging, and all other manner of bullshit.

Micah “Prince” Carpenter didn’t feel any of those things.

No, since his return to New Orleans a few weeks back even walking around felt like he’d taken a bullet to the chest. Lead twisting itself around his heart, interfering with every beat, every breath. Or, that could just be godawful humidity.

But he had a feeling it was to do with the city itself. Like an aging matron trying to coat every imperfection with more and more makeup, the French Quarter clung to its former glory, claiming cracks in the sidewalk and corroded metal on the curling wrought iron balconies as part of its charm.

The Delacroix House, which Micah found himself in now, was no exception to the air of haughty, tarnished glamor. Even now the old building thought far too highly of itself for a place that had been all-but abandoned for more than ten years. Heavy brocade drapes hung in the window, at the center of the room a settee, and two wingback chairs, flanked by solid wood tables still there inviting guests to come and sit down. To enjoy a little bit of Southern hospitality, even if the only residents were ghosts.

There was something oppressive about this place, where even the air was heavy. But he was stuck here for the foreseeable future.

Fuck Ajax and his fucking brotherhood. His fucking honor.

And fuck himself for his inability to walk away.

Micah walked deeper into the sitting room, stirring up a cloud of dust with each step. The old house would seem remarkable to some, but nothing about these stately Southern homes appealed to him. He preferred things sleek, modern. And in his new life, far away from here, he surrounded himself with those things.

The humidity, the heat, was oppressive, in spite of the time of year. Sometimes he thought this city was sitting right on the mouth of hell. He stripped his suit jacket off, reached up and loosened the knot on his tie, then draped his jacket over the back of one of the chairs. Then he turned and sat, looking around the darkened room. At the golden sconces on the wall, their shine diminished from years of neglect. At the wallpaper, dust clinging to the textured flowers that covered the deep blue surface.

It was opulent, that was for sure. Even the dirt couldn’t hide that.

Still, whether or not he was impressed by the house was irrelevant. Because this wasn’t about the house. It was about the woman who was still under the impression that she owned it. Or more specifically, it was about her family.

The Deacons connection to the Delacroix family apparently ran deeper than simply claiming their infamous prodigal son Leon as a member.

That much had become clear when they were sorting through all of Priest’s holdings after his death. Not only were there the assorted properties on Bourbon Street, but there was this house that had — as far as anyone else knew — belonged exclusively to the Delacroixes since it was first built.

Not anymore. The Deacons had possession of it now.

And given that they were sure now Priest had been murdered any connections that seemed out of the ordinary were worth exploring.

Which was a damn shame because it meant his ass was parked here for the foreseeable future.

The sound of footsteps on the marble floor made him turn. Just in time to see a petite dark-haired woman freezing her tracks.

Upper class. She reeked of it. From the perfectly smooth waves of rich dark hair cascading down her back, to the pale pink dress that flowed over her curves like water. The kind of woman that was off-limits to a guy like him. Or at least the man he had been. The kind of woman who was way more trouble than she was worth. At least, that had been his take on them when he’d lived down here. There were a hell of a lot of easier ways to hook up.

When he’d ridden down Bourbon on a Friday night on a motherfucking Harley, he’d had his pick. And if he hadn’t been in the mood to pick, he’d just take them all back to the clubhouse for a little bit of fun.

These days he liked a higher class of ass. And there were plenty of women dying to get down and dirty with a tattooed bad boy. Gave them a little thrill. And he lived to please.

There was no point messing around with ice princesses. No matter how hot it got, they never seemed to melt. And he did not have time for that shit.

But, if this was Sarah Delacroix — and he had a feeling this was her —  he had to make time for her.

“I’m sorry,” she said, tilting her head to the side. He wasn’t at all surprised that the first words out of her mouth were an apology. That was the way women like her operated. All bless your heart and sweet smiles. Till you crossed the line and they shanked your ass with their high heel. “Did we have an appointment that I forgot about? Are you with Lance Construction?”

“No, baby,” he said, that backwater accent that he’d done so much to diminish over the years flowing out like honey. “I’m with the Deacons. And I own this place.”

“Interesting,” she said, her tone losing a little bit of its warmth now.

“Not particularly. It’s pretty straightforward. Your family doesn’t own this property anymore, Ms. Delacroix.” She couldn’t be anyone else.

“I would need to see documentation of that,” she said, her tone unfailingly smooth. “And I would appreciate an introduction, as well. You seem to know my name, but I couldn’t begin to guess yours.”

She said the words politely enough, but he could sense the underlying insult. He knew who she was because Sarah Delacroix mattered. And she had no clue who the tattooed, suit wearing, guy sitting in her house was. Which meant he couldn’t be all that important.

From experience he knew that Southern belles could dish out insults with unrivaled precision. They could flay your skin from your bones and you would barely feel it until after the fact.

That was not how he operated. Subtlety wasn’t a part of his lexicon.

“I have documentation.” He reached into the interior pocket of his jacket, producing the deed to the property.

He didn’t make a move to rise from his seat, neither did he extend his hand, rather he rested his forearm on the brocade covered arm of the chair, letting the paper dangle  between his fingers. Sarah waited for a moment before walking across the room and holding out her hand.

“May I?” In response he flexed his wrist, bringing the document up a fraction of an inch. She forced a smile. “Thank you.” She took the deed from him, skimming it quickly. “This is signed over to the Deacons of Bourbon Street.”

“That’s right. And the responsibility of dealing with this particular property has fallen to me.”

“And, may I ask, what you intend to do with that responsibility?”

The thought sent a sharp pang of lust straight to his gut and he felt his dick starting to wake up and take notice.

Shit. Now was not the time to be cracking wood over some random chick. He had a whole night ahead for that, and there would be satisfaction in it besides. This was business.

“Haven’t decided yet. Or rather, the club hasn’t decided. I was just going to sell it.”

“That might put a slight damper on my Christmas party,” she said, patting her hair, not a lock shifting out of place.

“I can see how it might. The Deacons are known for a lot of things. Their rousing rendition of Silent Night is not one of them.”

“You will have to forgive me as I’m not overly familiar with the organization to which you’re referring. I’m not certain what you are or aren’t known for.”

“Well, it isn’t Christmas fucking cheer.”

“If you say so. You will have to fill me in just a bit,” she said, her voice clear, cutting.

He had not expected that. He had expected her to scurry out of here as soon as she’d spoken two words to him, kicking up clouds of dust with her five inch heels as she went. Instead, she was standing her ground, arms crossed beneath her damn fine breasts, her hip cocked out to the side.

“You don’t know who the Deacons are, sweetheart?”

“I do know several of the deacons at my church. However, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you there on a Sunday.” There was something in her tone that he found amusing. Something that hinted at whole ocean’s worth of depth beneath that smooth, seemingly shallow surface.

He laughed, shifting position in the chair, stretching his legs out in front of him. “My version of religion is best practiced outside the sanctuary.”

“I don’t feel any more informed than I did a second ago.”

“You weren’t meant to. I don’t have anywhere else to be. Scoping out the Delacroix mansion was the only thing on my list for the day. Lucky you, baby.”

“So lucky I’m thinking of buying a lottery ticket after this.”

She smiled, lips a perfect, matching pink to her dress, nothing in the expression ringing false at all. She was good. Damn good.

He laughed again. He had the feeling that she wanted to either run away in a panic, or slap him across the face and tell him to get the hell out. But her training prevented her from doing either of those things.

Instead she remained standing there, stiff, still. Perfect posture, perfect everything. It was like she had invisible ropes wrapped tight around her, binding her, keeping her restrained.

If there was one thing he missed about being a part of the MC it was that he’d never had to give a fuck what anybody thought. He’d had to modify that a little bit in the business world.

After he’d been banished by Priest, he’d had two options. Jail, or another MC. He’d had no interest in either. So he’d spent his time carving out a third option while he’d made his way to the West Coast. Eventually landing in San Francisco where he’d gotten involved in real estate development. Right place, right time and a willingness to cut throats — metaphorically — had built his personal empire into an impenetrable fortress.

He owned several hotels in San Francisco —- a city where hotels were scarce and rooms were priced at a premium. But he hadn’t stopped there. He’d been expanding, moving into different cities, different countries.

He was a man in a high-powered position, and his version of well behaved was very different from Sarah Delacroix’s. He could still call a spade a spade. She had to wrap it up in a pink ribbon and call it something fancy.

Though, she was doing a decent job of getting some verbal nettles beneath his skin.

“You may want to hold off on choosing your lottery numbers,” he said.

Her lips twitched, almost imperceptibly. He couldn’t tell if he’d successfully amused her or if she was pondering bludgeoning him to death with her handbag.

He had no issue with her knowing who the Deacons were. He could just tell her. But this is just so damn entertaining to string her along. And he had been short on entertainment since his return to New Orleans. What he’d had instead was a lot of verbal barbs from the men who had once considered themselves his brothers, and a whole lot of alcohol.

This was a hell of a lot more invigorating.

“I won’t be rushing out anytime soon. I had one thing on my list today too. And it was to begin taking inventory of the more minor things that needed to be done to the house. I am restoring it for a Christmas party in a couple of months.”

“As it is now, you could open up the doors and have a Halloween party.”

She looked up over head, and his gaze followed hers, to the cobweb laden chandelier that hung in the center of the ceiling like a big tree ornament wrapped in ghostly tinsel. “Yes, perhaps.” She looked back at him, her expression expectant.

“You still hoping for story time?”

“Unless the option of you signing the property back over to me and vacating the premises is on the table.”

For the first time, she flashed a bit of the true depth of her annoyance. “Sorry, not on the table.”

She moved closer to him, high heels clicking on the floor, dust moving around her, a little bit ethereal. A little bit dirty. A whole lot sexy. She took a seat in the armchair that sat slightly angled toward his, and crossed her legs at the ankles. “Story time it is, then.”

*******************************

Sarah Delacroix was not easily ruffled. She was a New Orleans debutante, one time princess of the Mardi Gras parade, consummate hostess and perfect daughter. The responsibility involved in being each one of those things was weighty indeed, and she had never once bowed beneath it.

She was, however, feeling a little bit ruffled now.

The last thing she had expected this morning when she had walked into her family’s old French Quarter mansion was to find a very large, very dangerous looking man sitting in one of the wingback chairs as though he were master of the manor.

It had crossed her mind upon entry that he might be a ghost. Considering the house had been left vacant since Hurricane Katrina had ravaged the city, it was entirely possible that her welcoming committee would be someone from the beyond.

Sadly, it was becoming clear that he was flesh and blood, and it would take a lot more than a séance to get his behind out of her house.

Yes, he had a deed saying it belonged to ‘The Deacons’ or whatever, but that didn’t make it a legal document. It didn’t make it real.

The Delacroixes had all-but abandoned this portion of their empire after Katrina, leaving their old, beautiful family mansion here in the Quarter to rot. As though it had died in the storm with her father.

But when she’d told her grandfather last week that she intended to revitalize it, to bring the family’s storied Christmas party back to life, he had said nothing that indicated there might be an issue of ownership.

Over the past few months she’d felt like she’d lost everything all over again. Her mother’s death from a long illness, the end of her engagement, her grandfather’s failing health.

This house had become her fixation. To bring something of her family back to life. To make it glitter again for what might be her grandfather’s last Christmas.

When he died, what would she have? This house. This house that had her family’s blood in the woodwork.

But now…this. A very serious wrench in her works. She wanted to scream at him. Wanted to yell and stamp and ask him what the hell he was doing messing with her plans.

She wouldn’t. She wasn’t even sure she knew how to throw a fit like that if she tried. She was too used to keeping it all in. It was what you were expected to do.

She had been taught to rise above, while handing down insults that were barely detectable. It made them harder to deflect.

The Deacons. Something about that was familiar. There were a lot of things like that when you were a part of the family as old as hers, in a city with a history that was nothing short of macabre. Things you learned about that you were then immediately told to let slip back out of your mind.

This was one of those things, she was almost completely certain.

“Should I start with once upon a time?” he asked.

“Only if it ends with ‘and you lived happily ever after.’”

“I don’t really believe in happy endings,” he said, lifting his arms and putting his hands behind his head, “I figure the best any of us can hope for is making it out alive.” He straightened again. “But in the end, I guess no one does.”

“Well, that’s a charming thought.”

“I’m not known for my charm.”

Not classic, southern charm, certainly. There was nothing smooth or practiced about him. Yes, he was wearing a suit, but dark ink bled out from beneath the sleeves of his shirt, evidence of tattoos beneath the perfectly tailored façade. And more than that, there was something about him that simply seemed wild. You could put a collar on a tiger, but it was still a tiger.

Suit or not, Micah was a tiger.

And much like a tiger, the sleek beauty he possessed almost enticed an observer to try and touch him. There was something about that kind of strength, that kind of leashed danger, that was terrifying and irresistible all at the same time.

You know, to other people. Not so much to her.

“Well, your charm isn’t that great a concern of mine. I just want some facts.”

“If you don’t know who the Deacons are I’m assuming we were from before your time, little girl.”

“If so, you look very good for your age.” She dealt out the two-sided statement with ease.

“You think I look good?” He smiled at her, and it felt very much like the predator showing his teeth. A little shiver worked its way down through her body, and it wasn’t entirely unpleasant. Which was concerning.

She cleared her throat. “I think you look like a stranger in my house, Mr. Carpenter.”

“Then let’s get to know one another a little bit better, shall we?” His accent had taken on a slightly more upper crust drawl, a mockery of her own, she had a feeling. “I suppose I’m not really that surprised you don’t know about the Deacons. Nice girls like you should not associate with men like us.”

“I would be more impressed if I had any idea what sort of man you were.”

He said nothing for a moment, half smile curling his lips, as he unbuttoned the cuffs on his shirt and pushed one sleeve up to his elbow. He then focused his attention to the other cuff, unbuttoning it with a maddening slowness that made her stomach turnover. Then he pushed that sleep up to his elbow.

Exposing his forearms exposed the ink he’d been hiding. Dark, twisting shapes that ran from his wrist up past the rolled up sleeves of the shirt. And beneath the ink, there were some very well-defined muscles that were worthy of note.

“My brothers and I are the Deacons of Bourbon Street, just your friendly local motorcycle club. We’re the ones who own your property. The ones who used to own the whole fucking quarter.” He leaned forward, hands planted on his thighs, dark eyes burning into hers. “And we’re home now.”

 

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(All information obtained from the author’s website)

MaisyNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances  set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

 

sassyreview

As always my thanks go first and foremost to Netgalley and Random House Loveswept for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review. I also have to say I am sorry for such a huge delay in posting the review… I don’t have an real excuse except that I have been binge reading for months now.

That all being said I have to say that SOOOO many answers are revealed in the final book of the Deacons of Bourbon Street MC. And it was so much fun to know that the man who would reveal them all would be the one that was most resistant to being back in New Orleans or even near the club. We also start to understand why everything happened 10 years prior, or why they were all sent away. We also come to understand who Priest was and why he was killed. I also really enjoyed the fact that even though Sarah has grown up a certain way and has had so many things handed to her, she is still humble in a way and learns to be stronger through the struggles. I also liked the fact that Sarah helps Prince figure out that he doesn’t have to give up who he is to enjoy who he used to be. The chemistry and sass that these two have together is awesome and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I was a bit sad to see the end of the series, but very happy to know that the final book in a way came full circle.

I give this book 5 revving kisses… 

Happy Reading… Adri

Review: Hold Me Down by Jackie Ashenden

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Leonidas “Blue” Delacroix might be the prodigal son of New Orleans aristocrats, but the Deacons of Bourbon Street are his real family. And with their patriarch murdered, Blue wants nothing more than to unleash hell on the motorcycle club’s enemies—even if it means taking up arms against the girl who used to be his best friend. She’s done quite a bit of growing up, and suddenly their chemistry is red-hot. But where’s the line between ruthless seduction and sweet temptation?

For Alice Day, loyalty is everything. When Blue skipped town, she had no choice but to adopt a new family: their rivals, the Graveyard Ministry. Seeing him again reawakens old feelings . . . and fiery fantasies. Alice could never forget the scent of leather on his skin—just as she could never forgive the sting of his betrayal. But while the Ministry has treated her like one of their own, Blue is part of her soul. And as their liaisons hit the boiling point, Alice trusts her heart with the deadliest choice of her life.

 

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Alice hadn’t heard that voice for ten years but still, she’d know it anywhere. Deep, rough. Dark. Like the special black beer in her glass, the one that had an alcoholic kick to it like a mule.

Leon.

For a second that was all she could hear. Then shock coursed through her like a bucket of icy water dumped over her head and she whipped her head around.

There was a man standing next to her, tall enough that she had to tilt her head back really far to look at him. His muscular arms were crossed over the hard wall of his chest, the tanned skin etched with ink. Familiar tattoos. Familiar broad shoulders.

Oh God. It was him, wasn’t it?

She made herself look up further, to his face. And, yes, familiar face too.

It was fucking Leon.

Straight dark brows. High cheekbones. The same long mouth that she’d imagined kissing more than once back when she’d been sixteen and in the throes of her hopeless crush on him. Same nose, the one that looked like it had been broken several times and yet did nothing to detract from his beauty. Because however he might have scorned the description, Leon Delacroix had always been beautiful.

His eyes were dark brown and she’d used to find it fascinating how dark they were in comparison to his hair, a rich, heavy gold.

Now though, that hair had been cut ruthlessly short and those eyes were widening in shock as recognition hit him too.

“Alice?” he said in disbelief. “Fucking hell, is that you?”

She blinked, taking him in, struggling to get a hold on the sudden, wild burst of anger that had followed hard on the heels of the shock.

He’d left ten years ago without a goodbye, without even a backward glance. And she’d never heard from him since. Not an email, not a phone call, not a text. It was like he’d dropped off the face of the planet.

She’d been so angry at the time, so hurt. No, she wasn’t his girlfriend but she’d known him since she’d been fourteen years old and she’d thought that should have meant something to him. But then her father had died and things had gotten tough, and she’d had to put aside that anger and focus on what really mattered. The motorcycle shop that had once been her father’s. That was now hers.

Getting a grip, she swallowed back the anger and the rush of words that threatened to spill out. Trying for cool and tough, her usual modus operandi when it came to massive, tattooed guys who wanted something from her. “Yeah, it’s me,” she said and gave him a slow once-over, keeping a sneer on her face. “Hey Leon, haven’t seen you for a long time. Years even.”

He was still looking at her like he couldn’t believe his eyes. “It is you. Christ… What happened to you, kid? You look…” He stopped suddenly, his mouth hardening, dark brows arrowing down. “Should you be wearing jeans like that?”

Oh for God’s sake. Even ten years ago he’d been like a protective older brother. She was so over that shit now. “Hmmm. Interesting. Not, ‘hi Alice, how are you?’ Or ‘I’m sorry for leaving without telling you’. Even a ‘I meant to say goodbye’ would be nice. But no, all I get is a ‘should you be wearing jeans like that’?” She picked up her beer and took a healthy swallow. “Such a fucking gentleman. But then why expect anything different? It’s only been ten years after all.”

His expression darkened. And yet for all her anger she couldn’t stop looking at him. Staring at the changes in him, the lines around his eyes and mouth, the shadows that flickered through his gaze. He looked harder than he had. Meaner. As if time had tempered him like a blade, honing his edge.

An old fascination stirred. She gave it a mental kick. Hard. No, not again. She wasn’t falling down that slope again. She’d cried all the tears she’d had in the world over two men: her father and Leon fucking Delacroix. She was done crying.

“Didn’t Pete tell you why we left? I asked him to fill you in.”

“Yeah, he filled me in. He told me you had to go out of town and that you wouldn’t be back. Ever. Right after he told me he was dying of terminal cancer. Nice timing. I’m sure he appreciated it too.”

Leon’s gaze was darker than the night outside. A muscle jumped in the side of his jaw. “I heard he passed. I’m sorry.”

“Oh, you’re sorry? You’re sorry?” Her voice had risen. Jesus, she needed to get a handle on herself.  Her father had died eight years ago and the pain had faded. At least, she thought the pain had faded.

And he must have noticed because he said, “Hey, Ally,” and put out a hand to touch her shoulder.

She avoided the hand. “I’m not Ally, Leon. Not to you. Not anymore. And spare me your ‘I’m sorry’. I don’t want to hear it.”

His frown deepened. “Okay, okay. I get it. But let me at least buy you a beer and we can talk about—”

“We are not going to be talking about anything. Because I am getting out of here.” She drained the rest of her beer then pushed herself away from the bar. Only to find six foot four of hard, muscular male between her and escape. “What the hell?”

There was darkness in his eyes. And intent. Same old Leon. He’d always hated being told no. “At least let me tell you why I had to go.”

“I don’t fucking think so. Maybe if you’d had the decency to tell me yourself ten years ago, it might have been a different story.  But you didn’t. Now get out of my damn way, I have things to do.”

Leon didn’t move. He had his enforcer face on. The one that told you that you were in deep shit and there was no escape. He’d put the fear of God into many men, but never her. Because she’d known him since he was sixteen years old. And though he’d done violence to others, she knew he’d never hurt her.

Not until he took off out of your life without even a goodbye.

Yeah. Until that.

She crossed her arms, stared up at him. “What? You’re going to stop me from leaving, big man?”

“Sure. Why not?”

Alice stepped forward, getting right up into his space. And it wasn’t until she had that she realized what a damn stupid mistake it was. Because she remembered this, the hard warmth of his body and the scent of him, soap and leather and something else she could never identify. A warm, woody smell that was all Leon.

She’d used to day dream for hours about him. About his arms around her and his mouth on hers. First, chaste little kisses and then, as she’d gotten older and learned what it was that men and women did together in the privacy of their bedrooms, not so chaste.

It made her heart beat faster, desire turn over inside her. A desire she thought she’d crushed ten years earlier.

Jesus, what a joke. She owned a garage, spent her days fixing bikes and interacting with more musclebound guys than graced a Hollywood movie studio, and yet none of them had ever turned her on as instantly as Leon had.

His features were like granite as he stared down at her, immovable as a mountain.

“Get out of the way.”

“So that’s it? That’s all I get? You won’t even sit down and listen to what I have to say? What happened to loyalty?”

“Loyalty? To you?”

“To the Deacons.”

And for the first time she noticed he was wearing his cut over his T-shirt, the leather vest with the MC patch on the back. God, she remembered it.  Her father had one just the same, with the skull on the back. That patch used to cast such a shadow over Bourbon Street….

But no, that shadow was gone. And so too was any feeling she had for the man standing in front of her. She had a new family now. And a new loyalty.

“The Deacons? Christ, the Deacons don’t own this quarter anymore, if you hadn’t noticed.”

His jaw was tight, anger glinting in the depths of his dark eyes. “I don’t think so. Why do you think I’m here? We’ve come to take back what’s ours.”

“Yeah, well, that doesn’t include me. So get the hell out of my way.”

Still he didn’t move. “You’re a Deacon too, Alice. Or have you forgotten?”

“That’s the thing. I’m not a Deacon anymore.” She jerked up the left sleeve of her T-shirt and exposed the tattoo she’d gotten five years ago on the anniversary of her father’s death. Claiming a new family. “I’m a Ministry girl now.”

 

sassyauthorinfo

Jackie Ashenden(All information obtained from Author’s website)

Jackie has been writing fiction since she was eleven years old. Mild mannered fantasy/SF/pseudo-literary writer by day, obsessive romance writer by night, she used to balance her writing with the more serious job of librarianship until a chance meeting with another romance writer prompted her to throw off the shackles of her day job and devote herself to the true love of her heart – writing romance. She particularly likes to write dark, emotional stories with alpha heroes who’ve just got the world to their liking only to have it blown wide apart by their kick-ass heroines.

She lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr Jax, two kids, two cats and some guppies (possibly dead guppies by the time you read this). When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.

You can find Jackie at www.jackieashenden.com or follow her on Twitter @JackieAshenden

 

sassyreview

As always a thank you must first go to Netgalley and Random House Loveswept for providing us with a copy of this book so that we could bring you this review. As well as an apology for being so late in bringing you this review. I will say this I have been binge reading for months now and am trying to sit and finally write all my reviews now. This is what happens when life gets too stressful… Hide in the fantasy world.

This is one of those second chance love/ friends in love kind of stories. Blue has spent 1o years itching to come back to his chosen family in the Deacons of Bourbon Street, having been away after Priest banished them for so many unknown reasons (which if you read book 4 in the series you find out why). But you can see it the entire time (even from the first time he is introduced to us in book 1) that his heart really does lie in this club. Though it takes a lot for him to convince Alice that not all is as it seems, he also starts to feel the intense connection and attraction between them. Alice has had to fight and struggle to keep her father’s memory and legacy alive as well as being able to continue doing what she loves to do. She had to make difficult choices and change alliances, for that reason. There are a number of times where my heart hurt for Alice and everything she feels especially after the Deacons left her and her father behind, but also she’d been kept in the dark just as much as everyone else has so it is only natural for her to feel that way. In the end she makes even harder choices for who she loves.

I give this book 5 cruising kisses…

Happy Reading… Adri