Monday, January 26, 2015

Spotlight Tour: Rough Rider (Hot Cowboy Nights #2) by Victoria Vane ~ Trailer, Excerpt + Giveaway

Rough Rider, the second book in Victoria Vane's Hot Cowboy Nights series, is just a week away from being released! So, to get you ready to ride, we've got a great post today, including a fantastic excerpt, a sexy trailer and a terrific giveaway! You can also check out Karla's review, and from the looks of it, Rough Rider hit a soft spot with her, she really enjoyed this read! So, take your time browsing the post and then fill out the Rafflecopter for your chance to win one of 3 copies of Slow Hand, the book that kicked off this sexy cowboy series!

What it’s about
Two wary hearts …
Janice Combes has two loves, bucking bulls and Dirk Knowlton. But Dirk only has eyes for a dazzling rodeo queen. How can Janice ever compete while mired ankle-deep in manure? Exchanging playful banter with Dirk is all Janice can expect—until the stormy night he knocks on her door dripping wet and needing a place to crash.

Different Dreams…
Dirk Knowlton is living the cowboy dream. Life should be good—roping, branding, backing broncs, riding bulls, but there's a void he can't seem to fill. After getting hung up by a bull, he wonders if this is really the life he wants. Restless and rebellious, he bolts…but there’s a certain cowgirl he can’t forget.

When a battle-scarred Dirk returns to his Montana ranch he's determined to hang on at any cost. Janice has come back home to lick her own wounds. When old dreams turn to dust, can two wary hearts take another chance on love?

Available at:
Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound | Kobo

Release date - 2/3



He looked abashed. “We didn’t just have to leave the party, we got kicked out of the hotel too.”
“Evicted from your room?”
“Yup. And there aren’t any others available in all of Casper.”
“I know,” she said. “It’s why I’m camped out here.” She paused to digest what he’d left unsaid. “So you and Rachel?”
He shook his head with a scowl “We’re done now. Quits.”
“You’re kidding.”
“Nope. History. Case closed.”
“It’ll blow over.”
“Don’t think so. It was her idea to boot us. Said she didn’t give a shit if I had a room tonight or not. Then I couldn’t even try finding anything outside of town because my asshole brother took my keys so I wouldn’t drive. My next move was to pilfer a blanket and pillow and camp out under the stars in my truck bed, but then it started pouring on me.”
“So you came here. How’d you do that with no wheels?”
“Three miles in the pouring rain? No wonder you look like something the cat dragged in.”
“Can I crash for a coupla hours? Maybe just camp out in the back seat of your dually? All I need is to get warm and dry again.”
Janice’s mouth went dry as sawdust. Dirk Knowlton. Cold. Wet. Here. Now. Wanting a bed? She’d give her right arm to warm him up. Heck yeah.
Misreading her silence he mumbled a curse. “Sorry, Janice. It’s my damned head. I’m not thinkin’ right. It’s still throbbing like hell. Haven’t been myself all night. M’pologies for being such a dumb-ass and imposing on you—” He turned to the door.
“No! Wait. It’s not that.” She grabbed his sleeve. “I was just thinking of your injuries. You don’t need to make matters worse by sleeping all cramped up in the truck.” She gnawed her lower lip and then blurted. “Y-you wanna just stay here instead?”
“Here? That’s mighty generous but there isn’t a whole lot of room for both of us.” He glanced up at the gooseneck with a frown. “If you’ll just gimme a blanket, I’ll take the floor.”
“You don’t need to do that,” she said. “The bench here flips down over the table and converts into a single. It’s really narrow and not very comfortable, but still better than the truck. Warmer anyway. Besides you need to get dry.”
“You sure about this?” he asked.
“Yeah.” She smiled. “What are friends for? I’m sure I’ve got a shirt for you too.”
“Thanks, Red. That would be great.”
Red? The single syllable rippled warm and tingly, all the way to her toes. He followed up with a lopsided grin that stopped her in her tracks. She turned to the small cabinet that served a dual function as dresser and closet and shut her eyes on a sigh—but the same air stuck in her throat the minute she turned back around.
He’d shed the denim jacket. And the black tee. His bare torso with well-developed pecs and a mouthwatering six pack greeted her. He was drying his face with his discarded shirt. Janice tore her gaze away and cleared her throat. “Here.” She thrust an extra-large Dixie Chicks T-shirt into his hands, a souvenir from their Top of the World Tour. “I—I can get you a towel too.”
He eyed the shirt skeptically. “No thanks.”
“What? You don’t like female musicians?”
“Don’t like their politics. Natalie should just shut up and sing.”
“Ah.” She nodded slowly. The shirt was from the tour that caused the “incident.” A lot of her friends had since thrown out their Dixie Chicks CDs, but Janice still loved their music. “I Can Love You Better” was her favorite. The lyrics, she’s got you wrapped up in her satin and lace. Tied around her little finger…but I can love you better, perfectly summed up all the heartbreak and frustrations of unrequited love; all her secret feelings for Dirk. She only wished she could show him now that he was here. In the flesh. A big strong, blue-lipped and teeth-chattering fantasy come true.

Karla’s Review

4.5 Stars! A strong, well written, enjoyable second installment in this hot cowboy series !
I make no qualms about the fact that I am a huge fan of this author's historical romance, and truly believe that this genre is her "true calling", but after reading Rough Rider, it's easy to see that this talented author is capable of writing just about anything. 

Dirk was not a character that endeared himself to me in Slow Hand, but knowing that his past was a tragic one, I allowed him his bitterness and was curious to see what brought him to the point he was at. Well, the way I see it, he earned his right to being angry, and once I got to know him, I really came to care for him. Deep down he was a good man that was handed a raw deal, and considering his physical disability, he really manned up and didn't let it stop him from being a strong, capable cowboy. He was determined to keep the ranch, and his ingenuity and the direction he wanted to take, was an interesting concept. 

I loved Janice's resilience! Yes, she was a little naive when she was young, but she was also a hardworking, determined young woman with a kind heart, and she became an even stronger woman who literally took the "bull by the horns" to provide for her family. No matter how many times she was beaten down, she bounced back. She did what she thought was best when her life was thrown into turmoil after finding out about her father's illness,  and while it may have not been the right choice at the time, her intentions were nothing but admirable. Unfortunately, Janice had the wrong man by her side. 

Dirk and Janice got off to a rocky start when they were younger, for that matter not much of start at all, but life handed them a second chance and it made me happy to see them work through the obstacles that plagued them. Dirk was apprehensive, and rightfully so, but it was Janice's strong will and her love for him that made him realize he couldn't let life continue to pass him by. While Janice might have seemed pushy, she was just what Dirk needed. He didn't need someone to treat him like a broken man, but rather the brawny sexy cowboy that he still was, and Janice made no bones about the fact that that's what he was to her. She didn't want part of him, she wanted it all! They made a great couple, complimented each other and I enjoyed their passionate journey!

There was a particular element in the story that you see coming, really no revelation there, but it was how the author handled it that surprised me. She took the welfare of this young character into account and played out this part of the story out in a very fitting way.  Dirk and Wade also came to terms with each other, which you know from Slow Hand, but you see why they were so angry, and how they resolved their concerns.  

Victoria Vane brings the plight of the ranchers into the storyline and gives an accurate account of the issues they are dealing with. Family ranching is slowly becoming a past way of life, and in order to continue on, keep the land they've owned for generations, and pass it on to future generations, they have to change their way of thinking and ranching in general. The author is very keen on detail and these extra layers of storyline made for an interesting read! 

Bottom line, Rough Rider is one smooth read, Hot Cowboy Nights has staying power, and Victoria Vane is a force to be reckoned with no matter the genre of romance she writes! 

*A copy of the book was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Connect with Victoria Vane
Victoria Vane is a multiple award-winning romance novelist and history junkie whose collective works of fiction range from wildly comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Victoria also writes historical fiction as Emery Lee and is the founder of Goodreads Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers and the Romantic Historical Lovers book review blog. 
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Ripped (Real, #5) by Katy Evans

What it’s about
The fifth book in the New York Times new adult series that began with Real. When an angry, heartbroken girl is forced to be near her rocker ex-boyfriend, only time will tell if the fire between them will consume them both.

Pandora, the gothic friend of Brooke (Real, Mine, Remy) and Melanie, thought that getting her heart broken by her bad boy rocker ex could only happen once. But now, he's back in town with the biggest concert of the year. Pandora hates him so much that she gets Melanie to come with her and play a prank on him at his gig. But when they are caught by security, and her ex himself is summoned, he decides not to press charges if she'll follow certain conditions. Pandora likes none of his rules, or that he's in charge of her, especially since they seem designed to make sure she's in close contact with him again. But the closeness reignites the passion they once shared, and soon no matter how much she wants to hate him, it's clear she's still hung up on him. And worse: he knows it too.

Kristen’s Review

2–Should Have Been Better–Stars

I'll start by saying that I did like this book, the characters and the love story, but I can't give it a higher rating.

This story had so much potential to be great, but the execution fell short big time. The storytelling itself felt disjointed, inconsistent, random, slightly hard to follow, and sprinkled with grammar errors and small plot holes. I liked this couple (especially their past), and as harsh as this may sound, I felt they deserved better than the erratic way their story was told. Shame on the publishing editor for not helping the author produce her best work.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

One Night of Sin (After Hours #1) by Elle Kennedy

What it’s about
Sometimes it’s good to be bad…

When it comes to sex, good girl Skyler Thompson always plays it safe, choosing stable and sedate over wild and thrilling. She doesn’t do one-night-stands, but one look at sinfully sexy Gage Holt and she’s willing to reconsider. He makes her want to be bad for once in her life, and she’s prepared to take what she wants.

Danger follows former MMA fighter Gage Holt like a shadow. Despite his successes as part owner of Sin, an exclusive nightclub in Boston, Gage can’t risk getting involved with a woman, especially one as sweet as Skyler. Still, he can’t resist a taste—and it’s so damn good he has to see her again.

As addicted as he is to her, Gage knows there’s no future for him and Skyler—not with his past lurking in the dark corners of an MMA cage. But Skylar’s tougher than she looks, and she’s ready to fight for her man.

Dorsey’s Review

4.5 Fighting for Love Stars!!! 
I thoroughly enjoyed this scorching hot novella!! I loved  the hero and the heroine, Gage and Skyler, along with the secondary characters.

Gage is an 30 yr old sexy, dirty talking, ex-MMA fighter, and current partner in a successful club, Sin. He has baggage from his troubled childhood, which is still following him. He has trouble trusting, seeking help, and opening up on a personal and romantic level.....until Skyler.

Skyler is a part-time waitress and psychology student who is a "good girl".  While on a date with an arrogant idiot at Sin, she spots Gage, is instantly in lust with him, and decides to take a walk on the wild side.

Gage does all he can to chase her away after one hot make out session. He knows she's a good girl, therefore, totally off limits. But Skyler isn't done, she has yet to get what she wants from Gage and refuses to take no for an answer!

I loved Skyler's character. It was fun to see her take charge, her confidence bloom and eventually overcome the barriers Gage had built around himself.

There is a happily-ever-after, but it ended rather abruptly. I would have liked a small epilogue, and had there been one, it would have been a 5 star read for me. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series!
Connect with Elle Kennedy
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Flashback Friday: Dream of Me/Believe in Me (Viking & Saxon #1 & 2) by Josie Litton

What it’s about

They were two Viking lords, the brothers Wolf and Dragon, bound both by blood and by a shared ambition to end the war with their lifelong enemies, the Saxons. They know that their only hope for peace is to persuade the Saxon Lord Hawk to unite his noble family with theirs — in a bond sealed forever by the sanctity of marriage.

Together these three men will strive to overcome centuries-old rivalries and hatred. Each will unite in marriage with an extraordinary woman who has her own special gift — and her own dreams of bringing about an end to war....

Book One
In Dream of Me we meet the Viking leader Wolf Hakonson as he embarks on a mission to kidnap the Lady Cymbra, a legendary beauty Wolf mistakenly believes is the cause of war. Instead he discovers that she is a gifted healer who will challenge him to confront his deepest yearnings — and together they will become soul mates who forge a future blessed by peace.

Book Two
The drama continues in Believe in Me, when the Saxon Lord Hawk, brother of Cymbra, seeks to strengthen the alliance by wedding a Norse noblewoman. But Lady Krysta arrives bearing many secrets — including her gift for seeing what others cannot. And as an unexpected love ignites, only Krysta can sense the looming danger that threatens the peace — and Hawk as well.

Karla’s Review

Dream of Me...5 stars! Believe in Me...3 stars!

Dream of Me was everything I heard it was and more. Wolf is the ultimate alpha male, tough as nails and well respected, yet gentle and understanding. Cymbra is strong-willed, passionate and protective. They were dynamite together! Terrific dialogue, playful moments, lots of passion, and some heartbreak are woven into this wonderful story. It left me wanting more. These characters captured my heart, and this story is one I will not soon forget!

Believe in Me was a little bit of a disappointment. I had high hopes for Hawk’s story, because I liked him so much in the first book. Krysta’s introduction into the story was very interesting, and I thought it was off to a good start, and then it went nowhere fast. The passion wasn’t there between Hawk and Krysta like it was with Wolf and Cymbra. Krysta’s reasoning for rejecting Hawk in marriage seemed a bit far-fetched, and the magical element did not work for me. It was an okay read, and had some good moments, but Dream of Me was so much better. I'm holding out hope for Come Back to Me, the third and final book in the series, and the delectable Dragon’s story, Wolf’s brother. Oh, those Viking men!!

Josie Litton's writing is rich in detail, and she gives the reader an accurate feel for what life was like in that time period. Overall, the combo of both books made for some enjoyable reading, and being this was my first foray into Viking romance, it was a good place to start.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1) by Keira Andrews

What it’s about
In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

Note: Contains explicit sexual situations and graphic language. This is not an inspirational/Christian romance.

KindleRomance’s Review

5 Stars!
Isaac was an extremely engaging character, and listening to him tell the story kept me hooked from the beginning until the end. This was the first book I’ve read about a gay Amish couple. Although there were enough details to give me a better idea of how they lived on a daily basis, I didn’t think it overwhelmed the story. Instead, it helped to give a real sense of the challenge for Isaac and David to have a relationship. Needless to say, there was a lot of angst in this story leading to quite a few tears on my part. Although there was a definite happy ending for the couple, there were enough open issues to make me excited about reading the next story in their saga.

*Originally posted at KindleRomance Reviews*

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Touch & Go (Dare to Love #2) by Mira Lyn Kelly

What it’s about
Vivacious and successful, Ava Meyers is living her dream life, except for one thing: Ever since childhood, she’s been in love with her best friend . . . and she’s never admitted it. Back then, Sam Farrow was a damaged young man with a tough past. Now he’s supremely confident, super-sexy, and totally untouchable—until the night when Sam pretends to be Ava’s boyfriend to save her from some unwanted attention. In a moment of weakness, Ava finds out that a long friendship is no match for blistering sexual chemistry.

After years of denying his own feelings, Sam finds that one amazing night with Ava isn’t enough to chase away all the pent-up fantasies. So he proposes they spend a few weeks driving each other wild, exhausting their every desire, and then return to their perfect platonic relationship like nothing ever happened. But Sam’s plan has one fatal flaw: the part where they give each other up. Because the more they let go of their inhibitions, the more they’re tempted to never go back.

 Publication date: 2/17

Dorsey’s Review
4 Friends to Lovers Stars!!

I'd suggest reading Truth or Dare, the first book in the series before reading this one. This series is about a group of close friends, and the characters we met in book one, play a big role in this book.

This book is Ava and Sam's book, and it’s a friends to lovers story. They are best friends and tell each other everything (except their true feelings for one another). I really liked Ava's backbone and I love the relationship between all of the friends.

Ava is a strong emotionally stable woman, but it seemed to me that she was the one who always took the risk and put herself out there. Sam is nowhere near emotionally stable, and it caused issues and drama that I found very frustrating at times. Ava loves Sam and has been in love with him forever, and no doubt about it that Sam loves Ava, but his upbringing has forced him to close down from emotions, and I understood his reluctance. He eagerly agrees to a hook-up with Ava...and lots of them...but love? Not something he sees for himself until Ava…..

"What do you say, Ava,” he asked, searching her eyes. “Feel like making a really bad decision with me?”
 Looking forward to Ford’s book next and I’m curious to see who will be able to catch his attention. 

*A copy of the book was provided by the Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley*
Connect with Mira Kelly

Available for pre-order