Release Day Blitz: Piece of Work by Staci Hart!

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Title: Piece of Work

Author: Staci Hart

Release Day: May 17, 2018


Read it now!:

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Piece of Work, an all-new sexy and hilarious romance from Staci Hart, is LIVE!

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

 [Amazon US] [Amazon Universal] [Add to GoodReads]


Synopsis:

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Marble isn’t the only thing that’s hard at this museum.

His body is as chiseled as Adonis. His lips are as sculpted as David. And his ego is the size of the Guggenheim.

You know the type—wolfish smile and the gravity of a black hole. The kind of man who sucks all the air from the room the second he enters it. My cocky boss thinks this internship was wasted on me, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know.

But he’s wrong, and I’m going to prove it to him. If I can stay away from his devil lips, that is. Lips that cut me down and kiss me in the same breath, leaving me certain he’s on a mission to ruin my life.

And maybe my heart.


About the Author:

StaciHart

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.


 Connect with Staci:

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Join Her Reader Group [HERE]!


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Release Day Blitz & Review: What He Always Knew by Kandi Steiner!

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WHAT HE ALWAYS KNEW
Release Date: March 29th, 2018
Series: What He Doesn’t Know Duet
Genre: Contemporary Romance


SYNOPSIS:

Stay

Left or right.

It’s that simple, and it isn’t simple at all.

If I turn left, the road will lead me back to the man I promised my life to, the one I’d imagined building a family with, the one who’s done everything in his power to get me back.

If I turn right, the road will take me to the man I loved first, the man who brought me back to life, the man who would do anything to keep me.

I knew the fork in the road was inevitable; it was the decision I never wanted to make between choices I didn’t know I had.

And I love them both.

My heart is destined to exist in two equal halves — one with each man. But one half beats stronger, the vein running deepest, and holds my choice in silence long before I know it for myself.

The realization of what I have to do, of the heart I have to break, just might break mine too.

Left or right.

All I have to do is take a breath and turn.

[Amazon US] [Amazon UK] [Add to Goodreads]


START THE SERIES TODAY:

Now Available Horizontal_book 2
FREE in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2HwSJC8
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2FEFeUo
Add to Goodreads: bit.ly/WHDKGoodreads

 

 


MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
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This was an immediate highly anticipated read for me as soon as I finished reading What He Doesn’t Know. HOLY CANOLLI! This is only my second read by Kandi and I am already obsessed with the woman. I have a huge bone to pick with her but it hasn’t gotten rid of the fact that Kandi knows just how to play your heart strings. She destroys you beyond repair yet has you craving more even though you may not survive it.
This book picks up right after the last one which left us with a LOT of unanswered questions. Charlie has two months to choose between spending the rest of her life with her husband or with her childhood love.
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I absolutely loved Charlie. I can only imagine how rough it must be knowing that your happiness comes at the cost of someone else’s and not letting it affect your decisions. I feel like she did the best she could’ve given the situation she was thrust into but I did have a few problems with the way she reacted/acted in certain scenarios. She’ll always have my respect but ugh, not my approval.
Also, I have to admit that I might have been way too busy writing down all the quotes I loved instead of a review itself so I will try my best to give this magnificent novel what it deserves.
Unlike the first book, this one actually shows us the point of views of all 3 characters throughout the entire book. It made me hate Cameron a little less but it didn’t make me like him all of a sudden. He’s okay in my book by Reese will forever hold my heart.
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Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean that Reese is perfect. Far from it actually. That cliffhanger at the end of What He Doesn’t Know is a testament of that. He had a lot to answer for in this novel but I could never hate him for it. I had so much faith in him and he definitely needed a person in his corner after the past he was handed. My poor, poor Reese. I will forever yearn for a book dedicated to him.
I was so invested in the relationship between Reese and Charlie that every single mishap they went through felt like a personal blow to my psyche. I cold feel the way they effortlessly fit together.
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I spent the entirety of this novel with my stomach permanently twisted into one of the worst knots I’ve ever experienced. This book had me wanting to scream at every turn of the page and it rose goosebumps all over my skin without pause. The knot in my stomach was so tremendous that it made me feel nauseous time and time again.
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It had me crying even harder than most books I’ve read since I could feel all of their pain as my own. Everything was enhanced threefold and I almost didn’t think I’d make it to the end with my sanity intact. I was also petrified by the outcome I could see coming. It was inevitable heartbreak for me and there was no way I could stop it from crashing headfirst into me, knocking down all of my joy along with it.
One last thing I will say is that I am taking a break from love triangles for a while. I never thought I would do such a thing but this book was so rough on me… I need time to recuperate before I open myself up to such despair all over again.
Kandi, you have successfully made this reader suffer and I thank you for that since it has made this duet even more memorable. It already was but you went the extra mile to drive it home, Missy.
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5/5 STARS!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

——

Connect with the Author:

[Facebook] [Twitter] [Website]

Stay up to date with Kandi by signing up for her newsletter [HERE]

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Release Day Blitz: What He Doesn’t Know by Kandi Steiner!

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WHAT HE DOESN’T KNOW by KANDI STEINER!
Publication Date: March 15th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography, Lauren Perry
Cover Designer: Kandi Steiner


SYNOPSIS:

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On the northeast side of town, there is a house.
The house was once magical, filled with love and joy and plans for the future.
Inside its walls are many things that belong to me — my books, the china from my mother on my wedding day, the beautiful cage once home to two birds, now empty, just like me.
And a man.
A man who also belongs to me.
A man I no longer wish to keep.
A man who, no doubt, has not slept, though the sun is rising. Because the house where he waits is where I laid my head to rest every night for eight years. Until last night.
No one who knows me would believe Charlie Pierce, the quiet, bookish girl who never made waves is pulling out of the driveway of a man who isn’t her husband.
But they don’t know me at all.
I don’t even know me.
Not anymore.
They say there are two sides to every story, and I suppose in most cases, that’s true. But the one I live inside of? It has three.
On the northeast side of town, there is a house.
But there is no longer a home.


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Read Today!
FREE in Kindle Unlimited
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[Add to Goodreads]


REVIEW COMING SOON!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

*

CONNECT WITH KANDI

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Stay up to date with Kandi by signing up for her newsletter

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Review & Giveaway: Waterfall Effect by K.K. Allen!

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Release Date:

February 28, 2018

Cover Design:

Sarah Hansen / Okay Creations


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Synopsis:

Lost in the shadows of a tragedy that stripped Aurora June of everything she once loved, she’s back in the small town of Balsam Grove, North Carolina, ready to face all she’s kept locked away for seven years. Or so she thinks.

As one of the victims of a string of mysterious disappearances in the small, picturesque Appalachian Mountain town, darkness has become her home—her safe blanket when the world reveals its true colors. But as the walls of darkness start to move in on her, she knows the only way to free herself from her past is to face it, head-on. She just needs to figure out how.

Upon arrival, Aurora isn’t expecting her first collision to be with the boy she left all those years ago. The boy who betrayed her trust with no regrets. The boy who is no longer a boy, but a man with the same stormy eyes that swept her into his current before she ever learned to swim.

She’d thought he was safe. He’d thought their path was mapped out. Turns out neither of them was ready for the crash at the bottom of the cascade.


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Purchase Links:

[Goodreads] [Amazon US ] [Amazon UK ]

 [Amazon CA ] [Amazon AU ]


 

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My Review:

*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“He gave me adventure when the rest of the world gave me rules.”
If you’ve been following my reviews for a while then you know my epic love for K.K. Allen right? Well if you didn’t then welcome to a(nother) glowing review for this wonderful woman. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the masterpieces she manages to put out into the world. Each story she comes out with is tremendously better than the last even though they were already amazing to begin with. I’m so proud to say that this was no exception.
I was already half in love with this novel due to its title. Give me any word that relates to water and I am yours. With that said, my expectations were already way too high before diving in but a part of me just didn’t want to admit it in case I was insanely let down. But I shouldn’t have worried since K.K. Allen only managed to blow my high expectations to smithereens and left me gaping like a loser. Her writing is always incredibly addicting but here it only increased in momentum with every page.
This story introduces us to 18 year old Aurora who is the only survivor of serial disappearances that happened in her town. She is forced to leave everything she used to find solace in behind because of it. Then the story skips 6 years and we follow her as she is forced to face her dark past once again. I loved and appreciated Aurora as a main character to no end. It was one of the most interesting rides I’ve ever been on as we got to discover who she was alongside her. She broke my heart way too many times every time she questioned her own darkness. I wanted nothing else than to hold her tight and chase her demons away BUT, that’s where my second favorite character comes in.
My beautiful Jaxon.
Aurora and Jaxon have a past that got in the way of their happiness once but we got to see their relationship develop into something beautiful and enchanting. I couldn’t get enough of Jaxon’s heart and passion. The way he treated Aurora had me tearing up and melting into goo. His patience with her as she struggled with panic attack after panic attack made me sob like crazy. I didn’t only fall in love with his heart but I also fell in love with their relationship. All I have left to say is that I loved the way they ended up and I couldn’t be happier for them. The ending of this book was the least they deserved and I will forever hold this book close to my heart because of it.
Now, let’s talk about the setting of this novel.
Waterfall Effect takes place in an Appalachian Mountain town that is mush too beautiful for words. I was ultimately excited to see how the title would tie into the story and I couldn’t have asked for a better move in K.K.’s part. The way she described the details surrounding this town made me feel as if I was actually there, right beside these wonderful characters. I never wanted to live inside a book as badly as I did in here. Another reason I bonded with Aurora was through our overwhelming love for waterfalls. The only difference between us was that she actually got the opportunity to spend time among them, unlike me. From now on, whenever I feel like experiencing a waterfall, I will surely pick up this novel so I can live vicariously.
Also, this novel was FULL of sharp twists and turns. I felt like I couldn’t even get a chance to catch my breath before K.K. threw another epic turn at me. I still can’t believe how masterfully she wielded every plot line in here. She had my undivided attention even after I had finished the book and that’s the least I could expect from an author. I will definitely be recommending this book to everybody I stumble across.
I can’t wait for the next one!
“Perhaps it wasn’t the darkness that kept me from remembering. Maybe I was just avoiding the light.”

5/5 stars!


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About the Author:

K.K. Allen is an award-winning author and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences graduate from the University of Washington who writes heartfelt and inspirational Contemporary Romance stories mainly about “Capturing the Edge of Innocence.” K.K. currently resides in central Florida, works full time as a Digital Producer for a leading online educational institution, and is the mother to a ridiculously handsome little dude who owns her heart.

K.K.’s publishing journey began in June 2014 with the YA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy, The Summer Solstice. In 2016, K.K. published her first Contemporary Romance, Up in the Treehouse, which went on to win the Romantic Times 2016 Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best New Adult Book of the Year. With K.K.’s love for inspirational and coming of age stories involving heartfelt narratives and honest emotions, you can be assured to always be surprised by what K.K. releases next.

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Connect with K.K.

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Release Day blitz & Review: Move the Stars by Jessica Hawkins!

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SYNOPSIS FOR BOOK 1:

SOMETHING IN THE WAY

It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn’t be broken…no matter how hard we tried.
I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I’d learn that life isn’t always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn’t matter. My older sister saw him next.


SYNOPSIS FOR BOOK 3: (SPOILERS)

MOVE THE STARS:

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The highly anticipated conclusion to the Something in the Way series, a forbidden love saga.
Lake
It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. If I’d known then what I do now, would I have kept on walking? Manning was older, darker, experienced—and I’d trusted him when he said the story would only ever be about us. I’d held those words close and challenged fate, but I had lost.

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A part of me is still that sixteen-year-old girl squinting up at Manning, but no matter how far I fall or high I soar, I’ll always be a bird without her bear and nothing without him.
Manning
When I close my eyes, I can no longer see her. The decisions I made were to push Lake in the right direction—away from me. But now that she’s gone, would I have made those same choices?
I’d walked away like I was supposed to. I’d kept my distance. I’d bent over backward to keep Lake pure, but she’s no longer that girl, and I don’t know if I can stay away anymore. I only know I don’t want to. She’s still everything I want and nothing I should ever have, but if anyone can move the stars, it’s her great bear in the sky.


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Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography

Cover Design © R.B.A. Designs

Cover Model: Chase Williams


MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“My instinct to love him was as strong as my instincts to cower from him. To cover my heart anticipating the next blow.”
This takes place about 4 years after the last one and it broke my heart but it also made it soar. Because of this, I wasn’t too mad at Jessica… Who am I kidding, I can never be mad at the woman who single-handedly gave me the book I’ve been waiting to read for years.
My heart has been overtaken by this series before the release of book 1 and I can’t believe this series has come to an end. As soon as I got word that early copies had hit Kindles, I dropped everything I was doing and started the book I knew would open old wounds; Just like its predecessors have done without fail. This was one of my most anticipated releases for October and I was already crying my eyes out not even 1% into it. (No regrets)
“Did he understand the agony of knowing I’d never call him mine.”
I loved Lake since the very beginning and it only multiplied after each turn of the page. The fact that I experienced eerily similar situations as her, made my protectiveness go off the wall. I wanted to shelter her and heal her heart as much as I could. But, she proved to not need me since she turned out way better than I had anticipated. She’s come so far since the 16 year old I met a few months ago. I am incredibly proud of the woman she’s become and appreciated riding the roller coaster that was her life along with her. It was an agonizing ride but it wasn’t long enough. every one of her thoughts seemed to reflect my own at one point in my life, so in my mind, she’s as real as me. She’s just the better version of me.
“I had only one option left, tilt the universe until she fell into my arms.”
I was surprised to have loved Manning so much. (Manning without a filter is my new favorite thing, HOLY GODS.)… I was a strong advocate in the ‘I don’t want Manning to end up with Lake’ club but he managed to prove himself worthy after part 2 of this novel. I still can’t forgive him for most of the things he has done but none of that got in the way of my enjoyment of this book for what it was, thankfully. He had a lot to atone for in this novel but he still didn’t deserve the stuff that happened to him or the people around him along the way. I was absolutely thrilled to witness his character development as much as Lake’s. Jessica handled these characters with an expertise I hope to match someday.
I wanted nothing but happiness for these two and I got my wish so it’s more than I could ask for.
“I was in too deep with a man who’d ruined my life without ever touching me.”
This novel was full of heartbreak but it was perfectly balanced by epic reconciliation scenes. (*cough*And steamy ones *cough*.) I think that this is Jessica’s best series yet and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us all.
I do have to mention really quick that my hatred for Tiffany knows no bounds and from now on, will forever cringe at the mention of her name. I also noticed that there were a lot of loose ends at then end of this novel… SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS….which means…. I am 100% sure there will be more coming our way from these characters…. Right, Jessica????
This is one of the steamiest romance novels I’ve ever read so if you’re not 18, please turn away!

5/5 stars!


BUY LINKS:

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 [Amazon] [iBooks] [Nook ]

 [Google Play] [Kobo] [Paperback]

 [Audiobook (coming 2017)]


ABOUT JESSICA:

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Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State Universityand has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. To her, the most intriguing fiction is forbidden, and that’s what you’ll find in her stories. Currently, she resides wherever her head lands, which is often the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.

——

AUTHOR LINKS

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Release Day Blitz, Giveaway, & Review: Detour by Kacey Shea!

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Title: Detour

Series: Off Track Records #1

Author: Kacey Shea

Cover Design & Photography: Marisa Shor, Cover Me Darling

Cover Model: Haley Loan

Release Date: June 1, 2017


SYNOPSIS:

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Trent Donavan is the golden boy of the rock world. As lead singer of Three Ugly Guys, he’s every fangirl’s dream, and with his newfound fame the women flow as readily as alcohol and drugs. There’s no doubt women are Trent’s preferred indulgence after a successful show.

That is, until the feisty little blonde joins the tour.

Lexi Marx loves music. It runs in her blood and flows through her soul. As the -illegitimate daughter of a rock legend, she’s determined to make it in the music industry on talent alone. So when her agent scores her the opening act gig for the next 3UG tour it seems her hard work, hopes, and dreams have finally come to fruition.

Until she spends time with the band. More accurately, Trent Donovan. She’d feel better if that arrogant manwhore of a lead singer would stop hitting on her with his dreamy eyes, witty comebacks, and voice that melts the most jagged of hearts.

But Trent is determined to prove to Lexi he’s not such a bad guy, and as music binds their friendship, Lexi’s left with the most confusing of emotions. Could this be love or an uninvited distraction? She can still have it all, if only her heart doesn’t lead her off track.


MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
“She’s my world your, my greatest award, better than any bestselling album or performance.”
This was my 4th book by Kacey and I loved it just as much as every other one of hers. I have to admit, I thought this was going to be completely separate from the Uncovering Love series but I was super excited to find out that I was dead wrong! I couldn’t contain my excitement when I found out that this book follows a hunk that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in the other books. I didn’t want to let the characters from UL go and now I don’t have to. This new series is giving me so much hope! Kacey has given me something I didn’t know I was yearning for and hopefully that shows just how much I love her work.
This is a rock star romance and it was like none other I’ve ever read. It’s a dual POV so it also follows Lexi, an up and coming singer/songwriter. These two meet right before they go on tour together and they both stole my heart right away. As individuals, they are hilarious and as real as you and me. But as a duo, they are that plus so much more. I loved how Trent showed his fierce, caring side right from the start. He was so perfect for Lexi and vice versa. They both tell it how it is and the way they worked through their problems was nothing short than awe-mazing. I wish I meet my own Trent soon because this book gave me all the feels that I didn’t want to stop experiencing.. I’m a bit obsessed with Trent, in case it isn’t obvious.
The only criticism I have for this book was that a few things were more than a bit predictable. I saw some things coming and yes, it put a bit of a damper on my mood, but I just shrugged it off and kept going.
Kacey is a mastermind when it comes to writing. Her novels always feel lighthearted and epic until you get slapped by a sudden depth that you can’t crawl out of. The rawness that Kacey includes in her books brings you to the ground while at the same time, everything else keeps you soaring. This is exactly what this novel was and I loved it even more because of it.
The ending was beyond beautiful and it had me bawling like a baby. I can’t tell you how many times I went back to reread it because I didn’t want to let go. I can’t wait for Sean’s story next!
“When life gets off track, sometimes a little detour is all it takes to set things right.”
Not recommended for readers under 18.

4/5 stars!


BUY LINKS:

Special Release Week price of $2.99/Kindle Unlimited

Detour Release 2.99

 [Amazon[Amazon CA]

[Amazon UK[Amazon AU]


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Kacey Shea is a mom of three, wife, and indie author who resides in sunny Arizona. She enjoys reading and writing romance novels as much as her son loves unicorns, which is a lot.

When she’s not writing you will find her playing taxi cab to her children while belting out her favorite tunes, meeting friends or family for food and to share some laughs, or sweating it out in the gym. Kacey finds that picking up heavy weights repeatedly is good for her mental health as much as it is for the physical.

She has an unhealthy obsession with firefighters. It could be the pants. It could be the fire. It’s just hot. On occasion she has been known to include them, without their knowledge, in her selfies outside the grocery store.

Kacey one day aspires to be a woman hand model in a sexy photo shoot. You know, the woman’s hand raking across the muscular back or six pack stomach of the male fitness model. Yep, that hand.

Until that day comes she will continue writing sexy, flirty romance novels in hopes to bring others joy!

Kacey enjoys interacting with her fans so please feel free to stalk her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

——-

Social Media Links:

 [Website] [Facebook] [Instagram]

[Twitter] [Amazon[Goodreads]

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[Kacey’s Newsletter Sign Up:]


EXCERPT:

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Enjoy this excerpt from lead singer of Three Ugly Guys, Trent Donavan from Kacey Shea’s rock star romance, Detour:

The dive is actually charming inside, with its retro fifties décor and twenty-four-seven breakfast menu. The crowd is popping for a weekday lunch, and with its location in the heart of downtown I take that as a sign the food will be good.

A no-nonsense waitress leads us to an empty booth near the back.

“This okay?” Her tone dares us to suggest it’s not . . . and end up with spit in our meal.

“Perfect. Thanks.” Lexi slides into the seat across from me. The waitress points to where the menus are nestled between the table and a dish of creamer, sugar packs, and other condiments.

“What can I get you to drink?”

“I’ll have a glass of orange juice,” Lexi says and then glances at me. “And I don’t need to see the menu. I’m ready to order. If you are?”

“Yeah.” I’m surprised, since most people scan the menu before deciding on their meal.

“A stack of plain pancakes. Please,” she says.

“You want the half or the full?” our server asks without looking up from her notepad.

“Full, please.” Lexi smiles.

The waitress pauses to glance at Lexi and raise her brows. “Mmm’kay. And for you?” She nods my direction more than asks.

“Same. Except coffee for me.”

“’Kay.” She turns and leaves without a backward glance.

“I don’t know how you do that,” I say.

“What? I can eat a lot of food. Especially pancakes. Don’t judge me by my size.”

I grin. “Not that. I’m talking about ordering orange juice.”

“You don’t like OJ?” she asks as if I’m the crazy one.

“I do. But you have no idea the pulp situation. Does it have none, or extra? How can you order a glass without knowing the level of pulp?”

She laughs and at that moment our server comes back to set down our drinks. “Pancakes’ll be up shortly.”

“I take it you’re not a fan of pulp.” Lexi observes and takes a sip from her drink.

I eye her from over the brim of my mug. “That obvious?”

She laughs and sets down her glass. “You’ll be happy to know there’s a low pulp situation going on. We’re safe here.”

“Thank God!” I bug my eyes and delight in the way her lips lift in a comfortable smile. Not forced or guarded. I like this Lexi. “Hey, there’s something I’ve been wanting to ask you since we met.”

Her shoulders straighten just the slightest and I can’t help but kick myself for chasing away some of her ease. “You don’t have to answer, if you don’t want. Just call me curious.”

“Fine.” She rolls her eyes but her lips twitch up with the trace of a smile. “Shoot.”

“Why Marx?” The words leave my mouth and I instantly regret the question.

Her eyes drop and her jaw hardens with her frown. She studies the patterned Formica table and traces her fingertips along the silver plated fork and spoon atop her paper napkin. Fuck. She was just starting to open up. Talk to me. Now she’s like ice. I should apologize. Or make a joke. An inappropriate one about her luscious breasts. Yes, then she’ll get angry. Angry I can do.

“Don’t laugh,” she warns.

My gaze snaps up to watch her still playing with the silverware. “Okay.”

“Swear it.”

I reach my hand across the table and set my fingers next to the napkin. “Pinky promise.” I wiggle my finger and her lips soften as though she wants to smile. “I won’t tell a soul.”

Her pinky slides along mine, and the soft brush of her tiny finger against my much bigger one kicks up my pulse. Her hands are so delicate and skilled, and fuck if my dick isn’t already making my tight jeans irritably uncomfortable. She squeezes her finger and I barely lock mine with hers before she pulls her hands back into her lap.

“I was a child. I can’t be held responsible.” She glances around the room before her gaze settles back to me. “But I had a major crush on Richard Marx.”

“The singer?” I press my lips together because I’m certain there’s a smile stretching across my face.

Lexi’s glare confirms my suspicion. “Not a word. You promised.”

“I won’t. It’s cute. What were you, like five?”

“More like twelve.”

“But you’re only twenty-three, right? Wasn’t Marx big in the late eighties, early nineties?”

“Yeah, well, my mom loved his music so we listened to it a lot.”

“You’re telling me your stage name is a shout out to the guy who romanced millions of women with his piano and soft rock ballads, all from a little childhood crush?”

“Don’t judge, okay. I was a kid.” Even she can’t hold back a laugh.

“Not judging, just finding the connection rather shallow for a woman who does everything with great meaning.”

Her eyes narrow. “I’m not sure if you’re trying to compliment or insult me.”

I wink. “Compliment. Go with the positive.”

“You’re delusional.” She throws up her hands.

“Says the Marx diehard fan!”

“Look. It’s more than that,” she grumbles and when I tilt my head she shakes hers, her next words leaving her lips in a rush. “God, I can’t believe I’m telling you this . . . When I was a young girl I had this ridiculously famous rock star dad. One who was a horrible father. One who never remembered to call or visit, and who made my mom cry herself to sleep. One who made her waste her entire youth devoted to a man who didn’t give two shits about us.

When I listened to “Right Here Waiting,” I used to pretend that my dad wasn’t Richie Sands. That my mom had gotten it all wrong. I imagined my father was Richard Marx and he was singing that song to us—my mom and me. That he loved us.” She gave a short pause. “So as soon as I turned eighteen, I legally changed my last name to Marx.”

“Two big stacks.” Our server interrupts by setting down our plates with a clatter. “Refills?”

“Yes, please,” Lexi answers. However, I can’t seem to move my gaze from her eyes. The green shines a little too brightly under the florescent lights while she pours way too much syrup on her pancakes. She continues with her meal as if she hadn’t just shared something completely intimate and personal.

“Syrup?” Lexi holds the jug over my stack and I quickly grab it from her hands.

“I’ve got it, Sugar Tits! You’ll give me diabetes if I let you pour.”

“What? I like syrup with my pancakes!”

“I can see that.” I grin and douse my stack with a conservative amount before cutting a few bites with the side of my fork. “So, when you’re not basking in pancake griddle heaven, what other food do you enjoy this much?”

“Chinese, Thai, Sushi. I love them all. But there’s nothing like a stack of pancakes.” Lexi shovels in another mouthful. A groan of pleasure escapes from where her lips lock around the fork. Fork me. What I wouldn’t give to be a piece of cutlery.

“And don’t think I didn’t notice the sugar tits comment, either. That nickname ends here.” She points the fork in my direction before taking another bite.

My lips pull up with a big ass grin. “I don’t know . . . ’Cause that I didn’t promise.” I pop in a mouthful of pancakes.

She shakes her head, rolls those eyes, and takes a sip of juice. “Hey, Trent.” She glances down at her plate, using her fork to push around the sopping mess she’s made of a perfectly delicious breakfast.

“Yeah?”

“I never said thank you.” She lifts her gaze and those eyes pierce me with their sincerity. “Thank you.”

I lick my lips and take a big gulp of coffee. “You’re welcome. For what exactly?”

She smiles and taps her fork against the plate. “Why did you bring me on your bus in Oklahoma?”

That night fills me with sadness and I rub my hands through my hair. “To keep you safe.”

“That’s it? No ulterior motives?”

“Lexi, that night, I . . . There was no way I was letting you sleep in Big Betty. Not after what happened. What could have happened. No. I just needed to keep you safe. The best way to do that was in our bus. Simple.”

She scoops up her drenched pancake and brings it to her lips. Oh, those damn lips. “Well, then, thank you,” she whispers before the food goes inside her mouth and she does the groan again.

It’s all I can do to not pounce over the table, claim those lips, and join her in the sound.

“And thanks for not trying to get in my pants.” She grins, wider now, and I feel as though she’s playing some kind of mindfuck game. She’s gotta be on to me, inside my head, knowing I’ve been thinking unprofessional thoughts throughout this entire breakfast.

“Who says I’m not trying to do that?” I go with humor, always my best defense, and it works when she laughs aloud.

“You’re such a manwhore.”

“You got me.” I join in her laugher and pray my little obsession with her mouth dissipates the further into this tour we go. Lexi is a cool chick, more down to earth than I ever imagined, and she deserves the best. More than I could ever give, that much is true.

Pick up your copy to find out what happens next!

Detour is available now from Amazon Kindle or read free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.


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Release Day Blitz & Review: To Nurture & Kill by E.M. Markoff!

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Title: To Nurture & Kill

Series: Ellderet Tale, #1

Author: E.M. Markoff

Audience: Adult

Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy

Formarts: E-Book and Paperback

Cover Artwork: [Pink Pigeon Studio]

Release Date: April 22, 2017


To Nurture & Kill Synopsis:

TNK_Blurb2

Eutau Vidal owed nothing to anyone and lived his life as he wanted. But then his sister died, leaving her newborn son Kira in his care, and everything changed. The Purging sweeps on, spreading misery across the Land of Moenda as the Ascendancy wages its war of extermination against the Deadbringers. Now, torn between a promise to his dying sister and the desire to regain his freedom, Eutau struggles to care for his young nephew even as the babe begins to manifest dark powers of the most dangerous kind.

To Nurture & Kill is a tale of love and loss, the story of one man’s search for meaning amid the ashes of war. It is a standalone prequel to The Deadbringer, the first book in The Ellderet Series.


MY REVIEW:

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*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
This was my second read by Markoff and I just can’t believe such a short thing made as much damage to my being as it did. It was captivating from the very first page and it managed to do the unthinkable: It made me forget about ACOTAR/ACOMAF as I read it. (I haven’t been able to read anything due to the release of ACOWAR that has me thinking about nothing else.) Markoff has what feels like an effortless ability to help you immerse yourself in her words, and nothing else. It also made me realize just how much I missed Markoff’s ruthless world and incredibly badass characters.
This novella follows Kira’s uncle, Eutau, who I’ve grown to love even more (and hate at times) thanks to this. We see a character development in him that had me tearing up at so many places from the overwhelming pride that invaded every part of me. There were a bunch of times where I just wanted to hug him and let him know he was not alone.
I always love a guy’s POV, especially when there is a baby in the mix. Because of that, this plot line made me super happy to explore. I also can’t praise Markoff enough for the subtle diversity she incorporated into it. It wasn’t shouting at my face at every turn, it was just a fact, and we easily moved on with the plot. In my opinion, this is EXACTLY what all authors should do when it comes to diversity, instead of having it be the main focus. It should be treated as a normality, because that’s what it is… I am forever grateful for this, Eileen!
Anyway, back to a lighter topic: I can’t believe Kira’s power still manages to amaze me with every glance I get of it. I want it all for myself but I guess I can live vicariously through him. I grew even more protective of these two than I already was from The Deadbringer.
This novella is divided into three parts and I was crying like an inconsolable baby as soon as that third one slapped me in the face.
This title is, by far, one of my absolute favorites! Markoff can do no wrong and I will recommend her words forever! (I’ll just have Kira bring me back from the dead so I can fulfill my promise.) I can’t wait for the next installment of this amazing world!

5/5 stars!


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Goodreads: [Goodreads]

Purchase: [Amazon]


To Nurture & Kill YouTube Playlist:

(A note from the author) Music is dear to me. Just like I can’t imagine a life without books, I can’t imagine a life without music. It motivates me in so many ways, and it is vital to my writing since it helps set the mood and excites the writing muse. The songs chosen for the To Nurture & Kill playlist were what I listened to over and over again as I wrote. The songs are in order and can be played while reading. Or read the book first and then listen to the playlist and have fun assigning the song to the story 😉

To Nurture & Kill Playlist:

[YouTube]


Author Bio:

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E.M. Markoff is a Latina writer who was raised on a steady diet of Mexican folklore, anime, Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films, and unrestricted access to comics and books. Growing up, she spent many days exploring her hometown cemetery, where her love of all things dark began.

Upon coming of age, she decided to pursue a career as a microbiologist, where she spent a few years channeling her inner mad scientist. Despite enjoying her time in a lab coat, she always had a love of writing short stories and so, one day, she set the first word to paper and never looked back.

Currently, with the aid of her feline companion, she is working on the second novel in The Ellderet Series.

Send coffee.

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