Saturday, 31 August 2019

Blog Tour: Handle With Care - Helena Hunting

Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Helena Hunting's latest book, Handle With Care, which published a couple of days ago. You can read the excerpt below as well as a Q&A with Helena but first let me give you a little more information about the book:

New York Times bestselling author of SHACKING UP and I FLIPPING LOVE YOU Helena Hunting mixes humor and heart in this scandal-filled romantic comedy.

HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.
Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.
Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?

WREN

I slip onto the empty bar stool beside the lumberjack mountain man who looks like he tried to squeeze himself into a suit two sizes too small. He’s intimidatingly broad and thick, with long dark hair that’s been pulled up into a haphazard man bun thing. His beard is a hipster’s wet dream. His scowl, however, makes him about as approachable as a rabid porcupine. And yet, here I am, sidling up next to him.
He glances at me, eyes bleary and not really tracking. He quickly focuses on his half-empty glass again. Based on the slump of his shoulders and the uncoordinated way he picks up his glass and tips it toward his mouth, I’m guessing he’s pretty hammered. I order a sparkling water with a dash of cranberry juice and a lime.

What I could really use is a cup of lavender-mint tea and my bed, but instead, I’m sitting next to a drunk man in his thirties. My life is extra glamorous, obviously. And no, I’m not an escort, but at the moment I feel like my morals are on the same kind of slippery slope.

“Rough day?” I ask, nodding to the bottle that’s missing more than half its contents. It was full when he sat down at the bar an hour ago. Yes, I’ve been watching him the entire time, waiting for an opportunity to make my move. While he’s been sitting here, he’s turned down two women, one in a dress that could’ve doubled as a disco ball and the other in a top so low-cut, I could almost see her navel.

“You could say that,” he slurs. He props his cheek on his fist, eyes almost slits. I can still make out the vibrant blue hue despite them almost being closed. They move over me, assessing. I’m wearing a conservative black dress with a high neckline and a hem that falls below my knees. Definitely not nearly as provocative as Disco Ball or Navel Lady.

“That solving your problems?” I give him a wry grin and tip my chin in the direction of his bottle of Johnnie.

His gaze swings slowly to the bottle. It gives me a chance to really look at him. Or what I can see of his face under his beard, anyway.


“Nah, but it helps quiet down all the noise up here.” He taps his temple and blurts, “My dad died.”

I put a hand on his forearm. It feels awkward, and creepy on my part since its half-genuine, half-contrived comfort. “I’m so sorry.”

He glances at my hand, which I quickly remove, and refocuses on his drink. “I should be sorry too, but I think he was mostly an asshole, so the world might be better off without him.” He attempts to fill his glass again, but his aim is off, and he pours it on the bar instead. I rush to lift my purse and grab a handful of napkins to mop up the mess.

“I’m drunk,” he mumbles.


“Well, I’m thinking that might’ve been the plan, considering the way you’re sucking that bottle back. I’m actually surprised you didn’t ask for a straw in the first place. Might be a good idea to throw a spacer in there if you want tomorrow morning to suck less.” I push my drink toward him, hoping he doesn’t send me packing like he did the other women who approached him earlier.

He narrows his eyes at my glass, suspicious, maybe. “What is that?”

“Cranberry and soda.” 


“No booze?”


“No booze. Go ahead. You’ll thank me in the morning.”

He picks up the glass and pauses when it’s an inch from his mouth. His eyes crinkle, telling me he’s smiling under that beard. “Does that mean Imma wake up with you beside me?”

I cock a brow. “Are you propositioning me?”

“Shit, sorry.” He chugs the contents of my glass. “I was joking. Besides, I’m so wasted, I can barely remember my name. Pretty sure I’d be useless in bed tonight. I should stop talkin’.” He scrubs a hand over his face and then motions to me. “I wouldn’t proposition you.”

I’m not sure how to respond. I go with semi-affronted, since it seems like somewhat of an insult. “Good to know.”

“Dammit. I mean, I think you might be hot. You look hot. I mean attractive. I think you’re pretty.” He tips his head to the side and blinks a few times. “You have nice eyes, all four of them are lovely.”

This time I laugh—for real—and point to the bottle. “I think you might want to tell your date you’re done for the night.”

He blows out a breath and nods. “You might be right.”

He makes an attempt to stand, but as soon as his feet hit the floor, he stumbles into me and grabs my shoulders to steady himself. “Whoa. Sorry. Yup, I’m definitely drunk.” His face is inches from mine, breath smelling strongly of alcohol. Beyond that, I get a whiff of fresh soap and a hint of aftershave. He lets go of my shoulders and takes an unsteady step back. “I don’t usually do this.” He motions sloppily to the bottle. “Mostly I’m a three drink max guy.”

“I think losing your father makes this condonable.” I slide off my stool. Despite being tall for a woman, and wearing heels, he still manages to be close to a head taller than me.

“Yeah, maybe, but I still think I might regret it tomorrow.” He’s incredibly unsteady, swaying while standing in place. I take the opportunity for what it is and thread my arm through his, leading him away from the bar. “Come on, let’s get you to the elevator before you pass out right here.”

He nods, then wobbles a bit, like moving his head has set him off balance. “That’s probably a good idea.”

He leans into me as we weave through the bar and stumbles on the two stairs leading to the foyer. There’s no way I’ll be able to stop him if he goes down, but I drape one of his huge arms over my shoulder anyway, and slip my own around his waist, guiding him in a mostly straight line to the elevators.

“Which floor are you on?” I ask.

“Penthouse.” He drops his arm from my shoulder and flings it out, pointing to the black doors at the end of the hall. “Jesus, I feel like I’m on a boat.”

“It’s probably all the alcohol sloshing around in your brain.” I take his elbow again, helping him stagger the last twenty feet to the dedicated penthouse elevator.

He stares at the keypad for a few seconds, brow pulling into a furrow. “I can’t remember the code. It’s thumbprint activated though too.” He stumbles forward and presses his forehead against the wall, then tries to line up his thumb with the sensor, but his aim is horrendous and he keeps missing.

I settle a hand on his very firm forearm. This man is built like a tank. Or a superhero. For a moment, I reconsider what I’m about to do, but he seems pretty harmless and ridiculously hammered, so he shouldn’t pose a threat. I’m also trained in self-defense, which would fall under the by any means necessary umbrella. “Can I help?”

He rolls his head, eyes slits as they bounce around my face. “Please.”

I take his hand between mine. The first thing I notice is how clammy it is. But beyond that, his knuckles are rough, littered with tiny scars and a few scabs, and his nails are jagged.

“Your hands are small,” he observes as I line his thumb up with the sensor pad and press down.

“Maybe yours are abnormally big,” I reply. They are rather large. Like basketball player hands.

“You know what they say about big hands.”

I fight not to roll my eyes, but for a brief moment, I wonder if what’s in his pants actually matches the rest of him. And if he’s unkempt everywhere, not just on his face. I cut that visual quickly because it makes me want to gag. “And what do they say?”

His eyes crinkle again, and he slaps his own chest. “Something about big hands, big heart.”

I bite back my own smile. “Pretty sure you’re mixing that up with cold hands, warm heart.”

His brow furrows. “There’s a good chance.”

The elevator doors slide open. He pushes off the wall with some effort and practically tumbles inside. He catches himself on the rail and sags against the wall as I follow him in. I honestly can’t believe I’m doing this right now.

He doesn’t have to press a button since the elevator only goes to the penthouse floor. As soon as we start moving, he groans and his shoulders curl in. “I don’t feel so good.”

Please don’t let him be sick in here. If there’s one thing I can’t deal with, it’s vomit. “You should sit.”

He slides down the wall, massive shoulders rolling forward as he rests his forehead on his knees. “Tomorrow is going to suck.”

I stay on the other side of the elevator, in case he tosses his cookies. “Probably.”

It’s the longest elevator ride in the history of the world. Or at least it feels that way, mostly because I’m terrified he’s going to yak. Thankfully, we make it to the penthouse floor incident-free. On the down side, now that he’s in a sitting position, getting him to stand again is a challenge. I have to press the open door button three times before I can finally coax him to his feet.

In the time between leaving the bar and making it to the penthouse floor, the effects of the alcohol seems to have compounded. He’s beyond sloppy, using the wall and me for support as we make our way to his door. There are two penthouse apartments up here. One on either side of the foyer.

He leans against the doorjamb, once again fighting to find the coordination to get his thumb to the sensor pad. I don’t ask if he needs my assistance this time since it’s quite clear he does. Once again I take his clammy hand in mine.

“Your hands are really soft,” he mumbles.


“Thanks.”

The pad ashes green, and I turn the handle. “Okay, here we go. Home sweet home.”


“This isn’t my home,” he slurs. “My cousin’s family owns this building. I’m crashing here until I can get the fuck out of New York.”

I scan the penthouse. It an eclectic combination of odd art and modern furniture, like two different tastes crashed together and this is the result. Aside from that, it’s clean to the point of looking almost like a show home.

The only sign that someone is staying here is the lone coffee cup on the table in the living room and the blanket lolling like a tongue over the edge of the couch. I’m still standing in the doorway while he sways unsteadily.

He tries to shove his hand in his pants pocket, but all he succeeds in doing is setting himself off-balance. He nearly stumbles into the wall.

“Thanks for your help,” he says.

He’s back in his penthouse, which means my job is technically done. However, I’m worried he’s going to hurt himself, or worse, asphyxiate on his own vomit in the middle of the night, and I’ll be the one catching heat if that happens. I’ll also feel bad if something happens to him. I blow out a breath, annoyed that this is how my night is ending.

I heave his arm over my shoulder and slip mine around his waist again, leading him through the living room toward what seems to be the kitchen. There’s a sheet of paper on the island, but otherwise it’s spotless.

“What’re you doing?” he asks.

We pause when we reach the threshold. “Which way is your bedroom?”

He looks slowly from right to left. “Not that way.” He points to the kitchen. It’s very state of the art.
I guide him in the opposite direction down the hall, until he stumbles through a doorway, into a large but simply furnished bedroom. Once we reach the edge of the bed, he drops his arm, spins around—it’s drunkenly graceful—and falls back on the bed, arms spread wide as if he’s planning on making snow angels. “The room is spinning.”

“Would you like me to get you a glass of water and possibly a painkiller for the headache you’ll likely have in the morning?” I’m already heading for the bathroom.

“Might be a good idea,” he mumbles.

I find a glass on the edge of bathroom vanity—which is clean, apart from a brand new toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. I run the tap, wishing I had a plastic tumbler, because I’m not sure he’s in any state to deal with breakable objects. I check the medicine cabinet, find the pills I need, shake out two tablets, and return to the bedroom.

He’s right where I left him; sprawled out faceup on a massive king-size bed, legs hanging off the end, one shoe on the floor beside him. I cross over and set the water and the pills on the nightstand.
I make a quick trip back to the bathroom and grab the empty wastebasket from beside the toilet in case his night is a lot rougher than he expects.

I tap his knee, crossing my fingers he’ll be easy to rouse. “Hey, I have painkillers for you.”

He makes a noise, but doesn’t move otherwise.

I tap his knee again. “Lincoln, you need to wake up long enough to take these.” I cringe. I called him by name, and he didn’t offer it to me while we were down at the bar. Here’s hoping he’s too drunk to notice or remember. His name is Lincoln Moorehead, heir to the Moorehead Media fortune and all the crap that comes with it. And there’s a lot of it.

One eye becomes a slit. “Every time I open my eyes, the room starts spinning again.”

“If you drink this and take these, it might help.” I hold up the glass of water and the pills.

“’Kay.” It takes three tries for him to sit up. He tries to pick the pills up out of my palm, but keeps missing my hand.

“Just open your mouth.”

He lifts his head. “How do I know you’re not trying to roofie me?”

I hold up the tablet in front of his face. “They don’t say roofie, so you’re safe.”

He tries to focus on the pill and then my face. I have my doubts he’s successful at either.

His tongue peeks out to drag across his bottom lip. “The cameras in the hall will catch you if you steal my wallet.”

I laugh at that. “I’m not going to steal your wallet, I’m going to put you to bed.”

“Hmm.” He nods slowly and opens his mouth.

I drop the pills on his tongue and hand him the glass, which he drains in three long swallows. “Would you like me to refill that?”

“That’d be nice.” He holds out the glass, but when I try to pull away, he covers my hands with his. His shockingly blue eyes meet mine, and for a moment they’re clear and compelling. Despite how out of it he is, and how much he resembles a mountain man, or maybe because of it, I have a hard time looking away. “I really wish I wasn’t this messed up. You smell nice. I bet your hair is pretty when it’s not pulled up like that.” He flops a hand toward my bun. “Not that it’s not pretty like that, but I bet if you took it down, it would be wavy and soft. The kind of hair you want to bury your face in and run your fingers through.” He exhales a long breath. “I haven’t had sex in a really long time, but I feel like I would have zero finesse if I tried right now.”

I smile and turn away. In the time it takes for me to refill his glass, he’s managed to get one arm out of his suit jacket. He’s made it most of the way onto the bed, feet still hanging off the end, but he’s on his back, which is not ideal.

I set the glass on his nightstand, along with a second set of painkillers, which I’m assuming he’ll need in the morning, and give him another nudge. “Hey.”

This time I get nothing in the way of a response. I poke him twice more, but still nothing. He can’t sleep on his back with how drunk he is. He needs to be on his side or his stomach with a wastebasket close by.

I can’t in good conscience leave him like this. My options are limited. I shake my head as I kick off my shoes and climb up onto the bed with him. This is not at all what I expected to be doing when I brought him back up here.

I stare down at his sleeping form. His lips are parted, they’re nice lips, full and plump, even though they’re mostly obscured by his overgrown beard. His hair has started to unravel from its man bun, wisps hanging in his face. He has long lashes, really long actually, and they’re thick and dark, the kind women pay a lot of money for. His nose is straight and his cheekbones— what I can see of them—are high. With a haircut, a beard trim or complete shave, and a new suit that actually fits, I can imagine how refined he’ll look. More like a Moorehead than a mountain man lumberjack. I shake my head. “I need you to roll onto your side, please,” I say loudly.

Nothing. Not even a grunt.

I pull on his shoulder, but he’s dead weight. Leaning over him, I make a fist and give him a light jab approximately where his kidney is. “Lincoln, roll over.”

And roll he does, knocking me down and turning over so he’s right on top of me. We’re face-to-face. Good God, he’s heavy. His bones must be made of lead. He shifts, one leg coming over both of mine. I push at his knee, but his arm swings out and he wraps himself around me on a low groan, pinning my arm to my side. He’s like a giant human blanket.

“How did this become my life?” I say to the ceiling, because the man lying on top of me is apparently out cold.

I try to wriggle free, I even yell his name a bunch of time before I give up and wait for him to roll off me. And while I wait for that to happen, I replay the conversation with his mother, Gwendolyn Moorehead, that took place forty-eight hours ago and put me in this awkward position underneath her drunk son.

I’d been standing in Fredrick’s office, still digesting the fact that he was dead. It was shocking that a massive heart attack had taken him, since he was always so healthy and full of life.

Gwendolyn, his wife—now a widow—stood stoic behind his desk, papers stacked neatly in the center.

“I’m so very for your loss, Gwendolyn. If there’s anything I can do. Whatever you need.” The words poured out, typical condolences, but sincerely meant because I couldn’t imagine how my mother and I would feel if we lost my father.

Gwendolyn’s fingers danced at her throat as she cleared it. “Thank you,” she whispered brokenly and dabbed at her eyes. “I appreciate your kindness, Wren.”

“Let me know what you want me to handle, and I’ll take care of it.”

She took a deep breath, composing herself before she lifted her gaze to mine. “I need your help.”

“Of course, what can I do?”

“My oldest son, Lincoln, will be returning to New York for the funeral, and he’ll be staying to help run the company.”

A hot feeling crept up my spine. I’d heard very little about Lincoln. Everything from Armstrong’s mouth was scathing, Fredrick’s passing references had been with fondness, and my interactions with Gwendolyn had been minimal as it was Fredrick himself who hired me, so this was first I’ve heard of Lincoln through her. “I see. And how can I help with that?” I could only imagine how difficult Armstrong would be if he had to share the attention with someone else, particularly his brother.

“Transitioning Lincoln.” Gwendolyn rounded her desk. “You’ve managed to turn around Armstrong’s reputation in the media during the time you’ve been here. I know it hasn’t been easy, and Armstrong can be difficult to manage.”

Difficult to manage is the understatement of the entire century where Armstrong is concerned. He’s a cocksucker of epic proportions. He’s also a misogynistic, narcissistic bastard that I’ve had to deal with for the past eight months on a nearly daily basis—sometimes even on weekends.

My job as his “handler” has been to reshape his horrendous reputation after his involvement in several scandalous events became very public. It wasn’t a job I necessarily wanted, and I was prepared to politely reject the offer, but my mother asked me to take the position as a favor to her since she’s a friend of Gwendolyn.

Beyond that, my relationship with my mother has been strained for the past decade. When I was a teenager, I discovered information that changed our relationship forever. Taking the job at Moorehead was in part, my way of trying to help repair our fractured bond. The financial compensation, which was ridiculously high, also didn’t hurt. Besides, Gwendolyn is on nearly every single charitable foundation committee in the city, and since that’s where my interests lie, it seemed like a smart career move.

“Since you’re already working with Armstrong and things seem to be settled there for the most part, I felt it would make sense to keep you on here at Moorehead to work with Lincoln. He’s been away from civilized society for several years. He’s nothing like his brother, very altruistic and focused on his job, rather than recreational pursuits, so he should be easier to manage.”

I fought a scoff at the last bit, since “recreational pursuits” was a reference to the fact that Armstrong couldn’t seem to keep his pants zipped when it came to women.

Gwendolyn pushed a set of papers toward me. “It would only be for another six months. And of course, your salary would reflect the double work load, since you’ll still have to maintain Armstrong in some capacity while you assist Lincoln in transitioning into his role here.”

“I’m sorry, what—”

Gwendolyn pulled me into an awkward hug, holding onto my shoulders when she stepped back. Her eyes were glassy and red-rimmed. “You have no idea how much I appreciate your willingness to take this on. As soon as your contract is fulfilled, you have my word that I’ll give you a glowing recommendation to whichever organization you’d like. Your mother told me you’re interested in starting your own foundation. I’ll certainly help you in any way I’m able if you’ll stay on a little longer for me.” She dabbed at her corner of her eyes and sniffed, then tapped the papers on the desk. “I already have an agreement ready and an NDA, of course. Everything is tabbed for signing.”

I’m pulled back into the present when Lincoln shifts and one of his huge hands slides up my side and lands on my breast. At the same time, he pushes his nose against my neck, beard tickling my collarbone. He mutters something unintelligible against my skin.

I’m momentarily frozen in shock. Under any other circumstances, I would knee him in the balls. However, he’s not conscious or even semi-aware that he’s fondling me. Thankfully, now that he’s moved, I have some wiggle room.

I elbow him in the ribs, which probably hurts me more than it does him. At least it gets him to move away enough that I can slip out from under him. I roll off the bed and pop back up, smoothing out my now-wrinkled dress. My stupid nipples are perky, thanks to the attention the right one just got. Probably because it’s the most action I’ve seen since I started working for the Mooreheads eight months ago.

I hit the lights on the way out of the bedroom, pause in the kitchen to grab a glass of water and check out the sheet of paper on the counter. It’s a list of important details regarding the penthouse, including the entry code. I nab my purse, snap a pic, and head for the elevators.

I have a feeling this is going to be a long six months.


From Handle With Care. Copyright © 2019 by Helena Hunting and reprinted with
permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

Q&A with Helena Hunting:

Q: Can you tell us a little about your new release, Handle with Care?
A: Handle with Care follows the story of the reclusive Lincoln Moorehead, who has done everything he can to separate himself from his family and their massive media corporation. Upon the death of his father, he’s forced to come home for the funeral, and then asked to stay on to help transition the company with the assistance of Wren Sterling who has been commissioned to overhaul Lincoln’s image in the public eye.

Q: Lincoln Morehead and Wren Sterling are the lead characters in Handle with Care. Which one of them did you find the easiest to develop? What is each characters best and worst traits?
A: I always find developing the male lead the easiest. I’m not sure why exactly that is, but Lincoln’s character was so easy to round out and develop. Lincoln’s worst trait is that he jumps to conclusions without first getting all the facts, but his best trait is his altruism. He’s very much about giving back, and despite the fact that he can be a grumpy jerk, he’s also an incredibly good human being. Wren’s worst trait is that she can be a martyr for things that are outside of her control but her best trait is her strength of character and her belief in redemption.

Q: What was your greatest challenge while Handle with Care? What was your greatest pleasure and/or reward?
A: Wren is a badass heroine, so I think finding the balance between her strength of character and those hints of vulnerability could be tricky at times. I really wanted to humanize her and make her relatable and I hope readers connect with her. I LOVED writing the banter between Linc and Wren. They are both such strong personalities, and that made putting them head to head so much fun.

Q: Which do you find easiest to write-the humor or the heart?
A: Humor always seems to find a natural place inside the story, but for me it’s about the balance between the two. I love taking a heavy moment and inserting some kind of comic relief before I go for the feels again.

Q: Do you work from an outline while writing your novels? How closely do the finished novels fit your original vision of the characters and storyline before you begin writing?
A: I outline extensively. Most of the time I have about ten thousand words of outline and character development before I even start writing. It’s just how I work most effectively. I need to know who my characters are going in and where I want them to be by the end of the book. I generally stick to my outlines very closely since they are so detailed.

Q: What did you edit OUT of this book?
A: A lot of f-bombs.

Q: Do you listen to music while writing? Does it influence the flow of the scene you are writing?
A: I do. I create playlists for every single book I write, and I often (always) listen to the same playlist while I write the book. This means that I burn out albums and songs for my family on a very, very regular basis. My husbands list of artists he will no longer listen to grows exponentially with every release. Halsey always finds a place on my playlist and the song Joaquim by Oscar and the Wolf was a particular favorite.

Q: When sitting down to write a new book you have a specific outline to follow or does it just flow naturally?
A: The first step in my process is always to write an outline. I need the bones of the story down, where the character arcs will fall and what the conflicts will look like before I start writing the book.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren't writing?
A: I like hanging out with my daughter and craft. Recently we went camping, which was a fun experience, although I grew up with a family cottage so we would spend a lot of the summer there.

Q: Name three things on your desk right now.
A: Broken Knight by LJ Shen, Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey, Resist by K. Bromberg, Undeniable by Melanie Harlow, The Last Letter by Rebecca Yarros (still gives me the chills when I think about it), Verity by Colleen Hoover.

Q: What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
A: The banter between Wren and Linc and writing a grumpy, jerk hero who really isn’t a jerk but sure acts like one!

Q: To get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
A: I have two cats, Digit is a 14 year old pure white polydactyl cat who sheds like nobodies business and Pumpkin (named by our daughter) is a 6 year old black cat who often thinks he’s a dog, eat edamame beans and begs for bacon at the table.

Q: You've written many books & bestsellers, in many genres. What has been your favorite to write thus far?
A: That’s a hard question to answer. I love them all for very different reasons, but I will say that I had a lot of fun writing Wren and Linc because of the banter and how much I love writing a strong heroine.

Q: What was your favorite book or series in your youth?
A: I used to love reading VC Andrews books, and Clive Barker, which I realize are very, bery different!

Q: What would you like us (the readers) to take away from your story?
A: That families aren’t perfect and people can make mistakes, yet still grow from them.

Q: What is your favorite platform to connect with your reader to date?
A: I have a reader group called The Beaver Den and I love it in there. The readers are always sharing book experiences and it’s a great community! If you want to join my group you can do it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HelenaHuntingBeaverDen/

Q: What project(s) are you currently working on?
A: I just finished the third book in the All In Series, which the first book will be releasing this fall. Next I’m starting a standalone, but I also have a new series I’ll be starting soon, and I have a book idea or two for secondary characters in the last two books of The Shacking Up series, as well. It’s safe to say that my writing schedule is planned for the next two years!

Q: Do you believe in love at first sight?
A: I don’t know about love at first sight but when I saw my husband from across the room for the first time I thought, “man, he’s pretty” and then when we had our first conversation the connection was instant. I think people can “click” and be drawn to each other for inexplicable reasons.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Social Media Links:
Author Web Site
Facebook
Twitter

Friday, 30 August 2019

Review: Creation in Death - J.D. Robb

When the body of a young brunette is found in East River Park, artfully positioned and marked by signs of prolonged and painful torture, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is catapulted back to a case nine years earlier. The city was on edge from a killing spree that took the lives of four women in fifteen days, courtesy of a man the media tagged “The Groom”—because he put silver rings on the fingers of his victims.

But this time, it becomes chillingly clear that the killer has made his attack personal. The young woman was employed by Eve’s billionaire husband, Roarke, washed in products from a store Roarke owns, and laid out on a sheet his company manufactures. Chances are, The Groom is working up to the biggest challenge of his illustrious career—abducting a woman who will test his skills and who promises to give him days and days of pleasure before she dies: Eve.

In Death Series:
Naked in Death
Glory in Death
Immortal in Death
Rapture in Death
Ceremony in Death
Vengeance in Death
Holiday in Death
Midnight in Death (Novella)
Conspiracy in Death
Loyalty in Death
Witness in Death
Judgement in Death
Betrayal in Death
Interlude in Death (Novella)
Seduction in Death
Reunion in Death
Purity in Death
Portrait in Death
Imitation in Death
Big Jack (Available in the Remember When Anthology or separately)
Divided in Death
Visions in Death
Survivor in Death
Origin in Death
Memory in Death
Haunted in Death (Novella)
Born in Death
Innocent in Death
Creation in Death
Eternity in Death (Novella)
Strangers in Death
Salvation in Death
Ritual in Death (Novella)
Promises in Death
Kindred in Death
Missing in Death (Novella)
Fantasy in Death
Indulgence in Death
Possession in Death (Novella)
Treachery in Death
New York to Dallas
Chaos in Death (Novella)
Celebrity in Death
Delusion in Death
Calculated in Death
Thankless in Death
Taken in Death (Novella)
Concealed in Death
Festive in Death
Obsessed in Death
Devoted in Death
Wonderment in Death (Novella)
Brotherhood in Death
Apprentice in Death
Echoes in Death
Secrets in Death
Dark in Death
Leverage in Death
Connections in Death (2019)

Visit J.D. Robb's website for more information.

Review:
A serial killer is back in New York city, one who likes to take his victims prisoner and torture them to death. This is a case that really hits home for Eve and Feeny, they both worked the original case nine years ago and the killer is the one who got away who has haunted them ever since. The killer let New York after killing four victims but he continued his work in other cities around the world and nobody has come close to catching him. This time he's made it personal though, he starts by targeting women working for companies owned by Roarke but Eve fits his profile perfectly and it's starting to look like she might be his end game.

I'm running out of ways to express my love for this series so I'm going to keep this review short but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy Creation in Death. One of the things I love most about this series is the relationship between Eve and Roarke so I was delighted that we see more of the two of them working alongside each other in this one. Eve is so determined to capture the killer that she's pulling in all possible resources and Roarke is more than happy to help since he feels to blame that his people are being targeted. We often see Roarke running smaller side jobs for Eve but this time around he's right in the war room with her and all our other favourites and it gives him a new appreciation for everything the cops do when they're working a difficult case.

Love this series, love this book, can't wait to start reading the next one!

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Review: Avenged by an Angel - Felicity Heaton

Duty should mean everything to the Fourth Commander of the Echelon angels. It did before he met her. Now, the only demon he wants to slay is the one that haunts the enchanting mortal huntress, and the temptation to hunt him in Hell, a realm that might kill him, is becoming impossible to resist.

Held captive by a dragon shifter in Hell, Emelia survived a torment that changed her in ways she hates. She wants her strength back. Her life back. To do that, she needs closure. To get that, she might have to trust not only a man again, but an immortal.

But when the price of vengeance is the soul of the angel bringing her back to life, will Emelia be willing to pay it?

Eternal Mates Series:
(This series is set in the same world as the Vampire Erotic Theatre series but can be read completely separately)
Kissed by a Dark Prince
Claimed by a Demon King
Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Hunted by a Jaguar
Craved by an Alpha
Bitten by a Hellcat
Taken by a Dragon
Marked by an Assassin
Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Awakened by a Demoness
Haunted by the King of Death
Tuned by a Tiger
Tamed by a Tiger
Treasured by a Tiger
Unchained by a Forbidden Love
Avenged by an Angel
Seduced by a Demon King

Vampire Erotic Theatre Series:
Covet
Crave
Seduce
Enslave
Bewitch
Unleash

Cougar Creek Mates Series:
(Set in the same world as Vampire Erotic Theatre & Eternal Mates series but can be read completely separately)
Claimed by her Cougar
Captured by her Cougar
Courted by her Cougar
Craved by her Cougar

Visit Felicity Heaton's website for more information

Review:
Fans of the Eternal Mates series will already be familiar with Emelia, she was captured in battle in one of the first books and rescued from the dragon who has been tortured ever since in Taken by a Dragon. As a member of Archangel she's cropped up in other stories since then including Talon's story Turned by a Tiger. Now it's her time to find her own happily ever after in Avenged by an Angel. Emelia is matched with the Fourth Commander of the Echelon and their paths cross when he is sent to bring Sable to heaven to fight alongside the rest of the Echelon. Since she's mated to a demon king heaven is the last place Sable intends to go and Emelia helps her stay out of the Fourth Commander's reach.

I've been a fan of this series since the first book published back in 2013 and I always enjoy the romances that Felicity Heaton writes so it pains me to say that I struggled a bit with this one. I found the first half of the book was very slow going and it took me far longer to read than it should have because it just wasn't holding my interest. I liked the slow burn on the romance side but I think where this series is starting to fall down is on the overall story arc.

I like my paranormal romances best when there is some kind of ongoing plot in the outside world that is constantly changing from book to book and while the Eternal Mates series does kind of have something going on in the background it is taking far too long to actually go anywhere. The main issue is probably that we're 16 books in and yet we've been seeing the same period of time again and again and again. This starts not long after Emelia was rescued (which actually happened in book 7) and it covers several events we've already seen before in books since then like Talon going back into Archangel to rescue other captives (which happened in book 12!). Too much recapping and not enough forward motion made this story feel repetitive and a little boring.

I don't want to come across as too negative though because I have a lot of love for this world and for previous books in the series. Avenged by an Angel was enjoyable even though it didn't reach the heights I expect from this author, I liked both Emelia and the Fourth Commander's characters and the slow burn romance was a nice change since there are so many insta-love stories out there these days. The second half of the book was definitely far more action packed and the way it ended did give me hope that the overall story arc is going to start moving forwards soon so I'm hoping the next story won't have the same issues that I experienced with this one. It's still a series I'm happy to recommend and I'm looking forward to seeing where things are going from there but I definitely need things to keep moving so that the series doesn't start to stagnate.

Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Other reviews of this book:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Blog Tour: Avenged by an Angel - Felicity Heaton


New York Times best-selling paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton is here today for the book tour of her new paranormal romance release, Avenged by an Angel, the latest release in her popular Eternal Mates world.

There are now sixteen books in this series, but don’t worry, you can dive right on in with Avenged by an Angel, or start at the very beginning with Kissed by a Dark Prince, which is FREE at all retailers right now. Binge-read to your heart’s content!

If you love big worlds packed with detail and every paranormal species imaginable, together with hot alpha heroes and strong heroines bringing them to their knees, then this series is definitely for you. Plus, each book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!



Avenged by an Angel (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 16)

Felicity Heaton

Duty should mean everything to the Fourth Commander of the Echelon angels. It did before he met her. Now, the only demon he wants to slay is the one that haunts the enchanting mortal huntress, and the temptation to hunt him in Hell, a realm that might kill him, is becoming impossible to resist.

Held captive by a dragon shifter in Hell, Emelia survived a torment that changed her in ways she hates. She wants her strength back. Her life back. To do that, she needs closure. To get that, she might have to trust not only a man again, but an immortal.

But when the price of vengeance is the soul of the angel bringing her back to life, will Emelia be willing to pay it?




Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win one of a $75, $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Card at the Avenged by an Angel book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on September 2nd. Enter now: http://www.felicityheaton.com/avenged-by-an-angel-paranormal-romance-book.php



To say he was buzzing as he waited for the petite mortal to speak would be the understatement of his long life.

Emelia was here, in his presence, more beautiful than he recalled. Fire had sparked in her emerald eyes from time to time when they had been talking. Talking. He knew the soft tones of her voice, the rolling way her words flowed, gaining strength at times and gentleness at others. He knew how emotions moved like tides within her, panic and fear at the helm one moment, and calm and resolve in command the next.

Her mood was as mercurial as his.

He hadn’t meant to scare her, and he definitely hadn’t handled her well so far. He had only meant to see her, to perhaps speak with her a little about everyday things, and now he was in danger of driving her away.

Fear still coloured those entrancing green eyes that were locked on him, and he would be a fool if he believed she had forgotten her desire to leave. She stood unmoving, a quiet strength to her as she assessed him, mulling over his offer, but he could read her. Part of her still wanted to flee back into the building where he couldn’t follow, not without stirring up the humans who lived in it again.

He didn’t want her to go, though.

There had to be something he could do to convince her to stay, to make her believe he had no intention of harming her.

He wasn’t sure what that was, though.

He had thought offering to track and slay the dragon for her would work, but now she looked even more as if she was considering walking away from him.

It had been a mistake to rush here to her, without taking a moment to plan. He had seen many people involved in relationships of every type, not just friendships or short-term partnerships. Angels indulged in more pleasurable forms of relationships, and some paired for life, as humans did. He had seen every kind of relationship in his years, but it hadn’t prepared him for handling Emelia.

He wasn’t sure what he was meant to do in this situation.

And damn, it was daunting.

He had expected to feel the same pressing need to fight when he had come to her, that same surge of rage and a hunger to hunt.

The moment he had heard her voice, a different sort of pressing need had filled him, and a wholly unexpected hunger had surged through him.

He should have left then.

But he had made his second mistake.

He had looked at her.

Her beauty hit him hard whenever he dared to glance at her, and it was difficult to take his eyes off her. The flawless cream of her skin against the rich brown of her hair. The elegant arch of her neck. The soft curve of her jaw. The delicate slope of her nose. The entrancing emerald of her large eyes.

The tempting soft pink of her full lips.

She fidgeted with the hem of her black T-shirt, her nerves clear.

His staring was unsettling her, but he couldn’t help himself.

His eyes didn’t want to leave her.

He wanted to drink his fill of her soft features, ached to drown in her eyes as she steadily held his gaze. His fingers twitched with a need to brush her damp hair back, to capture the band she had hastily tied it with and tug it free so he could tangle his fingers in her fall of dark hair.

He wasn’t sure what to do now, but he knew that wasn’t a wise move.

What was?

The bond that linked him to Emelia was fragile, and he could easily, accidentally, break it if he wasn’t careful. Just one misstep might be enough to end things before they ever really began, and part of him feared he had already made that wrong move.

He reined in his temper, clawing back calm, aware that the fear that gripped her now was his doing.
The air around them lightened, and as it did, he saw the fear in her eyes fading. A right move, then?
One that might bring him back to where he had been before he had let his anger get the better of him and pressed her too hard?

He hoped so.

He still wasn’t sure how to proceed, even if he was back to square one.

He was a warrior, a hunter. He didn’t know how to be gentle. He was governed by a darker set of instincts, and his temperament was hard to deal with at the best of times. At his worst, he was aware that he was a formidable male, one who might appear as a monster to the gentler sex.

Especially to a female like Emelia.

“What did you see?” She had barely spoken that question before she shook her head. “Don’t answer that. Maybe it’s better I don’t know. I don’t want to know.”

Mercurial female.

“Do you know where the dragon resides?” He wanted to move closer to her, but he didn’t dare risk it.
She tensed, her slender body going rigid, and looked away from him. “I don’t want to talk about it. I always have to talk about it, and I hate it.”

Understood. No talking about the dragon. Not yet anyway, not until she was more comfortable around him again.

“You saw it, though… didn’t you?” she whispered without looking at him.

“I did.” But he hadn’t seen it all.

Rage had been swift to claim him, and he had only seen part of what had happened to her. He wanted to know the rest. It plagued him as fiercely as the need to hunt the dragon.

“Is that a power all angels have?” She lowered her hands to her sides and he marvelled at how she visibly altered before his eyes, her nerves fading as she straightened and brought her gaze up to meet his.

“No. It is one of my gifts.” He had a few, not the most sought-after ones, but they had helped him in some tricky situations. Would they help him through this one?

He studied Emelia, charting the subtle changes in her body language and her emotions as she mulled over his answer. She seemed to grow stronger with each passing second, and he suspected it had to do with the fact she was shutting down her emotions. Fear. Nerves. Panic. It was all subsiding at a rapid rate as something else clicked into place.

He wanted to smile when it dawned on him.

The hunter in her.

Perhaps they weren’t so different after all.

The question was, was she using her duty as a hunter to merely learn more about him, or was learning about him an excuse to linger on the roof with him?

He wouldn’t deny her information either way. Her legion of mortals weren’t strong enough to detain him if he wanted to leave, and he wanted her to be more comfortable around him. If learning about him would grant her that comfort, would bring her closer to him, then he would answer any question she posed.

“One of the huntresses mentioned she had wanted to leave to find reinforcements… and then she had wanted to stay.” Emelia held his gaze, hers impassive as she studied him, but he could see beyond the veil to her rising nerves. Whatever she wanted to ask, it unsettled her for some reason. “Sable told me you can control weak-minded people—”

She cut herself off when he frowned at her.

Sable was more trouble than he had realised. She had been poisoning Emelia’s mind.

“I cannot manipulate you.” He barely dulled the sharp edge to his tone. “You are too strong.”

That seemed to relieve her.

A sharp sensation shot down his spine. Not now. He gritted his teeth and ignored the summons from his superiors. They could wait. He didn’t want to leave her.

“What’s wrong?” Her dark eyebrows knitted and he realised he wasn’t the only one who could see through someone to the real them.

She could read him too.

“A summons,” he muttered. “It can wait.”

She tilted her head back and her eyes traced across the night sky. “Won’t you get into trouble?”

Was she looking for Heaven? She wouldn’t find it there. As Hell was linked to this plane, so was his. It was above her world, but not. She had been to Hell, so he presumed she knew it was a different plane, another dimension in simple terms.

She lowered her gaze back to him. “You should go.”

He shrugged. “I do not want to.”

The corners of her lips curled, but the smile died before it could manifest. “You’ll get in trouble.”

He had the feeling he had been in trouble from the moment he had met her. “No worse than usual.”
He ignored so many summons that his superiors had once joked about fitting him with a GPS anklet because it appeared he kept getting lost and someone had to keep finding him.

“Go.” She looked ready to shove him.

He didn’t like that at all. Now she wanted him to leave? Had he outstayed his welcome or done something wrong? He really needed to read up on relationships, or at least on females. He was finding it hard to fathom what she wanted when she kept changing her mind.

“You were asking me questions, though.” And he had been enjoying it. “If I leave, will you permit me to return another day? I would speak with you again if you would allow it.”

She stifled a smile that was at odds with the nerves he felt rising inside her.

“You’re so formal…” A frown wrinkled her button nose. “What am I meant to call you? It’s weird I don’t know what to call you.”

Not really.

“You may call me Fourth Commander.”

She pulled a face at that and it was his turn to frown at her.

“I can’t call you a title. Is a title who you are?” She seemed to have forgotten the nerves he had stirred in her by asking to see her again, although he wasn’t sure he was glad of it, as she now appeared determined to make him question himself.

Was a title who he was? A title was enough for him. It was more than many angels bore.

“Everything has a name,” she said. “Hell, my childhood pets had names. I named the damned spiders in the garden too.”

“It is all I require,” he countered, his mood taking a dark turn as he considered what she had said.
She had given wild arachnids names and he didn’t have one to offer her. Did that mean she would see him as something less than a common garden spider?

“You really should have a name. It’s stupid… not having a name. Sable is right about that.” Her eyes lit up. “I could call you what Sable did, although I imagine you wouldn’t like it.”

He glared at her now. He remembered what the half-breed had called him.

Tall, Dark and Pompous.

“I would rather you did not.” He folded his arms across his chest and grimaced as the wound on his side pulled. She glanced down at the spot above his hip and looked as if she might ask about it, so he continued. “Do I really require a name? Is it not something you can overcome?”

She shook her head, his wound forgotten. “It’s just strange. Maybe I could grow used to it, if you insisted on having no name.”

Was she planning to see him enough to grow used to things about him?

Heat spread through him at the thought and he took it as a sign she did want to see him again, would allow him to visit her another time, and perhaps more than once. If he visited her enough, he might come to understand her, and she might open up enough to tell him more about the dragon.

Then he could hunt the bastard down and slay him.

“Your eyes are shifting again and it’s cold. I’d rather you kept your temper in check.” Her soft words tugged him back from his pleasant thoughts and he reined his mood in before it slipped beyond his control. Another frown put a furrow in her brow. “I don’t like it when you lose your temper. It’s cold and dark…”

He didn’t like the way she trailed off, or how she wrapped her arms around her waist to tightly hug herself as if she feared she was falling apart.

“I apologise.” He bowed his head.

“No problem, TeeDeePee.”

He arched an eyebrow at her. “TeeDeePee?”

“Short for Tall, Dark and Pompous.”

If she wanted him to keep his mood in check, she was going about it the wrong way.

“Fourth Commander,” he said.

“EffSee.” She pulled a face. “Echelon?”

She was determined to give him a name. It wasn’t going to happen.

He huffed. “Do you like your name? Do you feel it suits you?”

A little shrug. “I like it. Sometimes people can’t spell it. I can’t tell you how many Starbucks I’ve had where they’ve called me Amelia. Sometimes people try to shorten it.”

The flicker of disgust in her green eyes said that didn’t go down well with her.

“Shorten it?” He tried to think of ways to shorten her name, none of which he would tell her, because he was enjoying this easy banter.

She was slowly relaxing again and had forgotten he was meant to be leaving, both of which were good things.

She nodded. “Mostly to Em.”

“Em.” He liked that. It had a cute ring to it, the sort of name a lover might whisper in her ear.

The look in her eyes said she hated it, though.

He looked himself over, from his black leather shoes, up his trousers, to his turtleneck sweater.

What name would suit him?

He lifted his eyes to lock with hers and that heat flooded him again, stirring hungers best denied, ones that were new and startlingly powerful.

“Your eyes are shifting again,” she murmured, a little breathless, her voice softer than before, barely there as she stared deep into his eyes, as if he had cast a spell on her. “You look like a wolf.”

“I am an angel,” he countered, a little too deadpan judging by how the corners of her lips tilted in that teasing way he had never seen before tonight.

“I know that, but you keep looking at me like a predator.” Her voice dropped lower, but he still heard her. “As if you want to devour me.”

He did, but not in the way she meant it.

She took a step back and he barely stopped himself from moving one towards her. It was hard, but he let her distance herself and dragged his gaze away from her, fixing it back on the stars so he was no longer unsettling her. He needed to handle her carefully. Gently. How did one go about that?

“Why do you want to fight the dragon?” Her words drifted around him as he focused on the stars.

“I simply want justice served to him.” A lie.

“Other huntresses were taken… hurt worse than me. Some were killed. Do you want to avenge them too?”

He picked out one star and fixated on it. It was brighter than the others, flashed blue and gold. “After I have dealt with your dragon.”

“He isn’t my dragon,” she snapped and he had the feeling he had hit a raw nerve.

“My apologies,” he murmured, distracted by the star. Was it a binary? Two stars snared in an orbit that had them crossing paths at intervals. He knew how that felt now. How long would it be before he could cross paths with Emelia again?

The fire arcing down his spine said it might be a while if he didn’t return to his superiors soon to see what they wanted. He had been confined to Echelon headquarters for a lunar cycle once, his punishment for what they had termed his ‘disobedience’. That time, they hadn’t been joking.

A lunar cycle locked away from Emelia, only able to watch her from afar, would be torture now he knew the sound of her voice, the sweet scent of her perfume, and had been close to her.

“So you want to kill him just because he hurt a human?” Her voice gained strength and her mood shifted, darker emotions surfacing.

She didn’t believe him.

“I am an angel.” An excuse, and a good one as far as he could tell.

Mortals believed angels watched over them, protecting them from afar, and he was sure that by now, she knew that he was a demon hunter like her, tracked and killed any creature who was a danger to her kind.

It was possible she would believe him.

“I don’t buy it,” she bit out.

Perhaps not, then.

She moved a step closer and his senses lit up, that heat she caused inside him rising another ten degrees, until he was burning with a need to look at her again and see how near to him she was.

Until he was on fire with the hunger to reach out, slide his arm around her narrow waist, and draw her against him.

He forced his eyes to remain on the stars, because she could read him, and he didn’t want her to know the real reason he needed to kill the dragon.

He was unequipped to deal with her, uneducated in the ways of relationships, but he was old enough and wise enough to know that telling her he desired to slay the dragon because it had harmed her and that he would kill anyone who had done such a thing to her, including another angel, would only end with her leaving and never wanting to see him again.

Which was hardly surprising, but also unfair.

He wasn’t sure he had much control when it came to Emelia. The anger that had awoken in him when he had seen through her eyes the things the dragon had done to her, the torment she had suffered, was too powerful to wrestle into submission. He needed to do this for her, could only keep denying the deep and consuming hunger to hunt and destroy the dragon for so long before it devoured what little control he had and he found himself traversing the distance between this world and a place that was forbidden.

Hell.

He would go there, whether she wanted it or not. Whether he wanted it or not. He had to go. The dragon was there, and he wouldn’t be able to settle until he knew the male was dead and would never harm Emelia again.

All he could do was prepare himself for that day as best he could, and that meant learning as much as possible about the dragon, which meant convincing Emelia to confide in him and trust him to carry out this task for her.

“What do you think will happen if you kill Zephyr?” she husked in a tight voice, one that cracked on that bastard’s name.

Zephyr.

He had a lead at last, but at what cost?

Tears lined Emelia’s dark lashes and she turned her face away from him. Her shoulders shook as she closed her eyes, and he ached to reach for her, to lay his hand gently on her cheek and reassure her that whatever nightmare she had survived, it would never happen to her again.






Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (FREE AT SELECTED RETAILERS!)
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King (Just 99c right now!)
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince (Discounted to $2.99 right now!)
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar
Book 5: Craved by an Alpha
Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat
Book 7: Taken by a Dragon
Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness
Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death
Book 12: Turned by a Tiger
Book 13: Tamed by a Tiger
Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger
Book 15: Unchained by a Forbidden Love
Book 16: Avenged by an Angel
Book 17: Seduced by a Demon King - Coming September 24th 2019


Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you're looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Review: Butterfly in Frost - Sylvia Day

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

Visit Sylvia Day's website for more information.

Review:
It's been quite a few years since we had a new release from Sylvia Day and as a huge fan of the Crossfire series I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this novella. Butterfly in Frost may be a short read (coming in at just under 200 pages) but it was an enjoyable one, the kind of story you can devour in one sitting when you're spending a relaxed afternoon reading.

Teagan is a doctor who used to be married to a famous actor and star in her own reality TV show but after her divorce she left New York behind and chose to lead a much quieter life in Seattle. It's obvious she is suffering from depression and she has closed in on herself only interacting with a very small group of people and avoiding leaving her house as much as possible. Her world is turned upside down by the arrival of a new neighbour though, the connection she feels to Garrett is immediate and fierce but he's struggling with his own issues and she's not sure whether either of them is ready for a relationship.

I'm not going to say much more than that about the plot so you'll just have to read the book for yourself. I was a bit wary after Teagan and Garrett's first meeting, the attraction felt too instant and I thought we were going to have a very rushed romance between them but although the sparks are flying they actually spend a long time getting to know each other before diving into anything serious which I really appreciated. Garrett was more willing to open up about his past than Teagan but I thought Sylvia Day did a good job of showing the ups and downs of living with depression, how one small thing can tip you over the edge and make it impossible to even find the energy to get out of bed. The thing I loved most was the twist at the end of the story, I did actually have an inking that was where things were headed but it fitted the characters perfectly and was extremely well written.

Personally I could have done without the mentions of Eva and Gideon, as much as I loved their series I don't think there was any need for them to crop up in this story and they were literally mentioned on page 2 and multiple times after. In my opinion it would have been better to leave them out of it but luckily they didn't overtake the whole story so it could have been worse. Overall I really enjoyed Butterfly in Frost, the romance was both sweet and sexy, the characters had a great connection and took the time to get to know each other before starting a relationship and the love story was believable. Let's hope we won't have to wait quite so long for Sylvia Day's next book but if it's as good as this one it'll be worth it even if we do.

Source: Received from Montlake Romance in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Blog Tour: Butterfly in Frost - Sylvia Day (with both UK & US Giveaways!)

Today I'm excited to be taking part in both the UK and the US blog tours for Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day. I'm a massive fan of her Crossfire series so of course I was ridiculously excited about Butterfly in Frost, especially since it's been a few years since Sylvia's last release. I've already read the book and really enjoyed it so watch out for my review later today, but in the meantime let me tell you all about the book. I have a great excerpt and a couple of giveaways that you can take part in.

About the Book:

Title: Butterfly in Frost
Author: Sylvia Day
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance


Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

Buy Link:




Excerpt: Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day:

Roxy bounces on her feet with excitement. “Les and Marge sold their house.”

I blink. “I didn’t know they were selling.”

She laughs and heads toward the front door. “That’s the thing. They weren’t.”

“Wait, what?” I hurry after her as she steps outside.

I look to the right at my home, a lovingly restored butterfly-roofed midcentury, then on to the traditional house just beyond it that belongs—belonged—to Les and Marge. Including Roxy’s, all three of our homes have unique lots set between the homes that line the street and the Sound, affording us unhindered views of the water as well as exceptional privacy—all within a twenty-minute drive of the airport.

Roxy shortens the length of her stride to allow me to catch up, then glances over at me. “The day after you flew to New York, a Range Rover pulled into their driveway, and the guy inside offered them cash to close—and move out—in fourteen days.”

My step falters, and Minnie gets momentarily tangled in her leash. The dog shoots me what I would describe as an irritated look, then keeps trotting forward. “That’s crazy.”

“Isn’t it? Les wouldn’t say how much the offer was, but I’m thinking it was huge.”

We march up the inclined driveway, my head tilted back to take in the houses scaling the hillside. Designed with big windows to maximize the view, the homes have a look of wide-eyed wonder. Our little stretch of the Sound used to be a secret, but with the housing boom taking over Seattle and Tacoma, we’ve been discovered. Many residences are undergoing major renovation to suit the tastes of new owners.

Reaching the road, we turn left. To the right is a dead end.

“Well, if they’re happy,” I say, “I’m happy for them.”

“They’re overwhelmed. It was a lot to happen all at once, but I think they’re happy with their decision.” Roxanne stops when Bella does, and we wait as the two dogs mark one of their usual spots on the gravel edging the asphalt. There are no curbs on the streets in our neighborhood and no sidewalks. Just beautiful lawns and a profusion of flowering shrubs.

“We all tried prying information out of them,” she goes on, “but they weren’t sharing anything about the sale.” She gives me a sidelong glance. “But they did share a bit about the buyer.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Because Mike and I both think the buyer is someone famous. A film director maybe. Or an artist. Can you imagine? First Emily, a bestselling author. Then you, a reality-TV surgeon. Now this guy! Maybe we’re sitting on the new Malibu—beachside living without wildfires or state income tax!”

The mention of Roxy’s husband, Mike, coaxes an inner smile. A New York transplant like me, he adds a welcome touch of the life I left behind to the reality I’ve since created for myself—a reality that’s just been rocked by the loss of neighbors I like.

“What are the clues you’re working with?” I ask, deciding to play along. If I’ve learned anything the past year, it’s to accept the things I cannot change. A tough task for a control freak like me.

“Les pointed out to this guy that he hadn’t even seen the inside of the house. The guy said he didn’t need to. He knew already that ‘the light is perfect.’ I mean, who would say that? Gotta be someone who’s in visual arts, right?”

“Maybe,” I agree tentatively, disquieted by the unexpected conversation. The road rises sharply before us, the incline steep enough to put a little burn in my thighs. “Doesn’t mean he’s famous, though.”

“That’s the thing.” Her words carry a note of breathlessness. “Les wouldn’t give numbers, but he did say it was crazy the guy didn’t just buy that huge compound at the end of the street. That house is listed for three and a half million!”

My mind staggers at the thought. Les and Marge have—had—a beautiful home, but it’s not worth anywhere near that much.

“I think I saw the buyer once through that big arched window in the living room,” Roxy goes on. “The blonde with him was a looker. Supermodel skinny with legs for days.”

I’m panting when we reach the top; Roxy, who hits a gym most days of the week, is not.

A quarter mile farther, there’s a street to the right leading to Dash Point. Beyond that and straight ahead, the road slopes back down and around until it’s at water level. Redondo Beach is there, as is Salty’s, a restaurant on stilts in the water with expansive views of Poverty Bay and beyond. I’m about to wax poetic about Salty’s seafood chowder when a runner dashes around the corner at a full sprint. His sudden appearance rattles me. A closer look makes me freeze midstride. My breath locks in my lungs.

There are too many things to register at once, so my mind attempts to absorb the whole man. Dressed only in black shorts and shoes, he is a visual feast of deeply tanned skin, intricate sleeves of tattooed art, and sweat-slicked, flexing musculature.

And his face. Sculpted. Square-jawed. Brutally, breathlessly handsome.

Roxy, now a few feet in front of me, gives a low whistle. “Hot damn.”


Giveaway 1 - UK only:

I have one paperback copy of Butterfly in Frost to giveaway to a UK winner. The prize will be sent to the winner by my contact at Midas PR and you can enter using the rafflecopter form below (click here to enter directly via the Rafflecopter website):

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway 2 - US only:

There is also a US giveaway to win a $100 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Butterfly in Frost. The winner will be contacted directly by the publisher to arrange delivery of the prizes. You can enter the US delivery using the following rafflecopter form (click here to enter directly via the rafflecopter website):

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Author Biography

Sylvia Day is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, #1 Sunday Times, #1 Der Spiegel, and #1 international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels sold in more than forty countries. She is a #1 bestselling author in twenty-eight countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Visit the author at www.sylviaday.com.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.sylviaday.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSylviaDay
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SylDay
Instagram: http://instagram.com/sylvia_day
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/list/19823.Sylvia_Day




Make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the UK Butterfly in Frost blog tour (see banner below) and do pop back later to read my review!

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