LAST CHANCE HERO by Hope Ramsay

July 03, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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About LAST CHANCE HERO:

Ross Gardiner has had his fill of difficult relationships. Returning to Last Chance after a rough divorce, the town’s handsome new fire chief just wants safety and stability-a tall order given his dangerous job and the way he has the attention of all the single women in town. All except Sabina Grey, the girl who stole his heart when they were teenagers. Sabina knows a lot about playing it safe. Always the good girl, she’s now responsible for her antiques store and caring for her sister. But having Ross in town brings back the memory of one carefree summer night when she threw caution to the wind-and almost destroyed her family. Now that they are both older and wiser, will the spark still be there, even though they’ve both been burned?

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About Hope Ramsay:

Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar.

Hope’s SM:

@HopeRamsay

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EXIT STRATEGY by Lena Diaz

July 03, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

EXIT Strategy -- Lena Diaz

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EXIT Strategy - Available NOW from Avon Books®
An EXIT Inc. Thriller (Book#1)
Publisher – Avon Books (Harper Collins)
Availability – ebook or paperback

Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he’s there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn’t expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks . . . or that he came to rescue her.

Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?

Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT’s lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on . . . but it’s nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.

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SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Jill Shalvis

July 03, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Jill Shalvis

(June 30, 2015; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; Cedar Ridge #1)

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .
The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .

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About the author:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

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A Promise of Forever by Marilyn Pappano

July 02, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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A Promise of Forever

A PROMISE OF FOREVER by Marilyn Pappano

(June 30, 2015; Forever Mass Market; A Tallgrass Novel)

Sergeant First Class Avi Grant’s return to Tallgrass, Oklahoma is a long-deferred wish come true. With her final tour in Afghanistan over, Avi can focus on her future-a job here at home and a family of her own. There’s just one thing she has to do first: visit her beloved commanding officer’s widow and share her grief. The last thing she expected was to feel an instant attraction to the woman’s son. Too bad the sexy surgeon is impossible to ignore . . . and even harder to resist.
The sting of his parents’ divorce still niggles at Ben Noble. So when a warm, funny, and beautiful young sergeant arrives, mourning his stepfather’s loss as strongly as his mother does, Ben can’t help but feel conflicted. If his parents taught him anything, it’s that love doesn’t last-especially with a career soldier. But try as he might to keep his distance, Ben begins to see that Avi-and the spark she brings to his life-is the stuff forever is made of. As Avi’s leave ticks away, can Ben convince her to take a chance on forever with him?

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About the author:

Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband’s Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.

 

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A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White

July 02, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

25fea6_f182f0536ad84d1db7315b4631029316_jpg_srb_p_328_489_75_22_0_50_1_20_0 A DARK LURE
a chilling new romantic thriller

 Twelve years ago, Sarah Baker was abducted by the Watt Lake Killer and sexually assaulted for months before managing to escape. The killer was caught, but Sarah lost everything: her marriage, her child, and the life she loved.

 Struggling with PTSD, Sarah changes her name to Olivia West and finds sanctuary working on Broken Bar Ranch. But as her scars finally begin to heal, a cop involved with her horrific case remains convinced the Watt Lake Killer is still out there. He sets a lure for the murderer, and a fresh body is discovered. Now Olivia must face the impossible—could the butcher be back, this time to finish the job?

 As a frigid winter isolates the ranch, only one person can help Olivia: Cole McDonough, a writer, adventurer, and ranch heir who stirs long-dormant feelings in her. But this time, Olivia’s determination to shut out her past may destroy more than her chance at love. It could cost her her life.

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Summer at the Shore by VK Sykes

July 01, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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About Summer at the Shore

JUST A SUMMER FLING?
Morgan Merrifield sacrificed her teaching career to try to save her family’s bed-and-breakfast and care for her younger sister. She can’t let herself get distracted by Ryan Butler. After all, the rugged ex-Special Forces soldier is only in Seashell Bay for the summer. But her longtime crush soon flares into real desire-and with one irresistible kiss, she’s swept away.

Ryan values his freedom. As much as he wants Morgan, he’s not ready to settle down with anyone, much less in sleepy Seashell Bay. But his code of honor doesn’t allow him to leave a woman in distress-and she’s in desperate need of help to fix the inn. It only takes one day working under the same roof and Ryan is already hoping for a lifetime of hot summer nights . . .

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Morgan told herself that her rapidly beating pulse as she watched Ryan disappear below was simply a coincidence. Most übermasculine guys in their early thirties tended to swagger, especially around women. Ryan though . . . he moved with a quiet yet powerful grace that was a wonder to behold. His body was pretty damn wonderful too, with broad shoulders tapering to the classic six- pack and long, muscular legs. His Red Sox T‑shirt hugged his brawny chest and showcased his cut biceps. That amazing body was the product of years of military training and his beloved kayaking, and it was all too easy to imagine how it would feel wrapped around her.

She breathed a tiny sigh and slumped against the back of the bench, turning her face up to the warm June sunshine. She’d spent hours rushing around Portland to pick up supplies. Normally she gave herself enough time before the boat’s departure to use the cargo service for her goods, but too many errands today and a fender bender near the parking garage had delayed her. So it was really great that, after her mad dash, Ryan had appeared to help her. The fact that he liked to rattle her chain spoke to the easy friendship that still existed between them.

Her thoughts about Ryan had often strayed from friendship into fantasy territory over the years, and their encounter at last summer’s festival dance had done nothing to change that. The two of them had ended up in a slow dance at the end of the evening, egged on by their friend Laura Vickers. A little drunk by then, Morgan had found it all too easy to melt into the dangerous shelter of Ryan’s embrace.

It had been a culmination of a stressful evening, brought on by a horrible and very public confrontation between Lily Doyle’s father and his longtime enemy, Sean Flynn. Morgan had been so rattled and worried for Lily that she’d responded by drinking more than she normally did, which had lowered her staunch defenses against her supersecret crush on Ryan. Her heart had pounded like a

battering ram as he held her close—too close. His bristled jaw had rubbed gently over her cheek, and she’d thought he was going to kiss her right there on the crowded dance floor. Under the influence of alcohol and nerves—and yes, sheer lust—her smarts had evaporated in the heat of Ryan’s mysterious gaze.

At precisely the same moment, they’d both snapped out of it. By some sort of unspoken but clear mutual agreement, she and Ryan had derailed the makings of a runaway train. Even in her instinctive relief, Morgan had been shaken to realize how good it felt to be held by him. How thrilling the moment had been in its raw sexual power

About VK Sykes

K. Sykes is a wife/husband writing team -Vanessa Kelly and Randall Sykes – who write romantic suspense and single-title contemporary romance.  One of the great things they appreciate about being writers is that they can work anywhere so Vanessa and Randy split their time between Ontario, Canada, in the summer and Florida in the winter. Both locations have shores just as beautiful as the imaginary Seashell Bay.

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The Detective by Adrienne Giordano

July 01, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

The Detective Cover

About the Book

Title: The Detective

Author: Adrienne Giordano

Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue

Release Date: July 1, 2015

Genre: Romantic Suspense

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Book Summary:

She’s captured his heart…and the attention of a murderer.

 Injured homicide detective Brodey Hayward needs a distraction, and he finds it as a consultant on a cold case murder. When Brodey’s investigation delays plans to remodel the former crime scene, he uncovers another kind of distraction: spirited Lexi Vanderbilt. Despite her distrust of men, Brodey charms the alluring interior designer into helping him examine the case facts.

 Working closely with the ultrasexy detective helps Lexi lower her guard, igniting a passion that even Chicago’s winter can’t cool. As they close in on the killer, Lexi becomes his new target. To save her, Brodey must either betray her trust—or risk losing Lexi forever.

 * * *

 Read Excerpt:

Chapter One

Lexi Vanderbilt’s mother taught her two very important lessons. One, always wear coordinating lipstick, and two, recognize an opportunity when it presented itself.

Standing in the ballroom of the newly renovated Gold Coast Country Club, Lexi planned on employing those lessons.

All around her workers prepared for the throng of club members who would descend in—she checked her watch—ninety-three minutes. As the interior designer about to unveil her latest masterpiece, she would spend those ninety-three minutes tending to everything from flowers to linens to centerpieces. A waiter toting a tray of sparkling champagne glasses cruised by. She took in the not-so-perfect cut of his tux and groaned. The staff’s attire wasn’t her jurisdiction. Still, small details never escaped her. At times, like now, it was maddening.

Oh, and just wait one second. “Excuse me,” she said to a woman carrying a stack of tablecloths. “The sailboat ice sculpture belongs on the dessert table by the window. The Willis Tower goes by the champagne fountain.”

The woman hefted the pile of linens, a not-so-subtle hint that the sculptures weren’t her problem. “Does it matter?”

If it didn’t, I wouldn’t ask. Lexi sighed. “It matters. Unless you’d like to tell your boss, who specifically requested the placement of the sculptures, that it doesn’t.”

For added effect, Lexi grinned and the woman rolled her eyes. “I’ll get the busboys to move it.”

“Thank you.”

One minicrisis averted. And maybe she could have let that one slide given that the club’s manager had to be 110 years old and most likely wouldn’t remember which sculpture went where, but why take a chance on something easily fixed?

Besides, tonight everything had to be perfect.

Functions attended by the richest of the rich were a breeding ground for opportunities. Opportunities Lexi craved for her fledgling design company. At twenty-nine, she’d already been profiled by the Banner-Herald and all the major broadcast stations in the city. She was quickly gaining ground on becoming Chicago’s “it” designer, and that meant dethroning Jerome Laddis, the current “it” designer. He may have had more experience, but Lexi had youth, energy and fresh ideas on her side. A few more insanely wealthy clients touting Lexi’s work and look out, Jerome.

Then she’d hire an assistant, rehab her disaster of a garage into an office and get some sleep.

Lots of it.

Right now, as she glanced around, took in the exquisite silk drapes, the hundred-thousand-dollar chandelier and hand-scraped floor she’d had flown in from Brazil, no questions on the tiny details would haunt her. She’d make sure of it. Even if stress-induced hospitalization loomed in her near future.

The upshot? She’d lost five pounds in the past two weeks. Always a silver lining.

“Alexis?”

Lexi turned, her long gown swishing against the floor and snagging on her shoe. She smiled at Pamela Hennings while casually adjusting her dress. Darned floor-length gowns. “Mrs. Hennings, how nice to see you.”

Mrs. Hennings air-kissed and stepped back. On her petite frame she wore a fitted gown in her signature sky blue that matched her eyes. The gown draped softly at the neckline, displaying minimal cleavage. As usual, a perfect choice.

“I love what you’ve done in here,” Mrs. Hennings said. “Amazing job.”

Being a club board member, she had no doubt shown up early to make sure the unveiling of the new room would be nothing short of remarkable. “Thank you. I enjoyed it. Just a few last-minute details and we’ll be ready.”

“Everything is lovely. Even the damned ice sculptures Raymond couldn’t live without. Waste of money if you ask me, but some battles aren’t worth fighting.”

So true.

A loud bang from the corner of the room assaulted Lexi’s ears. Please let that be silverware. She shifted her gaze left and spotted the waiter who’d passed her earlier scooping utensils onto a tray. Thank you.

Mrs. Hennings touched Lexi’s arm. “By the bye, I think I have Gerald convinced his study needs an update. All that dark wood is depressing.”

Now, that would be a thrill. If Lexi landed the job and nailed it, the top 10 percent of Chicago’s executives would know it. And competition ran hot with this social set. Before long, they’d be lined up outside her office for a crack at outdoing Pamela and Gerald Hennings.

“I think,” Lexi said, “for him we could leave touches of the dark woods. Macassar ebony would be fabulous on the floor.”

“Ooh, yes. Do you have time this week? Maybe you could come by and work up some sketches?”

“Of course.” Lexi whipped her phone from her purse and scrolled to her calendar. “How about early next week? Tomorrow I’m starting a new project that might eat up the rest of my week.”

“I’ll make sure I’m available. What’s this new project? Can you share?”

Rich folks. Always wanting the inside scoop. “Actually, it’s quite fascinating. Remember the murdered broker?”

“The one from Cartright? How could I not? The entire neighborhood went into a panic.”

The residents of Cartright, the North Side’s closest thing to a gated community without the gates, employed private security to help patrol the six city blocks that made up their self-titled haven. That extra money spent on security kept the crime rate nearly nonexistent in those six city blocks.

Except for the offing of one crooked stockbroker.

“That’s the one,” Lexi said. “I’ve been hired to stage the house. The real estate agent suggested it to the broker’s widow and she hired me.”

“I heard they couldn’t sell. The market is destroying her. That poor woman. He left her with a mountain of trouble. He paid top dollar and if she lowers the price again, she won’t make enough to clear his debts. Add to that any retribution owed to the clients he borrowed funds from without their knowledge.”

As expected, Pamela Hennings was up to speed on the latest gossip. Gossip that Lexi would not share. Being told this information about a client was one thing. Sharing it? Not happening. “I’m looking forward to the project. It’s an incredible house.”

Being an interior designer didn’t always give Lexi the chance to change someone’s life. Her work allowed people to see the beauty in color and texture and shape and made their homes more than just a place to live, but she didn’t often get the opportunity to alter an emotionally devastating situation. Now she had the chance. Getting this house sold would free the broker’s widow from debt and give her children a comfortable life.

And Lexi wanted to see that happen.

Plus, if she got the thing sold in forty-five days, she’d make a whopping 20 percent bonus. The bonus alone would pay for an assistant and give her a life back.

Nap, here I come.

Mrs. Hennings made a tsk-tsk noise. “They never did find the murderer, did they?”

“No. Which I think is part of the problem. I may do a little of my feng shui magic in there. Clear all the negativity out. When I’m finished, that house will be beautiful and bright and homey.”

“The debt, the children and now the police can’t find the murderer. And it’s been what, two years? No woman deserves to be left with that.”

Again, Lexi remained quiet. Don’t get sucked in. But, yes, it had been two years, and from what Lexi knew, the police were no closer to finding the man’s killer. Such a tragedy. “The case has gone cold.”

Sucked in. She smacked her lips together.

“You know,” Mrs. Hennings said, “my husband’s firm recently did some work with a pro bono cold case. I wonder if the investigator who worked on that wouldn’t mind taking a look at this. I’d love to see the man’s family given some relief. And, let’s face it, it would certainly be good PR for the firm.”

It certainly would.

Investigative help wouldn’t hurt the real estate agent’s chances—or Lexi’s—of getting the house sold in forty-five days. “Do you think they’d be interested?”

“Oh, I’m sure it can be arranged.”

Gerald Hennings, a.k.a. the Dapper Defense Lawyer, pushed through the oversize ballroom doors, spotted the two women and unleashed a smile. Even in his sixties, he had charm to spare. Salt-and-pepper hair and the carved cheekbones of a man who’d once been devastatingly handsome—all combined with his intelligence—added up to someone who ruled a courtroom.

“Gerald,” Mrs. Hennings said, “perfect timing. The board meeting will be upstairs. Believe it or not, we’re the first ones here.”

The Dapper DL eyed his wife with a hint of mischief, smiling in a rueful way that probably slayed jurors. “Shocking.” Then he turned his charm loose on Lexi. “Alexis Vanderbilt, how are you?”

“I’m fine, Mr. Hennings. Thank you. And yourself?”

“I was quite well until fifteen seconds ago when my wife announced my timing was perfect. That means I’ll either be writing you a healthy check or she’s volunteered me for something. Either way, I’m sure it will be painful.”

Giordano Author Photo

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne: Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

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All About High Heat Romance (Excerpt)

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Harlie’s Books (Review)

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My Book Addiction and More (Review)

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Peaces of Me (Review)

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Sideswiped by Lia Riley

June 30, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

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SIDESWIPED by Lia Riley (June 30, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Off the Map #2)

It was only meant to last the summer . . .
Talia Stolfi has seen more than her share of loss in her twenty-one years. But then fate brought her Bran Lockhart, and her dark world was suddenly and spectacularly illuminated. So if being with Bran means leaving her colorless SoCal life for rugged and wild Australia, then that’s what she’ll do. But as much as Talia longs to give herself over completely to a new beginning, the fears of her past are still lurking in the shadows.

Bran Lockhart knows that living without the beautiful girl who stole his heart will be torment, so he’ll take whatever time with her he can. But even though she has packed up her life in California and is back in his arms for the time being, she can’t stay forever. And the remaining time they have together is ticking by way too fast. Though fate seems determined to tear them apart, they won’t give up without a fight-because while time may have limits, their love is infinite . . .

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About the author:

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. When not torturing heroes (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

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UPSIDE DOWN by Lia Riley (May 12, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Off the Map #1)

If you never get lost, you’ll never be found… Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she’ll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act. Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He’s never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

 

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INSIDE OUT by Lia Riley (July 28, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Off the Map #3)

Love is their best adventure yet . . .
Talia Stolfi is deeply in love with the brooding Aussie surfer who stole her heart-but their infrequent letters only get her so far. While she fulfills her dream of being in the Peace Corps, a dangerous condition jeopardizes her life . . . and threatens to shatter her heart.
After nearly losing Talia forever, Bran Lockhart sailed to the stormy seas at the ends of the earth. Deep down, he knows that all roads worth traveling lead back to the beautiful California girl with the sunny smile. There’s no denying that he belongs with her, but to have her by his side means Bran must dare to do something he’s never done before: hope.  Everything they’ve fought for has come down to this moment. Can Talia and Bran discover the courage to claim their future and learn that sometimes, in order to earn true love, you need to venture off the map?

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Power Play by Tiffany Snow

June 29, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

Power Play – Book 1

Power Play – Book 1
$5.99
Author: Tiffany Snow
Series: The Risky Business Trilogy
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Publication Year: June 30, 2015
ISBN: 145553286
Sage Reese lives for her job. More precisely, she lives for her debonair boss, Parker Andersen. Sage handles everything for Parker, even as she fantasizes about the one thing that isn’t in her job description: him. But when a high-stakes account crosses the line from shady to deadly, a tough cop starts giving Sage the attention she wishes Parker would . . .
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Book Overview

THIS KIND OF BUSINESS CAN ONLY BE PERSONAL

Sage Reese lives for her job. More precisely, she lives for her debonair boss, Parker Andersen. Sage handles everything for Parker, even as she fantasizes about the one thing that isn’t in her job description: him. But when a high-stakes account crosses the line from shady to deadly, a tough cop starts giving Sage the attention she wishes Parker would . . .

Detective Dean Ryker couldn’t be more different from Parker. While Parker wears expensive suits like a second skin and drives a BMW, Ryker’s uniform is leather jackets and jeans . . . and his ride of choice is a Harley. While Parker’s sexiness is a reserved, slow burn, Ryker is completely upfront about what-and who-he’s after. And Sage tops his list.

Now, as Ryker digs deeper into the dark side of Parker’s business, Sage finds herself caught between two men: the one she’s always wanted-and the one who makes her feel wanted like never before . . .

RED NIGHTS by Shari J. Ryan

June 29, 2015 By: Romance Junkies Category: Latest News

I’m Felicity Stone, a twenty-five-year-old with my whole life ahead of me. Well, until recently.

I didn’t do it. Why would they think I did? Why would I want my twin brother dead? Why is everyone looking at me like I’m a criminal?
Well, everyone except him… Hayes Peyton, the charmingly beautiful stranger I met in the park at midnight—a totally legitimate place to meet the man of my dreams. Plus, he knows I’m innocent.
Believing him is easy. So very easy. Maybe too easy?
But when you hear things like: ‘All good is laced with some bad, and everything you think is the truth—is nothing more than a blatant lie,’ it makes you question reality.


In Shari J. Ryan’s latest Romantic Suspense, Red Nights, you wonder how dark your world can get before all you see is red.


 

“Great night for a walk.” I can hardly hear him over the rain, but his words don’t quite matter. I’ve been waiting to kiss him since the moment I saw him sitting in a booth at the restaurant tonight.
First kisses are always nerve-wracking and full of surprise, but second kisses are full of anticipation thanks to what I already know, what I’ve already had a taste of. “I really like you,” he says, loud enough to drown out the heavy rainfall.
I can’t invite him in…is that why he’s stalling? I point upstairs. “Aspen, my friend I’m crashing with, would ask you a million questions if you came up. I—”
“Oh, no. No. I wasn’t waiting for an invitation. I have a ‘seven date’ rule anyway.” I can see him fighting the urge to smile, but he’s losing that battle.
“’Seven date’ rule?” I laugh.
“Yeah, it’s dumb.” He runs a palm down the side of his face. “Because I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to make it that long.” He leans in, stealing a quick kiss. But I feel cheated. I want more.
“How do you know we’ll last seven dates?” I ask.
“Good point. I probably won’t be able to put up with you for that long.” I know he’s teasing. But ugh. Damn him and that smile.
I throw my arms around his neck and crash my lips into his. His body tightens, maybe from surprise, but it takes less than a second for him to relax. He strips me of my control, pushing me up against the brick wall, his body heavy against mine. Even with the rain sloshing between us, his hands find my cheeks. His tongue sweeps across my lips.
I’ve changed my mind.
I’ll bring him upstairs.
I don’t give a shit what Aspen does. I want him. I need him to keep making me forget.
“Come up,” I say in almost nothing but a breathless whisper.
He bites down on his bottom lip, appears to think about my offer, then shakes his head in this seductive slow motion, making this moment painfully enjoyable. “Not tonight,” he says, placing a small kiss on the tip of my nose. His hand is clutched around my waist and everything within me hurts and aches for him. “Good-night, Blondie-locks.” He turns and leaves in the rain, and I watch him go.
It has been a good night. A very good night, actually.
And it all ends when I get upstairs…




Shari J. Ryan is an Amazon Top 100 Bestselling author, a Barnes & Noble Top 10 Bestselling author, and an iBookstore #1 Bestselling author. She hails from Central Massachusetts where she lives with her husband and two lively little boys. Shari has always had an active imagination and enjoys losing herself in the fictional worlds she creates. When Shari isn’t writing, she can usually be found cleaning toys up off the floor.

To learn more, visit her at, www.sharijryan.com.

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