Monday, February 29, 2016

Flirting with Fame by Samantha Joyce

Title: Flirting with Fame
Author: Samantha Joyce
My Rating: A

Genre: New Adult
Series: Flirting with Fame #1
Main Characters: Elise 
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Pocket Star
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?



Story Overview:
First, let me get the gushing out of the way. The fact that this book is Samantha Joyce's first book boggles my mind. The story was creative, engaging, and featured a huge set of highly diversified, but very real feeling characters that I absolutely fell in love with. I'll admit I started reading this book and couldn't even think about going to sleep although I read it deep into the night. It was really a great book. 

So let's talk specifics. First the main storyline was amazingly creative. Elise is an author who wrote her first book at the age of 15 when she was dealing with being deaf for the first time in her life. The silence overwhelmed her so she let the voices in her head take over. As both a reader and a writer, I adore this take on why she wrote. So brilliant. And as a typical writer, this is a girl who is not comfortable with other people...at all. Her deafness just exacerbates the problem. She hates feeling like she's on display. As a result, when her publishing company asked for a headshot, she chose a beautiful photo of a girl off the internet instead of sending in a photo of her own scarred face.

But now they are making a TV show based on her best-selling books and are filming in her hometown so she can be on set to advise. There's not a single thing about this that she's comfortable with...on top of the fact that she's in the whole new world of college. LOTS of things making Elise highly uncomfortable and out of her element.

I loved Elise and could relate to how she felt about every little aspect of stepping out of her comfort zone, even though I don't have her issues. I love that she found Clint and that her roommate, Reggie, was awesome and pushed her. These were two of the most amazing characters in the book. I LOVED both of them so hard. 

Then there's Gavin and Veronica, who are the pretty people and at times so difficult to understand...especially Gavin since he sometimes seemed like such a jerk and then the next scene I would fall in love with him again. 

And Jin who was Elise's best friend from high school. He went off to NYC in the book so he wasn't on the page as much as I would have liked, but what a great friend. 

But absolutely the best character in the book was Clint. He was the one who taught Elise to accept who she was, flaws and all. What happened to him hurt my heart, but wow...it really made for some powerful scenes between the two of them. I loved that he never wavered in doubting who he was, even though that might not be the normal thing. He was his own person and showed Elise that that was okay. Everyone needs a Clint in their lives. Seriously, I don't think I could love a character more. *happy sigh*

I adored this book and highly recommend it! It was just really, really good. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Her Forever Hero by Melody Anne


Title: Her Forever Hero
Author: Melody Anne
My Rating: B

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Unexpected Heroes #3
Main Characters: Cam and Grace
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Pocket
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Growing up in a big adoptive family, gorgeous small-town attorney Cam has always had a life rich with love. But the one thing he’s missing is the perfect woman to grow old and raise a family with—and send sparks flying on those cold Montana nights! Still, Cam knows if it wasn’t for his caring parents and brothers, he wouldn’t be where he is today, so he tries to pay it forward whenever he can. And if the client happens to be a modern-day damsel in distress, he’ll happily don a suit of shining armor. This time, his sister-in-law’s best friend Grace is in serious trouble, and Cam’s determined to get his smart, beautiful client off the hook. But as attorney-client privilege brings Cam and Grace closer than they ever imagined, the sexual tension heats up. It’s clear before the gavel comes down that the verdict is going to be red hot!
My Review:
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read for me. The hero is 4 years older than the heroine and they were involved when she was 18 and he was 22. After a series of misunderstandings, they broke up. For Cam, that was heartbreaking. He was sure she was his forever girl. For Grace it was another blow in a line of devastating heartbreaks where once again a person in her life that she loved let her down completely. 

So when they meet up again ten years later, Cam wants them to have another chance, but Grace is a no-go. Been there. Done that. Had her heart broken. Won't be doing that again. Grace's backstory broke my heart. On paper, she's had a storybook life...society princess, but that's hiding horrible parents and a line of people who have let her down and hurt her. And unfortunately Cam is also one of those people, no matter that he's truly a good guy. But I felt for him, too, because he wants them to work so much. Between that and the fact that he's so protective of Grace. He's trying to save her although she doesn't accept that she's truly in danger...from anything. 

There's an element of suspense to this story that helped to heighten the need-to-turn-the-page-right-now aspect and I love that. 

But with that being said, this is an author that I'm just not sure is for me. I DNF'ed the last book in this series. This one was definitely better, but there were still scenes where I found myself rolling my eyes...either at the cliche wording during sex scenes, or the completely over the top reactions from the characters. I don't understand that, because it's not something I have an issue with throughout the entire book. Just certain scenes set my teeth on edge. If I battle through reading those, I find myself in love with the book in the next chapter again. I've NEVER had that issue with another author and I honestly don't understand it. 

So take that as you will. Not a completely positive review on this one, but there was enough of the story that I absolutely loved that I would definitely recommend it. Also note....I think my reaction is a rarity with this author, because most people truly love every bit of the story. Honestly, I'm sad that I don't. Because when the scenes work for me, they are 5-star working for me. Maybe the next time I get one of her books I should block off the time to read it all in one sitting and see if I still have a problem. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Fully Ignited by Shannon Stacey

Title: Fully Ignited
Author: Shannon Stacey
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Boston Fire #3
Main Characters: Jamie and Scott
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
When Jamie Rutherford takes a temporary assignment as lieutenant of Boston Fire’s Engine 59, she doesn’t anticipate any problems. She’s been in the fire service for a long time and, even though she’s fairly new to Boston, she knows how to make any firehouse her home. What she’s not prepared for is her reaction to firefighter Scott Kincaid.

Scott is looking for a wife. It’s been a fun ride as a single guy, but he’s tired of being the third wheel, and nearly losing his brother-in-law finally made him realize just how much he wants a family of his own. When the new guy at the firehouse turns out to be a capable, confident and very attractive woman, his plan is completely derailed.

Hooking up with a fellow firefighter has never been part of Jamie’s plan, but she’s tempted by Scott—even though getting involved with him could tarnish the reputation she’s worked so hard for. And Scott can’t stop thinking about Jamie, despite the fact that she’s his superior and not sticking around. Chemistry can crush the best-laid plans, though, and while Jamie and Scott might not be each other’s future…there’s no resisting the right now.


My Review:
I've loved reading this series and this book was no different from the others in that I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Jamie is the new fireman in the company...a girl. She was brought in as the new Lieutenant for the company while Danny's out with a broken leg. Everyone knows she's there for a limited time...6-8 weeks. The chemistry she has with Scott was instantaneous for both of them, but she has a rule...no messing around with any of the guys from work; and he's not doing casual hook-ups anymore. He's ready to settle down and search for the one. But chemistry and knowing there's a deadline on anything that happens proves to be too much temptation and they give in. 

This was one of those stories that just made me happy to read it. Jamie and Scott are fun together...from the moment they bond over chocolate pudding. That made the book highly entertaining to read and I rooted for them to find their way to an HEA. But there were moments when that outcome was not looking so good. No spoilers, but I have to say I love how Shannon Stacey wrote the black moment for the story...really intense and highly emotionally charged. It really worked for me. 

The entire set up for the story was good. I loved that Jamie bonded with Scott's sisters and how they would finagle information out of her. I continue to love the dynamic of this fire-fighting family. On the surface, they are completely dysfunctional, but incredibly loyal and true to the ones they love. I enjoyed how the relationship developed and how it surprised both Jamie and Scott. In addition, these two were incredibly hot together. That chemistry is amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I definitely recommend this book. In fact, I highly recommend the entire series. While the books have common characters with intertwined lives, you can read each book as a stand-alone, so don't feel like you have to read all three. I just have a feeling you'll want to after you read one of them. It's a highly entertaining, fun series to read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Play to Win by Tiffany Snow

Title: Play To Win
Author: Tiffany Snow
My Rating: B

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Risky Business #3
Main Characters: Ryker, Parker, and Sage
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
PLAY FAIR . . . OR PLAY TO WIN?

Falling in love with polar-opposite men was an intoxicating ride that nearly ended Sage Reese's life. Now it's time for Sage to decide: Parker, the clean-cut, filthy-rich business magnate . . . or Ryker, the tough-as-nails undercover detective. Her choice? Neither. Because she can't stand the thought of coming between two brothers-in-arms finally trying to repair their friendship.

Yet not everyone feels the same way, including a mysterious woman who's come to Ryker and Parker for help. Sage knows firsthand how hard it is for the two former Marines to resist a damsel in distress. But something just doesn't feel right.

Now there's a danger closing in that only Sage can see, and she intends to do everything she can to protect Parker and Ryker-even at the risk of losing them both.

My Review:
From the moment I finished reading book #2 in this series, I've been dying to get my hands on this book. And I'll be honest...at that point I wasn't sure who I wanted Sage to end up with...Parker or Ryker. I won't post any spoilers, but I will say that overall, I'm happy with the outcome. 

There's a letter from the author at the start of the book and she talks about how this was a difficult book to write. I could see that especially in the suspense story line...not that the book was bad. It just wasn't quite as amazing as the book before it. (I can't speak about book #1 because I still haven't gotten around to reading that one although it is in my TBR pile.) There were a few things that just didn't work for me that made me question the possibility of that actually happening. (i.e...Sage was arrested about a murder that happened while Sage was there when the person died, but not only did they let her go, but they never even questioned her about what happened...because she knows a cop...um, no. no. no.) Those kind of little details in an already somewhat weak suspense line could have really ruined this book for me. 

Luckily, the romance was good enough for me to make up some of that for me. I did like how that whole part of the story unfolded. Although I still have issues with the Natalie story line overall, I did think that conflict added something to the romantic conflict and angst and chemistry.

So while this book wasn't a total win for me like the other book in this series, I was happy with the ending and overall did enjoy the book. This is a romance series that I would recommend, but it's one of those where it's better if you read all three books in the series because the story line progresses over the three books. They don't each have their own story. The romance arc takes all three books to be resolved. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Taking Fire by Cindy Gerard

Title: Taking Fire
Author: Cindy Gerard
My Rating: A-

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: One-Eyed Jacks #4
Main Characters: Bobby and Talia
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Pocket Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Betrayal. Retribution. Redemption?

Six years ago, tough-as-nails military contractor Bobby Taggart met the woman of his dreams in war-torn Kabul—a sexy, whip-smart war correspondent who approached him at a local bar, took him to bed, made him fall in love…and then mysteriously disappeared. In her wake, the terrorist leader he’d been mining for valuable intel was assassinated—then Bobby discovered his phone had been bugged. And he’s pretty damn sure he’s been played for a fool.


Now, a covert security mission for the U.S. Embassy in Oman unexpectedly reunites him with Talia Levine, the woman who betrayed him and broke his heart. And there’s one more secret she hasn’t told him—one that will change his world. But as the heat of anger mixes with a still-simmering passion, dangerous forces close in, their sights set on Talia. Trust is the only way they will survive—but with their lives in the balance, can Bobby risk trusting her again?..
My Review:
It's been a while since I read a Cindy Gerard book. While I have all her latest releases in my TBR pile, I haven't necessarily taken the time to read them. Well, shame on me...because I just love the way she writes her military/romantic suspense novels. And this is another good one. 

This one features Bobby Taggert. He's one of the original One-Eyed Jacks...the crew that were given less than honorable discharges for the wrong reasons. He's now working for Nate Black...yep, this series is a spin-off from Black's BOIs series. 

Six years ago, Bobby was still reeling from his less than honorable discharge and working as a merc for hire. He met Talia when she was supposedly working as a journalist in the middle east. But that was a cover. Bobby was actually her mark and she betrayed him in almost every possible way. He's never forgiven her for making him the chump in a honeypot scheme.

But they've never seen another again until moments before a bombing in a US embassy...that catches them both off-kilter. The bomb may have gone off in the embassy, but Talia was the target for what she did 6 years ago...and now the life of their child- a son Bobby didn't know about- is in danger. 

This book takes off at a crazy high-stakes speed of action and adventure and it honestly never lets up until the final page. That made for such a good read. There is so much happening...both between the characters and the chaos in their lives...it's awesome. And in the middle of all that is this huge, tough warrior learning that he is and how to be a father and how that steals his heart. There were so many 'aww' moments that truly melted my heart. I loved how much Bobby was absolutely played by the existence of his son. 

And then there is the whole relationship between Talia and Bobby. Regardless of how things went down six years ago, she truly cared for him and has hated keeping this huge secret from him. But she had no choice...then or now. But now they have to cooperate for the sake of their son in highly stressful circumstances...and their chemistry is still crazy good. So things progress even thought BOTH of them are fighting it. This is the way chemistry should be done in romantic suspense...so brilliant. 

I loved the book and the set up and all the events along the way. I'd forgotten just how much I loved Cindy Gerard. I need to go dig out some of those in my TBR that I haven't gotten to yet. Just phenomenal romantic/military suspense!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber

Title: A Girl's Guide to Moving On
Author: Debbie Macomber 
My Rating: A-

Genre: Women's Fiction
Series: -
Main Characters: Nichole and Leanne
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
In this powerful and uplifting novel from #1 New York Timesbestselling author Debbie Macomber, a mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined.

When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has been unfaithful, the illusion of her perfect life is indelibly shattered. While juggling her young son, a new job, and volunteer work, Nichole meets Rocco, who is the opposite of Jake in nearly every way. Though blunt-spoken and rough around the edges, Rocco proves to be a dedicated father and thoughtful friend. But just as their relationship begins to blossom, Jake wagers everything on winning Nichole back—including their son Owen’s happiness. Somehow, Nichole must find the courage to defy her fears and follow her heart, with far-reaching consequences for them all.

Leanne has quietly ignored her husband’s cheating for decades, but is jolted into action by the echo of Nichole’s all-too-familiar crisis. While volunteering as a teacher of English as a second language, Leanne meets Nikolai, a charming, talented baker from Ukraine. Resolved to avoid the heartache and complications of romantic entanglements, Leanne nonetheless finds it difficult to resist Nikolai’s effusive overtures—until an unexpected tragedy tests the very fabric of her commitments.

An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope, A Girl’s Guide to Moving On affirms the ability of every woman to forge a new path, believe in love, and fearlessly find happiness.


My Review:
If you've been reading my reviews for a while, then you know that women's fiction is not my norm. In fact, I've only read a couple of Debbie Macomber's books before, too. But something about this story description drew me to it. I'm so glad I took a chance on it. I really enjoyed this book. 

The story follows the lives of two women who have just divorced their husbands...
1. Nichole who was married to Jake for five years
2. Leanne, Nichole's mother in law, who was married to Jake's father, Sean, for thirty five years. 

Father and son were too much alike...cheating jerks. So the girls left using one another as their support system.

I love the way this story is set up because it's so unexpected. After Leanne found out that Jake also cheated on his wife, she suddenly realized how bad of an example she'd set for her son by accepting her husband's cheating and living in a loveless marriage for decades. She decided that she had to break that mold, before her grandson became the same as the other men in the family.

Leanne and Nichole live in apartments across from one another and are truly best friends. They set up rules for living and recovering from this devastating life change...and to make sure they don't lose themselves along the way. 

Their stories are similar as they begin to live again. They are each finding their way, and that is the hope in the story. Life does get better, even when it doesn't go the way either of them expect it to. There was a lot of drama and emotion to the story. Both women meet new loves, but with that comes its own set of new risks and conflicts. 

Often times when there is a dual story line like there is in this book, I'm much more drawn to one story over the other. But I thoroughly enjoyed both these stories. I didn't ever have a new chapter start and wish the story was about the other character. I was equally invested in both their lives and enjoyed reading all of the highs and lows. 

It was a good story with a good overall message. I'd definitely recommend the book. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The Sweetest Chase by Sharla Lovelace

Title: The Sweetest Chase
Author: Sharla Lovelace
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Heart of the Storm #2
Main Characters:Quinn and Simon
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Montlake
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
Photographer Quinn Parker is getting married in a month, and she’s almost happy about it. Even though her mother is planning the whole wedding. Even though she’s secretly had the hots for Simon Chase forever. But he’s her best friend’s brother and her coworker…off-limits even if she were single. So she’s marrying the man who should be her perfect match—and that’s that.

Simon Chase’s life revolves around his family’s storm-chasing business. The meteorologist of the bunch, he’d rather be out in the weather than reporting it—especially if Quinn Parker is along to photograph the run. He’s been hiding his crush on her for a long time, and it’s only intensified. But she’s marrying someone else—and that’s that.



Or is it? When a Chase family wedding sets the stage for body temperatures to rise and the pressure of Quinn’s impending wedding to build, a new reality breaks. Quinn and Simon discover their unrequited affections have been mutual all along. When the gathering storm of their attraction finally reaches its peak, will it leave their lives in shambles? Or will they find shelter in each other? 
My Review:
Whew...this book. It wasn't the easiest book to read by any means, but that's because of the setup for the story. Although I will say, the emotions absolutely did carry me away. I was completely, 100% emotionally invested with these characters and if they'd ever figure their crap out...mainly Quinn.

Quinn...
Here we go. 
Quinn is the pure definition of "hot mess." Honestly, she's not very good heroine material, although I adore what she can do with a camera and the images of her hanging out the window on the chase vehicle took my breath away. But Quinn isn't a very strong character. She also isn't very in touch with who she is. There was a single point in the story where I thought she finally got it...and then...she just didn't. And I wanted to cry, because there are so many amazing possibilities for her. And I get it. I do. Every time she pushed her wants down I wanted to scream at her. But she didn't want to rock the boat. She didn't want to go against what's expected of her. She WOULDN'T stand up for herself. And that just made me sad. Yes, it does happen eventually, but gah... Her mother AND her fiance walk all over her. She tries to stand up and say no, but then someone gives her a sad look and she caves...for 85-90% of the book. 

BUT the idea that she will finally find her spine kept me read and completely involved with the story...to the point that I was tempted to stay up all night reading it. It seems like everyone and everything is against her...her mom, her fiance, the TV show people, even the freaking weather. But Simon has her back. He sees her wants and wishes and wants those for her. 

Simon...
Poor Simon. 
Everyone can see that he's completely head over heels for Quinn...except for her. But she's engaged to another man...off-limits in the biggest possible way. But they are best friends and get thrown into tight situations together where it's hard to deny that chemistry. On top of that, they are both under incredible amounts of stress in their lives so things like self-control and tempers are beginning to fracture. It's a tempestuous combination that as the reader you can see is totally about to erupt. Again, I did mention how riveting reading this book was, right? Almost from page one you can see this train wreck coming and it's impossible to look away. 

The entire story is emotionally charged and there are some amazing action scenes with the storm chases that took my breath away. It is an incredibly entertaining book. Although I spent most of the book wanting to scream at Quinn (and her mother and her fiance), there were also moments when I cried and laughed. Overall, I did enjoy the action of reading it. No, Quinn was absolutely not my favorite heroine, but she made me feel...so mission accomplished. 

Note: There are a TON of characters in this book. It's the second book in the series and I did read the first, although I am notoriously bad at names. I spent a LOT of the book lost about who exactly the side characters were each time one of them was introduced into a scene. I could have used a character glossary for this one. :o)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cover Reveal: True Peril by Veronica Forand



Dive into the world of drug cartels and assassins in this thrilling conclusion to Veronica Forand’s True Lies series in TRUE PERIL.

Haven’t started the True Lies series? Now is the perfect time to start! UNTRUE COLORS, book 1, is on sale for only $.99! Heat up your week and #bingeread the True Lies series just in time for the finale with TRUE PERIL releasing on March 7th!

Enter to win one of three sets of 3 eBook sets of Untrue Colors and True Deceptions (Books 1 & 2 in the True Lies series). 




Visit any of these participating blogs for your chance to win!




Title: True Peril
Author: Veronica Forand
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 7, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Select Suspense
Format: Paperback and Digital
ISBN: 9781633755772
Series: True Lies #3

Synopsis:

She's this assassin's toughest assignment ever...
Socialite Trista Patterson has turned her back on her life of privilege and dedicated herself to helping others. Her mission to protect the world’s children often takes her into the bleak and violent underbelly of third world countries. When a kidnapping attempt goes wrong, Trista quickly finds herself running for her life...and married to a man she just met...as she’s placed at the top of the Cartel’s most wanted list.
Some days no good deed goes unpunished.
Dane O’Brien has spent his life in the shadows. Once a lethal assassin he grew tired of losing his soul with every hit, trading his gun and missions for a conference table and office politics as an undercover operative for the CIA. But when visiting his humanitarian sister turns deadly, Dane finds himself swearing to protect her beautiful and passionate friend Trista no matter the cost...even if it means stepping back into the world he swore never to return to. Although falling for the tough-hearted Trista is easy, keeping her alive is hard.
Find out more at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks


Get a Sneak Peek at True Peril!
Copyright © 2016 by Veronica Forand

“Trista?” he called out through the trees.
No answer.
“I’m Jenny’s brother. It’s safe.”
He called to her several more times and then started back to his car to gather supplies to hike a mile or two farther to try to find more evidence of her presence. The swish of a branch behind him caught his attention. Whoever was hiding had emerged.
Relief turned to caution as Trista walked out of the jungle with a layer of mud covering her and a handgun aimed at his head.
“Trista?”
She didn’t speak. Her eyes remained focused on him, and her legs seemed poised to take off at the slightest threat.
“Are you hurt?” he asked.
Hovering in the area between the road and the forest, she shook her head. “You’re Jenny’s brother?”
Her voice sounded stronger than her faltering body appeared. Some of the mud that covered her looked more like blood that had dried on her shirtsleeves and part of her pants.
“Yes. I’m Dane O’Brien.”
“What’s Jenny’s middle name?” Her eyebrows furrowed as they had in the pictures.
“She doesn’t have one.”
She took a tentative step forward. She observed Dane’s movements and fixed her eyes on his like a panther ready to pounce. “What’s her favorite drink?”
“Chocolate milkshakes. Or a margarita if the bar carries fresh limes.”
The tension in her face melted away. She pointed the gun to the ground and walked over to him. His arms opened automatically—after all, the woman had been through hell. She probably needed a hug or a shoulder to cry on.
She crossed her arms over her chest, the gun dangling from her hand. Her breathing pattern switched from a heavy sigh to a shivery exhale. He put his arms down and observed her.
“Are you okay?”
She nodded. “I’ll survive.”
“Let me rephrase. Do you need medical attention?”
“No.”
“Where are the men who took you from the village?”
“Dead.”
“You killed them?”
She nodded. Her gaze dropped to the ground. Most people never recovered from such a nightmare. Yet she’d not only lived through the ordeal, she emerged from the jungle healthy and armed.
Impressive.
He’d placed the odds against her, but now that he saw her in person, he’d have changed his bet. He approached her with caution. Her finger rested just outside the trigger, in a position a skilled shooter would feel comfortable with.
She peered up at him. “I’m glad you’re here. I didn’t know how I’d get down from the mountain. Is Jenny all right?”
“Worried about you.”
“What about Natalia?”
“I don’t know anything about her, except she’s probably alive thanks to you. Did they hurt you?” He placed a calming hand on her shoulder and slipped the gun out of her hand.
“No.” She eyed the weapon, but didn’t reach for it. Not that she’d be capable of taking it back from him.
“I’ve been listening to the group’s radio all night. They’re coming back. For me.” A tear rolled down her cheek. She ignored it and looked toward the hut. “I didn’t mean to kill them.”
“Kill or be killed.” He urged her toward the Land Cruiser with a soft hand still on her shoulder, trying to ease the wretched emotions that would brand her view of the world forever—the same emotions that tortured his soul every night. “You survived a kidnapping by two moronic men. Don’t feel guilty.”
“You’d have killed them?”
More than killed them. That’s why he hid away in an office now. If anyone had threatened to rape a young girl in his presence, he would have flayed their skin and stuffed it down their throats before ripping their hearts out. “I wouldn’t have been as merciful as you.”
Check out the other books in the True Lies series!


UNTRUE COLORS, True Lies #1
“A briskly paced romance featuring breathless suspense.”—Kirkus Reviews
Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

TRUE DECEPTIONS, True Lies #2
Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

About Veronica Forand:

A Bostonian by birth, Veronica Forand regrettably lost her Boston accent while moving from state to state and country to country. Cleveland probably had the most profound effect on her ability to pronounce the “r” in the word “park.”

She does try to return now and then to visit family and eat long neck clams and lobster. Summers on Cape Cod are also high on the priority list.

Her experience in crime involves time as a court appointed attorney. Eventually, she switched fields to where bigger crimes take place, corporate tax. The allure of spending mornings in her pajamas homeschooling her children and writing fascinating fiction caused her to change careers again. Now that the kids are out of the house (in school), she writes romantic thrillers by day and is the perfect wife and mother at night.

Her experience in romance is limited to one man. Luckily, he’s still finding ways to charm her by taking her on vacations to the south of France, Fiji, and the Green Mountains when time is short. Avid travelers, they love to roam with their kids across continents in pursuit of skiing, scuba diving, and the perfect piece of chocolate.

She’s lived in London, Paris, Geneva, Washington D.C., and the accent destroying city of Cleveland. She currently resides near Philadelphia.

Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Boroughs Publishing Group, and The Wild Rose Press.

Connect with Veronica: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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