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Synopsis: How can anyone resist temptation when it’s right next door?
Riley County North Carolina has a lot to offer: coastal views as far as
the eye can see, and men in uniform who are even more gorgeous. Home to the most notorious prison in the state, Alicia’s new hometown is crawling with men who carry their own handcuffs and know how to use them – like Officer Liam Alexander, her one and only neighbor. After catching him out of uniform, she can’t resist pausing to enjoy the show. When Liam’s Southern charm drives him across the property line, life gets hotter than the Carolina summer could possibly account for. Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to life in the coastal haven, even with an officer next door.
Coordinating special events at a historic – and supposedly haunted –
plantation is enough to have Alicia questioning her senses and her sanity, but the spirits of the past take a backseat to a pair of escaped convicts who blaze a trail of mayhem across Riley County. Not even the most intense chemistry can survive the perils that make a sunny seaside town a dangerous place to be after dark … can it?
The rising sun burnt on the Carolina horizon like a jewel, causing the tidal mist to light up like it’d been set on fire. It was the most gorgeous thing Alicia had ever seen, besides her naked neighbor. The sight of him stripping down lit up the morning like nothing else could – not even the extra-bold, extra-large cup of coffee she clutched as she stared through her kitchen window.
Everything about him was extra-large, too. She, however, was anything but bold.
She’d die if he knew she’d been watching him like this for the past three weeks, ever since she’d moved in. Guilt surged through her system just like her daily caffeine infusion, but that didn’t keep her from enjoying the display, all that taut muscle and bare skin.
Not even close.
“Good Lord,” she sighed, to no one but herself. DC seemed faraway already; the big city had disappeared in her rearview mirror weeks ago to be replaced by real Southern heat and charm, two things her new neighbor radiated in spades.
Not that she’d spoken to him much yet.
There’d been the occasional hello when they glimpsed each other outside, usually coming to or from work. That was it, mostly because the sight of him in uniform had a way of leaving her tongue-tied, silenced by the guilty pleasure that struck her every time she looked in his direction. She couldn’t so much as glance at him without thinking about that uniform coming off in slow motion, revealing his perfect body.
Maybe it was his fault for not closing the bathroom blinds, the ones that hung over the window directly across from the shower.
Or maybe it was her fault for enjoying the striptease with her morning coffee day after day, saying nothing.
Either way, she wasn’t complaining. Close-cropped dark hair, sun-tanned skin stretched over a six foot frame of solid muscle and an ass that appeared to be sculpted from granite, not to mention the amazing view when his back wasn’t to her: the vision had been seared into her memory, and it stayed with her even after he slung a towel around his hips and strolled out of the bathroom, disappearing from her view.
That was her cue to gulp down the rest of her coffee and pull herself together before she rushed to the Wisteria Plantation House. She’d been hired there as the special events coordinator, had moved and reshaped her life around the new job, though as she drained her coffee mug, swallowing the bitter grit that swirled at the bottom of the cup, she was so dazzled by what she’d just seen that it was sure to be a challenge just to coordinate her hair and makeup for the day, let alone an outfit.
Despite the sexually-charged fog her neighbor had left her in, she managed to brush on some cosmetic staples, twist her chestnut hair into a simple chignon and shed her robe, pulling on khaki pants and a purple blouse. As she dressed, she pretended that the brush of her own fingertips against her skin didn’t inspire imaginings of what it’d be like to feel her neighbor’s hands on her body. Lastly, she slipped on sandals, a pair with modest kitten heels that’d allow her to navigate Wisteria’s grounds without breaking an ankle.
Or so she thought. When she finally walked out the door with her purse slung over her shoulder and a travel mug in one hand, she tripped over the threshold and was launched forward through the muggy Carolina air.
She windmilled, dropping her handbag but – miracle of miracles – managing to maintain her grip on her coffee.
The mug was a fancy one that remained sealed until one pressed a button, freeing the flow of liquid within. As she bent to pick up her purse and then straightened, quickly smoothing her clothing, she realized that the anti-spill mug was the best twenty dollars she’d ever spent.
Heat flooded her cheeks as she said a silent prayer of gratitude for spill-proof technology. Her neighbor was standing on the front porch of his bungalow-style house, a cute place painted a shade of moss-green that blended right into the wooded backdrop. Judging by the way he stared, frowning in her direction, he’d seen everything.
“Are you all right?” His voice echoed across the few yards between them, sounding with a depth that sent a frisson racing down her spine.
* * * * *
“All she knew was that she’d won the neighbor lottery – having a sexy officer next door was the jackpot, and having Liam in particular was even better.”
This sensual love story was quite refreshing. There were no arguments or struggles between the two main characters, no misunderstandings, tantrums, overhearing nasty comments in the bathroom, crazy exes, angst, etc. Yet it was still interesting and I didn’t want to put it down… it was also smokin’ hot, well written, and just an all-around good book – how cool is that? What it does have are unusual circumstances, probable hauntings/ghosts, a historic plantation home, cop killers, prison escapees, a posse, stray dogs, an alligator, klutziness, hot prison guards, bridezilla, a fire, steamy sex scenes, brownies, sweet tea, hot neighbors… wow. Sure makes me wish my neighbor wasn’t an ignorant pig…
About Ranae Rose
Ranae Rose is the best-selling author of more than twenty adult romances and counting. Originally from Maryland, she grew up the daughter of a US Marine and always wanted to be a writer. Today she lives on the US East Coast with her man in uniform, young children, German Shepherd dogs and overflowing bookshelves.
Her love affair with the romance genre began as a teen when a classmate handed her a romance comic book. Instantly hooked, she read them during class behind her textbooks and under her desk. She hasn’t looked back since.
When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys things like good coffee, travel and fitness – especially pursuing her elusive goal of getting her husband to tap out on the jiu jitsu mats (no luck so far).
The Man Test by Amanda Aksel
Marin Johns is San Francisco’s Pollyanna couples therapist. She’s months away from wedded bliss when she discovers her fiancé is having an affair. After nursing her broken heart with Kleenex and break-up songs, she adopts a new brand of thinking when she uncovers a tell-all book that proves all men are liars and cheaters who will do and say anything so they’re not found out. No exceptions.
In an attempt to convince her friends of her newfound truth, she begins a fictitious relationship with James, a do-gooder from Montana. Marin seeks any means necessary to catch him cheating from hiring a PI to enlisting the help of a fidelity tester. Will her new “boyfriend” beat the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right?
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“My knowledge on the behavior of Great Danes was shallow, but this one was smart as hell and pain in my ass. My eyes searched his. Did he have a human soul somewhere in his oversized body? I tried to grab the computer out from under his paws, but he guarded it like it was his special bone.”
“The only thing I could ever stand for completely was love. I’m not talking about the butterflies, can’t eat, can’t sleep kind of love, but the morning breath, movie night in, grow old together love.”
This author has smarts and a dry wit, I like that. I enjoyed the story, although I didn’t always like her main character. At times I wanted to smack her, other times I was embarrassed by her idiocy. And when she finally came around – I just knew she would eventually – my heart was heavy for her. Rather than deal with her personal issues, our heroine sinks her teeth into a flawed theory, then sets out to prove it with her own brand of empirical research. However, her plan is really an awful experiment, and a horrible thing to do to another human being. Despite being a well-educated mental health professional, she is still human and fallible, and aren’t we all? I understand this hair-brained thinking as I have been also been guilty of it myself. Well – it couldn’t actually ever be MY fault… could it? But just her luck, her test subject doesn’t seem to be fitting the pattern. Despite a slow start, I found this to be an entertaining read.
About Amanda Aksel
AMANDA (ah-MAHN-dah)- Latin- Meaning lovable or worthy of love.
Fitting. I’ve always had an affinity for love.
Being born in sunny San Diego in the mid 80’s to a young military couple gave me plenty of insight into the dynamics of a romantic relationship. Somewhere between moving coasts every three years, I found myself engrossed in fairytale romances and dressing up like a bride.
My first real love was writing. By my sophomore year in a new high school in Virginia, I had a slew of short stories, songs, poems, and articles to my name. Writing was fun. It was a way to get the emotions, dialogue, and pictures out of my head, and create a destiny for my characters.
I had no intention of making a career in writing, because it wasn’t what I did, it was who I was. In reality, I wanted to be an actress. Ah, to be the face of someone else’s authored story. The plan was to move in with my aunt in L.A. after graduation, but had a change of heart. Instead, I stayed with my high school sweetheart (now husband) and attended a film school in Norfolk, VA. It was at this school that I discovered my love for writing screenplays and felt compelled to follow that path. But…as the practical girl I was brought up to be, I decided to go to a real university. While working full time, I completed my BA in Psychology in four and a half years. Becoming a couple’s therapist had always been my “backup” career and there I was on my way to solving love’s most complicated quandaries one couple at a time.
With all my new free time after graduation, I decided to turn my full-length screenplay into a novel in hopes it would help my screenplay sell. I think I was in the middle of writing chapter two when I realized that everything I had ever written was to prepare me for that moment when I knew I was a novelist. Talk about the affirmation of my life. Now my plan is to solve love’s most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.
WATCHING OVER YOU COVER REVEAL
I’m so excited to reveal the cover for my upcoming book Watching Over You. The cover was designed by Louisa at LM Creations.
You can add Watching Over You on Goodreads!!
Sabrina Moss was ten years old when her father disappeared without a trace. It was no surprise to her mother when she moved to London as soon as she graduated from college. Sabrina wanted to pursue her love of the theater and find out more about her father’s English roots. She wasn’t looking for love, but as soon as she met Ellis Cook, he awakened in her emotions that she never knew existed.
Ellis Cook is a man with no past and no future. He lives his life with one goal and that is to stay alive. The day he bumped into Sabrina Moss was the best and worst day of his life. There’s a vulnerability in Sabrina that captivates him, but also angers him. He tries to fight his emotions, but she brings out the light in his darkness.
They can’t help but be attracted to each other, but neither one of them knows that there are hidden secrets bubbling underneath the surface waiting to take them both down.
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“You’re the only one I want to be with. If you need me to tell you all the ways I want you, I’ll do it. I could go on all night. What this is between us, it’s good, Olivia, and I don’t want it with anyone else. You own me, Olivia. Don’t you see that? I want you to be my future, but you need to want that too.”
“I love you so much it terrifies me. You could leave me and I don’t think I’d survive it.”
Oh swoon. I am shocked – I should say – totally shocked – to discover this offering from the gods to be the debut novel of two women. I never would have guessed this wasn’t from a seasoned best-selling author. It was well paced, well written, enthralling and just short of fantastic. The characters are fully inhabited, complex, damaged, and flawed – and I loved them. I want more! Although this is book one of a series, it is a self-contained stand-alone unit – with no sucky cliff hanger – yay! There is humor, likeable main and secondary characters, a believable plot, a sensual love story, and smoking hot love scenes. No complaints from this old cougar. I hope I am paying attention when book 2 comes out…
Olivia Burke is ready to risk everything to be with Owen Maxwell. She’s determined to discover his dark secrets, mend his broken soul, and convince him to make their relationship more permanent. Owen is hell bent on not losing his sense of self, all the while trying to alleviate Olivia’s fears that he’ll leave her for any of the warm bodies ready to throw themselves at a sexy fireman. For Olivia, the past interferes with the future she wants. For Owen, the future he wants is being assaulted by his past.
By Eliza Gordon
Genre: Women’s fiction
Publisher: West 26th Street Press, NYC
If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.
After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.
**Reader discretion advised as the book contains mature themes, discussions of a sexual nature, and coarse language. There is no erotic content within.**
Early reviews for NEUROTICA:
~ “My soul is happy. Neurotica was perfect. I enjoyed every single word.”
~ “You probably can’t see the sections I highlighted in the book but people would think I’m nuts because it’s the scenes where you describe Portland and the areas they are sitting that just grabbed my heart. Honestly, at moments I wanted to cry, because you did my heart’s home such service. Your love of Portland shines in this book and it’s beautiful … Jayne was just so real, and honest (despite what Luke may have thought a couple times). She felt like someone I would just love to know personally.”
~ “This book has so much going own that you will not be able to put it down. I love everything about it, from the way it is written, to the storyline and its many twist and turns. This book is different from the author’s first book but I think I love it as much or maybe even more. This is a must read now book. Don’t just put it on your long to be read list because it is that good. The wittiness of the storyline is incredible. I want more of these characters when I finished the book because I didn’t want it to end. Loved every word of this book!”
~ “Gordon keeps readers on edge, snickering, and in love with all the characters as this humorous story unfolds. A must read. And perhaps my favorite part is that it’s completely clean. While the MC writes erotica, Gordon keeps this NA novel PG, which is exactly where it needs to be to get the point across.”
Paperbacks for Must Love Otters and Neurotica now available!
Now available at Amazon OR if you want a signed paperback, drop Eliza Gordon an email. Payment is accepted via PayPal ($10 for the book + shipping from Canada, which is usually $7-12 depending on where you are; international shipment might be higher, FYI). I’m happy to sign and/or personalize a book just for you!
Who I Was
By Kasidy Blake
Release Date: August 21st, 2014
Lillian Jacobson was a very happy four year old. She had two loving parents and an older brother who put all other brothers to shame.
Everything changed one horrible night when her entire world was savagely torn apart. Her parents were brutally murdered in front of her eyes and she was left with a bullet wound in her shoulder as a constant reminder of the tragedy. Now she and her brother are living their lives in constant fear; every day a fight for survival.
After years of relative safety under witness protection, their situation turns from bad to worse. Betrayed by a man who swore to protect them, her brother is taken by the same people who ended her parents lives years before. She is moved to a secure location under the protection of two agents, but a complication arises that she never saw coming. She begins to fall for both men, who are also falling for her. When a letter arrives bearing the ultimatum, “Surrender yourself or your brother dies,” she must find a way to suppress her desires or she may never see her brother alive again.
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Kasidy is a pen name, however her identity isn’t that much of a secret. She has been married for 10 years this year to her high school sweetheart. They have two wonderful children. Kasidy currently works full and part time but she loves it all. When she isn’t doing any of those things she is either reading or writing! Her friends and family are super supportive and she knows she would be nothing without them. Who I was is her Debut Novel. With Who I Became following shortly behind!
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Andy starts acting differently and won’t talk to her about what is bothering him. He’s distant and broody, and the closer it gets to Zoey’s upcoming vacation, the more unsettling Andy’s behavior becomes.
Once Zoey leaves for vacation, life doesn’t get any easier for her, until she begins to volunteer at a local horse ranch. There she meets Josie, a former therapist, who spent her career helping orphans. While she is working at the ranch, unbeknownst to her, Josie is helping Zoey better herself and heal.
Zoey and Andy both realize they have issues from their troubling pasts that need to be dealt with during the month that Zoey is gone, and they agree to work on them. By the time she comes home, they’ve both succeeded at putting their previous tragedies behind them and are looking forward to their future together.
On what should be the happiest day of their lives, Andy is completely blindsided by disturbing news from his past. While Andy is away and trying desperately to find out if the information he’s received is true, Zoey suspects a life changing situation that could either ruin her and Andy, or make them completely whole.
Can their relationship survive Andy’s devastation, or will their lives fall apart forever? Will Zoey find it within her newfound strength to hold them together?
Jen Andrews was raised in a small town in Northern California, and still lives in the same county where she was born. She is a self-proclaimed music and lyric addict. She grew up in a ‘car family’ so her life has been spent around old hot rods. She and her husband, Jake, even have a few of their own. In her spare time, Jen loves to travel wherever she can. She finally lived her dream of traveling to New Zealand to see her favorite rugby team, the All Blacks, play. Jen loves to do photography as a hobby and continues to write.