Tag Archives: Lauren Dane

Guest Review: Coming Back by Lauren Dane

Ki’s Review of Coming Back by Lauren Dane
Contemporary erotic romance released by Hachette on December 8, 2015

Coming BackMick Roberts, the newest partner at Twisted Steel’s custom hotrod and motorcycle shop, looks like a man with everything. But secretly he still craves the connection he lost when his best friend Adam and the love of his life Jessilynn walked out. Then, he wasn’t ready for the pleasure they promised. Now, things have changed.

Rich, powerful, and insatiable, Adam Gulati is used to getting what he wants. And there’s nothing he wants more than Mick and Jessi. He hasn’t seen either in over a year, but the second he sets eyes on them again his memories-and his desires-can’t be denied.

After trying to live without them, Jessi Franklin realized no one else can satisfy her like Adam and Mick. The three of them need one another-in more ways than one. It’s time to stop pretending and submit to the hunger they all share. But once they go down this road, there’s no turning back. As deeply devoted as they are, no one knows what great bliss their forbidden fantasy will find-or the price they may pay . . .

This was my first book by Lauren Dane and I would never have picked this up myself but the blurb hooked me in a way I never would have thought. I still don’t know why it caught my interest because I don’t really like ménage à trois reads, but this just did. Maybe it was the characters or how I wanted to know what’ll happen next, or maybe it’s because I’ve been reading some good ménage à trois lately. Who knows. Continue reading

Review: Falling Under by Lauren Dane

Deb’s Review of Falling Under by Lauren Dane
Contemporary Romance released by Forever on August 4, 2015

Falling UnderThe men of Twisted Steel are great with their hands.
And they’re not afraid to get dirty.

Duke Bradshaw, co-owner of the Twisted Steel custom motorcycle and hot rod shop, may devote his days to chrome and leather, but his nights belong to Carmella. His sultry redheaded neighbor has a smile like an angel and a body built for sin, and for the past year both have dominated Duke’s dreams. When a problem at Twisted Steel requires a fast fix, Duke sees his chance to finally make his fantasy a reality.

Ever since she first heard the low rumble of his engine, Carmella Rossi has wondered if Duke Bradshaw handles his women as expertly as he handles his bike. When he shows up at her door offering her a much-needed job at his shop, she gets her chance to find out. Beneath Duke’s masterful touch, Carmella soon submits to a world of unimaginable pleasure.

But history has taught Carmella how bad a boy boy can be. If she doesn’t put on the brakes fast, her hard-bodied heartbreaker could drive her right over the edge . . .

Falling Under, book two in Lauren Dane’s Ink & Chrome series, continues the story of the men of Twisted Steel, a custom build car and motorcycle shop, and the women they fall for. Ms. Dane can write a character driven romance like nobody’s business. I adored book one, Opening Up, about Asa and PJ. That story, like its two main characters, is intense, sexually charged, and leaps at you in vivid color. Continue reading

Release Day Guest: Lauren Dane

Hi friends! Today we have Lauren Dane visiting with us, and it’s release day for her! Deb’s review of Falling Under will be posted on Thursday, so if you’re interested stay tuned. 🙂 In fact, I think it’s safe to say Lauren is one of Deb’s favorite authors, so when we had the chance to ask Ms. Dane some questions, I put it to Deb. Here’s what happened with the Q&A.  Continue reading

Review: Opening Up by Lauren Dane

Deb’s Review of Opening Up (Ink and Chrome Book 1) by Lauren Dane
Contemporary erotic romance released by Forever on June 16, 2015

Opening Up

The men of the Twisted Steel custom hot rod and motorcycle shop are great with their hands…and they’re not afraid to get dirty.
PJ is exactly the kind of woman Twisted Steel owner Asa Barrons doesn’t need. The last thing he wants to do is mix business with pleasure, and PJ has some of the best custom detailing he’s ever seen. But the chemistry between them won’t be denied, and soon he’s introducing her to a whole new world in the bedroom, pushing her far beyond anything she’s ever experienced. PJ finds she can’t get enough, but how far is too far before he consumes her completely?

Lauren Dane owes me a new Nook. Fine, I’ll take a Kindle but it had better be fire-proof because it’s all her fault my Nook began overheating in Chapter ONE. By Chapter Three, I was using oven mitts and I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but the darn thing eventually melted in my lap. Continue reading

Guest: Lauren Dane Talks about Spinoffs

I don’t know if you know but… I’m not a huge fan of series. :X I know, I know. But wait. The reason why I mention that is… despite my feelings about them, Lauren Dane totally has me sold on hers. I’ve loved her Seattle set books. And I also love that she knows when to end things. But… even bigger confession? >.> I don’t know if I want to see the Seattle friends go! Eek! Anyway, you don’t want to hear me babble. Without further ado… Ms. Lauren Dane!

Spinning Off by Lauren Dane

So I love to write series. I love developing a group of characters whose stories and paths grow together over one large story arc with several smaller ones for each book.

When I first started thinking about Laid Bare, it was really Erin’s story. I knew she had two brothers, but when I sold it, it was just for a single book because an opening came up in the schedule and they asked if I had anything for them.  I did.

But as I started writing Laid Bare and I got to know Erin’s brothers, I knew I wanted to write about them too. This family, this group of friends, became very real to me as I wrote their stories.

But I’m also a believer in ending things while people still like what you’re writing. I didn’t want to make up uncles or far flung relations just to keep going. But then I wrote Gillian and realized how much I loved her friends.

So I did plan to end the Brown Siblings books (the last book, Drawn Together, Raven’s book, is out next October), but realized I could make that world a little bigger so it overlapped into Delicious, my next series with Berkley Heat that centered around Gillian’s group of friends on Bainbridge Island.

It’s been wonderful to write about these women and their lives – how they all are connected with one another and as they meet and fall in love with the men who fill that spot in their hearts. And it’s been wonderful to touch base with the Browns, Keenans and Copelands because Gillian and Adrian’s wedding is at the heart of the first two books (Sway and Tart, and it’s where Mary meets Damien, her HEA in the last book, Lush).

A spin off needs its own heart and because I loved these characters so much I think I gave it to Delicious. These women are artists, much like Erin and her brothers. But in their own way. They have their own flavor. Bainbridge is a slower, more small town version of Seattle as well.

So I hope you all enjoy meeting and getting to know Daisy, Mary, Jules, Cal, Gideon, Damien and Levi as much as I did!

Lauren is also giving away a copy of her new book Tart, which is something you definitely want to read! Either print, or digital. Winner’s choice!

Teaser “Tuesday”: Sway by Lauren Dane

I know we’ve got super awesome author Lauren Dane sharing an exclusive excerpt of her upcoming book with us today… and it’s even part of an anthology with Maya Banks. The story, Sway, is a novella in the book Cherished.

CherishedSway by Lauren Dane
Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing August 7

The Sway blurb:
Levi Warner is an established, older man—wealthy, powerful, and above all, respectable. Then Levi meets Daisy, an uninhibited 24-year-old dance instructor and artist, not exactly the kind of woman Levi is accustomed to. But the young, free spirit, brings out something in him he only experienced in fantasies. When their scorching affair turns into something unexpectedly deeper, Levi finds himself torn between preserving his reputation, and exploring a wilder and much more satisfying kind of life.

She tasted like honey.

Odd and yet, not entirely unexpected.

Her lips were soft, opening on a sigh. He took her invitation and took the kiss deeper, his tongue sliding into her mouth.

His hand remained in hers, though he wanted to haul her close and take her to the couch. He hadn’t wanted to get horizontal on a woman with this much intensity in a very long time.

The more he tasted, the more he wanted until need beat in his head like a pulse.

The depth and intensity of his desire shook him. Hit him so hard he had to fist the hand she wasn’t holding to keep it from shaking.

He kissed like a master. Daisy knew she was in way over her head and all he’d done was kiss her. They weren’t even touching except for lips and tongues and his hand in hers, but it was enough. Enough that it was a full-body caress when he groaned as she sucked his tongue.

So very controlled, this man. But it was there, just under the surface. Levi Warner was a very dominant male and she wondered if that extended to his sexuality.

Hoped so. It wasn’t that she’d had many dominant lovers or anything. But he’d awakened something inside her. Curiosity, yes, but a sense of satisfaction in letting him lead. Something she’d never experienced before.

The weight of his focus on her was tangible. It made her a little drunk, needing more even as she barely managed to process what he gave her through a simple kiss.

It was enough to let him lead the kiss, enough to step back and wait for whatever he had in mind next.

Her body ached, her nipples throbbed and her pussy was wet and swollen. She shivered, imagining what he’d be like naked. In her bed. In his bed with her in it. Whatever, it didn’t matter where, the naked part was important.

He was patient. So very patient as he continued to kiss her. A nip of her bottom lip that had her gasping for air. His beard stubble gave her just the right amount of friction. Nearly painful. Enough to make her imagine what it’d feel like against the skin of her inner thighs as he went down on her. And she bet he did it well. If his kissing was any indicator, he’d be a marvelous pussy eater.

With a sharp intake of breath he broke the kiss and stared at her. His pupils were huge again and it gave her yet another shiver of delight.

“I should go.”

“You should?” She grabbed the front of his shirt without meaning to and released it quickly. If he left, she’d never speak to him again.

“Christ.” He scrubbed a hand through his hair and she let the other one go. Whatever it was he was fighting with himself over, he had to deal with it. He was a big boy and she sure as hell wasn’t his mother. Nor did she plan to beg him to stay.

She knew her worth as a woman. She’d been raised by not only a kick-ass mother, but her grandmother and sister were also strong, smart women. Whatever her concerns about her talent and art, she’d never beg a man for his attention.

He wanted her or he didn’t. So she sat back a little and let him work through it.

“You’re too young. I shouldn’t even be thinking about sex.”

She sighed. “You keep saying that. I’m far over the age of consent. Also, you’re assuming a lot. I don’t fuck on the first date.”

Then he laughed and she felt better for it.

“You’d leave me with blue balls?” he teased.

“I’m too young? You give me that line and talk about my age? I’m sure I heard that one back in the day. Do you think I’ll give you a pity hand job?” She grinned. He was adorable and damn, she might have broken her no fucking on the first date rule earlier, so it was probably good that they both stepped back for a moment. He made her feel . . . unfettered. And as lovely as it was, no man had ever made her want to jump so foolishly into something.

He grinned back. “Well, all right, it’s been some time since I’ve used that line.”

“What’s next? Will you tell me you’ll only put the tip in?”

You can read another excerpt here. And you know what else?! Lauren is giving someone a copy of Never Enough which is the book that takes place right before Sway begins! (Sway is part of a new series – here’s the info:

The Delicious series will feature Gillian’s friends – Daisy – Sway, Jules – Tart (11/12), Mary’s book and Raven’s book both out in 2013. The books are about a group of friends, all set in Bainbridge Island, WA. More info as we get closer. Sway will be in the Cherished Duology with Maya Banks out in August of 2012 and for those of you who wanted an epilogue in Never Enough, you’ll see Adrian and Gillian’s wedding prep in Sway. Sway is contemporary erotic romance with BDSM themes. Tart is Jules, Cal and Gideon’s story and you’ll meet Mary’s hero at Gillian and Adrian’s wedding…

Are you excited? Tell me what you think!) p.s. if you have any questions about how this giveaway will/is run it’s likely answered here.

Guest Author & A Giveaway: Lauren Dane

YOU GUYS! Today we have Lauren Dane visiting with us. Yes, the Lauren Dane! Believe it or not I actually emailed her about this fifteen months ago! (Um… have I ever mentioned that I like planning in advance? It’s totally not as if I’m scheduled well into 2014 or anything…) >.> Anyway – point being! I heart Lauren Dane like whoa. Oh and yanno, her books are pretty good too. 😉 I haven’t read all of them – but what I have, I give a big thumbs up to. But you’re not here to read my babbling. You’re here for the post!

Coupling…

No not that kind, though there’s that too, but what I mean is the combination of two people (sometimes three) who comprise the main character roles in a romance novel.

It’s been done before. Most of it anyway. In a zillion ways. What isn’t old is how much we love to watch the process of two people falling in love. To me, that’s the heart of any romance. Who these people are and what about them makes the other person’s heart speed.

Sometimes they know right away. They meet, sparks fly, they date and bam there’s love. Other times there’s a slow fall into love. There are things that may threaten their relationship directly like an ex or something. Or outside forces that work to tear them apart (the world ending, for instance, LOL)

In Beneath the Skin, Gibson de La Vega is the Bringer for his jamboree. He’s responsible for meting out justice and for keeping the cats in line. His family is powerful, as is his connection to them.

Mia Porter has done two tours in Iraq. She’s a pilot, it’s what she loves most in the world. But upon her return home she was attacked, nearly killed and that’s sent her reeling because her injuries may prevent her from doing what she loves best. She’s not a fragile flower. She knows how to use a weapon. She knows how to deal with bad guys. But it’s not her life anymore. She wants a quiet life and a good job. Maybe settle down and have some babies in a few years.

What she doesn’t need is another bossy alpha male in her life who wants to tell her want to do at every turn. She’s already got two brothers and a father.

She’s back in Boston, looking for a job, going to physical therapy and trying to plan her future when Gibson’s life slams straight into hers and holds on.

Thing is, despite the heavy duty physical and chemical attraction between them from the start, they’re not for each other. Porters and de La Vegas have been at odds for three generations.

So there’s an undeniable spark there between them and despite their best efforts (well maybe) to resist, they soon find themselves hot and heavy, as things on the outside begin to break down as well.

Gibson and Mia aren’t necessarily opposites, but he’s most certainly an alpha, bossy male. She’s got to push back a lot, which annoys her and also, deep down, comforts her. But she’s alpha enough to push back. And he is annoyed right back, but also deep down is comforted by.

There’s give and take, push and pull and a lot of family dynamics. Shifters aren’t humans after all, so Mia and Gibson’s way of problem solving isn’t always as polite as you might see in one of my contemporaries, but in the end, they find a balance because love makes you do that 😉

Here’s the first time they clash (though not the last!)

de La Vega CatsBeneath the Skin by Lauren Dane
Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Samhain Publishing

“Where are you?”

His savior came back with a shirt and some sweats.

“Where am I?” he asked her as he pulled the sweats on.

She rattled off an address that he didn’t bother relaying to Max, who’d have heard it the first time.

A fact his brother underlined when he began to give orders in the background before turning his attention to Gibson again. “Sending a car now. We’ll have a doctor for you. Do you need the hospital? Who are you with?”

“She’s one of ours. A cat.” He turned his attention back to the woman. “You never said what your name was. At least not while I was conscious.”

She looked him up and down as she decided to tell him or not. “Mia Porter.”

Well, shit.

“Did she say Porter?” Wariness edged Max’s voice.

She sighed. “Yes, that Porter family.”

“How do you know she’s not part of it?” his brother asked.

The brown of her eyes went amber as her cat rose close to the skin. He liked that. Though the look on her face was scary enough that he’d give her some space.

One hand on her hip, she snarled in response to Max, and Gibson was glad he got to see the glorious fury of this female. “You’ve got some nerve to make accusations while your brother’s blood is all over my sheets. Get this straight, asshole. My family may not love yours, but if I wanted anyone dead, I’d come straight on and do it so you knew it was me.”

Gibson liked some moxie in a woman. This one had that in spades. Too bad she was a Porter. “He didn’t mean it like that.”

She rolled her eyes, totally unimpressed by his name, or Max’s, for that matter. “Of course he did. Your grandpa wasn’t all that. Just a serial cheater with a swelled head. Not rare and not special. Dumb assholes getting shot and when you help them they accuse you of being part of it. How do I know you didn’t need getting shot anyway?” When she pointed a finger in his direction, her breasts jiggled a little bit. Enough for him to lose his train of thought a moment.

Max cursed in the background. He wasn’t usually this clumsy when it came to dealing with the cats in his jamboree, but he’d touched a nerve and Mia Porter was one pissed-off woman.

He tried for a sexy smile, most likely watered down by the blood. Though she was a shifter so maybe not. “I probably do merit it.” He spoke to Max again. “But this is Bertram’s doing. I scented his cats before I went down. I’ve got my men on it. I’ll be over in a bit.” He hung up and took in the wreck of her room before he went back out to the living room in her wake.

She favored her left side but was clearly right handed, and he remembered the freshly healed spots on her chest and arm.

“I’m sorry about that. He didn’t mean it, not the way you think. He’d have asked the same thing of any other person who happened to be around.”

“Clearly you seem to think I’m unaware of how your family runs things. I know how he meant it. Just like I notice he didn’t ask the question until he heard my last name.”
He sighed but didn’t argue because she was right in part.

“Did I hurt you?” He tipped his chin to indicate her right side.

Something passed over her features for long moments before she put it away. “No.”

I’m giving away a copy of BENEATH THE SKIN to one commenter to this post! International entries welcome.

Giveaway guidelines, and end dates/drawings can be found here.

Review: Beneath the Skin by Lauren Dane

Liz’s Review:

Beneath the Skin by Lauren Dane
Paranormal romance released by Samhain Publishing on April 3, 2012

A whole world exists…beneath the skin.
De La Vega Cats, Book 3
Gibson de La Vega is the Bringer, one of the Alpha’s right-hand cats. It is his job to mete out justice and defend the law that holds their jamboree together.
After a contentious meeting with another jamboree, he’s shot—Mia stumbles onto the scene and saves his life. He’s immediately drawn to the female who dug three silver bullets from his body. Even after he discovers she’s a Porter, a family his own harmed grievously half a century before.
Mia has enough in her life. She’s recovering from a vicious hate crime—an attack using silver has affected her ability to do what she loves most. The last thing she needs is a bossy alpha cat like Gibson. A de La Vega no less.
Despite the myriad reasons to stay away, even as they continue to hunt down the would-be killers, their attraction deepens into something else entirely.
The answers they find bring that threat far closer to home than anyone could have imagined and it’ll be up to Gibson to end the mess once and for all. And up to Mia to stand at his side, even as he risks his life…
Warning: A super hot alpha male with a gruff façade, and an uppity female who’s not buying it. Some violence. Some red-hot sex. Bad words. Lots of fun.

Lauran Dane’s De La Vega Cats series revolves around a world that is both fantastic and plausible. Even in human form, the were-cats act like real cats in the wild, following hierarchy, protecting territory, and finding their mates. The clear hierarchy and laws of their kind were very well drawn and fascinating.

Mia comes across as a no-nonsense, stubborn, feisty woman and were-cat. But it’s clear that her nature – that fighter under the skin – isn’t just because she’s a were-cat, but because she’s a strong woman and she won’t back down no matter what. She proves herself again and again to be a worthy woman that any man would be lucky to have by his side.

Gibson is a great character. Typical alpha male, he’s used to people following his orders until he meets Mia. She takes all of his pre-conceived notions about women and throws them out the window. Mia tells him at one point that underneath the gruff exterior that he’s a marshmallow, and it’s very true. Hard when he needs to be, but soft when it’s called for. A worthy hero to the story.

What I really enjoyed about this book, aside from the suspense and action packed fighting, was the interaction between Mia and Gibson. There is no abrupt “I’m in love” action between either character, but a slow burn to the point that neither of them can ignore it and neither choose to. Their conversations, in and out of bed, punctuate the story with funny quips, bossiness, and exasperation on his part when he realizes just how little he knows about women.

Packed full of steamy love scenes, old grudges, betrayal, and witty banter between the characters, Beneath the Skin is a great story about were-cats standing up for their people and finding love in the middle of war.

Grade: B

You can read an excerpt of the book here, or buy it here.

Most Anticipated Books of 2012

Hi friends! I … well, I had played with posting this in early January, but then life was OMGWTF. And then I wanted to post it at the end of January. Because that’s what somehow made sense to me. So here we are. Anyway, I’m going with the post date and sticking to it!

This is a “tradition” I started way back in 2009. When everyone else was posting their “best books of the previous year” lists… I wanted to do something different. So I did. Now, we see more such lists as this one. I’m going to take credit. Because I can. And I’m feeling grouchy. [No seriously though – when I googled it in 2009 and wrote my first one I found not a thing. So you’re welcome, okay?!]

It’s also a bit flawed because some books, there simply is no information out there, other than the title and author, and I’m not willing to make it a top 10 want/recommended book based only on that. Um, this system works, you know, cuz it’s a bit quirky, a bit flawed, and yet exciting. Like me! >.> … yeah.

😀

This year… I’m also making a tentative pledge to not only read but also review all ten books on this list. You’ll notice then there are no extras. Because… I want to set a goal I can actually accomplish. And now you guys can keep me accountable. (I’m already starting to think I might’ve made a mistake…)

Listed in nothing but chronological order… the books!

1. My Wicked Little Lies by Victoria Alexander

Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all—a genteel Victoria life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve”, a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting . . .

Adrian Hadley Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives. Secrets that have a price. Now, as the veil of secrecy frays, a tantalizing game of cat and mouse will test the bounds of unfailing love . . .

What really won me over was the book excerpt. I also bought the book. Especially because the kindle cost wasn’t the same as the print!

 2. Secrets of an Accidental Duchess by Jennifer Haymore

With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess…

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn’t resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he’d fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

I mean… a duchess! And then how Olivia “surprises” them all and… yeah. Much want. I mean, read the excerpt. I dare you to finish it and not have some sort of “!!!” reaction. Mine was “Oh. My. God!” and a giggle. <3

 3. Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

If you want to score, you have to get in the game…

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock—even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…

But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all—including Ty…

You can also read an excerpt here. Which is what won me over over the football book. You have to love a hero who just is a good guy, right? Especially when he’s a sports star. I don’t know why we give famous people so much more leeway (we can discuss that later) – but it’s still refreshing, especially in romances – to see them as “the good guy.”

 4. Taming an Impossible Rogue by Suzanne Enoch

One year ago, Lady Camille Pryce left her haughty fiancé at the altar—for good reason. Not only was the marriage arranged before she could even walk, her betrothed was too smug to exert himself to meet her! Now, disowned, with no husband or family to support her, she’s left with one option: go to work in the notorious Tantalus Club…

A gentleman’s gaming house run by a woman, the Tantalus is no place for a proper lady; so, to save face, her jilted fiancé must retrieve her. But banned from the club, he’s forced to employ his ne’er-do-well cousin instead. A handsome, experienced rogue, Keating Blackwood is the perfect man to lure Camille away. But the moment they meet, Keating instead wants to save her…for himself. Impossible? Perhaps. But if Camille can make the ultimate player lay his cards on the table—and risk his heart—all bets are off…

It’s just… we all have read the “bad boy” hero, yes? And even sometimes the “bad girl” heroine – but here, she appears to be something of a bad girl, yet… not. I like that interesting premise. And you know, it’s always nice to see a rake brought to his knees through love. I also enjoyed how the guys talked to each other based on what I read.

 5. No Longer a Gentleman by Mary Jo Putney

Grey Sommers, Lord Wyndham, never met a predicament he couldn’t charm his way out of. Then a tryst with a government official’s wife during a bit of casual espionage in France condemns him a decade in a dungeon, leaving him a shadow of his former self. Yet his greatest challenge may be the enigmatic spy sent to free his body—the only woman who might heal his soul.

Half English and half French, Cassie Fox lost everything in the chaos of revolution, leaving only a determination to help destroy Napoleon’s empire through her perilous calling. Rescuing Grey is merely one more mission.  She hadn’t counted on a man with the stark beauty of a ravaged angel, whose desperate courage and vulnerability touch her frozen heart as no one ever has.  With Grey, she can become the passionate woman she has long denied.  But a spy and a lord are divided by an impassable gulf even if they manage to survive one last, terrifying mission….

I found this excerpt here, and it’s nice to see even damaged, the hero is still kind. Even in the beginning. Not to mention the fascinating premise! For me it was a pdf that opened in my browser, just an fyi.

 6. Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he’s about to become a father.

Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he’s ever wanted-a family.

The blurb, the start of the excerpt, I mean this isn’t even normally my thing. But come on here. And even the cover! I guess it appeals to my teenage self, because you know it’ll be Angsty McAngst-town. And sometimes? You just want a little of that. In fiction.

 7. Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

A MASKED MAN . . .
Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles—protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

A DANGEROUS WOMAN . . .
Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society—flirtation, double entendres, and scandalous liaisons—Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar—and his lips so tempting.

A PASSION NEITHER COULD DENY
During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything—the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

I mean even the blurb just makes you [or at least me!] think “scandalous!” in a good way, of course. And I like how things just jump right in at the beginning. Always nice to find a half dead man on your doorstep… right?!

8. Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas

Millicent understands the terms of her arranged marriage all too well. She gets to be a Countess by marrying an impoverished Earl. And in return, the Earl

Fitzhugh receives the benefit of her vast wealth, saving his family from bankruptcy. Because of her youth, they have agreed to wait eight years before consummating the marriage—and then, only to beget an heir. After which, they will lead separate lives.

It is a most sensible arrangement. Except for one little thing. Somehow Millie has fallen head over heels in love with her husband. Her husband, who has become her very best friend, but nothing more… Her husband, who plans to reunite with his childhood sweetheart, the beautiful and newly widowed Isabelle, as soon as he has honored the pact with his wife…

As the hour they truly become husband-and-wife draws near, both Millie and Fitzhugh must face the truth in their hearts. Has their pact bred only a great friendship—or has it, without either of them quite noticing, given rise to a great love?

This one was hard. Like. Really. I was so torn between this and Beguiling the Beauty but… the premise of this one intrigued me more. Just watch me love the non-listed one more. It happened last year… But the whole “love at first sight” line at the beginning gets me. When they’re kids it’s just so aaaaawwwweeeee. In books.

 9. Tart by Lauren Dane

Juliet Lamprey is having the time of her life running her successful bakery, TART, when Gideon Carter comes back into her life. Returning home to help his grandfather run the family on the farm, Gideon is back for good. When they meet again, the spark between them is immediate, and it isn’t long before the former childhood friends play catch up in bed.

That’s not good news for local lawyer Cal Whaley. Though the sexually open but strictly monogamous Cal has loved Jules for a long time, he’s hardly ever taken it further than friendship. When he sees her start to fall for Gideon, he knows he has to make his move or risk losing her forever.

Who would have anticipated that all three of them would connect on such an intimate level? The trio’s scalding liaisons take them places they’ve never dreamed. But such an intensely passionate and unusual relationship comes with equally as complicated emotions, and when Jules must suddenly leave town, she wonders if she’ll have a choice to make when she returns

Every so often, you just want a spicier book. I’ve enjoyed Lauren Dane’s contemporary novels, and she writes ménages so very well. Also, hello! Bakery. Also, Cal! Love it! Want! There’s no excerpt yet… but I’m [pretty sure] Ms. Dane has been tweeting random lines from it. And… yeah. That’s enough for me. Also, I’m not going to link where the excerpt will go because it’s this weird pop-up-ey type and it like kills the website. Yeah I don’t know.

 10. Exposed to You by Bethany Kane

HOLD UP. I know, you’re all thinking “Lime! That cover isn’t Exposed to You … that’s Addicted to You! Your citrus brain has… fermented!” Well, no, it hasn’t actually. That’s a place holder, because Exposed to You isn’t even up on Amazon yet. There’s no cover of course. (For the previous two I had to snatch and grab from author websites, so … thank you, Picasa!)

It’s not often you’re hired to paint a body tattoo—and what a body—on a total stranger at a Hollywood film set. A reserved and careful art teacher, Joy would never forget it. In a rare fit of raw desire she gave herself completely, knowing she’d never see him again, or ever repeat such a shameless, naked impulse.

Little did she know, the man with whom she shared that lightning bolt of lust was star Everett Hughes. For Everett, women and sex came as easily as fame. But how could he hope to convince the guarded Joy that beneath the hard body and sexy façade of celebrity was a real man who wanted only one, real woman?

In the heat of an intoxicating affair, Everett endeavors to break down her barriers, gain her trust, and expose himself as the real deal. But can Joy do the same, and reveal to him the vulnerable woman who longs to be loved, wanted, and desired forever?

I loved Addicted to You. And guess what? It’s only six dollars right now. I also loved Everett. And/so, if his book is anything like Rill and Katie’s? Yeah. I know it’ll be on my “favorites of the year” list.

There was a short list of about 16 books… with Sophia Nash, Manda Collins, Vicky Dreiling, Samantha Grace, Sarah MacLean, Jill Shalvis, Lisa Klyepas, Eloisa James and you know, others. Some didn’t make the list because they didn’t have book information up, so I couldn’t in good conscience put up a book I didn’t know enough about. Those authors I didn’t mention. Because, well, I’m not trying to call anyone out here.

There was a longer list of books to consider – about 30 or 40 of them. And… the way I did this? I did an advanced search at amazon looking at each month’s romance listings for 2012. I scrolled through about 5,000 titles. Yeah – that’s dedication. I also found some eye-bleachingly traumatic titles and covers, that in no way belonged in romance. I suffered for you.

So – what’s not here that is on your list? Generally I do an “honorable mentions” and all, but gotta keep it strictly to ten so I can reach my goal. 🙂

Guest: Lauren Dane

Today, we have super star author Lauren Dane guesting with us! Whee! She’s got one book out today (Once and Again) and another book out next week! (Never Enough) Both are connected to different series she’s written. I don’t know if I’m allowed to admit it, because while I like both, I’m going to pick favorites and go with the Seattle Series as I call it. They’re all so good! Anyway, she’s got some fun facts about both books/series to share with us.

I’ve done a lot of blog entries about both books lately so I figure people might want something a little different. SO –

Some facts and general assorted stuff about Never Enough and Once and Again:

1. I consider my Chase Brothers books to be heroine focused but I think Once and Again leans more toward being couple centric.

2. Miles, Adrian and Gillian’s son is very much modeled on my oldest son

3. And Rennie is a combination of my daughter and my middle son

4. I love writing children into my books because I happen to think they’re pretty awesome (when they’re not standing at my office door saying, Mom, mom, mom? Momma? Momma? MOM!)

5. Petal is a combo of the very small town my mother grew up in (and I spent the earliest years of my life in) and some of the small towns all across the south where my family hails from

6. Polly Chase is modeled on my mother in law, Eileen.

7. There are four books planned in the Petal Georgia series.

8. The next book will be about Beth Murphy

9. While the Brown Siblings books are now done, you’ll still see Gillian and Adrian and the rest in the new series I’m starting.

10. The new series is a contemporary erotic romance series set on Bainbridge Island where Gillian and Miles live.

11. Yes, you’ll see what I would have put into an epilogue in the story threads in the first two books of that series.

12. Once and Again is sensual romance at the same level as the other Chase Brothers books.

13. Never Enough is erotic romance.

14. Adrian Brown is a dirty talker

15. Gillian is also a dirty talker

16. Yes, I did love that Nathan is a schoolteacher because hello, hot for teacher?

17. You will see plenty of the Chases in the new Petal, Georgia series

18. Yes, as a matter of fact southern people do play cards. My family is crazy for cards, including canasta (which we call Pennies From Heaven)

Any other questions? Go ahead on and ask em and I’ll be by as I can to give you answers! How about two winners for this one? A signed galley of Never Enough to one winner and a digital copy of Once and Again to another – you can specify which you’d prefer in your comments.

Go ahead! Think of something crazy. I have high expectations of all of you, and want some great, probing, off the wall questions please! See what secrets we can get Lauren to spill. 😉 A confession of my own – not that you asked… while I like the Seattle stories more… I have to say I’m totally blown away by the cover of Once and Again. Love it! I also totally want that dress. <3