Tag Archives: Carina Press

Team TBR Challenge Review: Spellbound by Allie Therin

Spellbound by Allie Therin
Paranormal Historial Romance released by Carina Press on July 29, 2019

To save Manhattan, they’ll have to save each other first…

New York, 1925

Arthur Kenzie’s life’s work is protecting the world from the supernatural relics that could destroy it. When an amulet with the power to control the tides is shipped to New York, he must intercept it before it can be used to devastating effects. This time, in order to succeed, he needs a powerful psychometric…and the only one available has sworn off his abilities altogether.

Rory Brodigan’s gift comes with great risk. To protect himself, he’s become a recluse, redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. But with the city’s fate hanging in the balance, he can’t force himself to say no.

Being with Arthur is dangerous, but Rory’s ever-growing attraction to him begins to make him brave. And as Arthur coaxes him out of seclusion, a magical and emotional bond begins to form. One that proves impossible to break—even when Arthur sacrifices himself to keep Rory safe and Rory must risk everything to save him.

I picked this one in part because I was looking for a book with a one word title,since
that was the theme of the TBR Challenge for this month, but also because I love both paranormal romances AND old New York. So a paranormal romance in New York City
in 1925 seemed like it would be perfect . .. and it kind of was. Continue reading

Team ALBTALBS TBR Challenge Review: Unraveled by Lauren Dane

Unraveled (Whiskey Sharp book 1) by Lauren Dane
Contemporary romance released by Carina Press on January 30, 2018

Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled by Lauren Dane book coverThe sharpest ache comes from wanting what you think you can’t have…

Maybe Dolan has lived independent, free-spirited and unattached since leaving home at sixteen. Whiskey Sharp, Seattle’s sexy vintage-styled barbershop and whiskey bar, gave her a job—and a reason to put down roots. Cutting hair by day, losing herself drumming in a punk rock band by night, she’s got it good.

But a longtime crush that turns into a hot, edgy night with brooding and bearded Alexsei Petrov makes it a hell of a lot better.

Maybe’s blunt attitude and carnal smile hooked Alexsei from the start. Protecting people is part of his nature and Maybe is meant to be his…even if she doesn’t know it. Yet. He can’t help himself from wanting to protect and care for her.

But Maybe’s fiery independent spirit means pushing back when Alexsei goes too far. Still, he’s not afraid to do a little pushing of his own to get what he wants—her in his life, and his bed, for good. Maybe’s more intoxicating than all the liquor on his shelf…and he’s not afraid to ride the blade’s edge to bind her to him.

My TBR is massive, I don’t think I’ve read 40 new to me books in the last two years. I have reread several Lauren Danes though, so when thinking about what to read and review for ALBTALBS, this book from January of last year was the first to come to mind.

** TW/Spoiler: Maybe suffered severe emotional abuse at the hands of her parents and this is a main plot point in the first two books in the series.** Continue reading

Review: The Asset by Anna del Mar

Mary’s Review of The Asset by Anna del Mar
Romantic suspense released by Carina Press on February 1, 2016

The AssetAsh Hunter knows what it is to run. A SEAL gravely injured in Afghanistan, he’s gone AWOL from the military hospital. Physically and mentally scarred, he returns home to his grandmother’s isolated cottage—and finds a beautiful, haunted stranger inside.

Like recognizes like.

Lia Stewart’s in hiding from the cartel she barely escaped alive, holed up in this small Rocky Mountain town. Surviving, but only just. Helping the wounded warrior on her doorstep is the right thing to do…it’s loving him that might get them both killed.

Soon, Ash realizes he’s not the only one tormented by the past. Pushing the limits of his broken body, testing the boundaries of her shattered soul, he’ll protect Lia until his last breath.

I picked this book up while it was on sale. I’m a sucker for a wounded warrior story and romantic suspense is my most loved genre, so it was an easy purchase. I didn’t read any of the reviews on this book beforehand but I probably should have. What I thought I was buying wasn’t what I ended up with. Continue reading

Guest Kathy Ivan: Paranormal Is My Normal

My darlings, please give a warm, warm, welcome to Kathy Ivan. She is a jewel among women. (I totally messed up on her blog date and she was incredible gracious and understanding, and had no problem with me scheduling her over a month after the originally agreed upon time. Try to find that in other authors. It’s not easy.) So I hope you’ll look into her books, and definitely show her some love today!

Thanks so much for letting me spend the day with you.  I’m thrilled to be a part of your blog.

Let me be honest.  I love the paranormal worlds in romance fiction.  Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, psychics and zombies, I love ’em.  Give me a paranormal romance and I’ll devour it faster than you can blink.  It’s definitely one of my favorite genres to read.  Throw in some steamy romance and I’m a goner.

Never thought I’d write it though.

Romantic suspense—that’s what I write.  The suspense, developing the plot.  Having the heroine and the hero race against the bad guy, overcome all the obstacles thrown in their way, follow the clues, have lots of sexy times along the way, figure out the mystery, defeat the villain, profess their love and live happily ever after.

Story after story, this was my premise, my formula.  The problem—something was always missing.  I didn’t get the satisfaction, the extra oomph I’d get from reading all those paranormal romances with their otherworldly specialness.  So I decided to go for it and combine the two genres I loved, romantic suspense and paranormal.  Desperate Choices was born.  My heroine is a psychic living and working in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  Her ex-beau is a private investigator who comes asking for her help.  His godson is missing.  And the story was off and running.  It unfolded with just enough of a paranormal element added into the suspense that it was believable and the readers loved it as much as I did.

Desperate Choices became my first published book (from Carina Press) and it won the 2012 OKRWA International Digital Award for long suspense.

My latest story, Second Chances, is a paranormal romance, introducing you to the world of Destiny’s Desire lodge in the Colorado Mountains.  It’s the first in a series, reuniting soul mates destined, though they’ve be separated due to outside interference.  They’re helped to be together with a little assistance from the Fate-Keeper who runs this special place.  The first novella is available now and book two will be out in Spring 2013.

For some people normal is normal and that’s okay.  I’ve learned the hard way when it comes to my writing world, paranormal is my normal.

Bio:  An avid reader of all types of romance, Kathy writes both romantic suspense and paranormal romance.  Kathy makes her home in the heart of North Texas doing her best to deal with the Texas heat.   She’s a member of Romance Writers of American (RWA) and the Dallas Area Romance Authors (DARA).

And guess what? Ms. Ivan is also giving away one of her books! The winner can choose a digital edition of either Desperate Choices, or Second Chances. What do you have to say to that? 😀

Teaser Tuesday: Covert Seduction by Callie Croix

Bonjour! My friends – we had a bit of an “oops” which is why this wasn’t actually scheduled… well, for the day it was supposed to be. But it’s all sorted out now! And we’ve got a hot excerpt from Callie Croix‘s upcoming book, Covert Seduction. Enjoy!

Navy SEAL Reid Galvin is back from hell and eager to find comfort in Becca Anderson’s arms. He knows he hurt her when he cut contact during his deployment, so when his call interrupts her date with another man, he has only himself to blame. But he can’t forget what she means to him—or the sexy email she sent him—and he won’t miss this chance to claim her as his own.

It’s been weeks since Becca heard from the man she thought she was involved with. So when Reid wants to take up where they left off as if nothing happened, she refuses. Then he rescues her from a first date gone very wrong, and she realizes she’s not quite ready to let him go.

Reid and Becca have a lot to talk about, but since she’s not listening, he’s going to have to regain her trust another way—by bringing her most erotic fantasies to life. Making her surrender to pleasure just might be his most important mission.

Reid’s heart thudded as he awaited her answer. The astonishment on her face made him want to curse. She really had no clue what she meant to him. But she would. By the end of the night, he vowed she’d never wonder again.

“Tell me what I want to hear,” he whispered against the bridge of her nose, brushing a kiss over the abrasion there. He covered her face with soft kisses, touching every mark on her skin until he reached her mouth, nibbling at her luscious lower lip that glistened with a faint sheen of gloss. She leaned forward and tried to deepen the kiss but he eased his head away, denying her.

His hands at her back kept her torso tight against him. He itched to run them over all those sweet, soft curves hidden by the folds of the robe. The combined scents of her shampoo and the musky vanilla perfume she wore drove him crazy. He hadn’t been lying when he told her he’d thought of her every day they’d been apart. Over there he’d finally realized that Becca was the only woman he’d ever want to come home to after a mission or deployment.

He needed this more than his next breath, but she had to put herself in his control first. Something he wasn’t sure she was ready to give, considering how he’d hurt her, though he hadn’t done it intentionally. Unfortunately his explanation wouldn’t mean shit to her until later. Much later, after he’d taken care of the deep hunger that lurked beneath her independent, sophisticated exterior and shown her exactly how much she could trust him with her body and her innermost desires. This time he wouldn’t settle for anything less than everything she had to give.

And that meant claiming her whole heart.

Staring up at him with heated blue eyes made even sultrier by her makeup, Becca considered him for several long moments before giving a hesitant nod. “Yes.”

Biting back a victorious growl, he bent and covered her mouth with his. The kiss was pure hunger and fire. He tangled his hands in the silky fall of her dark hair, fisting them tightly. Becca didn’t hold back. She moaned and sucked on his tongue, rubbing the back of her head against his fists. That proof of how much she loved his show of authority ramped his desire even higher. Reid bunched and unbunched his fingers, giving her more of the tiny burn she craved each time he pulled on the smooth strands.

Her uninhibited response made the pleasure rage hotter. She gave a soft little mewl and slid her hands over his arms and back, the enjoyment clear on her face. Her fingers kneaded the muscles across his shoulders and down his spine, skimming down to sink into his ass and pull his raging cock tighter against her abdomen. Reid palmed her hip with one hand and kissed her harder, deeper, wanting to bend her over the foot of that four-poster bed and fuck her until she sobbed out his name and exploded around his cock. Only the burning need to fulfill the fantasy stopped him from doing just that. Because something much more critical than satisfying their physical needs was at stake here.

He had to get in her head, figure out exactly how far she wanted him to push her tonight. What she’d revealed in that naughty email had been one hell of an eye-opener, and the images she’d planted in his brain had tortured him ever since. He’d never realized just how much more she needed from him in bed than he’d given her, or that he didn’t have to hold back anymore. The all-important punch line from her email reverberated in his head, made him break out in a sweat.

I want you to tie me down and take me. Force me to lose control.

Holy fuck, did he want that.

Part of him was still stunned that she craved it though. In his wildest fantasies he’d never imagined she’d be into rough sex, let alone long to give up that degree of control to him during sex. Thinking about it had driven him insane over the last few weeks. He’d kill for another taste of her, for the chance to let the hunger loose.

So what do you think? Did it whet your appetite? If so, you can pre-order it here. The book will be out on January 14!

Guest HelenKay Dimon and Holiday Kisses

Hee. That amused me. 😉 Today as you see we have HelenKay Dimon here talking about her novella coming out soon. (She was supposed to talk about the Navy SEALS charity anthology last time, but life got in the way. Mean life!) Anyway, I’m really excited about the contemporary romance themed Carina Anthology – I read last years’ and really enjoyed it. So I have high hopes for this year too!

Thanks for having me here today and letting me talk a little about my new Christmas novella, It’s Not Christmas Without You  in the Holiday Kisses anthology from Carina Press.

When I was asked to contribute to this anthology, I knew exactly what the plot of the book would be. I’d long had this idea about a dating-since-high-school couple who find each other, lose each other and then find each other again. I didn’t want the story to be a guessing game about whether or not they fall in love. This is about people figuring out how to work through tough issues like living in different states and wanting different things from life. The concepts felt very real and contemporary to me.

Really, much of this book is made up of pieces that were familiar to me.

1. The main setting for the book is Washington, D.C. and I lived there for seventeen years (with a three year break in North Carolina for law school). I love the city and wanted to capture a piece of it in the book.

2. The location of Carrie’s (the heroine) apartment is in a building where a friend once lived, right on the edge of Georgetown. I remember the building, the road, the grassy area in front of the apartment. And there used to be a Christmas tree lot on the corner in front of the building every year. Since my hero, Austin, runs a tree lot, this location was perfect.

3. Carrie works at the National Museum Of Women In The Arts. I remember touring the building and being stunned by how pretty it was inside. In fact when it came time to pick a location for my wedding years ago, I looked into holding it at the museum…then I heard the cost and decided no.

4. A dear friend from high school now works for the National Forrest Service and lives in West  Virginia. When creating Austin and his family I thought about this friend and her love of the land and tried to bring those feelings to life in Austin. Also, Carrie and Austin come from a town much like where my friend lives now.

I’ve always thought romance novels are, at their heart, about hope. If that’s true, holiday romance novels are the ultimate in hope. The holidays usher in the New Year and deal with renewal and gratefulness. Writing IT’S NOT CHRISTMAS WITHOUT YOU gave me a chance to explore all those feelings and issues with a couple who clearly love each other but need to learn to get out of their own way and find a future together.

Happy Holidays!

HelenKay is going to give away two kindle copies (obviously to two different people) of her novella. Note – Carina Press books are only available digitally. So what do you think about Holiday Themed Romances? Or DC? Or when you read about books centered around “what you know”?

Guest: Karen Erickson!

Hi everyone! We’ve got Karen Erickson visiting with us today, as you can see. She had a new book come out yesterday – so happy [belated] book release day to you, Ms. Erickson!

First, I want to offer a giant thank you to the lovely Limecello for having me as a guest on her blog today. I’m excited to talk about the newest novella in The Merry Widow series, Her Christmas Pleasure, which just came out Monday from Carina Press.

I’m still blown away by the beauty of the cover. It’s gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Let’s all stare at it for a moment, shall we?

Sigh. I love that red gown. It’s from a scene in the story and at first I had my heroine wearing a green dress. Then I realized that wouldn’t do so I switched it to red. Being the forward, positive thinker that I am, I’m sure I had a flashing thought of, Oh, a red gown would look much better on the cover, don’t you think? I’m pretty sure I asked for the model to be wearing a red gown when I filled out the cover art sheet. I was so thrilled to see I got my wish.

I swear I write Christmas-themed stories for the covers—they are always so pretty! Magical and twinkling and bright with festive colors or snowy landscapes, that’s probably half the reason I buy so many Christmas-themed books, too. Okay, I sound totally hokey but I don’t care. I love Christmas! Even though I’m the exhausted mama who makes all the magic happen in my house and by the end of the season I am so, so done, I still love it.

And I really hope you love Damien and Celia’s story as much as I loved writing it.

Contest: To celebrate the release of HER CHRISTMAS PLEASURE, I’d like to gift a copy to one lucky winner via Amazon Kindle. And you don’t need a Kindle to read it – you can download the Kindle app on pretty much any phone or PC. Just answer the following question:

What are you most looking forward to this December?

Damien Morton is madly in love. Unfortunately, it’s with his best friend’s widow, Lady Danver. Damien is not worthy of Celia. Or so he thinks. Desperate to escape his feelings for her, he plans to leave the country at the first of the year. Celia treats him as a family friend and nothing more—until they share a heated kiss beneath the mistletoe…

Celia is shocked by the passions that surge within her at her dear friend’s kiss. One touch and one taste aren’t enough to satisfy her cravings, and she is startled into action. Damien has stirred something inside her that she never expected to experience again, and she must have more. Full of shameless desire and emotions newly discovered, she decides to pursue Damien and won’t be deterred. Will she be able to convince him to stay—both in her heart and life— forever?

You can read an except here.

You can also find Karen at various places throughout the web. First, her website of course. Her blog, The Smutketeers, Facebook, and twitter.

I’m curious too! What are you looking forward to in December? Anything I can do to make that happen? 😉