The Witness and the Bear
By T. S. Joyce
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Shifter Romance
Length: 115 pages
Hannah Michaels is on the run, and the protection detail assigned to her case have her wondering who, or what, she’s trusting her life with. After testifying against a criminal with a long reach, her days are numbered if her handler, Jeremy, can’t find a safe place for her. Out of options and with nowhere to go, she’s dropped off in the Big Horn Mountains of Montana with a duffle bag of her belongings and little explanation.
Jeremy swears she’ll be safe in this wilderness sanctuary, but when she meets Benson Riker, leader of the bear shifter clan of Big Horn Valley, she doesn’t feel safe at all. In fact, the man is just about as feral as they come.
In a bout of epically bad timing, she accidentally vies to be mated to the alpha, and no matter how much she tries to escape the competition for Riker’s affection, he is having none of it. He cites upholding clan law as his reasons for wanting her to stay, but the hungry look in his eyes says it’s more personal than that.
Weathering deep secrets and danger from all sides, she’ll have to decide if Riker is the shifter who deserves her heart.
A Hot Bear Shifter Romance.
A writer of hot shifter romances, T.S. Joyce is devoted to telling stories readers can connect with on a heart level. A Texas native, she’s spent a good deal of time in the wilderness of her family’s land, which has given her a wealth of experience to draw from when writing stories. For more information about Joyce and her work, visit http://tsjoycewrites.wordpress.com.
Riker’s fingers brushed Hannah’s cheek and he rested his forehead against hers. The sigh he gave sounded of relief, not frustration. “Can I tell you a secret?” His hands cupped her neck, gently massaged the tense knots there.
She reached up and encircled his wrists in her hands, wanting to hold his touch longer. Her stomach clenched and sang with neediness she hadn’t ever known, but she’d made the right choice. “Tell me anything. I’m good with secrets.”
Leaning forward until his lips brushed her ear, he whispered, “I wish it was like that for me too.”
She eased back, searched the sadness that swam in his gray gaze. “It can be.”
A slight shake of his head denied that sex could have anything to do with feelings. “Not for me.”
She sucked air into her lungs until they hurt, then blew it out. “Shit.” He had to stop saying things like that if she was going to toe the edge of the chaos that enveloped this place.
“I wish we’d met somewhere else,” he rumbled. Hooking a finger under her chin, he lifted until she was caught in his gaze. Slowly, he leaned forward until his lips touched hers.
She melted. Sagging under the gentle caress of his mouth, he caught her waist and followed her down to sit beside her on the plush mattress. His tongue brushed the seam of her lips and she opened for him, invited him to taste her.
No kiss she’d ever had could touch this one, and she sighed as her fingertips roamed the smooth skin of his chest and stomach. A low rumble sounded in his throat, making her drunk with lust. Wrapping her arms tightly around his neck, she hooked a leg over and straddled him so she could feel his skin against hers. His hand, warm and strong, slid up her ribcage until he cupped the fullness of her breast. Groaning, she dipped her head backward as his lips made a warm trail down her throat. He rocked his hips once and she arched into him.
“Hannah,” he murmured.
“Riker,” she breathed.
“Hannah,” he said against her neck. “Woman, you told me no.” He eased back, hunger burning in his gaze. “I only meant to kiss you goodnight.”
TITLE – Pushin’ Buttons
SERIES – The Boot Knockers Series
AUTHOR – Em Petrova
GENRE – western contemporary erotic romance
PUBLICATION DATE – June 10, 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 56,000
PUBLISHER – Samhain Publishing
Sexual dysfunction. The words make Sibyll cringe, but after one too many failed relationships, she has to face reality. Her O-button is broken, big time. Sick of sitting on the sexual sidelines, she books a week at Boot Knockers Ranch. If a passel of rugged cowboys vying to bring her bliss can’t get her off, nothing will.
Hugh had planned to sit out this week’s rotation of sexual therapy, but when he spots sultry Sibyll, he pulls rank. His bone-deep urge to possess her isn’t enough to coax elusive orgasms out of her body, though. And his resolve to give the lady whatever she needs wavers when she shyly makes a mind-blowing request.
Riggs stepped aside when Hugh muscled in to claim Sibyll, but he jumps at the chance to fulfill her ultimate fantasy—a threesome. But once they come together, all barriers are stripped away, exposing his love for the one man—and woman—he’d break every last rule to make his own.
Goodreads Link – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20862757-pushin-buttons?from_search=true
Sibyll followed her gaze to the door between stage entrance and hallway several feet away. His back was to her and the other dozen women, his shoulders taking up most of the door frame and his white T-shirt molded to a chiseled back. Sibyll outlined his back muscles with her gaze, cutting a path down to a backside hugged by worn denim.
The cowboy pivoted. His face was illuminated by the overhead lights as he talked to the perky Isabel, the ringleader of this insane audition process.
“He has a black eye!” someone whispered.
“From a bar fight? Please let it be from a bar fight!” a woman with a gorgeous head of red hair and thick glasses added.
The cowboy raised his head and stared at the women. Suddenly Sibyll’s muscles tensed to run. She didn’t want to be here, had made the wrong decision. So what if I can’t experience “physical and emotional sensation at the peak of sexual excitation” according to Dictionary.com?
Isabel swooped through the door and pointed at the curvaceous brunette to Sibyll’s right. “You’re next.” Then she returned to the doorway, where she leaned and talked to the cowboy with the black eye.
Dust motes swirled hectically in the lights streaming from the stage. Sibyll tried to follow one with her eyes. Anything to keep from looking directly at that cowboy’s handsome, rugged face.
He was huge—tall and broad and muscled in all the ways that made the knot in Sibyll’s core want to unravel. But it never did.
Maybe if he fights to win me, I could.
He glanced up again, and the group of women tittered. The leggy blonde was led offstage on the arm of a cowboy wearing all black except his shiny silver and turquoise belt buckle.
“Wow, he’s fine. Jenny’s lucky to get him,” the virgin whispered after they passed. They stopped at the door, and the production manager moved to the side so they could pass.
The black-eyed cowboy with the two-day-old dark stubble on his jaw shook hands with both cowboy and contestant.
“You—sexy secretary—you’re next.” The production manager jabbed a finger in Sibyll’s direction.
She looked around herself. A slight girl to her right wore a peasant dress and thong sandals, and the tall, toned girl to her left wore sporty shorts and a T-shirt with an energy drink logo.
“Wh—? Me?” Sibyll pointed to her chest.
“Yep, you.” The production manager whirled back to speak with the cowboy, but he’d strolled through the door and was making his molasses-sweet way across the stage.
He passed the first group of contestants, who froze like a herd of deer in the middle of Highway 495. He dipped his head and positioned a battered brown cowboy hat on it. “Howdy,” he drawled, lips curled in the perfect dose of Southern gentleman and cocky bad-boy.
Feminine sighs sounded in response. Sibyll’s heart thumped as he neared her small group standing nearest to the stage. The closer he got, the more his bulk seemed to take up all the space in the room. Or maybe that was testosterone.
He dropped a wink at the virgin and leaned in to speak to her. “The black eye was nothin’ as glamorous as a kick-ass bar fight. Took a hoof yesterday working with the horses.” He straightened and settled his gaze right on Sibyll.
She stopped breathing as electricity passed between them.
That’s my imagination. I’m so keyed up.
The cowboy cleared his throat but didn’t say anything. Around them, women gawked. Hell, even Isabel the production manager stood with her mouth open, glancing between the huge cowboy and her clipboard.
“Hugh, you’re not filling in today, are you?” Isabel asked.
The man blinked, severing his hold on Sibyll. He shook his head. “Nah, I’m not competin’ today. I’m Master of Games as usual.” He pinned Sibyll again with his gaze. Something dark and exciting coiled low in her belly. What if this man did stand up for her?
I’d choose him in a heartbeat.
Em Petrova lives in backwoods Pennsylvania, where she raises four kids and a Labradoodle puppy named Daisy Hasselhoff and pays too damn much for utilities. She loves to write gritty characters with lots of heart and is well-known for scorching, panty-soaking erotic romance.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/empetrova
Meet Sybill. This petite, curvy blonde has a small trouble that is affecting her life in a big way—she can’t achieve release. Desperate to reach the level of intimacy she craves, she books a spot on The Boot Knockers Ranch, a Texas ranch specializing in helping women like her.
She’s ready for action, but that doesn’t mean she knows what to do. So she leaves it to the very capable hands of the tall, toe-curlingly dangerous-looking cowboy Hugh.
Hugh is one of the founders of The Boot Knockers Ranch. He’s also “master of games” and sometimes a player. He’s had a past heartache and struggles with emotional intimacy, which makes it difficult when he starts falling for Sybill. And his fellow Boot Knocker, Riggs, is another story…
Riggs wants Hugh—plain and simple. When he isn’t with women, he’s sharing them with Hugh. He loves to escape with hard work on the ranch, and he and Hugh dream of building a horse herd that will put more dollars in the pockets of the Boot Knockers. He’s in touch with his tender side, but he knows how to throw a punch.
The three of them create a dynamic that will shake the foundation of the entire ranch.
$10 Amazon GC
So before I get started with this week’s questions and answers, I wanted to remind you all of our huge Romance Weekly Blog Hop & Giveaway. All I can say about it is SO. MUCH. GOODNESS. You can join in the fun here and enter the Rafflecopter here.
This week’s questions are from the fabulous Victoria Barbour, and I have to say, I NEEDED to participate this week. These are questions that plague romance writers daily and any chance I have, I want to put my point of view out there.
Have youalways written Romance?
Always. From the moment I thought about writing, it was always going to be romance. I’ve never even wanted to write in any other genre. (And as an FYI, as I’m typing this, I have a feline trying to chew off my fingers, so forgive misspelled words.)
How do you deal with critiques about the romance genre?‘?
Online, I’m brave. In real life, I have a very hard time with confrontation and try to remind myself every great story has a love story at its core. Though I did have one a$$hole corner me and sneer about my romance writing, insinuating that I’m not capable of reading or writing in a ‘real’ genre, for the most part people snicker at the sex but are hugely encouraging.
What’s the one thing about our genre you’d like people to know?
That despite what literary types have to say, romance is a REAL genre. We have to dive into characters and worlds and find a way to bring two people together when they have every reason to stay apart. We throw them into the darkest pits of hell and have to believably not only pull them back out, but give them a happily ever after. I dare those literary types to find a book in any other genre that has characters as well defined or written as those in a romance novel.
Okay, so that’s it for me today. Short but sweet! Now get your clicky finger ready and hop on over to see how Carrie Elks answered these questions HERE.
Title – To Dream of a Highlander
Series – Highland Fae Chornicles #2
Author – Samantha Holt
Genre – Historical Romance
Publication Date – 11th April 2014
Length (Pages/# Words) – 65000
Cover Artist – Kim Killion
Sent on a rescue mission, Finn Mac Chaluim is prepared to do his duty, hand over the lass and return home.
But fate has other ideas.
In the midst of a Norse invasion, Catriona barely escapes with her life. Masquerading as her sister, she finds herself in the hands of Finn who intends to hand her over to her sister’s betrothed, Laird Gillean. In the interests of bringing peace to her home, Catriona is determined to continue the ruse—even if it means going along with the marriage and denying her growing attraction to a man who keeps his hurts hidden behind a quick grin.
If the green faery, Tèile, has anything to do with it, Catriona and Finn will come together—but only at the right time. Thanks to her last attempt at matchmaking, many paths were changed and now it’s up to her to put it right. Can she help Finn— who learned the hard way that sharing your life with someone only leads to heartache—get past his doubts? And will the battle-scarred Catriona even accept him into her heart? When Laird Gillean’s attentions toward Catriona become dangerous, both Finn and Tèile will find they have an uphill battle on their hands.
Amazon Kindle – http://goo.gl/pF9rmg
Goodreads – http://goo.gl/6Yofnt
Samantha lives in a small village in England with her gorgeous twin girls and husband who is a trained bodyguard and ex-soldier. She traditionally writes historical romances involving chivalrous knights and hot highlanders, but occasionally dabbles in contemporary romance.
FOLLOW THE AUTHOR
Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/269576469878786/
Newsletter – http://eepurl.com/KaNOH
Edinburgh lambswool tartan scarf
1 x Paperback of To Steal a Highlander’s Heart
Finn mac Chalium
Following the death of his young wife and child, Finn has steered clear of women and his responsibility to them. He lost his mother to illness to while his father died a warrior’s death. Finn knows how easily attachments can be broken. Now the only things he takes pleasure in are drinking, fighting and bedding the occasional woman. And he does so with a ready smile and a quick wit—the easiest way of hiding the hurts he has suffered. But all that may change soon enough…
Lady Katelyn of Bute
Born on the beautiful Isle of Bute, Katelyn takes her duties to protect it seriously. So seriously that she intends to do all she can to defend it—even lie about her identity. Neglected by her father and hated by her sister, she’s used to looking after herself, even if she longs for someone to care for her. Her sheltered life is soon turned upside down when the Vikings invade their peaceful island.
Like many a night, he found himself gazing up at her window. Warmth radiated from it. She would be in a chemise, the thin material moulding to her breasts. Unbound hair likely spiralled over her shoulders. Mayhap she had washed and her skin remained dewy and ebony curls clung to her face. A shudder swept through him and his blood boiled. He gripped the pommel of his sword. Lord, give me strength.
A movement sent his heart into his throat. His jaw dropped as Katelyn leaned out of the window. Sure enough, white cotton hugged her arms and her hair hung loose. Candlelight surrounded her in a fuzzy halo like an angel. She gazed out into the night, entrancing him. How he longed to know what she was thinking.
Did she think of him?
Her gaze snapped down, locking onto him. He peered around, realising the torchlight on the walls revealed him. Breath imprisoned in his throat, he met her challenge. Stance strong, chin lifted, he stared her out, waiting for her to crumble and retreat. The air around him became cloying and thick while his pulse pounded sickeningly. His arousal grew painful.
Abruptly, she turned away, broke the connection and left him panting and weak. He dropped his shoulders. Damnation. A moment to relieve himself was called for. Should he return to his chambers or just suffer it, like some kind of penance for a desire he should not have?
Swivelling, he stomped down the steps into the courtyard. He paused and gritted his teeth. Time alone would not cure him of her. And wine held no appeal any longer. He was lost.
The hall doors opened and a figure came barrelling out. He nearly cursed aloud when he realised it was Katelyn. Her chemise flowed around her legs, barely covered by a thin robe. He noted her bare feet and cursed properly this time. What was the lass doing outside in such a state?
Before he managed to ask her as much, she flung her arms around him and flattened a desperate kiss to his lips. He caught on quickly. With a growl, he bundled her to him, shaking hands splayed over her back and in her hair.
“Hell fire, Katie,” he murmured as he took another kiss from her. Breaking away, he glanced around and shook his head. “What are ye doing? Anyone could see. Gillean could see.”
“I care not,” she whispered.
When she leaned up for a kiss, he released her, snatched an arm and dragged her over to the stables. One more frantic glance around and he shoved her into the doorway and pressed her against the wall. No candlelight greeted them here, only the glow from the torches outside permeated the building, slipping through the gaps between the wood. It was enough. He saw all he needed. Once more he speared his fingers under her hair, unable to resist those glossy lips, slick from his kisses. Katelyn whimpered when he captured her mouth and curled her fingernails into his back.
“Ye play a dangerous game, lass,” he muttered against her mouth.
She tugged against the hold he had on her hair and eyed him. “I am no’ afeared of Gillean.”
“Ye are, ye cannae lie to me. But I mean with me. Ye play with fire here.”
“I need ye, Finn. I am no’ afeared of ye either. I’m willing to risk getting burned.”
“Ach, we shall both be burned. No good shall come of this.” His chest heaved at the enormity of it all, at what she said. He’d always known he was secretly weak. His bold endeavours and brash behaviour covered his fears. When others saw a warrior, Katelyn saw him for who he was. Weak for her.
The Darkness of Glengowyn
Fire and Tears
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: April 29, 2014
Number of pages: 151 pages
Word Count: 44,000 words
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
They’ll risk forever death for one last chance together…
Nuala of Glengowyn hasn’t left her home city in over a century, but not by choice. Her skill as a weapons master has made her a prisoner of her people. Held apart, protected in the extreme—until Sorcerers attack the human city of Sinnale.
Sent to supply her unique magical arrows to help the humans, she is far from free.
The elf king and queen have sent a bodyguard, a fearsome warrior whose reputation has no rival. The only man she has ever wanted. Einar of Glengowyn.
Einar is known as a battle-crazed destroyer, so feared among elves he’s called by a single name: Darkness. And he has only one weakness—Nuala. Their union is forbidden, for melding their magics could destroy Nuala’s gifts. Yet as they journey to the war-torn city, no royal decree is a match for two hundred years of pent-up desire.
But even if they escape the war zone, their lives still hang in the balance. They must confront their sovereigns and prove love makes them stronger—or face their deaths.
Product Warnings: This book contains a deadly elf hero, a heroine who’s his match, a lot of sexy misbehaving, some hard language, racing through the streets, owls, arrows, evil Sorcerers, wicked minions, and a very dangerous elf king and queen.
Nuala stared at Einar for a few more minutes, caught by his intensity. To escape, she glanced down at his injured arm. “I can wrap that for you.” She gestured to the wound.
He gave it a cursory glance. “It’s only a scratch.”
“But neither of us can afford to have you weakened.” She spun in a slow circle, then started opening doors. When she found a room that contained a couch, she led him inside. “Sit,” she ordered.
Without supplies, her only option for binding the wound was the hem of her riding robe. “Your knife.” She held out a hand without looking at him and pulled up the long length of material.
“It’s not necessary.”
“Don’t argue.” She wiggled her fingers, still focused on the material in her hand. His presence threw her off balance and looking directly at him made it worse. They hadn’t spent this much time together, alone and in close proximity, since…
She didn’t want to think about the last time.
After the knife hilt settled gently into her palm, she sliced a few lengths of silk along the split front hem of the robe. It would leave a wider V in the front, but since they had to travel quickly, she was considering cutting off the length completely anyway. Once the sun set, the early autumn nights were too cold to get rid of the over-robe altogether. It was designed to allow easy, free movement, with slits in front and back so she could sit astride her horse without the long material getting in the way. It had stayed out of her way during the earlier fight too. But those lengths of material could be put to better use. And the less she had to worry about right now, the better.
Once she had sufficient improvised bandages, she turned to Einar. “Take your tunic off,” she said, her voice as firm and emotionless as she could make it.
She tried not to be affected as he stood, removed his scabbard belt, then slipped his short vest off and dragged his tunic up over his head. Unfortunately, she couldn’t hold back her quickly drawn breath when the magnificent musculature of his chest was revealed in full.
This wasn’t the first time she’d seen him bare-chested, but the sight never ceased to stir her. When she looked up, she found him staring at her, his dark eyes black in the dim light leaking in through grimy windows. She swallowed and focused on his arm. Her heartbeat sped as she drew near enough to feel the heat of his skin and smell the tangy combination of his natural spicy musk mixed with the sweat of battle. With Einar, that combination had always overwhelmed her better judgment, targeting her most desperate desires. Only with him.
Yet another reason she’d spent so many years avoiding him.
Though her pulse pounded in her ears, she concentrated on making her hands steady, her touch gentle. She used one length of material to gently blot the worst of the blood away. Some still seeped slowly from the injury, but not enough to be dangerous. Once she’d gotten the area as clean as possible with a dry cloth, she used another length to tightly bind the wound.
His muscles flexed under her touch, which didn’t help. “Relax,” she ordered, her voice irritatingly husky.
He let out a long, slow exhale that brushed over the top of her head, and his biceps relaxed. She noticed at a glance, however, that his stomach muscles were tightly clenched. When she risked a peek at his face, his jaw was also tight, and he stared at the wall across from where they stood.
She turned back to her work, knowing she shouldn’t have risked this kind of proximity for this long. Einar had more power over her body and heart than any other elf. A fact they were both growing more aware of with each passing moment.
When she’d tied off the bandage, satisfied it would do for now, she stepped back and gestured at his leg without actually looking down. “Are you cut or was it just your trousers?”
“Nothing as in no blood, or nothing as in you don’t wish me to bandage the wound?”
His gaze jumped from the wall to her and she took another involuntary step back. Heat, promise, need and something she didn’t want to admit seeing blazed out at her, an arrow right into her heart.
“You made it clear,” he said quietly, “that your magic was not something you could sacrifice. We should not remain this close. And I should not take off any more clothing around you.”
About the Author:
Isabo Kelly is the award-winning author of numerous fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal romances. Her life has taken her from Las Vegas to Hawaii, where she got her BA in Zoology, back to Vegas where she looked after sharks, then on to Germany and Ireland where she got her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior.
Now Isabo focuses on writing. She lives in New York with her Irish husband, two beautiful boys, and funny dog. She works as a full time author and stay-at-home mom.
Review: Eden’s Thoughts
*disclaimer one: I was given a copy of The Darkness of Glengowyn in exchange for an honest review.
*disclaimer two: Because of some serious health issues in my family, I have fallen way behind on my reading and am posting my review on only what I’ve read, which is the first half. The review will be updated here and posted to Goodreads and Amazon as soon as I finish. Ms Kelly, I apologize, but I can assure you I am LOVING this story. It will not take me long to finish!
First off, if you know me at all or follow my reviews on Goodreads, you know I have a serious addiction to a couple things. Sugar free Red Bull, fantasy romance, and forbidden romance. While I made the husband supply the Red Bull so I could read, since getting up myself would require either me putting the Kindle down (*snort*) or hurting myself trying to read and walk at the same time, since I have ZERO multi-tasking abilities. But combine fantasy romance AND forbidden love, and I am. So. There.
I can tell you, Isabo Kelly does not disappoint.
Her writing is imaginative, brilliant, and engrossing, and while I desperately want to finish this book now–as in right now, right this second–I’ve decided to 1-click Brightarrow Burning, the first book of the series, and devour that one first. Why? Because as a fantasy romance writer, world building fascinates me, and this is a world I want to know everything about. So far, I haven’t felt like I’m missing anything by not reading book 1, but in this case, I think part of the magic in this series is the world building mixed with the characters who live in that world.
As I am extremely picky in my fantasy romance books–I either find the heroine unworthy of the hero or just plain TSTL–for me to say I 1-clicked Brightarrow Burning without even reading the description means I’m hooked.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go read.