Wednesday, December 27, 2017

#SpotLight ~ The Pretender by HelenKay Dimon

The Pretender
Series: Games People Play Series
by HelenKay Dimon
About the Book:
They say it takes a thief to catch a thief, and Harrison Tate is proof.
Once a professional burglar, he now makes a lawful living tracking down stolen art. No one needs to know about his secret sideline, “liberating” artifacts acquired through underhanded methods. At least until one of those jobs sees him walking in on a murder.
Gabrielle Wright has long been estranged from her wealthy family, but she didn’t kill her sister. Trouble is, the only person who can prove it is the sexy, elusive criminal who shouldn’t have been at the island estate on that terrible night. She’s not expecting honor among thieves—or for their mutual attraction to spark into an intense inferno of desire.
Under the guise of evaluating her family’s art, Harris comes back to the estate hoping to clear Gabby’s name. But returning to the scene of the crime has never been riskier, with their hearts and lives on the line.
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Impulse
Publication Date December 26, 2017

Buy Links: 
Avon Romance  | Amazon | B&N | GooglePlay | WalMart | iBooks

“I’ve gotten used to looking over my shoulder.” She popped the cracker in her mouth but she really couldn’t taste it.
“Is this the part where I’m not allowed to pretend ignorance?”
She was impressed he’d actually listened this afternoon. That was more than most people did. But it didn’t mean that she wanted to revisit any part of that topic.
With a hard swallow, she got the cracker down then dumped the rest on the bench between them. “How exactly does one become an art appraiser?”
That sexy smile of his came roaring back. “We’re changing the subject?”
She nodded. “Without even an ounce of subtlety.”
The rich sound of his laugh floated through the dark night. “Then the answer is easy—misspent youth.”
“What are you talking about? Art appraising sounds like something wealthy people would be into. Like, I’m looking at you and thinking private-school boy.” She studied his face and hummed as she tried to pin him down, figure out his untold story. “Maybe even a boarding school.”
He snorted. “Your people-reading skills are way off tonight.”
That answer . . . it had her wanting to know more. She beat back the urge to pepper him with questions. If she took a turn, he would want one. No way.
She pointed at the gooey s’more oozing between his fingers. “Blame the marshmallow.”
“They’re growing on you.”
“Not really.” She’d never been a fan. “The sticky thing . . . it’s annoying.”
He held up a hand and wore a look of fake outrage. “Honestly, you keep talking like that and I’ll have to leave the island.”
“I wish I had that option.” She hadn’t meant to say that, but the words were out there now.
His head snapped back as he looked at her. “Do you really have to be here?”
“I owe it to Tabitha.” And it was a debt Gabby took seriously. Her sweet, loving sister deserved so much more than the end she got. The idea of her dying alone and afraid twisted Gabby’s insides into knots. She had faint memories of a man and footsteps that horrible afternoon, but Tabitha was gone by the time Gabby reached her. “Someone needs to care about what really happened to her.”
“No theories?”
“Too many, actually.” Someone looking for cash. Some jerk hoping to find a woman alone. Every option centered on the hazy figure she saw leaving the house. The one she’d almost convinced herself she’d dreamed up.
“Are you really not going to sleep inside tonight?” he asked.
“I might sleep on the porch.” That was the plan. There or the boathouse, where there’d be some protection from the wind.
She’d thought about knocking on Kramer’s door but his son was on the island, trying to catch up on maintenance that had been limited when the police shut down the island to everyone to conduct an investigation. Poor Kramer got displaced for a few months. Once he came back the police limited the work he could do. So did the wrangling over the estate be- cause Tabitha’s trust fund had been frozen. But now that Kramer was back, he was behind on all but the most routine work. She knew because he’d grumbled about that while they shared breakfast at his house this morning.
“It’s freezing out here.” Harris rubbed his hands together in front of the fire as if to prove his point.
“I’ll be fine.” When he started to say something, she talked over him. “I’m serious, Harris. I can’t be in the house. Not yet. Tomorrow, maybe. In the light.”
“Have you been in there since . . .”
He didn’t need to finish the sentence because she knew where he was going. “Since I found her body? No.”
He let out a long, loud breath as he wrapped up the chocolate bar again. “Take the guesthouse.”
The idea sounded so much better than any other option. She’d stayed there on and off with Tabitha since their parents died. Her sister loved the solitude of island but Gabby always worried the lack of companionship would prove to be too much. She stopped in. She swung through. She came up with excuses to be there for days at a time with her sister before jumping off again.
“Where would you sleep?” A not entirely unwelcome idea formed in her brain. “Or was that a really sloppy pass?”
“Sloppy?” He shook his head. “Woman, come on. It takes skill to look debonair while having your fingers stuck together with marshmallow.”
He held up his fingers to show her.
“You’re right,” she said, ignoring the fact he pulled off the look just fine.
He picked up the chocolate bar then dropped it again. “Melting chocolate. I mean, I’m balancing a lot over here.”
He really was adorable. Sexy and hot in a want-to- climb-him way, but kind of sweet, too.
Too bad she thought it was all a very calculated act. “You’re very impressive,” she said in the most con-
descending voice she could muster.
“Thanks for noticing.” He wiped his hands on a paper towel and put the rest of the s’mores ingredients away. “But the offer still stands. The guesthouse has a couch and a floor. I can sleep on one of those.”
So tempting.
“No.” The offer should have been easy to resist but she had to force the denial out. She stood up, thinking leaving might be the only way she could win this round. “I’ll be fine.”
He glanced up at her. “I get the impression you’re always fine, Gabby.”
“Then you’re not looking very closely.”

About Helenkay Dimon:

HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a…divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over thirty novels, novellas and shorts to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Kensington, Harlequin, Penguin, Samhain and Carina Press. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. She is on the Board of Directors of the Romance Writers of America and teaches fiction writing at UC San Diego and MiraCosta College.

 Author Links
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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas from Reviews by Crystal

#SpotLight ~ RENEGADE COWBOY by Sara Richardson ~ @SaraR_Books

by Sara Richardson 


Cassidy Greer knows that cowboys are nothing but trouble. But when her childhood crush comes riding into town, she starts to have second thoughts. Levi's a world-class bull rider now, and more handsome than ever. It's a good thing she's headed out of town soon or she just might be tempted....

As a famous rodeo star, Levi Cortez could have his pick of any woman on the circuit. But when he reconnects with Cassidy, sweet memories come rushing back. Levi knows Cass doesn't want to get roped into a relationship. Not with a cowboy. The only question is, can he convince her he's more than just a renegade cowboy before the summer's over?

Purchase it Now: 
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks


Gazing into her eyes, Levi stepped back and pulled his T-shirt up and over his head and then dropped it on the ground.

She did her best not to react, but her eyes widened and her lips parted. He was exquisite. Lean muscle, chiseled detail, broad chest and pecs. The sight was even better than the pictures that were plastered everywhere online. “I thought theyd airbrushed you.”

His head tilted. “Say what?”

“Those pictures theyre always posting on the Internet. Of you without…um…your…um…shirt,” she stammered, suddenly embarrassed to admit shed been gawking at him for the past six years. Though with that body of his, it was kind of hard not to.

“You thought they Photoshopped me?” he repeated in mock disbelief.

“Well, yeah.” She thought they did that to everyone. She eyed his chest again. Apparently they didnt have to with Levi Cortez.

He inched closer, the look on his face almost predatory. “You looked at pictures of me online?”

“Darla forced me to.” Staring at hot men online was one of her friends favorite pastimes. Of course, shed looked him up on her own a few times too. Only to see his stats on the circuit, of course. Not that he should be privy to that information.

“Did you like what you saw?” he asked in a husky voice.

One of her shoulders lifted in a pathetically weak shrug. “Kind of.”

He inched closer. “Do you like what you see now?”

Her gaze trailed down his body. Before she knew what she was doing, her hand brushed his chest and worked its way down his abs. “Mmm- hmmm.”

“Want to see more?” He kicked off his boots, and his hands went to his silver belt buckle.

Whoa. She blinked hard. Wait a minute. Was he stripping? She shook herself awake. “We cant go skinny- dipping!” She backed away from him, nearly tripping over the chair in the process.

He unclasped his belt. “Why not?”

Well…” Staring at his chest, she struggled to come up with one logical reason. Rational thought, rational thought…there had to be one in there somewhere. “What if someone else shows up?” Like Dev? “Its indecent exposure.

Levi laughed. “Its private property. No one will show up. Lucas and Naomi hardly ever leave the house anymore, and Lance and Jessa are in Denver for the night.” He pulled her into his arms. “So its just you and me, baby.”

Hometown Cowboy (Rocky Mountain Riders) by [Richardson, Sara]HOMETOWN COWBOY
Rocky Mountain Riders, #1

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay | BAM |

Comeback Cowboy (Rocky Mountain Riders) by [Richardson, Sara]~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Rocky Mountain Riders, #2

About the Author: 

Sara Richardson grew up chasing adventure in Colorado’s rugged mountains. She’s climbed to the top of a 14,000-foot peak at midnight, swam through Class IV rapids, completed her wilderness first-aid certification, and spent seven days at a time tromping through the wilderness with a thirty-pound backpack strapped to her shoulders.
Eventually, Sara did the responsible thing and got an education in writing and journalism. After five years in the corporate writing world, she stopped ignoring the voices in her head and started writing fiction. Now, she uses her experience as a mountain adventure guide to write stories that incorporate adventure with romance. Still indulging her adventurous spirit, Sara lives and plays in Colorado with her saint of a husband and two young sons. Her first contemporary romance, No Better Man, was released by Grand Central forever 2015.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

#Review ~ Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan ~ @harpersloan

Cowboy Up is the third book in The Coming Home Series by Harper Sloan. I have enjoyed each book so much. Harper Sloan has a lovely writing voice and has created storylines and characters that made it almost impossible to set this book down. 

Caroline Michaels has not had a easy life. Her family is the perfect example of how NOT to be. I admired this lady for being able to go on and get on with her life. She has created her own family with her best friends. They are there for her no matter what. 

Clayton Davis the head of his family. He takes his responsibilities seriously. He's a great brother, brother-in-law and soon to be Uncle. Clay is one of those guys that it is possible to not fall for. He's sweet, loves his family, his protective of those he loves, and he is just overall one of the good guys. 

I loved how Caroline and Clay met for the first time. There is incredible passion between these two and an attraction that is smoldering hot all the time. As much as I enjoyed their first meeting it was interesting to watch them meet for the second time. These two are good for each other and they just might be what exactly what they both need to heal from the past and to go forward with the future. 

There is some mystery, drama, and suspense included in this incredible story. I won't tell you too much about it because you are going to want to read it for yourself. This book totaly had me sitting on the edge of my seat a few times flipping the pages just as quickly as I could to see who did what. 

I loved how Clayton's family instantly takes Caroline into the family. The ladies knew each other in high school so it was fun watching them get to know each other again. 

There are some incredibly sweet moments in this book. I don't want to tell you too much because I want you to enjoy those awe adorable moments for yourself. 

This whole series has been awesome. I have enjoyed each book immensely. Ms. Sloan has done a great job of making each one able to stand on its own. Each one is an incredible story so you may want to grab more than one. 

I was given the opportunity to read this fantabulous book and it has been my pleasure to share my thoughts with you.

You may find more of my reviews on Harper Sloan's work here.

Cowboy Up (The Coming Home Series Book 3) by [Sloan, Harper]

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

#Review ~ One Week to Win Her Boss by Barbara White Daille ~ @BarbaraWDaille

One Week to Win Her Boss (Snowflake Valley) by [Daille, Barbara White]As some of you may know from reading my reviews lately I LOVE Christmas stories. There is just something about a good romance story set at the magical time of year. One Week to Win Her Boss is one of those incredible stories that has all the ingredients that make it a fabulous story. There is romance, family, kids, Christmas, family drama, and romantic drama. The drama that makes you wonder how in the world these two people are going to work everything out. 

Amber Barnett is a new Mom of an adorable little baby girl, Penny. She has a very loving family that wants to be there for her in a way her no good ex-husband was. She wants to show everyone that she is strong, independent and able to take care of her and Penny.  Amber is one of the characters that I was able to bond with quickly. 

Michael DeFranco is Amber's boss. He unexpectedly shows up at Snowflake Valley for Christmas. Michael is a nice guy, he's kind, caring, and has had it up to here with some of his family. This guy has had his fill of his family and some of their rotten shenanigans. He is not a family man and truly thinks he wants nothing to do with Amber and Penny. He accidentally ends up pretending to be involved with Amber to her family.

The Barnett family quickly wraps Michael in their arms and puts him to work with all that is going on. I loved watching Michael see what a real loving family could be like. They are NOTHING like his family. The more time Amber and Michael spend together the stronger their attraction and feelings for each other grow. I enjoyed watching these two get to know each other better. 

This is one of those incredible stories that leaves you with that special Christmas time feeling of joy and happiness. I truly enjoyed this great story and I loved all the Barnett family. This is one family that has each other's backs as well as all the community. This book is part of the Snowflake Valley Series but it stands on its own just fine. I haven't had a chance the previous books in this series but I had no problem at all enjoying this story. I didn't feel like I was missing anything at all. I can't wait to see what might be next in this series. 

I was given the opportunity to read this incredible book and it has been my great pleasure to share my thoughts with you.

One Week to Win Her Boss (Snowflake Valley) by [Daille, Barbara White]

#ReadForever #GiveAway ~ Can’t Forget You by Rachel Lacey ~ @rachelslacey

Can’t Forget You 
 Risking It All series, #3
by Rachel Lacey

About the Book: 

Jessica Flynn can’t wait to buy up that patch of unspoiled North Carolina woodland next door and expand her spa. What could be more sensuous than a hot-tub soak under the stars? Jessica would love to bask in the romantic view herself-but first she needs to find the right man to join her in this fantasy. Back in high school, she thought that was the dark and brooding Mark Dalton. But then he left to join the Special Forces, and when he returned to town, it felt like their teenage love affair had never even happened.

Mark Dalton has his eye on the same property for his own business. Yet there’s something he wants to have even more. Because Jessica is sweeter than he remembered, and he’s finding it hard to resist his attraction to the competition. When they finally find themselves alone, deep in the forest, nature can’t help but run a little wild. But if she ever finds out what he’s been hiding all these years, she may never forgive him…

December 19, 2017
Mass Market: $7.99
eBook: $6.99

Barnes & Noble:
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“You approve?”
Stifling a yelp, she whirled to find Mark behind her, a brown dog at his side. It really was unfair that he could move so quietly. “Yes, but . . . did you get a dog?”
He glanced down at the mutt standing at attention be- side him. “Nah. Found her.”
“Really? Out here?” Jessica stepped closer, holding out a hand toward the dog, who eyed her warily, never budging from Mark’s side.
“Yeah. I’ll drop her by the shelter when I leave.”
“Hi, girl.” Jessica crouched down, talking to the dog. “How’d you wind up out here?”
The dog icked her ears forward and took a step in Jessica’s direction. She was fairly large, with brown fur that was matted in places and adorable, fluffy ears. After a little coaxing, she walked over and licked Jessica’s hand.
“Maybe you should keep her,” she said to Mark. “At least while you look for her family. She’s too sweet to go to the shelter.”
He grunted, gazing down at the dog.
Jessica stroked behind the dog’s ears. “You know what happens to strays at the shelter who don’t find a home, right?”
Mark said nothing.

For some reason, she wanted him to keep this dog.
Maybe it would be good for him to have someone at home to greet him. “You don’t want her to be euthanized, do you? She seems so quiet and well behaved.”
“Which means she probably has a family out there looking for her.”
“And you should definitely let the shelter know you’ve found her. I think they can even scan her for a microchip. Up to you whether you leave her there.” She winked at him.
He said nothing.
The dog really was a sweet thing. She licked Jessica’s fingers, her tail wagging shyly, and then returned to Mark’s side, looking for all the world like she was waiting for her next command. When he started walking, she followed right at his heels.
So did Jessica. They walked together in easy silence, following the string of orange ags he had placed on the ground. He’d been busy today and also true to his word. His flags were well away from the area she wanted for her cabins.
She couldn’t help smiling every time she glanced at the dog by his side. The pooch clearly already viewed Mark as her master. It was easy to see why. He moved with a quiet confidence that obviously set her at ease. Not sure which way to go? Just follow Mark.
Jessica was so busy doing just that that she didn’t even see the hole in front of her until she’d stepped in it. Thrown off balance, she groped blindly for something to hang on to, her fingers latching on to Mark’s arm. He turned in surprise and grabbed her before she went down in a heap.
His hands gripped her arms, warm and strong, his eyes locked on hers. “You okay?”
She nodded because her heart was pounding so hard she didn’t trust herself to speak. There was so much electricity in the air between them that her whole body sizzled with it. Her stumble had landed her close in his arms, so close that, each time she drew breath, the space between them seemed to shrink.
His gaze dropped from her eyes to her lips.
He’s going to kiss me!
Her blood heated, and her lips parted, and...what the hell was she thinking? Grabbing on to the last glimmer of reason in her brain, she stepped backward out of his arms. Pain knifed up her left leg, and it folded beneath her, dropping her in a heap onto the forest oor.
The air left her lungs so fast she felt dazed, sitting there, staring at Mark’s boots. Then the dog was there, nuzzling her cheek, tail wagging.
Mark crouched in front of her. “What’s wrong? Are you hurt?”
Not wanting to get lost in his eyes again, she looked down at her left knee, which, now that she was no longer drunk with lust, hurt like a son of a bitch. “I think I twisted my knee.”
“Let me have a look.” He straightened her leg out against the bed of pine needles and gently felt her knee through her jeans.
She winced. “It’s been bothering me off and on for a few weeks. I don’t know what I did to it.”
“You have it checked out?”
“No.” She sighed. Dammit, she hated going to the doc-tor. Maybe because, having a nurse for a mother, she’d spent way too much time around hospitals as a kid. “I guess I should though. I thought it was finally better.”
She accepted the hand he held out and pushed to her feet, putting all her weight on her right foot. Her left knee throbbed. She could feel the heat radiating out of it. Son of a bitch.
“You able to walk on it?”
“Of course.” She took a halting step, biting her tongue to hold back a groan. Well, better to get this over with. She hobbled away from Mark in the direction of the spa.
“In the interest of getting home before dark...” His arms came around her, and he swept her off her feet, lifting her into his arms as if she weighed nothing at all (and thank goodness for that because it took a little of the sting off her pride).
“I can walk,” she said, her voice gone all low and husky because now she was closer than ever to him, wrapped up in his warm, masculine scent. She felt his heart thumping against her, and as she met his eyes, it quickened.
So did hers.
Her hands tightened behind his neck, causing his head to dip toward hers. Helpless to ght the pull, she leaned in, and her lips brushed his. Her entire body lit with awareness from her scalp to her toes, like she’d just turned on the light after a very long time in the dark. Whoa.
Yeah. Sparks. She and Mark still had them.
She sucked in a ragged breath, her eyes locking on to his, and then he kissed her back. This time his lips crashed into hers with an urgency that matched the need aring inside her. Her eyes uttered shut, and her lips parted.
Jessica’s forehead bumped into Mark’s. He was looking down at the dog, his expression a mixture of amusement and frustration. At his feet, the dog was staring right back in rapt attention.
Way to ruin the moment, Fluffball.
Mark’s gaze flicked back to Jessica’s, and almost with-out thinking, she tipped her face, bringing her lips back to his. Everything inside her went all hot and tingly as his tongue swept into her mouth.
“Seriously, now you discover your voice?” She glared down at the dog in mock exasperation.
Mark let out a rough laugh. “She hasn’t made a peep all day.”
“I don’t think she likes us kissing.” As she spoke, her gaze dropped to his lips. The damn dog was probably the only one here that had any sense. But right now, Jessica. Did. Not. Care.
The only thing she could think about was kissing him again. And again.


Rachel Lacey is a contemporary romance author and semi-reformed travel junkie. She’s been climbed by a monkey on a mountain in Japan, gone scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and camped out overnight in New York City for a chance to be an extra in a movie. These days, the majority of her adventures take place on the pages of the books she writes. She lives in warm and sunny North Carolina with her husband, son, and a variety of rescue pets.

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Giveaway: Two winners will receive a copy of CAN’T FORGET YOU by Rachel Lacey.