Friday, 17 August 2018

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: INFINITE by CECY ROBSON



Infinite
Carolina Beach #3
By Cecy Robson
Releasing August 15th, 2018
Self-Published

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Hale Wilder, aka the Anaconda of Wall Street, spent his childhood fighting to be the best to win his father’s love. He was the best student and the best athlete, who grew into a successful businessman and took the finance world by storm. Want to retire before you’re forty-five? He’s got you. Need your millions to be billions? He’s your man.


Young, rich, and powerful, Hale was unstoppable, until a company scandal destroys his reputation and threatens to bring down everything he’s bled for.


Becca Shields is the kickass public relations goddess spinning scandals to gold and launching has-beens into superstardom. She never expected to see Hale again—not following the humiliating night when her family caught them on the beach, barely clothed.


When Becca discovers Hale is in trouble, she can’t turn her back on the boy who was once her world and the man she never forgot.


Hale never thought he’d have another shot at greatness or with Becca. Now that he has both, he won’t let either go without a fight.


*NOTE* Although a part of a series, INFINITE can be read as a complete STANDALONE and features a new couple!


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In Infinite (Carolina Beach #3) by Cecy Robson, Becca Shields broke Hale Wilder's heart years ago, but when he finds himself in trouble with the law, he knows he must accept Becca's help to improve his image. Yet, the more time they spend together, the more Hale finds himself falling for Becca all over again. Will they get their second chance at happy ever after or will Becca break his heart a second time?

The previous books of this series are absolutely wonderful and having read the blurb for this book a little while ago, I couldn't wait to read this story and I've got to say that Ms. Robson does not disappoint. Really, this story was well-written, absolutely enthralling and a story I couldn't put down for even a second. All because of the fabulous main and secondary characters; and dialogue that had me loving the history between this couple, their growing relationship and the tough obstacles they face to be together including pain-in-the-a** exes that don't like to be told no. Will one of their exes ruin their second chance at forever?

As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories, as both have families they rather wish they didn't have because neither of their families made things easy for them. Really, neither of them ever felt good enough and I could understand why they became such good friends when they were younger. Moreover, the heroine is resilient; courageous; has really made something of herself, especially when it comes to her career; and I liked how determined she was to help the hero. Then again, Becca's suggestions to improve his image are definitely going to make him look good, especially since readers of what Becca is putting together are in for a delicious treat. 

While the hero, he's confident; a bit of a tough taskmaster when it comes to his job and how he deals with his assistant (which I thought was amusing); and I loved that he accepted Becca's help, even though it seems he doesn't really have much of a choice. Not if he wants to be able to get back to the career he loves with a decent reputation still in tact after what's happened. That is, if he gets off on the charges he's facing. Yet, what I liked most of all about the hero is the close friendships he shares with the secondary characters and that they would do anything for each other. 

Overall, Ms. Robson has delivered a marvellous read in this third book of her Carolina Beach series where the chemistry between Becca and Hale was powerful; the romance was hot, nicely-detailed and shows how right these two are for each other; and the ending had me loving the outcome of Hale's case and how the pair deal with their horrible pasts and finally realize that family is more than blood. Certainly, they help each other to heal from the wounds of their pasts. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely because of the surprise the heroine had for the hero. I would recommend Infinite by Cecy Robson, if you enjoy second chance romances or books by authors Vi Keeland, Chelle Bliss, Lara Adrian and Jaine Diamond. 








DON'T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE CAROLINA BEACH SERIES

*****FREEBIE ALERT****




INSEVERABLE (A Carolina Beach Novel, #1)

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(#FREE) B & N


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ETERNAL (A Carolina Beach Novel, #2)

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Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.




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BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: SIREN'S CURSE by KATEE ROBERT



In SIREN’S CURSE by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert, a cursed mermaid has lost her powers and her ability to shapeshift and the only creature that can help her reclaim herself is one who may mean her the most harm…


Siren's Curse
The Sea King's Daughters #3
By Katee Robert
Releasing August 13th, 2018
Self-Published





Lorelei Fischer is cursed. A mermaid who can’t shapeshift, can’t create portals, and is no longer fully who she was meant to be. Too ashamed to admit how badly she failed to her sisters, she takes refuge in a small town in northern California and opens a used bookstore. With no way to regain what she’s lost, she resigns herself to a life half-lived.

After nearly drowning under the dark of the new moon, there’s no escaping the truth. She’s being hunted, and this enemy will stop at nothing to take her.

Lorelei must find a way to reclaim her birthright and her abilities before it's too late. Because the sea holds more monsters than she could have dreamed—and one of them wants her dead.
 

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In Siren's Curse (The Sea King's Daughters #3) by Katee Robert, Lorelei goes through life knowing she'll never be more than she is -- a mermaid unable to shift. To get away from feeling like a failure, she's moved to a small town in Northern California and is doing her best to move forward with her life. But when she finds herself a target of a dangerous and powerful entity, she'll have to do everything she can to survive. Will she be able to defeat the enemy or will she die trying?

This is such a quick read that had me hooked from the very beginning because of the heroine and her situation. Really, she's an interesting character. She's fierce, courageous and has such determination to survive. Will she ever be able to shift? However, it was from the moment where the heroine finds herself in danger where this story really takes off, as the enemy after her is powerful and someone she might not be able to fight and survive the battle if she doesn't keep her wits up about her.

As for the dialogue, it was entertaining and intense due to Lorelei's back story since it isn't fair that she can't do any of the things she should be able to do as a mermaid and it's no wonder she ran away to a small town. Will Lorelei ever return to be with her sisters? Will she win the battle? Moreover, I liked the direction this story took and I couldn't wait to learn if the heroine would win and what she would have to do to win. 

Overall, Ms. Robert has delivered a really good read in this book where the ending had me loving how things work out for the heroine. I would recommend Siren's Curse by Katee Robert, if you enjoy paranormal romance; stories containing fierce heroines that face quite a battle against a powerful being; or books by authors Chloe Neill, Keri Arthur, Devon Monk and Shannon Mayer. 







I start for home, the wind and water turning my hair into blond snakes that whip around my head. Less than a quarter mile to my house and it might as well be on the moon. I pull my jacket tighter around my body and pick up my pace. Each harsh breath makes my chest ache, reminding me about the way this morning started.
I shouldn’t be alive.
There’s no other way to say it. When I closed my eyes, parted my lips, and inhaled… I made my choice. That I hadn’t died. That I woke up on the beach… Someone put me there, though I can’t begin to guess their purpose.
Lorelei.
I jump and spin in a circle, searching for the source of the voice. There’s no one in sight. There isn’t even a single pair of headlights on the road. Just the trees whipping back and forth in front of me and the beach at my back. I turn slowly to face the beach—the water—and squint into the driving rain. No part of me is dry at this point, so I might as well investigate.
Lorelei.
There it is again, barely more than a whisper on the wind. Calling me back to the water.
I take a step before what’s left of my self-preservation kicks in. “No.” I don’t mean to say the word aloud, but it settles something inside me. I am not some weak-willed creature to be drawn in by curiosity. Whatever has the power to reach me here on dry land is something I want no part of. “Get the fuck out of my head.” That’s where I must be hearing him. There’s no way he’s actually speaking to me on the wind.
Whoever he is.
I have something you want.
I freeze. The faintest tugging in my stomach dials it up a notch. It never really goes away, even when I’m sequestered in the bookstore and surrounded by earth instead of sea. That tug tells me the exact direction my necklace—my powers—lay. I never get more than a hint of water that’s such a dark blue, it might as well be black, or an intense pressure that conveys exactly how far from the surface my necklace is kept. Too deep for humans and their machines.
Too deep for me.
I start for the beach before I can think better of it. For over two years, I’ve been missing a vital piece of myself, walking around as only half of a whole. I might not be completely helpless in my current state, but I’m easy pickings for any supernatural creature who decides to gun for me. Last night more than proved that the sea will take me, one way or another
 It might as well be on my terms.
Lightning flashes, bright enough that spots dance over my vision for the several seconds of silence before thunder rattles my bones. The storm isn’t directly overhead yet, but it will be soon. I’m a damn fool if I’m still out by that point.
I yank off my boots and socks and toss them onto the beach just out of reach of the waves coming faster and faster. One step, maybe two, and I’ll be submerged up to my ankles. My finding power will spiral out of me, instinctively seeking the one item I want more than anything in this goddamn world.
Not my sisters.
Not even the portal home.
No, what I want more than anything is to be whole again.
I should just turn around and go home. Whoever this voice belongs to, they mean nothing good for me. There’s a proper way to reach out, and it’s not by drawing a finless one of the merfolk into the ocean and nearly drowning her human body. Stepping into the ocean will boost what little magic I have left, and it will create a clear channel for him to speak to me.
I take that first step, and then the second. My power streaks out into the deep and then rebounds, slamming me with a vision of my necklace. It’s different than it’s been in the past. Barely any pressure to speak of. Blue-gray water that stretches for miles and miles and miles around without encountering land. A vaguely fishy taste on my tongue.
Tentacles.
And then his voice is in my head, curling through me in a way that’s just shy of being invasive. Hello, pretty.
Telepathy isn’t one of my skills, but apparently his is so strong that it allows me to fire off a reply. Tell me what you want and get out of my head.
His chuckle is pure predator. More like I have something you want.
Surely not. The Deep Dwellers, sworn enemy to my people, wouldn’t be so foolish as to lose a coup like my necklace. In the endless history of wars between our kind, I can’t think of a single instance when they’ve managed to steal the very essence of what one of the merfolk is—to sever one of us from our power. It’s priceless. They wouldn’t have traded it—would have, in fact, guarded it with their lives. So why does this monster in my head have access to it?
I cross my arms over my chest and tell myself that the shiver racking my body is from the cold. I’m listening.
Come to me.
That surprises a laugh out of me. Pass.
You’d turn down a chance to regain yourself?
I’d turn down a chance to walk into a trap like an idiot. I shake my head. This is a waste of time. I turn for the shore when power slams into me, sending me to my knees. The water rushes in—or maybe I rush out—and the next thing I know, I’m up to my chest.
Don’t be a fool.
This deep, I finally have a sense of him. He must have held himself back up to this point, because he’s positively ancient. Older than anything I’ve ever felt—even my father—and so powerful that pain lances through my head. It would be so easy to give him what he wants, to stop fighting, to…
“Get the fuck out of my head!” I sprint for dry land. This deep, it’s more of a fast wade, but I curse and spit and fight the pull of the magic current trying to yank me off my feet. “No, no, no, no, get your stupid magic off me!
He releases me all at once and I fly the last few feet and land in a heap just past the now-normal waves. I sit up and scrub sand from my face. Even without the water connection, his dark amusement slithers through me. Another time, pretty. His presence recedes faster than any tide, leaving the storm just a normal storm.
It’s official—I’m in even worse trouble than I could have imagined.



New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension."  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW: BLIND KISS by RENEE CARLINO

   
From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.


 

Blind Kiss
By Renee Carlino
Releasing August 14th, 2018
Self-Published





Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision. The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off. For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.   

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and the bestselling author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, Swear on This Life, and Wish You Were Here. She grew up in Southern California and lives in the San Diego area with her husband and two sons. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.  

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In Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino, a blind kiss experiment leads to Penny and Gavin becoming the best of friends. However, nothing has ever happened between them, even though it's not as if Gavin hasn't tried to convince her to take a chance on him. Yet, things have happened in the course of their lives with big decisions and mistakes made. Will Penny and Gavin finally get their shot at happy ever after or will their friendship totally fall apart?

I love Ms. Carlino's books and this story was another entertaining and engaging read where the wonderful main characters have the best friendship and have stuck together through thick and thin; and the dialogue was compelling and had me liking how all that Penny and Gavin go through on their journey to happy ever after. Really, the way this story jumps back and forth between different times in the past and then the now had me reading quickly, determined to discover if Penny would ever take a chance on Gavin. 

As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories and everything they go through on their journey to happy ever after, as they've both suffered loss and done their best to move forward from those losses, even though it feels like the losses they've suffered led to the heroine making bad decisions, although her son is a gift. Moreover, I absolutely loved the hero. He's confident, cocky, a total flirt with Penny and I liked the growing connection between him and the heroine, which had me hoping for the best for the pair because they're meant to be together, despite the difficult obstacles they face that keep them apart. While the heroine, she's resilient, courageous and I liked the decisions she makes in order to make her life better after everything that's happened in her life. I also liked the close relationship she shares with her son and how her son wants to see her happy. 

Overall, Ms. Carlino has delivered a really good read in this book where the chemistry between Gavin and Penny was off-the-charts; the romance was delightful and had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after; and the ending and epilogue had me loving the decisions these two make to achieve their happy ever after. I would recommend Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino, if you enjoy the friends to lovers trope or books by authors Kelly Elliott, Lauren Blakely, Claire Contreras and Kristy Bromberg. 







          We sat at the bar of the pub as I continued to stare at him, a mixture of curiosity and fear boiling in my gut. He ordered a beer, and I ordered Chardonnay with beer-cheese pretzels. “That’s different for you.” 

I usually stuck to salads, an old habit from my dancing days, but I had lost a lot of weight in the past few weeks. “Don’t think you can distract me so easily. Tell me what’s going on. Did you break up with Briel?” 

He took a long pull from his beer and stared straight ahead. “Don’t be mad, okay?” I stared at him, wordlessly, the fear fully boiling over. And then he dropped the bomb on me. The next few minutes were hazy as Gavin, the bar, and my glass of Chardonnay swam together before my eyes. I tried to reach for the glass but found it suddenly empty. That’s weird. It was full a minute ago. I motioned to the bartender for another, then poured it down my throat in a steady stream. I was breathing fast when I slammed the glass on the bar, shattering my fugue state—and bringing Gavin into sharp relief. I was reeling.

 “Shit, Penny! Be careful. You almost shattered your glass!” He practically yelled. 

“You’re moving to fucking France?!” I yelled back. The bartender jerked his head toward the door, and within minutes Gavin was forcibly dragging me out of the bar by the arm. I slipped out of his grip and stood in the middle of the parking lot, seething, very much drunk, and fully freaking out. “So, do you love her?” 

“Briel? What kind of question is that?” 

“Just answer me.” 

“Fuck, Penny. That’s not what this is about. I don’t really have a choice here, though, do I?” 

“You always have a choice.” 

He glared at me. “That’s fucking rich, coming from you.” 

I shook my head vigorously. “Totally different situation.” 

“Like hell it was.” 

“When do you leave?” 

“In two days.” 

“WHAT?!” He ran up and shook me by the shoulders. 

“Jesus, if I knew you were gonna take it like this, I wouldn’t have told you in public. Pull yourself together.” 

I screamed at the top of my lungs and then made a guttural sound as I hunched over and held my stomach. “First Milo, now you?” 

“Don’t you put that on me. I’m not the reason why you’re about to be alone and unhappy.” 

“Fuck you, Gavin!” 

“Fuck you, Penny!” He didn’t turn around—he just stormed off in typical Gavin fashion: petulant, recalcitrant, and a total shithead. People in the parking lot were gawking, appalled, covering their children’s ears. But no one made a move to leave. When Gavin and I got like this, we were like a car wreck by the side of the road, impossible to look away from. Gavin slid into his ’67 Chevelle and fired up the engine. I hated that car because he loved it so much. It had a black leather interior, a flawless paint job, and tinted windows, like it belonged to some kind of celebrity—which Gavin definitely wasn’t. It was his only possession worth a dime, besides his garage, a few guitars, and a Zippo lighter he swore River Phoenix had given to him at the Viper Room the night of his death. I ran to the exit and stood in the middle of the lane, daring him to run me over as he ripped out of his parking spot and raced around the corner toward the exit. 

“We’re not done talking, you coward!” He slowed but let the car idle while he revved the engine. “I dare you!” I yelled. He stuck his head out the window, leaned his tattooed arm against the door, and actually grinned at me. So smug. What a dick. 

“You look ridiculous standing there. Get out of the way!” 

I walked toward his window and noticed that his demeanor had completely softened. There was even humor in his expression. He wanted me to block him, and he knew I would. “Can’t you have a proper fight without running away?”

 “You were lecturing me, yet again. I have a mother, thank you. You have a child you can order around . . . and a husband you can control. I don’t need your shit, okay? Don’t you realize that I’m freaking out, too? I’m going through the hardest time of my life, and you’re making this all about you.” 

“You’ve been going through the hardest time of your life for the whole fourteen years I’ve known you.” 

“And as my friend, do you think you’re helping my situation right now?” he spat back, his mood shifting once again. 

“Don’t even. Don’t you dare act like I haven’t been a good friend to you. You’ve put me in the most awkward situations, you’ve bolted on me, you’ve stopped speaking to me for weeks at a time, but still . . . I make myself available to you. I’ve been here for you, always. And now you’re moving thousands of miles away when I need you most?” 

He shook his head slowly. “That’s right, Penny. You have been here. You’ve been right by my side, lecturing me, rolling your eyes at me, pressuring me to get serious about Briel, all so I could go and fuck up my life even more while you sit in your nice house, with your KitchenAid mixer, your Oracle espresso machine, and your fucking yellow Lab.” 

“Don’t talk about Buckley that way! He’s a good dog. And you love our espresso machine.” 

Gavin’s lips turned up at the corners. “You’re so messed up, Penny. You definitely have a chemical imbalance.” 

I pointed to my chest, shocked. “Me? Look who’s talking? Please, pull into a parking space. I don’t want to stand here anymore, making a spectacle of myself. Some parent from Milo’s school is probably watching this whole thing. There’ll be whispers at the next PTA meeting. Is that what you want for me?” 

“Don’t pretend like you go to PTA meetings. And look around; everyone’s gone. It’s just us.” He was right. The parking lot had cleared out. Gavin was sitting in his idling car while I was standing outside his window like a moron. 

“I resent you for saying I pushed Briel on you. And yes, for your information, I do go to PTA meetings.” 

You encouraged me to go out with her, then you needled me about it until I finally did.” 

“You were horribly depressed! I thought you were gonna jump off a bridge. I told you to go out with her and to have some fun. She’s a nice girl. I didn’t say turn your life upside down, pack up, and run away with a foreigner! You’re thirty-six-years old, Gavin. I think it’s time you grew up.” 

I shook my head. “God, I can’t believe you.” 

He jerked his head back and squinted. “Great band but not totally PC to call someone a foreigner, Penny.” His voice was low. 

“Are you going to become a French citizen now, too? You better brush up on your French.” 

“Everyone speaks English there.” 

“No, they don’t! People always say that, but you’ll see. They might be able to communicate to a degree, but it’s not conversational English.” Why am I still standing here, screaming about French people? I needed to tie this conversation up in a pretty little bow. I needed closure. I couldn’t say good-bye to my best friend without it. He was leaving, going to France to chase a girlfriend I knew he didn’t love. I was losing him. And it was my fault. We couldn’t leave each other angry. 

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “Try not to make me feel worse about my situation, though I know that’s hard for you.” 

“Your situation? It’s always your situation. What about my situation?” He just stared at me. He was hurting; I could tell. But I was hurting, too. “Listen—” 

“What?” 

“Don’t interrupt me.” I cleared my throat. “Gavin . . . it’s just . . . I’m going to fucking miss you, okay? I’m having a hard time right now, and life is about to get a whole lot harder the second you leave.” 

I started to cry. He hated it when I cried, but he didn’t ask me, “Why are you crying?” 

He never had to ask. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then released it forcefully in a burst of frustration. A second later his car stalled. He put it in gear, got out, and swooped me up in a bear hug. “Penny, Penny, Penny . . . my crazy girl,” he said as he rubbed my back. I was wiping my snot-covered nose on his black T-shirt and he didn’t care one bit. He held me for a long time. When he started to release me, I said, “It’s not enough.” He picked me up again and squeezed me harder. Tucking his face into my neck, he said, “It’ll never be enough.” 

“Why?” I said, fully bawling against his shoulder. He brushed a strand of my hair, damp with tears, behind my ear. “I have to go, and so do you. You need to be with your family now.” 

I felt the lump in my throat growing. “You don’t have to constantly remind me that I have a family. I love my family. But you’re a part of it, too, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fucking crying in the parking lot in front of Bank of America.” 

He pulled away and we stood there, two feet apart, staring at each other, as if we were committing each other to memory. Allowing one another to really look at and take the other person in, stripped down to our bones, without scrutiny.

“Is this it?” I asked. 

“This is it, P.” I shook my head, leaned up on my toes, and wrapped my arms around him. We hugged again for a long time before he got into his car. I tried to hold on to the feeling of having him in my arms, or maybe I was trying to hold on to the feeling of being held in his. He started the engine as I stood there, waiting for him to leave. “We’ll talk on the phone or email or something, okay?” 

“Okay,” I told him. 

He swallowed nervously. Looking up at me from the car window, he said, “I wish it were you, Penny.” That was my bow. He knew I needed it, good or bad—no matter what feelings it shook loose from our long and complicated history together.



 







        

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com   

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