Unbreakable by Max Henry #ReleaseBlitz @EJBookPromos

Title: Unbreakable
Series: Fallen Aces MC #1.5
Author: Max Henry
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Even after a broken heart is repaired, can the scars be too many for it to beat the same again?


Six years and a promotion to club president later, I’ve finally had enough of her excuses. The lies have to stop. She IS worth the risk, I’ve NEVER gone a day without thinking about her or my son, and I know underneath it all she DOES still love me.

This time, she’ll come home for good … she just doesn’t know it yet.









Max is the author of dark, and highly emotional romance. Her Butcher Boys series is centered around a group of ex-street kids who have teamed up with an indebted motorcycle club to take down a notorious drug lord. And her new series, the Fallen Aces MC, is a spin-off from this dark and dangerous world. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping’, and ‘addictive’, taking you on an ’emotional roller coaster ride’.

Originally born and bred in New Zealand, Max now resides with her family in beautiful and sunny Queensland, Australia. Life with two young children can be hectic at times, and although she may not write as often as she would like, Max wouldn’t change a thing. When she’s not engrossed in her dark and twisted fictional worlds, she can be found enjoying the outdoors while 4wd-ing with her family.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

KISS ME THAT WAY by Laura Trentham #ReleaseBlast @TastyBookTours @LauraTrentham #Giveaway

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KISS ME THAT WAY
Cottonbloom #1
Laura Trentham
Releasing May 31st, 2016
St. Martin’s Paperbacks

 

A river divides Cottonbloom in two:
the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble
side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like
love…
Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to
raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked
back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost
the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only
weak spot: the girl he left behind…

Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her
from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that,
on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of
her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and
it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return
back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore
their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once
more?

 
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Don’t miss the next Cottonbloom romance 
coming June 2016
An award-winning
author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in
Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was
convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most
logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed
boots for several years.
 
She
writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The
first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book
Reviews magazine. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England,
she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt.
Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as large as the to-be-read pile of
books on her nightstand.

 

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

A COMMON SCANDAL by Amanda Weaver #Releaseblast @TastyBookTours @AWeaverWrites

Enter to Win a $30.00 Amazon eGift Card

 

A COMMON SCANDAL
The Grantham Girls #2
Amanda Weaver
Releasing May 30th, 2016
Carina Press
Finishing school taught Amelia
Wheeler how to put on a well-mannered performance—when she’s not bored and
looking for trouble. Lady Grantham’s is behind her and now it’s time for Amelia
to keep her promise to her dying mother: marry a title and leave her wild days
behind.
That promise would be much easier to
keep if Nate Smythe hadn’t just reappeared in a London ballroom. The son of an
impoverished sailor, Nate—Natty, as he used to be called—has grown up to become
handsome, rich and polished. He claims to be looking for a proper bride who can
advance his business interests, but that doesn’t stop him from seeking out
Amelia every chance he gets. Challenging her. Kissing her.
Suddenly, struggling against her
simmering passion is the least of Amelia’s problems—one of her titled suitors
is hiding a desperate secret that could stop Amelia from pleasing her parents
or finding happiness with Nate. As a weeklong house party threatens to derail
her hard-won future, Amelia must decide: fight against disaster or act like the
lady she’s promised to become?
Excerpt-Banner

Despite knowing the sort of marriage she was destined for, she’d resisted making a choice for so long because she’d hoped in time she might encounter a suitable man who sparked some kind of fire in her. But not once, in all her forays into Society, had she met a man who raised more than mild curiosity. She’d read about flaming passions and heated kisses in the lurid, forbidden novels she had traded with Vic and Grace, but her blood had never been stirred by a flesh-and-blood male. She’d begun to think those passions were the invention of novelists and no man could ever make her feel that way. And now one had, and he was hopelessly out of her reach. It was wretched, wanting something she couldn’t have.

“What’s the verdict? Does Cheadle love you madly or not?”

She didn’t trust herself to look at Natty, knowing her insides would plunge in an unwelcome, delicious way. When he came near her, it was as if her whole body stretched luxuriously and unfurled. Terribly unhelpful, when she was determined to send him packing and behave.

“I’m sure the answer will always be ‘not’, regardless of the state of the petals and irrespective of whatever he might proclaim. Isn’t Lady Julia waiting for her glass of punch or something?”

“Pardon?”

“The lovely Lady Julia Harrow. I saw you sitting with her. Surely she’s missed you by now.”

“Somehow I doubt it,” he muttered. “And what of Cheadle? Surely he’s climbing the walls pining after you.”

She sighed and turned to face him, tossing the last of the ruined flower to the ground and brushing her gloved fingers together. “You know he’s not, Natty. Men don’t pine after me, only my money. The only reason anyone at these things speaks to me is because of my fortune.”

“I’m speaking to you and I have my own fortune, thank you very much.”

“You only speak to me to tease me.”

“You used to like it when I teased you.”

“I’m not a child anymore.”

“Obviously.”

The word hung between them for a moment, rife with meaning. He might have only meant she was all grown-up and out in Society, except his eyes made a lightning- fast perusal of her body as he said it, so fast, he was likely unaware he’d done it. In a rush, it broke over her that Natty was aware of her in the same way she was aware of him. Not as an old playmate from his childhood. As a woman. He was as affected as she was, even if he was spending his evening paying court to Julia Harrow.

His eyes made their way back to hers and they both held the gaze. This newly discovered knowledge sizzled through her body. Her skin flushed and her breaths grew shallow. Natty’s eyes stared into hers. His lips parted slightly, as if he, too, was baffled by this sudden shift in the air. The atmosphere around them felt charged, the way it did when thunder began rattling the windows and lightning lit the night sky, but still the rain refused to fall. At any minute the clouds could collide and deluge the world, but until then, all the energy of the universe danced on the breeze.

She wanted to tease and flirt with him to see how far things would progress. She wanted to see the skies open up. She wanted to be drenched by the rain.

 

 
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Amanda Weaver has loved
romance since she read that very first Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel at fifteen.
After a long detour into a career as a costume designer in theatre, she’s found
her way back to romance, this time as a writer.
 
A native
Floridian, Amanda transplanted to New York City many years ago and now
considers Brooklyn home, along with her husband, daughter, two cats, and
nowhere near enough space.

 

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Unbreakable (Fallen Aces MC #2) by Max Henry #ReleaseBlast @EJBookPromos

Title: Unbreakable
Series: Fallen Aces MC #1.5
Author: Max Henry
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Even after a broken heart is repaired, can the scars be too many for it to beat the same again?


Six years and a promotion to club president later, I’ve finally had enough of her excuses. The lies have to stop. She IS worth the risk, I’ve NEVER gone a day without thinking about her or my son, and I know underneath it all she DOES still love me.

This time, she’ll come home for good … she just doesn’t know it yet.









Max is the author of dark, and highly emotional romance. Her Butcher Boys series is centered around a group of ex-street kids who have teamed up with an indebted motorcycle club to take down a notorious drug lord. And her new series, the Fallen Aces MC, is a spin-off from this dark and dangerous world. Her writing has been described as ‘gripping’, and ‘addictive’, taking you on an ’emotional roller coaster ride’.

Originally born and bred in New Zealand, Max now resides with her family in beautiful and sunny Queensland, Australia. Life with two young children can be hectic at times, and although she may not write as often as she would like, Max wouldn’t change a thing. When she’s not engrossed in her dark and twisted fictional worlds, she can be found enjoying the outdoors while 4wd-ing with her family.

HOSTED BY:

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

On Her Six by Christina Elle #ReleaseBlitz @EJBookPromos @christina_elle1

Title: On Her Six
Series: An Under Covers Novel
Author: Christina Elle
Genre: Contemporary Romance Suspense
Release Date:  May 23, 2016

 

New neighbors are bad news in Samantha Harper’s experience. Especially ones as suspicious and brooding as the guy who just moved in next door. So when the dangerous but sexy stranger seems to be involved in something illegal—the aspiring cop in her takes action. If only she could stop thinking about how he looks naked…

 


All DEA agent Ash Cooper wants to do is lay low and survive this crap surveillance assignment. But after a run-in with his attractive neighbor, he realizes that’s going to be much harder than he planned. Keeping the woman out of trouble is hard enough, but keeping his hands off her is near impossible.

 

“A truly awesome read! The perfect blend of humor, suspense, action, and romance. This is a book I highly recommend!” -Bette @ NetGalley


“I have to say, I have not read a book with this much humor in it in a long time and it was so refreshing and enjoyable. Christina Elle has done an awesome job of mixing romance, suspense and humor all together. You will not be upset that you decided to read this one!!” -Melanie @ NetGalley


“Refreshing, funny, sweet, and sexy- On Her Six has it all!!! I highly recommend this steaming suspense.” -Page Turner @ NetGalley

He was done. He could take caning across his bare back or bamboo under his fingernails, but he sure as hell didn’t stand a chance against this kind of torture. A man’s resolve was only so strong against a woman like Sam. Telling his subconscious to take a hike, he hitched her leg over his lap. She drew a quick breath, but then settled astride him as if her body was made to fit his. Her legs cradled his thighs, and the center of her heat married flawlessly over his growing erection.
Imagining what it would feel like to be buried deep inside her, he shifted to encourage more friction. Her body went rigid, her spine as straight as a damn board, then she relaxed and trailed her hands along every piece of his available skin. Up under his sleeve to his biceps, where she squeezed the muscles; across his chest and stomach; his back.
The impression of her touch lasted even after her hands moved on to their next location. His shirt was off in seconds, and he was doing his damnedest to remove hers just as quickly. Would she be upset if he ripped it from her body? It was a mere scrap of fabric anyway.

Christina believes that laughter really is the best medicine, which is why in her stories she blends a healthy dose of hilarious hijinks with gritty suspense.

When she’s not writing fun contemporary romance or quirky romantic suspense, Christina can be found devouring books in every genre, watching Chris Hemsworth on TV, playing board games with her family, working out, watching Chris Hemsworth on TV, napping, watching Chris Hemsworth on TV, and shopping…for Chris Hemsworth’s latest DVD.
She lives near Baltimore with her husband and two sons, who give her an endless supply of humorous material to write about. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Maryland Romance Writers. She is represented by Margarget Bail at Inklings Literary Agency.


She loves hearing from friends and followers, so feel free to send her an email or connect through social media.
HOSTED BY:

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Forgotten (Surrender Series #3) by Rachel Madbury #ReleaseBlast @RachelMadbury @EJBookPromos


Title: Forgotten

Series: Surrender Series #3

Author: Rachel Madbury

Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense

Published: May 26, 2016
There was a time when Graciella Snow didn’t know what she wanted from life. Growing up without her mother had left her directionless and apathetic, her anger and resentment closing her off from everyone around her.
But that was before… After following in her mother’s footsteps to the coast of Maine she’s finally getting a sense for who she is and what she wants from life, but at what cost?

Falling in love with Alexander has opened her up in ways she never dreamed of, and now that love is on the line. Even with all of Alexander’s attempts to protect her, Grace finds herself in more danger than ever before as they learn the terrifying truth about her mother’s past, and come face to face with a darkness that refuses to be forgotten.
I can’t breathe. Everything is black and I’m choking, tight bands around my lungs keeping them from pulling in enough oxygen, stars alighting at the edges of my vision, blurring with the smoke wafting by.

But they’re not bands around my chest… They’re arms. A desperate, rigid grasp that holds me back from running headlong into the roaring fire that’s consuming my home.

My life is in that fire.

My history and my future. I rail against my captor, making out faint, gentle whispers in my ear, “No, Grace, no.”

Max, a member of the security team that my boyfriend Alexander brought in to protect me while they find whoever has been terrorizing us, is following the order his boss, Pauley, gave just before running into the burning building to look for Alex. His counterpart, Freddie, is next to me sagging against the hood of the car as savage coughs rack his body. Freddie’s brother, Jake, is off in the woods somewhere, searching for whoever he saw when he and Alex arrived to check on the alarm. They’d thought it was malfunctioning, having been unreliable in all the tests this week… they were wrong.Months ago when I’d come to this house I’d expected to hate it. My mother had lived here for 15 years…without me. My dad had raised me in New Jersey while she’d stayed up here by herself. Her life was a mystery to me right up until she died last year. When she left me this house in her will I was confused, both with what I should do with it, and why she’d left me anything at all. We’d barely spoken, and I hadn’t seen her in years. My father had never stopped loving her. I, on the other hand, had just been angry.

But as I spent more time here, supervising the renovations Alexander and his team were doing to the house so I could rent it out as a vacation home, my feelings started to shift. Being in her space, seeing what her life might have looked like, had started to take the sting out of her deserting us. When we’d found out that she had reported strange occurrences at the house, feeling like someone was watching her, I began to really worry about what had happened here, and why she’d stayed. Having come home to a houseful of broken windows a few months ago, and then waking up to two dozen murdered gulls, one in my kitchen sink, had seemed to link my mother’s time in this house with mine. But I never thought it would come to this.

While proximity to her home and her life had helped shift perceptions, what had impacted me the most was something I never saw coming… or perhaps I should say someone. Alexander was the first man I’d ever gotten close to, the first one to ever touch a part of me I didn’t know was there. He’d had to face down his own demons to be with me, and he thought I was worth the pain that caused him. No one had ever done something like that for me before…

We were only just beginning to discover each other, and ourselves. The shockingly brutal fear of losing the chance to continue on that journey with him is what seized my heart now as I watched in stunned horror as the house he’d painstakingly redone for me was reduced to nothing, and he was nowhere to be found.

“He should have come out by now,” Freddie grunts, pushing off the car and heading around the side of the house.

“Fred!” Max calls, but Freddie doesn’t turn around.


“We have to find them!” I shout at him, pulling again on his hold, slamming my hands into his chest. Max is the youngest of the crew and up until now I had underestimated his strength. Feeling the full weight of his body used against me I can’t move an inch.

“Goddamn it!” he curses, running after Freddie.

We’re running around the side of the house toward the beach and rocky shore behind it. Even from a distance I can feel the searing heat of the fire. My eyes catch a quick, devastating glimpse of flames licking up the whitewashed pine walls before I’m jerked forward.

Over the roar of the inferno I hear shouting in the darkness, and we follow it, nearly crashing into Freddie as he hauls Pauley’s limp body toward the sand. Max lets me go, taking Pauley’s other shoulder and carefully setting him down. They check his pulse and breathing, finding a deep gash on the side of his head. He’s alive.

“What happened? Where was he?” My voice comes out panicked and desperate.

“Damn porch collapsed on him,” Freddie snaps, checking the rest of him over for injuries while bending under his own hacking coughs.

“Where’s Alex!” I scream at them, both their eyes flying to mine with anguished uncertainty. Freddie shakes his head.

This can’t be happening.
Rachel Madbury is a writer of sexy romances whose alter ego rocks a classic 9-to-5 in the beautiful city of Boston. A life long New Englander who loves to travel she was slow to admit to being the romantic-at-heart that she is. Though she went to college for writing, she only recently began dabbling in the addictive world of romantic fiction…

 

It’s safe to say, she’s hooked.

 


 

With the help of plenty of Red Bull and late nights she explores the worlds of her characters, relishing the ride they take her on, and falling in love right beside them.

 

HOSTED BY:

I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

SHAMELESS by Gina L. Maxwell #ReleaseBlast @TastyBookTours @Gina_L_Maxwell @TastyBookPR #Giveaway

Enter to Win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card…TWO WINNERS!

 

SHAMELESS
Playboys in Love #1
Gina L. Maxwell
Releasing May 30th, 2016
Entangled: Scorched

 

People say I’m shameless. They’re
right.
I like my work dirty and my sex even
dirtier. It takes a hell of a lot to tilt my moral compass, and dancing as a
private stripper for horny suburbanites doesn’t even register. Neither does
hooking up with them afterward whenever the mood strikes—it’s one of the
bennies of the job—but it’s always a one-and-done. I don’t do repeat
performances. Ever.
Until I meet the one girl in all of
Chicago not interested in dry humping my junk. She’s all I can think about, and
that’s a problem, because I made sure she wants nothing to do with me. But I’ve
seen her deepest secrets, her darkest fantasies, and they match mine to a
fucking T.
I want her. Bad.
Now I need to show her how good it
can feel…to be shameless.
 
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Gina L.
Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest,
despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel
addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories
she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today
and New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she’s been
living her newfound dream ever since.
 
When she’s
not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing at
Scrabble (and every other game) to her high school sweetheart, doing her best
to hang out with their teenagers before they fly the coop, and dreaming about
her move to sunny Florida once they do.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Graceful Ashes by Savannah Stewart #BookBlitz @bookenthupromo @Savvy2287

Graceful Ashes

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Book Title: Graceful Ashes
Author: Savannah Stewart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Goodreads

book blurb

Zoey Fisher dedicated her entire life to dancing in hopes that one day it would pay off with a full ride to the school of her dreams. When luck grants her that wish, she’s faced with leaving the only family she has behind to build a life of her own in a city hundreds of miles away.

Soon after, the sheltered young girl begins to step into a World that is the Polar opposite of her own. Drugs, sex, and deceit paint her once colorful self black with no hope of turning back.

Will Zoey be granted a second chance to show her worth? Or will the boy that owns her heart permanently drag her down the rabbit hole?

 

teaser
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graceful-ashes_4
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meet the author

From the Most Beautiful Small Town of America & the Bourbon Capital of the World, Bardstown, Kentucky, Savannah Stewart writes Contemporary Romance, New Adult, and Romantic Suspense novels. She is very much a Leo, with one fur baby named, Jack. She’s a Book-a-holic who loves music, tattoos, photography, singing, writing, & laughing. One of her favorite quotes is “Love is the beauty of the soul.”

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

Feel The Heat, Rockford Fire Department Series by Kathryn Shay #ReleaseBlitz @KShayAuthor @bookenthupromo

Feel the Heat

release day blitz

FEEL THE HEAT

Book Title: Feel The Heat, Rockford Fire Department Series
Author: Kathryn Shay
Genre:Romance
Release Date: May 31, 2016
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

book blurb

She saves him from a fire, then steals his heart without even trying. When white hot attraction kicks in, sparks fly!

Francey Cordaro is a dedicated firefighter, devoted daughter and a loyal friend who has made her way in a man’s world. She rejects material goods, doesn’t give a whit about her striking looks and focuses on saving lives, spending time with her family and friends, working out and playing poker with the guys.

Until she meets Alex Templeton.

A wealthy businessman, Alex is the epitome of success in every area of his life. A decent man, he returns home to run the family company when his father takes ill and his brother loses his way. What he can’t control is his reaction to the sexy firefighter who dragged him from near death. She’s gorgeous, fun-loving and challenges him at every turn. But she refuses a relationship with him.

With differences that rival champagne vs. beer, uptown galas vs. karaoke bars, and the world of high finance vs. the reality of walking into burning buildings, their relationship seems doomed. Or is it?

With a secondary reunion romance as fiery as Alex and Francey’s, and cameo appearances of readers’ favorite firefighters from Hidden Cove, as well as Shay’s trademark tense and exciting rescue scenes, this book will pull on your heartstrings and make you route for these very likable characters.

Be sure to read the rest of the Rockford Fire Department: RISKING IT ALL, CODE OF HONOR and NEVER FAR AWAY, as well as all of the Hidden Cove Firefighters series.

*** NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Kathryn Shay spent five years riding fire trucks with a large city fire department, eating in their firehouses and interviewing hundreds of America’s Bravest.

Praise for FEEL THE HEAT:
“Ms. Shay’s romance features richly drawn characters in a fresh role reversals, solid friction and sensual fire.” RT Book Reviews, Top Pick

“All the characters are so real, as are the descriptions of firefighting. The way these individuals deal with their lives and loves makes for fascinating reading.” Old Book Barn Gazette

“I made the mistake of starting this while out of town on business that kept me from reading most of the day. I advise you to make sure you have uninterrupted reading time when you pick this up. Fascinating.” All About Romance

“The characterization of Alex and Francey could be described as exquisite. I know I’ll put FEEL THE HEAT on my shelf and pull it out in six months when I want a good re-read.” The Romance Reader

excerpt

The siren wailed and the horn blared as Quint Twelve, one of Rockford Fire Department’s state-of-the-art trucks, tore into the Templeton warehouse parking lot. The other rig in the house, the Midi, which carried medical equipment, rolled behind them. Francey Cordaro felt a jolt of adrenaline when they hit the fire ground, and her heartbeat quickened at the sight of the thick black smoke billowing from the building. The trucks squealed to a halt, and the crew catapulted out of the cab. They were second in, as another firehouse had beaten them to the scene.

While the captain sprinted to Incident Command for instructions from the battalion chief, the rest of themhefted hoses out of the Quint’s bed, removed the pry tools and twisted the heavy steel valves to open the vehicle’s water tanks.

“Hell of a way to start your thirtieth birthday, France,” Roncowsky, the rookie, said as he yanked on a line.

“You got that right, kid.”

Captain Knight strode back to them like a general ready to mobilize his troops. His radio pulsed as much static as orders from the chief. “Engine Sixteen’s ventilating the roof on the east side. They got two hoses in the front door. They figured the place was empty this time of night, but after they went in, a passerby told the battalion chief there might be somebody inside. Seems his car wasn’t spotted till just now. We’re going in the west side. There’s a wrought-iron staircase on the outside wall leading up to the office level.”

“Tough luck,” Dylan O’Roarke, her good friend, and excellent firefighter commented on the news that a victim was in the burning building.

The cap faced Francey. “Cordaro, make the forced entry up there. Office is to the left about twenty feet—we’ll look for the guy in there first. I’ll bring in the thermal imaging camera.” He flicked a glance at Dylan. “O’Roarke, take a hose in with her. Roncowsky andDuke, other members of the group who were on the second truck, will follow with a second line.” One driver would stay with the rigs and oversee water delivery.

Francey grabbed the pry tool, raced to the warehouse and bolted up the wrought-iron stairs, the men hauling the lines behind her. She reached the entrance in seconds and sprang the lock on the heavy steel door. Captain Knight barked their position into the radio, then all four firefighters donned their breathing masks and switched on their air flow. Francey shoved an ax-like halligan into her pocket in case it was needed inside and took her place on the tip of the hose. With Dylan behind her and Robbie in back of the captain on the other side, they entered the burning building.

A thick blanket of black smoke enveloped them. It was like being blindfolded, but the thermal camera would help the captain detect any bodies with different heat signatures from the ambient temperature around them. “Go down the west hall. I see something in a room.”

Crouching low, they inched along the wall. Franceygroped the floor in front of her. She and Dylan pulled the charged hose down the wide hallway while the rookie and Duke mirrored their actions on the other side. The sound of water slapping on the fire below them indicated Engine Sixteen must have found the seat of the blaze.

About twenty feet into the warehouse, sweat trickling down her shirt, Francey heardKnight’s command into the radio. “In the room on the left, Cordaro.”

She felt the outline of a closed door. She let Dylan take the hose, stood, threw off her glove and tested the door with the back of her hand. Not too hot. She twisted the knob. It opened, but only partway.

Reaching around, she found abody slumped on the floor just inside the smoke-filled room, partly blocking theirentrance. She eased herself inside and squinted to make out his form.

She managed to get him upright and dug her hands under his armpits. God, he was heavy. Over two hundred, she guessed. Slowly, she drew him back, the other guys opened the door then she dragged him into the hall. Duke got the legs of the victim. The smoke still a thick curtain, she walked backward behind the others who retraced their steps to the outside staircase. Dylan led the way with the hose. When they reached the exit, Francey stepped onto the landing backward and edged around to take the stairs.

Still unconscious, the man jerked spasmodically. The movement threw Francey off balance. Let go of him! she thought wildly. You’re going to fall. She did, and momentum took her down the steps. Her left arm banged on the railing, and pain splintered through her.

Her head hit something hard—and the world went black.

#

Every muscle in her body hurt—much like it did after a grueling session with weights. Francey willed the pain away and tried to open her eyes. Heavy-lidded, they stayed shut. She shifted slightly and moaned.

“She’s awake, Ben,” a familiar voice called from beside her. The captain.

Then a hand stroked her hair, as it had through measles and mumps and her first injury in the fire department. “Francey, honey, it’s me. Dad.”

Finally she was able to slit her eyes. Her fatherhovered over her, his face etched with concern. His dark, just-graying hair was mussed, and his brown eyes were troubled.

“Hi,” she murmured.

“Hi.”

“W-what happened?”

Coming up beside Ben, Dylan grinned. “You fell down the steps, klutz. Did you know that fifty thousand people are hospitalized every year because of fire-related injuries?” Though he was considered quite a ladies’ man with his unruly black hair and Irish blue eyes, her friend could be a pain in the butt.

“Spare me the statistics, O’Roarke.” Then her memory returned. A forcible entry into the warehouse. A man on the floor. She’d lost her footing when she reached the wrought-iron staircase. “The victim?”

“He’s fine,” her father told her. “Some smoke inhalation.”

“And a few bruises from being dropped,” Dylan added gleefully.

“Oh, shit.” Francey struggled to sit up. The action sent a bolt of pain through her arm. “What the hell?”

Her father sat on the bed and gently touched the cast that ran from just below her elbow to the middle of her hand. “It’s broken, kiddo.”

Francey closed her eyes and sank into the pillow, vaguely recalling her trip to the hospital and her stint in emergency. Her head began to throb. She used an obscenity she rarely said in front of her father. He gave her a weak grin.

“How long?”

A firefighter like his daughter and one of his sons, Ben Cordaro understood her concern. “You’ll be out at least two months.”

“Never.”

“You will, honey.”

Her older brothers, Nicky and Tony, came up behind their father. Nicky had Ben’s dark good looks; Tony, the older, was fair, with taffy-colored hair.

Sidling in close, Tony bent and kissed her. “Hi, kid. Took a nasty fall, huh?”

Francey nodded at his trademark gentle kindness. “I guess.”

“Tough break, sis.” Nicky chuckled. “Excuse the pun.” She gave him a pained look, like the ones they’d shared as children. “Hey, you can always go to the academy and work with Dad.”

Francey rolled her eyes. Most firefighters dreaded an academy stint because they missed all the action.

“Not this time. The doc said no work for two months, even teaching recruits. You have to heal properly.”

“What are you doing here?” she asked her brother.

“My crew was on at Sixteen’s last night. While you were playing hero with the CEO of Templeton Industries, I was in the basement knocking down the fire.”

Francey frowned. “The CEO of Templeton Industries?”

“Yeah. Alex Templeton was working late at the company warehouse and apparently fell asleep at his desk. When the fire got rolling, he was overcome by the carbon dioxide. You pulled him right out of the jaws of death, sis,” he said with a wiggle of his eyebrows.

“Dylan, Duke and me got him out.”

“That’s right,” Dylan put in. “Just because you’re a battalion chief’s daughter doesn’t mean you get all the credit.”

Male laughterrippled through the room. “Is everybody here?”

“Yeah.”

Adam Genier, the other rig driver, approached the bed, along with Robbie. “You can always come in and cook for us while you’re off,” Adam teased.

The entire crew groaned. Francey’s lack of culinary skills was well-known in the department.

Francey gazed at the men gathered around the hospital bed—her biological family and her other family, Group One from station house Quint/Midi Twelve. Except for Robbie, their crew had been together for years, and the men were like brothers to her. Right now they were cleaned up and dressed in civilian clothes. But Ed Knight’s face was drawn and looked pale next to his gray hair and Robbie’s youthful complexion was pasty. Adam’s eyes, almost the same hue as his coffee-colored skin, were concerned; the harsh lines of Duke’s rough exterior had softened. And Dylan, though he joked and quoted his infamous firefighter trivia, had creases in his forehead whenever he looked at her.

They were all worried. She smiled in appreciation.

“What time is it?” she asked. “We off?”

“About seven.” This from the captain. “We came here as soon as our shift ended and our relief arrived.”

“You remember the ambulance ride?” Dylan, a paramedic, as well as a firefighter, had accompanied her to the hospital.

“Yeah. You got a great bedside manner, O’Roarke. You kept yelling at me to wake up.”

“He saves his tender side for his women,” Adam joked.

Francey glanced at Robbie. “You did good, kid, for your third fire.”

The redheaded rookie gave her an impish grin. “I did?” No one in the Rockford Fire Department doled out unwarranted praise.

“Uh-huh.”

“Jeez, France, I’m sorry you got hurt. Especially on your birthday.”

“The one saving grace is that you guys won’t be able to pull any stupid over-the-hill pranks on me now that I’m in the hospital.” When they were done with their tour today—a full rotation of four days on, three off, four nights on and three days off—they’d planned to go to Pumpers, a firefighters’ hangout, to break out the champagne.

She glanced at Captain Knight. “How’d the fire start? And where?”

“In the basement. We’re not sure how. The alarm was called in by one of the Templetons who was driving by the warehouse. The fire marshals have been there all night. They think maybe…”

The captain’s voice trailed off as someone came through the door to Francey’s room. She couldn’t see around the guys, but tension rose in the air quicker than heated mercury.

Her crew eased away from the bed. Ben, Tony and Nicky stilled. Her dad said, “Diana.”

Shit!

He only half-turned away from Francey. His face was blank, his voice carefully neutral—a sharp contrast to his warmth only minutes before.

“How is she?” Diana’s tone matched his. Pure coolness.

“See for yourself.”

Ben stepped back, but Nicky blocked her path and glanced dramatically at his watch. “What, the queen’s up before noon?”

“Nick, lay off.” The admonishment came from Tony, who rested a hand on his brother’s shoulder.

Francey couldn’t see her mother yet—Nicky’s muscular frame blocked her view—but she could hear her voice. “Hello, Nicky. Tony.”

“Hi, Mom.” Only Tony’s voice held affection.

Nicky sneered.

And then Diana Cordaro Hathaway stepped into Francey’s line of vision. Slim as always, her carriage regal, Diana wore her fairy-princess blond hair swept back from a face devoid of makeup. Even so, she looked a decade younger than fifty. And light-years away from the rest of the Cordaros. “Francesca.” Her breathiness was pronounced.

“Hello, Diana.”

Diana cleared her throat. “Are you all right?”

Despite her efforts to remain aloof, her mother’s fearful tone wended its way into Francey’s heart. “I’m fine.”

Impulsively Diana reached out to touch Francey’s cast, but drew back her hand at Francey’s frown. “Does it hurt?”

“They got me pretty doped up. I don’t feel much pain.”

“Are you injured anywhere else?”

“Just this bump on the head.”

After examiningthe injury with the care of a nurse, Diana said, “Well, good.”

From the corner of her eye, Francey saw the members of her firefighting group, including Captain Knight, sneak out and leave the dysfunctional Cordaro family alone. The room got so quiet Francey could hear the muffled sounds of a hospital’s morning routine outside in the hall—the elevator ping, the shrill of a phone, orders being given.

Her father broke the charged atmosphere. “How did you find out about Francey’s accident?”

Diana’s violet eyes, the only thing Francey had inherited from her, flickered with repressed anger. “I heard about the fire on the morning news. I called your mother to see if Francesca or Nicky was involved.” Censure colored Diana’s tone. “You could have phoned me.”

Ben’s face hardened. “I could have.”

“Why?” Nicky edged in front of her dad. “So you could play the loving parent? Just because you moved back here eight months ago doesn’t mean you’re part of our lives.”

Diana’s sharp intake of breath silenced her son’s attack more quickly than an angry retort.

Ben said, “Nicky, go get us some coffee.” When her brother hesitated, her father stared him down, just as he used to do when the Cordaro children were little and balked at going to bed.

With a scathing glance at Diana, Nicky stalked out the door. Tony followed him, stopping to kiss Diana’s cheek on the way out. Her father turned to her mother, and his face softened fractionally. “I should have called you. I’m not used to your being back in Rockford.”

Diana held his gaze unblinkingly.

“I, um, know how much firefighting worries you, Dee.”

Her mother swallowed hard, then turned to Francey. Her eyes brimmed with feeling. “I was hoping to see you today, but not under these circumstances, of course.” Diana drew in a deep breath. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Francey studied the woman who’d walked out on her husband and children twenty-seven years ago. Every time she saw her mother, she was assailed by conflicting emotions. This morning she was too tired to deal with them. “No, Diana, there’s nothing you can do for me now.”

exclusive

Experience in Firefighting by Kathryn Shay

Imagine this: it’s six a.m. on a Sunday morning and a call comes over the P.A. system: “Stabbing on Brown Street. Midi 8 go into service.” Two firefighters jump into the little medical truck—with me sandwiched in between them. Off we go with sirens blaring, taking corners like race car drivers. The dispatch coming into the truck warned, “Firefighters are NOT go into the building until the police arrive.” As a wife, mother, teacher and ordinary person, I wondered, “What am I doing here?”

The answer: I was in this situation because I was given permission from the city where I live to ride along with our firefighters to research a series of books. This wasn’t the only exciting run I participated in during the five years I worked with the Rochester Fire Department. There was a snowy night where we raced to a college dorm that was on fire. Though I couldn’t go inside, I watched the guys run in from the freezing weather and carry people back out into it, the puffs of cold air from their breathing creating an unreal cloud around them. There was the time a basement flooded and we went inside to find the people did not speak English. We had to phone the gas company before a rookie could wade in. Once, I went to a training session, where the officers filled a house with mist and tied a dummy down. The guys had to rescue it. A very nice lieutenant took me by the hand and led me inside. I was literally blinded by mist, as they operate all the time, only real smoke surrounds them.

One of my most favorite parts of the research was training with recruits at the fire academy. I crawled through the maze like the rookies did, blindfolded. I went about two feet with mine on and had to pull it off. I posed as their victim in an EMS qualification exercise, where they had to take my pulse, check my respiration and once, save me from bleeding to death. On another occasion, they dressed me up in their gear, let me hold a hose so I could tell the difference between one charged with water vs. one with foam. (They also stood behind to catch me when the recoil hit and I tumbled backwards.) Once, at night, they powered up the HazMat Truck to show me how to test for anthrax. Another time, they took the rig with the Hurst tools, used for car accidents, out of service for an hour so I could learn about the pry tools and generators—I started one—and the hold the Jaws of Life.

In addition to all these exciting experiences, I spent time with the firefighters. Some of them invited me to their houses to talk to their husbands or wives. I interviewed a female firefighter at length and got good insight into what it was like to be a woman in a modern firefighter department. I dined on countless dinners, lunches, and coffees late into the evenings to hear their stories: how they were burned, how they hated to be called heroes, some rescues they would never forget. And, of course, how horrific 9/11 was for them. Firefighters are an affectionate lot—they hug and playfully punch each other. One afternoon, as we all sat at the kitchen table, a guy went around massaging the necks of his colleagues. He got to me and massaged my neck, too. (That was really cool.)

Not only did all of the above allow me to write realistic firefighting scenes, but I also learned how firefighting is a grueling, frightening and adrenaline-pumping experience. The men and women who do it are selfless, intense, quietly heroic with a black sense of humor and a deep sense of integrity. I feel the success of my books is due to my experiences with them and will be forever grateful to firefighters everywhere for the job they do.

meet the author

Lt. Joe and I in a formal promo shot

A NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Kathryn Shay has been a lifelong writer and teacher. She has written dozens of self-published original romance titles, print books with the Berkley Publishing Group and Harlequin Enterprises and mainstream women’s fiction with Bold Strokes Books. She has won five RT Book Reviews awards, four Golden Quills, four Holt Medallions, the Bookseller’s Best Award, Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year and several “Starred Reviews.” Her novels have been serialized in COSMOPOLITAN magazine and featured in USA TODAY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and PEOPLE magazine. There are over five million copies of her books in print, along with hundreds of thousands downloaded online. Reviewers have called her work “emotional and heart-wrenching.”

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl

STRANDED by J.C. Valentine #BookBlitz @AuthorJCV @IndieSagePR #giveaway

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STRANDED
by: J.C. Valentine
Night Calls, #1
Publication Date: November 2, 2012
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

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#FREE on All Platforms! Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Synopsis: Burned, Felix Sinclair has all but vowed never to get seriously involved with another woman as long as he lives. After a long day’s work, Felix Sinclair is looking forward to getting back to his luxury apartment in the city. When he detours onto a road less traveled in order to shave off some travel time, the last thing he expects is to wind up stranded in a roadside ditch in the middle of a downpour–or to fall into the arms of a beautiful woman.

Recently divorced, jobless, friendless and utterly alone, Poppy Montgomery is struggling to convince herself that single life is what she wants–needs. Then a handsome stranger staggers into her life and sparks fly. Riding out the storm together is bound to stir up heat, but once it passes, will they be able to walk away?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: STRANDED is the first in an interconnected series of erotic romance. Each book can be read as a stand alone, but you will find that each new character has been previously introduced in some way. As an introduction to the series, STRANDED is a novella, but rest assured each new addition will be a full length novel worth sinking your teeth into.

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EXCERPT

As he rocked against her, she could feel his length probing her entrance, and she lifted her hips, eager to take him in.

Felix laughed and pulled his hips back. Poppy groaned her displeasure. “So impatient.” He kissed her forehead and smoothed her hair away from her face as he gazed down at her. “Not yet, kitten. First things first. Do you have any condoms in here?”

Startled, Poppy shook her head. She didn’t think she would ever find herself in this situation again, so she never thought to keep any on hand. Sex hadn’t been the farthest thing from her mind, exactly, but having it with a man certainly had been. She had even stopped taking her birth control. And here she was, preparing to let some guy she’d known for two minutes plunge himself into her, and she hadn’t even thought about protection of any kind. She wanted to slap herself for being so stupid.

“That’s okay,” Felix assured her. “I have a couple in my wallet. I just have to go and get them.” He pushed himself off her and Poppy squirmed from the loss. “I’ll be right back.”

She watched as he walked away, completely naked and not caring in the least. He looked almost as good walking away, she thought, smirking to herself. Lying in complete silence made the time stretch on forever. Bo shifted in the corner and huffed loudly, and Poppy’s head snapped up. He was staring at her in that way that animals sometimes do that makes you feel completely exposed and a little shameful.

“What?” Poppy asked, refusing to feel guilty. “I’m not doing anything wrong.” Bo tilted his big head and looked at her quizzically. “Don’t look at me like that. When you go without sex for as long as I have, then we can talk. Besides, he seems like a perfectly nice guy, and I don’t see you kicking up a fuss.”

Felix strode into the room then and looked at her strangely. “Who are you talking to?”

Propped on her forearms, Poppy smiled shyly. “Just Bo.”

“Ah.” He glanced back at Bo. “I don’t think he likes me.”

Poppy waved him off. “If he didn’t like you, I think you’d be missing a limb right now. Bo is very protective of me, and the fact that he hasn’t tried to kill you for touching me yet is pretty telling.”

“Yet being the operative word,” Felix muttered as he climbed onto the bed and settled himself between her legs again. He held up a foil packet. “I wonder how old Bo is going to react when his master is screaming to the heavens.” He wagged his eyebrows at her and tore the foil open with his teeth.

“Screaming, huh?” Poppy’s belly clenched with anticipation. She watched as he rolled the condom down his erection.

“Oh yes,” he assured her with a wicked smile.

When he positioned himself at her opening, Poppy drew back slightly. “I thought you said we were taking things slow?”

Dropping down onto his forearm, Felix kissed her lips lightly and pushed the tip of his erection into her. Poppy sucked in a breath. “I did say that, but then I came back to find you all spread out, waiting for me, and I changed my mind. I won’t lie, this time will be fast. But after that, I’m going to take all the time in the world to get to know this body.”

“I—Ah!”

Felix shoved his way into her body and Poppy nearly came undone. He was bigger than she was used to and he stretched her, touching every inch of her and creating a delicious friction that threatened to push her over the edge. He was right. This would be fast.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

JC Valentine

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Series. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

J.C. earned her own happily ever after when she married her high school sweetheart. Living in the Northwest, they have three amazing children and far too many pets and spend much of their free time together enjoying movies or the outdoors. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

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I love this quote, Diana
“I’m wondering what to read next.” — Matilda, Roald Dahl