Archive | April 17, 2015

Playing the Part by Lynn Rae Book Blitz & Rafflecopter giveaway 4/17/15

playing the part review blitz

 

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Book Title: Playing the Part (Love Around the Corner, Book 3)
Author: Lynn Rae
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 23, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

Independent Melanie Sheraton has to hustle for odd jobs in her small town to eke out a living. When the opportunity to act as a driver for some movie folks comes up, she jumps at the chance to earn an extra paycheck. What she didn’t bank on was one of her passengers invading her imagination, something she resists since no movie star would ever be interested in her.

At a crossroads in his professional life, action star Thomas ‘Wheeler’ Locke is in Ohio for a role he hopes will launch his career in a new, serious direction. Instead of concentrating on his acting, he finds himself growing more and more distracted by his feisty driver and her irascible ways.

Dancing around the attraction growing between them, both Mel and Thomas struggle to maintain their distance as the time for filming grows short. Will a reunion at the movie’s London premiere bring them together, or will their disparate lives keep them apart?

excerpt

She sighed and grumbled and got out of the car. He followed her to the steps at the entrance, skirting a green metal sculpture by Robert Murray, and they made their way inside. The hush and calm of the museum atmosphere settled around him like a hug as he paid their admission and accepted a gallery guide from the attendant.

“You wanted to see the Bellows pieces,” Mel said as she unfolded the guide, obviously determined to continue navigating for him. “They’re upstairs in Gallery G.”

“That’s not all I want to see,” he warned her as she trudged up the broad steps, passing a large and aggressive Lichtenstein. “There’s a Winslow Homer here and a Chihuily.”

“It’s a really nice piece. If you’re interested, there’s lots of Chihuily at the Franklin Park Conservatory,” Mel added and then frowned at some fuzzy photographs at the top of the stairs.

“You like Chihuily?”

“You don’t have to sound so surprised.”

“I’m not surprised. It’s just not what I expected.”

“The unexpected is usually surprising.” Mel seemed irritated with him again. “I appreciate art.”

Now that was a pleasant personal detail. “What’s your favorite piece here?”

“It’s hard to say.” Now, she put on a vague air, her eyes unfocused as she stood in front of a soft-looking printed textile. She was probably thinking about Larry and maintaining professional distances again. Too late, he wanted to tell her.

“Tell me about one.”

Sighing as if she was in actual pain, Mel stared at him from under her eyelashes. “That’s really personal.”

“I don’t think Larry would consider discussing art preferences to be improper. Is Larry a passionate art collector? Does he develop instant likes and dislikes of people based on their favorite French Impressionists?”

Mel snorted. “I’m pretty confident Larry has no strong opinions about any sort of Impressionists. I have a feeling that the Pirelli Tire Calendar is as sophisticated as he gets.”

“Don’t knock it, those photographs are great.” The Herb Ritts one was brilliant, but Terry Richardson’s was awful, to be fair.

“They’re lovely. I was trying to imply it wasn’t the photography that he admired.” Mel considered him as she folded and unfolded the gallery guide. “You probably hung out with those models at some fabulous Italian villa, didn’t you?”

“I don’t make enough money for women like that to notice me. I’m sure they are nice women, but they are definitely in a different social stratum. Oil money and inherited titles.”

Crossing her arms, she gave him a balky stare as she tilted her head. Why showing him artwork she liked was too intimate, he wasn’t sure. He wanted to see something she appreciated and then entice her into talking about it with him. Every interchange with her made him more curious, and every little fact he gathered about Mel Sheraton resided in a deep part of his brain.

“You’re going to stand here until I show you, aren’t you?”

He nodded, trying not to let on he was enjoying himself. Thank God he was an actor. “Just walk over and stand next to it. You won’t actually have to tell me anything, just act adoring.”

“Adoring? I don’t think I’ve adored anything in my life.” Mel radiated skepticism as she raised her chin and watched him as if he was going to throw a spitball on board her bus.

“Try it. Live a little,” he coaxed her and hoped he didn’t show how much he enjoyed provoking her.

“I’m walking away now.” Shrugging her shoulders, Mel headed down the marble lined corridor, illumination from the skylights blazing in her twisted bronze hair. She was wearing a skirt today, and her calf muscles flexed very distractingly as she walked. As she made a left into a gallery, he lost sight of her for a moment, and then found her standing in front of a stark Edward Hopper. The barely dressed woman in the painting looked anxious as she sat on her plain bed and stared out the window. Clean lines, clear color, and a sense of tension; it was impressive.

“What’s she thinking about?” Thomas asked quietly, staring at the melancholy woman painted decades before.

“She’s thinking about all the work she has to do that day and hoping that she has the energy to manage it,” was Mel’s equally quiet reply. Thomas stopped studying the art and glanced over at the woman standing there next to him, hardly looking adoring but certainly weary.

“You’re probably right. Let’s keep looking around.” He didn’t want the painting’s sad mood to infect them. Mel glanced over at him.

“Do you want to see another one of my favorites, or am I too much of a downer?”

“I can handle one more. Then we need to see something with some life in it.”

She walked away again, not waiting to see if he followed. Sculptures on plinths watched them go by until she came to a halt in front of a dark canvas covered by vibrant splotches of colored fireworks shimmering down toward their reflections in the water. It was unusual and magical, and he sighed when he saw it.

“Now that’s lively.”

“That’s why I like it,” Mel said, tilting her head as she inspected it. “It makes me think of mysteries. Everything is obscured, uncertain. I think the artist wants us to wonder about how it might be good to go toward the bright light, but it also might be better to stay in the dark. Should we go into the unknown, or is it safer to be still, to avoid challenges and change?”

Thomas thought about that for a moment as he tracked orange and red and pale coral brushstrokes through the gloom. “I want to know what’s hidden. How about you?”

“Me too, even if it’s sometimes a disaster.” They shared a quiet moment of accord.

He hated to break the mood, but if he didn’t, he’d begin to wonder what she had hidden under her clothes, and that would be a disaster. “So you don’t see this and think ‘Oh, cool, fireworks!’?”

“No, I don’t. Should I?”

Thomas shook his head, very entertained by her. “Think what you want. That’s why it’s art and not a math test.”

Mel bobbled her head back and forth as she considered this. “Why are we here looking at art? I have to say if you’d asked me what I thought you’d do on a day off, this never would have crossed my mind.”

A personal question! He was making progress with the self-contained Mel Sheraton. “I minored in fine arts in college. My major was drama.”

She peered at him, and he was again shaken by the light in her serious grey eyes. What was going on in there? Why did she always appear as if there was an elaborate scene playing inside her head? “What did you do? Artwise?”

“Drawing, mostly.”

“Do you do it anymore?”

“When I can.”

Nodding with apparent satisfaction, she turned back to regard her rocket’s red glare painting.

“What did you think I did on my days off?”

“Work out. Go to trendy restaurants with beautiful and fascinating people. Evaluate what your stylist picked out for you to wear. Lie by a pool in the sun with a drink.” He laughed at the images; it seemed he wasn’t the only one who’d had a few preconceived notions. She grinned and turned away from the painting and started to amble through the gallery, pausing in front of a few canvases but not stopping for long at anything in particular.

“The only one of those I do consistently is work out. But I have to for my job and my health, so it’s not really much fun. My trainer is mean to me.”

She turned her mouth down in pretended sympathy but didn’t pull it off. Mel wasn’t really an actress, which was incredibly comforting. He hadn’t realized how nice it was to be around a person with little pretense. Not especially relaxing, since she could suffer an outbreak of irritation at any moment, but still, it was genuine when she was upset. Or happy.

Meet the Author

Lynn Rae makes her home in land-locked central Ohio after time spent in the former Great Black Swamp, beside the Ohio River, and along the Miami and Erie Canal. With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty bits). She writes sci-fi, contemporary, and historical romances. You can find her posting frequently on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lynnraewrites or at her webpage http://www.lynnraewrites.com/

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UnderCover Series by Helen NewBury Release Day Blitz 4/17/15

Series Name: Undercover
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Type: Serial with cliffhangers (all three parts released simultaneously)
Parts in Serial: 3
  • Seduced
  • Conflicted
  • Betrayed
Length: 30,000 words per part (90,000 words total)
Seduced (Undercover #1)
Blurb
I am out of my depth.
Yesterday, I was just a CIA languages geek, safe behind a desk. I thought I wanted a taste of the action.
Then I met him. Luka. Arms dealer. Russian mafia. A man who’ll kill to get what he wants. And he wants me.
Now I’m on a plane to Moscow with orders to “accidentally” run into him again.
Seduce him.
Sleep with him.
I can’t control myself when I’m near him.
And if he finds out who I really am, I’m dead.
Paperback on Amazon:
Goodreads:
Conflicted (Undercover #2)
Blurb
I’ve become the girlfriend to one of the most dangerous men in Russia.
Everyone tells me he’s a monster.
But I’ve glimpsed the man underneath. The one who might just be able to heal my pain.
I try to remember who I am. Where my loyalties lie.
I try to convince myself I’m not falling for him.
Paperback on Amazon:
Betrayed (Undercover #3)
Blurb
I have to choose between saving him and saving us
Everything seemed so simple back in the US. He was the bad guy. I was going to stop him.
Then I saw the evil he does…and the good inside him.
Now they’re asking me to do the unthinkable.
And no matter which side I betray, I’m going to lose him forever.
Paperback on Amazon:
Goodreads:

 

I’m a New Adult Romance author who loves writing about what happens when love and dreams collide with the real world. I wrote my first novel, Dance for Me, in daily chunks in a very busy, very noisy coffee shop, which meant I had to order a black Americano every hour, on the hour, to keep my seat and wound up wired on caffeine most days. I hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists in summer 2013. Unlike my characters, I can’t dance.
Before Undercover, I wrote the Fenbrook Academy series of New Adult romances: Dance For Me, In Harmony and Acting Brave.
 
Social Media Links
Mailing list sign-up: http://list.helenanewbury.com
 
Teaser (from “Seduced”)
There are some moments you know you’re going to remember for the rest of your life. I know this, because one in particular has burrowed so deep into my soul that it’s never coming out. I remember the sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as the car fell. It was my life, dropping out from under me. The feeling that nothing is ever going to be alright again.
This was the same and yet different. That was an ending; this was something beginning.
I’d stepped away from the bed and towards the door. That single step probably saved my life. If I’d still had my hand on the laptop, he’d have known for sure I was a spy and I would have been carried out of that room in a bloody, plastic-wrapped bundle.
I saw shock on his face and then, just for a split second, another look, one I couldn’t even process, right then—I filed it away for later. Then anger, and a quick glance at the laptop.
Some instinct made me keep my eyes on him. If I’d looked at the laptop, my fate would have been sealed. But I just stood there, mouth open, as he closed the distance between us.
One huge hand slammed into my chest, the palm right on the valley of my upper breasts. He pushed me back against the door, the hard wood jarring me painfully. He kept coming, stopping when his face was inches from mine. The whole world narrowed down to the throbbing heat of his hand against my skin and those burning, ice-fire eyes.
“What the fuck are you doing in my room?” he demanded.
We stared at each other as I took panic breaths through my nose, my lips a tight line of fear. His hand, pinning me to the door, might as well have been made of warm iron. He had me so firmly that I couldn’t even wriggle to the side. And despite my mounting panic, I was aware of the side of his thumb and the side of his pinky finger as they framed the tops of my breasts. Every breath made the soft flesh push and swell around them and a black, twisting energy shoot straight down to my groin. What the fuck is wrong with me?!
In my earpiece, I could hear panicked whispers as Adam, Roberta and the others tried to figure out what to do. Burst in and rescue me? Wait and see how it played out?
His words were replaying over and over in my head. It was the first time I’d ever heard him speak in English. His accent was heavy, softening some syllables and making others granite-hard. His fffuck was like a slow penetration followed by a jerk of the hips.
What the hell is wrong with me?! I wondered again. I had to answer him, had to think of some way out of this, but my mind was stuck on endless loop, replaying his words. Any second now, he was going to snap and just kill me.
So I did the only thing I could think of. I squeezed my eyes shut to try to break the loop and saw that image of him as he’d come out of the bathroom. The shock on his face, flicking momentarily to another look.
Pleasure.
Just for a fraction of a second, the ghost of a smile had touched his lips. Not the fake smile he’d given the women downstairs. A smile that actually reached those cold eyes, thawing them a little. It had been gone in an instant, but it had been there. He’d been pleased to see me.
The implications of it were still detonating like fireworks in my chest when I opened my eyes and said, “I was looking for you.”
He went utterly silent. His eyes flicked over my face, fast and brutally efficient, searching for any trace of a lie.
He didn’t find one because, on some level, I think I was telling the truth.
He inched his head back from me, but he didn’t release me. He was getting a better look at me, I realized. He’d been entirely focused on my face, but now his eyes swept down over my chest, my hips, my legs. Something like a hot shudder went through me and I felt a flush rise in my cheeks. That feeling I’d had downstairs was back, that sense of being locked onto each other like magnets, close enough now that I twisted and turned to mimic his movements.
As he looked at me, I looked at him. He was nearly a head taller even with me in my heels, and his frame blocked out almost all of the light from behind him. With the black suit, he looked like he was made of shadow except for those blazing blue eyes. But it wasn’t his size so much as the solidity of him, the realness. Next to him, I felt like a faded, worn-thin copy of a person.
And the weirdest part was, as I stood there pinned against the door, I could feel the energy of him flowing into me, reawakening me. After years spent frozen and slowly dying, I finally felt alive again.
He took a long, slow breath and leaned in closer to me again. He was wearing some cologne I didn’t recognize, something complex and elegant and somehow old-fashioned. He moved his mouth close to my ear. Then he spoke, and each word was like a savage little kiss. “You shouldn’t come looking for monsters. Men like me will eat you alive.”
And then he drew back to see my reaction.
I didn’t know how I was going to react either. I was operating on a whole different level, now, something deep inside me directing things. I was just along for the ride.
I took a shaky breath and whispered, “I’m not scared of you.”
He stared deep into my eyes, appraising me, and said, “Yes you are.”
And a deep, hot oil slick seemed to sluice through me, more complex than fear, more complex than lust.
His free hand closed on my leg, just beneath the hem of my dress. His palm cupped my flesh through the nylon, his heat throbbing into me. And he stared at me, demanding an answer.
I swallowed and stared back, and the message my eyes sent was…“Continue.”
His hand rose, rasping along the dark nylon, my breathing ratcheting higher and higher with each inch. His fingers slid over my thigh…then my upper thigh. Each square millimeter he touched burned as if it was on fire, the energy crackling inward and up towards my groin. The dress was coming up along with his hand, gathering on his wrist. And then he touched the naked skin above my stocking and I realized I was panting.
He stared straight into my eyes as his fingers reached my panties. His fingertips toyed with the waistband for a second…and then continued. He moved inward, now, hoisting my dress up further with an impatient jerk of his wrist. His hand slid over my stomach and up to my chest and—
He cupped my breast, his hand weighing it in my bra. His palm throbbed warmth through the thin fabric, straight into my soft flesh. Then he squeezed—a long, lingering squeeze, and pleasure erupted in my chest and roared out to every corner of me. I tried to go up on my tiptoes, to twist, to thrash in response, but his other hand still had me pinned. I had to just stay there and take it.
I’d never been more turned on.
And then I heard a noise in my earpiece, a soft intake of breath. They’re listening to this!
And my mouth said, “I have to go,” even as my body demanded that I stay right where I was.
Luka had his eyes half-closed. He just remained there, studying me for another few seconds. He gave my breast one last, unexpected squeeze and I gasped as it sent a ripple of heat through me. Then he released me and my dress fell back into place.
Operating on autopilot, I grabbed my violin case and opened the door. I’d taken two steps out into the hallway before I remembered the bodyguard on the stairs. He turned at the sound of the door opening and his jaw dropped. He reached under his jacket—maybe for a radio, maybe for a gun.
But then I heard Luka emerge behind me, and whatever nod or gesture he made to his bodyguard made the man step back immediately and clear a path for me. I didn’t turn around. I just hurried down the stairs, violin banging against my hip, threw the front door wide and headed straight for the cherry-red SUV. Adam was already inside and waiting and I could see the concern in his eyes. But he faked a fatherly smile and opened the door for me. I quickly climbed inside.
We roared away and the last image I had of the house, in the rear view mirror, was Luka in the doorway, thoughtfully watching me go.