July 1, 2020

Blog Tour Promo Post: Just Like That by Cole McCade

at 7/01/2020 01:00:00 AM 0 comments

Title: Just Like That
Author: Cole McCade
Series: Albin Academy, #1
Length: 320 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Imprint: Carina Press (Carina Adores)
On-Sale: June 30, 2020
Format: Trade Paperback *ebook and audio formats also available!

Summer Hemlock never meant to come back to Omen, Massachusetts.

But with his mother in need of help, Summer has no choice but to return to his hometown, take up a teaching residency at the Albin Academy boarding school—and work directly under the man who made his teenage years miserable.

Professor Fox Iseya.

Forbidding, aloof, commanding: psychology instructor Iseya is a cipher who’s always fascinated and intimidated shy, anxious Summer. But that fascination turns into something more when the older man challenges Summer to be brave. What starts as a daily game to reward Summer with a kiss for every obstacle overcome turns passionate, and a professional relationship turns quickly personal.

Yet Iseya’s walls of grief may be too high for someone like Summer to climb…until Summer’s infectious warmth shows Fox everything he’s been missing in life.

Now both men must be brave enough to trust each other, to take that leap.

To find the love they’ve always needed…

Just like that.

In Just Like That, critically acclaimed author Cole McCade introduces us to Albin Academy: a private boys’ school where some of the world’s richest families send their problem children to learn discipline and maturity, out of the public eye.

Buy Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Apple  |   Google Play  |   kobo 

“Extinguisher first, then sand,” the voice ordered. “Dr. Liu, if you insist on getting in the way, at least make your­self useful and remove anything else flammable from the vicinity of the blaze. Quickly, now. Keep your mouths covered.”
Summer’s entire body tingled, prickled as if his skin had drawn too tight. That voice—that voice brought back too many memories. Afternoons in his psychology elec­tive class, staring down at his textbook and doodling in his notebook and refusing to look up, to look at anyone, while that voice washed over him for an hour. Summer knew that voice almost better than the face attached to it, every inflection and cadence, the way it could command silence with a quiet word more effectively than any shout.
And how sometimes it seemed more expressive than the cold, withdrawn expression of the man he remembered, standing tall and stern in front of a class of boys who were all just a little bit afraid of him.
Summer had never been afraid, not really.
But he hadn’t had the courage to whisper to himself what he’d really felt, when he’d been a hopeless boy who’d done everything he could to be invisible.
Heart beating harder, he followed the sound of that voice to the open doorway of a smoke-filled room, the entire chemistry lab a haze of gray and black and crackling or­ange; from what he could tell a table was…on fire? Or at least the substance inside a blackened beaker was on fire, belching out a seemingly never-ending, impossible billow of smoke and flame.
Several smaller fires burned throughout the room; it looked as though sparks had jumped to catch on notebooks, papers, books. Several indistinct shapes alternately sprayed the conflagration with fire extinguishers and doused it with little hand buckets of sand from the emergency kit in the corner of the room, everyone working clumsily one-handed while they held wet paper towels over their noses and mouths with the other.
And standing tall over them all—several teachers and older students, it looked like—was the one man Summer had returned to Omen to see.
Professor Iseya.
He stood head and shoulders above the rest, his broad-shouldered, leanly angular frame as proud as a battle stan­dard, elegant in a trim white button-down tucked into dark gray slacks, suspenders striping in neat black lines down his chest. Behind slim glasses, his pale, sharply angled gray eyes flicked swiftly over the room, set in a narrow, graceful face that had only weathered with age into an ivory mask of quiet, aloof beauty.
The sleek slick of his ink-black hair was pulled back from his face as always—but as always, he could never quite keep the soft strands inside their tie, and several wisped free to frame his face, lay against his long, smooth neck, pour down his shoulders and back. He held a damp paper towel over his mouth, neatly folded into a square, and spoke through it to direct the frazzled-looking group with con­summate calm, taking complete control of the situation.
And complete control of Summer, as Iseya’s gaze abruptly snapped to him, locking on him from across the room. “Why have you not evacuated?” Iseya demanded coldly, his words precise, inflected with a softly cultured accent. “Please vacate the premises until we’ve contained the blaze.”
Summer dropped his eyes immediately—habit, staring down at his feet. “Oh, um—I came to help,” he mumbled through the collar of his shirt.
A pause, then, “You’re not a student. Who are you?”
That shouldn’t sting.
But then it had been seven years, he’d only been in two of Iseya’s classes…and he’d changed, since he’d left Omen.
At least, he hoped he had.
That was why he’d run away, after all. To shake off the boy he’d been; to find himself in a big city like Baltimore, and maybe, just maybe…
Learn not to be so afraid.
But he almost couldn’t bring himself to speak, while the silence demanded an answer. “I’m not a student anymore,” he corrected, almost under his breath. “It’s…it’s me. Summer. Summer Hemlock. Your new TA.” He made himself look up, even if he didn’t raise his head, peeking at Iseya through the wreathing of smoke that made the man look like some strange and ghostly figure, this ethereal spirit swirled in mist and darkness. “Hi, Professor Iseya. Hi.”

Copyright © 2020 by Cole McCade

Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories featuring beloved romance tropes, where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters.

A new Carina Adores title is available each month:
  • The Girl Next Door by Chelsea M. Cameron (available now!)
  • The Hideaway Inn by Philip William Stover (available now!)
  • Hairpin Curves by Elia Winters (available July 28, 2020
  • Better Than People by Roan Parrish (available August 25, 2020)
  • Full Moon in Leo by Brooklyn Ray (available September 29, 2020)
  • If You Can’t Stand the Heat by KD Fisher (available October 27, 2020)
  • Just Like Us by Cole McCade (available November 24, 2020)
About the Author

Cole McCade is a New Orleans-born Southern boy without the Southern accent, currently residing somewhere in Seattle. He spends his days as a suit-and-tie corporate consultant and business writer, and his nights writing contemporary romance and erotica that flirts with the edge of taboo—when he’s not being tackled by two hyperactive cats.

He also writes genre-bending science fiction and fantasy tinged with a touch of horror and flavored by the influences of his multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual background as Xen. He wavers between calling himself bisexual, calling himself queer, and trying to figure out where “demi” fits into the whole mess—but no matter what word he uses he’s a staunch an advocate of LGBTQIA and POC representation and visibility in genre fiction. And while he spends more time than is healthy hiding in his writing cave instead of hanging around social media, you can generally find him in these usual haunts:

Social Links

Website & Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Tumblr  |  Instagram

June 30, 2020

Book Review: Flame by Donna Grant

at 6/30/2020 04:14:00 PM 0 comments

If she believed in destiny, she would believe they were meant for each other. But that fire was put out long ago. . .

Living among the Dragon Kings, Cain has spent lifetimes learning to distrust both mortals and Fae. He is a warrior born—and every instinct demands that he fight to keep his own kind safe. But when a fringe member of the Dark Fae contacts the Kings with an urgent warning, Cain is torn for the first time. How can he trust this beautiful creature when resisting his primal attraction to her is battle enough?

Noreen is horrified by what her kind and the malevolent Others are planning for the Dragon Kings. Dark Fae or not, there are lines she will not cross—even if it means risking her life. But she never imagined that she would risk her heart until she meets Cain. She wants him with a soul-deep desire that frightens her…and endangers them both. Is saying goodbye to everything Noreen has ever known worth a love that will span time and realms?

Buy Links

Note: Advanced Readers Copy provided by the St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

Dear Readers, we're almost there! Book 17 of the Dark Kings series features Cain and Noreen in a "enemies to lovers" story with developments in the other storylines in this series, e.g. Rhi, Erith, and Con's HEA. The main story revolves around Cain and Noreen. Noreen, a Dark Fae affiliated with the Others, the antagonists of the story. Noreen tips off the Dragon Kings about possible danger, and gets caught by the Dragon Kings. Did you really think you can fool the tech-savvy dragon? Noreen agrees to help the Dragon Kings and Cain is suspicious of her, but it doesn't stop him from lusting after her. Things do get a little confusing with some timey-wimey flashbacks and hints about who Rhi's Dragon King was. With the end scene, it narrows it down to possible theories. If you're caught up, click the spoiler button to read, otherwise skip ahead. I thought Flame was along the same vein as the previous Dragon Kings books. MCs meet, there's attraction, conflict, danger, and banging/mate talks. Y'know, the standard stuff. Per the usual, Cain and Noreen's story was a little "insta-love," but this time around, it seems a little different with the time skipping and memory manipulation. I'm glad we got to find out what happened to Balladyn and the build-up to the final showdown in the next and final book. I highly recommend new readers to start at the beginning.

Check out this post by Scottish Book Lover about the facts and lowdown about Rhi and Con!

4  stars

Confused about the reading order for Donna Grant's Dark World universe?

Click here for the entire reading order.

About the Author

Donna is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a hundred novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

In addition to her novels, Donna has written short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.

She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.

Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.

Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80-pound dog, Sisko, or her three cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore with her children. Or buying makeup. And shoes.

You can find her at www.DonnaGrant.com as well as her website devoted entirely to the Dragon Kings and all series that encompass the Dark World at www.MotherOfDragonsBooks.com.

Social Links

Blog Tour Promo Post: Hate Crush by Angelina M. Lopez

at 6/30/2020 01:00:00 AM 0 comments

Series: Filthy Rich, #2
Length: 416 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Imprint: Carina Press
eBook On-Sale: June 29, 2020
MMP On-Sale: June 30, 2020

A fake relationship could help Princesa Sofia save her kingdom. Only problem: She’ll have to fake it with the man who broke her heart.

Ten years ago, wild child Princesa Sofia Maria Isabel de Esperanza y Santos fell in fast crazy love with heartbreaker Aish Salinger during one California harvest season. Now, all grown up and with the future of her kingdom on her shoulders, she hates him as passionately as she once loved him.

Even if her body hasn’t gotten the hate memo.

Faking a relationship with the now-famous rock star for the press and public will ensure the success of her new winery and prosperity of her kingdom. All she has to do is grit her teeth and bear his tattooed presence in her village and winery—her home—for a month.

Trying to recover from his own scandal, fallen superstar Aish Salinger jumps at the chance to be near Sofia again. Leaving her was the biggest mistake he’s ever made, and he’s waited ten years to win her back.

He never counted on finding a woman who despised him so much she didn’t want to be anywhere near him.

A war of wills breaks out as the princess and rock star battle to control their fake relationship. She wants to dictate every action to keep him away from her. He wants to be as close as he can be. She’s already lost so much because of Aish—e won’t be the reason her people lose even more.

But he also won’t make her break her life’s most important vow: To never fall in love again.

Read Filthy Rich Book One, Lush Money, available now from Carina Press!

Buy Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes  |  kobo  |  Google Play

Aish pulled the bud out of his ear and straightened, never taking his eyes off her as he held it out. When she took the bud from him, she let her fingers linger. His fingertips were warm and that tiny touch sent a frisson down her arm.
She unwrapped the headphones from around her neck and stuffed them into her back pocket. But she didn’t move back.
“I’m a musician,” he said, voice low.
“I know.”
A corner of his mouth went up. “What else do you know?”
That he made every millimeter of her skin buzz. That he smelled like boy and sweat and ocean salt. She hated the nose-clogging scent of cologne. There was nothing fake about the way this boy smelled.
She pulled her long braid over her shoulder and tugged on it. “You’re from LA, your father designs clothes, your mother is a famous fitness instructor. Y…you’re very good at surfing, singing, partying, working harder on less sleep than everyone else and…oh, , ménage à trois.”
Shock, mortification, and humor created a palette across his expressive face. “Who said I’m good at threesomes?”
Sofia ran a hand down her braid and shrugged, all Spanish cool. “No sé. I keep my nose to myself. It’s everyone else who talks.”
When he grinned this time, he looked like he might lean down and taste her. “And what does everyone say about you?”
Sofia worked to maintain her smile. She wanted to be no one to nobody. She wanted to have nothing said about her. But even if she’d lived a cloistered life in a high tower, her story would be marred with her parents’ dramas and affairs and fights, ugly public episodes that stripped Sofia of dignity without her involvement. And Princesa Sofia hadn’t lived a cloistered life. Maintaining her dignity hadn’t been high on her list when she’d mooned the crowd from atop a Semana Santa float in Cádiz or when she’d waved drunkenly to the paparazzi from a movie star’s hotel balcony when she was supposed to be presented to the Queen of England. She’d been neither drunk nor sleeping with the star. But her humiliated mother had abandoned the duke’s bedroom she’d been occupying to drag Sofia back to the Monte.
She didn’t want to think about her scandalous past. She didn’t want to think about the demands of her future. All Sofia wanted right now was to be a dirty, half-naked girl wrapped around a beautiful boy in a wine tank.
“I know some stuff about you,” Aish said quietly.
Sofia focused on the air in front of his face and ran her hand down her braid.
“Your name’s Sofia. That’s…really fucking pretty.” He hadn’t said Princess Sofia. He hadn’t said Sofia de
Esperanza y Santos. Just Sofia. And he thought it was pretty. She focused again on his eyes.
“You’ve got a great accent.” The air between them felt like it was warming up. “You like grunt work, which is so hot it kinda hurts.”
Nothing about her royal status. Nothing about her reputation. He’d just arrived; perhaps none of the interns had told him about the princess in their midst. Perhaps his uncle had just said, “Make sure the new intern hasn’t passed out. Her name is Sofia.”
“You’re not wearing a bra.” Her mouth opened at that, surprised, as his eyed gripped shut. “I noticed and if you noticed I noticed, I’m sorry ’cause I don’t want you to think I’m a total fucking creeper and scare you away…”
“I don’t think you’re a creeper,” she said, reaching to brush her fingers over his clenched fist. Her breasts were so small she seldom wore a bra. But this boy acted like they were an irresistible temptation.
Aish opened his eyes. “Are you for real?”
Sofia smiled up at him, feeling helpless and foolish and floating.
“I mean, am I having some weird acid flashback?” His urgency seemed to express that it was a real possibility.
“Wouldn’t I be having one, too?” she asked. “And I’ve never done acid.”
“No, no.” He was a lit fuse aimed in her direction. “This could be my own personal hallucination. Because, what the fuck. My uncle tells me to go check on the new intern and inside a tank is a kick-ass, bare-skinned fairy girl listening to elf music. I feel like I’m tripping. Am I?”
With amazement beaming from her, Sofia shook her head.
He reacted like she’d punched him. “Fuck. Your smile. Can I kiss you?”

Copyright © 2020 by Angelina M. Lopez

About Angelina M. Lopez

Angelina M. Lopez wrote "arthur" when her kindergarten teacher asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. In the years since she learned to spell the word correctly, she's been a journalist for an acclaimed city newspaper, a freelance magazine writer, and a content marketer for small businesses. Finally, she found her way back to the "author."

Angelina writes sexy, contemporary stories about strong women and the confident men lucky enough to fall in love with them. The fact that her parents own a vineyard in California’s Russian River Valley might imply a certain hedonism about her; it's not true. She's a wife and a mom who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. She makes to-do lists with perfectly drawn checkboxes. She checks them with glee.

You can find more about her at her website, AngelinaMLopez.com.

Connect with Angelina M. Lopez

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

June 27, 2020

Blog Tour Promo Post: Sisters & Secrets by Jennifer Ryan

at 6/27/2020 02:00:00 AM 0 comments

If you love Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, then you won’t want to miss this newest novel by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ryan.

There’s nothing more complicated than the relationship among family…Especially when the Silva Sisters are keeping secrets.

For Sierra it means returning home with her two little boys after a devastating Napa wildfire takes her home, her job, and even the last mementos of her late husband, David. Determined to start over, how can she ever reveal the truth—that her husband may have led a double life?

To the world, Amy’s world is perfect: handsome husband, delightful children, an Instagram-worthy home. But behind this facade lies an awful truth: her marriage is rocky, her children resentful, her home on the verge of breaking up.

Heather, impulsive, free-spirited, and single mom to an adorable little girl, lives for the moment wearing a carefree smile. But she refuses to reveal the truth about her daughter’s father, and his identity remains a mystery even to her family.

As the Silva Sisters secrets are revealed, each realizes that there is more to their family than meets the eyes…and forgiveness may be the only way to move forward and reclaim true happiness at last.

Sisters and Secrets is a moving novel of sisterhood, second chances, and the secrets that have the power to break or bond families—and alter destinies.

Buy Links

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  kobo  |  iBooks  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub

A Standalone Novel
© 2020 Jennifer Ryan


Flames burned bright orange and red on both sides of the two-lane road as they consumed and destroyed everything in their path. Homes, businesses, multimillion-dollar vineyards. Nothing was spared as the fire climbed over the Napa Valley hills, unrelenting in its destruction. Sierra prayed it spared everyone on the road leading out, especially her sons.
She drove, heart-pounding, fear amped to infinity, with her clammy palms locked on the steering wheel. Bumper to bumper, traffic moved at a snail’s pace. Like her, the other residents had been notified too late to gradually evacuate. The sheer number of people trying to escape all at once down a single lane prevented them from racing away from the flames. The other lane was left open to emergency vehicles that occasionally sped into the belly of the beast. Everyone had to feel exactly like her: desperate to flee before this dark and dangerous road became their grave.
She loved watching the flames dance in her woodburning stove, but driving through a wildfire made her feel like she was inside an inferno. Trapped. A wave of terror shot through her, cold fear dancing down her spine. She wanted out. Now.
Sierra glanced at her two small sons in the back seat, danger inches away outside. Helpless to eradicate it, she sucked in a breath to calm the fear and focus on getting them out of here as safely as possible. Every instinct told her to stomp on the gas, jump in the other lane, speed past everyone, and get them to safety no matter what. But like everyone else, she tried to stay orderly and calm.
Noxious fumes, unbelievable heat, and fire surrounded them. Nothing and no one was a match for Mother Nature’s firestorm. Ash, smoke, and sparks blew all around them while the satellite radio cut in and out, the signal blocked by the thick smoke obliterating their view of the night sky. Fear knotted her gut and rising panic sped up her heartbeat. Every second trapped within the blaze raging on both sides of them made it harder to keep it together for her two little boys.
She thought about their lives, how they’d already suffered a great loss when their father died, and all they had ahead of them. She didn’t want it to end this way. She wanted to see them grown, happy, healthy, living the life they chose and thriving.
“Mom.” Danny’s voice shook. “The window is hot.”
“Don’t touch it.” She’d flipped the vent system to recirculate, but the smoky stench permeated the car along with the immense heat. The acrid scent turned her stomach and left a sour taste in her mouth.
Oliver held his favorite blanket over his mouth and nose. His eyes held a world of worry, too great for one five-year-old to face and understand beyond the fact that the scene outside was scary as hell and he wanted to be far away.
So do I.
Frustration got the better of the guy in the pickup truck behind her and he laid on the horn. Where did he expect her to go? The line of cars had only moved ten feet in the last two minutes. At this rate, they wouldn’t get out of the fire zone before dawn.
At least, it felt that way.
A rush of adrenaline shot through her again, signaling the flight-or-fight response she’d felt when she’d seen the smoke and fire headed toward their home. She could neither fight it nor flee from it when it literally surrounded her. And so she tried her best to stay alert, remain calm, and pray this all worked out.
Three more fire engines sped past in the opposite lane. Reinforcements for the dozens she’d passed on the tedious and exceedingly dangerous trip out of here.
We’ll make it out. We have to.
She’d worked too hard the last eleven months to keep her head above water after her husband’s tragic car accident to have it all end like this . . . in a car, on a dark road, consumed by fire.
It felt too eerily close to how they lost David.
Sierra gripped the steering wheel even tighter to stop her hands from shaking and focused on the car in front of her, following it around another curve, not getting her hopes up when their speed increased even marginally, but telling herself steady as she goes was good enough, so long as they got out of this alive.
The thought of anything happening to her babies . . . She couldn’t go there. It stopped her heart. But that fear drove her to keep her head and do everything possible to get them out of this situation even as thoughts of their home, her job, and the future swamped her mind. She’d barely made it by these last many months. If she lost everything . . . What then?
How would she support herself and the boys?
More flashing red and white lights glowed against the thick smoke ahead. She inched her way toward the emergency vehicles, the cars slowing ahead of her as they approached what must be an intersection. Fire trucks and police cars blocked the cross street, drawing everyone’s attention and slowing them down as everyone stared to the side to see if the fire had destroyed everything down that road. Ahead, cars shot forward as if they were racehorses released from the starting gates as they passed the commotion and the open road broke free of the fire border.
Relief hit like a crashing wave.
We made it.
Now what?
She didn’t really have a plan for where to go. She ran out of her house with the clothes on her back, her purse, an armful of personal files, and her two sons in tow with the stench of smoke heavy in the air and flames devouring the houses only six streets away. By now, for all she knew, her house and all those on her block were gone.
Bile rose to the back of her throat, the thought so terribly upsetting, their future left uncertain.
Right now, though, she’d take the thirty-five-mile-an-hour speeds, the open land and road ahead of her as she outran the fire and smoke and spotted the sign for Yountville and the acclaimed restaurant the French Laundry.
“Is the fire gone?” Oliver asked.
She wished. “We’re getting farther and farther away from it.”
“Where are we going?” Danny leaned toward his brother so he could see through the windshield.
Now that the flames weren’t licking at the sides of the car and bearing down on them, Sierra took a moment to think about her next move. She needed a place to put the boys down to bed tonight. In the morning, there’d be news of the firefighters’ efforts to stop the massive blaze and whether or not her home had been spared. She hoped, but her heart sank with the realization it didn’t seem likely and they’d lost everything.

About the Author

NY Times & USA Today bestselling author JENNIFER RYAN writes suspenseful contemporary romances about everyday people who do extraordinary things. Her deeply emotional love stories are filled with high stakes and higher drama, love, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find. Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper. For information about her upcoming releases, sign up for her newsletter: www.jennifer-ryan.com/newsletter.

Author Links
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Amazon

To celebrate the release of SISTERS AND SECRETS by Jennifer Ryan, we're giving away a paperback set of Sisters and Secrets and The Me I Used to Be to one lucky winner!

GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS:  Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback set of Sisters and Secrets and The Me I Used to Be by Jennifer Ryan. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Books.  Giveaway ends 7/31/2020 @ 11:59pm EST. 

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