Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Book Blitz with Excerpt + Giveaway: Spells and Slip-ups by Annie Anderson @annieande @XpressoTours

Spells and Slip-ups by Annie Anderson
Series: The Wrong Witch #1
Publication date: July 5th, 2022

I suck at witchcraft.

Coming from a long line of famous witches, I should be at the top of the heap. Problem is, if there is a spell cast anywhere in my vicinity, I will somehow mess it up. As a probationary agent with the Arcane Bureau of Investigation, I have two choices: I can limp along and maybe pass myself off as a competent agent, or I can fail. Miserably.

Worse news? If I can't get my act together, I may not only be out of a job, I could also lose my life.

Whose idea was this again?

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He shifted, moving closer to me, and I had the very sudden realization that we were alone out here. "I don't hand out compliments, Wren. You acted like a leader out there because you are one. But that's going to paint a target on your back just as much as your name will."

The sound of him saying my name had my knees knocking together. Did he say something after that? Oh, that's right, I was in deep shit. Yeah, I knew that already.

"For giving a shit that people didn't fall off this bullshit mountain and die? I guess." I tried to shrug my shoulders, but every muscle felt like it was going to snap in half and slither off my body. "I was raised better than that."

Acosta snorted, the derision on his face curling his upper lip. "By Margot Bannister? Unlikely."

My gaze narrowed, my jaw clenching. What the hell did he know about my mother?

"Margot Bannister is a name on a birth certificate. Alice Whitlock raised me, and she taught me better than only looking out for myself. That a prize is nothing if I have to sacrifice my honor to get it." I met his gold gaze, those eyes for once not making me melt. "Letting people fall off a cliff because I wanted to win? That would be losing my honor. If that means I have to clean up wall lockers, well, then, so be it."

Pivoting on a heel, I tried to stalk off, but my poor feet had other plans. My stalk was more of a limp, the pitiful squish of my boot making my exit less than ideal. Plus, a warm hand caught my elbow, the gentle hold sending shivers down my spine.

"You know damn well everyone is trying to clean up their areas before you can get to them," he murmured, his breath close to my ear. The heat of his hand on my skin had my knees ready to give out. "You impressed them all out there. This was a task they were meant to fail, and they know it."

My eyes stayed glued to his hand on my arm. I wanted to look up into those eyes, but if I did, I knew I'd do something stupid. Like faint or kiss him or...

"Look at me," he growled, yanking my gaze up like all I needed was the order. His nostrils flared as his eyes narrowed, almost like he was mad at me for something--the change in his demeanor quick enough to give me whiplash. Leaning in closer, he growled, "You're bleeding. How long have you been bleeding, Wren?"

Why did my name on his lips make my insides go funny? But the best I could do was shrug.


"I was too scared to look. I worried if I took the boot off to check, I wouldn't be able to get it back on. Walking in the middle of nowhere without shoes on seemed like a bad plan."

Gently, I tugged on my arm, signaling him to let me go, but all it did was make his eyes start glowing as a growl rumbled from his chest.

No moving. Got it.

"You need a fucking keeper, you know that?" he murmured, the words harsh but his tone was something else. He readjusted his grip, pulling me closer, his nose barely an inch from mine as his gaze bore a hole into me. "When are you going to start looking out for yourself, huh?"

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she'll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life... interesting.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Review: Wrath by Coralee June


Wrath by Coralee June
Series: Malice Mafia #2
Publication date: October 21st, 2021
Pages: 253

I hated fire. I hated how the smoke wrapped around my naked body, stinging my skin with defiant embers. I hated the smell of burnt flesh, the ashes heavy on my tongue, my charred soul like splinters deep in my chest.

She's dead, Juliet.

There's nothing else you can do--

Dragging my bleeding feet across the concrete, I walked toward the flames. Heat licked at my cheeks. Sirens off in the distance cursed my ears.

Dead, dead, dead.

All of this started because I made a choice. Because I fell in love. Because I was a lonely girl clinging to dangerous men.

She was dead because of them.

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Popular Highlights
 But oddly enough, my humanity died when I fell in love. It was the price I had to pay for selling my soul to three monsters.

 Anthony, Nick, and William still fought over me, but Nick? Nick claimed me. He destroyed the competition.

 If Juliet needed a break, then she could take a fucking vacation on my cock.

 "You're out. Done. If I see you in my territory again--"
"You're kicking me out?" There was a sobriety in his tone that hadn't been there for weeks. Good. Let it fucking sink in.
"If I see you in Kansas City, I'll put a bullet through your brain."

 "You think I don't know every hair on your head? The color of your skin when it bruises? The fear in your eyes? The way you tremble when you're scared? I know every fucking nuance of your body, Juliet. I know your mind. In fact, I've crawled inside every fucking crack in your soul and built a home for myself there. Not only did you lie to me, but you insulted our relationship by pretending I couldn't see how much you're suffering right now."

 Money was just another word for power.
The powerless scream. Wealth whispers.

 And with those parting words, he spun around, grabbed my cart, and strolled toward the checkout counter like he didn't just finger fuck me on aisle nine.

 Malice and I had become pen pals. Except we weren't writing letters, we were just mailing a necklace back and forth. Every night, I'd drop it off in his mailbox, and every morning, it would be back in mine.

 Gentle, gentle, gentle. In and out. In and out.
I was going to do better. I was going to be better.
I was going to be worthy of this beautiful woman I didn't deserve.

 Vicky was a motherfucking liar. Anthony was a dead man. William was about as useful as wet tissue paper, and my ass? My pathetic ass was pussy-whipped.

 "The doctors couldn't quite figure out what you were stabbed with," Anthony replied in a playful voice. "All the voices in my head are taking bets over what it was. Stiletto? An ice pick?"

Juliet's boys are still at each other's throats. There was no comradery or mutual determination to make her happy. They were all competitive bastards who just wanted her for themselves. Or... in one special case, lost to their own madness so they felt they didn't deserve her as theirs entirely. Juliet's battle to not lose herself in the sea of testosterone riddled men bent on owning her is a losing battle. But it is only once she decides to sever ties and demand space that she starts to realize who she truly is. Her love for them had overshadowed who she was fundamentally and she was determined to not let that continue. Even if she lost them, she couldn't lose herself. One of her boys hurt her and abandoned her under some misguided thought that she was better off. But when part of your soul goes missing you will stop at nothing to return it where it rightfully belongs. Add to that her best friend turned would-be murderer returning demanding Juliet talk sense into her boys so they could help her out of a sticky situation and you have Wrath. 

In these books it feels like any antagonist added to the plot line is secondary to the antagonists that the supposed PROTAGONISTS are supposed to be. It is non-stop bickering and sniping and possessiveness. Don't get me wrong, books with possessive men who are also willing to share with those they care about? Those are the types of books I want to be signed up for. But these men seem to be willing to share but at the same time wanting to manipulate Juliet into choosing one of them. If that just a momentary struggle in their new dynamic I could understand it but we are now two books in and it's STILL happening. It's just annoying at this point. Either man up and walk away because you can't handle her sharing or get your mind right with it. All they are doing is hurting the woman they supposedly love. Their romances are incredibly toxic and not by any standard something someone should measure a relationship by. 

There were some redeeming merits. It was a lot better structured and the outside antagonist had a bit more flesh to it than Cora did in the first book. They were forced to work together which was new for them. Nick was calming down a bit which I loved to see. Anthony will always be my favorite little crazy pants but Nick, when he's chill, is a close second.

I do believe this book was better than the first minutely. It's enough that will keep me reading on in the series.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Book Blitz with Excerpt + Teasers + Giveaway: Unexpected by Felice Stevens @FeliceStevens1 @XpressoTours

Unexpected by Felice Stevens
Publication date: June 23rd, 2022

Party planner Colin Brightman doesn't drink or dance, preferring to go to bed early with his spreadsheets and lists. All he wants is to forget the singles weekend his friends sent him on, but he's stuck with a suitcase filled with condoms and skimpy Speedos that don't belong to him.

He doesn't expect his luggage thief to be ex-baseball superstar Walker "Walk-Off" Scanlon. Or that Walker has hired his firm to put on a charity event at his bar. Colin can't deny the mixed emotions the annoyingly flirty man stirs in him, but he refuses to fall for someone who racks up lovers as easily as he once hit home runs. No matter how much he might want to.

Walker Scanlon likes his men easygoing with no complications. He's had enough of those in his life. So why is he drawn to tense and straitlaced Colin and his frosty scowl? When even his corny one-liners and jokes don't get him a smile? Because the sparks between them are undeniable. And that unexpected kiss? Amazin'.

Now if only Colin would stop running away.

When Colin and Walker come face to face with past hurts and betrayals, they'll need to trust themselves and each other to learn that heartbreak and love don't go hand to hand. It's the bottom of the ninth and if they swing for the stars, they just might hit the grand slam of a lifetime.

Unexpected is a low-angst, high-heat romance between a corny joke-telling ex-baseball player who doesn't believe in striking out on or off the field and a divorced, tea-drinking homebody who isn't willing to get played... again.

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Damn, Colin Brightman was cute when flustered. Walker wasn't sure what the hell he was doing flirting with him. It wasn't smart to screw around with people who worked for you, but there was a haunted look in the man's eyes that those long, dark lashes couldn't hide. He sensed Colin kept quite a bit about himself secret, and Walker had always been a sucker for a good mystery.

"I'm surprised you noticed me," Colin said, "since you seemed to be so into your dance partners." As if realizing that his statement revealed his awareness of Walker, Colin fumbled a bit. "I mean, when I saw you on the dance floor, you were always surrounded."

Too late, Colin Brightman. So you're not made of stone. Good to know.

"Well, I saw you. Especially that last night. You were at a table, drinking something with an umbrella."

"Like I said, I don't drink much." He picked up his more than half-full drink as if to prove his point. "See?"

"I'll keep that in mind for next time. Stock up on my little umbrellas." He winked, and a flush crept up Colin's neck to his face.

Aren't you adorable? Are you pink all over?

Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner. Her characters have to work for it, because just like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love.

Felice is the 2020 Lambda Literary Award winning author in best Gay Romance. She lives in New York City and has way too much black in her wardrobe. If she's not writing, you'll probably find her watching reality TV or procrastinating on FB in her reader group, Felice's Breakfast Club.