Thursday, July 28, 2016

THE ANGELS' SHARE (THE BOURBON KINGS #2)


In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…

No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior...or the worst of all the sinners?

Release Date: July 26, 2016
Berkley NAL
Contemporary Romance
Bourbon Kings #2
Review copy provided by publisher


I found the Bradford siblings to pretty much be spoiled rotten brats in the first book. However, as I read The Angels’ Share, I started to see growth with the characters. Lane, who has to step up way more than he ever expected when it came to the family business, actually has grown up so much since the first book. I also enjoyed seeing him with Lizzie, who was one of my favorite characters in the first book. I honestly thought we might see focus on one of the other Bradford siblings, but The Angels’ Share still focused mostly on Lane and Lizzie with glimpses of the other siblings. I did like seeing Lane finally start to grow up and take care of business, and really enjoyed seeing him reach out to his brother Edward. I really liked Edward in The Bourbon Kings, and was honestly hoping he would play a bigger role in The Angels’ Share. I found myself liking him more and more as I saw him interact with his family. I thought we might get more time with Gin, and though I have to say she is taking way longer to grow up than her siblings, I did like the changes she made for herself and her daughter. Maxwell Bradford returned towards the end of the book, and I feel like he might play an important role in the next book.

There are so many twist and turns in The Angels’ Share, some I saw coming others totally threw me for a loop. I really enjoyed The Angels’ Share and am looking forward to the next installment in the Bourbon King's series, which I'm pretty sure won't be out until next summer. 

Rating: 3.75 Stars (B-)

Excerpt from THE ANGELS’ SHARE by J. R. Ward
Toyota trucks were not supposed to go seventy-five miles an hour. Especially when they were ten years old.
At least the driver was wide awake, even though it was four a.m.
Lizzie King had a death grip on the steering wheel, and her foot on the accelerator was actually catching floor as she headed for a rise in the highway.
She had woken up in her bed at her farmhouse alone. Ordinarily, that would have been the status quo, but not anymore, not now that Lane was back in her life. The wealthy playboy and the estate’s gardener had finally gotten their act together, love bonding two unlikelies closer and stronger than the molecules of a diamond.
And she was going to stand by him, no matter what the future held.
After all, it was so much easier to give up extraordinary wealth when you had never known it, never aspired to it—and especially when you had seen behind its glittering curtain to the sad, desolate desert on the far side of the glamour and prestige.
God, the stress Lane was under.
And so out of bed she had gotten. Down the creaking stairs she had gone. And all around her little house’s first floor she had wandered.
When Lizzie had looked outside, she’d discovered his car was missing, the Porsche he drove and parked beside the maple by her front porch nowhere to be seen. And as she had wondered why he had left without telling her, she had begun to worry.
Just a matter of nights since his father had killed himself, only a matter of days since William Baldwine’s body had been found on the far side of the Falls of the Ohio. And ever since then Lane’s face had had a faraway look, his mind churning always with the missing money, the divorce papers he had served on the rapacious Chantal, the status of the household bills, the precarious situation at the Bradford Bourbon Company, his brother Edward’s terrible physical condition, Miss Aurora’s illness.
But he hadn’t said a thing about any of it. His insomnia had been the only sign of the pressure, and that was what scared her. Lane always made an effort to be composed around her, asking her about her work in Easterly’s gardens, rubbing her bad shoulder, making her dinner, usually badly, but who cared. Ever since they had gotten the air cleared between them and had fully recommitted to their relationship, he had all but moved into her farmhouse—and as much as she loved having him with her, she had been waiting for the implosion to occur.
It would almost have been easier if he had been ranting and raving.
And now she feared that time had come—and some sixth sense made her terrified about where he had gone. Easterly, the Bradford Family Estate, was the first place she thought of. Or maybe the Old Site, where his family’s bourbon was still made and stored. Or perhaps Miss Aurora’s Baptist church?
Yes, Lizzie had tried him on his phone. And when the thing had rung on the table on his side of the bed, she hadn’t waited any longer after that. Clothes on. Keys in hand. Out to the truck.
No one else was on I-64 as she headed for the bridge to get across the river, and she kept the gas on even as she crested the hill and hit the decline to the river’s edge on the Indiana side. In response, her old truck picked up even more speed along with a death rattle that shook the wheel and the seat, but the damn Toyota was going to hold it together because she needed it to.
“Lane . . . where are you?”
God, all the times she had asked him how he was and he’d said, “Fine.” All those opportunities to talk that he hadn’t taken her up on. All the glances she’d shot him when he hadn’t been looking her way, all the time her monitoring for signs of cracking or strain. And yet there had been little to no emotion after that one moment they’d had together in the garden, that private, sacred moment when she had sought him out under the blooms of the fruit trees and told him that she’d gotten it wrong about him, that she had misjudged him, that she was prepared to make a pledge to him with the only thing she had: the deed to her farmhouse—which was exactly the kind of asset that could be sold to help pay for the lawyers’ fees as he fought to save his family.
Lane had held her, and told her he loved her—and refused her gift, explaining he was going to fix everything himself, that he was going to somehow find the stolen money, pay back the enormous debt, right the company, resurrect his family’s fortunes.
And she had believed him.
She still did.
But ever since then? He had been both as warm and closed off as a space heater, physically present and completely disengaged at the same time.
Lizzie did not blame him in the slightest.
It was strangely terrifying, however.
Off in the distance, across the river, Charlemont’s business district glowed and twinkled, a false, earthbound galaxy that was a lovely lie, and the bridge that connected the two shores was still lit up in spring green and bright pink for Derby, a preppy rainbow to that promised land. The good news was that there was no traffic, so as soon as Lizzie was on the other side, she could take the River Road exit off the highway, shoot north to Easterly’s hill, and see if his car was parked in front of the mansion.
Then she didn’t know what she was going to do.
The newly constructed bridge had three lanes going in both directions, the concrete median separating east from west tall and broad for safety purposes. There were rows of white lights down the middle, and everything was shiny, not just from the illumination, but a lack of exposure to the elements. Construction had only finished in March, and the first lines of traffic had made the crossing in early April, cutting rush-hour delays down—
Up ahead, parked in what was actually the “slow” lane, was a vehicle that her brain recognized before her eyes properly focused on it.
Lane’s Porsche. It was Lane’s—
Lizzie nailed the brake pedal harder than she’d been pounding the accelerator, and the truck made the transition from full-force forward to full-on stop with the grace of a sofa falling out a second-story window: Everything shuddered and shook, on the verge of structural disintegration, and worse, there was barely any change in velocity, as if her Toyota had worked too hard to gain the speed and wasn’t going to let the momentum go without a fight—
There was a figure on the edge of the bridge. On the very farthest edge of the bridge. On the lip of the bridge over the deadly drop.
“Lane,” she screamed. “Lane!”
Her truck went into a spin, pirouetting such that she had to wrench her head around to keep him in her sights. And she jumped out before the Toyota came to a full stop, leaving the gearshift in neutral, the engine running, the door open in her wake.
“Lane! No! Lane!
Lizzie pounded across the pavement and surmounted barriers that seemed flimsy, too flimsy, given the distance down to the river.
Lane jerked his head around—
And lost one hold of the rail behind him.
As his grip slipped, shock registered on his face, a flash of surprise . . . that was immediately replaced by horror.
When he fell off into nothing but air.
Lizzie’s mouth could not open wide enough to release her scream.


Posted by arrangement with New American Library, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © J.R. Ward, 2016.



J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million novels in print published in 25 different countries around the world.  The books in her popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series have held the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover, mass market, eBook, and combined print/eBook fiction bestseller lists and have debuted in the top 5 on the USA Today bestseller list.  Prior to her writing career, Ward worked as a lawyer in Boston and spent many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard’s world-renowned academic medical centers.  Ward currently lives with her family in Kentucky where she has learned to enjoy and appreciate all things Southern. 

Connect with her online at www.jrward.com, Facebook.com/JRWardBooks, and Twitter.com/JRWard1.


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

CLAIMED BY THE MATE: VOLUME 2

Kate Douglas and A.C. Arthur return with another scorching volume in their Claimed by the Mate series featuring two delicious, unforgettable novels in one!

In Wild Passions by Kate Douglas, six women—friends closer than sisters—head off to an exclusive mountain resort for a week-long bachelorette getaway, where most of the women just want to know if there are any good men left in the world.

There are, and they’re the men of Feral Passions, a unique resort located on a private wolf preserve, owned and run by a pack of sexy werewolves who use it as their own personal hunting ground for mates.

In Her Perfect Mates, Malec Zenta was part of a loving lycan family until his twin brother’s suicide took a piece of his soul. Channing Verdi never knew his parents, but that was fine because at the age of sixteen on the night of the full moon, he realized his purpose. The only pleasure these two betas have managed to find in their life was in the bed with the women they shared. Now, a human woman has entered their lives...a woman who sets their primal instincts on fire, a woman they can't help but stake their claim on...and give her the ultimate pleasure of being with two shifters at once.

Release Date: June 7, 2016
Claimed by the Mate
Volume 2
Swerve

Review Copy provided by the publisher

Nikki's Review:

Wowza! This book, which contains two separate novellas, is crazy steamy! I like the hot and spicy stuff in my romance novels, but this was more than even I typically read! Once the bumping and grinding started, it was no holds barred. 

I found it difficult to really connect with the first story, Wild Passions. There were so many story arcs and characters to follow. I couldn't get a good sense of who anyone really was. And like I said...so much sex. The sex took away from the actual story. I need a solid plot to really like a book. 

I wasn't sure it was possible, but there's even less story in the second book, Her Perfect Mates, than the first! Tons of ménage lovin', which I typically think is delicious, but the characters hardly left the damn bedroom! 

Honestly, I'm finding it hard to find things to say about these stories. I'm so bogged down by the bedroom antics that everything else just kinda fades into the background. There's no doubt that these are super hot shifter books! And if you like your romance with more sex than actual romance, this might be for you! The one thing that did work for me was that they were fast reads. If you're looking for something to get your heart racing but you don't have a lot of time to devote to a book, give this one a try!


 1 Star (D)

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

FATAL IDENTITY RELEASE WEEK BLITZ





Sam and Nick return in the stunning romantic suspense, FATAL IDENTITY, that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! Being released today, FATAL IDENTITY is the tenth novel in Marie Force’s Fatal Series being published by HarlequinHQN. Make sure you order your copy today!




Every family has its secrets… 

As the first anniversary of her marriage to Vice President Nick Cappuano approaches, Lieutenant Sam Holland is dreaming of Bora Bora—sun, sand and a desperately needed break from the DC grind. But real life has a way of intervening, and Sam soon finds herself taking on one of the most perplexing cases of her career.

Government worker Josh Hamilton begs Sam to investigate his shocking claim that his parents stole him from another family thirty years ago. More complicated still, his “father” is none other than the FBI director. When a member of Josh’s family is brutally murdered, Sam begins to question how deep this cover-up goes. Is it possible the revered director was part of a baby-napping ring and that others involved are also targets?

With a killer intent on deadly revenge and her team still reeling from a devastating loss, Sam’s plate is full—and when Nick and their son, Scotty, take ill, is her dream of a tropical anniversary celebration in peril too?

Grab your copy of FATAL IDENTITY here!

Kindle US  |   iBooks  |  Nook  |  Kobo  |  Google  |  Kindle CA  |  Kindle UK 

Get Fatal Identity in print at AmazonB&NBooks A MillionChapters IndigoBooktopia and Indie Bound.

Audiobook

Amazon | Audible  | Audible UK  |   Audible AU  





And don’t forget to grab the previous titles in the Fatal Series Today!












About Marie Force:

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.2 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series from Berkley Publishing as well as the new erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force.

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.










EXCERPT:

She used her thumb to point to her guest. “This is Josh—he’s with me.”
“Yes, ma’am.”
She hated the way the agents insisted on calling her ma’am, as if she were seventy years old or something, but she’d chosen not to fight that battle. She wanted to say, if you can call me ma’am why can’t you call me SamClose enough, wasn’t it? But Nick had asked her not to make an issue of it, so she didn’t. But she wanted to.
“Have a seat.” She directed Josh to the sofa while she tossed her coat over the back of it. “I’ll be right back.”
“Okay.”
Sam dashed upstairs to their bedroom, anxious to see what was wrong with Nick, who’d been fine earlier. She found him in bed, curled into the fetal position, and was instantly concerned. Leaning over the bed, she pressed a kiss to his forehead, which was on fire. “Babe.”
“Mmm.”
“Hey, what’s wrong?”
“Don’t know. Was fine and then I wasn’t.”
“You’re burning up. Did you take something?”
“Couldn’t. Stomach.”
“I’m calling Harry.”
“No, I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine, and I’m calling Harry.”
He mumbled something that sounded like “don’t bother him,” but to hell with that. She was bothering him. Withdrawing her cell phone from her pocket, she found the number for one of their closest friends, who happened to be a doctor, and made the call. 
“Madame Vice President,” Harry said. “To what do I owe the honor?”
“Nick is sick. Can you come over?”
“Sick with what?”
“I don’t know. He said it came on out of nowhere, and now he’s burning up and says his stomach hurts too bad to take anything.”
“Sounds like the flu. Keep your distance.”
“Way too late for that warning.” Sam winced when she thought of the sex they’d had last night and again this morning. Not getting too close to her husband was usu­ally the last thing she wanted to do.