Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Facets of Power
Jamie A. Waters
(The Dragon Portal, #3)
Publication date: October 22nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
The hardest stone protects the most precious gems…
Someone is killing dwarves.
Sabine is new to the city of Razadon, a mecca of stone and dwarven magic.
When several clan leaders are murdered in a strange ritual, suspicion falls on the most likely culprits and those newest to the city—Sabine and her companions.
The blood of the ancients can fracture even the strongest stone…
The seals of the Dragon Portal are growing weaker, and Sabine’s running out of time to acquire the remaining artifacts before their world is engulfed in flames.
It’s a race against the clock to find out who’s responsible for the murders and save her friend’s life. But deep within the heart of the mountain, there are some who will do anything to keep Sabine from learning the truth.
Even if it means sacrificing her in the process.
Volack paused, glancing upward. His eyes widened, and he muttered a curse. “Double time, men! Make haste. That storm has a bad look about it. If it’s tied into whatever happened to Badac, we need to get to shelter now!”
They all increased their pace, heading faster up the path. Suddenly, the sun disappeared behind heavy cloud cover and the sky darkened to midnight. A cold wind filled the air, whipping Sabine’s hair away from her face and chilling her down to her bones. The ground trembled beneath their feet, and a low peal of thunder rumbled throughout the mountain.
Sabine looked over her shoulder and another flash of silvered lightning lit the sky. Dark hooded figures emerged from the dark clouds, riding atop creatures of nightmare. Silvery tentacles emerged from beneath the riders’ cloaks, while the eyes of their mounts glowed red with malice. It was the Wild Hunt, and she’d always believed the next time she saw them would be the last.
“Run!” Malek shouted. “They’re nearly upon us!”
The dwarves rushed up the mountain. Sabine grabbed Rika’s hand to keep her grounded while they ran. Malek pulled out his sword but kept pace with them while they raced ahead.
Rika stumbled in the darkness, pulling Sabine down with her. Sabine hit the ground, her palms biting into the sharp rocks and stones. Malek pulled both her and Rika to their feet.
“Sabine!” Bane roared, jerking against his captives to reach her. The dwarves shouted obscenities at him, pushing the demon onward.
“Go, Bane!” Sabine yelled, motioning for him to run. Rika was human and couldn’t hope to keep pace with them, but Sabine wasn’t about to abandon her charge.
“They’re here!” Blossom shrieked, clinging to Sabine’s neck. “You have to run, Sabine!”
“We won’t make it,” Rika said, choking on a sob. Sabine grabbed her hand again, but Malek scooped Rika up and threw her over his shoulder.
“Run, Sabine! Dammit, run! I’ve got her!”
Trusting Malek at his word, Sabine lowered her chin to her chest and ran for her life. Using the glowing crystals affixed to each of the archways as a beacon, she raced up the mountain path. Malek’s footsteps pounded on the stone behind her, while the rumble of thunder from the Hunt’s mounts became nearly deafening. The riders were nearly upon them, but Sabine couldn’t stop. The lightning strikes were coming faster, and Sabine’s markings began to flash in resonance.
Jamie A. Waters is an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy romance. Her first novel was a winner of the Readers' Favorite Award in Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance and the CIPA EVVY Award in Science Fiction.
Jamie currently resides in Florida with two neurotic dogs who enjoy stealing socks. When she's not pursuing her passion of writing, she's usually trying to learn new and interesting random things (like how to pick locks or use the self-cleaning feature of the oven without setting off the fire alarm). In her downtime, she enjoys reading on her Kindle, playing computer games, painting, or acting as a referee between the dragons and fairies currently at war inside her closet.
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Shopping For A CEO’s Baby
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #16)
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
It’s Andrew and Amanda’s turn… in duplicate
We’re having twins.
Which means my shooters are stronger than my brother’s. I win.
Yeah, yeah, everyone can say it’s not a competition, but it is.
And we all know it.
Two babies at once means double the fun, and double the misery for my poor wife, Amanda. While I’m growing a Fortune 500 company, she’s growing two entire human beings out of nothing but orange cheese snacks and ice cream.
Do you have any idea how hard I’ve worked during this pregnancy, tracking down orange smoothies for her?
Not to mention being forced to Facetime into a childbirth class on perineal massage, rescuing Chuckles the cat from being shaved bald by my two-year-old niece, and fighting with a wife who has named the twins Lefty and Righty.
By the time we hit the ninth month, my entire world revolves around pleasing — and protecting — her.
Even if it means humiliating myself in the name of love.
Wait a minute. Wait a minute, now.
Is she the one who’s winning?
Andrew and Amanda are BACK in the newest New York Times bestselling Shopping series book as they “beat” Declan and Shannon in the baby competition, but at what cost? As their future awaits them in the form of twins, Amanda and Andrew face ghosts from the past with wit, humor, and most of all — plenty of love.
I look at my phone. Andrew.
I’ll be home for dinner. What do you want?
For the last few weeks, we’ve ordered takeout every single night, because I never know what my stomach will or won’t be able to handle. I close my eyes and ask myself what I want, and reply:
Grilled salmon with paprika. Cantaloupe. Sautéed carrots in honey and cumin.
He texts back: I see you’re sticking with the orange theme.
I send an emoji of someone an orange sticking out its tongue.
Will do, he replies. I’ll have Consuela make it and bring it home after the gym.
Then I get a heart.
Consuela owns a private restaurant in the Seaport District, the kind that you can’t know about unless you know someone who knows someone. It’s our special place, and since morning sickness has ravaged me, Consuela’s been gracious enough to meet my weirdo dietary needs.
She also takes it as a challenge. My palate has expanded considerably as a result of her driving mission to find new orange foods.
I reply with: You mean you’ll have Gina contact Consuela to do it all, and have Gerald pick it up and bring it to the house.
Same thing, he texts back.
“I love how you smile when you think about Andrew,” Mom says, making me look up from my phone.
“You two are so in love.”
My smile broadens. “We are.”
She looks at my belly. “Those babies are very, very fortunate.”
“Billionaire’s kids,” I mutter.
“No. You could be penniless and they’d be so, so blessed. You and Andrew are going to be wonderful parents.”
“How do you know?”
Tenderness floods her face as she reaches for me. I stand and bend before her, her hand on my shoulder, eyes shining with something close to tears.
“Because you have such a good heart. You always did. You’re smart and sweet and you care about people and want to help them. And Andrew loves you deeply. I may not un-derstand his ambition, but I do see that he’s a loving man.”
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
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Monday, October 26, 2020
Kresley Studying abroad was my chance to gain independence away from my privileged life in California. But, when there’s a kidnapping attempt on my life, I’m forced to return home to finish college. I just never expected to get stuck with a pompous, know-it-all bodyguard who watches my every move with nothing but disdain. One whose good looks don’t soften the cold, impenetrable wall he wears like armor. Tristan I pride myself on being a professional and taking my job as a bodyguard seriously. But, nothing could prepare me for the high maintenance, rich girl I’m hired to protect. She’s got a smart mouth, is hell bent on pushing my buttons, and doesn’t take the threats against her seriously. And despite the nightmares that plague her dreams, or the fact that I’m the only one who knows about them, I’m not there to befriend her. I’m there to protect her…no matter how much she intrigues me. Jabs will be exchanged, glares will become the norm, jealousy will rear its ugly head, and sparks…well those damn things will inevitably fly. But will it all come with a dangerous price?
This is a fun bodyguard romance. We start by meeting Kresley as she is studying abroad in Paris. She is the only child of really really rich parents making her a target for kidnappers. She is attacked with her bodyguard of years being shot. If it wasn't for the quick response of the local cops things would have went really bad for her. This makes it necessary for her to relocate and keep a low profile to be out of danger. Enter the two new security guys hired by her parents to keep her safe at her new college. One is happily married but the other is oh so hot yer infuriating at the same time. This makes for some tense interactions as they try to work with one another while fighting their feelings at the same time. Makes for a great romance that still has plenty of action to keep you hooked as it all plays out. An enjoyable read for those that like the genre. I really liked it so I give it 4/5 stars.
I climbed off my bed and moved to the door, pressing my ear to it to hear who he was talking to. “A shadow under the door is a dead giveaway that you’re in there,” a deep voice said. I looked down at the shadow caused by my feet. Ah hell. I opened the door and my breath caught in my throat. The guy from the bar was standing in the hallway with Marco. “What are you doing here?” I asked. He looked at me with those teal eyes but showed no sign of recognition from our run-in outside the men’s room. “Excuse me?” “We met last night.” His bottom lip jutted out like he had no idea what I was talking about. Seriously? He was gonna pretend he didn’t know me and hadn’t insulted me? Well, if that’s how he was gonna play it, so was I. “Now that you mention it…” My eyes moved over his black cargo pants and black T-shirt molded to his broad chest. “The guy I met last night was a lot better looking.” I drank in his dirty blond hair which was more tousled than it had been at the bar, like he’d just woken up. “And, he was taller. And a lot more built.” “This is my partner, ma’am,” Marco explained. I glared at Marco. “Kresley.” Unaffected by my annoyance with his use of ma’am, he continued. “This is Tristan Stone. He’ll be with you when I’m not. We take turns securing locations before you arrive.” He looked to Tristan and leveled him with his eyes. “Like he did last night at the bar.” I turned my glare to Tristan. Asshole. He stared back at me, unfazed and not about to apologize for being deceptive. “We were just discussing the week ahead,” Marco explained to me. “Oh, great. I have a request.” My eyes moved between them. Tristan was younger and less bulky than Marco, but no less athletic—even though I tried to make him feel less than. “Could you maybe try to look more like college students? The dark clothes make you stand out and, frankly, I don’t want to be known as ‘the girl with the bodyguards’.” “You are the girl with the bodyguards,” Tristan clipped. I cocked my head. “It’s a request.” “Requests don’t have to be granted,” he fired back. I opened my mouth to respond— “We’ll do what we can,” Marco interrupted, clearly the calmer of the two. “As long as our weapons are concealed, I don’t see why we can’t try to blend in a little more.” He turned around and walked to his room without another word. I expected Tristan to follow him, but he didn’t. Perfect. “Let’s just get this out of the way now then,” I said to Tristan as Marco’s door closed. “I don’t know what your problem is with me—” He scoffed. Scoffed. I trudged on, getting more pissed by the second. “You work for me. A little common courtesy is not too much to ask.” He rolled his eyes. God dammit. “If I can’t trust you to protect me if things go wrong, my parents can find someone else who can.” His eyes narrowed. “What the hell does that mean?” “This whole not knowing me thing after you blatantly disrespected me last night. Maybe I didn’t know who you were at the bar, but you knew who I was. So, what gives?” “Girls like you are what gives.” My head shot back so fast I was surprised it didn’t slam into the door behind me. “Excuse me?” “You were almost taken in France.” “Thanks for the recap. But I know what happened.” He shook his head, his teeth clenched and jaw ticking. “You’re careless.” I pointed to myself. “I’m careless? I’ve got two bodyguards for Christ’s sake.” “You get one life to live. Think about how you want to live it.” “Wow. So, now you’re a philosopher?” “It’s no secret there are people out there who still may want to get to you.” “Yes. And that’s why you’re here.” “So, why the bar? Was it absolutely necessary to go out last night?” he asked. “What I do is none of your business.” “The hell it isn’t. I had to be there an hour and a half early—with added security—securing the place, not to mention overseeing every fucker they let in there.” I hated that I was being reprimanded. I’d only wanted to make friends and find a way to sleep. But maybe he was right. Maybe I should’ve considered how it would affect them. Maybe I should’ve considered the work they needed to put in every time I went somewhere. “I could have been someone trying to get to you,” he continued. “But you were standing there all drunk gazing at me like you would’ve gone home with me if only I asked.” My mouth parted, too stunned by his words to respond. “And then that ridiculous necklace you wore. It must be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Way to stay off people’s radars.” “I’ve been through enough counseling to know what happened to me was not my fault.” “The thing was like a damn beacon signaling that you’ve got money.” “Fuck you,” I spat, unsure what had come over me. I’d always been taught to remain proper and composed, even in the most difficult situations. His features remained stoic, totally unaffected by my words. “Not a chance.”
J. Nathan is the author of new adult, sports, and rock star romances with cocky heroes and sassy heroines. When she's not writing, she's a crazy soccer mom and a total romance junkie! She loves country music, guys in backward hats, Peaky Blinders, and the summertime.