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Friday, December 16, 2016

Winter break!


Since the holiday season is upon us, tours and such have fallen off for the time being. So I'm taking this opportunity to relax, read cheesy Christmas books, and finally go through this giant pile of library books.

There will most likely still be a post here and there - whenever I read something I simply must share with you guys - or mayhaps an unveiling of a book subscription box or two.

But just in case, I wanted to let you all know I'm not dead, just enjoying the snowy days curled up with a good book, instead of my laptop.

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Review: THE ONLY ONE by Lauren Blakely!

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From New York Times Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes THE ONLY ONE, a sexy new standalone novella in her One Love Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure you grab your copy today!

   My Review: It is no secret that I love this author - after all, you've seen plenty reviews on this blog of her recent releases. But guys, I think The Only One just took over as my favorite. It sucked me in from the very beginning, breaking heart, only to make me melt like a big ol' sap just a short time later. 

Novellas, while I do read plenty, are usually not something I like often - a lot of authors seem to have trouble packing a whole story into so few pages without it feeling rushed. But no worries here, I should have know this author would never let me down. I loved every second of this book, and I already have plans to make all my friends buy it!

Cover Lovin': Works well with the 1001 series!

Recommendation: Stand-alone, no prior knowledge necessary.

Final Rating: FOUR AND A HALF out of FIVE stars (4.5/5)!! Loved, loved, loved this ... now excuse me while I go swoon.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

the-only-one-tour-teaser-1    
Lauren Blakely’s THE ONLY ONE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule
December 7th
AC BOOK BLOG – Review & Excerpt
As You Wish Reviews – Review & Excerpt
BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt
Little Red Reading Hood – Review & Excerpt
Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt
December 8th
BookSmacked – Review & Excerpt
Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Crazy Daisy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt
Lightning City Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt
Reading Frenzy Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Wicked Babes Blog Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Sofia Loves Books – Review
December 9th
A Fortress of Books – Review & Excerpt
Beneath The Covers Blog – Review & Excerpt
Knotty Girl Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Love Drug Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Milky Way of Books – Review
Princess Reads – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
Stacey is Sassy – Review
December 10th
Liz's Reading Life – Review & Excerpt
Read All the Romance – Review & Excerpt
Readers Retreats – Review & Excerpt
The Book Boyfriend Addict – Review & Excerpt
The Escapist Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Two Book Pushers – Review & Excerpt
WickedGoodReads – Review
December 11th
Book Bitches Blog – Review
Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review & Excerpt
Quesarasera Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
The Bookery Review – Review
Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt
December 12th
Ashley Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Go Read A Book – Review
In Between The Pages – Review & Excerpt
Krista's Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
Love Affair With Fiction – Review & Excerpt
Maddy's Reading – Review & Excerpt
Nice Ladies, Naughty Books – Review & Excerpt
She Hearts Books – Review
December 13th
Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review & Excerpt
Musings of the Modern Belle – Review & Excerpt
Nerdy Dirty & Flirty – Review & Excerpt
Night Owl Reader – Review & Excerpt
Romance Book Nerd – Excerpt
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt
Book Lovers Hangout – Review & Excerpt
December 14th
Naughty Moms' Story Time – Review & Excerpt
Red Cheeks Reads – Review & Excerpt
books are love – Review & Excerpt
Friends Till The End Book BLog – Review & Excerpt
I'm A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt
Relentless Romance – Review & Excerpt
December 15th
The Reading Belles – Review
Books Need TLC – Review & Excerpt
Evermore Books – Excerpt
JaymeBooks – Review & Excerpt
Joandisalovebooks – Review & Excerpt
Novel Addiction – Review
Queenzany – Review & Excerpt
December 16th
Pardon My Blurb – Review & Excerpt
S3OC – Review & Excerpt
The Whispering pages book blog – Review & Excerpt
Reese's Reviews – Review & Excerpt
  Romantic couple touching and kissing each other       the-only-one-tour-available-now      
    the-only-one-cover

About THE ONLY ONE:

From the New York Times bestselling author of THE SEXY ONE comes a romance about fate and second chances.

Let’s say there was this guy. And he gave you the most mind-blowing night of sex in your life. And you never saw him again.

Until ten years later.

Now, it turns out he’s the ONLY ONE in all of Manhattan whose restaurant is available for my charity’s event.

The trouble is, he doesn’t recognize me.

***

This woman I’m working with is so damn alluring. The first time I set eyes on her, I’m captivated and I can’t get her out of my mind. Even if it’s risky to tango with someone I’m working with, she’s a risk I’m willing to take.

The trouble is, she won’t give me the time of day.

But I’m determined to change that.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon Paperback

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Praise for Lauren Blakely and THE ONLY ONE:

"An extraordinarily dreamy love story that will melt your heart!"

~Beneath The Covers Book Blog

"This is an epic second chance romance that filled my heart with love, hope and longing."

~5-Stars! Two Book Pushers

"Lauren has knocked this one out of the park and down the street into the kitchen of Rocco DiSpirito. This book is smart, sexy, and full of surprises with characters you can't help but fall in love with. I want to find my very own Gabriel now. A sexy man with an accent who can cook for me. Who could ask for anything more?"

~Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews

"Insanely romantic and so genuinely charming..."

~Fresh Fiction Reviewer

    author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely: Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With thirteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter.  

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

  inkslinger-blogger-new 
Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Review: NEEDING THE MEMORIES by Terri Anne Browning!


 NEEDING THE MEMORIES by Terri Anne Browning is now LIVE!
Don't miss this #HOT novella from The Rocker series!


Type: Novella, Series, Rock Stars, yum!

My Review: It has been a little while since I read The Rocker series, but this story both hit the spot, and made me desperate to start the series over again. If I had to come up with one word to describe this story, it would be sweet. Or maybe warm? Either way, this was a great story to read while curled up under a thick blanket, with snow falling outside the window.

If you're a fan of The Rocker series, you absolutely have to read this one! All your favorites show up again. Maybe they don't play huge roles, but everyone is back, and it felt a bit like coming home.

Who am I kidding.. I will probably read the first book in the series again before heading to bed tonight.

Cover Lovin': Excellent! Fits in with the rest of the series. 

Recommendation: Considering this is a continuing series, reading the previous books is recommended, if not downright required.

Final Rating: THREE POINT FIVE out of FIVE stars (3.5/5). Super sweet and a wonderful return to the series.

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Purchase it now:
Amazon UK:  goo.gl/kjWcfs
Barnes & Noble:   goo.gl/WzizVT
iBooks: goo.gl/xiuPoF

BLURB:

Happy Ever After doesn’t end at the Epilogue. The Epilogue is really only the beginning. For us, it’s meant sharing every high, every low, and loving each other even more when we come out the other side still standing. He’s everything I’ve always wanted. My best friend. My lover. My husband…

My Demon.
And I’m his Angel.


Our life hasn’t always been perfect, but to me as long as I get to wake up to Angel in my arms every morning and get to tuck our girls into bed at the end of each day I’ll be the happiest man in the world. Nothing can come between us, nothing can tear us apart.

Only…I have one regret. One that is still a black void in my head.

Every year it’s the same.

The regret.

The self-loathing for the man I was back then.

The anger that I’d taken something from the woman who has given herself to me so freely and being unable to remember a single second of it. This year it’s worse for me. It’s slowly driving me crazy.

Maybe it’s time to hit rewind and give us both a do over for that night.

Maybe what I really need is a memory to replace that empty blackness that is trying to swallow me whole.

------

AUTHOR BIO:

Terri Anne Browning is the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Rocker...Series. She started writing her own novellas at the age of sixteen, forcing her sister to be her one woman fan club. Now she has a few more readers and a lot more passion for writing. Being dyslexic, she never thought a career in writing would be possible, yet she has been on best selling lists multiple times since 2013. Reese: A Safe Haven Novella was her first Indie published book. The Rocker Who Holds Me changed the tables and kicked off The Rocker... series featuring the sinfully delicious members of Demon's Wings. The Rocker... Series has since expanded to OtherWorld with Axton Cage and his band members. Other books by Terri Anne include the Angel's Halo MC Series as well as The Lucy & Harris Novella Series. Terri Anne lives in Virginia with her husband, their three demons---err, children--and a loveable Olde English Bulldog named Link.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1VUKOn3


Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Release: SWEET SURRENDER by Liliana Hart!

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From New York Times Bestselling author Liliana Hart, comes SWEET SURRENDER, a sexy new novella filled with suspense in her MacKenzie Family Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

My Review: Whoa, guys.  This is my first book by Liliana Hart, and now I get why people have been swooning over her MacKenzie series. I was practically squirming in my seat because I was loving Grant so much, and boy is he a hunk. As much as I enjoy reading novellas, I usually have problems getting into the story, because it seems like everything moves too fast. But that's not the case with Sweet Surrender - the fast-paced action moves the story along at a reasonable pace. And clearly, this author knows what she's doing, because I didn't feel like anything was missing. Sure, I wanted this to be longer, but that was because I loved the characters, not because I found this story lacking at all.

I'm also fascinated that Liliana Hart seems to have opened up her world to other authors, having them write novellas - with Jay Crownover (a favorite of mine!) being one of those authors. So now, frankly, I am doubly excited by what's to come. Not only will it be cool to see some new characters and story-telling styles in Surrender, but it will make me that much more eager to go back through and read more by Liliana Hart, because she's clearly an awesome person if so many cool authors want to be a part of the world she created.

Cover Lovin': Thumbs up! It follows the 1001 Dark Nights format, and still manages to be eye catching.

Recommendation: Jump right into the MacKenzie world with this book! I had no prior knowledge and got along just fine.

Final Rating: FIVE out of FIVE stars (5/5)! Not only does this get a huge amount of love for being a super-well down novella - managing to get a full, fantastic story in such a short amount of pages - but I absolutely loved the story and the characters. I can't wait for more!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

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EXCERPT:

A brisk March wind blew through Surrender.

“Being a cop doesn’t mean I crave donuts.” Grant Boone glared out the window toward the bakery across the street.

Cooper MacKenzie snorted, “You were a cop.”

Grant’s hands fisted in his lap and his gaze dropped to stare at them as the familiar anger raged through his body. His light brown hair, which was long overdue for a cut, hung down to hide his expression. He knew Cooper hadn’t meant anything by it, but damn, the words still pierced him like a knife to the gut.

“My mistake,” he said. “I was a cop.”

“Come on, Grant. You know I didn’t mean it that way. Hell, you’re still the best there is. Your chief will wake up and realize his screw-up before long. Though I’ve always thought you and the city would clash before too long. Hell, look at you. You look like you walked out of one of those Marlboro commercials. What the hell is a country boy like you doing in Detroit anyway?”

Cooper wasn’t the first person to tell him he didn’t belong in the Motor City. But he’d served the city with a purpose. He’d worked undercover, and he’d been an asset to the force. It wasn’t often they came across a six-foot-five, two-hundred-and-forty-five pound bruiser to work the biker bars and clubs.

“There’s no going back, Coop. I gave that shithole city the best years of my life. And for what? A forced retirement under a cloud of an internal affairs investigation.” Grant set his coffee on the desk and knuckled his eyes. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d slept a full night through. God, was he tired.

     
    sweet-surrender-cover

About SWEET SURRENDER:

It’s been twelve years since Liza Carmichael stepped foot in Surrender, but after her great aunt’s death she has no choice but to return and settle her estate. Which includes the corner bakery that’s been a staple in Surrender for more than fifty years.

After twenty-five years on the job, Lieutenant Grant Boone finds himself at loose ends now that he’s retired. He’s gotten a number of job offers—one from MacKenzie Security—but he’s burned out and jaded, and the last thing he wants to do is carry the burden of another badge and weapon. He almost turns down the invitation from his good friend Cooper MacKenzie to stay as their guest for a few weeks while he’s deciding what to do with the rest of his life. But he packs his bag and heads to Surrender anyway.

The only thing Boone knows is that his future plans don’t include Liza Carmichael. She’s bossy, temperamental, and the confections she bakes are sweet enough to tempt a saint. Thank God he’s never pretended to be one. But after he gets one taste of Liza and things start heating up in the kitchen, he realizes how delicious new beginnings can be.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Download the Free Kindle App

Pair of cowgirl boots     liliana-hart-headshotAbout Liliana Hart: Liliana Hart is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author in both the mystery and romance genres. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music. Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-afters her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than 1.2 million ebooks all over the world.  

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

    sweet-surrender-available-now       inkslinger-pr-blogger-banner
Disclaimer: I received a free copy in exchange for a review.

New Release: INK EVER AFTER by Carrie Ann Ryan!

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Carrie Ann Ryan's INK EVER AFTER is available now! Get deleted scenes and special novellas all in one place - and for just .99c at a special release week price!

 

ink-ever-after-cover-v200x300About INK EVER AFTER

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Montgomery Ink and Talon Pack series comes an anthology filled with eleven bonus After-the-HEA novellas and short stories in most of her series.
Only $0.99 for ELEVEN bonus short stories from the Montgomery Ink, Talon Pack, and Dante's Circle series!
Get your hands on INK EVER AFTER:
ink-ever-after-happy-ending  

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review: HOOKED by Brenda Rothert!

HOOKED by Brenda Rothert is now LIVE! 

A sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.

My Review: I've been in such a sports mood lately - sports romance, that is. And Hooked hit the spot! Who doesn't want a hot hockey player that is willing to change his playboy ways to be with you. And sure, Jake might be why I wanted to read this book in the first place, but I think I liked Miranda even more. I loved her character, and I especially loved how driven she was. I could actually feel how tired Miranda was from working two jobs and trying to maintain her grades - and it might have brought back some grad school flashbacks. She didn't want handouts, and she was willing to work her butt off to get where she wanted to go. I admired the heck out of her. 

As much as I enjoyed reading this, I will say that the story is a little predictable. Considering the mess Jake gets himself into at the beginning of the book, that plot moves forward exactly like you would expect. What I didn't see coming was Jake's back story, and how that affected his present-day life. I also loved how obsessed Jake was with his rituals - and it fit him perfectly. I don't know many jocks, but I know plenty of sports fans, and they have their rituals they have to follow every game day, I figured players probably have just as many if not more. 

So if you want a fun, sexy read - pick up Hooked! You'll be - you guessed it - HOOKED from page one. 

Cover Lovin': Hoo, boy! Yum. 

Recommendation: Stand-alone, so no prior knowledge necessary!

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5)!! A little predictable, but overall, a great read!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Purchase Now:
GooglePlay:  http://bit.ly/HookedGP

BLURB:
From the author of the On the Line and Fire on Ice hockey romance series comes a sultry novel featuring a brooding NHL player who’s hell on skates—and the no-nonsense woman who forces him to clean up his act.

Miranda: Even though I’m broke, putting myself through college, and working two jobs, I’m trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Jake Birch, hockey’s hottest bad boy, lives in a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago—and still complains about every little thing in his penthouse. But after I tell him off, instead of getting me fired, Jake requests me as his personal housekeeper. Then he starts flirting with me. Only I’m not flirting back . . . at least, I’m trying not to. Did I mention that he’s hockey’s hottest bad boy?

Jake: I’ve met the best woman at the worst possible time. Miranda is the fire to my ice—a sexy, charmingly candid spark who breaks down my walls and reminds me what it’s like to feel again. But I’m being forced to date my team owner’s daughter to keep my job, so I can’t be caught with Miranda. Still, we’re getting closer—until Miranda finds out about my “girlfriend.” And that’s not the only secret I’ve been keeping. But Miranda’s the one I want . . . even if she doesn’t believe me.
------
AUTHOR BIO: 

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.
Newsletter: http://brendarothert.com/subscribe/ 

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cover Reveal: EASY MAGIC by Kristen Proby!

Don't miss the amazing cover for Kristen Proby's EASY MAGIC, the newest standalone title in her New York Times bestselling Boudreaux Series! EASY MAGIC is a Contemporary Romance novel releasing February 21, 2017. This gorgeous cover was designed by Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations with photography by Sara Eirew!

      easy-magic-cover

ABOUT EASY MAGIC:

The Boudreaux Series. Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.

Family. Responsibility. Stability.

As the co-CEO of Bayou Enterprises, and the eldest of the Boudreaux clan, Beau is the epitome of these. Now that his baby sister Gabby is happily settled down, Beau has moved into the company loft in the heart of the French Quarter to be closer to his office while his own home is built. He doesn’t have time for anything but the family he adores and the company that drives him.

If only the bewitching owner of the herb shop downstairs from Beau’s loft wasn’t so damn tempting.

Mallory Adams is living the life. The good life. The best life for her. After years of hiding who she is, and the gifts she’s been cursed with, Mallory opened her little shop in the French Quarter, offering herbs and lotions for anything from soothing a sunburn to chasing those pesky ghosts New Orleans is known for out of a client’s home. Some call her eccentric, and some say she’s simply odd, and that’s okay with her. She is a bit odd, but in her experience, all of the best people are.

When an old pipe bursts in the loft above her store, flooding her storeroom, Mallory comes face to face with Beau Boudreaux, and she doesn’t need the clairvoyant abilities that have been passed down through generations to know that she’ll never be the same. Beau is her exact opposite; serious, straitlaced. He wears suits for Pete’s sake and probably wouldn’t know the difference between arnica and flaxseed if his life depended on it. But when he touches her, the electricity is through the roof and she’s smart enough to know that a chemistry like theirs doesn’t happen every day.

Can two people so very different possibly find their way to happily ever after?

    the-boudreaux-series-coffee

And don’t forget to grab the first four books in

The Boudreaux Series!

EASY LOVE

EASY CHARM

EASY MELODY

EASY KISSES

      author-pic-kristen-probyABOUT KRISTEN PROBY: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.   Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.    

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Review & Blog Barrage: ARES by Felicity Heaton! Excerpt included!




Ares, book 1 in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot new paranormal romance series, Guardians of Hades, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of Ares and Megan’s romance, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book.

Enter the ARES international giveaway (ends December 11th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate by using the Rafflecopter form at her website, where you can also download a 4 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php

Here’s more about the book and the sexy Greek god hero and his heroine…


Ares (Guardians of Hades Series Book 1)
Felicity Heaton
Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Fire, Ares was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Caged by the manifestation of his power, held apart from those he loves by his own fire and starved of physical contact, Ares lives a cold existence driven by duty and the desire to return to his world.

Until his world collides with a daemon who steals his power and a mortal female who shatters the ice around his heart and awakens the true fire within him—a soul-stirring passion both dangerous and seductive.

Megan has wandered far from her home, driven from everyone she loves by the devastating realisation that she is different to them all. Unsure who to trust in the world, she keeps to herself, until a fateful stormy night brings a temptingly handsome warrior crashing into her life and into her heart—a warrior who seems to hold powers more frightening and marvellous than her own.
When the New York gate comes under threat, and Ares is put to the test, will he choose his duty and regain the power he needs in order to save his world or will he choose the desires of his heart and sacrifice his fire so he can be with the woman becoming his whole world?

ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php



ARES – Excerpt
Megan kept her head down, using the hood of her coat to keep the rain off her face. She wasn’t sure why she bothered. The storm had already soaked her to the bone. Maybe she did it because the streets in her neighbourhood were pitch-black due to the power outage and she had already passed several unsavoury characters on her route from the bus stop to her apartment. The only light came from passing cars and the lightning forking across the heavy clouds.

She had never seen such a violent storm before and it unsettled her, bringing thoughts of Armageddon and the end of the world. A man passed her on the opposite side of the street, running hard through the heavy rain. He crossed the road further up, moving to her side.

She wrapped her arms around herself as he paused on the pavement and looked in her direction. When her manager had told her she could knock off early from her nightshift at the packing warehouse because of the power problems, she had thought it would be a good thing. Now she wasn’t so sure. She hadn’t considered how dangerous it might be to cross several blocks of New York in total darkness.

The man hadn’t moved.

She turned left down the next street.

It was a shortcut she often used on her way home. Normally, she only did it during the day when there were plenty of people around. It cut several minutes off her journey but it was also an alley. She quickened her pace until she was verging on jogging.

A creeping sense that someone was watching her washed over her and she glanced back into the darkness behind her.

Lightning split the sky and illuminated the main street.

Her heart jumped into her throat as shadows danced around. No sign of the man. She was just being paranoid again. He had probably stopped to figure out where he was going. It was easy to become disorientated in the darkness.

Her footsteps echoed along the alley, loud despite the thunder rolling overhead and the sound of rain battering the tarmac.

She turned to face forwards again.

Lightning flashed.

Her heart leaped into her throat.

An immense figure strolled towards her from the other end of the alley, long coat flaring out from his waist in the wind that gusted from behind her, pushing her towards him. His hand reached down to his side, she caught a flash of metal in the next lightning strike, and then he was running at her.

Chills erupted down her spine and over her arms.

“Move.” The word was a dark growl and her heart stopped dead.

Before she could convince her feet to do as he had ordered, he reached her. A bright burst of light illuminated his face, revealing chiselled features set into a black scowl and eyes that burned her with their intensity as they briefly locked with hers, and then he was running up the wall beside her and flipping over her head like some damned action hero.

He landed hard behind her and her heart exploded into action.

Megan whirled on the spot and brought her hands up in front of her, expecting him to attack her. Her dark eyes widened. The man from the street was there at the other end of the alley.

The larger man ran at him and she caught flickers of both men in the lightning strikes and another flash of metal. The slimmer male had a gun too. Her breath hitched and she tried to run but found that she couldn’t. Her legs refused to respond, no matter how desperately she tried to get them to work. The one who had spoken to her reached the smaller man and they both moved incredibly quickly, beyond humanly possible.

Was it the lightning causing them to look as though they were moving faster than her eyes could track?

It had to be.

They clashed and before either of them could fire their gun, they had both knocked the other one’s away. The big man drew two large blades from inside his long black coat, his broad back to her, and clashed again with the slimmer man. She only caught snippets of their fight as the storm raged above them.

Was it a gang fight, or perhaps a mugging?

Megan wasn’t sure what was happening but she knew what she should be doing. She had to run, or maybe call the police. She pulled her bag towards her and fumbled with it. She couldn’t see a damn thing in the darkness. Where was her phone?

Lightning flashed again and the slimmer man was only a few feet from her, his wet blond hair plastered to his forehead and dark gaze locked on her. The large man tackled him from behind and they rolled past her as she shrieked and leaped away from them, hitting the wall of the alley. Her legs trembled and her bag fell from her shoulder.

“It will take more than steel to win this fight,” the blond man snarled and she frowned at his accent. French?

A bright flash exploded overhead, the thunder rolling in time with it, and she flattened against the wall. Both men had found their feet and were fighting close to her, heading back towards the end of the alley in a flurry of kicks and punches.

She caught brief flickers of the blond man’s thin face as he fought the bigger brunet. Rain rolled down his cheeks and dripped from his small goatee. He didn’t look scared as he fought a man twice his size.

That man circled with him, his expression a picture of darkness and intent. Strands of his overlong dark hair had fallen down and were stuck to his sculpted cheeks. Not a trace of fear lined his features either.

If anything, both of them looked angry.

The Frenchman attacked with a burst of punches, landing a few despite how quickly the other man moved to evade them and then he was on the defensive as the big man swiped with his twin knives. He grunted as one of the blades sliced across his arm and the sickening tinny scent of blood instantly joined the smell of earth and ozone in the air.

He flipped backwards towards the mouth of the alley and came to a halt. He straightened, facing the larger man, and squared his shoulders. The lights in the alley blinked back into life and Megan looked at the street beyond him. They were back on there too. The dim alley lights shone down on the two men as they faced each other, both casual despite the fact they were in the middle of a fight, as if this was an everyday occurrence for them.

The Frenchman tipped his chin up and his eyes narrowed. “I have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.”

“Your death?” the larger man growled, his voice deep and edged with darkness. “You should have dropped in earlier. I’m always happy to send scum like you into the afterlife.”

The Frenchman’s thin lips twisted in a cruel smile. “It is you who will die here tonight.”

“We’ll see.” The larger man launched himself forwards, boots pounding the tarmac.

The blond man raised his hand and suddenly the big one was flying through the air towards her.

She dived out of his path and hit the wet ground hard. Pain blazed through her right shoulder and she curled up on her side, covering her head with her arms. The brunet hit the wall and shards of brick rained down on her. When everything went quiet, she gathered the courage to crack her eyes open.

The large man lay face down on the ground near her. Above him, there was a huge dent in the brick wall of the building. What the heck had just happened? Was he dead? Her hands shook with the thought of witnessing a murder. It wasn’t possible that a man could survive something like that, at least not without broken bones and a severe concussion, but then everything that had happened in the last few seconds seemed impossible.

Her gaze darted between him and the blond man. She had faced some dire odds in her life and survived, but something told her that she wasn’t going to survive this. She should have run when she’d had the chance. She didn’t want to die here tonight.

The large man snarled something dark and her eyes widened as he moved. His hands shifted closer to his elbows and he pushed himself up onto his knees. He shook his head, causing the long strands of his wet hair to caress his face, and then got to his feet.

How the heck could he move after that?

He shouldn’t even be conscious.

His dark eyes shifted to her and she swore red embers lit their penetrating depths. He stared at her for a few seconds, as though they were the only two in the world and there wasn’t another man in the street with them.

A man who wanted to kill him.

“You okay?” he husked and she swallowed and nodded. He nodded too and then did something that surprised her. He smiled, his sensual mouth curving into it and setting her heart racing. How the heck could he smile when he had just been tossed into a wall with such force he shouldn’t be standing right now and was bleeding? “Stay down. I won’t let him near you. It’ll be over soon and you’ll be safe. Understand?”

He growled like a feral beast before she could respond and launched his right hand forwards, as though throwing something at the other man. A bright fierce orb of fire burst from his hand and shot down the alley, blinding in the darkness. He turned and chased it. It exploded against a wall and another flash of fire followed it.

Megan couldn’t believe her eyes.

The large man dodged and air whooshed past her, ruffling her wet shoulder-length hair. Trashcans further along the alley exploded as though something had struck them. Was that what had hit the large man and thrown him into the wall?

She crept to that brick wall and crouched there, keeping as small as possible. Her heart pounded and eyes darted, trying to take in the fight as fear turned to fascination.

The brunet unleashed another swirling orb of fire from his palms and the Frenchman evaded it, rolling forwards in the alley. The man levelled another fiery blast at him, catching him this time and sending him spinning through the air. He landed hard on the tarmac and rolled.

Awestruck didn’t cover how she felt as she watched them now. Both of them had powers. It was incredible.

The big man pounded towards the other one and he disappeared, reappearing right in front of him. They clashed again and the sound of material tearing cut through the thunder rumbling across the city. The brunet leaped backwards, towards her, distancing himself.

“You’ll pay for that,” he growled and she looked at the Frenchman. He stood in the middle of the alley, black cloth dangling from one of his hands. Had he torn the man’s clothes?

The slim blond smiled, tossed the piece of material aside and crooked a finger. “Come and make me.”

The brunet charged and they clashed again, each throwing punches. Megan flinched with every heavy blow and vicious kick, fear slowly trickling back in to wash away her fascination. She had seen some brawls in her time, but nothing like this.

This wasn’t a brawl.

It was a battle.

The lights on the walls flickered, flashes of lightning causing them to stutter. She couldn’t tell who was winning. She hoped it was the brunet because she had the impression that he wasn’t out to hurt her. Not like the other man. There had been moments when he had looked her way, and each time there had been a look on his face that said she was next.

The Frenchman ducked to evade a punch and threw his palm at the larger man. Was he trying to push him over? Megan couldn’t see why he would want to do that and it was the only explanation she could find for him pressing his palm against the man’s chest.

The immense brunet flung his head back and threw his arms out at his sides as he roared in agony at the storm. The lights on the wall of the alley died as his garbled scream filled the night, battling the growling thunder. He fell to his knees and arched backwards, the Frenchman’s hand still pressed against his chest. Orange light shone from the point where they connected, illuminating the blond man’s face as he grinned.

“It was too easy.” He drew his hand back and stared at his fingers.

Something glowed in the centre of his palm, strange light illuminating threads that ran around the back of his hand. He turned his cruel gaze on the large man.

The man collapsed forwards, palms pressing into the wet ground, and the lights on the wall blinked back into life again. His big body heaved as he breathed hard and she frowned as she realised something.

He was shaking.

Flames flickered over the Frenchman’s hand and a fireball grew from the centre of his palm. He aimed it down at the other man.

In an instant, Megan knew what he was going to do and she couldn’t allow it to happen. She couldn’t let this man kill the brunet. She wouldn’t stand for it. Her gaze quickly scanned the dimly lit street and darted back again. One of their guns lay on the wet tarmac only a few feet from her. She reacted on instinct, pushing off the ground and running for it.

She scooped it up.

Raised it.

Fired.

A loud crack like thunder split the silence and she jerked back from the force of the recoil.

The bullet nailed the Frenchman in his right shoulder, knocking him backwards, away from the other man.

An unholy shriek pierced her ears, more like the sound a bird of prey would make rather than a man, and the Frenchman turned his gaze on her. Megan hesitated, fear washing through her stronger than ever and her heart smashing like a jackhammer against her ribs. Eyes that glowed ethereally locked on to her.

What was he?

He raised his hand, the light from the fireball casting dark shadows across his face. She didn’t hesitate. She lifted the heavy silver gun and took aim again.

The fireball exploded from his palm.



ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

Find all the links, a fantastic 4 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php


Books in the Guardians of Hades paranormal romance series:
Book 2: Valen – Coming in 2017

About Felicity Heaton:
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, her best-selling Her Angel romance series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm romance series or any of her stand alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try her Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series. Or if you like hot-blooded alpha heroes who will let nothing stand in the way of them claiming their destined woman then try her Eternal Mates series. It’s packed with sexy heroes in a world populated by elves, vampires, fae, demons, shifters, and more. If sexy Greek gods with incredible powers battling to save our world and their home in the Underworld are more your thing, then be sure to step into the world of Guardians of Hades.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy in exchange for a review.