Title: Dare Me Again
Author: Shelly Alexander
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Content Rating: R
Making dreams come true is a red-hot challenge for two stubborn hearts risking it all on a second chance…
Hot-wired and restless, financial wizard Elliott Remington doesn’t turn down a dare. This time it’s to coordinate a service-dog boot camp for veterans at his family’s resort. Success means a one-way ticket to the West Coast to pursue his dream career. But it comes with a hitch: teaming up with his ex, who vanished on him ten years ago with nothing more than a kiss-off note.
As fiery as her hair and as stubborn as her name, Rebel Tate did what she had to do—for Elliott’s sake and her own. A dog whisperer with a keen sense of survival, she’s lived a tough life. Here she is, back in Angel Fire Falls, doing what she loves, next to a man she’s never forgotten. While the flame between them still smolders, neither is ready to get burned.
For Elliott, trusting Rebel is a gamble. For Rebel, sharing the secrets that sent her running is a risk. Now, while finishing a job that could define both their futures, two hearts are about to collide—and a second chance at true romance could be the greatest dare of all.
Dare Me Again Excerpt
Copyright © 2019 Shelly Alexander
Rebel let out a heavy sigh and straightened. She’d wondered how long it would take for shit to get real. Maybe there was a hashtag for that she could use. “Go ahead. Just say it.”
He gave her a look that said he had no idea what she was talking about. “Say what?”
She crossed her arms. “Whatever’s on your mind. Whatever makes you feel better, because there isn’t just an elephant in the room. There’s an entire herd of elephants, and judging from the sound of your grinding teeth, they’re about to stampede.” She cocked a hip and waited. Waited for the very thing she’d tried to avoid years ago. His disapproval. His disappointment.
Regret washed through her. Breaking up with him through a note had been cruel. But at the time, it was her only option. If she’d told him the truth about her circumstances, if she’d told him about the horrible secret she was keeping for her dying mother, she was pretty sure he would’ve given up his scholarship and come home to go to community college on the mainland just to be her support system.
That would’ve been the only thing worse than him hating her for leaving him without an explanation.
So it was time to face what she’d done, even if it meant hearing harsh words from the only man she’d ever loved.
Instead, he stewed in silence. She wasn’t sure which was more awful.
His jaw hardened, and his eyes turned icy. Yeah, the silence was much more awful.
“Go on.” She couldn’t stop her foot from tapping nervously against
the cement. “I’m a big girl. I can take it. I’ve been through much worse than a few scathing words from an ex-boyfriend.”
Rem moved to her side.
Elliott studied her, finally drawing in a deep breath. “It’s ancient history. Forget about it. I know I have.”
Oh. Her foot tapping stopped. “Let’s focus on the camp,” he said. “That’s all I care about. Then you and I can go back to our lives.”
She swallowed down the sting in her throat.
She thought he’d ask why, want answers, or just plain tell her off.
She’d been terribly wrong. More than answers, more than having his say, what he obviously needed was for them to go their separate ways. Again.
Something sharp pricked at her heart. Breaking up had been the last thing she’d wanted, but what would a homeless teenager with no prospects have to offer a Wharton grad who was going to have a world of opportunities at his feet? Especially if the truth about what her mother had done ever came to light. So she’d broken up with him and told him to move on without her.
She just hadn’t realized how much it would hurt if she got what she’d asked for, even after all these years.
Catch up with the Angel Fire Falls series and get the first book, DARE ME ONCE, on sale for .99c now!
About Shelly Alexander
Shelly Alexander is an Amazon Bestseller in multiple categories and a 2014 Golden Heart® finalist. Shelly grew up traveling the world, earned a bachelor's degree in marketing, and worked in the business world for twenty-five years. With four older brothers, Shelly and her sister watched every Star Trek episode ever made, joined the softball team instead of ballet class, and played with G.I. Joes while the Barbie Corvette stayed tucked in the closet. When she had three sons of her own, she decided to escape her male-dominated world by reading romance novels and has been hooked ever since. Now, she spends her days writing contemporary romances that are sometimes sweet, sometimes sizzling, and always sassy. She enjoys the arid climate of the beautiful Southwest where she lives with her husband and two toy poodles named Mozart and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
TS901: Anomaly was an amazing start to a series and the beginning a beautiful, if very flawed and post-apocalyptic, world. When a chemical intended to help humanity was introduced into the water, it had some surprising results. Individuals with certain DNA were mutated and forced into the Hive – picture detainment camp.
Thia makes it her mission to escape the Hive and expose the truth behind the TS901 chemical and how the government has been using the people mutated by it. There are a lot of twists and turns as the escape progresses and Thia and crew attempt to infiltrate a government facility to free the people held there.
Thia was an intriguing character that really draws the spotlight in the story. Even though surrounded by strong males and females she managed to shine, but somehow without taking away from the other characters. I can’t wait to get started on the rest of the series.
I am a big fan of the Shannara world by Terry Brooks. And Grainne Ohmsford is one of the most intriguing characters I've run into in this epic fantasy series. Tanequil continues the story of her involuntarily journey into the Forbidding, a land full of demons and other nasty evil things, and her nephew Penderrin's search for a way to bring her back.
Penderrin finds himself searching for a magical talisman that will allow him to enter the Forbidding, find his aunt, and bring her back. But as any reader of epic fantasy well knows, magical talismans come with a very high price. Terry Brooks does an excellent job of showing that payment isn't always a physical sacrifice, sometimes it's emotional as well. Penderrin's experiences as he obtains the Tanequil were some of my favorite of the book.
Meanwhile, Grainne finds out the same thing in a slightly different way. Not all punishment is physical, and she begins to lose herself to the magic of the Forbidding. Enemies and allies in unexpected places really brought this realm to life. It truly is another world within Shannara, and I can see why the elves first sealed it away. I can't wait to find out if she will be the same person or something completely different by the end of the series.
This will be my last in the Sisterhood series for a while. While I totally understand the need for revenge, the graphic quality of what the group does to the man that killed Myra's daughter just turned my stomach and made me sick.
In addition, after the things they have put Jack and his friend through, I find it beyond belief that he would even consider not continuing to try and find a way to stop them. If the books were less graphic, or more about the women finding ways to prove people's guilt or trap them into confessing, I think this would be a far better series.
I will continue to read Fern Michaels' Christmas and holiday books. They are so much different than this series. Perhaps I will come back some day and see if the Sisterhood takes a new direction.
Title: Deep in the Heart
Author: Alexa Padgett
Genre: Contemporary Romance
She's mending guitars and her life. He's trying to forget the war with music. Will one broken instrument make their love a smash hit?
Jenna Olsen isn't sure she'll ever escape her terrible choices in love. Becoming a skilled guitar craftsperson helped with the anxiety, but she dreams of the day when she can trust someone again. When an up-and-coming country star asks for a custom guitar in an impossible time-frame, Jenna falls for the challenge… and the man.
Camden Grace loves his music and adores his fans. His passions help him cope with the physical wounds he sustained in Iraq, but he remains haunted by his fractured family history. After his latest angry outburst leaves an expensive guitar shattered, he doesn't expect to find a strong-willed woman whose struggle echoes his own.
As the instrument and their feelings start to come together, an old would-be flame attempts to sabotage their relationship with increasingly aggressive behavior. Will a jealous rival kill more than their careers or will Jenna and Camden rise above the rage to heal their hearts forever?
Deep in the Heart is a new adult contemporary romance with a melody of music. If you like sizzling chemistry, raw emotions, and wounded heroes, then you'll love Alexa Padgett's compelling novel.
Buy Deep in the Heart to strike a chord of love today!
Deep in the Heart Excerpt
Copyright © 2019 Alexa Padget
“Nothing wrong with that. But we’re off task. Talked with your grandfather earlier when I stopped by.”
“When was that?”
“’Bout four, I guess.”
“Sorry I missed you. We still need to meet to finalize those details.”
In an honest moment, I admitted I wasn’t ready to deal with Cam— and my growing feelings for him tonight.
“Can we meet tomorrow? I’m not at work, and I can’t seem to wake up all the way.” No way I was going to tell him that I had never been so desperate to have him like me.
“We could, but I have an idea I want to go over with you. Came to me this morning when I was in the shower.”
Great. Now, on top of everything else, I was going to have the image of Cam, naked, in the shower covered in soap, branded in my overwrought brain.
Damn brain created one hell of an image, and I needed to fact check its veracity. “I’ll throw in dinner to sweeten the deal,” he said.
My heart flipped at the idea of going on a date with Cam. He was so sexy. And a bigger star than Kai and the rest of his band, meaning we’d get mobbed by fans. That was rule numero uno of no-go in Jenna-Land: no crowds equaled minimal freak-outs.
“I’m not up for an evening out.”
“Didn’t think you would be after last night. I’ll bring food to you. You like ’cue?”
“Am I from Texas?” I retorted.
Cam chuckled. “Want pulled pork or brisket?”
“Um… both? With a loaded baked potato.”
“More of a Pappa’s girl, huh? Sacrilege to my true-blood Stubb’s. I’ll throw in some ribs.”
“Whatever,” I said on a yawn. “If you bring ribs, be prepared to see me covered in sauce.”
Cam groaned. “Really? Not an image I needed.”
“Not one I meant to send,” I said with a smile because yes, it was. To get even for his oh-so-not-innocent shower comment. “I have some Beerworks Peacemaker my brother left here when we were watching the game.”
“You like college football?”
“Cam,” I said on a sigh. “We’ve established I’m from Texas. I have two older brothers. Yes, I like football, both professional and college. As if there’s another sport I’d watch.”
“All good points. I have an older brother, too. A whole eleven minutes older. See, we have tons in common, Jenna. Now, text me your address and I’ll be there in…”
“At least an hour,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Sugar plums are made faster than you’ll pick up an order at Stubb’s.”
“Oh, ye of little faith. I’m taking that as a bet.”
“What? Whoa! I don’t bet. I never said anything about a bet.”
My heart rate kicked up to that of a galloping horse. “No, siree with a cherry on top. Nope.”
“You afraid? C’mon, I’ll make it easy on you. If I can get there faster than an hour, I get to take you out on a date. Day of my choosing but in the next week.”
“This is stupid…”
“And if you win, you get to take me out on a date.”
“Win-lose ratio’s off there, buddy.”
But he’d already hung up. Somehow that didn’t surprise me. Camden Grace got what he wanted— when he wanted it. All those fans, hits, and money created that alpha personality. Or maybe he was always the top dog and could now enforce his desires.
“What did you get me into, Pop-pop?” I tossed my phone back onto my coffee table and rubbed my palms over my face.
For now, Cam seemed interested in spending time with me. And I might… yeah, for better— probably worse— want to see him, too.
About Alexa Padgett
With a degree in international marketing and a varied career path that includes content management for a web firm, marketing direction for a high-profile sports agency, and a two-year stint with a renowned literary agency, award-winning author Alexa Padgett has returned to her first love: writing fiction.
Alexa spent a good part of her youth traveling. From Budapest to Belize, Calgary to Coober Pedy, she soaked in the myriad smells, sounds, and feels of these gorgeous places, wishing she could live in them all—at least for a while. And she does in her books.
She lives in New Mexico with her husband, children, and walk-loving Great Pyrenees pup, Ash. When not writing, schlepping, or volunteering, she can be found in her tiny kitchen, channeling her inner Barefoot Contessa.
I have always loved Blay. His quiet strength and fierce way of loving has always set him apart in the best of ways for me. Qhuinn, on the other hand, is the exact opposite, and part of me really wanted Blay to end up with someone better. But in other ways, they are perfect for each other - in the opposites attract fashion.
In true J.R. Ward style, this is more than just another paranormal romance. The story of the Brotherhood and their enemies takes another dangerous turn, and while some of the antics were far beyond belief, the war between the vampires and the lessers is really heating up.
I wish (and I say this often) that Ward would include more of the previous females in each book. We very rarely get to see them as anything more than a background plot device after they have fallen in love and mated their Male. These are strong and fierce women (vampire and otherwise), and I want to see them become a more integral part of the stories.
Payback continues the story of The Sisterhood, a group of women that seek revenge on people that have wronged them (so far it seems to be all men).
In my review of Weekend Warriors, the first book, I mentioned that the suspension of belief for a contemporary was a bit of a stretch in this series. I think it's similar to thinking that a businessman could create things like Batman and go solve crimes without anyone realizing who he really was. While fun, it's not very believable.
The second book throws a ghost into the mix that speaks to two of the women, basically encouraging them to continue seeking revenge on people who have wronged them and escaped traditional justice.
Once again, the person they hunt deserves to have something happen to them. But again, the punishment really turned my stomach. I think these stories would be so much better if instead of a physical revenge, they found a way for the real justice system to get these guys.
In the background you have the added drama of Jack, an attorney that used to be engaged to one of the women, catching on and trying to prove they are doing things. Jack is a good guy, and he gets swept up in the revenge, and it just makes me like the main group of characters even less.
Still, there is something about this series that I can't look away from. Even with the typos, plot contradictions, errors, and awful acts the Sisterhood take part in, I somehow need to keep going to see what's next.
Rose Bride is my absolute favorite of the Lust in the Tudor Court series by Elizabeth Moss. I think seeing the court from a different perspective, but still close enough to all the nobility and even the King, really allowed the book to weave its own story while still giving that amazing Tudor feel.
I did not like Margerie the first time I met her. I thought she was a little bit up in everyone's business, but I was quickly proven wrong. She's a sweet woman that has had her past manipulated and she has only recently come into her own self.
Virgil was a great character. Trying his best to help King Henry get his new queen pregnant, he has to resort to some new herbs and medicine, but he isn't allowed to use them on the King until he has tested them himself. I loved how this set up some very interesting confrontations between him and Margerie.
I wish there was more to the series, but it also ended in a really great place for all our characters. I think this is a series (especially book three) that I will have to revisit again sometime soon.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
I’m not entirely sure what to think about this one. The setup and introduction to the characters were really good, and I couldn’t wait to see what they would do to “fix” things. They formed the Sisterhood and set out to right the wrongs vigilante style. But they have the help of a woman with a seemingly endless income and an ex-British special ops guy.
As the book progressed, I had to suspend belief more and more. For contemporary fiction, it seemed to border on fantasy with the way the special ops guy and their funding never seemed to let them down. It was just a little too much to take in and think could happen even in the far reaches of the possible.
But, I was still intrigued and kept reading. Then it hit me like a car accident and I just couldn’t look away. These women do things that are just as awful as the people they are supposedly getting revenge on. It was horrible. I’m all for a punishment fitting the crime, but this went way over that line. It was incredibly violent – which really surprised me, and I found slightly disturbing
I think I’ll give the series another chance, but this was not the best series starter by a long shot. I have loved some of Fern Michaels’ other stories (particularly the Christmas ones) and this is nothing like them at all.
Alison Weir seamlessly merges two tales of English royal turmoil and runs them side by side, even though they happened many years apart, in a way that shows you just how history seems to repeat itself. These were also some of the darker times in English history, as the youngest and most vulnerable – notably the boy princes Edward and Richard that were locked away never to be seen again.
As for historical accuracy – I can honestly say I don’t know much about the real-life story of these individuals other than the couple paragraphs I read in history class.
The writing and characters really come to life, and I felt so mad about how the adults treated the younger generation – using them as pawns and political game pieces. It was common then, I know, but Alison Weir really showed me how it might have felt to be used that way. To fall in love and dream of being happy only to know that your life really isn’t your own.
The conflict surrounding the royalty of England is what draws me to the era. And there was definitely conflict here. But there were also softer moments where I really had a chance to enjoy life with the characters before things went crazy again.
I highly recommend Alison Weir’s books – they are always a pleasure to read.
*I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of this book*