RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Happy Release Day to Surviving Ice, the fourth novel to K.A. Tucker's New Adult Romantic Suspense series, Burying Water. This novel features the badass tattoo artist, Ivy Lee, who has already been introduced in the previous novel, Chasing River (Loved this book! Check out my review of this novel--A 2015 favorite!). Check out the post below for an excerpt and enter the giveaway for a chance to win signed copies of the Burying Water series!

Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4)
by K.A. Tucker
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense


The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths series and Burying Water—which Kirkus Reviews called “a sexy, romantic, gangster-tinged page-turner”—returns with a new novel packed with romance, plot twists, and psychological suspense.

Ivy Lee, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have finally found it working in her uncle’s tattoo shop in San Francisco. But all that changes when a robbery turns deadly, compelling her to pack up her things yet again.

When they need the best, they call him. That’s why Sebastian Riker is back in California, cleaning up the mess made after a tattoo shop owner with a penchant for blackmail got himself shot. But it’s impossible to get the answers he needs from a dead body, leaving him to look elsewhere. Namely, to the twenty-something-year-old niece who believes this was a random attack. Who needs to keep believing that until Sebastian finds what he’s searching for.

Ivy has one foot out of San Francisco when a chance encounter with a stranger stalls her departure. She’s always been drawn to intense men, so it’s no wonder that she now finds a reason to stay after all, quickly intoxicated by his dark smile, his intimidating strength, and his quiet control.

That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter was no accident—and that their attraction could be her undoing.

EXCERPT


It’s just a regular ringtone. For me, though, it’s the wail of a war siren, and I’m immediately alert. There is only one person who has this number, and I didn’t expect him to use it again so soon.

The tile is cool against my bare feet as I roll out of bed. I collect the phone from the nightstand with one fluid movement, unhindered by sheets or the morning sluggishness that an average person might face. Stepping through the propped-open patio doors and onto the balcony, I answer with a low, curt “Yeah.” The sky is just beginning to lighten over the quiet bay. Dozens of boats sit moored below, their passengers lulled into deep sleep by the ocean air and rhythmic waves. I’m high enough up that I’m not likely to offend anyone with my lack of clothing, especially at this hour. Not that I’m truly concerned by it.

“Ice.”

The code name is a sharp contrast to the warm breeze skating across my bare skin. My adrenaline begins to spike, all the same. Hearing it means that I will be forced to leave this haven soon. Sooner than I had hoped.

“How is recovery going?”

I instinctively peer down at the angry red scar on the outside of my thigh, where a bullet drilled into my flesh and muscle just three weeks ago, outside of Kabul. I nearly bled out before I made it to the doc. He patched me up on a makeshift operating table, buried deep in a maze of rooms, and charged me a hefty price.

“Like new,” I lie.

“Good.” Bentley’s voice is rich and smooth, a welcome sound in a sea of strangers. “Where are you now?”

I peer out over the beautiful vista of crystal blue water and whitewashed stone buildings, the volcanic rock cliffs in the distance, reluctant to divulge my location. I sank a good chunk of my last payout on renting this one-bedroom villa for the month. It’s my private sanctuary, where I can revel in anonymity and peace for a while, before finding somewhere else to drift to.

Bentley has never asked before.

But he also has the technical capabilities to trace this call. If he really wants to find out, then he will. In fact, the second I picked up, he probably already had his answer. “Where do I need to be?” I say instead.

“San Francisco.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



K.A. TUCKER

Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.


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SERIES MINIS: Make it Count, Make it Right & Make it Last by Megan Erickson

Make it Count (Bowler University #1)
by Megan Erickson (GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter)
Published by William Morrow Impulse on June 3rd, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, College
Format: eBook (336 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

ADD TO GOODREADS
Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

New Adult is my new guilty pleasure, especially college set romances. It definitely makes up for my lack thereof  insufficient lovelife and wild moments when I was still in college,  and makes me want to relive a couple of moments--not! Okay, maybe some.

Our heroine was a character I had a hard time warming up to. Kat is failing Statistics--terribly--but she doesn't know it's because of her dyslexia, as she's unaware of her disorder and labels it as her being easily distracted. Sure enough, she had the bark and bite I constantly look for in a heroine, but her constant pity party was a headache. She whined and cried, although understandable because of her constant feeling of being dumb, it was a little too much for my taste at first. But reading further, it's safe to say her character was definitely a realistic portrayal of vulnerable girls who hid behind smiles and pretty faces.

Meanwhile, Alec's character was absolutely loveable even though he's considered as the third party of Kat's relationship with her boyfriend, he is still such sweetheart and another addition to my book boyfriends list. Add the fact that his hairdo is literally the twin to Grease's Danny Zucko's.

Kat and Alec weren't exactly friends. She was his best friend’s pretty girlfriend, and he was her boyfriend’s annoying nerdy best friend. Hence, these two always devoted their alone time in banters and sassing each other out. But spending time together has made them develop feelings for one another. However, let me clear this up: there is no cheating, and Kat's boyfriend, Max, wasn't exactly the guy you'd root for anyway. The romance build up was what I enjoyed the most, other than the secondary characters. It was slow and sweet, yet steamy, just like how I like my romances.

Make it Count was a fun read, and definitely nerdy which will have you giggling non-stop.


Make it Right (Bowler University #2)
by Megan Erickson (GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter)
Published by William Morrow Impulse on September 9th, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, College
Format: eBook (336 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Max Payton lives by two rules: Size and strength win any fight, and never show weakness.

When a rash of assaults sends Bowler University for a tail spin, Max volunteers to help teach a self-defense class. One of the other instructors is the beautiful pixie-faced girl he keeps butting heads with…and who challenges everything he thought he knew.

Lea Travers avoids guys like Max - cocky jocks who assume she's fragile because of a disability caused by a childhood accident. She likes to be in control, and something about being with Max makes her feel anything but. But during the moments he lets his guard down, Lea sees a soul as broken inside as she is outside. Trusting him is a whole other problem...

When the assaults ramp up and hit close to home, Lea and Max must learn, before it’s too late, that true strength can come from vulnerability…and giving in to trust is sometimes the only way to make things right.

Make It Right has got to be my favorite of the series, which, to be frank, was absolutely unexpected, since our boy Max wasn't exactly a likeable character in the previous book. In Make it Count, he obviously has his own issues--family issues to be exact, particularly with his dad, but that wasn't enough to make me feel bad for him. But in his book, Max is the smore you crave--a hard cracker on the outside, but all soft, delicious gooey marshmallow on the inside.

Readers meet Lea before the first book ends, and get a glimpse of her sweet, yet sassy nature but Megan Erickson definitely gives more depth to her character in this novel. At five feet, she's the definition of small but terrible, and the fact that she's a black belter just made her cooler in my book. She's fierce yet vulnerable at the same time, and absolutely selfless.

The romance between Max and Lea was one of my favorites. These two hard headed knuckleheads clashed head on and made every turn of a page sizzle with lots of tension! But don't get me wrong, they, of course, don't fight all the time, because Max definitely turns into a softie when it comes to Lea and the thought of it just makes me feel all giddy!

The plot is mostly centered on Max and his family problems; the way he tries to be the person he isn't just to please his father. It was a touching read, and it sure made me fall in love with Max's character, unlike my first impression of him in the previous novel, and kudos to Megan Erickson for that!

Make It Right was sweet and fluffy, and quite emotional, but it was definitely a wonderful read!


Make It Last (Bowler University #3)
by Megan Erickson (GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter)
Published by William Morrow Impulse on January 6th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary. Romance
Format: eBook (352 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

ADD TO GOODREADS
After graduating from Bowler University, the last place Cam Ruiz ever expected to find himself is his hometown. A bad job as a bouncer and worry over his mom’s health make living in Paradise anything but. There’s only one thing that can make his return any harder—running into the only girl he’s ever loved.

Tate Ellison made a mistake when she was eighteen, one that cost her the best thing she’s ever had. She’s always hoped the regret of losing Cam would fade over time. Too bad it’s only grown. She took comfort in the fact she’d never have to face him again, so his presence in Paradise throws her for a loop.

The pull between them is instant and when the truth of what happened years ago tumbles out, they share a mind-blowing kiss...which leads to more. But the past has a way of repeating itself. When all the cards are on the table, Cam and Tate must decide what they are willing to do to make it last.

The Bowler University gang has graduated and Make it Last is the first book in the series that isn't set in campus, so it's got a much more emotional impact compared to the previous novels. Make It Last is all about family, old flames and reconciliation.

There's a sense of maturity in the characters in Make it Last. Cam's has made his intro in the first book, but readers would barely get an idea of who he really is, as he's only mentioned to be a guy with a serious side who likes to play video games, but it's definitely obvious that there's more to his personality which is explored [in this book], especially his backstory. His character didn't appeal to me as much as Max's, but he was surely a sweet character to read about and among the boys--Alec and Max--he was the most mature of all.

Reading about Tate's character was an emotional rollercoaster. She was the most realistic among all of Megan Erickson's Bowler University heroines. Her character was so raw and had so much depth--so flawed, so weakwilled, but still so strong at the same time, as she steps up as the provider for the family, and chucks away her aspirations for the sake of the people she loves.

Second chance romances are my favorites because of that sense of nostalgia hanging around between the couple. There's the memory of the before, and the crave for a reset. There's the lust, of course, but there's also the longing, which I always love to read about. However, as much as I prefer the slow burn type of romance, Cam and Tate still have feelings for each other, so the reconciliation was a little rushed for my taste.

While Make It Right was the fun book, Make It Last was a tearjerker. There's lots of heartfelt and saddening moments, but don't fret, Megan Erickson's humor is still found inbetween the drama.


If you're a fan of Cora Carmack's Rusk University series, and Elle Kennedy's Off-Campus series, this series should be your next read! 

BOOK TOUR: Just One Kiss by Jami Wagner + Giveaway

Just One Kiss (Black Alcove #1)
by Jami Wagner
Release Date: October 12th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance


A first kiss is hard to forget—and Kelsey Brian’s just walked into the bar where she works and isn’t planning to leave anytime soon. It figures. With her last semester of college finally here, Kelsey can’t wait to finish the year smoothly and start a new chapter. She doesn’t need to drive over yet another bump in the road.

Ethan Connelly has spent most of his adult life trying to be accepted by his father, and now he has the chance to make him proud. He’s also just stepped into another chance with the girl who got away. Deciding who matters most to him isn’t an easy choice. If he picks his father, he’ll lose her again—if he picks her, everything he’s worked for will be for nothing.

Can Kelsey learn to trust him, or will Ethan’s secret of why he’s really back in town tear them apart?

EXCERPT


My mindset walking into this was “get in, get out in less than two weeks.” Sara needs someone for almost a year, but the sooner my dad is happy, the sooner I don’t have to listen to him anymore. But now, I might take a little longer. I wasn’t expecting to walk in and find a certain slender and still beautiful brunette standing behind the counter.

Kelsey Brian.

One look from her and I forgot everything.

All she did was stand behind the counter, staring at me, and I already know there’s no way I’m going to stop thinking about her. Hell, I don’t think I ever have. Those big, golden eyes practically undressing me the minute I walked in the door. Her full, pink lips falling slightly apart as I walked closer. She smelled like Red Hots, the cinnamon candy, and my body had responded immediately.

I never could forget that girl.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



JAMI WAGNER

JAMI WAGNER was born in Wyoming. Still living in the Cowboy State, Jami and her boyfriend are currently writing their own love story with their yellow lab.

Jami enjoys writing New Adult and published her debut novella Date in the Dark in 2015.

Visit and connect with Jami at www.jami-wagner.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorJamiWagner, on Twitter at @Jami_Wagner, or on Instagram at @JAMIWAGNER_.


BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1)
by Lauren Layne
Release Date: October 6th, 2015 by Loveswept
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit, Humor
Format: eARC (260 pages)
Source: Publisher

ADD TO GOODREADS
Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.


My heart jumps every time Lauren Layne comes out with a new novel, like a kid up on Christmas morning, because every single one of her books has struck an arrow to my heart, and made me fall in love. This is how much I love Lauren Layne's writing and how much I look forward to every new release.

Irresistibly Yours, the first book of  Layne's new upcoming spin-off series, Oxford, definitely lives up to it's name. [Lauren Layne] gives you a friends-to-lovers romance that will make you swoon and feel giddy--about 80% of the time--and expect a few giggle fits and lots of steamy moments--every thing I look for in a romance!

Cole Sharpe is no new character, he's been introduced in the previous books as a contractor at Oxford, and an absolutely stunning man, too. Tall, blond, and handsome, and let's not forget, he's one of the best Sports Editors out there. So, when he finally gets the opportunity to land his dream job at Oxford, he finds out it's not all that easy because for the first time in his life, he's got competition; an unexpected one: Penelope Pope. A tiny, doe-eyed brunette.

Once again, Lauren Layne never fails to catch your attention with captivating characters. Cole will definitely sweep you off your feet with his irresistible charm, and so will Penelope. I've never been so fond of a heroine the way I adored Penelope. She's incredibly witty and smart, knows her sports stats like the back of her hand. I loved how she was so different from the ladies of Stiletto, due to her tomboyish nature, but she was such an adorable character, with an absolute vulnerable side.

"You're out of my league, Sharpe."

In regards to the romance, Cole and Penelope were a hoot as it all began from a office-partnership friendship to friends with benefits. There was hilarious banter, and lots of bickering and teasing, and most definitely, there was a lot of steamy moments that made every turn of a page sizzle, just what I expected from a Lauren Layne book.

"Penelope. Are you physically shaking it off right now?
"Don't judge, it helps."
"You're right. It does."
"What are you shaking off?"
Cole shrugged. "Nothing. I'm flawless."

Of course, you are.

If you're a newcomer to the Lauren Layne circle, don't fret! Her books can be read as a standalone, but of course, it would be best to read the Stiletto series for the full experience. Irresistibly Yours is a fun read, with moments of giggles and the right amount of drama, you'll want more!

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
**Quotes are taken from the uncorrected copy of the novel and are subjected to change. 

EXCERPT


But before Cole could make the call on whether or not to die curious about that damn notebook or risk rejection by Tiny Brunette, his best friend and co-worker was holding a fresh beer in front of his face.

“You look like you need it,” Lincoln Mathis said, sipping the foam off his own beer.

“How would you know?” Cole said. “You’ve been chatting up Jonas Leroy’s wife for the better part of four innings.”

“Had to,” Lincoln said with a little shrug. “She was bored. Her husband’s completely preoccupied with whatever’s going on with that ball down there.”

“As he should be at a baseball game,” Cole said pointedly.

Cole didn’t know why he bothered. His friend was already back on his cellphone, not the least bit interested in the game.

Lincoln Mathis looked like the type of man who should enjoy sports: tall, athletic, well muscled from their early-morning gym sessions. Carelessly styled black hair and friendly blue eyes that screamed guy’s guy just as loudly as they did ladies’ man.

But, much to Cole’s dismay, he’d never been able to get his friend to invest more than a passing interest in sports—any sport. Lincoln was always happy to tag along to a game when booze and women were involved, but ask him who he thought this year’s MVP would be, and he’d say Babe Ruth without the smallest hint of irony.

Still, tonight, Cole couldn’t exactly lecture Lincoln for not paying attention when he himself was having a hell of a time keeping track of the score.

Once more, his eyes found Tiny Brunette, who was . . . yep. Writing in her notebook.

“Hey, Sharpe. Do you know where they keep a fire extinguisher in here?” Lincoln asked, looking around the luxury suite of Yankee Stadium.

Cole tore his gaze away from the woman and her damn notebook. “What for?”

“If you stare at that girl any harder, she’s going to burst into flames,” Lincoln said, jerking his chin at Tiny Brunette.

“I wasn’t staring.”

“Don’t insult our bromance,” Lincoln said cheerfully.

“Keep running your mouth and we won’t have a bromance.” Cole forced himself not to look at the woman again.

“Hey, if you’ve got a crush on the wee lass, you can tell me,” Lincoln said, taking another sip of beer.

“I don’t have a crush. And wee lass? Really? You’re Scottish now?”

“Sometimes. Chicks dig the brogue. You should try it on your girl over there.”

“She’s not my girl. She’s just . . .” Interesting, Cole finished silently.

“Good,” Lincoln said, clapping him on the shoulder. “So you won’t mind that she left.”

Cole’s eyes flew to the seat where the woman was sitting, annoyed to see that his friend was right. She was gone.

“It’s just as well,” Lincoln said. “We have bigger things to focus on. Say, like how we’re going to annihilate the bastard who’s out for your job.”

“It’s not my job,” Cole said, carefully keeping the tinge of bitterness out of his tone.

“Not yet,” Lincoln said. “But it will be. Taking your competition out of the picture is the only reason I’m at this barbarian event.”

“Remind me never to take you to a hockey game,” Cole muttered.

Still, he appreciated his friend’s loyalty. And Lincoln was right. Tonight wasn’t about petite female baseball fans and their damn notebooks.

Tonight was about Cole’s professional future.

The key to that future? Oxford magazine.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


LAUREN LAYNE

Lauren Layne is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.  Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.


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