GRIGORI – A Lauren Smith Review & Excerpt Reveal

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The Barinov brothers know that keeping your family secret is no easy task. But when Grigori learns of a woman who’s stepped into their world unknowingly…he’s surprised more than once by who she is…

The Barinovs have been a family of dragons shifters for years and now they are down to three brothers, one who is in exile. As Grigori worries that he must face-off against his family’s enemies he encounters the one thing he never dreamed to find: his mate. But oh how fate is fickle and she sticks him with a woman who is not quite who she seems. And somehow their pasts run deeper than either of them could’ve imagined.

I’m not new to dragons shifters and I loved the premise of Russian dragons (a new country for once!) and their history. This was a short read but one I think could’ve dealt with a bit more convincing.  I liked the twist that Smith put in between Grigori and Madelyn but I found her character lacking. Her history is interesting and how it is tied to the rest of the story. But I found that she fell for our hero so quickly that I couldn’t believe her intentions and it felt like I was more judgemental of the book than I wanted to be. I loved the plot and the potential these dragon shifters have but…I must admit that I have a strong opinion in the need for strong female leads that are consistent.


9781250142542.jpgHe’s one of the last of a powerful but vanishing bloodline …

Grigori Barinov is the eldest in an ancient line of dragon shifters and the guardian of his family’s lands and fortune. Sworn to protect their history and magic, he won’t rest until he neutralizes any threat to their existence. When he discovers an ancient manuscript that exposes his family and their dragon lineage has fallen into a mortal woman’s hands, he knows he must get the book back by any means necessary. If that means seducing a nosy American woman with an intoxicating scent, he is more than willing to carry her off to his palatial home deep in the heart of Russia.

She’s the one woman who could expose him to the world…

Madelyn Haynes has never fit in. As an adopted child she grew up in a loving home but never felt as though she belonged. Plagued by mysterious dreams she’s had of a silver scaled beast ever since she was a little girl, she is convinced dragons are real. While in Russia working on her PhD in mythology in order to escape the ridicule from fellow professors, she unexpectedly crosses paths with the sexy and dominating Grigori, and after just one night with the man whose eyes seem to burn, she starts to change inside. Isolated in the Russian wilderness Grigori calls home, Madelyn can’t help but fall under his sensual spell, yet something deep inside her calls out that she can’t trust him. She has to show the world dragons are real to salvage academic reputation, even if it means costing her the heart of the dragon she’s falling in love with.

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“Lauren has created a new series that will capture you from page one! Grigori is exactly what a dragon should be. Smoking hot, sexy, and wickedly dangerous. You’re going to love this book!” – New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy

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Grigori Barinov stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows in his executive office, staring out over the city of Moscow. Body alert, every muscle rigid, the expensive gray wool suit he wore felt tight as he shifted. Below him, people were passing on the streets. A flash of silver caught his attention. It was the wink of a diamond earring dangling from a well-dressed woman’s ear. With eyes that were ten times as powerful as a mortal’s, he scanned the streets, absorbing every detail.

Searching . . .

“For the last few days, his senses had picked up on something in his city. A creature he didn’t recognize. It made him restless. Moscow was filled with supernatural beings—werewolves, vampires, shifters of all kinds, and magically gifted humans were all present—but none of them fired up his instincts. No, he’d never felt this before in his life, but he knew in his gut what it was. An enemy was in his city, a creature that posed a threat to him. As a dragonshifter, few creatures in this world could give him pause and put him on his guard. He only wished he knew what sort of beast it was so he could hunt it down and remove the threat.

The sapphire dragon tattoo on his forearm itched, but he didn’t scratch it. He knew the dragon inside of him was trying to warn him to stay on his guard. The phone on his desk buzzed and his personal assistant, Alexis spoke.

“Mr. Barinov, you have a call from the Russian State Library.”

Every muscle in his body tensed. There was only one reason anyone from the Russian State Library would be calling him. That damn book by James Barrow. He’d been too softhearted and Barrow had been so earnest. He’d gone against his better judgment and allowed the Englishman to spend a year studying him and his brothers. And he’d been paying for it for the last 200 years. He’d been lucky Barrow’s heirs had sent him the journal. Thankfully, it had never been sent to a publisher; Barrow had kept his word about his writings remaining a secret.

I should’ve burned it. But he hadn’t been able to. Barrow had become a friend and Grigori hadn’t wanted to destroy the memory. There was also something fascinating about reading an insightful human’s observations about him and his brothers.

He couldn’t leave it at his office or his home in the country. His enemies had frequently broken into both places more than once, searching for anything they could use against him. He’d thought he’d be clever and tuck it away in a library amid other obscure texts that no one ever looked at in a guarded collection. It had been safe all these years, hiding in plain sight. Until now.

“Mr. Barinov?” Alexis queried again.

“Put the call through.” He turned away from the window and walked over to his mahogany desk just as the phone rang.

He answered. “Yes?”

“Mr. Barinov, my name is Yuri. I’m a guard for antiquarian book room at the Russian State Library.” A man spoke, his voice hushed and anxious.

“Yes.” Grigori waited, his patience on a razor’s edge.

“When I first took over security for this room I was given strict and confidential instructions to call you if anyone ever came asking about a certain title in the collection. Someone checked out the Barrow book, Mr. Barinov.”

Grigori closed his eyes, holding his breath for a moment. “And?”

“I followed protocol. She did not leave the library with the book. But . . .” The guard hesitated. “She was taking pictures. I have no instructions regarding pictures.” The phone cracked as Grigori’s temper flared.

“Pictures?”

“Yes. She was using her phone.” The guard’s voice wavered as though he sensed Grigori’s building rage.

Pictures. Fuck, if any evidence of his existence was discovered and exposed in the world of mortals it would put a target on his back and that of his two brothers. The magical world knew of his family, the last three brothers in ancient bloodline of Russian Imperial Dragon shifters, but the rest of the world didn’t know . . . Couldn’t know.

“Can you detain her until I arrive?” he asked the guard.

“But she’s leaving now—”

“Stop her!” Grigori barked. The other end of the phone was full of panting, the flapping of rubber soled shoes on marble, a muffled shout for someone to stop. Grigori tried to picture the library in his mind, wondering why the guard couldn’t catch up with this woman. Finally the footsteps stopped, and Grigori heard the sounds of streets of the city muted beneath the guard’s gasping for breath.

“She ran—I couldn’t catch her before she left the library. She’s gone. But I have the book.”

Grigori sighed. “I will come to collect it. When I do, I want every detail you have about this woman. Her name, where she’s from, everything.”

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CONNECT WITH LAUREN

51V54syEoeL._UX250_.jpg Lauren Smith is an Oklahoma attorney by day, author by night who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She knew she was destined to be a romance writer when she attempted to re-write the entire Titanic movie just to save Jack from drowning. Connecting with readers by writing emotionally moving, realistic and sexy romances no matter what time period is her passion. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: New England Reader’s Choice Awards, Greater Detroit BookSeller’s Best Awards, Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and a Semi-Finalist for the Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

 

Author Links

Website: http://laurensmithbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenDianaSmith
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LSmithAuthor

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BAD REPUTATION – A Nicole Edwards Review

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Have you ever had a story that just hooks you from the beginning? Bad Reputation does just that as Edwards unveils the story of Chase and Cassie: two best friends who realize they are actually…more.

Chase and Cassie have had a beautiful friendship for years. There’s an effortless flow between them that is undeniable to even the newest of readers. As all of their friends and family sit by and hope for them to finally admit their feelings, the two are both in strong denial. BUT for the same reason: they both believe the other wouldn’t feel the same, so they’d rather be best friends than not have one another in their lives.

Now when a Vegas night goes wrong for Cassie, she fears she’s made the worst mistake of her life. But somehow she and Chase take the final step across the line from friendship into something more. These two are HOT! There’s definitely some action-packed sex scenes that are sure to thrill any romance reader. But alongside that there is the ability for both of them robe emotional present and cognizant of one another at the same time.

Now we have our will they or won’t they moment…and it’s a doozie that will make you bite your nails and want to knock their heads together. But the reconciliation and the ending had me in tears! Definitely a top read!


IMG_3233.JPGMeet the most wanted players in sports . . . one ridiculously hot alpha male at a time.

Chase: With a nickname like “Sin,” it’s no wonder they call me the bad boy of hockey. Opponents curse me. Fans scream my name—in the arena and in other, much more private places. Penalties or not, I’m not afraid to dish out a little pain. But pleasure? That’s my weakness. And no one knows it better than my best friend, Cassie Desrosiers. I’d have to be blind not to notice her rocking body and teasing grin. So when she invites me along on a trip to Vegas, my curiosity isn’t the only thing that’s aroused.

Cassie: Chase Barrett is a world-class A-hole. As his best friend, I’m allowed to call him on his BS. Who else is going to do it? Certainly not the puck bunnies swooning at every flex of his biceps. Everyone knows that Chase is the love-’em-and-leave-’em type. There’s no such thing as commitment for the king of casual hookups. So why should I care? Maybe because all work and no play makes me a sexually frustrated girl. It’s time to put the hockey stud at my beck and call to good use . . . but after a week in Vegas with Chase, I might never want to go back to the real world.

This sexy standalone novel includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

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BAD FOR HER – A Christi Barth Review, Excerpt Reveal & Giveaway

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Hello, I’ll be a new fan of Christi Barth after I’m done picking my jaw up from the floor. Say hello to “Rafe” a bad boy now under WITSEC protection alongside his two brothers. It’s their last chance as a family to stay safe under their new monikers and Rafe is struggling to find a reason to make it stick. That is until he meets Mollie on the side of the road with a flat tire…and he’s drawn to her in a way he never thought possible.

Rafe is downright sexy as he tries to win over Mollie on becoming friends with benefits as neither of them are currently on the market for anything more. But Mollie can’t control her own heart and when she discovers that Rafe is keeping a huge secret from her she knows that she has to make a decision. Take Rafe as he is or win his trust to tell her the truth?

This isn’t your typical romance is there is a bit of action with the brothers trying to stay safe from the mob in Chicago. But the true “what-if” exists between Mollie and Rafe (and a little bit of Kellan, their baby brother, and Delaney, their protection officer). I love the premise of bad boys gone good but they’ve all still got their naughty side. I can’t wait to find out more about these brothers and just where their new leaf might land them!


Today we have the release day blitz for Christi Barth’s Bad For You! I am so excited to share this new romance with you! Check it out and grab your copy today!

USA Today bestselling author Christi Barth launches a sexy new series about three bad-boy brothers in Witness Protection who are about to learn that going good is harder than they thought…

Doctor Mollie Vickers loves the tight-knit community of her tiny Oregon town. But she’s not a fan of the limited dating options. Sleep with a guy who tried to copy off her in junior high? Pass. Mollie’s sex life is flatlining… until a deliciously handsome man she’s never seen before stops to help her fix a flat tire.

As an ex-mobster, Rafe Maguire’s no saint. But he’s trying to turn over a new leaf. Although he probably shouldn’t kiss the hot doctor on the side of the highway. Or suggest a no-strings fling with a woman he has no business pursuing. Rafe’s life is too complicated for love—his new WITSEC-provided identity doesn’t fit him at all and there’s a U.S. Marshal watching his every move. He can’t tell Mollie the truth… but their chemistry is scorching and being good doesn’t mean he can’t be a little bad.

Mollie can’t resist the guy who looks rough, talks tough, and is loyal to the bone. But it’s obvious Rafe is keeping secrets. When the truth comes out, Mollie must decide if she could ever love an ex-mobster… or if this bad boy has truly gone good.

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Parking right at the nose of her Jeep, he got out. Tried to appear non-menacing. Which was the complete opposite of how he’d approached pretty much every situation for half his life. Hell, even the women he’d dated had known what he did and gotten off on the idea of his dangerous life.

The marshal had given him some pointers on how to come off as normal. One thumb tucked into the waist of his jeans, so it didn’t look like his fist was braced for action. Other arm relaxed at his side. She’d said something about a loose walk, but Rafe only knew one way to walk. To be safe, he stopped almost immediately.

“Hey there. Do you need some help?”

She turned to him with a whirl of her olive-colored skirt. It was too long to flash him any leg. But the motion did part her denim jacket to reveal a skin-tight orange tank. Too bad a green scarf covered what Rafe expected to be pretty spectacular breasts. “Only if you’ve got some sort of magic wand that’ll fix my tire.”

“I don’t like to talk about my magic wand before I buy a girl dinner.”

She cocked her head. Looked left, then right, then back at him. “You know, we’re all alone on a forested stretch of highway. Maybe save the sexual innuendo for a better time and place?”

“Name it, and I will.” Because she wasn’t scared of him. Nothing about her posture had gone defensive after he’d made his comment. Which, yeah, was sleazy and cheap. Rafe had to remember that he wasn’t in a big city with nine million people anymore. The disposable dating pool was limited. Probably not even eight thousand.

Sauntering forward—which proved the woman wasn’t scared of him—she gave him an up-and-down stare. Fair enough. Rafe did the same to her. Except he didn’t make it even partway down. He stalled out at her eyes. They were a smoky green; the color of the pine trees behind them, wrapped in fog. Bedroom eyes. Yeah, he could stare into those all night . . . and all the way through to breakfast.

“Okay,” she finally said. “You’re cute. But why should I give you a chance?”

Rafe liked that she went toe-to-toe with him. “I’m the one doing you the favor, remember? Turnabout is fair play.”

“What favor?”

“I’m going to fix your car.”

“Really?” She brightened all over, from her suddenly sparkling eyes to a bounce in her hair and a twitch in her ass as she rushed back to the tire. “I called for a tow truck, but they said it’d be more than an hour.”

“I don’t have a magic wand, but if you hand me that jack, I’ll get that flat off and the spare on in less than ten minutes.”

She shot him a sassy smirk. “This is one time when speed won’t count against you, I promise.”

Giveaway

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About the Author:

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage.

A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes award-winning contemporary romance, including the Naked Men and Aisle Bound series. Christi can always be found whipping up gourmet meals (for fun, honest!) or with her nose in a book. She lives in Maryland with the best husband in the world.

 

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HOT PURSUIT – A Julie Ann Walker Review

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I’m so in love. SO SO in love with Christian. Ozzie will always be my main BKI man but Christian and his smooth talking ways have rushed right up to second place.

We’ve spent years alongside the BKI crew and nothing has been as entertaining as the back and forth teasing between the former SAS operative Christian and the sassy-mouthed office manager Emily. There’s always been a clear chemistry just waiting to burst the sheets in to flames but Walker delivers in just the right amounts to readers.

We pick up on Christian, Emily, Angel, Ace, and Rusty right where they split from Dagan’s book previously. As they are on the run for their lives, it clicks for Christian that he truly does love Emily. He spends time wooing her while letting her think that he’s only in it for the sex. While a new and mysterious villain comes after Christian, he’s got to also battle Emil’s fear of her past.

There’s no lack of action in Hot Pursuit. The classic kick butt knights are still kicking, even when on the run. And ACE…..OMG….I want Ace to have his own book! This plot line has got to be filled with gold and I’m really hoping that Walker can finish it out to the direction I believe it’s heading. I won’t spoil that one for y’all 😉 As for our next Knight…Angel’s mysteries are about to unravel…


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Christian Watson, a former SAS officer and current BKI operator, never thought he would return to England after a terrible turn of events forced him to abandon his homeland. But now he’s back on British soil where old enemies are determined to do him in. Fighting for his life is pretty much SOP for Christian. Doing it with the beautiful, bossy Emily Scott in tow is another matter entirely.

In hot pursuit.
Emily lost her coveted job at the CIA because of a colleague turned rogue, and now she has just one rule when it comes to men: they’re for recreational purposes only. But when she and Christian are thrust into very close quarters while evading two mysterious men who want Christian dead, she can’t help but question all her ideas about love and life lived on the edge. Battling the bad guys is hard enough, battling her feelings for Christian just might prove impossible.

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Julie.png Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Julie grew up in a house full of women – she has three older sisters. As you can imagine, there was no lack of drama… or romance. Her mother enrolled her in a book club as soon as she began to read and it was the small spark that ignited her voracious appetite for the written word. Because of Julie’s early immersion in literature, she found writing came quite naturally. In high school, she won multiple writing contests and was the proud senior editor of The Tiger’s Tale – her school newspaper. During her college years, however, she longed for a challenge. “Reading and writing felt like second nature to me, so I looked for a way to flex my mental muscles,” she recalls. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree, Julie began teaching advanced high school mathematics. “I loved working with the students and facing the challenges of the classroom, but I longed for the occasional snow day when I could race to the local book store, buy two or three new novels, and curl up in front of the fire to read.” It wasn’t until a fortuitous move to Chicago that Julie once more returned to her first passion. “Thankfully, my husband – my own personal hero – encouraged my decision to write full time.” Now Julie lives on beautiful Lake Shore Drive with a view that sometimes competes with her deadlines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping, hiking, cycling, cooking, travel, and…reading, of course!

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