Excerpt Blast: The Minaldi Legacy by Courtney Cole

I am extremely excited to be able to share an excerpt from Courtney Cole's new book THE MINALDI LEGACY! THE MINALDI LEGACY is a dark, contemporary romance and will be released on February 6th, 2014!!!




The Minaldi Legacy Cover



The Minaldi Legacy Synopsis...

“I’m a monster, Eva. There’s no saving a monster. But I love that you want to try.”
Luca Minaldi is rich, powerful and mesmerizing. He’s also a reclusive enigma. He lives in Malta, a fairy-tale place filled with sunshine and sea, beauty and secrets. And Luca’s darkest of secrets is the best-kept of them all.

Eva Talbot moves to Malta to finish her doctoral dissertation in Psychiatry. When she meets Luca, there is a very real and instant attraction that she has never felt before. But even still, she senses the darkness that lives within him.

Eva is hired to care for Luca’s mother, a woman who suffers from dementia. It is Luca, however, that Eva will eventually risk everything to save… as the legacy that plagues him continues.

As the darkness swirls ever more tightly around her, Eva realizes that no matter how hard she tries, she might not be able to save Luca without losing herself.

Eva and Luca are thrust into a world where their love is tested and darkness reigns. Amid chaos and treachery, love and hate, Luca and Eva learn one important thing.

Love is dangerous.

But it also might be the one thing that can save them all.

********






The Minaldi Legacy consists of two parts, part one: Of Blood and Bone and part two: Of Darkness and Demons. It contains adult themes and content.


Minaldi Legacy-Kissing behind fountain




Excerpt...

Prologue
Luca is gone.
I know it before I open my eyes. The weight of his body next to me is absent, the scent of him gone from the air. I sigh, reluctant to begin this day because I know what it holds for me. I know that if Luca is truly gone, I will spend every hour frantically searching for him.
Gazing around, I find my large suite empty. Everything is neat and tidy and exactly in place. Each lavish piece of furniture is polished with lemon oil, each extravagant painting on the wall carefully dusted. Each expensive vase, each crystal lamp, each woven rug is perfectly aligned and exactly how I left it. Something is different, though, somehow changed in this room that I fell asleep in last night.
My sleepy eyes do another quick sweep, and this time I notice the balcony doors standing wide open while the bright morning sun streams onto the mahogany floor and the white sheer curtains on either side flutter in the sea breeze.
This is the difference and it slams into me like a concrete wall. I didn’t fall asleep with those doors open. I would never do that now, not since I know what dangers lurk in the world, the darkness that can find me.
Immediately after I notice this inconsistency, I also see that across the room, my bedroom door is tightly closed and the bolt is still slid firmly in place.
Just as I left it last night.
My heart stutters as I realize what this means.
While I slept, Luca must have climbed from my balcony ledge to escape. But the drop is well over thirty feet and there are sharp rocks at the base of the house. There are gardens directly behind, but beyond that, there is a cliff with a hundred foot drop to the sea below.
I leap naked from bed and rush to the balcony’s edge. My bare breasts press against the cold railing as I peer down at both the gardens and what I can see of the pristine sand beyond that. Luca is not lying broken and bleeding there, so I try to still my racing heart. I search the beaches and craggy landscape on both sides of my periphery and I still do not see him.
He somehow survived the fall.
A hundred different things run through my mind, but the one that stands out in the forefront is the image, the possibility, that he managed to drag himself, broken and bleeding, to a different location, somewhere where he is even now waiting for me to help him.
Because I promised.
I promised him that I would help him, that I would keep him from the darkness that plagues him, that I would heal him.
That I would save him.

I swallow hard and as I do, I realize that my throat is tender from Luca’s hands last night. I know that if I look into a mirror, there will be a bruise in the perfect formation of his long fingers around my neck.
As I softly touch it, I remember his face from the night before. It was shadowed in the moonlight and like always, he was beautiful. Luca is handsome in a very classic and beautiful way, dark hair and cut cheekbones. His bangs are long and almost hide his magnificent dark eyes until he shakes his hair away. And when he does, the sadness that dwells there is apparent to anyone who knows him.
But last night, I didn’t need to look into his eyes to see that his darkness had returned. I knew it from the moment he stepped into my room.
I can always see it. It changes everything about him, even the way he walks and moves. The way he stands. The way he speaks. The way he feels.
He is an entirely different person when the darkness comes.
These are the moments that he dreads with every breath when he is himself; the moments when he is no longer Luca. In these moments, he is filled with thoughts that are no longer his own.
He cannot help it, he cannot control it, he cannot stop it.
But I promised him that I would.
And I have failed him.
I scramble to my wardrobe and pull on clothing, choosing a shirt with a collar, hoping to somewhat hide the bruise on my neck. The only other people here at Chessarae are servants, except for Luca’s mother in her lonely wing. But she is locked in so she never comes into the main part of the house. No one will see me but the staff. And they are used to seeing strange things.
I rush through the house, through the extravagant corridors and over the marble floors, the rich and polished surroundings that I would never have dreamed I would find myself in. I don’t notice it now though. It has faded into an insignificant corner of my mind. All that matters now is Luca.
I make my way out the back of the house, through the gardens, through the English maze that is perfectly manicured and challenging to maneuver. I manage it with ease, however. I memorized its twists and turns on a happier day.
The weather is stormy today and the normally cheerful and bright Maltese sky is gray and thunderous. I can feel the electricity in the air, snapping the ends of my long hair with static. This day looks as foreboding as I feel, which I hope is not a sign.

I search through the maze. I search the beaches as my feet sink into the cool sand. I search the gardens with their exotic and sweet-smelling blooms and then I search the garage. His car, a shiny black Jaguar, is still in its slot and its hood is cool to the touch. Luca has not driven it today. I search the front lawns and the back. And just when I begin to panic, to fear that he has not returned to Chessarae after all, I search the stables.
As I walk through the heavy wooden doors, the smells of the horses and the hay and the saddle-soap and leather assail my nose and I breathe them in. I’ve always loved this place. It is peaceful here. And I suddenly know, because I can feel it, that Luca is here.
I walk quietly down the main corridor, staring into each stall as I pass.
And finally, finally, when I come to the very last stall on the left, Luca is there and my breath hitches in my chest, freezing on my lips.
Luca is slumped on the ground, in the corner, his expression desolate. He is beautiful even here, even in this condition, and I cannot help but stare down at him as tears fill my eyes.
He is dirty and his clothing is torn. There are smears of blood on his shirt, dried now to a rusty dark brown. I swallow hard, trying not to imagine where the blood has come from.
Luca’s face is tortured as he stares up at me, his head in his hands. There is blood on his fingers.
“It happened again.”
His words are low and husky and rough, yet elegant at the same time. He is always refined, always perfect, always Luca.
His self-loathe is apparent and it breaks my heart.
I nod mutely because there are no words for this moment. I bend to help him to his feet. At 6’3”, he towers above me. He is slender and strong and masculine. He is lithe and powerful, beautiful and graceful.
And sometimes, on his very darkest days, he is a depraved killer.
But I have gotten ahead of myself. I should begin at the beginning.
If I don’t, you will never understand.



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about Courtney...



Headshot
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.


Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.









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Unraveled by Jen Frederick




Unraveled

The Woodlands, Book #3

by Jen Frederick





release date: 1/20/2014

description...

Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier.  His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind.  He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment.  So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.
Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn't move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn't taken many chances in life. Now, she's met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?


Note: Although these books are part of a series, they do not need to be read in order




buy it...







excerpt...

 “I’ve been watching you all night.” His mouth was right above the tip of my ear and I felt something crack inside me, a fissure was forming in the mask I’d donned earlier today or perhaps his breath, his touch, his words were simply hastening the demise of the barriers I’d held between myself and everyone else for two years. Because inside my body, it felt like there was an awakening and every fiber of my being reached toward him, upward and outward as if I was a flower on the first day of a spring rain. I lifted my head to gaze up, wide-eyed and anxious with anticipation.
Some part of my brain was telling me that the storage closet was just two steps to my right at the end of the hallway and the exit door was just beyond that. My Rover was outside and all three were safer than standing here almost in his embrace but I couldn’t hear the warning over the pounding of my heartbeat. He bent toward me, his face serious and even in the low light of the corner I could see the gold flecks feathering out from the center of his eyes.
“I'm going to kiss you now.” His voice was deep, rough and matched the rest of his thoroughly masculine body.
“I know,” I whispered back. And I wanted that kiss from Gray who ordinarily wouldn't be my type at all. I wanted it more than I wanted to breath. When his mouth molded against mine, it felt like bliss as if my whole cold body had been submerged into a warm bath. If I thought I was engulfed before it was nothing like I felt at that moment. My entire world—my thoughts, my feelings, my senses—were full of him. I tasted the mint and hops on his tongue. I inhaled the cinnamon, bergamot, ocean of his faint cologne into my airways. I felt the calloused palm on my waist and then lower against the exposed skin of my thigh. His dense muscles were drawn tight under his skin and the fabric of his t-shirt and he felt as strong as a citadel. The moan that had been building since he first backed me into the wall escaped. It had been so long since I’d had the touch of a man’s hand on any part of me and I nearly wept at the pleasure of it.

series info...

The Woodlands, Book #1


      For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.
Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.

This is a mature New Adult book. I see that it is classified as YA - not sure how to change that - but I wanted to be clear that it has explicit love scenes in the story.




The Woodlands, Book #2


Whore. Slut. Typhoid Mary. 

I've been called all these at Central College. One drunken night, one act of irresponsible behavior, and my reputation was ruined. Guys labeled me as easy and girls shied away. To cope, I stayed away from Central social life and away from Central men, so why is it that my new biology lab partner is so irresistible to me?

He's everything I shouldn't want. A former Marine involved in illegal fighting with a quick trigger temper and an easy smile for all the women. His fists aren't the danger to me, though, it's his charm. He's sliding his way into my heart and I'm afraid that he's going to be the one to break me.

Impulsive. Unthinking. Hot tempered. 

I allow instinct to rule my behavior. If it feels good, do it, has been my motto because if I spend too much time thinking, I'll begin to remember exactly where I came from. At Central College, I've got fighting and I've got women and I thought I was satisfied until I met her. 

She's everything I didn't realize I wanted and the more time I spend with her, the more I want her. But she's been hurt too much in the past and I don't want to be the one to break her. I know I should walk away, but I just can't.

     


author info...

Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog.  She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at jen@jenfrederick.com.





giveaway...

enter here!






Cover Reveal: Tragic Desires by A.M. Hargrove

TRAGIC DESIRES 

by A.M. Hargrove


Release Date: February 2014


Summary...

My name is Gemini Sheridan. At least that’s what I thought it was for 23 years. Then one day a slight adjustment on the wheel of my mountain bike set into motion a series of catastrophic events that changed my life forever. Now I’m running from the headaches that threaten to destroy me… from the assassins that threaten to kill me… from the truth that exposes who I really am… and from the man that wants to save me. Because he now owns my heart and I fear him above all others. 

My name is Drexel Wolfe and I’m a private investigator. Nothing ever stands in the way of what I want because when I see something I just take it. All of that changed the night my life collided with Gemini Sheridan’s and now everything is one hot damn mess. And the worst part of it all is that I’m trying to save her ass and I don’t know why the hell I’m even bothering. Well, that’s not exactly true. Fact is, I can’t stop thinking about her. She’s crawled into every thought I own, asleep or awake. I have serious plans for her that include making her mine. What she doesn’t know is that when I play, I play for keeps. Nothing and no one will get in my way or stop me… not even Gemini Sheridan herself.




book info...

Cover by Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations
Photo by Scott Hoover Photography
Cover Model: Emmanuel Delcour


about A.M. Hargrove...


One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life.  So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase.  Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head.  Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window.  She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called her boss and quit her job.  Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and told him of her new adventure (after making sure his heart was beating properly again).

So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a YA/NA and Adult Romance writer. Her books include the following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon series (Survival, Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent and Beginnings); Dark Waltz and Tragically Flawed.

Other than being in love with writing about being in love, she loves chocolate, ice cream and coffee and is positive they should be added as part of the USDA food groups. 

giveaway...

Win an ebook copy of TRAGICALLY FLAWED and a Amazon $25 Gift Card. Giveaway is international. 





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Brazen Release-Day Celebration




So you know I love Katee Robert and Gina Maxwell ... but who doesn't - they are awesome!  So today is the Release Day Celebration for BOTH of them and Brazen!!  I am sooooooooo excited to get my hands on these books!! 




The dynamic duo took the NYT and USA TODAY lists by storm the last time they released together, so we can't wait to see what shenanigans they have in store for 2014!





about it...

New York Times bestselling author Katee Robert kicks off her new Out of Uniform series with IN BED WITH MR. WRONG, a hilarious enemies-to-lovers story you don’t want to miss. Air Force Pararescuer Ryan Flannery avoids his hometown at all costs, so he’s not thrilled when he’s set up on a blind date—until he meets mousy librarian Brianne Nave. Her sweet curves and kissable lips are a siren’s call, but her smart mouth? Not so much. How can two people have so little chemistry outside the bedroom when they fit together so perfectly in it? When Ryan and Bri are stranded in a cabin by their friends, they’ll be forced to find out…if they don’t kill each other first.  


buy it 

   




excerpt

“Don’t think for a second you’re getting a good-night kiss.”
“A kiss from you?” He stepped forward into her finger, forcing her to open her hand against his chest or take a step back. She refused to budge. He leaned down, crowding her. “I’d rather kiss a snake.”
“Then it’s too bad it’s winter, because they’re in short supply.” She pushed at his chest again, nearly snarling when he didn’t move. “You should just burn something else down. That might draw a few to the heat.”
“Or maybe I’ll just set fire to your goddamn granny panties. That’s sure to create a big enough blaze.”
Her jaw dropped open and she swallowed hard. “As if you could.”
“Watch me.”
He grabbed her hips and yanked her against him. Bri gasped. There was so much heat in his blue eyes, it was a wonder every single article of clothing she wore didn’t go up in smoke. “You—”
But then she saw it. The challenge hidden behind the heat. He didn’t think she could handle this. Handle him.
His mouth curled into a smirk, and his hands tightened on her hips. The feel of his fingers digging into her flesh through the thin fabric of her skirt made her want to throw all caution to the wind. He thought he’d won, did he?
“Screw it.” She grabbed the lapels of his shirt and went up on her tiptoes to smash her lips against his. He froze, then stumbled backward and slammed into the wall of her screened porch, taking her with him. A wave of victory went through her. For all his talk, he hadn’t expected her to make a move. She moved one hand to the back of his neck and tipped his head down so she could set her teeth into his bottom lip.
Just like that, he came alive in her arms and pulled her tighter against him. His tongue delved into her mouth, stroking hers with no hesitation, igniting her passion until she couldn’t fight back a moan. How could one giant brute taste so decadent? She slid her tongue along his, not sure if she was searching for an answer or simply enjoying the way her very nerves seemed to spark and dance at every place they touched.
Would her whole body do that if they were naked?
Whoa. Where had that thought come from? She was proving him wrong, not jumping into bed with the man. She tried to pull away. “I think—”
“Stop talking.”

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about it...

Gina L. Maxwell comes out swinging with the latest installment of her New York Times bestselling Fighting for Love series, FIGHTING FOR IRISH. When he learns a friend’s sister has forty-eight hours to make good on an ex’s debt to a crime boss, former MMA fighter Aiden "Irish" O'Brien heads to Louisiana to offer himself up as collateral. But to satisfy the debt, he has to do the one thing he swore he’d never do again: fight. With more than just money on the line, can Irish reclaim the man he once was for the woman he can't live without?


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excerpt

Aiden dropped his hands to her hips and stepped closer. “Will you stay tonight?” he asked softly.
 “I’ll stay.”
One night. He could do that, couldn’t he? Then he could get this need for her out of his system and focus on winning the tournament to free her from any danger. His job would be done, his debt paid to Jax, and he could move back home to continue his daily penance and meaningless existence.
But right now he wanted to feel alive again, if only for a night in the arms of the woman who’d had his balls on lockdown for months. She was the reason no one else even appealed to him anymore. He needed her, just this once. But he wouldn’t do it without an understanding between them.
“Kat, can I be honest with you?” Aiden was aware of the fine line he was walking. Now he just had to do it without sounding crude or disrespectful, which would be a challenge. He was no smooth-talking Romeo.
Meeting her expectant gaze, he took a deep breath and prepared himself for the possibility of getting slapped. “I wanna be with you tonight.”
“As in, with me with me?”
“Yeah,” he said, amusement lifting a corner of his mouth. “With you with you. It’s been a really long time since I wanted someone as much I want you.”
“Really?” she asked breathlessly.
“You sound surprised.”
She offered a weak shrug and suddenly found interest in the floorboards. “You seem like you’d be more into exciting, exotic looking women. Like one of those sexy, new-age pin-up girls with the flawless skin and beautiful tattoos.”
He almost laughed until he realized she was serious. She had no idea what she did to him. Grabbing one of her hands still resting on his shoulder, he slowly dragged it over his chest and down his stomach until they finally reached his stiff erection straining against the restrictive boxer briefs under his shorts.
Aiden groaned as he molded her hand over his cock. The feel of her gripping him nearly redefined the word “premature.” She drew in a quick breath and raised her eyes to his. Her cheeks filling with a pretty shade of pink did crazy things to his insides. The more her innocence showed through the more he wanted her.
He couldn’t make sense of it. She was right. Typically he went for the larger-than-life women who treated every day like it was their own personal thrill ride. Kat was something else entirely. Worldly beyond her years, yet somehow more innocent than she should be.
“This is how into you I am, sweetheart. Believe me when I tell you I couldn’t fake this kind of interest,” he assured her. “I want you, Kat. Wicked bad. But I don’t have anything more to offer you than one night. That’s me being honest. So if you wanna give me the red light now I’ll understand, but you gotta let me know while I still have use of some of my brain.”
“Green.”


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Austin Book Fest



I'm going to the Austin Book Fest!!!!!  I'm so exited!
You should check it out and make plans to join me!




Unbreak Me by Lexi Ryan

Unbreak Me

by Lexi Ryan





Description


“If you’re broken, I’ll fix you…”
I’m only twenty-one and already damaged goods. A slut. A failure. A disappointment to my picture-perfect family as long as I can remember. I called off my wedding to William Bailey, the only man who thought I was worth fixing. A year later, he’s marrying my sister. Unless I ask him not to…

“If you shatter, I’ll find you…”
But now there’s Asher Logan, a broken man who sees the fractures in my façade and doesn’t want to fix me at all. Asher wants me to stop hiding, to stop pretending. Asher wants to break down my walls. But that means letting him see my ugly secrets and forgiving him for his. 

With my past weighing down on me, do I want the man who holds me together or the man who gives me permission to break?








Book Info

Title: Unbreak Me
Author: Lexi Ryan
Release date: May 27, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Publisher: Lexi Ryan/Ever After, LLC
Goodreads



Book Source



***ARC given to me from AToMR Tours supplied by the author in exchange for an honest review***




Rating


My Review

LOVED IT!
... Complete 5 Star Book ...


This story was really great.  It's emotional and rocky and just sooooooooo good.  The MC is great and I loved her.  I absolutely LOVE the journey of this story and how it all flows and works and **sigh** it's just so good.

This story stayed with me for days after I finished the book.  The emotions in this book are so real and so well told.  I really think any N/A Contemp reader will absolutely love this book.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this story - This author's writing is fantastic and the style is so great.



The Author



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Ryan writes romances with humor, heat, and heart. Her books are described as fun, flirty, and wickedly sexy. A lover of learning, Lexi has been in the classroom all her life and currently holds the title of assistant professor of English at her local community college. Lexi is a proud member of Romance Writers of America. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two children.


website  |  blog  |  twitter  |  facebook  |  goodreads


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So I Suck...

Yep I said it... I suck.


I have about a crap-ton of reviews that I need to write and books to read.  So with that said.... I've overextended myself, simple as that.  So I'm going to be spending 2014 working through my backlog.  I'm going to try really really hard not to take on more this year but I just have such a hard time saying no when it comes to books!!  I know you all know what I'm saying, but I feel horrible about how far behind I am on what I've committed to.
**sad face**

Seriously, I promise to all the authors of books I have to review, I will get my review posted as soon as I am able!

I love all of you and again I apologize for the suckage that has become my review schedule!!!