Brink of Passion by Sondrae Bennett

Brink of Passion by Sondrae Bennett

Profile_pictureHi! Thanks for having me today. My name is Sondrae Bennett, and I write paranormal romance.

When I wrote my first book, Arctic Winds, five years ago, I never imagined the scope of the journey I’d began. How could I have known that a little novella about two people finding love would develop into a six book series (with more on the way). But the ideas wouldn’t stop flooding in. As soon as a new character was introduced, they began demanding their own story.

Then one character entered the picture who was unique in her own way. The heroes sister, Laurie. She never demanded her own tale, but always stood in the background…waiting. We both knew her time would come, but were both prepared to wait for the perfect time and the perfect man.

From the very beginning I loved her. She exhibits so much of who I wish I could be. Confident, clever, carefree, yet with a strong sense of responsibility and loyalty. Not to mention, a wicked sense of humor. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants. And she’s not afraid to roll the dice on the chance to have it all.

In Brink of Passion, the latest installment in the Alpine Woods Shifter series, she does just that. After meeting Max, the man her wolf has chosen as their mate, she decides to leave the home town she’s lived in her whole life and jump into the unknown. She knows it’s a risk, that her and Max might not be as perfect together as their shifter sides believe. Theirs isn’t an instant love mating, but the attraction between them won’t be denied. It’s a risk, but one she knows is worth taking. She pushes through her fear and anxiety about the decision and does what she needs to in striving for her happily ever after.

In a lot of ways, writing Brink of Passion has helped me grow as a person. It’s given me the courage to go outside my comfort zone and seek out new challenges and opportunities. Would you risk everything for love? Have you?

Brink of Passion coverExcerpt:

“Are you hungry?” he asked.

She shook her head.

“Drinks then?” Although he’d phrased it as a question, he had no intention of letting her refuse. Now that he’d found her, there was no way he’d let her go. He couldn’t. The beast inside him wouldn’t stand for it.

Taking her arm, he steered her toward the front of the hotel. Sure, he could have taken her to the hotel bar. It would have been faster, and more convenient. But the bar was no doubt packed full of shifters, and he wanted more privacy than that. He didn’t need a bunch of strangers, who would no doubt sense what was happening, staring and whispering while they were getting to know each other. Earlier, he’d seen a pub around the corner from the hotel that seemed promising. He pointed toward the hotel entrance as they walked and she nodded before moving ahead of him to maneuver through the crowd.

His fingers still tingled from touching her skin, and every nerve in his body thrummed with awareness. His gaze strayed downward to the swing of her hips as she walked, and he bit his lip to hold in a groan. No doubt the two of them together would burn up the sheets once he got her into his bed.

Soon. They both knew they’d end up there. Why deny themselves the pleasure?

She hesitated a moment, looking over her shoulder, as they walked out of the hotel, making him wonder if she were in fact with a man. If so, he admired her loyalty, even if it was no longer relevant. The poor shmuck would have to find someone else. He grabbed her hand, almost groaning at the pleasure merely touching her gave him, and led her down the street.

She had to feel the connection between them. The inexplicable pull toward each other. He’d never felt so certain of anything before in his life. Suddenly he understood the possessiveness other men displayed toward their mates. A part of him had always sneered at men who found their mates and ignored everything else. The ones who became so enamored that they professed undying devotion to someone they barely knew. He’d always thought those men weak-willed, or somehow kidding themselves. But now he knew differently.

No, he wasn’t in love with Laurie—he didn’t even know her—but he was completely and utterly captivated by everything about her. Love would grow. What they had between them was more intense and consuming than that.

As they walked down the street, more men stared at her, some shifters in town for the convention, but plenty of full humans as well. Annoyance grew at every eye he caught looking at her with interest. Laurie appeared either oblivious to the attention, or used to it. The thought of the latter irritated him further. Was she looked at so often that she’d become immune to it? Even women’s eyes were drawn to her.

When they got to the pub, Max pulled Laurie away from everyone else and into a secluded circular booth. Away from prying eyes. He scooted into the booth until they were seated together in the back.

Her scent drove him wild, and he couldn’t resist rubbing the tip of her hair between his fingers. Her eyes tracked his movements, her mouth opening as if she wanted to protest, but after a moment, she closed it. Pleasure filled him. Before the end of the night, Laurie would be his.

The smile vanished from his face as a waiter came to take their orders. The man’s eyes were riveted on his mate. A low growl rumbled in his throat.

Pure male satisfaction filled him when the waiter’s eyes widened in fear. He left so fast after taking their drink orders, Max was surprised he didn’t leave skid marks.

“Are you always this friendly, or do I bring out the best in you?” Sarcasm dripped from the words. He’d admit it, watching other men ogle his mate was awakening his beast.

“Doesn’t it bother you?” Because it sure as hell was bothering him.

“The growling? Nah, I have three brothers, so your ultra alpha-ness doesn’t scare me.”

Alpha-ness? Was that even a word?

“Not me. You. Doesn’t it bother you to have so many people making eyes at you?”

“Making eyes? What are you, eighty?” She laughed and the sound swept through him, punched through his frustration and brought a steady burn of lust in his gut. Low, with a hint of roughness that sent chills down his spine.

Desire burned in the back of his throat and pooled in his belly until thoughts of Laurie took over his entire being. With another growl, this time one of pure need, Max leaned forward and nipped the top of Laurie’s ear. Her laughter ceased, breath catching on a quickly indrawn gasp. Fingers dug into his thigh, right above his knee, until he released her ear, soothing it with a small lick before pulling back.

“I’m being serious.”

Her eyes stared at him in confusion, lust still clouding their depths. He’d be lying if he said the sight of her desire didn’t fill him with pride and no small amount of excitement for the night ahead.

After a minute, she shook her head. He could almost see her scattering droplets of bewilderment just as a dog shakes off water after a bath. The image broke through the tension from frustration and lust. He could be patient, because tonight would be the start of forever.

“I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

She didn’t know. He could see it in her face. She wasn’t trying to be cute, or pretend innocence. She really didn’t see the way everyone stared at her. Somehow, that only made her more attractive.

Unable to resist, he tangled his fingers with hers and leaned his other arm along the back of the booth so that he could play with her hair. Then he began to get to know her in earnest.

Blurb:

He’ll do anything to protect his mate.

The last thing Laurie expects when she bumps into Max at the shifter convention is finding her mate. Certainly not that her mate can shift into a leopard. Wolves and leopards mix about as well as water and oil. Or should she say, dogs and cats. Mating him means leaving her family, her town, and the only home she’s ever known. But the possibility of a happily ever after is worth the risk, right?

Max couldn’t be happier with his brazen, feisty wolf, but returning home isn’t the welcoming affair he’d expected. In his absence, his brother has been attacked within the leap complex. Something must to be seriously wrong. Could someone be using his loved ones to get to him? When his worst fears prove true, his protective instinct goes into overdrive. Will keeping Laurie mean putting her in danger?

Brink of Passion will be available February 25th (tomorrow!) and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon

Find out more about me or my books at www.sondraebennett.com, on Facebook, or Twitter.

The Myths of Working from Home by Liana Brooks

If I had a dollar for every time someone said, “It must be so nice to do nothing all day and just sit at home!” I could actually sit home all day doing nothing.

America’s office culture makes most social interactions for a writer weird.

Them: “So, where do you work?”

Me: “I work at home.”

Them: “Oh, like, massage therapy or something?”

Me: “No, I actually write books.”

Them: “Oh…” *long and unhealthy pause* “Like TWILIGHT or like dinosaur erotica? I mean, not that I’m judging or anything, but is it angsty teen vampires or dino peen? ’cause I’m tweeting this and people want to know.”

Yeah, it’s awkward.

Of course there’s the people on the other side of the fence. The ones who know I write books.

Them: “It must be so great to be a writer and do nothing all day but create!”

Me: “Yeah, it’s really fun. I love my job!”

Them: “You know, I’m going to write a book too one day.”

Me: “That’s awesome!”

Them: “I can’t right now because I have a kid, and well, you probably don’t know what it’s like having kids at home. Or friends. Or a social life. But I’m way too busy to write books!”

*awkward pause as one of my four kids comes up to demand my attention*

Me: “Oh, those gosh darn kids. I can see why no one with children has ever written a book. Ever. At all. I may be lying…”

When you become a successful writer (or even a desperately-working-to-become-a-successful-household-name writer) people like to come up to you and ask what your schedule is. If you go to Google you can search for daily habits of famous authors.

10am – morning whiskey and eggs

11am to 3pm – write

3:15pm – adulterous affair with parlor maid

3:30 pm to 6pm – read newspaper

6pm – supper with other gentlemen of means

7pm – diatribe about women getting above their place and acting like humans

8pm to 11pm – objectify women and criticize their clothing

12am – try on women’s drawers

1am – dual with Lord Soinso on Parliament lawn wearing skirts

3am – fall in bed in drunken stupor

At least I assume that’s how all the literary greats lived out their days. They certainly didn’t spend them raising children, at least not according to their diaries. I dunno… there’s this assumption that men who write have a loving (possibly wealthy) wife who handles the domestic and wordly affairs while they commune with their muse (usually in the form of alcohol), and that women who write are either spinsters (looking at you Jane), childless, or older women with no familial obligations. This is based largely on the very outdated and misogynistic idea that a man’s parental duty ends at conception and that women with children can’t think about anything but diapers.

This attitude more than anything accounts for all the “I want to write a book but I’ve never found the time…” daydreamers in the world.

If you keep telling someone they can’t do something they’ll eventually believe you.

Let’s bury those myths and mountains, shall we?

Myth #1: You need to be independently wealthy to write

… lies! Most authors are either supported by a significant other or a full-time job, but very few of them are trust fund babies rolling in money. Some of the most famous authors you know were single parents and working poor when their first book came out.

Myth #2: You’ll never find time to write if you have kids

… lies! I four kids and I still find time. More to the point I make time to write. The real difference between daydream and reality here is that the people who get things done make the time to do it. If writing is important to you, you will find time to write, even if it’s sending yourself 15 minutes worth of badly spelled writing you typed out on your phone on a bumpy bus ride into work.

Myth #3: The only way to make money publishing is to know someone

… lies! Unless you’re talking about knowing yourself. That much you need to have. Know what you love, know how much work you can reasonably put into self-promotion, know your limits, and know your strengths. Line those up the right way and you can do anything.

Myth #4: There is only One True Path to publishing and it is __________

… lies! Self-publishing, publishing with a small press, and publishing with a big press are all fabulous options. What works for you isn’t what works for anyone else. What works for one book of yours may not work for your next book. Research all avenues of publication and then decide where you belong.

Myth #4: If I don’t have my family’s support I can’t write

… lies! Mostly. Listen, in April my 8th title comes out. Since 2009 I’ve published three novellas, four short stories, and in April my first novel comes out. Guess how many of those titles my parents have bought or read? Mind you, several of those short stories are free. Go on. Guess… did you guess zero?

Guess how many books my loving and supportive spouse of thirteen years has read (he doesn’t buy them because I load them on the e-reader for free)? He’s read two.

There are different kinds of support. It’s hard to write if your spouse/roommate/lover/kids/whoever shares the house with you doesn’t give you time and space to write. It’s frustrating when they question why you’re wasting your time, or ask when you’ll get a real job. But you don’t need them cheering you on. There are amazing online writing resources for authors of all ages. There are strong writing communities on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and other social media sites (check out the #amwriting hashtag sometime). You can get feedback from writing communities like Absolute Write and Critique Circle.

In a perfect world your family would fully understand what you do, buy all your books, and expertly critique your work. In a less than perfect world you have to make do with what you have. Tell your loved ones that writing makes you happy and healthy, ask for 30 minutes a day (or make that time when they aren’t around), and get the rest of your support from the community of writers that is already out there and ready to cheer on new authors.

What does my day look like? It’s getting up hours before dawn (less impressive now that I live in Alaska), getting four kids out the door for school, entertaining the 3-year-old, walking the dog, dodging moose, cleaning house, running errands, volunteering for local charities, emailing people about a million crazy things, spending far too much time on Twitter (@LianaBrooks), making a to-do list before I go to bed, and carving out time to write every day, plus edits as needed. A majority of my day is spent thinking about books, but not doing any physical writing. I plot things while I clean the kitchen. I make up dialog while I’m waiting at the school carpool line. I scribble down ideas for scenes on my to-do list so that when I wake up the next morning I can write my 1000 words for the day without hesitation.

Next time you’re facing your Wall of Nope, kick it on down and remember that when you want something, nothing can stop you.

So, what are you going to create today?

Liana

 ***

evenvillainshaveinterns_600x900Bootleggers, drug dealers, crooked cops, and dirty politicians… Chicago has always had a reputation for indulging in the finer vices of life. That’s why Doctor Charm’s favorite daughter found America’s second city so appealing—criminals are never boring. As second in command for the powerful Subrosa Security group, Delilah Samson finds opportunities to use her superpowers at every turn. Whether it’s stealing a priceless French painting from a mobster or stopping a drug deal, she’s game.

In fact, the only thing she doesn’t care for is Chicago’s favorite native son, Deputy Mayor Alan Adale, the man who made Lucifer jealous. Sinfully handsome, or possibly just sinful, Adale has been pursuing Delilah since she first arrived, and she’s been dodging.

When she finds ties between the new kingpin in town and a drug The Company wants to buy so they can create more superheroes, Delilah takes the gloves off. Teaming up with the spooky Spirit of Chicago, she aims to take down the dealers, the mobsters, the kingpin, and The Company. All without falling in love with the one man capable of capturing her heart.

Buy: Even Villains Have Interns (Heroes and Villains Book 3)

***

Liana Brooks would like to SCUBA dive Europa (that moon around Jupiter), but with the NASA shuttle program shut down she’s resorted to writing science fiction instead.  She likes southern beaches, warm weather, sharks, and striped socks.

Her superhero romance series started with Even Villains Fall in Love and continues with Even Villains Go To The Movies and Even Villains Have Interns. For those who prefer their romance without a side order of spandex she’s written PRIME SENSATIONS (part of the Tales From the SFR Brigades anthology) and FEY LIGHTS. Her first novel, THE DAY BEFORE, is coming out April 28th and is available for pre-order anywhere e-books are sold.

You can find Liana on the web at www.lianabrooks.com, on Twitter as @LianaBrooks, or on Face Book under the same name.

Heart and Souls by Monica Corwin

Heart and Souls by Monica Corwin

Exclusive Sneak Peak

Many who have read myMonica Corwin Author Pic work consider my ideas to be a little different and I’ve grown to pride myself in my ability to take tried and true genre norms and creating something totally different. This month I am working on edits for my next dose of insanity titled On a Red Horse.

Basically the story starts with the four horsemen (who are actually women) of the apocalypse deciding they quit and don’t want to end the world. They go to Earth and try to blend in and live human lives…but of course things are never that simple.

The first book is about War –also known as Scarlet as she tries to navigate this new world while running from the old one. There will be four books in the series, one for each horseman and so far this has been a super fun project. The first book was finished for National Novel Writing month this past iteration and the novel should be out in April.

Additionally I’m drafting the first draft of the second novel in the Soul Program trilogy called Sins and Lies. This story will follow two of the secondary characters from Heart and Souls –Sera and Xander.

These Soul Program books sort of dive into parts of church and religious iconology that I find fascinating or scary like demons, angels, heaven, sin-eaters, the priesthood. All of these things that hold a veil of mystery to me which I latched onto in order to create the world in these books. They will only continue to dive deeper and deeper into our own personal fears and macabre curiosity. So I ask you, dear readers, what sorts of religious iconology do you find intriguing?

Monica x

***

heartandsouls_200x300In the late 21st century, scientists created a serum that gave every person nine lives, also known as souls. Flush with expendable life, Earth collapsed into war and anarchy, leaving the Catholic Church to step in and take control. In a world where the stealing of souls is big business, it takes people like Constance Grace, detective in the Soul Theft Division, to hunt the criminals down and strip them of their remaining souls.

When social-climbing con man, Noah Hannock, plunks himself on the church’s radar, he becomes Constance’s problem. With a brand new partner, Mikon Cross and seven of her nine given souls remaining, Connie has to enter high society under a too-familiar alias to tempt Noah into her web.

While the chemistry between Connie and Mikon is scorching hot, the reality is they don’t trust each other. Each with their own secrets to protect, the hunt for Noah Hannock threatens them both. The only way they can survive is if they learn to lay themselves—heart and souls—on the line for each other.

Find Monica Corwin on Amazon

Review: Besotted (The Billionaire Banker, Book 3) by Georgia Le Carre

besottedReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Back in the previous novel, Lana had the chance to make things better for her and her baby by going back to Blake. We knew it wasn’t going to be great for her, but she somehow managed to put things right with him aftert he had originally thought she was using him for his money. It took her a while to get him to see her for what she was, a woman who wanted a second chance to win him back, hoping he would see what she did as a mistake, an error on her part, but now that she has the man she grew to love, she wants answers to the questions that are most on her mind.

Review: Lana made an impact on Blake as he intends to marry her. She has her eye on Billie and Julie to be her bridesmaids , but there is a problem about Victoria, Blake’s troublesome ex as she feels she might make an unwelcome visit on them as their big day gets under way. In the meantime, The couple have their usual ups and downs. He is worried for his life as being a billionaire, he could be dead tomorrow and he wants Lana to be safe from harm with their child. She shares his paranoia and doesn’t want him to leave her side. As you can tell, this makes life difficult for the both of them and another thing that proves to be a problem, is Victoria, who still has a thing for him.

Good Bits:

  • It has a sensual cover
  • The love between Lana and Blake is stronger than ever in this third book
  • Victoria and Marcus could come between them, but not if Blake has anything to do with it!

Summary: As there are the subjects of sex and BDSM as themes in this novel, there is the issue of Lana being submissive to him, and she takes it well as there are women across the country who would run a mile at the mere suggestion. Baby Sorab adds some cuteness to what would otherwise be a very sensual and sexual book, so Georgia caters to all; the ones who like the sex, the erotica and the thought that the characters exhibit some kind of normality even though they are filthy rich.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Besotted (Billionaire Banker Series Book 3)

Top Ten Ways to Procrastinate When You Should Be Writing

*Waves* Hi y’all. I’m Lee Brazil, author of m/m romance with Breathless Press, Story Orgy, Pulp Friction and Evernight. I’ve been a professional writer for about three years now. Maybe longer if you count the fact that I started writing in 2010. I didn’t get paid for it then, though. Didn’t actually get my first royalty check until mid-2011. In all that time of writing, I’ve produced a lot of books.

But I’ve also spent a lot of time nto producing anything.

I’ve come to consider myself an expert at procrastinating when I should be writing. I have a variety of stall tactics that I employ on a regular basis. When inspiration isn’t striking… and writer’s block is impending, sometimes it’s easier just to not sit down at the computer and work at all.

So, here are my Top Ten Procrastination techniques, in no particular order, just in case you need to stall for time when you should be producing words on the page.

  1. This works great, especially if you, like me, live in an old house and have to wait for the hot water to heat up. It also comes with a neat little series of side distractions… like suddenly realizing that you really should refold and stack the linens in the closet.
  2. Get the mail. I love this one. I have a post office box in town, so getting the mail can take me a full hour or more. Even better if I bump into an acquaintance who wants to chat about the unusual winter weather we’re having, the incredibly low price of a gallon of gas, and the sad performance of the Denver Broncos in the last game.
  3. Walk the dog. She actually hates this, because she has to stay by my side the whole time when she’d rather be off running in the woods and scaring up the wild turkeys, or chasing down a deer.
  4. Bake something. Like brownies. Or cookies. Muffins are good. Then you have to clean up the kitchen. Maybe even take out the trash… sample the goods.
  5. Read a book. This actually counts as work. SCORE! It’s research… or market sampling if you read in your genre. Necessary, and exemplary even.
  6. Clean your desk. It’s such a mess, how can anyone work in a messy environment?
  7. Check your email. Fifteen times should do it. Just in case something urgent shows up in there.
  8. You need to promote, right? And interact…and look at cute videos of cats and pictures of shirtless guys.
  9. Beware. This one can be very, very time consuming. I’ve gone to Pinterest with the best of intentions and wound up hours later having added dozens of margarita recipes to my Great Margarita Quest Board, when I know darn well I’m only going to try one new one over the weekend.
  10. Text From Dog. Hysterical.

What about you? How do you not write when you should be?

Lee

***

The Ice King 200x300CPA Rafe Montaigne’s day is heading downhill fast and he hasn’t even had a decent cup of coffee yet. What could make it worse? A secretary in a snit.

Elian is efficient, attractive and cold as ice toward his boss, and he has been since Rafe’s ex stopped by the office.

Rafe is a sophisticated player, a businessman who knows how to have fun and he’s not particular about whether his playmates are male or female.

It seems Elian isn’t quite so indiscriminate… What’s a boss to do when his secretary won’t play nice?

Buy: The Ice King

***

I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now. It’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.

If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and I’ve come to realize that’s the best thing in the world to be, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.

CONTACT LINKS: FB http://www.facebook.com/lee.brazil

Blog http://leebrazilauthor.blogspot.com/

Review: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

grand centralReviewed by Karin

Blurb

A war bride awaits the arrival of her GI husband at the platform…

A Holocaust survivor works at the Oyster Bar, where a customer reminds him of his late mother…

A Hollywood hopeful anticipates her first screen test and a chance at stardom in the Kissing Room…

On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good-bye. And each person has a story to tell.

Now, ten bestselling authors inspired by this iconic landmark have created their own stories, set on the same day, just after the end of World War II, in a time of hope, uncertainty, change, and renewal….

Very touching and evocative. This book features original stories by best selling authors. Much of it has to do with Jewish refugees — and also Jews who had left Europe for America, at least one had been in concentration camps. It gives a glimpse into what it must have been like to live those early years post war.

My father served in the air force in Europe, so it holds a special poignancy for me.

While there are possibilities — and even love — it is not an easy life or an easy read. It is a world very far removed from where we are now, but not far enough to be in the way distant past. It holds too many memories.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

Review: Power Play (Clear Message, Book 1) by Kali Cross

power playReviewed by Cara Lynn

Blurb:

Jack’s up against a master of manipulation—staying one step ahead of his ex-fiancée requires some swift maneuvers. But when Alexandra Simpson enters his life…well, she is a game changer. Dangerous secrets, office intrigue, and sizzling passion will keep you turning the pages of Power Play, Book 1 of Kali Cross’ new romance series, Clear Message.

Jack Schmidt is getting screwed by his fiancée, Vanessa, in more ways than one. After catching her in bed with her trainer, Jack wants her out of his life. Too bad it’s not that easy. As his employee, she parlayed his attraction to the level of fiancée in a matter of months, and in just a few weeks, she’ll own a 20% stake in his firm—and she won’t give it up without a fight. Vanessa thinks she has him by the balls, but Jack’s done being played. He orders a new manager to review all the accounts, suspecting that all Vanessa’s late nights working were spent stroking his clients…and not just their egos.

New manager Alexandra Simpson is the perfect candidate for the job. She’s sharp, loyal to the firm, and doesn’t intimidate easily. Unfortunately, she also intrigues Jack, but getting involved with another employee would be the definition of insanity. Jack wonders if she’s like Vanessa, ready to climb over anyone who gets in her way. But something about Alex forces him to believe otherwise.

After a disagreement over a client leads to a searing kiss, Jack wants nothing more than to lock the door and spend the rest of the day getting to know every inch of Alexandra Simpson. But when Alex hears that he’s engaged to Vanessa, she lets him know in no uncertain terms that she isn’t interested in being the other woman…not again. Not again? Now Jack must go up against Alex’s past, and the result could be deadly for both of them.

Review:

Good story. Interesting characters, well developed.

Hot sex. (I got tired of it.) Light bondage (are these now the obligatory scenes?) (Not into this!) and light, playful subservience and acting.

Scary scenes at the end, but all turns out OK (which is the power of romantic suspense, you know it will turn out OK.)

I did my usual reading the end after I was about half way through, even though it was an e-book so not as easy to do.

This book was given to me by LRP to read and review, though it did not affect my feelings about the book. I wanted to know who-dun-it. I suspected the wrong character (and I’m glad.)

Jumped into sex too fast for me.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Power Play (Clear Message Book 1)

Excerpt: Going Against Type by Sharon Black

Sometimes finding the right word is easier than finding the right manBLURB: Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV. Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women. Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but is soon drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just whom the opponent is… When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake, than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings. When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?’

Buy: Going Against Type

EXCERPT:

Helen clapped her hands delightedly. ‘Oh Charlotte! Derry Cullinane? Don’t tell me you don’t know his by-line. I thought all you journalists knew each other.’

Charlotte looked bemused. ‘How do you know him?’

‘Well I always read his mid-week fashion feature. He’s a terrific writer…what?’

‘You read him, but you never read me?’

Helen smiled a little sheepishly. ‘Hey, nothing personal. Sport just doesn’t do it for me…’

‘Anyway, Fiona was obviously playing matchmaker,’ Charlotte continued, ‘but I’m not sure about him…’
Helen frowned.

‘What’s he like? His picture looks really hot! Oh God, please don’t tell me it’s airbrushed! Is he a troll? Oh wait, is he gay? He does write about fashion…’

Charlotte rolled her eyes. ‘That would make the matchmaking a bit pointless. No, he’s definitely not gay.’

‘So, what…three ex-wives? Does he still live with his mother?’

Charlotte bit her lip thoughtfully. ‘It’s nothing like that. We’re just very different. We have nothing in common.’

Helen nodded sagely. ‘No chemistry?’

‘Um well, no. I think there probably was.’

Helen started to laugh. ‘Charlotte, you’re blushing! Let me get this straight: the guy is gorgeous, available and you’ve got the hots for him.’

Charlotte shrugged. ‘It doesn’t matter. I don’t think I’m his type at all.’

‘So you turned him down?’ Helen looked disappointed.

‘He hasn’t even asked me out.’

‘Not yet.’

Charlotte shook her head. ‘Not ever. He’s Saville Row. I’m Wrangler jeans. He wouldn’t be interested. One of the other women there said he has a new, stunner of a girlfriend every time she meets him.’

‘Yeah, you wouldn’t stand a chance,’ Helen teased.

‘Well seriously, why would he be interested? I spend half my life out on the side of some football pitch or racetrack…’

‘Charlotte Regan, you have an exciting job,’ Helen interrupted sternly.

‘…and in my down time I do the kind of stuff most men prefer to do with their mates. The most expensive thing Iown is a wetsuit. He complimented me on your dress, by the way, he actually recognised the designer! I’d no idea.’ Charlotte paused. ‘How have I reached twenty nine without owning one designer dress?’

‘But there was a spark?’ Helen said, as if Charlotte hadn’t spoken. Charlotte rolled her eyes again.
‘Maybe. So what? This guy won’t stray from his comfort zone: women as deep as their cosmetics!’

SHARON BLACK Biography.

SHARON Black grew up in Dublin. She studied history and politics at University College Dublin and then did post-graduate in journalism at Dublin City University. She has worked for national newspapers, including The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner. She had short stories published in U Magazine and won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. When she is not writing, she reads, walks and sees friends. She co-founded a local book club 14 years ago. She loves theatre, old Hollywood films, science fiction and good stand-up comedy. She lives in a coastal village in Dublin, with her husband and their three children.

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