Sensually Snowbound with Lindsay Evans

Sensually Snowbound with Lindsay Evans

Sex and snow have always seemed to belong together. Not necessarily two or more people rolling around in the cold white stuff (although I’ve written about that before) but being snug and warm behind closed doors with snow falling outside the windows, a fire getting the room nice and hot while an equally hot man tended to fires of an entirely different kind. That image was the catalyst for my latest novel, Snowy Mountain Nights. The story is hot, its hero even hotter, and the heroine overdue for a nice long blast of heat. Intrigued? Come with me on this journey.

9780373863952_SMPSnowy Mountain Nights by Lindsay Evans

On a much-needed ski getaway with her girlfriends, the last person Reyna Allen wants to run into is the lawyer who ruined her life. The tattoo artist’s bitter divorce left her with nothing, and she blames her ex-husband’s attorney, Garrison Richards. Now firelight dinners, winter walks in the Adirondacks, and toe-curling chemistry are daring her to give in to the one man she refuses to ever trust.

Garrison is good at his job—and where Reyna’s concerned, he may have been a little too good. He regrets the role he played in her divorce, and intends to show Reyna that he’s found his moral compass since then. But as their mutual heat thaws her resolve, will doubts put the freeze on their relationship—before he can convince her that they’re the ones meant for happily ever after?

Buy: Snowy Mountain Nights (Harlequin Kimani Romance)

5538_1382030788676096_1777985550_nBio:

Born in Jamaica, Lindsay Evans currently lives and writes in Atlanta, GA. She loves good food and romance and would happily travel to the ends of the earth for both. She writes sensual love stories for Harlequin Kimani. Find out more at www.LindsayEvansWrites.com.

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Snowy Mountain Nights Excerpt: 

Garrison stared after the woman while his secretary’s words on the other end of the line fell away from him in a garble of sound. She was the same one he had been watching from before. Now that he’d seen her face, she was breathtaking; an Amazon with a hauntingly beautiful face and body. He drew a quiet breath, hypnotized by the sway of her hips under the green dress as she walked away. Halfway down the train, she sat down with her three friends, never once glancing back at him.

“Garrison, are you still there?”

It took him a few seconds to realize Anthea was trying to get his attention. He mentally shook himself.

“My apologies, Anthea. I’m right here.”

He finished going over the particulars of the Reichman divorce, yet another rich client with children who didn’t want to financially support his offspring, then went back to his seat. He could hear the muted strains of the woman and her friends’ conversation from where he sat. And he wasn’t the only man glancing in their direction. Annoyed with himself for his uncharacteristic fascination, Garrison opened a folder for a case still in arbitration, but couldn’t concentrate on a single word.

The woman’s eyes haunted him. They were black and intense, her gaze as regal and unflinching as a queen. He drew a swift breath of surprise as he abruptly recalled who she was and how he knew her.

Reyna. Reyna Barbieri.

He’d handled her divorce from her actor husband nearly five years before. From the look on her face, she had undoubtedly known who he was on sight. And she hadn’t been happy to see him.

Garrison remembered the first time he saw her. Ian Barbieri, a client of his whose ship had come in the form of a syndicated crime drama, was a few years into the TV show when he filed for divorce. Every fall, his face was up on billboards all over New York City, advertising the new installment of his show.

With his star burning bright through the network TV sky, Barbieri had breezed into Garrison’s office wanting a quick and surgical separation from his wife of nearly nine years. Garrison hadn’t been surprised. Although Ian Barbieri was a relatively small fish in the show business pond in New York, the rumor had been going around for months (with pictures included) that he was cheating on his high school sweetheart. That he left her to keep the home fires burning while he had sex with nearly every wannabe starlet and groupie in the city. What had surprised Garrison was that Barbieri’s wife hadn’t hired a lawyer of her own. Neither had she objected to any of the terms of the divorce that her ex proposed.

Garrison drafted the documents with the stipulations Barbieri wanted and arranged a meeting with the wife thinking that, since the divorce was uncontested, it would be an easy and quick process. Barbieri wanted to keep just about everything he’d made and acquired since the marriage, leaving his wife with nothing but her wedding ring. She hadn’t protested.

Then Reyna Barbieri walked into the conference room. Given Barbieri’s movie star looks, Garrison had been prepared for a similar creature, perfectly quaffed and artificial, the New York version of Hollywood. But Reyna had that wholesome loveliness that came from a life lived apart from show business. The air in his lungs stuttered at her natural, long-legged beauty. And the misery in her face.

Her shoulders were slumped. The floral, summer dress and light sweater were too insubstantial for the fall weather and too big for her body. The wounded and defenseless look of her made him want to protect her. Garrison wanted to pull her into his arms and shelter her from everything that he knew was to come.

His heart thumped viciously at the unusual wave of feeling. He sat in his chair staring at Reyna as if she was the only person in the room. Garrison was surprised that everyone else hadn’t stared at him for his blatantly fatuous and unprofessional behavior.

He realized then that despite her husband’s flagrant cheating, she had not wanted to end the marriage. And that her husband had hurt her in ways that she had never expected and would probably never recover from. Garrison remembered pulling out a chair for Reyna. He also remembered her flinching from him. Her reaction had hurt, twisted him with guilt even though he knew he’d done nothing wrong. At least not technically.

In hindsight, Garrison should have insisted that Barbieri provide for her even though she had pressed for nothing on her own behalf and seemed to be waiting on the man she’d spent nearly half her life with to treat her fairly. Garrison’s inaction, and Reyna’s sadness, had haunted him ever since.

But the Reyna who had confronted him outside the bathrooms was not the same sad woman he’d met five years before. Not at all. This Reyna Barbieri was stunning for a completely different reason.

She wore her confidence like a royal cloak. And her snapping black eyes had challenged him the moment she realized who he was. Her chin-length curls were tight and thick, inviting him to sink his hands into them and pull her closer. And her body. Christ almighty…

The long and tight sweater hugged a figure that came straight from his dreams, a slender but curvaceous body he could easily imagine taking into his arms and making love to all night. Because of her, he was powerfully aware of every masculine part of him, aware that he wanted to be intimately joined to every feminine part of her.

Buy: Snowy Mountain Nights (Harlequin Kimani Romance)

Review: Fired by Her Fling by Christy McKellen

fired by her flingHero: Tristan Bamfield arrives in London to settle a personnel dispute at his father’s radio station. Cleaning up messes for his dad is something Tristan is used to, having taken over the family kitchen cabinet business years ago. He has a fabulous evening with a sexy woman only to find out the next day that she’s one half of the dispute he has to resolve. He’s been played a fool — again!

Heroine: Tallulah (Lula) Lazenby gets tongue-tied around people which may sound odd as her job is as a radio DJ. Sleeping with her boss at the station was a huge mistake. Jez is a major sleazeball; and the promotion he promised her? Nowhere in sight. Imagine her surprise when her one night stand ends up firing her and calls her on the carpet for unethical behavior and manipulation.

Review: Lula’s celebrity personality (the confident side of herself) I felt had better chemistry with Tristan than her “real” timid personality. Tristan has some serious family issues with his brother stealing his fiancée and his dad serially marrying women. My favorite sequences in this story included the night these two hooked up the first time, when they realized who the other one was and the subsequent firing, and Tristan’s later groveling where he wins her back to the studio with gifts (not all appropriate, but all right, cute anyway).

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Fired by Her Fling

Review: Only the Brave Try Ballet by Stefanie London

braveballetHero: Grant Farley injured his hamstring on the field and must regain his flexibility quickly in order to play. He signs up for ballet lessons because he’s desperate for a “quick fix.” What he doesn’t expect is to find himself very attracted to his private tutor. Tweaking her tutu is just the kind of fun he likes.

Heroine: Jasmine Bell is a prim and proper ballerina. Or at least she was until she hurt herself. Now she can’t dance the way she loves. Pointe is completely out of the question and so is Grant Farley… he’s just like her last boyfriend. He wants a pretty thing on his arm and when she can’t be everything he wants, he’ll move onto the next model type. Grant’s determined to change her mind about him and ballet.

Review: If the hero and heroine hadn’t been injured they would never have met. It was a great premise. I liked Grant a lot as a hero. His bar fight that gets alluded to often is something he’s already taken care of, but he doesn’t want to screw up again and it gets to him. Most of his troubles feel like they are in his head. The same for the heroine. I had trouble caring about Jasmine’s fears of trying again to do proper ballet, especially once we learn that the doctor thinks its psychosomatic. So that didn’t work for me. However, Stefanie nails it on flirting and sexual chemistry. Oh la la!

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Only the Brave Try Ballet

Audio Review: Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard

love in the afternoonHero: Sean Barrett is the sexiest soap star on TV. His father — an amazing actor in his own right — is embarrassed that Sean spent ten years of his life acting for a lowbrow soap, and tries to get him to audition for Hollywood hits. Sean refuses to use his father’s connections in the industry to get ahead and purposefully avoids leaving the soap for greener pastures. He and his father do not get along. Sean sees every attempt to reconnect as an attempt to manipulate him. His father’s pull is so strong others have tried to get close to Sean in order to get close to his father, something Sean finds distasteful. His fame-seeking ex-girlfriend has left a bad taste in his mouth and he’s determined to avoid his sexy new costar at all costs… until he realizes she wasn’t hired for her pretty face but for her acting skills. Then all bets are off.

Heroine: Kayla Maxwell’s biggest career move in seven years has been to accept a contract with daytime’s most popular soap, A New Dawn. It will give her the chance to show her acting chops and perhaps prove to her manipulative ex-boyfriend – also an actor — that she’s more than a bimbo in some B-rated slashers. Things seem to be going well, because the producers are expanding her role and slotting her character as Sean’s character’s newest love interest. But when real terror comes to the set, Kayla doesn’t know what to do. A hateful fan leaving threatening notes for her to quit the show and get out of town has escalated into vandalism and hints at more. Her handsome costar wants to keep her safe and Kayla is inclined to let him.

Review: Found this treasure on Audible for free one day and snagged it. I’m glad I did. I very much enjoyed the narrator. Gia St. Claire did an excellent job and I would listen to another book read by her.

I liked how the lines of dialogue at the top of each chapter reflect the growing attraction and love the two shared as both the main characters and their on-screen personas. I would classify this romance as sweet, despite the crazy fan mystery. I thought Sean and Kayla were great together on and off the stage. I liked the behind-the-scenes-look at filming day time soap operas with new tapings each day and the two’s interactions in the evening studying their lines.

The mystery is pretty good at keeping you guessing who is behind the threats. I won’t give you the choices, but I know I kept bouncing back and forth on it for a good portion of the novel. There’s a significant portion of page time devoted to Sean’s friend, Matt, a baseball player with some serious issues involving the death of somebody (wife, child?). It’s a clear setup for the next book in the series. Perhaps with Kelly, Kayla’s sister?

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Love in the Afternoon (Feeling the Heat)

Review: Along Came Trouble (Camelot, Book 2) by Ruthie Knox

Along Came TroubleReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Ellen Callahan is having problems with photographers. Not surprising when you have a famous, or infamous, family member. Caleb Clark has come to help Ellen. But you will find that she is a very strong-willed woman. Ruthie shows the reader that it doesn’t matter where you live, the paparazzi will follow a story – they only see the dollar signs. It takes a certain type of person that can protect people from the vultures that carry a camera. But they are also human and still have feelings and we see how important family is to Caleb.

Ruthie goes on to show how vulnerable a single mother can be – especially when the woman is trying to kick start a love life. She also shows that just because a woman has a child doesn’t mean that her womanhood ceases to exist. There was a scene where there is a conversation going on between Ellen and Caleb that just had me laughing. Ruthie does a great job about always putting some comic relief in her work.

Even though Ellen’s brother is a secondary character, we can see how diametric our brother and sister are. And Ruthie feeds on the reader’s preconceived notions about how celebrities act. Especially with the amount of press some celebrities are getting lately. But even though Ellen’s brother is a celebrity, I love their interaction. I have three brothers and wish we had that type of camaraderie.

This is was a great follow-up to book one. If you go to Ruthie’s web site, http://www.ruthieknox.com/, you can get some information about the first book, which I hope you have read, and a sneak peek into her next book titled Flirting with Disaster. If you’ve liked the first two books in the Camelot series you will want to make sure to get book three.

Buy: Along Came Trouble

Review: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Genre: Pride and Prejudice Variation, Contemporary

Summary: Slurry, the rock band started by Fitzwilliam Darcy has just lost another warm up band for it’s Grind tour. Due to rumors that the members of Slurry are Rock and Roll’s bad boys, Long Borne Suffering is the only band willing to help them out of a jam. Despite their talent, Darcy is only seeing trouble ahead. Bandmates Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam are making eyes at LBS’s Jane Bennet and Charlotte Lucas. The remaining member of LBS, Jane’s sister Elizabeth can hardly stand Darcy. Can they act likes professionals or will they act like the artists they are and give into their passions?

Couples:

Richard/Charlotte: They’re pretty steamy in these pages, but Richard has got lots of issues as he’s a serial addict. First it was alcohol, now it’s the ladies.To keep Charlotte safe from him, he’ll break up with her. When did boys get to be so dumb?

Charles/Jane: As sweet as the original. Jane is more outgoing and therefore Darcy can’t use her even temperament to persuade Charles that she doesn’t care. They will have troubles, but they simply can’t breathe without each other. One of the best scenes in the book is the two of them finally making love.

Darcy/Lizzy: Classic He said something harsh/She overhears and gets her back up. Darcy sticks his foot in it a lot, but that’s because he doesn’t know how what he says seems to have secret meanings to Lizzy. She judges him harshly, but in the end they figure each other out and learn to let go of the fear that’s keeping them apart. One of my favorite scenes is where Darcy doesn’t listen to Lizzy as she begs him for emotional space and he completely overwhelms her with his intensity. Hot and sad.

Other classic characters:

  • George Wickham: Is a real sleaze. Luckily he doesn’t go after Lydia.
  • Georgina Darcy: Sweet as can be, she graduates high school.
  • Lydia and Kitty Bennet: Cameo appearances in the beginning.
  • Mr/Mrs Bennet: Cameo appearances as well.
  • Collins: Hideous as usual but handled swiftly.
  • Ann/Catherine de Bourgh: Both are pretty unlikeable characters.
  • Caroline Bingley: Not an evil snob, but a hard working loyal sister.

Review: A fun alternative to Regency based P&P variations. Recommended if you like Rock & Roll & Sex!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star

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Review: A Night of Scandal by Sarah Morgan

Another winning story by Sarah Morgan!

The Hero: Nathaniel Wolfe is Hollywood’s golden bad boy, a contradiction on the surface, yes, but one that makes sense as you read. He’s acted all his life and has turned his job into a mask to hide behind. Who is the real Nathaniel Wolfe? Is he the suave celebrity icon or the man afraid to confront the demons of his past?

The Heroine: Drab gray/brown Katie Field has a multi-step ladder she’s looking to climb to make it in the world of costume design. When Nathaniel cancels the play she was working on opening night her ladder extends by a few feet. On set, he’s only ever referred to her as Wardrobe, which fits her low-key profile (how’s she ever to compare to her model sister?) That’s why she’s confused when he picks her to get him out of the theater and away from the press.

Review: The pacing of this story was perfect; no part of the action or conflict dragged or was cut off except the side conflict with the sister model. It didn’t go far enough in terms of explanation but it’s a minor hiccup. I love plots where one character can see through the mask of another to the real person beneath and both hero and heroine were able to do that. My favorite scenes include Nathaniel teaching another troubled boy to act, and the almost nookie that occurs when he sees her for the first time in very few clothes. Hot.

Sarah Morgan is an author you can rely on to deliver. She writes beautifully condensed categories that leave you with a smile.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: A Night of Scandal (Harlequin Presents), A Night of Scandal (UK)

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Rock Star Weddings

by Olivia Cunning, guest blogger and author of Rock Hard

With the royal wedding being celebrated later this week, I started thinking about rock star weddings. My latest erotic romance novel, Rock Hard, has a wedding scene. It’s not too out there, as far as rock star weddings go. Here’s a short excerpt:

How was it possible for two people to look that happy getting married by an Elvis impersonator in a drive-through? Brian had pulled into the first chapel they’d found. There wasn’t time for a long ceremony. They all had to be on stage in a couple of hours.

Sed grinned as Myrna and Brian recited their vows and exchanged rings. The size of Myrna’s rock put Jessica’s cheap piece of crap to shame, but Sed was very conscious of the discarded ring’s weight in his hip pocket as Brian slid a platinum band on Myrna’s finger.

They’d put the top down on Myrna’s pink, convertible, ’57 Thunderbird coupe. Brian sat on the back of the front seat with Myrna on his lap. Trey, the best man, sat in the middle beside the happy couple. Sed sat on the passenger side as their second witness. He supposed that made him the maid of honor. Always a bride’s maid…

“I now pronounce you husband and uh wife,” the Elvis, justice of the peace, said. “I say uh you may kiss your beautiful bride.”

Brian kissed Myrna deeply. She clung to his shoulders, the Vegas sunshine making her auburn hair glow like fire. She looked absolutely stunning in her white gown. Sed wondered if they’d even make it back to the tour bus before Brian had it off her.

Eric, who sat behind Jace on the motorcycle next to the car, cheered.

“Congratulations.” Sed reached behind Trey to pat Brian on the shoulder.

The couple continued to kiss. And kiss. And kiss. Tug at each other’s clothes. Kiss some more.

“You guys,” Trey protested. “You’re making Jace blush.”

The newlyweds drew apart and stared into each other’s eyes, both of Brian’s surrounded by dark purple bruises. “God, I love you,” Brian murmured. He kissed her again, before drawing away to stare at her with the stupidest grin on his face. She smiled just as stupidly, love shining in her eyes.

Sed had had that. Once.

But no longer.

Stupid Jessica. Sed crossed his arms over his chest, trying his darnedest to be happy for Brian, no matter how miserable the occasion made him feel.

“Are we going to sit here all day?” Trey asked.

“You act like we’re ordering burgers and fries,” Brian said, glaring at Trey.

“Well, what do you expect? We are in a drive-through. Hey, Elvis!” Trey called at the window. “Can we get ketchup with that?’

“One marriage license is all you shall receive from The King. Move along, folks,” Elvis said, his accent evaporating. “We’ve got a line today.”

They slid down into the white leather bench seat and Myrna shifted to sit on Trey’s lap so Brian could drive back to the tour bus.

****

As you can see, the hero of the book, vocalist Sed Lionheart, isn’t getting married here. His friend Brian, the lead guitarist of Sinners, is the lucky guy. So how do real life rock stars celebrated love and commitment? Stop sniggering. I realize most of the couples I mention below have split up. Most rock stars have traditional weddings. Don’t Motley Crue’s drummer, Tommy Lee, and Heather Locklear look happy together? Sigh. So sweet.

There are those rockers who celebrate a little differently, however.

When Jane’s Addiction’s guitarist, Dave Navarro, married Carmen Electra, they chose a traditional ceremony and attire. Dave’s black nail polish matches his tux perfectly!

Their wedding invitation was anything but traditional.

That has to be the wildest wedding invitation I’ve ever seen. I hear the bachelor party was a bit wild, too. Unfortunately, I wasn’t invited to either. Brian’s bachelor party in Rock Hard got a little out of hand, too. Those rock stars know how to party!

Some rock stars go for shock value when they wed. When singer, Marilyn Manson married Dita Von Teese, they chose a ceremony to reflect their unique personalities. I love how they made the day their own. And they look like they’re having a great time.

Pam Andersen has married more than one rock star, the lucky woman. She married Kid Rock in a bikini on a yacht. Actually, I think she might have worn a dress during the actual ceremony, but it didn’t stay on for long. If I had her body, I’d live in a bikini. I think these two are ready for the honeymoon!

And then you have the rock stars who couldn’t care less what you think of them—my favorite type of rock star. The singer of Nirvana, Curt Cobain, married Courtney Love in his green flannel pajamas. He couldn’t be bothered with a tux. When you’re a musical genius, you can get away with that!

(If you don’t know your rock stars, that’s drummer Dave Grohl standing between the recently married couple.)

I’m a total sap when it comes to weddings. I always, always cry.

What’s your favorite wedding memory? Do you prefer a traditional wedding or something a bit more unique? Will you be watching the royal wedding?

GIVEAWAY: I have two copies of of Rock Hard. Open to US and Canadian readers only. Enter by answering Olivia’s question(s). 1 entry per relevant comment; multiple entries allowed. Last Day to Enter: May 6, 2011.