BOOK REVIEW: Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet #2) by C.J. Roberts

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SYNOPSIS

BOOK TWO OF THE DARK DUET
The exciting, titillating, and action-filled conclusion to Captive in the Dark.

What is the price of redemption?

Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.

The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.

Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance?

Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice?

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It seemed to Caleb, the nature of human beings revolved around one empirical truth: we want what we cannot have. For Eve, it was the fruit of the forbidden tree. For Caleb, it was Livvie.

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REVIEW

Ashley’s book review: 5 stars

I am utterly speechless…and for those who actually know me, that is a VERY RARE thing. I will do my best to describe the book without spoilers and explain my emotionally journey throughout Seduced in the Dark.

On an emotional scale, I would consider myself on the upward spiral at the “hopefulness” level. I was eager to start Seduced in the Dark,because first off, C.J.Roberts knows how to capture her audience and throw them into a “dungeon of emotions” and trap them there with only their pleas of “give me more” and “please stop” being heard. Secondly, there is NO OTHER BOOK THAT COMPARES! I was completely wrapped up in Livvie and Caleb’s world…for better or worse.

My emotions took a downward spiral right away and were forced into the “worry” level of things! The best way for me to describe the writing style of Seduced in the Dark is, it’s in past, present and future tense…that’s kind of confusing. It starts out in the “future” or as we begin to read and realize, is the present. Livvie has been rescued and is being held against her will and is being interrogated as to her involvement with the “terrorists”. But as she is being questioned, that is where the past kicks in, Livvie’s memories. At the beginning of Seduced in the Dark, she’s been missing for a little over 4 months. At the end of Captive in the Dark, she had only been missing for about 2 months, so now we get to see what happened those last 2 months with Caleb.

This book went from Caleb and Livvie’s “little bubble of a life” that we saw in Captive in the Dark, to a whole new dark and disturbing world. We not only get to see Caleb train “Kitten” aka Livvie, but now we’re introduced into the “sex slave world”(as I like to think of it) and this is the part where I had to throw the book down, physically remove myself from it and come back later to read it with the right frame of mind. This isn’t like other BDSM books where there are safe words, consent and ways out if it’s too much for you. NO…there are no safe words, no consent, and no ways out. This. Is. For. Real. This is strictly about dominance and obedience.

We are introduced to new characters: Master Felipe Villaneuva, his slave Celia and we get to see more of some minor characters that were in the background of Captive in the Dark (Nancy and Kid) and ever present Rafiq. I did not like Rafiq from the beginning and my opinion did not change! C.J.Roberts wrote a novella that follows Kid after being kidnapped by Caleb’s men: “Determined to Obey”.

We once again get both Caleb and Livvie’s POV…thankfully!

Caleb’s character is still very much the epitome of the COMPLEX character he was in book 1: “monster with a heart of gold”. Caleb’s early life is heartbreaking and by far the worse I have read. He is merciless at times, but yet kind; brutal and yet, caring. He has this internal struggle: which side is really him—the monster he was “raised” to be or the man that is beginning to show because of Livvie? “He had told her he wasn’t her Prince Charming, but what he hasn’t said, was he wished he could be. Once upon a time, he may have been… normal. Before he had been stolen, before the beatings and the rapes and the killing – he could have been something different than what he was.”

He is so determined to breakdown “Kitten” and complete his lifelong goal of revenge, but his resolve is continuing to waver. One silly girl was trying to make him question everything he and Rafiq had worked so hard to achieve.” He is confusing Livvie at every turn: one minute he’s “Caleb” the man Livvie is beginning to love and the next he is “the monster” that he thinks he is and he expects her to obey at all costs. “In the dark, my master let down his guard and he was Caleb again. He didn’t correct me. He didn’t punish me. He didn’t push me away emotionally. Caleb was there to hold me until the nightmares passed. He was there to tell me I was beautiful. He was there to tell me I was going to be okay. In the dark, he seduced me. I didn’t want the seduction to end.” The problem is, the monster inside “rears his ugly head” and once Caleb realizes his “mistake” of letting Livvie in, he lashes out because of his own inner demons. He doesn’t want Livvie to get “under his skin” because he has a debt to repay and revenge to achieve, but he can’t if he ends up caring for her. His instinct was to lash out in an effort to put distance between him and Livvie.”

Livvie’s uncrushable spirit and strong will kept me able to get through the more darker scenes! Her character has grown SO MUCH from the broken character in book 1. “What mattered was I was different.  The naïve girl in me had been b*tch-slapped into womanhood. I’d been razed by pain, grief, loss and suffering, and honest by lust, rage, and an acute awareness of my need to survive.” Livvie has figured out that the only way to survive is to rely only on yourself. Her largest obstacle is her heart; her feelings for Caleb. Should she be feeling anything for her captor besides hate, anger and the need for revenge?

At times, I found it nearly impossible to not LOATHE Caleb and thought it impossible for him to redeem himself in my eyes, but then he would of course find his way into my heart again. I found myself sympathizing with Caleb’s character….cray cray I know!! How could I? He is involved in human trafficing for a living and murders people if need be, but it is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! You need to put into consideration his “upbringing” (I put that in quotations because it wasn’t really an upbringing, it’s indescribable what happened to him when he was an adolescent). He doesn’t know any better. Now I am NOT justifying his lifestyle or actions…NOT AT ALL, but I’m getting you to consider is he redeemable? Can a person change with the right influences or circumstances?

“Caleb knew he could never be redeemed, and he’d made his peace with it. He couldn’t right the wrongs, but he could offer a better future to those he’d wronged for the sake of his own selfishness.” He is the character I hate to love and I did love him at the end. He captured my heart and held it hostage. I think I fell in love with the broken boy inside that he rarely let show. “Live for me, Kitten. Be all those things you’d never be with me. Go to school. Meet a normal boy and fall in love. Forget me.” *tears*

Seduced in the Dark was like a train wreck, I couldn’t look away! I felt like my heart was being ripped out through my throat and getting stomped on. And then I had moments of peace, when the lovable Caleb would come out to play;) Both these emotions were like a pendulum throughout the book for me: swinging back and forth from peace to hatred! I had to stop reading and walk away countless times. But isn’t that what authors want to happen? Get you so wrapped up in their characters worlds, that you have to walk away to remind yourself it isn’t real? Well C.J.Roberts DEFINITELY achieved that with me. This book will stay with me forever!

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AUTHOR

5082404CJ Roberts is an independent writer. She favors dark and erotic stories with taboo twists. Her work has been called sexy and disturbing in the same sentence.

Her debut novel, CAPTIVE IN THE DARK, has sold over 150,000 copies and is the first of three books in her bestselling and award winning series DARK DUET.

She was born and raised in Southern California. Following high school, she joined the U.S. Air Force in 1998, served ten years and traveled the world.

She writes short stories under the name Jennifer Roberts

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RELEASE DAY, GUEST POST & BOOK REVIEW: Ripped (Real #5) by Katy Evans

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SYNOPSIS

A ripped rock star with attitude. An ex-girlfriend with a reckless plan.

Pandora assumed getting her heartbroken by her bad boy ex could only happen once–until Mackenna Jones comes back to town for the biggest concert of his career. They say girls are getting pregnant just thinking about the Crack Bikini tour and it’s destined to be a huge hit.

Oh, it’ll be a hit alright–when Pandora comes out swinging. She and her friend Melanie are determined to humiliate him onstage. But when they’re caught by security and her ex is summoned, Mackenna decides not to press charges if she’ll join him on tour and follow certain conditions–rules designed to give him the upper hand and keep her in close contact with him once again. Soon, the passion they once shared is reignited, and no matter how much Pandora wants to hate him, her hard exterior starts to crack.

And worse: Mackenna knows it, too. But he hasn’t uncovered all her secrets…

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GUEST POST

WRITING RIPPED

By Katy Evans

RIPPED – I’m so excited to be sharing with everyone RIPPED, Real series book #5! 🙂

RIPPED began with Pandora, Brooke (Real, Mine and Remy) and Melanie’s (Rogue) goth friend. She’s such a wounded warrior and so bitter that I was completely hooked wanting to know—what happened? What made her like this? Why does she hate men so much?

And that’s how I met her man, Mackenna Jones.

He’s back in Seattle for the concert of the year, and Pandora hates him so much, she is still so stuck in the past for having loved (and lost) him when she was young, she’s determined to go pay him a visit and give him a little something to remember her by. Nothing nice, I assure you.

And that’s where RIPPED totally exploded for me. It’s one of those books where I couldn’t stop writing even for a second. It seemed like I just opened Pandora’s box of secrets and they came spilling out, one after the other. Memories, what truly happened in her eyes, in his eyes, their first kiss (sigh) and so much more. Their past is tumultuous and passionate and their present, when they reunite again, is just as passionate and rocky. They have a long way to go to their HEA but, though Pandora doesn’t feel she deserves it and has never let herself want it, Mackenna has another plan to conquer back his girl.

What I love about this couple in particular is how equal they seem—the push and the pull always kept me guessing as to who had control of the situation, sometimes Pandora had Mackenna by the pants, and plenty of others it was Mackenna who kept getting the upper hand, knowing each and every one of Pandora’s weaknesses (including that he is the main one.)

He is the boy she could never forget.

She is the girl no other girl has ever compared.

Things are about to get RIPPED during Mackenna’s concert tour when his manager thinks it brilliant to force Pandora to tag along. J

REVIEW

ASHLEY’S BOOK REVIEW: 5 STARS

First and foremost, THANK YOU KATY EVANS for gifting Collector of Book Boyfriends book blog this arc!

All.The.Feels! This book ripped my heart out and stomped on it! I love when a book can twist your heart up so much that you actually “feel” what the characters are feeling…that is exactly how this book was for me. I felt every emotion that went through both Mackenna and Pandora as if it were me going through the struggles they were going through.

Mackenna and Pandora loved and lost…that’s the best way to describe it. They were from “different sides of the street” and fate brought them together, but there were unforeseen obstacles in their path.

Pandora has so much anger in her. Anger for Mackenna, anger for her dad, anger for her mom, but most of all anger for herself. She has to learn to overcome this anger. We watch her grow as an individual throughout ripped and learn how her character became who she is today. Can she find closer with her past? Can she forgive Mackenna for ripping her heart out, when she never gave her heart to anyone but him?

” He was the closest I’ve ever been to a person in my life–” (Pandora)

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Mackenna “chose” to leave Pandora and pursue stardom and is embracing it with his band “Crack Bikini”…or is he? Why did he leave Pandora? Does he really hate her?

“I fell for a girl who would never love me back the way I wanted her to.” (Mackenna).

Mackenna plays the part of the rock star, but deep down he is just as ripped apart as Pandora.

“Because she did break me.” (Mackenna).

They have a shared past, but can they have a shared future?

“How can you stop belonging to someone who has ravaged you like he did me? How can your first and only love sweep through you like a tornado and not leave his marl?” (Pandora)

Ripped is nothing like anything else Katy Evans has written! Katy Evans has proven to me yet again why she is one of my top favorite authors! And I LOVED getting to see more Remington & Brooke and Greyson & Melanie!!

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ANGY’S BOOK REVIEW: 5 RockSTARS

I love it when one of my favorite authors publish a new book. Katy Evans made it with Ripped. This is a beautiful and heartbroken story with great characters and the most unexpected plot ever. I never thought that what happened with both of them, Mackenna and Pandora, in the past was what actually happened. I was in shock! As usual, I was guessing about it, but of course, I was all wrong. I really loved the end of the book, a perfect HEA!

This is the second spin off of The Real Series, it is the turn for Pandora, the best friend of Broke and Melanie. She wasn’t my favorite secondary character in the previous books, she was all grumpy, moody, pessimistic and didn’t believe in love. We get to know her very well in this book, her past, her family, her current feelings and most of all, her way back to love.

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Mackenna Jones was her first love, first kiss, first in everything. They were madly in love, they had plans for the future, they promised everything and always but…. Nothing really happened. I was in shock finding out that Mackenna was as mad as Pandora was. They both were equally heartbroken and when they meet six years later, it was their opportunity to get back at each other. They were mean to one another and then they were f**king each other brains out of their systems. It was sexy. It was hot. It was awesome!

It was great to read how they started yielding to their true feelings. It was beautiful to read how Pandora finally said what Mackenna wanted to hear from her. It was beautiful to read Mackenna’s feelings, his POV was the best.

The appearances of Broke & Remy and Melanie & Greyson were awesome! I always enjoy reading the after of the HEA of my favorite love stories, and I love love love Real+Mine+Remy and Rogue. I can’t wait for the next book of the series, it is still a mystery, doesn’t have a title but I am going to guess if it is the story of Broke’s sister.

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AUTHOR

katy evansHey! I’m Katy Evans and I love family, books, life, and love. I’m married with two children and three dogs and spend my time baking, walking, writing, reading, and taking care of my family. Thank you for spending your time with me and picking up my story. I hope you had an amazing time with it, like I did. If you’d like to know more about books in progress, look me up on the Internet, I’d love to hear from you!

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COVER REVEAL: Just Let Me Love You (Judge Me Not #3) by S.R. Grey

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SYNOPSIS

No one ever said a lasting love would be easy.

When Chase and Kay hit the streets of Las Vegas, the goal is simple—rescue Will, Chase’s brother, from making the biggest mistake of his young life. But keeping Will out of trouble turns out not to be the only obstacle in Chase and Kay’s path. Finding himself back in the city that broke him, Chase’s heartbreaking past threatens to derail all the progress he’s made.

However, Chase is determined not to let that happen.

While striving to help Will before he implodes, Chase seeks to come to terms with the things that almost destroyed him. He soon discovers that the answers to the most complicated questions sometimes lie in one’s own heart. You just have to be willing to dig deep enough to find them.

Can Chase succeed in doing that?

Just Let Me Love You is a story of healing, letting go, and trusting love to guide you. The conclusion of the Judge Me Not trilogy brings everything full circle.

New Adult Romance

*mature themes including explicit sex scenes and profanity*

Third and final novel in the Judge Me Not series/trilogy.

Expected publication: January 2015

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AUTHOR

SRS.R. Grey is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble Top 100 Bestselling author. She is the author of the popular New Adult novels I Stand Before You (Judge Me Not #1) and Never Doubt Me (Judge Me Not #2). Her newest novel, Inevitable Detour (Inevitability #1), is a wild ride combining the New Adult genre with elements of Romantic Suspense. She is also the author of the Harbour Falls Mystery trilogy. Ms. Grey’s novels have appeared on Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists in multiple categories, including Amazon Top 30 and #1 on Barnes & Noble Top 100 Nook Bestsellers.

New novels slated for 2015 release dates are Just Let Me Love You (Judge Me Not #3), Inevitable Circumstances (Inevitability #2), and a New Adult novel to be revealed in the future.

Ms. Grey resides in Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, as well as an MBA. Her background is in business, but her true passion lies in writing. When not writing, Ms. Grey can be found reading, traveling, running, or cheering for her hometown sports teams.

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RELEASE WEEK EVENT: You Were Mine (Rosemary Beach #9) by Abbi Glines

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SYNOPSIS

From #1 “New York Times “bestselling author Abbi Glines comes a brand-new Rosemary Beach novel about Tripp Newark and his hidden romantic past with Bethy Lowry.

In the eyes of the wealthy playboys who frequent Kerrington Country Club in Rosemary Beach, Tripp Newark is a hero. Under pressure from his parents to become a lawyer and lead a conservative, upper-class life, Tripp disappeared from town five years ago to travel the world, forfeiting the opportunity to inherit millions. Yet few know what he was really running from…

Bethy Lowry was unraveling long before her boyfriend drowned in a riptide trying to save her after she’d had one too many drinks–again. A trailer park kid working as a cart girl among the wealthy patrons of Kerrington Country Club, Bethy has always been impressionable. But five years ago, before she earned her reputation as a hard-drinking, easy girl, she had spent a single summer with Tripp Newark that changed her life forever…

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EXCERPT

Tripp

Present Day…

I sat on my Harley and waited for Bethy to walk out of the clubhouse. Woods had been texting me Bethy’s work schedule every two weeks, and I made sure she made it home from work safely every night. It wasn’t stalking her, exactly. It was just the only way I could remain sane.

Watching over her was all I had. If I got too close, she flipped. The last time I’d tried to talk to her, she’d started screaming. I hadn’t been able to calm her down. I was watching her lose herself slowly. And it was tearing me up.

So I followed her to work everyday, and I followed her home every night. Once she was safely in her apartment, I often sat parked across the road and watched her window until it went dark. She never looked at me, even though I wasn’t hiding the fact I was following her. There was no use in hiding it from her.

The last words she’d actually spoken to me -not screamed at me, because there’d been a lot of that- had been eighteen months ago on the beach when we’d lost Jace. My cousin, my best friend, and the love of Bethy’s life. He’d drowned saving her life when she’d wandered into the ocean drunk and got caught in a riptide. Losing him had taken a part of my soul. He’d been the little brother I never had. He’d been the good Newark heir. He’d been everything I should have been but wasn’t.

And we had loved the same girl. Although he never knew it.

Watching her pull away from life more and more each day was so damn hard. Jace wouldn’t have wanted this. He would have hated it. He loved her more than he loved himself. Seeing her like this would break his heart.

Bethy swung her long dark hair over her shoulder as she stepped out of the clubhouse. The shorts she wore had once been tight and cupped her perfect round bottom. But just like she’d lost the will to live, she’d also lost weight. Too much.

The need to hold her and help her heal was so fucking strong. But she didn’t want me. I hadn’t realized how badly she hated me until I’d returned to Rosemary Beach a little more than two years ago. I’d run like hell eight years ago from a life threatening to suffocate me. My father wanted something for me that I didn’t want, and I hadn’t been able to see my way out.

I had been eighteen years old and scared, because in three short months, one sixteen-year-old girl had become my sole concern in life. Bethy had stolen my heart the summer I met her at Rush’s party. When I’d been ready to throw away the life I’d been planning for the past year in order to be with her, my father had reminded me of just how much control he had over me.

I wouldn’t have been able to keep Bethy if I’d stayed. That wasn’t the life he’d let me have. So I’d run, hoping that when I came back in two years, when she was old enough, I could take her with me. But first, I’d needed to escape.

I watched as Bethy opened the door to her old beat-up Ford Taurus and climbed inside. The stiff way she held herself and the way she kept her focus turned away from me told me she knew I was here. She expected me to be there.

Once she would have broken into the biggest, most beautiful smile in the world and run into my arms. But that was the past. I had broken that. I had broken her, and I hadn’t even known.

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AUTHOR

4872191Since publishing her first novel Breathe in May of 2011, Abbi has also released The New York Times bestselling Seabreeze Series which includes Breathe, Because of Low, While It Lasts, Just For Now and Sometimes It Last, The Existence Trilogy that includes the USA Today Bestseller Ceaseless. New York Times and USA TODAY bestsellers The Vincent Boys and The Vincent Brothers. Last but not least her most popular series to date, Rosemary Beach which includes The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers Fallen Too Far, Never Too Far, Forever Too Far, Twisted Perfection and Simple Perfection. Her newest book scheduled to be released on December 17th, 2013 is Misbehaving (Seabreeze).

When Abbi isn’t locked away in her office typing away she is hauling her kids to and from their many social activities. You could say her second job is the Glines Kids personal chauffeur. It’s a rather illustrious job.

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Free Me by Laurelin Paige

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Join release party on December 10 will on Laurelin’s Facebook Page

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SYNOPSIS

Her story began long before she started working at The Sky Launch…

Screw fairytales. The only reward Gwen Anders got from her rough childhood was a thick skin and hard heart. She’s content with her daily grind managing a top NYC nightclub—Eighty-Eighth Floor. So hers isn’t a happily ever after. She doesn’t believe in those anyway.

Then she meets J.C.

The rich, smooth talking playboy is the sexiest thing that Gwen has ever encountered, but she’s not interested in a night-in-shining latex. But when a family tragedy pushes her to the brink, it’s J.C. who’s there to teach her a new method of survival, one based on following primal urges and desires. His no-strings-attached lessons require her to abandon her constant need for control. Her carefully built walls are obliterated.

Gwen discovers there’s a beautiful world outside her prison. Freedom is exhilarating—and terrifying. When she starts to feel something for J.C., she fears for her heart. Especially as she realizes that he has secrets of his own. Secrets that don’t want to set him free.

This series can be read alone or with the Fixed Trilogy.

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PURCHASE LINKS

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GIVEAWAY

A $50 giftcard

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AUTHOR

1606469_210118489191189_2028824730_oNY Times & USA Today Bestselling author Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She is represented by Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency.

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Release Day Blast: Caress of Darkness: A Dark Pleasures Novella (1001 Dark Nights #12) by Julie Kenner

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SYNOPSIS

From New York Times and International bestselling author Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner)…

From the first moment I saw him, I knew that Rainer Engel was like no other man. Dangerously sexy and darkly mysterious, he both enticed me and terrified me.

I wanted to run-to fight against the heat that was building between us-but there was nowhere to go. I needed his help as much as I needed his touch. And so help me, I knew that I would do anything he asked in order to have both.

But even as our passion burned hot, the secrets in Raine’s past reached out to destroy us … and we would both have to make the greatest sacrifice to find a love that would last forever.

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And don’t miss the next books in the series, already available for preorder!

Find Me in Darkness (January 13, 2015)
Find Me in Pleasure (January 20, 2015)
Find Me in Passion (January 27, 2015)
Caress of Pleasure (a 2015 1001 Dark Nights release!)

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AUTHOR

6459302Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

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#THOMASTUESDAY TEASER: Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers #2) by Jamie McGuire

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Expected publication: January 27th 2015

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AUTHOR

Jamie McGuireJamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, OK. She attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with international bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written apocalyptic thriller Red Hill, a novella titled A Beautiful Wedding, and the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy.

Jamie lives on a ranch just outside Enid, OK with husband Jeff and their three children. They share their 30 acres with cattle, six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.

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