Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Bohemian and The Banker by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

"A night lost in Paris finds two hearts changed forever."

Sent to Paris on business, Nigel Warren doesn’t quite understand why his colleagues’ eyes twinkle as they tell him to meet them at a local night spot.

When he discovers it’s a drag cabaret and his acquaintances aren’t there, he realizes he’s the butt of a joke. Yet he finds himself quite undone by a singer dressed in an elegant gown, crooning a spellbinding ballad.

It’s not unusual for Jay, a former Londoner, to bring a new “friend” home from the cabaret, but he’s never had a guest quite like Nigel, whose straitlaced manner hides an unexpected passionate streak.

One romantic night on a rooftop under starry skies, followed by an afternoon enjoying the excitement of the 1901 Paris Exposition, bonds these opposites in a way neither can forget—even after they part.

Their spark reignites when Jay comes to London, but he’s not sure he can go back to hiding his true self, not even for the sake of love…unless Nigel is willing to shed his cloak of staid respectability and take a leap of faith.

Warning: Contains a virgin who doesn’t speak French but is fluent in numbers, and a drag performer who is trilingual in English, French and Love. Not responsible for extra pounds brought on by the urge to dine on croissants au deux.

Summer and Bonnie have done it again.  Their historical collaborations are entertaining forays into a time that has long since past.  Not only are the characters well written but they are men we want to know and certainly men that I would be intrigued to call friends.  Their historicals help to remind us just how far we have come as an accepting society, we still have a ways to go but it's good to be reminded how it was, and Miss Devon and Miss Dee do that in a very interesting way.  Nigel and Jay are a pair that should never have met, or at least not by standards of the time, but they do meet and boy what a journey they have and we get to go along for the ride.


Paris 1901
He should never have agreed to meet Messrs. Abelin and Pascal in such a neighborhood. He could be safely in his hotel room, observing the city from the safety of a balcony.

Even the Champs-Elysées, with all that life under the glittering lights and the spreading horse-chestnut trees, had seemed decadent to him. The people who lounged and laughed at cafés drinking wine and listening to music seemed foreign. Now that broad, clean stretch of Paris felt like home compared to these sinister, crowded streets.

Nigel cringed as he stepped square on a pile of something foul. Not dog feces, thank God, but some almost equally smelly refuse. He hurried on. The next street he turned onto seemed a bit broader and more as if it led someplace he might actually want to go. Music drifted from the well-lit cafés, drinking establishments and music halls. He might have accidentally stumbled onto his destination. Good heavens, what had inspired him to walk rather than have a cab drop him in front of the Cabaret Michou?

The incongruous sight of a turning windmill a ways down the street caught his attention. The infamous Moulin Rouge Theatre. M. Abelin had mentioned the smaller Cabaret Michou was located not too far from that monstrosity. In broken English, M.Pascal had assured Nigel he would find the cabaret most entertaining. Wishing to establish rapport with the French company his bank had sent him to audit, Nigel had affably agreed to come along with Abelin and Pascal on an evening’s adventure. But the thought of can-can dancers holding their skirts high and exposing all sorts of unnecessary flesh didn’t appeal to him in any way. Still, Nigel knew how to pretend to enjoy the same amusements other men did.

At last he spotted a sign on a building with an Oriental-themed façade. Chinese dragons coiled around the columns on either side of the blood-red door, and flickering gaslights shone in flame-shaped torches.

On the doorstep of the club, Nigel paused to reach his finger under the leather upper of his shoe to scratch an itch. How he wished he could remove the shoes from his feet and rub them all over to ease the ache of his long walk. But other customers were approaching the club. He could not delay his entry any longer. Taking a breath, Nigel opened the shocking red door.

The décor of the club reflected the pagoda theme of the exterior. A highly carved table bearing Chinese dragon figurines stood in the foyer, a huge vase of flowers gracing its surface. Depictions of the Far East hung against red wallpaper. In the main room, Nigel scanned the tables and peered as far as he could into the silk-draped booths, but he did not spot M. Abelin or M. Pascal. He’d checked his pocket watch several dingy alleys ago and knew he was late, which meant his business associates were even later since they’d promised to be there to greet him.

Or they weren’t coming. Perhaps the Frenchies had played a funny joke at his expense, luring him to this seamy part of town. When they met again at the Chauve-Souris, the men would pretend Nigel had misunderstood and laugh behind his back at the tres amusante Englishman.

Well, he was too knackered to retrace his footsteps now. Nigel made his way to an open table for two, since apparently the waiters here did not seat customers. He would not hold a larger table and appear a fool if his companions never arrived. Nigel sighed as he slumped in the hard-backed seat. Underneath the scarlet-draped table, he carefully toed off his lace-up shoes and rubbed one foot against the other.

When one of the garcons finally deigned to notice him, Nigel ordered a glass of wine and earned a sneer at his pronunciation of the French vintage. He wanted to order food too, but the menu was beyond his skill to decipher, and damned if he’d point to an item and allow the waiter another smirk.

Gaslights on the perimeter of a stage cast an eerie glow upward. A man in the spotlight made an announcement with a lot of extravagant gestures. The band, hidden offstage, played a lively, modern tune, and five dancing girls pranced onto the stage. They kicked up their heels and flounced their skirts and even wiggled their bums at the audience. Mortified, Nigel ducked his head.

None of the other customers watching the review seemed remotely disturbed. Many cheered and clapped along with the song. Nigel peeked at the dancing girls as they trotted up to the front of the stage, and an unlikely detail shocked him—Adam’s apples on several of the women. Other visual cues informed him these were not normal women or, indeed, women at all.

His mouth dropped open, and he stared full-on for the rest of the dance number. Were they pretty young men painted and padded and wearing women’s clothing? He’d heard rumors of such shows but could scarcely imagine a place where such forbidden fruit was paraded right out in the open. Only in Paris.

The faux ladies pranced offstage while the audience yelled and whistled and applauded too loudly. Nigel politely patted his hands together and waited to see what could possibly happen next.

A single spotlight cast beam from the back of the club somewhere, making a neat circle on the stage. Now a long, willowy figure wearing a trailing gold kimono moved languorously from backstage into the spotlight. Black hair brushed the man’s shoulders and white makeup painted his face. Thin arched eyebrows were drawn above a deep-set pair of eyes impossible to look away from. Luscious, full lips were painted as deep a crimson as the door of the club. Nigel’s own mouth tingled at the outrageous thought of pressing against such softness.

This figure was a man, despite the feminine garb and painted face. Nigel wasn’t completely certain until the man began to sing. There was no doubt about his pure, vibrant tenor.

The sweet, plaintive notes of a violin and that yearning, soulful voice filled the room. No one talked or as much as scraped a fork against a plate. For a respectful moment, all laughter stilled. Nigel could hardly breathe as he drank in the exotic figure that commanded the stage without even moving. The beautiful man looked slowly around the club, gracing first one person then another with his attention. For a phrase or an entire line of the song, he sang to that lucky listener. And although Nigel didn’t understand a word, he knew whatever this fascinating man was saying held infinite meaning. He wished he could understand. He wished the singer would look at him.

And then those dreamy eyes focused on him, chose him, offered wisdom to him. Nigel swallowed and gazed back, willing the amazing singer to understand how the words Nigel couldn’t understand touched him.

“Peut-être aurez vous de la peine
Moi j'en ai eu tellement pour vous
Je vous laisse avec votre haine
Mais laissez-moi partir loin de vous
Moi, je meurs d’amour
Moi, je meurs d’amour”

When the song ended, a moment of hushed stillness followed before the audience erupted into applause. This time Nigel joined in, clapping so hard his palms stung.

The chanteur—or was he a chanteuse since he was dressed as a woman?—gave a sweeping bow before flowing offstage again. Such graceful movements for a man.

A man! The absolute perversion of this club where men boldly flaunted themselves in female clothing hit Nigel. And his business contacts had sent him here knowing full well the place would shock him. Clearly a joke at the ignorant Englishman’s expense.

Nigel should be humiliated and furious. He should leap up from his seat and leave the club, catch a cab back to his hotel room and pretend he’d never been here at all. Abelin and Pascal need never know. He’d tell them he’d completely missed the evening appointment as he’d fallen asleep in his hotel room.

But Nigel remained pinned to his seat and listened carefully as the announcer returned to the stage and suggested another round of applause for the singer Jean Michel. Nigel wished he understood more French. He needed to learn everything he could about the ethereal young man in the gold silk kimono.

Author Bios:
Bonnie Dee
I began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, I was the designated ghost tale teller. I still have a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

Writing childish stories for my own pleasure led to majoring in English at college. Like most English majors, I dreamed of writing a novel, but at that time in my life didn't have the necessary focus and follow through. Then life happened. A husband and children occupied the next twenty years and it was only in 2000 that I began writing again.

I enjoy dabbling in many genres. Each gives me a different way to express myself. I've developed a habit of writing every day that's almost an addiction. I don't think I could stop now if I tried.

Summer Devon
Summer Devon is the pen name writer Kate Rothwell often uses. Whether the characters are male or female, human or dragon, her books are always romance. 

You can visit her facebook page, where there's a sign up form for a newsletter (she'll only send out newsletters when there's a new Summer Devon or Kate Rothwell release and she will never ever sell your name to anyone).

Bonnie Dee

Summer Devon


Resurrection by Shyla Colt

Title: Resurrection
Author: Shyla Colt
Series: Wesson Rebels MC #3(standalone)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 22, 2015
Publisher: Hot Ink Press

***Warning: Graphic Violence and sexual content***
A horrific betrayal stole her voice and nearly her life. Mute and broken, Vita retreated from the world. Dependent on her brother Houdini, the family farmhouse where she licked her wounds became a tower to hide in. When her brother winds up missing, she must come clean about their past to his M.C. The result is a downward spiral that will change both of their lives forever.

The only one in Wesson Rebels who can understand sign language is Prophet. He finds himself assigned to the petite beauty. When her lies about her past become a tangled web, that threatens to ensnare them all, like changes to loathing. She’s just like the woman who ruined his family and almost took his life. Determined to keep her at a distance, he puts up a wall. When fate forces them to depend on each other for survival, barriers tumble down, truths come to the light, and an unbreakable bond is forged.

When reality returns, they have two choices, retreat into the darkness or remain in the light.

     I grip the steering wheel so hard my knuckles turn white. Time crawls along like fog over the ground. I don’t usually drive, and where I’m headed gives me no comfort. Shifting in the driver’s seat of the pickup I curse my isolation.
     This is for Ira, so buck the up.
     The self-flagellation does nothing to calm my nerves, or lend courage. I’m not brave. It’s not a matter of opinion, it’s a fucking fact, long established. It’s the reason I’ve been holed up in my family’s farmhouse like a hermit, instead of out living life. My body shakes as my mind goes over the message from Cora that my brother is missing.
     Missing? How does a man go off the grid while on club business?
     The thought of losing my last connection to anything on this planet, shoves me closer to the insanity I narrowly escaped. Maybe this is like Final Destination. I dodged a bullet, and now it’s come back around to force me to my true fate. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. My heart races. I battle the anxiety. I hate this. I loathe the woman I’ve become. There are two halves to me now. A fractured mirror put back together but never quite fixed. You can’t repair what’s shattered, not fully. I know that better than most. There’s Vita before the incident and Vita after.
     The weakness turns my stomach. For once, my brother needs something from me. He deserves better than what I’m giving him right now. I don’t even know the full situation, and I’m a few seconds shy of flipping my lid. I owe him better.
     He provided the cushion that let me heal and just be, after the culling of my family.
     I can do this.

Author Bio:
Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine. She’s always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration.

After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there’s never a dull moment in her household.

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company. A self-professed rebel with a pen. Her goal is to diversify romance as she continues to genre hop, and offer up strong female characters.


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Needing Her by Allie Everhart

Title: Needing Her
Author: Allie Everhart
Series: Kensingtons #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Adult
Release Date: June 5, 2015
Pearce Kensington. Age 25. Billionaire. Graduate of the Ivy League. Future CEO. Member of a powerful secret society.

His life is complicated. Dark. Lonely. Dangerous. So when he meets Rachel, a kind, sweet, beautiful grad student, he tells himself to stay away. He’s no good for her. And yet, she’s good for him. A ray of light in his very dark world.

She’s everything he’s ever wanted but didn’t think he could have. But being with her will bring her into his world. A world she doesn’t belong in. A world he wants to escape. A world he’ll have to hide from her in order to keep her safe.

He should let her go. But he can’t. He loves her. He needs her. So he’ll risk everything to be with her.

Rachel's POV
     “Um, Pearce?” I yell out the shower door.
     “Yes,” I hear him say from the bedroom.
     “How do you turn the shower on?”
     “I’ll show you. Can I come in?”
     He comes in the bathroom and into the large walk-in shower, keeping his eyes on the tile wall and not my naked body. He puts his hand on one of the levers. “This one turns it on and this one adjusts the water temperature.” He points to one of the knobs. “If you want to adjust the shower heads, just turn this left or right. Each one has three settings.”
     “Thank you.”
     He smiles as he looks me up and down. “You’re very welcome.”
     “Hey.” I swat at him. “You’re not supposed to look.”
     “You didn’t make that clear when you invited me in here.”
     “I didn’t invite you. I just asked for your help.”
     “And I gave it to you.” He leans down and puts his lips to mine for a very slow, very sexy, very deliberate kiss.
     He’s testing my will power. I’m naked. He’s in a towel. We’re in a shower. And his kiss is burning up my insides.
     He stops suddenly and steps back out into the bathroom. “Mind if I shave while you’re in there?”
     “Um, no, go ahead,” I say, stumbling on my words, my brain not fully functioning after that kiss. I start the water and adjust the temperature. Through the glass shower door, I see Pearce lathering up his face with shaving cream.
     In the mirror, he catches me watching him and smiles, “How’s the shower?”
     “It’s great.” I turn a little so that all three shower heads are raining down on me. “Actually, it’s pure heaven. So much better than mine. I’d love to have this shower.”
     “You could if you lived here.”
     I wipe the water from my eyes and see him running the razor over his face.
     I decide to humor him. “How much is the rent?”
     “How much do you pay for your current place?”
     “Five hundred a month, plus utilities.”
     “The rent here is only a hundred a month, utilities included.”
     “Wow. That’s a bargain. But I’d have to drive a half hour to class every day. That’s a lot of gas money.”
     “Even with gas, it’s still cheaper than your current place.”
    “That’s true.” I close my eyes as the water runs over my face.
     “So what do you think?”
     I hear his voice right in front of me. I open my eyes and there he is. No towel this time. Just him. Freshly shaved and looking completely irresistible.
     “I need to think about it,” I say, feeling breathless as my heart races in my chest.
     He stands there, giving me an extremely sexy smile. I can’t take my eyes off him. I try, but I can’t.      His body is amazing. I know he works out, but I’d like to know what kind of workout gets results like that. His body is hard. Solid. His muscles chiseled. I’m heating up even more just looking at him.
     He steps closer, slipping his arm around my waist as he leans down and talks in my ear. “Would you like me to leave?” He trails soft, warm kisses along my neck as the water flows over us.
     My eyes fall shut again as I shake my head, unable to respond verbally. I’m too focused on how good this feels. How turned on he makes me. How desperate I am for this to continue.
     I feel his lips over mine as his hand slowly travels down my spine, just like when he gave me that massage last night, only this time there’s no waistband to stop him and his hand keeps going, skimming over my hip and my backside. His other hand moves behind my neck, holding me in place as his kiss goes deeper. My body’s on fire, exploding with sensations, which only intensify when his hand slips between my legs. He shows off his talent in this area once again, and moments later, I’m coming undone, finding it hard to remain standing as waves of pleasure roll through me.
     His hand returns to my waist, holding me up. “Rachel.”
     I open my eyes and see him looking at me. “Yes.”
     “How well do you know me?”
     I smile. “Well enough.”
     I’m still recovering from what he did to me, my body ultra sensitive to his touch. But I’m ready for more. I’ve held out long enough. I want this. I want this so bad.

Author Bio:
Allie Everhart writes books about dating, love, and romance. She’s also a freelance health writer for magazines and websites. She loves to read as much as she loves to write. And when she’s not reading or writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.


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Hope in Every Raindrop by Wesley Banks

Title: Hope in Every Raindrop
Author: Wesley Banks
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult Romance
Release Date: May 26, 2015
“Small towns have big stories.” That was a lesson Katie’s father taught her years ago. A lesson she’s taken to heart. And right now, Katie is desperate for a big story. Reeling from the recent loss of her father and with her agent breathing down her neck for the next book, the twenty-one-year-old writer picks a spot on the map and finds herself bound for a middle-of-nowhere town called Bishopville, South Carolina.

Taking a chance on the words of a local grocer, Katie stumbles upon a rare breed of dogs raised by the town doctor and his nephew Kyle. The only problem? Kyle isn’t interested in telling stories—especially not to a big-city girl who can’t seem to sit still. In an attempt to win him over as the clock winds down, Katie finds herself immersed in Kyle’s world, doing everything but writing.

When inspiration finally strikes, Katie is faced with an unforeseen catastrophe and a truth she can no longer ignore. While she has come to love the dogs, the real story may be about Kyle Walker.

King Running (page 135)
     Without warning, white lightning ripped through the rain and echoed over the land. King turned towards the downslope with blurring speed, as if nature had fired the starting gun. He crossed the field in a matter of seconds as he raced towards them.
     The dark sky let out a loud rumble and another flash of yellow blazed from the clouds.
     Kyle raised his hand to his forehead as if to shield his eyes as King continued across the vast landscape. The sky opened up around them and rain poured down.
     Katie brushed the cold water from her arms, barely registering the fact that she was getting wet. She couldn't take her eyes off King. Every movement he made seemed to have a specific purpose. It was similar to being in the sled, but this time he ran free.
     He turned slightly to the left just before he approached a small divot, and then back right to avoid a thick patch of grass. He moved at a furious pace, unlike anything Katie had ever seen before.
     As he passed, Kyle stood and walked to the edge of the tree line, his eyes still following King.
     Katie followed, both of them just watching.
     Katie didn't understand why the mere image of a dog running seemed to overwhelm her. She had seen lots of dogs run. But there was something different about this; something deeper. As a writer she hated clichés, but this time it was true.

As you begin to read Hope In Every Raindrop, you will quickly discover Kyle Walker’s love for dogs, particularly his Carolina Grays (fictional breed).
Living in the small town of Bishopville, South Carolina Kyle Walker isn’t much of a movie guy. Fortunately I am. I love movies, but especially dog movies.
My Top 10 Favorite Dog Movies
These are listed in the order that I can remember watching them, though if I’m being completely honest #5 is my favorite (the ending is just wow).
White Fang
Homeward Bound
Call of the Wild
Turner and Hooch
Iron Will
Stone Fox
Where the Red Fern Grows
Marley & Me
I Am Legend
I know I left some classics like Lassie, Benji, and Old Yeller off the list, but these are my favorites.
Last, but not least, I recently saw the trailer for Max and am guessing that will be on the list soon.
What’s your favorite dog movie (or book)?  -Wesley Banks

Author Bio:
Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.

Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he's love so much. He lives with his wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.


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