Brazen by M Malone + Nana Malone

 

 

Title: Brazen
Series: Brazen Duet #1
Authors: M. Malone & Nana Malone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Blurb

 

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am? That’s my motto.There’s no room in my life for anything more complicated than a one-night
stand. I’m a bodyguard. It’s easier to put my life on the line when there’s no
one worrying if I’ll make it home for dinner.

But then the one woman who made me want more waltzes back into my life needing
my protection.

Despite our explosive chemistry, we can’t go there again. What happened in
Vegas, has to stay in Vegas.

Except the marriage vows neither of us remember.

 

My review:

Hailey’s family has a prestigious perfume company and she is the nose behind the brand. She has been working on a new scent tribute to her mother, and all the promotion and events that go around a new product launch. After a couple incidents, her father insists on hiring private security for her.
Oskar and his friends have a security company. All are former military and are good at their jobs. At the initial client meeting, Oskar is shocked to see that the client he is assigned to protect 24/7 is the girl he had an amazing weekend with in Vegas three years previously. A situation out of his control took him away from her then, and she never knew why he disappeared.  Neither of them have been able to forget each other.
Sparks fly when they are paired together, although she tries to resist him because she’s mad at how he disappeared (and busy with work). He tries to resist because he thinks his background and his job make him a danger to anyone he’s involved with so he avoids relationships completely. Neither can fight for long, though, and once the security company’s background check turns up that they actually married each other drunkenly while in Vegas, all bets are off.
I enjoyed this book for the most part, but I didn’t love it. The trouble is, I can’t really pinpoint why. I didn’t specifically dislike anything about the book, but it just didn’t resonate with me this time. I wasn’t expecting it to be a duet (apparently I’d forgotten about that) so it does end on a cliffhanger, but the second book releases in February. I’m hoping this duet will be like Nana Malone’s Royals United duet in that the second book is amazing after the setup of the first.
Oskar will go to any lengths to protect Hailey. We will see if he succeeds.
Rating: ♥♥♥

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Coming Soon
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
M. Malone
NYT & USA Today bestselling author M. Malone lives in
the Washington, DC metro area with her husband and their two sons. She holds a
master’s degree in Business from a prestigious college that would no doubt be
scandalized by how she’s using her expensive education.
Independently published, she has sold more than 1/2 million
ebooks in her two series, THE ALEXANDERS and BLUE-COLLAR BILLIONAIRES. Since
starting her indie journey in 2011 with the runaway bestselling novella
“Teasing Trent,” her work has appeared on the New York Times and USA
Today bestseller lists more than a dozen times.
She’s now a full-time writer and spends 99.8% of her time in
her pajamas.
Nana Malone
USA Today bestselling author Nana Malone’s love of all
things romance and adventure started with a tattered romantic suspense novel
she “borrowed” from her cousin.
It was a sultry summer afternoon in Ghana, and Nana was a
precocious thirteen. She’s been in love with kick-butt heroines ever since.
With her overactive imagination constantly channeling her inner Buffy, it was
only a matter a time before she started creating her own characters.
While she waits for her chance at a job as a ninja assassin,
Nana works out her drama, passion and sass with fictional characters every bit
as brazen and kick-butt as she thinks she is.

 

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Ruthless River by Lindsay Cross + Giveaway

 

Title: Ruthless River
A Men of Mercy Series Novella
Author: Lindsay Cross
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 29, 2019

 

Blurb
Laney was a woman on the run. Her ex-husband, who just happened to be a cop, had a penchant for violence and, after Laney took their daughter and ran, he had a promise for revenge. She’d made a new life with a new name and had plans to stay hidden forever, but even the best laid plans go wrong… Forced to rush her daughter to the hospital Laney’s location is revealed.Laney had vowed to never seek help from a man again, until Riser’s 200 pounds
of packed muscle made her his own personal mission. He vowed to protect her and
her daughter from her ex, but could she trust him with their lives when she’d
been burned so badly in the past?



Riser Malone was an admitted adrenaline junkie whose distraction on a crucial mission last year had resulted in complete failure of his objective: protect the girl. Unable to face his failure, Riser accepted every mission put before him, but a lull in the terrorist tempo left him with too much time on his hands back home. He needed a
distraction, and he needed it badly.
And that distraction showed up in the form of Laney and her daughter.

With an abusive ex bearing down on her, Riser saw his second chance at
redemption. And after one night with her, Riser knew his bachelorhood was over,
but if he ever had any hope for a relationship with Laney in the future, he’d
have to make sure her abusive ex-husband would never harm her again.

***previously released as Risers Resolve novella in Kindle World

 

My review:

Laney is a young mom with a 3 year old daughter who is very sick. The hospital ER is denying treatment since they have no insurance. Riser is a military man – Special Forces, SEAL, Ranger, something along those lines but he’s evasive about that when Laney asks. He makes the doctor examine the little girl, who needs an emergency appendectomy. in the chaos, a nurse tells Riser that Laney didn’t fill out all the paperwork so he uses information in her wallet to do it for her, thinking he is helping. Of course, this alerts Laney’s abusive police officer ex husband to her location and all hell breaks loose.

The synopsis sounded good, so I went into this book with high hopes. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. First of all, this is a very short book. It could easily be 2 chapters of a full length novel, and honestly a longer book would have made this a better story. The entire story takes place in one evening, except for a short epilogue set 3 months later. As it is now, things get a little ridiculous.

First, though, I’ll say what I *did* like. Laney is a great mom and a fighter. She will do anything to keep her daughter safe, including going head to head with the hospital staff.

The parts I didn’t like, though? I’m sorry, but that’s a lot. The very first thing that made my mouth fall open with disbelief (in a “there is no way that would ever happen” way) was when, less than 2 hours after her daughter was rushed away for emergency surgery, then a police chase and all the fear for her daughter’s health and both their lives, Laney practically jumps Riser and they sleep together. As a mother, and one whose child had unplanned surgery, I can tell you there is no way on Earth Laney can put aside that gut-clenching fear and worry and start banging the guy she barely knows, complete with multiple orgasms. Especially since they had to run while her daughter was still in surgery and she doesn’t know how it went. Granted, they weren’t strangers, but the extent of their prior knowledge of each other was first names only, since she was a bartender in a bar he frequented. And having worked in a hospital for a very long time, I can tell you there is no way a child will be denied care in an emergency due to no insurance. It’s illegal, and a hospital that did that would lose funding. Not going to happen. My other big dislike was the instalove. It’s no secret I hate instalove, but under these circumstances it’s eye-rollingly awful. There is no way that either one of them, with their backgrounds and baggage, suddenly got over all their issues overnight, especially not this night.

Like I said earlier, if this was a longer book and the plot and characters were better fleshed out, this could be really good. But this… it just isn’t.

Rating: ♥♥ (Borderline 1 ♥ but the potential bumped it up to 2. It’s redeemable.)

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio

Lindsay Cross is the USA Today bestselling author of the Men of
Mercy series. She is the fun loving mom of two beautiful daughters and one
precocious Great Dane. Lindsay is happily married to the man of her dreams – a
soldier and veteran. During one of her husband’s deployments from home, writing
became her escape and motivation.

Author Links

 

Broadway Beans by Karen Cimms

 

Title: Broadway Beans
Author: Karen Cimms

Publisher: Lone Sparrow Press

Genre: Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 29, 2019

 

Blurb
Aiden Winchester: Call it self-preservation, but I need to get out of Hollywood. My heart’s just been shredded by my longtime girlfriend. Worse yet, we have to pretend we’re still America’s sweethearts until after our next picture is released. With the next six months looking more like American Horror Story than a Lifetime channel love story, I’m heading east to make my stage debut.
Broadway, here I come.
Franky Marchesi: I love my close-knit Italian family. I’d probably love them a lot more if they weren’t in my face all the time. So when my best friend begs me to move into her Upper West Side brownstone—rent free—to take care of her new pup whenever she travels, I’d be crazy to say no. But while my living expenses are covered, I still need to make some money if I’m ever going to save enough for college. So with a little luck and no experience, I land a job as a barista at Broadway Beans, a coffee shop in the theater district. But on my first day, I almost kill the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. With a latte. Who knew making over-priced coffee could be so difficult? It’s a hell of a great way to meet someone though.


A modern-day “Moonstruck,” BROADWAY BEANS is a friends-to-lovers romantic comedy.

 

My review:

This was a fun book to read. The opening scene, with Franky tossing her brother’s laundry, including his prize Mets championship tshirt, out the window sets the tone for the book in the best way. She is tiny, loud, frustrated with her parents’ old-fashioned views of a daughter’s role, and fed up with being overworked and underpaid in her family’s deli while dreaming of going to college to become a kindergarten teacher. When her best friend Erika asks Franky to move in with her, Franky resists at first but then when she has a really bad day in the deli, she quits and takes Erika up on her offer. She still has to earn money if she’s going to pay for school, though, so she gets a job at Broadway Beans, a coffee shop in the theater district.

Aiden is a Hollywood star fed up with being known for eye candy and nothing more. He has his agent get him a role in a serious Broadway play so he can grow as an actor and get on the radar for better roles. The rest of the cast isn’t very welcoming, though, and he struggles like he never did on a movie set. He meets Franky in the coffee shop, and they strike up a tenuous friendship that eventually grows into more.

This was a really good book. Some parts were a little cliched, but overall it was an original take on the movie star/everyday girl romance story. Franky was great. She was brash and fiery and didn’t let him get away with anything. And I loved her Nonna! That character was subtle perfection. Aiden was a good guy, too. Having grown up in the Hollywood life, he could be a little out of touch with normal life, but he was a quick learner. The Aiden from the first couple chapters was a much different Aiden than the one of the end of the book. Both characters grew as people over the course of this book.

One thing that I didn’t really like, though, was Franky’s reaction to the climatic event at the gala they attended “not-together.” She knew all about the contract clause requiring Aiden and his costar ex girlfriend to appear publicly as a couple for six months after filming, and she knew that his manager released old photos and frequently made it seem like they were still together, even though they hadn’t seen each other since Aiden broke up with her. So I don’t get why Franky would believe the announcement was real, without even questioning it or talking to Aiden for clarification.

Overall, this is a really enjoyable book. it’s definitely worth one-clicking.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt
It was nearly two o’clock when we stopped in front of an Italian deli. The entire
scene looked like a movie set. Kids played in the street. Old women in black
coats and kerchiefs waited on a bench in front of a bus stop. A group of
teenagers hung out on the street corner, wearing flat-brimmed baseball caps and
blasting hip-hop music until a woman opened a window from the second story of a
nearby building and threatened to call the cops.
And all this in temperatures that had my nose at a near-constant drip and my blood turning to slush.
The driver opened his door to step out, but Franky was already out of the car.
“Don’t sweat it,” I said, patting him on the shoulder. “Thanks for catching my signal
earlier.”
“No problem, sir. What time would you like me to return?”
I didn’t have a clue. Dinner with my parents was usually an hour tops if I could help
it. But I already knew Franky’s family was nothing like mine.
“I don’t know. Let’s say around six. If it will be any earlier or later, I’ll call. Otherwise, meet us here.”
I slid across the seat and joined Franky on the sidewalk.
“Now listen.” She squinted up at me, her eyes lit by the sun, reflecting the richest
dark chocolate and a kaleidoscope of greens and golds. “I texted my mother
already to let her know you were coming. I told her we were friends but because
you’re a guy, they’re going to jump to conclusions. My dad will probably give
you the stink eye and look threatening. My brother will say something stupid
because he can’t help himself. My mother will ask you a million questions. And
my nonna will say something wildly inappropriate, but since she only speaks
Italian, you won’t even realize it.” She hoisted her bag over her shoulder and
tucked a curl behind her ear. “And that’s a heads-up for who I know will be
here. There can be any number of aunts, uncles, or cousins showing up to
dinner. My Uncle Al and Aunt Pip will probably be here with their kids. They
live at the end of the block. And probably my Uncle Gae.”
“He’s gay?”
She waved her hand. “No. Gae. Gaetano. But everyone calls him Gae.” She moved in closer, as if there were a chance someone on the street might hear what she was about to say.
“Uncle Gae has a couple of little . . . quirks. From the war. He has a nervous tic, so he might look like he’s winking at you, but he’s not. It’s pretty obvious, especially if he’s nervous or irritated. He tends to yank his shoulder up when he does it. Just don’t stare at him. It makes him angry, and when he gets angry, he starts to turn in these little half-circles.” She began to demonstrate, turning first one way and then the other. With a limp, which she’d failed to mention.
I couldn’thelp it. I laughed. She had to be pulling my leg, from the foul-mouthed
grandmother to the shell-shocked uncle.
She stopped spinning and glared at me.
“You think it’s funny my Uncle Gae was hurt fighting Mussolini?”
“Mussolini? You have an uncle old enough to have fought in World War II?”
“Great-uncle. He’s my nonna’s oldest brother.”
Had I always been such a jerk, or was it something that unveiled itself only in cold
weather? It seemed that since I’d arrived in New York, I was saying and doing
the stupidest things.
I swallowed and schooled my face to look remorseful. “I’m sorry. I would never laugh at a war hero.”
“Hero?” The way she looked at me, you’d think I’d shoved my foot farther down my throat. “Who said anything about being a hero? He was trying to save wine casks near Bologna when Allied artillery fire blew up the building where they were stored.
He’s an idiot. But he’s family.”
She gave me a baleful stare and shook her head.
A window opened overhead and an attractive older woman leaned out. “Francesca! You gonna stand there all day or are you coming inside? You want we should starve waiting for you?”
With her hand shielding her eyes, Franky hollered back. “We’re coming! Jeez.” She could be very loud for such a little girl. “You ready?” she asked, squinting up at me.
“Honestly, I’m not sure.” I glanced overhead as the window snapped shut with a bang.
“You’ll be fine. Just don’t let them get you all flustered. If they spot any weakness,
that’s when they’re most likely to attack.”
Author Bio
Karen Cimms
is a contemporary romance writer, editor, and music lover. She was born and
raised in New Jersey and still thinks of the Garden State as home. She began
her career at an early age rewriting the endings to her favorite books. It was
a mostly unsuccessful endeavor, but she likes to think she invented fanfiction.
Karen is
married to her favorite lead guitar player. Her children enjoy tormenting her
with countless pranks because they love her, or so they say. She currently
lives in Northeast Pennsylvania, although her heart is usually in Maine.

 

Author Links