Sweet Talk: Sweet Romantic Suspense from Julie Garwood

Sweet Talk bySweet Talk by Julie Garwood Julie Garwood

Julie Garwood is one of those romance book stalwarts. In the business for decades, Garwood is known for her sweet romance books in both the contemporary and historical romance genres. In recent years, she’s started dabbling in romantic suspense, and her latest book, Sweet Talk, is in her usual vein of mystery and suspense without the dark overtones that come from grittier authors. While pursuing a few leads of her own, IRS agent and attorney Olivia Kincaid finds herself in the middle of an FBI sting. FBI agent Grayson Kincaid sees Olivia in danger, and has to intervene, but saving Olivia also ruins months of undercover work by Kincaid and his irate partner. Olivia’s apologetic, but not cowed. She’s hot on the trail of a mysterious criminal who’s perpetrating an elaborate Ponzi scheme, and for personal reasons, Olivia won’t stop until she cracks the case. But as she digs into places that no one wants her to go, she finds that her life is in danger. She turns to Grayson for help and the two fight their attraction to each other while try to solve the case.

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Time Untime: New Sherrilyn Kenyon Paranormal Romance

Time Untime by Sherrilyn KenyonTime Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunter)

Sherrilyn Kenyon has a new Dark Hunter paranormal romance book out this month which deviates a from her usual Greek and Roman mythology, and brings in Native American and Mayan myths into what is an already very complicated Dark Hunter universe. Although it’s not necessary, Time Untime can be read in conjunction with her earlier book, Retribution, and is Ren and Kateri’s story. Ren is one of Kenyon’s typical tortured heroes. He’s the child of a goddess who’s given to an uncaring father, and ostracized by his own people for his differences. When a woman finally seems to be giving Ren the attention he deserves, it turns out that she’s not who she seems, and he’s led astray and turned into an evil and deadly weapon. Made into Dark Hunter by Artemis, Ren has spent thousands of years trying to make amends. Afraid to harm others, and ashamed of his past, he’s kept to himself for eons – until he meets Kateri Avani. Teri has dreamed all her life of a mysterious man she’s never met, and of places she’s never seen. She’s the latest in a line of Native American women with mystical powers, even if she doesn’t believe those powers exist. When she finally meets Ren, she realizes that he’s the man she’s been seeing in her dreams since she was a child. As the Dark Hunters work with Teri keep the portal between humanity and hell closed, Ren begins to believe that he may be worthy of Teri’s love after all.

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The Great Escape: Another Winner from Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The Great EsThe Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillipscape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Susan Elizabeth Phillips delivers another winner with The Great Escape, her follow-up contemporary romance to Call Me Irresistible. Lucy Jorik is the eldest daughter of a former President of the United States, and has lived her life trying to be absolutely perfect – up until she’s about to marry the perfect man. As she’s about to walk down the aisle, Lucy decides that she simply can’t say “I do” to her groom, and instead flees the wedding and her privileged life on the back of a motorcycle with an enigmatic, ill-mannered biker. Lucy’s great escape takes her across the country from Texas to a beach house on an island in the Great Lakes where she spends her summer with the mystery biker who turns out not to be quite the jerk he initially seemed. As she tries to find herself, Lucy finds herself becoming enmeshed in the lives of others on the island, including a lonely young orphaned boy in the cabin down the road, a smooth-talking real estate agent, a beekeeper struggling to make ends meet, and an evil queen who turns out to be rather nice.

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Gena Showalter’s Spin-off to Lords of the Underworld Series

Wicked Nights by Gena ShowalterWicked Nights by Gena Showalter (Angels of the Dark series)

Gena Showalter is leveraging on the success of her long-running Lords of the Underworld (LOTU) series to launch a new paranormal romance series entitled Angels of the Dark. Wicked Nights, the first book in the new series brings us a hero that LOTU fans will have first met in The Darkest Secret. The ruthless and cold angel Zacharel finally gets his own book in Wicked Nights, and as the book begins, Zacharel’s in danger of losing his angel-hood. His ruthlessness and disregard for human life in his fight against demons has put his existence in jeopardy, and he has just one last chance to redeem himself by leading a group equally ruthless angels to demonstrate that they can, in fact, care more for humans. It’s a tough assignment for Zacharel, at least until he comes across Annabelle Miller restrained tightly to a gurney in an asylum for the criminally insane, unable to defend herself against the demons that are about to devour her. Annabelle allegedly murdered her family and has been incarcerated at the asylum for the past four years. She’s innocent, but no one will believe her when she tells them demons were responsible for the deaths. No one (bar Zacharel) believes her when she says that she’s been fending off demons at the asylum for the past four years, only to find herself at Zacharel’s mercy this time around. Fortunately, Zacharel and his band of angels rescue her and free her from the asylum, and Zacharel finds that after closing himself off from emotion for over a century, all it takes is Annabelle to make him start caring again.

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Re-enact Your Own “Fifty Shades” Fantasies!


Downtown Seattle

Seattle by Night

You know a book’s part of the cultural milieu when even the hotels get in on the action! It looks like hotels in the Pacific Northwest (and especially in Seattle and Portland) are getting in on the Fifty Shades of Grey action.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesIf you’re a fan of E.L. James’ erotic romance trilogy, you’ll know that most of the action takes place in either Portland or Seattle, and you might want to make either of those two cities your next destination for a romantic (and possibly kinky) weekend getaway. According to an article in Time magazine, there are a number of hotels in Portland and Seattle offering vacation packages that will allow you to re-enact the romance between billionaire industrialist Christian Grey and shy student Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle has a comprehensive and, frankly very romantic, offer. The “Fifty Shades of Romance” package includes a deluxe room, a bottle of Ana’s favorite champagne (Bollinger Rose of course!), a sail around the Puget Sound, and an opportunity to drive Christian’s favorite car (an Audi, if you’ll recall). There’s even a tour of all the attractions and places mentioned in the book. And just in case your own copy of the book is too dog-earred, the hotel even has a complimentary copy of the book for you. It’s a great way to remember the stay.

Over in Portland where Ana went to college, and where Christian and Ana shared many magic moments, couples can stay at the Heathman Hotel. It’s the very place where Christian has his photo shoot, and Christian and Ana meet multiple times. The hotel is even offering a package that allows you to re-create Ana’s birthday dinner. There’s also a helicopter tour (sadly not in Charlie Tango, and certainly not piloted by Christian), roses, and the use of a limo on offer.

Back over in Seattle, Hotel Max also offers a “Fifty Shades of Seattle” package. It’s two nights’ stay at the hotel, more of Ana’s favorite Bollinger Rose, the use of a luxury town car, and a ride in a helicopter. (To be honest, I’d much rather have a little helium balloon of Charlie Tango, but I’m sure others will love the idea of seeing Seattle from the sky.)

While these hotels have got the “romance” covered, couples who want a bit more of the BDSM kinkery will have to bring their own grey ties. Failing which, they might want to consider a short getaway at one of the boutique hotels in the Personality Hotels chain. The chain is offering a “Fifty Shades of Women” package, which will include a “sexy black box”. This mysterious black box contains, among other things, a feather (not for dusting!) and some black satin scarves for hours of entertainment.

So what are you waiting for? Book your next weekend getaway and re-enact your very own Fifty Shades of Grey fantasies this weekend!

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Getting More than Skin Deep with Pamela Clare’s I-Team Heroes

Skin Deep bySkin Deep by Pamela Clare Pamela Clare

Pamela Clare’s one of the biggest names in romantic suspense, and her I-Team series is consistently a favourite of readers. If you’re a fan (or even if you’re not), you’ll want to get a copy of Skin Deep, Clare’s first ever I-Team After Hours novella. It’s the first in a planned series of self-published novellas featuring characters from the I-Team series who can’t quite have a book of their own, but who still have a story that needs to be told. Skin Deep is the story of Megan Hunter, who we first met in Unlawful Contact when she breaks parole and flees Denver with her baby daughter. At the end of Unlawful Contact, Megan’s brother Marc has been found innocent of the murder that he was originally convicted for, and pardoned for his daring prison break to save Megan. Instead, he has a new future with I-Team journalist Sophie Alton, and as a SWAT sniper. Megan too, is well on the way to putting her own life together – and we get to find out how well she’s doing in Skin Deep. Megan’s finally back on her feet, but she gets knocked for a loop when she’s attacked by a man from her past. Luckily, Megan, and her daughter Emily are saved by Nate. Nate’s a Marine who was gravely wounded while serving in Afghanistan. Both Nate and Megan have scars, but luckily, their deepening relationship helps them both to heal. Includes a bonus short story called “Marc and Julian Make a Beer Run”, where the guys end up getting a lot more than just beer.

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