Alex Gabriel’s LOVE FOR THE COLD-BLOODED

It took me a while to get into superheroes.

I remember reading Vicki Petterson’s THE SCENT OF SHADOWS way back when it first came out (just checked and it was 2007 – now that makes me feel old…), and feeling distinctly unimpressed by the number of life-changing events that the heroine experienced in the space of one book (in hindsight, that book was probably designed as the origin story for the protagonist).  Then, well, came Marvel’s Avengers movies (shallow, moi?) which opened up this whole new world of superheroes/villains for me.  More recently, Brandon Sanderson wrote a couple of superhero-based novels which… I quite enjoyed, and I started to get a feel for some of the tropes of the comic book world (at this point, I imagine some true-blue comic book fans are raising their eyebrows and thinking “seriously..???” – hey, everyone has to start somewhere, okay?).

So as I’m no longer the superhero-averse reader that I was eight years ago, when Alex Gabriel asked me if I was interested in a review copy of her M/M romance LOVE FOR THE COLD-BLOODED, I scanned through the blurb and excerpt, and thought “heck yes, it sounds like a lot of superhero fun”.25868425

Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest.

Being related to a supervillain isn’t a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes – that’s just a family tradition.

Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It’s a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy.

When Pat’s mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her… and all of Pat’s secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick’s feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?

“Love for the Cold-Blooded” is a light-hearted jaunt through a world of superheroes and villains, android dolphins, mind control rays, eldritch artifacts stolen from the tombs of ancient gods, and young men loving not wisely, but well.

The alternative title for the book is “The Part-Time Evil Minion’s Guide to Accidentally Dating a Superhero”, which pretty much captures both the plot and the tone of the book (actually, it works a lot better than the more generic title of LOVE FOR THE COLD-BLOODED, which implies a vampire story?).  Like a lot of people out there, Patrick West really doesn’t want to go into the family business – it just so happens his family’s business is super-villainy.  He’s keeping his head down, working his way through university, and hoping it’ll become clear somehow that his plans don’t align with the plans his family has for him.  And while his part-time job is in the Silver Paladin’s household, it’s in a really lowly capacity and the Silver Paladin isn’t even aware that Pat works for him.  And then when, through a series of misunderstandings, he ends up sleeping with the Silver Paladin Nick, it turns out to be something that could be more than a one-night stand, and Pat really needs to figure out how to reconcile his opposing lives.

The book really got going for me when Pat’s carefully-constructed house of cards start falling down (it was going to, of course!).  From then onwards, it’s a fantastic action-packed romp through superhero/villain land, all leading up to an excellently OTT final showdown scene.  I loved the supervillain setup – the behind-the-scenes preparation that the supervillains (or challengers, as they prefer to call themselves) put into place for their (not) evil schemes was hilariously organised, for example, minion rotations, selections, and assignments.

It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the book – possibly a pacing thing as the book’s on the longer side (~135k words).  Also, the first sex scene caught me by surprise early on.  I think I had figured this for a YA book based on Pat’s voice (dude! cool! etc), and then the steam level upped the book to adults-only very quickly.  I found the juxtaposition somewhat jarring at the start, but ended up going with the flow.  Which was easy to do – the writing’s smooth and Pat’s a easy-to-like protagonist, self-deprecating and snarky.  He may not want to be an evil minion, but he still takes pride in doing a job well.

Nick/Silver Paladin was harder for me to pin down, especially as we only see him through Pat’s eyes – he was more of a two-dimensional character.  On the other hand, Pat’s family dynamics were masses of fun.  Pat is the youngest of four siblings and the only boy, so he’s had a lot of practice with managing interfering sisters who make their presence felt.  Plus despite Mum being the feared Serpentissma and Dad her right-hand man, there’s a lot of love in the family, which was great.

If you’re after something slightly different in the M/M romance genre, and especially if you fancy a superhero story that doesn’t take itself too seriously, this is the book for you. I had a lot of fun reading LOVE FOR THE COLD-BLOODED, and will have to check out Alex Gabriel’s backlist now.

Review copy courtesy of author

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It’s Complicated?

It’s been an interesting week in romancelandia, eh?  I’ve been pondering whether to post on the whole Jane Litte/Jen Frederick thing, because there are a lot of opinions out there already, and I don’t think I’ve any additional insights to add, but hey, my two pence FWIW.

Like a lot of DA readers, the news caught me by surprise – I was already impressed by how Jane managed to run a large blog, on top of her day job and family commitments.  Add to that the fact she’s been writing (and selling) books in her spare time – I’m doubly impressed.

I personally don’t have an issue with the fact she’s both an author and a blogger, nor with the instances cited where Jen Frederick’s books have been (peripherally, IMO) promoted via DA.  I can completely understand why she did what she did – it was a bit of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma for Jane when it came to coming out as an author.

Some people have argued that the DA tagline “for readers, by readers” should be changed.  I disagree – so because Jane’s an author, she can’t be a reader?  I know there’s been a lot of discussion around reader/author spaces (and ironically, a lot of that has probably taken place at DA) – this is where I don’t always agree with DA’s opinion posts (and also acknowledge that DA doesn’t speak with a single voice).  Quite a few of the reviewers I follow at Goodreads are authors, and I love the way they dissect books with their reader hat on.  I think it’s perfectly valid for authors to interact as either writers or readers, but acknowledge that it’s not an easy line to follow.

As for promotions, if you visit any of the larger blogs (romance or otherwise), it’s obvious that blogging’s a business nowadays – they have established relationships with publishers (I’m including self-pubbed authors in that category), whether that’s only via the provision of ARCs or if it includes advertising and so on.  Honestly?  Regardless of whether disclosures are made or not, my starting assumption is there’s always going to be some bias.  We’re human beings.  We’re naturally inclined towards bias.  As to the effectiveness of said placements, I vaguely recognised Jen Frederick’s name.  I’ve had a look at my mountainous TBR and I haven’t bought any Jen Frederick books – I recall checking out one of them (which wasn’t one of those mentioned mentioned on DA, so it must have been another blog) and passing on it, as the plot sounded way too angst-y for me.

And as for the OTT claims around DA promoting NA and killing off historicals as part of a bigger conspiracy to promote Jen’s books *rolls eyes*

However.

I think the lines blur where Jane/Jen had relationships with the same person without revealing she was one and the same.  I don’t have a personal relationship with Jane/Jen.  I do read DA posts (and am a very occasional commenter, though probably more on the other contributors’ posts as her tastes don’t match mine), and we had a brief exchange of emails when she thanked me for my contribution to the DA/EC legal defence fund.  I completely get that anyone who has had more frequent exchanges with Jane and/or Jen may feel very differently, and that’s on Jane/Jen’s plate to work out.

The other piece that made me think twice was the fact that Jen was being included in author loops that wouldn’t have admitted Jane.  Jane did say (on the DA comment thread) that the author loops being referenced are large ones, with hundreds and hundreds of authors, which I think adds a different context on the initial claim.  Again though, this doesn’t impact me personally so this is not one where I can really opine on.

To be clear, I don’t think Jane comes out squeaky-clean on this.  I work in an industry where the focus has shifted so heavily to conflicts of interest that it’s not enough to have processes and procedures in place to prevent them.  It’s not even enough to know that you’ve managed conflicts of interest appropriately – you need to evidence that you have.  So while I do believe in Jane’s integrity – that is to say, I believe she drew the line between Jane and Jen in her head, and kept them separate, and that no information that Jen accessed was explicitly used in Jane’s blogger capacity – it’s because of what she’s built up over the years.

TL;DR – it’s complicated.  For me personally, it’s not a big deal.  For other people, depending on how they’ve been impacted, it is a big deal.

Five (Book-ish) Phone Apps I Use

After years of having a phone that took forever to start up, rebooted at random intervals, and required charging every few hours (okay, I exaggerate slightly, but not by much), I caved and got an all-singing all-dancing smartphone recently. I have now become one of those annoying people who whip out their phone whenever I’m waiting in a queue, waiting for the train, or really, waiting for anything.

One of the first things I did with my fancy phone was download all the apps.  And now I’ve gotten them configured to my satisfaction, I thought I’d talk about the reading/blogging-related ones I have.  (I’m totally going to lose my phone now, right?)

Note I’ve an Android phone, not an iPhone, so links here are to the Google Play store.  Also, they’re all free ones (at time of posting, anyway) – I’ve never felt the need to pay for an app (yet).

apps

Amazon Kindle

Kind of a no-brainer, seeing that I’m so hooked into the Amazon eco-system (don’t ask how many Kindles I have).  You need your Amazon account details to set this one up, and then it’s synced with your Kindle library.  And the Kindle app does what I expect it to do – it allows me to download any books I’ve purchased on Amazon or emailed to my Kindle.  Admittedly, I don’t need much from a phone reading app – just the ability to adjust the background (I find a sepia-ish tone easiest on my eyes), margins and font size.

Amazon Kindle for Samsung (link to Samsung website)

Why yes, I have a Samsung phone (and this one is only for Samsung phone owners).  And the reason why I have a Samsung-specific Kindle app?  Because it gives me a free book a month (from a selection of four).  It takes a bit of configuration (you need a Samsung account and an Amazon one, IIRC), but once you’re set up, it’s simple – I “buy” the free book from this app, and then can download the book from the cloud onto my Kindle Paperwhite (which is still my main ereader).  Functionality-wise, I don’t think there’s any difference between this one and the Kindle app – different skin, but that’s it as far as I can tell.

EverAfter

I can’t remember where I first saw this posted, but EverAfter Romance app offers various benefits, including a free book every now and then – I downloaded it a month or so ago, and have three free books so far (you have to use a code that they email you to redeem them).  As the name implies, it’s centred around romance books, so good if you’re a romance reader!  If you have a Adobe ID, you can use that as part of the installation process – I forgot mine, and so the app created a new one for me.  That may cause problems down the line, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it…

The range of books? I haven’t explored in detail, but it appears to have the same freebies as I see on Kindle, so probably down to which app you prefer.

Aldiko

I downloaded this to access the ebook collection at my local library.  I needed my Adobe ID (this time I managed to use my existing one) and my library logon credentials.  Once set up, it was really easy to browse my library’s catalogue and download books.  To be honest, I’m not noticing any difference between the reading experience on this app, EverAfter, and Kindle – it’s just that I’ve different ebooks accessible via each one.

Feedly

Not strictly a book-ish app, but I love Feedly.  I use this to catch up on blogs during my commute to and from work – it’s really user-friendly, and well, pretty!  I log on with my Google credentials, so really straightforward.  The Save for Later function is the one I use most often – either for posts that I want to go back and read in more detail or ones that I want to comment on (I need to figure out how to comment easily from my phone – Belle did a post on setting up phone shortcuts that I’ve been meaning to try).

So that’s me – tell me your must-have apps for your phone?  Preferably ones that are available on Android (I’ll get all envious if they’re iOS only) and they don’t have to be book-related!

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Bonus one for UK-based readers: WeBuyBooks.co.uk is a website that buys unwanted books (and computer games, DVDs etc).  They’ve an WeBuyBooks app that allows you to scan barcodes and immediately lets you know if they’re accepting the book, plus price.  I used it when I re-organised my bookshelves – slightly random acceptance criteria (they didn’t want a lot of my genre titles) and it didn’t exactly make me a fortune (the offer price for most paperbacks ranged from 5p-10p, with a surprising £2 for a M&B), but it helped me with the clearout of some books.

(And also, I played around with PicMonkey to make the button (banner?) above.  Tweaking the various elements is surprisingly addictive – I foresee many more wasted hours in my future.)

New-to-me Authors and New Books

Most, if not all, of the books in my new releases posts tend to be by authors I’ve read previously – I’m boring that way.  But I’m always on the lookout for new-to-me authors, and obviously, the internet makes that too easy.

Here are three books by new-to-me authors that have caught my attention recently – any thoughts?

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22668755Marshall Ryan Maresca‘s THE THORN OF DENTONHILL (fantasy): I saw this at the (unofficial?) DAW Books LJ – basically, magic university + secret identities = I have to read.  I’m easy like that.  The GR ratings are skewing high (4-ish at time of writing this post), but are mostly early reviews.

Veranix Calbert leads a double life. By day, he’s a struggling magic student at the University of Maradaine. At night, he spoils the drug trade of Willem Fenmere, crime boss of Dentonhill and murderer of Veranix’s father. He’s determined to shut Fenmere down.

With that goal in mind, Veranix disrupts the delivery of two magical artifacts meant for Fenmere’s clients, the mages of the Blue Hand Circle.  Using these power-filled objects in his fight, he quickly becomes a real thorn in Fenmere’s side.

So much so that soon not only Fenmere, but powerful mages, assassins, and street gangs all want a piece of “The Thorn.” And with professors and prefects on the verge of discovering his secrets, Veranix’s double life might just fall apart. Unless, of course, Fenmere puts an end to it first.

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24504048Elle Kennedy‘s THE DEAL (NA romance): Okay, I’m cheating on this one – Elle Kennedy’s not exactly a new-to-me author, but I’ve not read any of her NAs before (has she written NAs before?).  I read one of her books a year or so ago, and have been meaning to explore more of her backlist, but never quite got around to it.  Jane and Kaetrin @ Dear Author really liked this one and it’ll probably be the next book I pick up when I’m in the mood for an NA romance.

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

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21996355Cori McCarthy‘s BREAKING SKY (YA SF): I spotted this one in tor.com’s March round-up of SF new releases – again, the blurb caught my attention because it sounds as though it could be good.  I haven’t had the best track record with YA SF, so we’ll see. GR reviews are mixed – again, early reviews as it’s a March release.

In this high-flying, adrenaline-fueled debut thriller, America’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy

Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx,” is one of only two pilots chosen to fly the experimental “Streaker” jets at the junior Air Force Academy in the year 2048. She’s tough and impulsive with lightning-fast reactions, but few know the pain and loneliness of her past or the dark secret about her father. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker jet, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn’t play well with others, but to save her country she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

 

Shelving Habits

One of the (few) things I did during February was organise my bookshelves.  Despite me buying most of my books in e nowadays, I somehow still have piles of books stacked haphazardly here, there, everywhere.  Which meant I was running out of space, and so during a rainy afternoon, I made an attempt at organisation.

I say attempt, because, well, it’s not easy.

I’m not one of those people who need to have all the books in a series in the same format.  I’m a bit too much of an impatient reader – basically I just go for the format that’s available the soonest.  So I happily have US and UK releases, hardbacks and paperbacks (and ebooks) in the same series (yes, I’m talking about you, Mercy Thompson).  But when shelving my books, this means I can’t do everything by series/author because of the different-sized books (okay, I could, but what a waste of bookshelf real estate!).

However, I still want to make it easy for me to find whatever books I want quickly, so I try to shelve broadly by genre – romance, mystery, fantasy, SF – if possible.  But then there’s also a bit of an instinctive grouping happening.

7841670So my Lois McMaster Bujold SF hardcovers are next to those Elizabeth Peters‘ Amelia Peabody mysteries I have in hardcover as well – different genres, but with protagonists that somehow strike me as very similar.  6571644Next to Amelia Peabody are my Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum mysteries (the few ones I bought in hardcover, before I started borrowing them from my library) and then my Lisa Lutz books – both offbeat contemporary mystery series, though quite different in style.

My paperback Elizabeth Peters mysteries are shelved separately – I have them with her romantic suspense books written under her Barbara Michaels pseudonym, which are in turn next to my collection of Mary Stewart paperbacks, because again, they have a similar feel.  I’m toying with adding my Susanna Kearsleys to that shelf as well.

7839024I have my Juliet Marillier hardcovers with Sharon Shinn‘s Twelve Houses and Elemental Blessings books as neighbours (and hey look, Goodreads has the the cover for the third book in the series, JEWELED FIRE!). 21528313 My smaller Shinn hardcovers (which tend to be more YA in feel) are with my Kristin Cashore books, a couple of Tamora Pierce hardbacks, and the two Cecelia and Kate books I have in hardcover.

And I could go on and on… but it’s probably only interesting to me.  I love how I can now lay my hands on the books I’m after so much more easily – my shelves now match how I think of the books in my head.  (Though we’ll see how long this state of affairs last…)

I’d love to hear how you shelve your books (or how you’d like to – if I had a whole wall of shelves, I’d totally follow Angie’s example and do this)!

Non-book related link: This post (and comments) totally cracked me up.

Books for March

So – it was only two months ago when I was having a bit of a moan about the dearth of new releases?  March more than makes up for it.

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23524861Patricia BriggsDEAD HEAT (UF): Sadly, we don’t get the Dan dos Santos cover here in the UK.  It’s the inside that counts, anyway. Or so I keep on telling myself.  The important thing is that we finally get more Anna and Charles. Right?

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, or at least it starts out that way . . .

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up – and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Out March 5 (for the UK anyway), March 3 for those lucky enough to get the Dan dos Santos cover…

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21457243Anne Bishop‘s VISION IN SILVER (UF): I’ve seen this third book in Anne Bishop’s The Others series appearing on a lot of March want lists.  I stumbled across an early copy in my bookstore the other day, and grabbed it (obviously).  I hate to say this… but I didn’t love it.  Anyone else read it yet and want to discuss?

The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

Out March 3

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22729664Elizabeth Wein‘s BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN (historical fiction): Both of Elizabeth Wein’s previous historicals left a lasting impression on me, and I suspect this one won’t be any different.  Also, unusual subject matter – it promises much!

Emilia and Teo’s lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo’s mother died immediately, but Em’s survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother’s wishes-in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.

Seeking a home where her children won’t be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?

In the tradition of her award-winning and bestselling Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein brings us another thrilling and deeply affecting novel that explores the bonds of friendship, the resilience of young pilots, and the strength of the human spirit.

Out March 5 (UK), March 31 for the US (I like to think of this as payback for the DEAD HEAT cover *tongue firmly in cheek*)

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16085457Rachel Hartman‘s SHADOW SCALE (YA fantasy): While I didn’t love SERAPHINA, it was a refreshing take on a dragon-centred fantasy, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Rachel Hartman does as a follow-up.

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.

The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny?

Out March 10

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24580376Sarina Bowen‘s SHOOTING FOR THE STARS (contemporary romance): I think this release was temporarily derailed by Harlequin stopping its Harlequin E programme (anyone know what happened there?).  I’m glad Sarina Bowen’s self-pubbing this.

For one night she had everything.

Pro snowboarder Stella Lazarus has always loved her brother’s best friend. But the one time she tried to show him, she was shot down faster than you can say “competitor disqualified.”

Until one blissful night in Tahoe, when Stella finally gets her man.

Or does she? In the morning, Stella and Bear wake up to horrible news. The sort that sends them racing back to Vermont, and straight into the arms of guilt and family obligations.

For all of Bryan “Bear” Barry’s life, three natural laws held true: his best friend Hank was destined for greatness, Hank’s sister Stella was off-limits, and Bear would always manage to negotiate the rocky paths that life threw his way. In the space of two days, that’s all shattered.

Bear can’t believe he slipped up so badly with Stella. Even if his best friend wasn’t lying broken in a hospital bed, it would still be unforgivable. Determined to do better, he devotes himself to his friend’s recovery, denying himself the very person he loves. And the very thing he needs.

Out March 16

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18461986Kylie Scott‘s DEEP (contemporary romance): It’s no secret I totally fell for Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive rock star romance series last year, and I’m very excited about the final book in this series.

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins’ ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben’s the only man she’s ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn’t looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She’s his best friend’s little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he’s not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he’s always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible…but will it lead to a connection of the heart?

Out March 31

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21331590Eloisa JamesFOUR NIGHTS WITH A DUKE (historical romance): I may not read a lot of historical romance nowadays, but Eloisa James is still very much on my autobuy list.

As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.

Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia’s audacious proposal, but there’s one thing he won’t give his inconvenient wife: himself.

Instead, he offers Mia a devil’s bargain…he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.

Which Mia will never do.

Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can’t afford to lose.

Out March 31

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Maybes

  • I usually enjoy JL Merrow‘s Brit-flavoured stories, and she has a new M/M romance/mystery this month – HEAT TRAP  (out March 17).
  • Seanan McGuire‘s POCKET APOCALYPSE (out March 3) – I’ve not loved her InCryptid books the same way I adore her Toby Daye series, but I’ll probably get around to reading this at some point.  Not running out to buy it though.
  • Ebook bundle FIERCE: A FANTASY COLLECTION is one of those multiple-author boxed sets that I’m trying to stop buying, but for $0.99, you get 16 stories, including one by Mercedes Lackey (which I’ve probably read already, to be fair).  I’ve been meaning to read Kate SparkesBOUND (after this review @ Fantasy Review Barn), so that’s my excuse (out March 10, for a limited period of time).
  • Kate Meader‘s FLIRTING WITH FIRE (contemporary romance) – her novella in the Christmas anthology BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE was its one saving grace for me, so I’ve got her full-length novel on my radar (out March 24).