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    Top 10 Book Boyfriends of 2013

    Top 10 of 2013 Banner

    Today is the fourth of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

    It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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    Today’s topic is…

    Best Book Boyfriends of 2013

    Ack! Once again the rules require that I choose my book boyfriends based upon books that were not only released in 2013 but that I read in 2013. So unfair! That means I can’t choose Barron’s or V’lane from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. *sobs* And I can’t choose Austin from Talia Vance’s GOLD.

    A few of last year’s book boyfriends made the cut this year. But there are also a few new adds to the list.

    And, yes, some of those bookish boyfriends were from the same book. Who says there has to be just one bookish boyfriend per book?

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    Book Boyfriends 2013

    1.
    Endless KnightDeath

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Killer quote:

    “Your Touch-of-Death gift doesn’t seem very fair. Is it only in your hands, or is all of your skin deadly?”

    Skewering me with his gaze, he enunciated the words: “Every last inch of me.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s deadly. He’s sexy. He’s not only the perfect match for Evie, he’s perfect.

    2.
    Endless KnightJack

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Killer quote:

    “After we bring down this game, I’m goan to rebuild Haven for you, ma belle. You see if I doan.”

    Why I adore him:

    He goes after what he wants. He’s driven. He’s moody. He’s got one heck of an accent. He’s sexy.

    3.
    Through the Zombie GlassCole

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Killer quote:

    “People are always throwing the word love around, but before you, I never did. And I’d never needed to hear it, either. Then, the other night, you uttered those words to me, and it’s okay if you don’t remember, but I heard them, and it affected me, and now I want to hear the words for real because I love you so much it hurts. I need to hear the words. If you’re ready to give them.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s fierce. He’s a kick-a** fighter. He’s moody. And he’s… yes, you guessed it… sexy as heck.

    4.
    With All My SoulTod

    Good boy or bad boy: Good boy

    Killer quote:

    “…I’m here because of you. I’m as close to human as I can be–as I’ll ever be again–because you’re here with me. Every night. I count down the minutes until I can see you. I hate school because it takes you away from me. I wish I could sleep for more than a few minutes at a time, so I could dream about you.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s Tod. He’s perfect. He’s sarcastic. He’s funny. He’s cute. He’s Kaylee’s happily ever after.

    5.
    EverboundCole

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Killer quote:

    “Sorry, Nik. I’m really sorry. But there are certain … perks for the Everliving who holds your heart. And I hold yours. Now we’re even.”

    “How?”

    His face went soft. “You’ve always held mine.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s an immortal. He’s a musician. He’s wickedly sexy. He’s devious. He’s driven.

    6.
    The Eternity CureJackal

    Good boy or bad boy: Bad boy

    Killer quote:

    “Oh, come on,” Jackal said, smiling encouragingly. “Just because I staked you and tossed you out a window? Surely we can get past that little misunderstanding.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s wicked. He’s sarcastic. He’s kinda hot. He’s definitely dangerous.

    7.
    The Eternity CureKanin

    Good boy or bad boy: Mostly Good boy

    Killer quote:

    “There are no good choices, Allison,” Kanin offered in a quiet voice. “There are only those you can live with, and those you can work to change.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s a hero. He’s smart. He’s fierce. He’s immortal. He’s worth saving.

    8.
    A Touch MenacingLuke

    Good boy or bad boy: Total Bad boy

    Killer quote:

    “All I ask is your loyalty. All I ask…” He curled his hand tight, pressing his fist against the wall. “Twice you’ve denied me Kristen. Still I am yours. Your secret, your pleasure, your darkest dream. Give yourself to me, and I will give you everything.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s the baddest of bad boys. He’s completely and totally H.O.T. He’s dangerous. He’s a little scary. He’s incredible.

    9.
    ForeplayReece

    Good boy or bad boy: Both

    Killer quote:

    “I wouldn’t have waited this long for you. I would have already showed up at your dorm the minute I decided I wanted you. I wouldn’t leave until I convinced you that you were mine.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s totally hot. He’s confident. He goes after what he wants. He isn’t afraid to say what that is. He’s genuine.

    10.
    The ElitePrince Maxon

    Good boy or bad boy: Good boy… I think…

    Killer quote:

    “…[T]here’s only you. Maybe I’m not really looking, maybe they aren’t right for me. It doesn’t matter. I just know I want you. And that terrifies me. I’ve been waiting for you to take back the words, to beg to leave.”

    Why I adore him:

    He’s an unexpected surprise. He’s nice. He’s sexy. He’s powerful. He’s a Prince in every sense of the word.

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    A Few Other Bookish Boys I Love

    I have so many book boyfriends from the books I read. Most of them are the bad boys, but a few of them happen to be good. And if I had just a little more time this week to create these top ten posts, I might have opted to do one list of Bad Boy Book Boyfriends and another of Good Boy Book Boyfriends.

    But as I have way too many posts to create and so little time to get them done, for today I’m sticking with just the one list. However, I can’t pass up the chance to list just a few other bookish boys I adore.

    Will of Jessa Holbrook’s WHILE YOU’RE AWAY

    Colt of Karsten Knight’s AFTERGLOW

    Ethan of Chloe Neill’s HOUSE RULES and BITING BAD

    Warner of Tahereh Mafi’s DESTROY ME

    Logan of C.J. Redwine’s DECEPTION

    Fenn of Lesley Livingston’s DESCENDANT

    Jules of Amy Plum’s UNTIL I DIE

    Kai of Wendy Higgins’ SWEET PERIL

    Dante of Victoria Scott’s THE COLLECTOR and THE LIBERATOR

    Finn of Jessica Spotswood’s STAR CURSED

    And, of course, there are so many more… but this is supposed to just be a Top Ten List and with these extra boys I’m now up to twenty.

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    The Giveaways

    We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

    There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Link Up


    Share

    Top 10 Character Couples of 2013

    Top 10 of 2013 Banner

    Today is the third of five days of Top 10 of 2013.

    A week of Looking Back…

    …and Looking Forward.

    And I am thrilled to be able to co-host this event for the third year in a row with Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and for a second year with Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    If you haven’t yet heard of this week-long event, it’s where we share our favorite bookish lists and invite you to share yours each day for the next five days by leaving your post links in the daily Linky Lists.

    This year’s event giveaway is shared via a common Rafflecopter on all three of our blogs. Leaving a comment each day on each host’s blog will give you extra entries, so be sure to check out each of our Top 10 lists for more chances to win.

    It’s not too late to sign up for this event. Just check out the Sign-up Post for all the details – HERE.

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    Today’s topic is…

    Best ____ of 2013

    Last year I chose favorite quotes. But this year I’m going for CHARACTER COUPLES. Even though many of this year’s reads paired up characters I’d rather see paired with someone else, there were quite a few character couples I love, love, loved.

    And instead of rambling about all of my reasons why I love these character couples I thought I’d let the characters speak for themselves. They do a much better job of it than I ever could. Though I’m so very tempted to chime in…

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    Favorite Character Couples 2013

    1.

    Shadowfever

    SHADOWFEVER (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Moning

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Mac and Barrons…

    “I’m not the hero, Mac. Never have been. Never will be. Let us be perfectly clear: I’m not the antihero, either, so quit waiting to discover my hidden potential. There’s nothing to redeem me.”

    I want him anyway.

    It’s what he wanted to know.

    I exhale impatiently and shove hair from my face. “Are you going to talk me to death or fuck me, Jericho Barrons?”

    2.

    Endless Knight

    ENDLESS KNIGHT (The Aracana Chronicles #2) by Kresley Cole

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Evie and Death…

    “What are you thinking about, creature?” His words were husky.

    Licking your runes? Thank God he couldn’t read my thoughts anymore. Face flushing, I grasped for something to say. “I bet you were expecting a taller Empress this time around.” Lame.

    “I would change nothing about your appearance.”

    When we locked eyes in the mirror, his burning gaze made even more heat cascade through my body.

    Death rose with that lethal grace and strode toward me. I swallowed. Would he try to kiss me? And what would I do if he did?

    3.

    Through the Zombie Glass

    THROUGH THE ZOMBIE GLASS (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) by Gena Showalter

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Alice and Cole…

    “I just… I can’t seem to stay away. You’re like a magnet, and I’m drawn. And what about you? You’re supposed to yell at me, scream profanities and tell me to go and never come back. Why aren’t you yelling?” he asked almost bitterly.

    Because, despite everything, I liked that he was here.

    Foolish girl.

    “You want me to yell?” I said, and drew in a deep breath, preparing. “I will.”

    He shook his head, looked up at me through the thick shield of those dark, dark lashes. “It’s too late for that. I’m going to kiss you, Ali.”

    Kiss… Yes… No! “You made your bed.”

    “I know. But I still want you in it.”

    4.

    With All My Soul

    WITH ALL MY SOUL (Soul Screamers #7) by Rachel Vincent

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Kaylee and Tod…

    “This is the most frighteningly beautiful mouth I have ever seen. The most terrifyingly delicious lips I have ever tasted. These lips make me hungry for more every time I kiss them. This mouth, and the tongue inside it…they speak words I hang on to. Words that make me want to be a better man. Words I would gladly build my entire afterlife around. But they also say things that terrify me. Things that send chills all the way to my heart. They speak about dangers I can’t prevent. Threats I can’t always see. They threaten to do things that could get you hurt, when every single beat of my heart tells me that I need to protect you.”

    I stared at him, stunned, and he leaned in to kiss me again, softly. Almost chastely.

    5.

    Crash Into You

    CRASH INTO YOU (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Isaiah and Rachel…

    Rachel tries to lower her head, but I reach up and touch her chin. “Don’t.”

    I tilt her head up, engulfing her line of vision. She’s going to see me and me alone. No cars, no Zach, none of the other assholes trying to win her eye during the night. The sweet scent of jasmine entwining with the salty smell of the beach rushes into my lungs. I lick my lips, wanting to kiss her, but I’m too full of energy to dare let my lips brush hers.

    Beneath my fingertips, her pulse beats wildly. “I don’t understand you, Isaiah.”

    “Then we have something in common, because I don’t get you at all.”

    6.

    Sweet Peril Cover

    SWEET PERIL (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Anna and Kaidan…

    “For the record,” he ground out in a guttural whisper, “I was more myself with you during those three days than I’ve ever been with anyone in my life. It’d be easier if I could be fake with you, but you bring out everything in me, little Ann. All of it.”

    His sudden fierceness frightened and excited me. He was not in his right mind. I blinked several times before taking a step back and running into the rail. I could do nothing but stare as he went on.

    7.

    Foreplay

    FOREPLAY (The Ivy Chronicles #1) by Sophie Jordan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Pepper and Reece…

    He gave my sweatshirt a small tug, inexorably pulling me toward him, bit by bit, and it was like the other night again. His presence was overwhelming, the heat that emanated from him. The blue of his eyes that seemed to turn to smoke when he looked at me. I was under his spell. Maybe I had never ceased to be. I’d been spellbound since our first kiss and especially since the night I spent in his loft. Maybe this was what had brought me back here in the middle of the night. Maybe I was hoping to repeat the experience.

    “I’ll never lie to you, Pepper.” That soft utterance blew through me like a sonic blast. Crazy, but I heard more than his vow to be honest. The words were full of the expectation that there would be a him and me, an us. That we were really doing this. Whatever this was.

    8.

    While You're Away

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY by Jessa Holbrook

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Sarah and Will…

    It was easy to kiss Will Spencer. We moved in tandem, both turning at the same time. It was like we were machined to fit together, the right key in the right lock. Rising on my toes to meet his mouth, I looped my arms around his neck. Stretched against him, I felt long and tall, and strangely lovely. I wasn’t transformed by his touch. I was revealed.

    9.

    The Beautiful and the Cursed

    THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED (The Disposessed #1) by Page Morgan

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Ingrid and Luc…

    Ingrid froze as he grazed his fingers through her hair, scattering a few pins to the floor. Then he gripped the back of her head, his tangled fingers tugging at her hair, and Ingrid thought she could finally read something in the way he looked at her: a longing so tangible that it made her ache.

    “I haven’t ended you because you’re my human.”

    And then Luc did what he hadn’t done in the orangery. His lips found hers. It was a light sweep of a kiss, and Ingrid, who’d quit breathing, feared he was going to stop again. The idea of it knifed through her and her hands itched to reach up, latch on to him, and refuse the retreat.

    It didn’t come to that.

    10.

    The Collector

    THE COLLECTOR (The Collector #1) by Victoria Scott

    (GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE)

    Dante and Charlie…

    “But you need to know the truth. I didn’t mean for this to happen.” I stop, considering what I just said. “Actually, I guess I did mean for this to happen. At first. But then I got to know you, Charlie. I got to see how you are, the things you do for other people. The way you smile when there’s nothing left to smile about, and the way you laugh…it hurts to even hear it. Because it reminds me what it’s like to live. To be happy.” I take a deep breath. “You are beautiful, Charlie. You’re so beautiful, and I can’t believe I let you think you weren’t.”

    I turn around but focus on the ground. I can’t see her face. It’ll end me. But my eyes are deceitful, and before I can gouge them from my face, they slide up and land on her. On Charlie. And she’s crying. Tears rolling down her cheeks, sliding into a wide, happy smile.

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    A Few Other Couples I Love

    Deception

    Rachel and Logan

    DECEPTION (Defiance #2) by C.J. Redwine

    The Eternity CureAllison and Zeke

    THE ETERNITY CURE (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa

    The Girl with the Iron TouchFinley and Griffin

    THE GIRL WITH THE IRON TOUCH (The Steampunk Chronicles #3) by Kady Cross

    DescendantCoverMason and Feen

    DESCENDANT (Starling #2) by Lesley Livingston

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    Wishful Thinking Character Couples

    As I mentioned, there were a number of characters I’d have liked to see paired up with someone other than the character they ended up with… or the character they’re with at the moment.

    So I decided to create a Top 10 Wishful Thinking Character Couples list. But instead of listing them here, since I have exactly ten, I thought I’d create a completely independent list over at The Annex.

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    The Giveaways

    We have decided to combine the giveaways into one Rafflecopter form that is shared on all three host blogs and will be posted in each of the Top 10 posts this week.

    There is a box of 2014 ARCs, a box of books, two books of your choice, and a book from one of the host’s top ten lists up for grabs. Just follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Link Up


    Share

    Trailer Reveal: FOREPLAY by Sophie Jordan + Excerpt

    Foreplay-Trailer-3

    I got the chance to read Sophie Jordan’s FOREPLAY last week and it was all sorts of awesome – fun, sexy, romantic. A perfect one-sit-read with a totally swoon-worthy protagonist – Reece is someone you’ll definitely want to meet.

    So when I heard that there would be a trailer and that I could sign up to take part in its reveal I jumped at the chance. And I would have even if I weren’t such a huge fan of book trailers because this is one trailer I definitely wanted an early peek at.

    And I absolutely love, love, love it. It’s totally wicked. And such a tease. But I’ll let you decide for yourself.

    Also, as part of this reveal I was able to select one of the five excerpts from the author’s website to include with this post. And while I love the one where Pepper and Reece meet, I had to choose the one with the kiss.

    If you have read FOREPLAY or have read this excerpt I think you’ll agree with me. It’s sweet. It’s sexy. It’s kinda totally HOT.

    A link to the author’s website with all the excerpts is just a bit further below. But if you want a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check out Sophie Jordan’s giveaway, HERE.

    And if you don’t want to miss any of the author’s upcoming news, you can sign up to receive her newsletter by email, HERE.

    But now, without any further ado, let me present to you this totally teaser-y trailer for FOREPLAY.

    The Trailer


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    About Foreplay

    Foreplay

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    Description…

    Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

    Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom-take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

    Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep-with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

    Series: The Ivy Chronicles #1
    Release date: November 5, 2013
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Pages: 304
    Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    The second book in The Ivy Chronicles, TEASE, is slated for release on May 27, 2014.

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    The Excerpt

    Walking through the parking lot, the soles of my boots crunched over the loose gravel. I almost turned back around when I remembered the burger I had wanted. Instead, I continued walking, thinking which drive-through I wanted to hit on the way back to the dorm. I was contemplating chicken strips and Tater Tots when a hand fell on my shoulder.

    With a shriek, I whirled around, my fist instinctively flying, lashing out, making contact. My knuckles grazed off a shoulder.

    “Whoa. Easy there.” Reece stood there, holding one hand up in the air while his other hand rubbed at the top of his shoulder where I’d struck him.

    I covered my mouth with both hands. My words escaped muffled. “OhmyGod! I’m sorry.”

    “Don’t be. I should have called out. Good reflexes. But you should work on your aim.”

    My hands fell from my face slowly.

    I stared at him, still trying to comprehend that he was here. In front of me. It was strange seeing him out of his element. Other than that first time, I’d only ever seen him inside Mulvaney’s. Here, outside, he seemed bigger, larger than life.

    My head cocked to the side. “Are you”—I waved a finger between him and me —”following me?”

    “I saw you leave.”

    “So. That’s a yes.”

    He was watching me? He noticed me. I wasn’t invisible after all.

    He continued, “Look, you shouldn’t be out here alone at night. Guys get a few drinks in them, see a pretty girl walking by herself …” His voice faded away, his implication clear.

    I only heard one thing. Pretty.

    “I’ll walk you to your car,” he finished.

    “Thanks.” I turned in the direction of my car. He fell in step beside me.

    I slid him a long look. Without the distance of the bar top between us, I was fully aware of his height. I was no tiny thing like Emerson, and the top of my head barely reached his chin. He had to be a few inches over six feet. It was a new experience—feeling delicate and petite.

    “I hope you don’t get in trouble for leaving the bar. Are you on a break?”

    “It’ll be fine.”

    I was conscious of his arm, so close to mine as we walked. He slid one hand into his front jeans pocket.

    “You’re leaving early,” he noted.

    “Yeah.” Silence fell. Feeling a need to fill it, I added, “Not feeling it tonight.” At least I wasn’t before. Now I’m feeling it. I’m feeling everything. His body beside mine radiated heat. My every nerve vibrated like a plucked wire, achingly aware of him. We’re not even touching, but it’s like I felt him everywhere. It was a shock I could even talk in a steady voice.

    “Not feeling it tonight,” he echoed, his voice low. There was laughter in his voice even though he didn’t come right out and laugh. He dropped his head back and looked up at the stars. A slow smiled curved his mouth.

    “What’s so amusing?”

    “Just thinking about that.”

    “What?”

    He looked back down. “I can’t count the nights I’m not ‘feeling it,’ but I still have to be there.”

    Have to. Interesting choice of words. “You don’t like your job?”

    He shrugged. “Sometimes I do.”

    “Are you a student, too?”

    “Nope.”

    “Did you graduate already?”

    “Just high school.”

    So working the bar was all there was for him. Again, there was that stab of disappointment. Which was not only judgmental of me but absurd. I wasn’t considering this guy for a boyfriend or lifelong partner material. I shouldn’t feel anything at his lack of ambition.

    He continued, “You in college?”

    I nodded.

    “Let me guess. Dartford?” There were three universities in the area, but Dartford had the most prestigious reputation.

    “Yes.”

    “Thought so. You’ve got “Ivy” written all over you.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “You look sweet and nice. Smart.” We were almost to my car when he added, “And you’re not a regular, but you’ve been here three nights in a row.” Not a question. Just a statement.

    Again, that he was aware of me made me go all warm and fuzzy inside. “My friend, Emerson, comes here a lot. You’ve probably seen her before. She’s hard to miss.” He neither confirmed nor denied this. “She invited me along. I don’t do the bar scene all that much.”

    “So you’ve decided to start living the college experience in full then. Is that it? Last night didn’t scare you off?”

    I frowned. “Oh, you mean that guy by the bathroom. Should I have let that scare me?”

    He didn’t say anything, and I thought back to his comment on Thursday night about nice girls getting eaten up in places like Mulvaney’s. “Oh. That’s right. Nice girls like me should stay home.”

    “I didn’t say that.”

    We stopped at my car.

    The low rumble of his voice continued, “Getting mauled outside the bathroom might have turned some girls off from coming back again the next night though.”

    “I’m not most girls.” He had no idea. I might look naïve and innocent, but my scars ran deep. It took a lot to spook me.

    I fumbled for my keys, the slow burn of my temper making my hands shake.

    “I might look like some nerd college girl and not one of the sexpots tripping through the bar every night, but—”

    His voice cut in smooth and deep, no hint of the temper I was feeling. “I didn’t say that, either.”

    “You’re thinking it.”

    “You’re right. You’re nothing like the other girls I see every night.”

    “Oh, that’s nice,” I muttered.

    My fingers closed around the hard steel of my keys. Unlocking the door and pulling it open, I looked up to face him, ready to tell him off, but then I lost myself in those pale blue eyes until I wasn’t sure what I was mad about anymore. Those eyes made everything inside me go hot and weak all at once.

    “And that’s not a bad thing. Trust me.”

    Suddenly my knees felt all trembly, and I knew I needed to sit down.

    “Thanks for the walk.” I started to duck inside the car, but his voice stopped me.

    “Tell me something, Pepper.”

    It was the first time I’d heard my name on his lips.

    I nodded dumbly, the open door at my back. “How old are you really?”

    The question caught me off guard. “Nineteen.”

    He laughed, the sound loose and dark, curling through me like hot chocolate. “Thought so.” His well-carved lips quirked. “You’re just a kid.”

    “I am not a kid,” I protested. I haven’t been a kid since I spent my nights in motel bathrooms, listening to my mom getting bombed with random guys on the either side of the door. “How old are you?” I shot back.

    “Twenty-three.”

    “You’re not that much older than me,” I argued. “I’m not a kid.”

    He held up both hands as though warding me off. His half smile mocked me. “If you say so.”

    I made a growl of frustration. “Don’t do that.”

    “What?”

    “Condescend to me,” I snapped.

    One of his dark eyebrows winged high. “Uh-oh. I made you mad. College girl is pulling out the big vocabulary now.”

    How did this guy get girls to make out with him? He was a colossal jerk. I could blame it on his looks, but not all hot guys were jerks. Hunter wasn’t.

    “Prick,” I muttered as I turned to slide into my car. “Why don’t you go back to serving beer and stale peanuts?”

    His hand closed around my arm and pulled me back around. I looked down at his hand on my arm and then up to his face.

    “Hey,” he said flatly, all hint of a smile gone. My pulse skittered at my neck and I resisted the urge to press a hand there and steady the wild thrum of my blood. I wouldn’t reveal his effect on me. “The peanuts aren’t stale.”

    I might have laughed except there was no levity in his expression. His pale blue eyes fastened on my face. His fingers clung to my arm, burning an imprint through my sleeve.

    Then those eyes dropped to my lips.

    OhGodOhGodOhGod. He’s going to kiss me.

    This was it. The moment of my second—scratch that. Third kiss. Unsolicited or not, I had to count last night. This one was the one I had been waiting for though. The one where I would learn to actually kiss. From a guy—a man—who knew how to do it properly.

    He inched toward me. My heart erupted like a drum in my chest. His head dipped, and then all thought of what I was about to do fled. There was no thinking. No calculated logic. Just pure sensation.

    Blood roared in my ears as he closed the last scrap of space between us. It wasn’t fast. Not like in the movies. No swooping head. I watched his face coming closer. His gaze moved from my mouth back to my eyes several times, studying me, watching my reaction. His hand touched my face, holding my cheek.

    No one had ever done that. Well, not that I had a lot of reference, but the warm rasp of his palm on my face felt so very intimate. It made the moment so real, so powerful.

    I jumped a little when his mouth finally settled over mine. As though the contact brought on an electrical shock or something. He pulled back and looked at me. For a moment, I thought it was over, that he was finished after just that brush of our lips.

    Then his mouth pressed down on mine again and there was nothing tentative about it. His kiss was confident, demanding. Pure deliciousness. Still holding my face with one hand, his other one moved to the small of my back, drawing me closer. His lips tasted mine, angling first one way and then another. As though he wanted to sample every possible direction. His tongue traced the seam of my lips and I shuddered, letting him inside my mouth. My hands gripped his shoulders, fingers curling around the soft cotton, reveling in the warm solidness of him beneath the fabric.

    Then it was over. Too soon. I staggered, losing my balance. I caught hold of my open car door with one hand, blinking like I had just woken from some sort of dream. I lifted my hand to my lips, brushing them, feeling them, still warm from his lips. I focused on him, watching in astonishment as he turned and left me standing beside my vehicle.

    Not another word. Not another look back.

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    To check out all five excerpts, head over to Sophie Jordan’s website. You won’t want to miss a single one.

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    About Sophie Jordan

    Sophie Jordan

    Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she’s also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family.

    When she’s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows.

    Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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    My Reading Pile #137

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    As I’m creating this post super early I’m not sure if I received any books in the mail this past week. But I did receive one book just after I created last week’s post. And it looks amazing.

    My Reading Pile 137

    [Credit for mailbox sharing goes to The Story Siren]

    I received an ARC of LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira for review from the awesome folks at Farrar, Straus, Giroux. And I’m so very tempted to start reading it now, even though it doesn’t release until next April, because it sounds absolutely incredible – heartrending, tough, beautiful. I can’t wait to learn about Laurel’s story through the letters she writes. And I am curious about what happened to May and how writing about her changes Laurel’s opinion of her.

    While I probably should wait for just a little while, I think I might just end up sneaking it onto the pile this week.

    But for now…

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (October 27, 2013 – November 2, 2013)

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    Foreplay

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    First up on the pile is FOREPLAY by Sophie Jordan. I received an eARC for review from the very awesome William Morrow and I’m so excited to finally be able to get this one on the pile.

    I fell in love with the book’s cover when I first saw it. And when I read the description I couldn’t wait to meet Pepper and find out whether her plan to get noticed by Hunter worked out as she anticipated. Though, from the sound of it, things go in a different direction. And I am curious to find out what happens.

    Reece is also a character I definitely want to meet. I am always intrigued by characters with troubled pasts who are “gorgeous” and “dangerous.” So I’m thrilled to be able to meet them both this week.

    The Description…

    Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs. 

    Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

    Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

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    While You're Away Part III

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    Next up on the pile is WHILE YOU’RE AWAY PART III: While You’re Confusing by Jessa Holbrook. I don’t have this third installment in the serialized novel just yet, but when my pre-order copy downloads on Tuesday I will definitely be reading it.

    I was introduced to this book by the publisher, Razorbill, when they sent the NetGalley widget after the first part’s release for review. I was instantly hooked and pre-ordered all remaining five parts to this story.

    I had part one on my reading pile last week, which I did read and review. But as I will likely have read and reviewed the second part before this post goes live, I didn’t think it made sense to add it to this week’s pile. And as this is such an addictive story, I will have one of the parts to this story on the pile each week until the final part is released.

    I have not yet read part two so I can’t guess as to what point in the story this third part begins. And as the description is a generic one for the entire novel, it offers up no hints. So I’ll just have to wait to have it in hand to find out. Which will happen the instant it downloads to my Kindle on Monday Midnight.

    The Description…

    Once a cheater, always a cheater?

    From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

    There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

    After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

    Can cheaters ever change?

    WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

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    Wishful Thinking Reads

    After reading a few of the teasers when preparing my tour post, FORGIVING LIES by Molly McAdams became my wishful thinking read. It releases this week, and I have it pre-ordered, so if I have time to squeeze it in before NaNoWriMo, I really would love to. But because I have a million and one things going on, I can’t guarantee that will happen. For now I can only wish that were the case.

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    Those Left Behind

    As I am creating this post super early I’m not sure if I’ve left anything behind. Though it’s very possible that I didn’t read ALLEGIANT as planned due to the quirky reading mood I’ve been in. I’m still obsessed with reading contemporary stories.

    And I’m still behind on reviews. I did write a mini review for WHILE YOU’RE AWAY but I didn’t end up writing my review for CRASH INTO YOU or any of the other umpteen books I’ve read and hoped to review.

    I didn’t even get any non-blog-related writing done. But hopefully I will have done something by the time this post goes live.

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    NetGalley Pile Adds & Finds

    I only found a few books in my search on NetGalley, one which has been there for a bit but that I hadn’t discovered until today. But as it is still early, perhaps when I create next week’s post there will be a number of new titles to add.

    In the meantime, here are the few I did find…

    REALITY BOY by A.S. King (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Oct 22 2013)

    SOUL POSSESSED (The Life After Trilogy #2) by Katlyn Duncan (Harlequin UK Ltd, October 28 2013)

    TASTE OF DARKNESS (Healer #3) by Maria V. Snyder (Harlequin, Dec 31 2013)

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    More than ever I am distracted by real life stuffs. So I apologize for this post I wrote early which doesn’t say all that much about what I’ve been reading. In reality, there hasn’t been much.

    I found this shiny new toy which is sailing. It occupies my thoughts during the day and even my dreams at night. It’s my latest obsession. And while I’m certain it will begin to take a back seat to reading and writing, for now it’s all-consuming.

    And the fact that I’m on vacation at this very moment… well, the moment this post is live, that is… I’m pretty sure I’m enjoying wandering around, checking out the sights with The Dude and not hiding in a book.

    Reality starts for me on Tuesday, but with NaNoWriMo creeping ever closer, I am not entirely sure how many books I will be reading until December. But, as always, I am ever hopeful.

    Happy reading!

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    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your reading pile this week?

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    Forgiving Lies & Foreplay Blog Tour: Guest Post, Excerpt + Giveaway

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    I am so excited to be a part of the FORGIVING LIES & FOREPLAY Blog Tour hosted by Mundie Moms Blog Tours and to help spread the word about these awesome New Adult books releasing on October 29th and November 5th. I’ve been anxiously awaiting their release and I’m thrilled that the wait for both books won’t be too much longer.

    As part of the tour I get to share a short – but totally hot – teaser from author Molly McAdams from FORGIVING LIES and a guest post by FOREPLAY author Sophie Jordan in which she reveals “One Thing My Character(s) Have Taught Me.”

    If you haven’t yet heard about one – or both – of these books, the books’ descriptions and places to find them around the web are below. Also included is some information about each book’s author and places where you can find and follow them online.

    And because I couldn’t resist, I added in a giveaway for a copy of both books to one winner. That follows just a bit further down in the post.

    At the bottom of the post are this week’s tour stops and a link to Mundie Moms tour page for the full tour schedule.

    ***UPDATE***

    A tour-wide giveaway has been added. Check out the additional Rafflecopter form below for details.

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    First up is…

    FORGIVING LIES
    About Forgiving Lies

    Forgiving Lies

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    Description…

    Logan “Kash” Ryan has spent the last three and a half years working undercover in Tampa Bay, Florida. When a case sends him and his partner to Austin, Texas to follow the trail of a serial killer, their sole focus needs to be on finding the guy before he can find another victim. The last thing Kash needs is the distraction of his beautiful new neighbor, but there’s something about her guarded nature and feisty attitude that makes it impossible to stay away from her.

    Rachel Masters has shielded herself from getting hurt again. But when her new neighbor almost takes her door off with his motorcycle, everything changes. He’s arrogant, gorgeous, tattooed and pierced. Everything she knows she should stay away from. Despite the warnings her initial impression has raised, she quickly falls for him and the way he works at breaking down all her walls. But he’s hiding something, and after everything that has happened in Rachel’s life lately, a guy is the last thing she needs.

    From the moment Rachel and Kash meet, they stress the friendship-only rule and continue to push their feelings for each other aside. But as their friendship advances, lines start blurring, and soon their reasons for keeping the other at a distance are forgotten.

    Will Kash be able to maintain focus on the investigation while keeping Rachel safe from his real life – or will it all fall apart right in front of him, and will she run when she finds out everything he has been hiding?

    Series: Forgiving Lies #1
    Release date: October 29, 2013
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Pages: 368
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    The second book in the Forgiving Lies series, DECEIVING LIES, is slated for release on March 4, 2014.

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    The Excerpt

    From Forgiving Lies

    “So, you’re saying . . .” I rolled off the couch and took the few steps toward her. If she wanted me to sound like I was from Texas, then I was about to sound like I was from motherfucking Texas. “. . . if I had a drawl, you’d believe me?” Her breath hitched when I leaned over her body and put my hands on the couch on either side of her head. Our faces were just inches apart and I swear I almost groaned when she quickly licked her lips.

    Leaning in so my lips brushed her ear, I spoke soft and low. And yeah, with a fucking drawl. “Just say the word, darlin’. I’ll talk however you want me to.”

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    And if you’d like to check out a few other excerpts and teasers, you can find them on the author’s website, HERE.

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    About Molly McAdams

    Molly McAdams

    Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughter. Some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling and long walks on the beach…which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes.

    When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom surrounded by her laptop, cell, Kindle and fighting over the TV remote. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, fried pickles and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm…or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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    Next up is…

    FOREPLAY
    About Foreplay

    Foreplay

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    Description…

    Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

    Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom-take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

    Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep-with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

    Series: The Ivy Chronicles #1
    Release date: November 5, 2013
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Pages: 304
    Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

    Learn more about FOREPLAY on Sophie Jordan’s website, HERE. And if you’d like to check out a few excerpts from the book, you can find them HERE.

    The second book in The Ivy Chronicles, TEASE, is slated for release on May 27, 2014.
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    The Guest Post
    One Thing My Character(s) Have Taught Me

    by Sophie Jordan

    Every book I write is different. Every character I write is different, with different challenges, different life stories – or rather, back-stories. But one thing that you can find in common in each and every character, in every book I’ve ever written, is the message of hope.

    Whether it’s Reece or Pepper in Foreplay or a protagonist in one of my young adult novels or a heroine or hero in my historical romance novels … I’ve learned one thing from all these characters. Hope.

    As a writer, I wince at the hell I put my characters through. It’s not always easy, but that’s what writers do. That’s what’s required for a book to have the necessary conflict – and sadly, that is so often life. Conflict. Struggle. Hardship.

    In the past I’ve written some tough baggage for my characters. Characters that were abused to various degrees in childhood – like Pepper and Reece in Foreplay. Characters that are paranormal creatures hunted to all corners of the earth – like Jacinda in Firelight. Characters that were “murdered” on their wedding night like Annalise in How To Lose A Bride In One Night. Any one of these traumas could have killed a person’s spirit and made him or her unable to continue through life in any normal fashion.

    However, my characters find the courage to love again. To give and receive love after overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. Each time I write a romance novel I’m writing about hope. I believe in love and happily ever after a little more each time I write a character that turns her back on fear and embraces love. That’s what I learn. That’s what I take away. Romance novels teach hope. That love and happiness are possible … that anyone can achieve it if they want it badly enough. If they fight for it.

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    About Sophie Jordan

    Sophie Jordan

    Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.

    A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature – teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.

    In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller’s List.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    What’s Up for Grabs?

    A paperback copy of FORGIVING LIES by Molly McAdams and a paperback copy of FOREPLAY by Sophie Jordan – ONE Winner

    The Deets

    • Must be 18 or older to enter
    • There will be ONE winner
    • Giveaway is International to wherever The Book Depository ships
    • Books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
    • Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
    • Winner will have 48 hours to respond after notification

    There are no requirements other than to leave a comment about what you like about both books on tour. But there are a few extra entry opportunities for adding the books to Goodreads and following the authors on Twitter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Tour-wide Giveaway

    There is also a tour-wide giveaway on this tour: (See Rafflecopter for the terms & conditions)

    GRAND PRIZE: A copy of FORGIVING LIES by Molly McAdams & a copy of FOREPLAY by Sophie Jordan to ONE winner

    PRIZES: A copy of FORGIVING LIES to one winner; A copy of FOREPLAY to one winner

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Oct. 21st – The Story Siren – FOREPLAY Review

    Oct. 22nd – Fiktshun – Sophie Jordan Guest Post, FORGIVING LIES Excerpt

    Oct. 23rd – Mundie Moms Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – FORGIVING LIES Review

    Oct. 24th – Once Upon a Twilight – FOREPLAY Review

    Oct. 25th – Fangirlish – Molly McAdams Interview

    For the rest of the tour stops and more information about the tour visit Mundie Moms Blog Tours.

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