THE BURIED by Shelley Coriell

Secrets from the past. Voices from the grave. Because nothing stays buried forever… Cypress Bend, Florida, is a small southern bayou town filled with long-buried secrets. It’s also the home of successful, fiercely independent state prosecutor Grace Courtemanche, who’s pulled into a world of terror and self-doubt when she receives a phone call from a young woman buried alive. In a race to stop a revenge-seeking killer, Grace unearths skeletons from her past along with feelings for the one man she swore she’d never need again, Theodore “Hatch” Hatcher, a rootless, smooth-talking FBI crisis negotiator who’s back in Cypress Bend to deal with a secret of his own. Well, I have a new author and a new series I’m excited about. I loved this book; I need the first book, and I’ll be reading the … Continued

Five Things That Inspire Me

I’ve heard authors talk about how devastating it can be when inspiration fails them. How there is nothing more soul sucking than staring at a blank document on the computer screen, or a blank page in a notebook. I won’t lie and tell you that I’ve never experienced the feeling. But whenever it has, I turn to some foolproof options to find my focus. In no particular order, they are: Nature: I love watching the vast assortment of birds, foxes, deer, the occasional bobcat, turkeys (no, not my husband) and yes, even snakes in my backyard. Decorating for the season: My family thinks I go overboard to make my home festive for whichever holiday I’m celebrating. Personally, I could go for more stuff both inside and outside. I used to work at a shopping mall … Continued

For Love and Money: The Wealthy Hero

My grandma raised her family during The Great Depression, and even though fortunes were lost in the Crash of 1929, the family did okay.  There was money saved (in mattresses, I think) and a solid business, so no one went hungry or went without shoes.  But still, my grandmother used to say, “It’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor man.”  Her advice was all about self-preservation, of course; a practical consideration for a woman of her era. Through history, money and power have made men more desirable as mates.  It has made them sought after. Made them sexy. So, is the bank book at the root of the popularity of the millionaire/billionaire hero? I guess the glitzy lifestyle has its appeal–the promise of luxury is always tempting. But in truth, … Continued

MADE FOR YOU (The Best Mistake #2) By Lauren Layne

Brynn is celebrating her thirty-first birthday in a bathroom stall. Well, the party is outside, but she’s having a meltdown on a toilet seat after having been ambushed with a surprise party by her younger sister Sophie. This is not how Brynn had planned her life, still single and childless at thirty-one. She has made very rigid lists and goals of what she wants to complete and the timeline in which she wants it done. When her boyfriend fails to propose at the party and later breaks up with her, her meltdown grows to epic proportions as she tries to find her real happiness, not the happiness she had planned as the perfect orthodontist everyone knows her as. What will it take for Brynn to realize where her true happiness lies? Will it be too … Continued

Hardcore Alpha vs. Sensual Seducer

My romance-loving friends and I debate all the time over which kind of leading man is more alluring. While I tend to veer toward the alpha just about every time, I do love the teasing sensual seducer as well. Let’s do a little compare/contrast, shall we? First, our seducer has patience. Our alpha clearly doesn’t even know the definition of the word. The alpha has one goal—her—and he wants her now. No bed required—a good, sturdy wall will do (or desk, pool table, whatever). On the other hand, the seducer is a master of the art of seduction, savoring the slow, tantalizing love-play. For he knows that her surrender will make the reward even more sweet. Another trait our seducer has is charm. Within the seducer’s arsenal of charm is his bone-melting, heart-stopping smile as … Continued

ONE IN A MILLION by Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis has done it again. The Lucky Harbor series has been a favorite of mine since Jax came strutting onto the first page.  After twelve books, the residents of Lucky Harbor worked their way into my heart so it was bittersweet reading One in a Million knowing this was going to be the last one. Luckily for us, this book goes out with a bang. I really enjoyed the premise of this story. Callie, a virtual wedding planner, doesn’t believe in love, but she’s willing to sell it and her relationship advice on her web site tyingtheknot.com.  But Callie really is a closet romantic who had her dreams destroyed when she was left at the altar. Figuring it was safer to say she didn’t believe in love any more than to put herself out there, she lived a pretty … Continued

FREED (Club Sin #3.5) by Stacey Kennedy

Mary Schmidt knows only too well how thrilling a Master’s touch can be. Her husband, Charles, had been her ultimate fantasy, a seducer in the erotic dance of dominance and submission. She misses the sensual lifestyle they shared, but mourns him so deeply she cannot bear to embrace her submissive needs with another Dom—until a man who exudes temptation reawakens desires she can no longer deny. Elliott Foster is dazzled by Mary. He instantly knows that she’s the woman he’s been waiting for—a woman who turns games into need. As her Master, he dares to unlock the deepest pleasures of her flesh, releasing her from pain and healing her mind. When Mary’s lithe body comes to life under his, he knows their connection goes beyond sex. Now that he has found the perfect woman, the … Continued

WHAT A LADY NEEDS FOR CHRISTMAS by Grace Burrowes

To escape a scandal, Lady Joan Flynn flees her family’s estate in the Scottish Highlands. She needs a husband by Christmas, or the holidays will ring in nothing but ruin. Practical, ambitious mill owner Dante Hartwell offers to marry Joan, because a wellborn wife is his best chance of gaining access to aristocratic investors. As Christmas—and trouble—draw nearer, Dante and Joan’s marriage of convenience blossoms into unexpected intimacy, for true love often hides beneath the most unassuming holiday wrapping. He didn’t want to help her, but when his precious daughter, Charlie, makes him feel guilty, Dante Hartwell invites Lady Joan Flynn to join them on their travels to house parties for the holidays. Joan has fled Edinburgh is distress after trusting the man she cared for turns into a rather compromising situation. An ambitious man … Continued

Strip Club Confessions

Today novelist Rachel Blaufeld joins us to talk candidly about how going to strip clubs inspired her novels Electrified and Smoldered.   The question I’m asked the most is, “Did you go to strip clubs before, during, or after writing this? Are you going today? Now? Tomorrow?” Friends ask my husband, extended family members question my mother, readers are extremely curious if I have friends who are strippers, and most of my husband’s gang has offered join me in doing research. Okay, are you ready? Cue Drumroll. Yes. The answer is yes. I have in fact been to a number of strip clubs before writing Electrified. While the Electric Tunnel doesn’t really exist and all the characters that work there are fictitious, I don’t think it would be wise to write a book about the … Continued

Flight of Fancy: Inspiration for ALL MESSED UP

I’ve been travelling a lot the last few years, to conventions and writing retreats, and on vacations. When I’m travelling alone I spend a lot of time in airports people watching and eavesdropping and of course, as a writer, wondering “what if….?” Well, my latest release All Messed up is that story of what if…? Who is that attractive stranger? What if he was attracted to you? What if your flight got cancelled and you had to spend the night in a strange city? What if that stranger seemed to be the one person who understood you better than anyone else? And what happens when your flight leaves the next morning? I had the idea for a story about two strangers who meet in an airport and form a connection a long time ago, but … Continued

SHOOTING SCARS (The Artists Trilogy #2) By Karina Halle

Shooting Scars picks up right where Sins and Needles left off. Javier has taken Ellie against her will and Camden is left with his wife and son back in California. Both Ellie and Javier are left to analyze their feelings for each other and each wonder if there is still a chance for the two of them to reconnect. Ellie soon learns what Javier’s plans are for her and they’re not exactly the punishment she was expecting. She had assumed that he would want retribution for conning him and leaving, however he has bigger plans for her, all in the name of her exacting revenge on the man who wrecked her life, Travis. It remains unclear what Javier’s motivation is for Ellie to kill Travis. Camden is nearly killed when his ex-wife sets him up … Continued

COVER HIM WITH DARKNESS by Janine Ashbless

In a remote and mountainous part of Europe, a priest keeps a dark secret beneath his chapel—a prisoner. Even the holy man does not know how long he has been there—hundreds of years, perhaps, or even longer. The priest’s fear is that anyone in his parish would ever come in contact with his mysterious and unholy charge. But what happens is even worse than he could have ever imagined. His lovely young daughter Milja, whose innocence and devotion to God he prizes over all else, trails her father into the cavern and catches a glimpse of the prisoner, a beautiful being like the most handsome of men, and yet not. She looks into his eyes and sees pain and wisdom and eternity. Unable to keep away from this silent creature chained to an altar stone, … Continued

BECAUSE I CAN by Tamara Morgan

John “Monty” Montgomery is a workaholic. The oldest of the Montgomery children, he’s been working by his father’s side building the family hotel chain almost his entire life. His commitment to the business leaves no time for romance. But that’s about to change. Georgia Lennox has been fantasizing about Monty ever since she started her gig as handywoman at Montgomery Manor. She figures Monty is way out of her league, so she hasn’t dared to act on her feelings — until he offers to help fill a volunteer shortage on her latest project, building houses for families in need. Sparks fly as they spend time together, first on the job site, then off. But Georgia’s not your typical frilly and feminine society girl. Hoping to find a way to fit in with the Montgomerys, she … Continued

A Toast to a New Series: The Napa Wine Heiresses

Join author Heather Heyford as she uncorks a sparkling new series following the St. Pierre sisters, heiresses to a Napa wine fortune who are toasting the good life and are thirsty for love: Chardonnay St. Pierre’s father is as infamous for his scandals as he is for his wine, and it’s up to Char to restore the family name. The Challenge, an elite charity competition held in Napa, seems like the perfect opportunity for the socialite to cement her image as a philanthropist. But all eyes—including Char’s—are on the Hollywood heartthrob who’s also entered the race… Long before his face was splashed across the gossip magazines, Ryder McBride grew up in a working-class family in Napa. He knows all about the St. Pierre sisters and their notorious father, and when he learns he’ll be up … Continued

Playlist for INDECENT PROPOSAL by Molly O’Keefe

Molly O’Keefe, author of the Boys of Bishop series, came by to give us her playlist for her latest INDECENT PROPOSAL.  I really love putting together these playlists. With some songs, they come so easy: the Florence and The Machine song, for example, totally embodies the heroine Ryan. It was a given. Other times, the song just happens to be the song I was obsessed with while writing the book. The Death Cab for Cutie song fits that particular criteria. It was sung at a friend’s wedding and I spent months with it on repeat while writing INDECENT PROPOSAL. Some songs I have to seek to find the perfect fit. And some I’m just dying to use—”Love is a Battlefield?” YES!   Patty Griffin – “Not Alone“ This song is actually about a woman who has … Continued

Small Town Touch

I grew up in a small town. My parents were hippies who decided to bring me and my siblings west and try farming. The neighbors found the fact that we’d come from New York City hilarious, especially when my mother milked the goats in a maxi dress and work boots. We were not the Waltons by any stretch. But the townsfolk took us in anyway, taught us when the almonds were ready for harvesting, the proper way to build a functional barn and how to make cheese with our leftover milk. Eventually, we got some horses and I spent a good portion of my childhood in a saddle, riding through the hills for hours on end. But when I graduated high school, I went off to a big-city college and wound up working in other … Continued

RAISING THE RENT by JL Merrow

I have long suspected that gay romance writers can get away with a lot more than, let’s say, more traditional romance writers because there’s already that “two dudes” or “two ladies” hurdle to clear for the audience. For example, when was the last time you saw a prostitute heroine (or hero, for that matter) in a heterosexual romance novel? Yet rent boys are all over gay romance. Raising the Rent is kind of a take on Pretty Woman. (Or Pygmalion, if you like.) Our hooker with a heart of gold is Nathan, who sells his body at night to help pay for college. (College in the British sense, I should clarify; he’s trying to finish his A-levels because he plans to go to university to study library science.) He has a regular client, the Henry … Continued

OVER THE LINE (Alpha Ops #1) by Emmy Curtis

We first met James and Beth in the novella that kicked this Alpha Ops series off, Dangerous Territory. They are in the field, in the throes of war and James saves Beth’s life after she’s shot in the leg during an ambush. James has admired and secretly lusted after Beth while under her command but when her life is put in danger, all of the feelings he’s kept a lid on bubble to the surface in an adrenaline based tsunami of protective need and want. Ever the professional, James saves the day and gets Beth on a transport that whisks her away for medical treatment. Time passes, tours end, wounds heal but the feelings James has for Beth never fade. When he sees her stateside months later, James knows Beth is the one for him … Continued

DARLING BEAST by Elizabeth Hoyt

Being a single mother is hard enough without having your livelihood burn to the ground around you, but that’s exactly what happened to Lily Stump. The garden theater she burnt bridges to join is in shambles and she can’t afford to live anywhere but inside the singed structure. Her son Indio loves the freedom of exploring the ravaged garden, and he loves stalking the hulking mute gardener he’s named Caliban even more. Lily can’t take her eyes off the brute even though his face isn’t one she’d call comely. Despite his breadth, he’s actually quite gentle and does what he can to protect her family. Or is it all an act to get under her skin? Apollo Greaves is hiding from the law and Bedlam, literally. Escaped from the asylum after a brutal beating that … Continued

MR. MIRACLE by Debbie Macomber

Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store. After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons. Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to … Continued

INDECENT PROPOSAL by Molly O’Keefe

Perfect for readers of Susan Mallery and Rachel Gibson, Molly O’Keefe’s gritty and sensual tale of passion and politics features the brother of the heroine from the author’s beloved novel, Never Been Kissed. He’s a driven man who refuses to be distracted—until he meets a beautiful bartender who just may change his life.  With his chiseled jaw and his thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean … Continued

Book Groups 2.0 + Giveaway

It used to be that you’d find a local book club; a group of folks you could meet and chat with over coffee about the book you’re reading. Now, Facebook has become the new living room, and your book club might sprawl from New York to Texas to the Philippines. Bonding over books is so hot right now, and some of the best books are being discussed and dissected in group reads hosted by virtual book clubs and blogs everywhere. I spoke to a few of these “virtual” book clubs, and these are some of the titles bringing them together: “Reading is now what the cool kids do and is at an all-time high,” said Alexis Durbin of Three Girls And A Book Obsession Book Blog. “People love to read with their friends and to … Continued

Lady Jane’s Salon Author Roundtable

When Romance at Random invited me to blog on Lady Jane’s Salon®, the New York City romance reading series I co-founded nearly six years ago, I leapt at the chance. An opportunity to spread the word about our passion project in a forum founded by and for romance lovers from all areas of the industry—talk about win-win! Each month, I’ll be interviewing our Salon guest authors, asking them my same five questions—plus a few totally random fun facts—and posting their responses exclusively here at Romance at Random. Recently I caught up with our October 6th readers: Alyssa Cole, Sara Jane Stone, and my Lady Jane’s Salon Co-founder, Maya Rodale. Here’s what they had to say.   1.     At what age did you read your first romance novel? Was stealth required e.g., flashlight under the covers … Continued

SIDESWIPED (Off the Map #2) by Lia Riley

Talia and Bran are back again in the second installment of Lia Riley’s Off the Map series. Talia has said goodbye to California and is headed to her new home in Australia to be with her boyfriend, Bran. Their reunion is everything they hoped it would be, but reality soon smacks them in the face when time flies and the expiration of Talia’s visa into the country is set to expire. When Bran comes up with an idea to keep her in the country, Talia begins to question just what it is she is looking for in her relationship with Bran, and whether or not she is willing to put her heart out on the line, or if she should sacrifice her happiness for the greater good.   When the opportunity of a lifetime arises, … Continued

CELINE (When Hearts Dare #1) by Kathleen Bittner Roth

It’s been a while since I’ve read a non-Scottish themed historical romance. Hello genre I’ve been neglecting, let’s be friends again. CELINE begins in plantation era-New Orleans and moves along the wagon train of the untamed American West. Roth’s descriptions of the forbidden sultry feel of New Orleans and the gritty countryside of the American West will catapult you into the world Celine and Trevor inhabit. Celine has had a tough life full of hardship and misfortune. Widowed young, she’s left to regroup all alone. The kindness of an older plantation owner helps her heal and gives her a home full of dignity, support and love. When the playboy prodigal son returns on business, the sexual tension builds to fill the final portion of Celine’s broken spirit. Trevor has been battling his own demons over … Continued

ONCE PERFECT by Cecy Robson

Evelyn has gone from having everything to having nothing in the wake of her father’s financial scandal. If that wasn’t bad enough, he commits suicide, leaving her on her own. Alone and nearly penniless, she works at a high-end nightclub as a waitress. It is there that she meets Mateo, a bouncer with a checkered past. Having spent time in jail for assault, he maintains an aura of mystery that both scares and excites Evelyn. Once learning the truth about Mateo’s history, versus the rumors circulating around the club, Evelyn decides to pursue a relationship with Mateo and soon finds that he is not at all how others perceive him. Evelyn is a college student, finishing up her nursing degree. She lives with her best friend Lourdes and works as much as she can, picking … Continued

ALEX (Cold Fury Hockey #1) by Sawyer Bennett

“I should let her go… right now, right this very minute. But I’m a selfish bastard and I’m not going to do it. I’m going to keep her until I’m ready to destroy her, and then I’ll just add that to the pile of guilt I’m already suffering under.”  An emotional romance with a hint of darkness, ALEX is at once sexy, heartbreaking and hopeful. Bennett bravely tackles issues of abuse and addiction, and still delivers a sizzling sports romance. Cold as ice. That’s how I would describe hockey star Alex Crossman. He’s gorgeous, he’s a loner, and he’s broken. Growing up with an abusive, alcoholic father has left him unable to form meaningful relationships. That is, until he meets Sutton Price. Now, I’m all about my book boyfriends, and Alex is certainly worthy, but … Continued

WANTING FOREVER by Diana Gardin

Sam Waters is on the run from the law. He was indirectly involved in a domestic dispute between his girlfriend and her father and in order to deflect suspicion of her, he takes off with the intention of one day having her join him in his new life. Sam has gone from small town Duck Creek, VA to Nelson Island, an affluent island suburb of Charleston, South Carolina. He is working as a ranch hand for the Hopewell family until Mr. Hopewell, owner and CEO of Hopewell Enterprises offers to take Sam under his wing to learn the ropes of the company and become a part of the team. Sam finds that he is becoming more and more attached to his new life; with a new job, a new group of friends, and a change … Continued

The More Things Change,The More Things Stay the Same

When I wrote my novel DOLLBABY, which starts in New Orleans the summer of 1964, I never imagined a novel set in my lifetime would be considered historical fiction. I suppose a lot has changed in the last fifty years—there were no computers, no Internet, no answering machines. Heck, there wasn’t even color television. Many houses had only one phone (a land line), one bathroom, and in many cases, no air conditioning. Perma-press, fast food, and iTunes were things of the future. Yet no matter how much things change, certain aspects of life will forever remain the same. Take human nature for example. From the dawn of time, man has had the same wants and desires. Granted they may be expressed a little differently these days, but we still ask the same questions of ourselves. … Continued

ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET by Samantha Young

All hail the return of The Tribe! With ECHOES OF SCOTLAND STREET, the fifth installment in the On Dublin Street series by Samantha Young, the loving family of characters that she has created is back, and this time, it’s time for Cole Walker’s story to be told. At the age of fifteen, Cole had a brief encounter with a petite redhead outside her grandmother’s house in Edinburgh. They bonded over a favorite rock band, and a spark was ignited between them (this meet cute is actually referred to in one of the previous ODS books-Ms. Young, you are so sneaky!). But it won’t be until nine years later when Cole meets the mystery girl again. Shannon MacLeod is the new receptionist at INKarnate, the tattoo studio where Cole is the manager and tattoo artist in … Continued