Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton

Happy new release to Ainslie Paton for her second book in the Sidelined series, Damaged Goods, available now!

Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton was simply stunning reading. Ravaging in its emotions, intense, passionate moments between characters. A multitude of emotions portrayed and all equally rapturous from one chapter to the next. I liked each of the characters more in this instalment of the Sidelined series, each entertaining in their own right. Damaged Goods is the second book in the Sidelined series – a series that gets better with each story.
Review copy received from the Author for an honest rating

Excerpt – Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton

When he came to the table, he looked fed up. He gave off an I need a f*****g minute vibe.

“This looks great. Thank you,” he said.

It wasn’t quite as effusive as, hello person I newly declared love to, let me count the ways I adore you, let me whisk you away from this dull domesticity and make you squeal in ardent delight with my wonderful.

But she forgave him.

The silence that followed was harder to take. He’d closed up, focused on his meal and made eye contact with his silverware.

This was not how she’d expected things to go. She’d looked at pictures of 1950s pinup girls while imagining how it might feel to be kissed by a man who said he loved you and considered dumping USA Today for you. She felt like she was intruding.

But she’d been talking to a poodle and ogling Betty Brosmer while Owen was doing whatever it is a CEO who’d admitted to a drug problem did. Betty had all the curves and an impossibly tiny waist, but Owen had all the sharp turns and steep drop-offs.

“You did an amazing job with the staff meeting.”

“Thanks.”

“Call with your mom sounded—”

“My mom was being a b****.”

“You must be glad today is done.”

He grunted and attacked the chicken. So far, so not good.

“You’ve had a hell of a day.” Maybe saying I love you was a semi-regular occurrence for him. Maybe the timing sucked. Maybe she had made a mistake. Her eyes started to burn. It was dumb to get upset.

He looked up. “The stock price took a hit. Two developers we rate quit to go to a competitor. I made my mom cry. My back is aching and I’d kill for some meds. I told a woman I loved her today and I’ve never been so glad to see someone as I was to see you waiting for me tonight.”

That was a heck of a list, a dollop of perspective.

“Damage control. That’s what I’m doing at work and I was ready for it. We’ve been through worse. I was even ready for my family’s reaction, but I wasn’t ready for you. I’m trying to keep a lid on what I want to do about it. I’m trying to enjoy this meal, decompress, settle back in my own head again before I inflict damage all over you.”

Gimme, gimme, gimme. “Okay.”

He smiled, it had a dangerous quality about it, lopsided and half-lidded, more a leer, now that she thought about it. Owen had leered at her. Ooh.

“I will be okay and so will you. We’re skipping dessert. We’re going to take a shower together, lots of hot water on all the places that are tight. Then I’m going to attend to what I couldn’t earlier.”

“Me.”

“You.”

“Yum.”

He bumped the table as he stood and it barked on the floor; she saw how knotted up he was, how he’d lost the easy way he moved. She stood as well. “Maybe we should just relax.”

“That’s the plan, but it has a few pre-steps and all of them involve getting close to you.”

That wrong-footed intruder feeling had taken a bus ride home. “But.”

“Do you have a problem with that, Starburst? Because today I told you I loved you. That’s a big deal. Surprised the s*** out of me, and I don’t know what we’re going to do about it, but I’m not thinking about that now.”

He didn’t walk around the table like a normal person, he pushed it aside, making everything on it rattle. “I’m thinking about the way I can spread you open, so I see the center of you, sweet and pink and wet and ready. I’m thinking about how you twitch when I put my lips close, how your breath catches, how your muscles go hard. Your hips fit right in my hands and my tongue fits right inside you and I f****** love the way you want that, take that and aren’t afraid to show me everything you feel. You don’t hold anything back and that’s beautiful. You’re going to squeal so hard tonight you’ve got no voice in the morning.”

The part of her brain that was shocked by what he said, the way he’d pushed the table aside to get to her wanted to say, “I don’t squeal,” but that was dirty talk and it’d successfully glued her lips together, the only sound that came out was a throaty whimper.

 

About Damaged Goods by Ainslie Paton

The Hard Part is Getting Back Up

This is the story of a man who can’t get it up and a woman who’s never gotten it on

Sidelined by a broken back, CEO, Owen Lange is confronted by two things: his sex DamagedGoods_AinsliePaton_BookCoverlife will never be the same and he’s dependent on his pain meds. He never expected to have his dependence called out as addiction by a junior help desk employee.

Cara Douglas knows all about pain and loss. She’d had her sights set on the US Olympic Gymnastics Team before an accident landed her at a help desk screen. The last thing she expected to be helping with was an intervention for her boss.

Owen doesn’t thank Cara for her trouble. He calls her a snitch. But even through his paranoia he knows she’s right. After all, addiction runs in his family. He also knows he has to make it up to her, but the only thing Cara wants is the one thing Owen can’t give her.

Question: What do an injured athlete finally ready for no-strings sex and a nice guy who can’t get it up have in common?

Answer: Sexual awakening.

Purchase Links

Amazon US  *  Amazon AU

 

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The Sidelined Series

OffensiveBehaviour_AinsliePaton  DamagedGoods_AinsliePaton_BookCover

 

 

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Don’t Tempt Me by Lori Foster – Release Week Blitz!

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz post for Lori Foster’s newest novel Don’t Tempt Me, available now!

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Excerpt – Don’t Tempt Me by Lori Foster

Needing a new focus, he returned to the window. Earlier, Honor had been painting. Two at a time she’d carried in cans of paint from her car, getting soaked in the process. At this rate, the whole house probably had a fresh coat. He wondered at her color choices. Was she a bold primary kind of girl, or soft pastels? A continuous color like this house, or a rainbow of hues, each room different?

He’d bet on the rainbow.

A few minutes later when Honor’s front door opened, Hogan was already gone. Propping a shoulder on the window frame, Jason watched her as she stepped out, locked the door and double-checked it.

Smart.

She wore skinny jeans, sandals, and an oversized top that mostly concealed her figure. Before stepping off her rickety porch she opened an umbrella—one that sported wide, bold stripes in every color imaginable.

Yup, rainbow colors.

He’d like to see the progress she’d made inside the house, but just as the rains had kept her inside, they’d kept him away from the yard. He’d worked either inside his garage or not at all. Probably for the best. If he got inside her house and saw her workload, he’d want to help. He and his nephew were alike that way. But she’d already made it clear that his help was unwanted.

As Honor darted into the rain and to her car, he tracked her every move, and nodded.

Trouble—with a capital T.

Hours later, as Jason lay in the dark trying to sleep, he heard her pull in to the driveway. Her headlights cut across his window, briefly illuminating his room before she turned them off. She didn’t slam her car door, but the sound of it closing echoed over the quiet streets. He glanced at the clock and saw it was 2:00 a.m.

Without giving it much thought, he threw back the sheet and strode to the window to look out. He had a better view from his dining room, with that view directly facing her front porch, but he was naked, so he stayed in his bedroom and lifted aside the curtain.

Sometime during the night the rain had stopped. Black clouds parted and moon shadows danced over the yard. The faint glow of her porch light showed the exhaustion visible in every line of her body. At the bottom step of the porch she paused and looked up, staring at the skinny crescent moon for a very long time.

While Jason stared at her.

His heart beat heavily and he felt unfamiliar things, things that only partially involved lust. Every day for a week he’d thought about her, watched for her, worried over her situation.

He wanted to lend a hand. It went against his nature not to. But she’d been pretty clear on her preferences.
Finally she lowered her head, rubbed at her eyes, then trudged up the steps and, after fumbling at her door for longer than should have been necessary, she went in.

Telling himself he’d only watch to ensure that she got inside safely, Jason waited.
Lights came on as she walked through the house to the kitchen, then out again when she went to her bedroom
She must have undressed in the dark.
When all stayed quiet, Jason decided she’d gone to bed.
After a deep breath he dropped the curtain and did the same.

 

About Don’t Tempt Me by Lori Foster

Love comes along when it’s least wanted

Jason Guthrie has no time for entanglements—between helping out his widowed DontTemptMe_LoriFoster_BookCover_InkslingerPRbrother and teenage nephew and getting his hometown back on its feet, his days are spoken for. But his nights are another story… And when his lovely new neighbor, Honor Brown, reluctantly accepts his help in remodeling her house, Jason finds himself wishing his handyman skills could knock down the defenses she keeps building around herself.

Martial arts teacher Sullivan Dean knows real danger when he sees it—even when it takes the form of the gorgeous blonde helping her friend move in across the street. After putting his wayward past behind him to focus on teaching control to troubled kids, Sullivan has learned to avoid party girls like Lexie Perkins. But Sullivan can’t seem to keep his hands off the real woman behind that flirty charm—or keep his heart from landing at her feet…

Purchase Links

Amazon  *  B&N  *  Book Depository  *  iBooks  *  Google Play  *  Kobo  *  Booktopia

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About The Author

LoriFoster_AuthorSince first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a USA Today,
Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin, Silhouette, Samhain, and Berkley/Jove. She is currently published with HQN. Visit her online at LoriFoster.com.

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Q&A With Author Bram Connolly!

Today’s feature post is my Q&A with author Bram Connolly! Bram discusses his new release novel The Fighting Season, published by Allen & Unwin, and available now from all good book retailers.BramConnelly_AuthorPic_AllenandUnwin

Welcome to Talking Books Blog Bram!

 

What was the most difficult aspect to write in the story?

I was mindful of trying to create a formidable adversary in the Taliban while also trying to understand their struggles and perspectives. Much of my later career was spent with the Afghani people and I feel that I came to understand their way of life and their culture, but it
was a challenge to convey that in the story. Faisal Khan was an especially difficult character to develop due to him being somewhat of an anti-hero. I want the reader to see
that morale courage isn’t just the vesture that the victor wears.

Which character was the most challenging to write about?

I really enjoyed developing Steph Baumer as a pivotal character, however she was alTheFightingSeason_Bram_Connolly_BookCoverso the most difficult. It was challenging for me to look at things through her perspective. On one level she was trying to deal with some of her own personal issues; feeling like she was in a men’s club, not taken seriously by her colleagues and her desire to be as good as her father within the CIA, and on another level she lacked any sense of right and wrong with regards to the lives she put in danger.

What inspired you to write your book The Fighting Season?

I didn’t want to write yet another special forces biography, its been done before and it only tells one side of a complex story. I am of the belief that story telling through the medium of fiction is probably the best way with which to convey to the general public the true essence of combat. I can transport the reader safely there and back and they can visualise what it was like. I also felt like it was about time an Australian Special Forces character was unleashed on world’s bad guys, by someone who understand the small details of the weapons and tactics and has contemporary combat experience.

What are you favourite stand out reads and why?

Where do I start in this eclectic mix… Jack London – Call of the wild. This was my favourite adventure book as a child and the first time I realised that books could take the reader somewhere else, in this instance into the mind of a beautiful dog. Animal Farm – George Orwell. I first read this in High School and I was amazed at how a story about one thing could actually be a complete metaphor for something else. The trickery was captivating and I have read it many times since then. I also really enjoyed Renulph Fiennes, 1991 book, called the Feather men. It caused a sensation when it was released because no one knew for sure if it was truly just fiction. I think that shows real skill in being able to set a story in the present and link it to loosely attributable events and then have the reader question the book.

What projects are you currently working on?

Promoting the book and being present on social media takes up a lot of my time currently. I am also about a quarter of the way through my second book which I am really enjoying writing. I am also reaching out to magazines and other businesses looking for content writing work to bridge the gaps between paydays. Normal author stuff.

 

About The Fighting Season by Bram Connelly

Introducing Matt Rix… Australian commando. An explosive thriller from the heart of Afghanistan.

An explosive thriller from the heart of Afghanistan

Outside the wire, Uruzghan Province, Afghanistan, 2010…

ITheFightingSeason_Bram_Connolly_BookCovern the badlands of central Afghanistan an Australian Special Forces platoon is fatally hit by a roadside bomb.

A shadowy Taliban commander, codenamed ‘Rapier’, is identified as responsible for the deadly attack. Matt Rix, the ultra tough commando who led the ambushed platoon, swears vengeance. Rix is one of Special Forces’ most lethal operators. He’ll neutralise Rapier – whatever it takes.

But in Afghanistan’s brutal war, not all things are as they seem.

Category: Crime & Mystery
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: August 2016
Page Extent: 336
Subject: Thriller / suspense

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Booktopia  *  iBooks  *  Amazon Australia  *  Booktopia E-Book  *  Angus & Robertson

 

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‘The Fighting Season is military fiction of the first order: as tough as nails and packed with the insider knowledge of someone who has done it for real.’ – Matthew Reilly

‘Action packed, gritty and authentic to the core.’ – Merrick Watts

 

About Bram Connelly

As a Special Forces officer, Bram Connolly served several tours in Afghanistan and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for leadership in combat. He takes you deep into the world of high-intensity combat few have experienced.

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Cover Reveal! Hollywood Demon by Jenny Schwartz

Today’s feature post is the cover reveal for the sixth book in The Collegium Series by author Jenny Schwartz – Hollywood Demon! Hollywood Demon releases on August 27 and is available for pre-order now!

 

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About Hollywood Demon by Jenny Schwartz

Feel the Earth move!

A camera can’t steal your soul—but a demon can! Mark Yarren suspects a demon has hollywooddemonfound a way around the spell his great-grandfather cast to prevent demons sucking souls through the camera’s lens. Digital photography dangerously omits the silver wash that was photography’s century-old defence against Hell.

Mark is Hollywood royalty, descended from the early Hollywood stars: the studio bosses and directors, the producers and actresses. Now he lives alone in his palatial Beverly Hills estate.

Well, not quite alone.

Clancy Ramirez is back! She’s tried life in New York, in Iceland, and in Hawaii, but she missed California. She missed the grumbling roar of the San Andreas Fault with its leagues-deep molten geology. Clancy is a geomage and she can make the earth shake—or grow still. But California isn’t her territory. She has no place intruding or tapping its energy.

But a demon shackled for a century is breaking free, and Collegium rules, old heartaches and strained family loyalties will break, too.

The Big One is coming.

Hollywood Demon
by Jenny Schwartz
(The Collegium, #6)
Publication date: August 27th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

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About The Order

Jenny’s current obsession is the Collegium series. Shifters and dragons, magic and JennySchwartzchaos, Jenny’s never quite sure where her writing day is going to take her, but she knows it’ll be a thrill-ride!

With a writing record that includes steampunk, sweet romance, coastal romance, mysteries and science fiction, it’s obvious Jenny writes almost as widely as she reads – almost! Like all authors, she started as an avid reader. The one thing she insists on is a happy ending.

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Maggie’s Kitchen by Caroline Beecham

Today is the release day for Caroline Beecham’s newest novel Maggie’s Kitchen, available now!

There was much melancholy portrayed in a time fraught with danger and stressful circumstances faced by each of the characters within the story. Loss and second chances, turmoil and successes. A chaotic time with each character thrown together in wartime, where their everyday was filled with danger, trials, secrets and discoveries. Maggie’s Kitchen by Caroline Beecham was riveting reading from the first page and kept this reader glued to the story till the finishing page.
Review copy received from Allen & Unwin Australia for an honest rating

 

About Maggie’s Kitchen by Caroline Beecham

Amid the heartbreak and danger of London in the Blitz of WWII, Maggie Johnson finds her courage in friendship and food.

They might all travel the same scarred and shattered streets on their way to work, but MaggiesKitchen_CarolineBeecham_AllenandUnwinAU_BookCoveronce they entered Maggie’s Kitchen, it was somehow as if the rest of the world didn’t exist.

When the Ministry of Food urgently calls for the opening of British Restaurants to feed tired and hungry Londoners during the Second World War, Maggie Johnson is close to realising a long-held dream.

But after struggling through government red-tape and triumphantly opening its doors, Maggie’s Kitchen soon encounters a most unexpected problem. Her restaurant has become so popular with London’s exhausted workers, that Maggie simply can’t get enough supplies to keep up with demand for food, without breaking some of the rules.

With the support of locals, and the help of twelve-year-old Robbie, a street urchin, and Janek, a Polish refugee dreaming of returning to his native land, the resourceful Maggie evades the first threats of closure from the Ministry. As she fights to keep her beloved Kitchen open, Maggie also tries desperately to reunite Robbie with his missing father, as well as manage her own family’s expectations. Ultimately, she can no longer ignore the unacknowledged hopes of her own heart, and the discovery that some secrets have the power to change everything.

Category: Popular fiction
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: August 2016
Page Extent: 400
Subject: Popular fiction

Purchase Links

Allen & Unwin Australia  *  Amazon Australia

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About The Author

Caroline Beecham grew up at the English seaside and relocated to Australia to continue her career as a writer and producer in film and television. She has worked on a documentary about Princess Diana lookalikes, a series about journeys to the ends of the earth, as well as a feature film about finding the end of the rainbow. Caroline decided on a new way of storytelling and studied the craft of novel writing at the Faber Academy in 2012. She has an MA in Film & Television and a MA in Creative Writing and lives with her husband and two sons by Sydney harbour. Maggie’s Kitchen is her first published novel.

You can find out more information about Maggie’s Kitchen and the events that inspired the novel at www.maggieskitchennovel.com.

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