Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Laurent and the Beast by KA Merikan

Title: Laurent & the Beast
Author: KA Merikan
Series: Kings of Hell MC #1
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: April 29, 2017
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Summary:
Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself.

1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.

2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.


Paranormal, romance, motorcycle club, what's not to love?  Laurent and the Beast is an amazing tale with a little bit of everything.  I will say that I debated on appropriate tags, should I use paranormal, supernatural, or science fiction?  Despite there being a science fiction element with time travel, I went with paranormal because of the how and why Laurent went from 1805 to 2017.  No matter whatever category you decide on, just know that you will have read an incredible story that sucks you in from the very first word.

I have read some time travel stories before, not a vast amount but definitely a few,  more often than not the main character is going back in time so when Laurent moved forward more than 200 years I expected mentions of automobiles, electricity, and clothing.  I was surprised but delighted to see the author reflect on little things that most of us take for granted such as light switches, refrigeration, bathtubs, and especially Laurent's fascination with plastic.  These might be small scenes that don't seem very significant to most but to me they stood out and made it all the more realistic, well as realistic as time travel can be, and showed the attention the author made to details which is always an important factor to me when dealing with historicals, frankly it can be a make or break moment and in this KA Merikan work it is without a doubt a make it moment.

Despite the many differences between Laurent and Beast there is actually many similarities and the chemistry is off the charts.  This is a tale that will make you cringe but warm the heart, will make you hate a few but love even more, and short circuit your brain a time or two but when you hit that last page you will be begging for more.  Luckily for us, there is more to come and frankly I'll be waiting in line when book 2 comes out.  Although I have featured their work on my blog before this is the first time I've read anything by the duo that makes up KA Merikan but Laurent and the Beast will definitely not be the last.

RATING: 


Hound’s alarmed growling was coming his way, along with whines, when he reached the right door and opened it, only to have the massive Rottweiler’s body rush past him and into the corridor. Beast expected his pet to rush toward the room where the accident happened just minutes ago but Hound looked back at Beast, as if signalling he wanted to be followed, and rushed the other way, stirring the worst of feelings in Beast.

Was there an intruder somewhere in the house? With the sheer size of the former asylum that has served as the Kings of Hell Clubhouse for the last fifteen years, it was easy to overlook things happening in the disused parts of the property. They once had a bunch of teenagers who came over wanting to spy on the orgy. That thankfully didn’t end in blood, and out of the whole mess they got Jake to join their ranks.

Beast wondered whether he shouldn’t go back to the armory and get himself a gun but ultimately decided against it. There would be police and emergency services coming for Davy, and he didn’t want to run around with a firearm, no matter how good their relationship with the local police was.

Hound moved as if he were following a clear trail, but Beast couldn’t smell anything apart from dust and dampness. They were leaving behind the shouting and even the sound of the ambulance approaching, and eventually entered a corridor so disused it had a thick layer of dust on the floor. Now even Beast could see faint footprints in the dust, and next to them, dark droplets that could be blood.

Hound smelled the traces, looked back and broke into a run, which had Beast following him with the worst of expectations as to what he would eventually find. His heart beat faster as they ran down the dark hallway.

The building was a labyrinth, and this far away from where they all lived and worked, it wasn’t even wired anymore, so he breathed in the smell of mildew and followed Hound through the darkness in hope he would not stumble.

Windows in the doorless rooms on both sides of the corridor were the only source of light, now delivering a faint red and blue glow of the approaching ambulance. For all Beast knew, this could have been a gothic castle, something out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with bloodthirsty monsters waiting for their next victim in one of the endless hallways, and yet he only ran faster, listening to the steady tap of Hound’s paws.

Without any hesitation whatsoever, Hound rushed inside one of the rooms and gave a growl so vicious something inside Beast mourned his decision not to take a gun with him. But no one shot at him when Hound let out a single bark. Beast pushed past the empty doorway, jumping over a fallen chair, only to see someone hiding in the shadows.

Judging by the long, wavy hair and small stature, Beast at first thought it was a woman, but then the person spoke with a distinctly male voice.

“I… I’m not certain where I am.” The stranger took half a step out of the shadow, and into the flashing light coming from outside. His accent was distinctly foreign. French maybe?

Beast took him in with a scowl. Blood covered the stranger’s face, hair, dripped from his chin, from the tips of his trembling fingers, and stained the outfit that looked as if he’d stolen it from the set of a costume drama. Knee-high boots, fitted pants, a vest worn under a tailcoat.

“What the fuck are you doing on our property, boy?” hissed Beast, watching the soft features of a very young man. “Whose blood is this?” he asked, still cautious. In his experience, a non-threatening presence could hide an adept fighter, so he was not taking any chances as he joined Hound in front of the stranger, who was so short in comparison to Beast’s own six foot five form that his red-stained head only reached Beast’s pecs.

The stranger backed away into the corner, whimpering in fear the moment Hound growled at him again and lowered his head, but Beast wasn’t having any of it and grabbed the boy’s arm. “Is the blood yours then? Someone attacked you? Where?” he asked, not hesitating to pat the intruder down, to make sure there were no weapons hiding under the fancy coat.

The boy tried to weasel out of his grip, but he didn’t seem adept at using force. “N-no. I don’t think it’s mine. I don’t know. Is this hell?”

Beast groaned, staring at the silly-looking young man, whose white shirt was completely drenched in red. Someone must have died to produce this much blood.

“You will explain yourself to King.”

Author Bio: 
K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.


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Cover Reveal: Working With It by Cass Alexander

Title: Working With It
Author: Cass Alexander
Series: Persimmon #3
Genre: New Adult, Romantic Comedy
Expected Release Date: June 22, 2017

πŸ’ΈπŸ“˜πŸ’²πŸ“˜πŸ’Έ99Cents till June 22, 2017πŸ’ΈπŸ“˜πŸ’²πŸ“˜πŸ’Έ
Summary:
Morgan Pottinger is counting the days until graduation. Her plans are to leave small town Kentucky and never look back. As she starts her senior year at Persimmon College, she finds herself the object of Nate Stevenson’s affections. Despite her spaz-like tendencies, Nate makes it clear he wants her. Morgan cannot resist the sexy, intelligent guy that keeps her on her toes and ties her up in knots.

There’s just one problem. Morgan needs to break up with her hometown boyfriend before pursuing anything with Nate. A series of catastrophes back home continuously interfere with her attempts to end the relationship. At this rate, she’ll be married to the loser by March and Nate will be just another casualty in the disaster that is her life. Lucky for Morgan, Nate’s much smarter than she is.


“How was your summer?”

I decide to go with the polite response and say, “Good, thanks.”

It’s not like I can say I spent the summer pretending to like my boyfriend, refusing to touch his man parts, and debating daily if I could order a vibrator online and sneak it past my parents once it landed on the front porch.

I turn to see if Nate’s through the doorway and catch him eying my ass. Well, that’s different.

“Uh, Morgan?”

“Yes?”

“The, uh, the back of your dress …”

Why is he having trouble spitting out words? He’s acting like me, for crissakes. I turn my neck and try to look, but my giant backpack is all I can see.

I take my hand to wipe at the fabric, thinking there must be an insect on it. I hit air, then skin, and then the edge of my underwear. Oh. My. God.

“Shit!” I whisper-yell, frantically pulling at my dress to get it down over my ass.

No wonder my cheeks weren’t sweaty in this humidity. They were getting aired-out.

My brain does a mental checklist of which underwear I have on. Red bikini with the word ‘Monday’ written across the butt. They’re cute, but maybe a little immature. And definitely not for display. Kind of like me.

I chance a look at Nate and I’m shocked at his expression. Nate’s giving me the most heated stare I’ve ever had the pleasure of receiving.

What I wouldn’t give to be on the receiving end of that look for an extended period of time. His girlfriend is so lucky. The bitch.

I try to smother my laugh at my brain’s catty ability to focus on Nate’s girlfriend instead of the mortification I’m currently experiencing, but the snicker comes out anyway.

The corner of his mouth turns up. He must think I’m laughing about the indecent exposure. Good. Run with it, Morgan. It’s not like I don’t know I’m a walking calamity.

“Well, I guess I should thank you for saying something. So, thank you.”

I bow my head and dip a little too low. I look down and can clearly see my cleavage. Which means he can, as well. I straighten quickly and see his eyes on my chest. I’m a damn train wreck today.

“I should probably run away now. Far, far away, before a giant bird of prey swoops down and rips off my dress. Because that seems to be today’s trajectory. Sooo, yeah, I guess I’ll see ya around, Nate.”

I raise my hand and wave, even though he’s five feet from me. I kind of feel like punching myself in the face. Unfortunately, I can’t hit hard enough to knock myself out.

Nate laughs. “You’re funny, Morgan. I like that.”

“Oh, let’s not forget awkward.” I’m not trying to be funny. Awkward shit is just part of my daily life.

“At least you got the right day of the week.”

“Yes, I’m good at calendars.”


πŸ’ΈπŸ“˜πŸ’²πŸ“˜πŸ’Έ99Cents till June 22, 2017πŸ’ΈπŸ“˜πŸ’²πŸ“˜πŸ’Έ


Author Bio:
Cass Alexander is the pen name of a Southern born and bred public school teacher. Her brother, who insists she address him as, The Prince of Darkness, gave her the nom de plume after warning her that her book’s content may scar her sons for life.

She’s a connoisseur of fine humor, hilarious insults, and all things chocolate, preferably dark (like her humor). Oh, and wine. Let’s not forget the wine. Cass also enjoys running. It’s become crucial to her survival, due to her consumption of wine and chocolate.

Cass’s mission in life is to spread the love and the laughter, goodness knows it’s needed. It’s why she wrote The Persimmon Series.

She and her family now reside in the Midwest, where hardly anyone other than Cass says the words, y’all and holler.


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πŸ’ΈπŸ“˜πŸ’²πŸ“˜πŸ’Έ99Cents till June 22, 2017πŸ’ΈπŸ“˜πŸ’²πŸ“˜πŸ’Έ
Working With It #3
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All I Ask by Elizabeth York

Title: All I Ask
Author: Elizabeth York
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Photographer: Mandy Hollis at MHPhotography
Designer: Melissa Gill at MGBookCovers & Design


Summary:
My name is Devan Anderson and I am a photographer and the by product of a cheating father and a childhood evaporated by illness. I'm stubborn, protective, but I care more than I let on. What does a girl like me do when I taste life for the first time?

I'll give you a hint. It isn't what you think.

My name is Ian Jensen and I am a Pediatric Oncologist that works day and night with kids that prove to be braver than I. I am open to Nerf gun fights, having fun, and taking control. What's a doctor who lives life by the book do when given a new chapter to live in?

Ask me again tomorrow?

What happens when a photographer set to live in the dark meets the doctor that lives in the light? What happens when our world collide?




Author Bio: 
Author Elizabeth York has been writing for about seven years. Located in the southeast, she spends her days drinking sweet tea on the porch with her laptop in hand. She has devoted her life to her family and her books. With the loss of her Father to cancer in 2010 she makes "Dear Daddy" dedication pages in each book and donates 10% royalties to cancer research.

Elizabeth was given a 2015 Author of the Year award sponsored by 31 blogs for her role in helping her fellow authors and her writing. She was also accepted into the Romance Writers of America organization in May of 2015.


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Infinite Us by Eden Butler

Title: Infinite Us
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Summary:
Love is timeless…

Nash Nation loves zeroes and ones, over-sized monitors and late office hours. He’s too busy taking over the world to make time for relationships—that is, until his new neighbor Willow O’Bryant barges into his life, and now Nash can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t the first time she’s interrupted his world.

Then, the dreams start. And in the dreams—memories.

Memories of a girl named Sookie who couldn’t count on love or friendship, never mind forever. Memories of a library and a boy called Isaac and secrets made in private that destroyed his world.

The memories seem real, but who do they belong to?

When Nash and Willow discover the truth, life as they know it unravels.

The bridge between this life and the next is shored up by blood and bone and memory. Sometimes, that bridge leads to the place we’ve always wanted to be.


My brain went into autopilot as I left Manhattan, grabbing the A train to get me to downtown Brooklyn. And the whole way home, with the rocking of the train, the funky smell of the city getting fainter with every stop, and the even worse body odor of all the compressed bodies, the ache in my head—threatening to turn into a migraine for real—grew the closer we came to my stop, that weird memory nagging at me.

That shit wouldn’t let me be.

Over and over in my head, as I huddled tight behind my jacket in the unseasonably chilly weather, the memory came clear as a raindrop.

Me and her. Me and the woman I didn’t know. Me as a man I’d never been.

The smell of roses. The hint of dust and coffee.

The feel of worn book bindings and the scrap of metal chairs on wood floors.

The taste of honey on my tongue.

The woman wrapped around me, holding tight, like I was her lifeline. Her red hair between my fingers, her nails pulling at my collar. Feeling needed. Feeling free.

A gust of wind blew off my hood, had my eyes watering as I jogged the rest of the way toward my building, barely acknowledging the people grouped around the front entrance. But then the sound of kids screeching cut into my brain, and I finally noticed that Old Man Walker was handing out Jolly Ranchers from the top step; for his grandkids and the others bouncing around, he couldn't get the wrapped candy out of his pockets fast enough.

In that small chaos, compounded by an arguing couple from 3C coming out of the elevator, brushing past the cluster of kids in their red and green puffy coats and their sniffling noses, heels clicking on the tile floor and crackling over the candy wrappers littering the hall, I forgot about the dream. If only for a second.

Until I saw Willow at the mailboxes.

Until I realized I couldn’t walk away from her.

She didn’t look much like the woman in my dream. Her hair was not red, but light brown. The redhead’s had been thick and bone straight. Willow’s was wild, all over the place, as though she could never get it under control.

The woman in my dream had been thin with barely a hint of curve to her shape. Elegant, graceful like a ballerina. Willow was all dips and bends, luscious, her legs strong with well-defined muscle, and a wide, wondrous ass.

 Suddenly the rest of the world receded and there was nothing but the movement of Willow’s hair as she dug the mail from her box, the rhythm of her limbs as she swatted at that thick mass of hair, the swoop of her jacket hem against all those round, perfect curves as she turned, her attention on the envelopes in her hand.

The smell of her skin, the jasmine in her hair, seemed to billow around me as I stood motionless in the lobby. She was everywhere, familiar and yet unknown. A stranger/not stranger I had held at arm’s length, but still far more real than my dream, than the memory it was trying to evoke.

Willow stopped short as she noticed me, pausing with the mail held against her chest, a frown appearing on her face. I knew that expression from the last time I saw her, when I lied and told her I didn’t want her, when I had spoken promises that even then I knew I’d never keep.

“Nash.” There was a bite in her voice, the clip of my name, as if she was trying to sound disdainful, yet her voice still held an undertone of something that, if it had a flavor, would have tasted like honey.

And then the dream, that sweet, stinging memory crashed over me. It wasn’t the first. It wasn’t the last. There was no girl called Sookie, no boy named Dempsey who loved her. This time, I’d watched, not knowing who I was; a voyeur in someone else’s life, but someone who felt so real to me. Someone I knew better than myself.

DΓ©jΓ  vu and fantasy and nonsense I did not understand hit me like a fever, and I was lost. The redhead kissed my neck. The hint of her soft, liquid tongue against my skin, tugging on my ear, wanting me with a fierceness no one ever had before, overwhelmed me, and I had to close my eyes to keep from being dragged under.

 “What’s wrong with you?” Willow’s voice reeled me back in, and I opened my eyes to see her sweet, concerned expression and the curve of her mouth, the fullness of her bottom lip.

Then Willow... she took the back of her hair in one hand, twisting it into a braid—the smallest gesture that I’d seen her do a dozen times—and suddenly I realized: the woman in my dream had done the same thing. The same motion, the same movement. Just like Willow.

A sharp intake of breath—that was me. Willow had backed up a half step, her face confused, conflicted, and despite what I’d said before, I reached out and slid my fingers tentatively to touch her face, guiding her chin up so I could look into her eyes.

“What are…”

She made the smallest noise, something that sounded like a moan and a laugh at the same time. It transformed, deepened to a growl when I kissed her. Yet even as my mouth found hers, as my tongue slid along her lip, begging an invitation, one thought consumed me, something I didn’t believe was left over from my dream. One thought that made me brave, made me hungry: this woman belongs to me.

Author Bio:
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of Mystery, Suspense and Contemporary Romance novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.

She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

Please send help.


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