Friday, May 3, 2013

Heartstrings-Sara Walter Ellwood


My Rating: 4 Stars


He’s determined to set things right, no matter the cost.

The last person Abby Crawford wants to face down is country music superstar Seth Kendall. Last time she did, she flat-out lied so he’d go to Nashville without her. She’s never understood why their mutual best friend proposed, but she went with it so her baby wouldn’t be fatherless. Now she’s a divorced mother of a teenager, and secretly Seth’s biggest fan.

Seth is home in McAllister, Texas for his father’s funeral…and a chance to meet the daughter he’s never known. He’s willing to face the music of his own making and admit he’s known about his little girl all along. For fifteen years he’s kept his distance because Abby told him to follow his dreams without her, insisting she didn’t love him. But now he won’t leave until he knows his daughter and she knows him, even if it means facing the woman who broke his heart for good.

Confessing she’s lied about her daughter’s paternity all these years won’t be easy for Abby, especially with her ex blackmailing her to keep the secret. And Seth doesn’t know the hardest truth of all: Every love song he plays on his guitar still plucks her heartstrings.



Seth leaned in. His lips were close enough to kiss, and his scent of sandalwood and something exotic enveloped her, taking her back to that night on the beach. His eyes flashed with the dangerous fire of his temper. It was similar to the flame of the passion she’d once seen in the green depths. Abby didn’t expect or want the heat curling in her belly, and shivered with a sudden and fierce desire.

“I’m her father, Abigail. I wanted to be her father after she was born. It was you and Mike who insisted I had no business messing things up.”

“I never said any such thing. You never tried. You just left.”

He pounded a fist on the counter top so hard she jumped. “Yes, I left! I wasn’t welcome at home. Dad ran me off with a shotgun. Mike wouldn’t even let me see my daughter. He made it quite clear you and he were happily married, and I had no place in your life. I was under contract to be in Nashville to start recording my first album.”

What did he mean, Mike wouldn’t let him see Emily?

Before she had a chance to voice her question, his eyes darkened as the pupils dilated, obscuring the stormy green. “But I’m no longer nineteen and scared shitless. I could make things very rough for you and this fantasy you’ve got working.”

A cold lump quickly replaced the tangle of heat in her belly. “What-what do you mean?”

He backed off and tapped the countertop. “I’m talking a custody battle. I could have a judge order a paternity test. I think we both know the media hoopla the results would cause.”

Her heart slammed into her chest wall. “You wouldn’t do that.”

“Try me. Now that I’ve met Emily, I want to get to know her.” He walked over to look out the kitchen window. The hard line of his jaw melted, and he swallowed so hard his throat moved up and down. “I was a fool when I let Mike talk me out of being in her life after she was born.”

“What do you mean?”

He glanced at her. “Don’t pretend you don’t know.”

The strings of guitar music provided a soft counterpoint to the hard tension in the kitchen. Emily was outside on the patio playing around with her guitar, waiting for them to finish with the dishes she and Seth had insisted on doing.

“All I want is to have some time with my daughter. That’s all I’m asking for.” When he looked over his shoulder at her, sadness replaced the anger in his eyes. “I’ll keep your little secret. I’ll just be her favorite singer. The family friend who made it big in Nashville. I don’t want to hurt her. As much as it galls the hell out of me, I see what Mike means to her.”

He moved toward her and shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “Besides, I don’t want to hurt Carolann or Frank any more than you do.” He glanced outside again, his voice husky as he spoke. “But I’ll sue you if I have to.”

A part of her wanted to give in to him, but a larger part wanted to punish him. Let him take her to court; she’d make sure the world knew what kind of jerk Seth Kendall really was.

She gritted her teeth and fisted her hands by her sides. “I’ll let you have tonight, Seth. But don’t ask for more.”

She turned away and strode through the French doors.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book. I am a huge fan of these country romance novels. First off, Seth is a brooding, successful, Nashville country star, not to mention sexy as hell. I imagined him to look something like Jason Aldean, and that's what got me hooked on this book. Seth is in town for his father's funeral, even though he is not happy about being there. He runs into Abby his one time love, with some problematic past, he's determined to make things right, Abby lied to him, and then married his best friend. This is one of those books where the past and the problems of two teenage lovers who had a child together, they don't just forget about when they see each other again. Seth wants to get to know his daughter, he also wants her to know who he is, he wants to be her dad, to help make her dreams come true. Mike, Emily's step in father, doesn't want that. He doesn't want Emily to know they have been lying to her, but Seth believes there is more motive behind the reason he married Abby, so it's up to Seth to try and sort things out with Abby again, and finally get down to the truth he deserves. This book was exhilarating and emotional. It was one of the best books I have had a pleasure of reading, so if you're looking for a new sappy, with a little more spice then your used to, definitely pick this one up, as it will pull on your heart strings.

Buy It Here: Amazon//Lyrical Press//B&N

Author Bio:
Sara Walter Ellwood is an award winning author whose novel Gambling On A Secret was named by bestselling author Carolyn Brown in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today as one of her favorite romances of 2012. Although Sara has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her stories. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for nearly 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia.
She also writes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name of Cera duBois.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Hidden Depths" Aubrianna Hunter Excerpt and Review

Hidden Depths
Hidden Series - Book 1
Aubrianna Hunter

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance        
Publisher: Writer's Edge Publishing

Book Description:

She is pierced, dyed and tattooed born on the wrong side of the tracks. He is a traditional white knight born of the proverbial silver spoon. Their meeting was an accident, the fact that they became even the most tentative of friends, an anomaly. The only real thing they had in common... chemistry. Lots of chemistry. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough and Gia knew it. Now, if only she could convince her body...

Josh had always walked the line, lived the life he was expected to live. He had, by all accounts, the perfect life; a corporate lawyer, a beautiful home, a family empire to run, and the perfect fiancee. He was well on his way. The only question he had... was that really where he wanted to go? Plagued by dreams, Josh fought all his natural instincts, denying not only what he truly wanted but who he was deep down inside. Until one crazy night when he gave in to his desires...
Could these two polar opposites have more in common than even they realize?

Take a peek:
Everyone started peeling off clothes, slathering on sunscreen and racing into the water. Kicking off her sandals, Gia was one of the last, still putting her keys away and tucking her purse under the umbrella. She pulled off her shirt and shorts then turned, surprised to see Josh standing there with his shirt still on. Since they were the only two left on the sand, she felt she could speak freely. And, she knew why he wasn't in the water yet.
            "It's healed enough to go in, ya know. Make sure you coat it with a layer of sunscreen and wash it really well when you get home, but it's been over two weeks, you're fine to swim. Besides, it's too fuckin' hot not to."
            "Yeah, I'm not worried about that."
            "Then why are you still up here? Want to borrow my sunscreen?" Gia tossed it over to him then turned and reached for her hat. At his hiss of breath, she turned and looked at him. He looked... strange. He stared at her, his eyes roving over her, head to toe.
            "Okay, I know I'm not as skinny as they are, but I've never had any complaints, so quit staring at me. And I know it's not about the ink. You've seen most of it before, and now you have one of your own."
            "You're not fat, Gia, don't be stupid," he growled at her.
            "I'm not stupid, dumbass." All of a sudden it dawned on her why he was still standing there. She couldn't stop the laugh that bubbled up at her realization. "You haven't told her, have you? Deb doesn't know you have a tat."
            Now he glared at her, no longer taking in her body, just staring straight into her eyes, all pissed off and pouting like a petulant child.
            "No, I haven't shown her yet."
            "Now, how the hell did you manage that. I mean, I know she has her own place still, but seriously, it's not a little tattoo, Josh. How could she not see it when you're doin' the nasty? Unless, wait, are you a shirt on kind of guy?"
            This time he didn't even bother with words, just growled at her, a low menacing sound. Which sent Gia off into fits of laughter.
            "So, that's a yes. I don't see why. Having recently seen that torso, I can easily attest to the fact that you have nothing to be shy about. Or maybe you guys are a lights off kind of couple. Nobody can see anything. Am I right?"
            His temper finally snapping, Josh stepped up to Gia, leaning over her in an obvious attempt to seem threatening. "I am not embarrassed, as I thought I'd already proven when I stripped in your shop. And I don't need the lights off. I like to see what I'm doing, where I'm touching. See the reactions I'm causing with my lips and my tongue. See everything, including the look of pleasure when I bury my cock inside her."
            Licking her suddenly dry lips, it took two tries before she could make her voice work. If she didn't know better, she would swear he was talking about her, not Deb. Standing up on her toes, bringing her face closer to level with his, she went nose to nose with him. She refused to be cowed, and she damn sure wouldn't let him know what his words were doing to her. "Well then, how is it that she hasn't seen it yet?"
            Josh's head snapped back. He took one step, then another backward, away from Gia. "Because, we haven't exactly done the 'nasty', as you put it, since I got the work done."
            Gia was shocked. Truly, completely stunned. There is no way she could keep her hands off a man like that for almost three full weeks. Three full hours seemed like too long. Three days... forget it.
            With a casual shrug and a wicked smirk, she said, "Well, that explains so much. You're sexually deprived. How long had it been before the tat? You know, sexual frustration can make you do some very foolish things. Oh, and I need to make sure to get Deb a really good BOB for her shower gift. If you're not taking care of business she definitely needs a battery operated boyfriend. There is no way I could go three weeks without rubbin' one out. I'm more of an everyday sort of girl."
            Leaving him standing there with his mouth hanging open, Gia strolled down to the water. She lifted one arm, pushing her hat further down on her head and added an extra little swing to her hips as she walked. Being hard up definitely explained the hard on a few weeks ago. Not to mention all the flirting he'd been doing. She figured the extra wiggle might be just exactly what he needed.
            As she waded out into the water she grinned, thinking of the fireworks about to start when Deb caught sight of the tattoo. When she heard splashing behind her she turned, just in time to see Josh diving at her in a full body tackle.
* * * * *
As she came up sputtering, her hair hanging in wet strands sticking to her face, Josh felt infinitely better. He'd already been aroused just by the sight of her in a bikini. Her taunting and his little description of sex had made him hard as a damn fence post. A situation that was made worse by the visual he'd had of her 'rubbin' one out'. Since he knew there was no real way to hide the evidence of his desire, getting into the water as quickly as possible had seemed like a great idea. Taking her down a peg in the process had been even better.
            "Josh, damn you! Now I have sunscreen running into my eyes. And where's my hat?" She yelled all this as she frantically wiped beneath her eyes, trying to stop her makeup from running.
            Grinning from ear to ear, Josh scooped up her very wet hat, still full of water, and plopped it unceremoniously onto her head. "There you go, sweetheart, is that what you wanted?"

About the Author:
I am often asked; who is Aubrianna Hunter?  And the truth is the answer isn't a simple one. Beyond being a dedicated wife and mother, I was raised by a Marine, and married into the Navy. 

Needless to say I can go toe to toe with the most sarcastic people you have met, and can dish insults and curse with the best of them.  I blurt wildly inappropriate things at precisely the moment when the room goes quiet, so much so that my co-author has nicknamed me Ted... Yes... After the bear in the movie. 

Recently my husband has replaced calling me crazy with calling me "Creative", but the tone he uses to do it makes me question his sincerity.  Though honestly, crazy is probably closer to reality.  I like my hectic life, in fact I thrive in the chaos and would have it no other way.