Cherished By You, by Steph Nuss – Blog Tour

 Title: Cherished by You (Love in the City #4)
Author: Steph Nuss
Release Date: Oct 7, 2015
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“Move in with me,” he said. 

Being cherished is how Tessa Wilder always imagined falling in love. But for years, she’s always gone for the wrong guys. Now that she’s fallen for one of the good ones, she fears rejection.

“I can’t,” she replied.

Justin Jameson quit looking for a woman after being used so many times for his brains. A bit of an introvert and completely oblivious to women’s advances, he can’t even see that his friend cherishes everything about him.

When Tessa needs a place to stay, Justin’s the first to offer her a room. Hearts are opened; feelings are ventured. They’ll finally know what it’s like to be cherished in the city until one moment threatens the relationship they’ve built.

“I can’t lose you.”

“I can’t believe you agreed to live with a woman,” Cash said, sitting down on the couch in my living room with a beer in his hand.
It was Saturday afternoon, and most of the gang was over at my place, waiting for Tessa and her brother to arrive so we could help move all of her stuff in. Maverick and Harper were at home with their baby girl, Seghen, and Paige had a work function with a client.
I really couldn’t believe it either. I’d never had a roommate before who wasn’t some sort of family member, but I knew I didn’t want Tessa living in some dilapidated hole in Grand Concourse again. Just hearing her talk about growing up there pissed me off.
“Living with a woman isn’t so bad,” Carter stated proudly, with his arm slung over Elly’s shoulder. “They make the place smell good. They’re nice to look at.”
“They cook,” Fletcher added, rubbing Bayler’s thigh. They weren’t living together yet, but they stayed together enough that he enjoyed the benefits of Bayler’s excellent cooking skills.
“Not all of them cook,” Carter retorted, nodding his head toward his wife.
“Hey!” Elly exclaimed, smacking him in the stomach. “I’m cooking your baby right now.”
The room filled with laughter as I paced over to the window and looked down at the sidewalk. I was nervous because I wasn’t sure whether or not Tessa would like living with me. I’d had the place cleaned twice this week in anticipation of her arrival.
“But Tessa loves cooking,” Elly continued, smiling up at me. “You can finally stop eating out every night.”
I scoffed, glancing over my shoulder at her. “I don’t eat out every night.”
Bayler laughed. “All you have in your fridge are takeout boxes and condiments.”
“And beer!” Carter said, clinking his bottle with Fletcher’s.
“Ladies,” Fletcher stated, shaking his head at the women. “Jameson has the necessities. Lay off him.”
“Tessa is going to freak when she sees the fridge,” Elly said, laughing along with Bayler.
I turned to face the gang as anxiety tumbled in my stomach. “What do you mean? Why would she freak out?”
“Because Tessa enjoys cooking,” Bayler explained.
“Yeah,” Elly said, nodding. “She’s used to having a stocked kitchen, especially since she’s cooked for her and her brother most of her life.”
Now I felt bad about not going grocery shopping. The truth was, I did order takeout often, only because it was easier than attempting to cook a meal. I’d grown up with either a maid cooking for me or my grandma, but no matter how many times Janice Jameson tried to teach me how to cook, the meal never turned out the way she made it.  
“You guys can go grocery shopping later,” Cash said, running through the television channels. “That way she can pick out whatever the hell she wants.”
“Maybe she’ll even teach you how to cook,” Elly teased, nudging my arm.
“Yeah,” Bayler continued, pointing her beer bottle at me. “Every guy should know how to cook. Women love a home-cooked meal they don’t have to make themselves.”
“I’m not trying to find a woman,” I stated, furrowing my brows.
The gang laughed at my candid response, despite the fact that it was true. I’d practically given up on finding a good woman during my college years. The girls I seemed to attract back then only wanted my help passing a class. The only date I’d been on since was a few years ago when my grandma set me up with her neighbor, Elly. The chemistry wasn’t there, so we became friends instead, which was perfectly fine with me. She was still in love with Carter, and I’d been a loner most of my life. When Carter moved back to New York, he and Elly started dating, and I gained another friend. Our group of friends continued to grow after that with the addition of Carter’s sisters, Harper and Bayler, falling for two of our own, Maverick and Fletcher.
“I call bullshit, Justin,” Bayler exclaimed, rolling her eyes. She leaned into Fletcher’s side and rested her feet up on the coffee table.
The laughter quickly died down at her blunt retort.
“Excuse me?” I asked, deflecting my surprise.
“All men are predisposed to think with their penises,” she explained, entertaining everyone with her words. “I don’t care how much of a genius you are; you’re still a man, which means that brain of yours down south is focused on sex just like every other man’s.”
Laughter grew louder around me as I stared her down, the smile spreading wide across my face. We got a kick out of giving each other a hard time, and I enjoyed dishing it out just as much as everyone else. Leaning down next to her ear, I said, “No, Bayler, what I meant was, I don’t have to try to find a woman.”
She nearly spit out her beer as she smacked me on the arm and laughed. “See! Just like every other guy! I knew you had a dick in there somewhere, Jameson.”
“Is this the part where I tell you I know how to use it, too?” I asked sarcastically, laughing along with her.
A knock on the door sounded before she could reply, so I walked over to answer it. Opening the door, I found Tessa and a younger guy standing behind her, with three suitcases resting at their sides and a duffle bag slung across his body. She wore an old pair of ripped jeans and a hoodie. Her long brown hair was knotted on top of her head, but it was her light blue-gray eyes smiling back at me that caught my attention the most.
“Hey,” I said, grabbing one of the rollers. “Come on in.”
“Thanks,” she said, crossing the threshold into my apartment.
The Love in the City series is about a group of friends looking for love in New York City. Each book is about a different couple, so they can be read as standalones. The stories are told from both the female and male point of views, and they all end in happily ever afters, no cliffhangers here! Finally, all the book covers are different colors to represent a certain awareness or cause that is referenced in each book. Grab the first book in the series, Wanted By You, for FREE today!
Steph Nuss was born and raised in rural Kansas, where she currently resides with her black Labrador son named Gunner. She grew up with a passion for reading and writing. When she’s not immersed into the land of fiction, she enjoys listening to music that came before her time, watching movies and reruns of her favorite shows, and hanging out with her family and friends. She also has a bachelor’s degree in psychology that she’ll never use…unless she’s profiling her characters of course.

 

Book Review: Nuts, by Alice Clayton — coming soon!

Nuts (Hudson Valley, #1)Nuts by Alice Clayton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pre-Order Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK

Maybe it’s because I’m already an Alice Clayton fan, and have been anticipating this new series for a while. Maybe it’s because I’m a foodie, heart and soul, fascinated by everything related to culinary arts and the farm-to-table sustainable food movement. Maybe it’s because I live in a small town where farmer’s markets thrive, but I’ve also spent time in the Hudson Valley, where this story takes place. I suspect it’s a little of each. Regardless, this dish of Nuts satisfied me like gourmet tapas – an appetizing storyline, deeply satisfying morsels of humor, spicy sex, sassy banter and hometown sentiment, mixed properly and served with a heaping helping of happy-ever-after. And a drop-dead-gorgeous, super-sexy, somewhat secretive billionaire-turned-farmer that I could lick ’til the cows come home. I believe it’s Alice’s best book yet.

Roxie is a fairly straightforward, highly relatable character, torn between the lure of her new life as a private chef in LA and her memories of a somewhat awkward and unstable upbringing in rural Bailey Falls, New York. This conflict comes into play when her mother asks her to come home and run the family diner while she takes off on an adventure of her own, leaving Roxie no choice but to reluctantly – very reluctantly – agree to fill in. In the mood for a sexy diversion, she soon finds a willing partner in the enigmatic Leo Maxwell, a former Manhattan banker from a powerful family who has left city life to establish a successful farming operation on their old estate in Bailey Falls. Their immediate connection is both hilarious and incredibly hot, as told from Roxie’s POV – you go from giggling to gasping as their sexual tension builds to the boiling point and beyond.

It’s almost too perfect to be true – creating a different kind of tension that builds subtly in the background. It’s a nagging feeling that won’t go away until some important questions are answered. Why did Leo abandon his legacy in New York for a somewhat reclusive life as a Hudson Valley farmer? Why doesn’t he talk about his past, yet live so joyously and fully in the present? Is this really just a summer fling, no strings attached, or is it something more than either of them wanted or expected? Could Roxie ever be truly happy settling down in the small town she abandoned years ago in pursuit of a better life, or is that better life standing right in front of her? (Or, just maybe bending her over a barrel on the Fourth of July…?) What will be the inevitable ‘turning point’ in their relationship – the obstacle you know is coming but can’t predict? Can there be a happy ending when the truth about Leo finally comes to light?

Relax, readers. There is no deep mystery or riveting suspense here – at its core, Nuts is a simple, sweet and relatable love story that connects with readers through the hearts of its characters. It will carry you away on a late summer journey that will leave you completely satisfied and ready to settle down with the next book in this wonderful new series. It’s Alice Clayton at her very best – so don’t hesitate to pick up these Nuts.

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The Wicked Awakened, by Samantha Jacobey

TWA Cover

Title: The Wicked Awakened

Author: Samantha Jacobey

Genre: Paranormal Romance (for readers > 18)

Synopsis

What would you do if a five hundred year old witch wanted to turn your body into her new home?

Morcant and Blake Korrigan own a little shop of horrors, where witches congregate and people ending up dead isn’t rare. When Karen Hiltzman joins their coven, she has no idea what she’s getting into. Drawn in, the group convinces her to recruit her best friend, Sarah Matthews, after discovering that she bears a very special birthmark; one that indicates she’s the girl they’ve been waiting for.

Eager to reincarnate a witch put to death by an angry mob five hundred years prior, Morcant unleashes a spell; a dark and sinister curse. His ritual transforms Sarah’s body and will bring the dreaded Brenna back to life when it’s completed. Blake wants to stop him; but will he be strong enough to defeat his elder sibling, and if he does… will he be able to let her go when it’s done?

Advisory:  MA – 18+  V – violence       S – sexual content     L – coarse language

Excerpt

Filling the kettle and placing it on the stove, Karen recalled the meeting with the group, when their plans had been placed into motion. She had mentioned Sarah’s birthmark to Ninia before, pointing out how it looked so much like a swirling spirituality symbol. However, it wasn’t until Genevieve had gotten wind of the oddity that any real interest had stirred within the crowd, and they had asked her to bring Sarah in to meet them.

“You aren’t going to hurt her, are you?” Karen had asked hesitantly.

“Of course not!” Genevieve had soothed. “We want to set her free!” The young woman’s lips had parted into a small grin as she spoke, exposing her straight white teeth.

Karen stared at her pan with large brown orbs, her mind trapped in that moment. “It won’t be easy,” she had replied, “She hasn’t believed in any of this stuff in years.” She shuddered and adjusted the fire before her.

“That’s ok,” Morcant had cut in, stepping up to her and allowing his fingers to trace her jaw. “We’ll convince her; no need to worry about that.” Leaning closer, his mouth had covered hers in a soft kiss.

Drawn to the older man, Karen had felt as if his spirit mingled with hers. Deepening the kiss, she had moaned and pressed her body against him for a long moment before he pulled away.

“See?” his nose nuzzled her cheek, “This is a warm and safe place…” he had paused, extracting himself from her grasp, “Bring your friend; allow her to experience the feel of the coven and to be wrapped in its power.”

The sound of the boiling water drew her back to the present, and Karen cut off the flame. She poured the hot liquid into her waiting cup, adding a few cubes of sugar before she took a seat at the kitchen table and stared out the tiny window that overlooked a small grassy patch behind the house; ‘you shouldn’t let him do that to you.’
Several times over the last year, she had been in such a situation with the group; a point where she felt trepidation and fear at what lay before her. Each time, it had been Morcant who had spurred her onward. ‘His touch is intoxicating,’ she admitted quietly to herself. ‘His fingers caress with the feel of magic,’ and the kiss had put her over the edge.

‘Of course it’s magic;’ her mood shifted to angry, ‘they’re witches, after all!’ But this had gotten out of hand. At some point, it had become too real, and she no longer wanted to be a part of it. However, she could not escape. It felt as if Morcant had her in his grasp, under some dark spell, and she would do his bidding.

Taking another tentative sip, she cut her eyes up at the ceiling above her, as if she could see her friend in her tiny room on the third floor. ‘I wonder what they really want with her.’ She hadn’t dared to ask, and had done her best to convince Sarah to attend a meeting with her of her own free will. In the end, the girl had refused, and put them on their current path; ‘they’re going to have her, willing or not.’

It had taken all Karen’s strength to complete her task today, and remember not to touch the shiny medallion that Morcant had presented to her. He had cursed it somehow, and she had noticed that he took great care when he placed it in the bag for Sarah. ‘A powerful amulet, he said.’

Dragging her gaze back to the glass and the sunshine beyond, she tried not to think about what would happen next.

TWA Teaser 1 along for the ride

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TWA Teaser 2 brenna and bobby

Weird Facts About Witches

Pointy hats were not actually worn by witches. One theory is that what we know as a witches hat is an exaggeration of the tall, conical dunce’s hat that were popular for criminals in the royal courts of the 15th century, where men and women may have been tried as witches. Someone could have painted or drawn a witchcraft trial and it caught on from there.

About Samantha Jacobey

S JacobeyAnyone who knows me could tell you, I am a friendly kind of person, never met a stranger and take up conversations anywhere at any time. I work hard, and my mind never seems to shut down, as I wake up often in the middle of the night with ideas pouring out and demanding to be dealt with. Of course that means much of my books were written in the middle of the night.

I grew up and still live in the great state of Texas where everything is bigger, where we have warm weather and a central location. I love my state, my town, and my family, which includes my four sons, my significant other, and many friends as well.

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the books that are currently available and hope you will enjoy reading them just as much. And of course, there will be many more stories to come.

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