The stunningly poignant and life-affirming debut novel by A.J. Compton
The Counting-Downers is an inspiring story about life, loss, love, and making the most of every moment.
The Counting-Downers is an inspiring story about life, loss, love, and making the most of every moment.
Author: Kendra Leigh
Genre: Contemporary Adult Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Ethan Wilde. Billionaire. Business Man.
Passionate. Powerful. Persistent.
One of New York’s most eligible bachelors.
Angel Lawson. Photographer. Gallery Owner.
Burdened. Beautiful. Broken.
A woman bound by the ropes of her sins and forgotten past, fearful of her future.
A chance encounter…
Consumed by guilt and tormented by the bonds of a tragic past, Angel Lawson’s life has been a solitary journey, condemned to live without love. In order to preserve her damaged soul from further rejection, sex is as close to a man as she ever plans to get. She was already hell-bound for her sins. One more wasn’t going to hurt …
… or so she thought.
When a passionate encounter throws her into the world of Ethan Wilde, Angel is helpless to resist the irrefutable desire and depth of raw emotion he ignites in her.
Ethan is as intense as he is sinfully sexy. Irretrievably captivated by Angel, he seems just as intent on understanding her naked soul as he is desperate to possess every inch of her naked body.
Angel craves his touch like a drug and yearns for the love he promises, but surrendering to the feelings he’s unearthed will mean exposing her fears and releasing the demons buried for a lifetime. Exposing her heart will leave it at risk of being broken.
Will Angel choose to leave her life of solitude behind, or is the choice no longer hers?
Ethan Wilde is used to getting what he wants … and what he wants is Angel.
Yes, Ethan Wilde is a bazillionaire. Yes, he is also an über-alpha male. But that’s where the similarity ends with this fictional romantic hero. He is over-the-top sexy, passionate, self-assured, and protective of the woman he can’t be without – Angelica Lawson, a photographer and owner of her own gallery in Manhattan.
To say that Angel is reluctant to enter a relationship with Ethan – or a relationship with anyone for that matter – is an extraordinary understatement. She wants friends with benefits – and they don’t even have to be friends. No strings and no commitments means no chance of rejection, and no chance to penetrate the armor she has built to keep her demons at bay. What demons they are, too. A lesser woman would be broken by them, yet Angel remains strong, steadfast, and determined to defeat them, to live the life she’s envisioned for herself. Envisioned, that is – until she meets Ethan.
This is an amazing debut novel with incredible depth, passion and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You will experience every emotion imaginable as Kendra Leigh draws you further and further into the story, and into a relationship with its two principal characters. Angel has had a traumatic life, with an incredibly dysfunctional family, but she has no idea of the dangers that lie ahead. Ethan is powerful, passionate, and protective – making him exactly what Angel needs. When she finally allows herself to give in to her feelings for Ethan, she knows she has a chance at the happiness she doesn’t think she deserves – and she struggles to accept it. It is a breath-taking, heart-pounding journey that will compel you to keep reading and keep you coming back for more.
I highly recommend this novel as one of the top erotic suspense novels of 2015. You cannot help but be drawn under Ethan’s spell – and you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to read such a stellar novel by a new and incredibly talented author. I can’t wait for the next installment of this beautiful series.
Unable to comprehend that I was having this discussion with somebody I’d only just met, I could only gape in astonishment. I had never discussed my mother with anyone—ever. It was as though I’d been completely removed from reality. I needed to get a grip. “I’m sorry, do you mind if we talk about something else?”
A flash of something, regret, disappointment maybe, momentarily furrowed his brow. “If you’d prefer. I didn’t mean to cause you further distress.”
“No, its fine. It’s just that I don’t usually … I’m not used to … Damn!” I cursed at my sudden inability to form a complete sentence. “God, I’m sorry. I don’t usually struggle with the art of speaking. I seem to have lost all capacity to function properly.”
He smiled widely, the most wonderful, captivating smile that started out in his eyes before making its way to his delectable mouth. The sexiest smile I’d ever encountered. And then he was laughing, and I was laughing with him.
“You’re exquisite,” he said as the laughter abated, head tilted slightly to the side as if contemplating me. “Even more so than I remembered. I’ve seen three very different and dramatic sides to you, already, Miss Lawson. All of them conflicting and at odds with each other—and all of them equally exquisite. You fascinate me.”
I flushed slightly at his flattering comments. “Three sides?”
“Yes,” he said. “You’re exhilaratingly beautiful when you’re relaxed and laughing in the spirit of the moment, yet delicately beautiful when sad and vulnerable.” He paused, his awed expression changing to something much darker and more sensual. “And you’re at your most beguiling and spellbinding when you’re surrendering yourself to your most sensual and carnal desires. A woman who knows what she wants and is daring enough to explore her fantasies in order to satisfy her cravings is an enormous turn-on. Being part of that experience was the most erotic moment of my life. It drove me crazy when you came for me. You’re the sexiest, most exciting woman I have ever met—or fucked, Miss Lawson.”
Christ, say what’s on your mind, why don’t you? This man clearly had no problems communicating his feelings candidly. I gazed at him, utterly dumbfounded and burning with embarrassment.
“And so easily disconcerted, I see.” A hint of amusement trickled over his luscious lips. “I wouldn’t have figured that on Monday night. Yet another alluring trait, Miss Lawson. You’re full of surprises. Quite simply irresistible.”
“I’m just adjusting to your candidness, Mr. Wilde.”
“Does it upset you?
I paused, thinking about the question. “No.” I answered honestly. Because if anything, I was finding his forthright approach a complete turn on. “But I’ve only met you once before and, until ten minutes ago, wasn’t sure I’d ever lay eyes on you again.”
“Did you hope that you would?”
“You ask a lot of questions.” I smiled in my attempt at digression. “Let me ask you some.”
“Go ahead.” He sipped his coffee, casually unconcerned.
“Who the hell are you?”
Laughing, he reached out to shake my hand formally, his touch sending a current of vibrating sexual energy through my body. “Ethan Wilde, twenty-nine, born in New York. My parents are Richard and Veronica Wilde. I have one brother, Damon, twenty-six. One sister, Abby, twenty-two. I was educated and spent most of my early life in London, as you’ve probably guessed, and I’ve been back and forth between here and the UK ever since. I now live more or less permanently here in Manhattan. Next question.”
“Do you always psychoanalyze and cross-examine the women you casually fuck in storage rooms?” Wow, where the hell did that come from?
A flicker of his brow hinted at surprise. “Well, now it’s I who needs to adjust to your candidness, Miss Lawson. But in answer to your question, I’ve never fucked anybody—casually or otherwise—in a storage room before. Furthermore, until now, nobody’s interested me enough to want to psychoanalyze them … if that’s what I’m doing. You’re a totally unique experience, Angelica.”
“When I initially agreed to review Bound for Hell I can honestly say I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Now days it seems like a lot of the books start to blend together. So I’ll be completely honest in saying I didn’t know what to expect. But anything I could’ve ever imagined feeling for this books, times that by a million and it still wouldn’t be enough. Let’s just say this. I freaking loved this book…I’m grateful I had the chance to read Bound for Hell. I truly hope you’ll give this series a try. I would have been missing a hell of a lot if I hadn’t!” ~ Love Words and Books, Goodreads
“This novel blew me away! I found the instant connection between the two characters like something out of a movie. You can almost imagine the sparks flying. There are some tender moments between the two and of course LOTS of heat! And I mean Kindle melting heat! The story kept me wanting more and there were moments when I laughed ( a certain scene with a DVD), moments when I cried and when I was so angry I couldn’t see straight! Kendra Leigh is a fantastic writer and this debut novel from her is amazing. I cannot wait to read the next novel in this series! ~ Book Nerd, Goodreads
“This well written story will embrace your heart and keep it beating with suspense. Kendra Leigh includes hot love scenes, instant attraction, and mystery to keep you turning the pages. I could not put this book down and look forward to the rest of the trilogy. Thankfully, there is no cliffhanger to leave me anxious and angry for book two. However, not knowing the ending to this modern day fairytale leaves plenty to be wanted. I look forward to more books from Kendra Leigh.” ~ Jessica B., Goodreads
Kendra Leigh fell in love with books and the wonderful world of reading from a very young age. She was at her happiest when Enid Blyton whisked her away up into the magical lands at the top of the Faraway Tree with Moon-face and the rest of the gang. Books have been her constant source of escapism ever since. Currently residing in the UK, Kendra devotes her life to her devilishly handsome partner, scandalously beautiful daughter and cute as hell Shih-Tzu. As well as writing and reading, Kendra loves great TV, especially Dexter and Breaking Bad. Bound for Hell is her debut novel and book one of The Bound Trilogy.
Author: Stephanie John
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Series: The Heal Me Series, Book 1
Release Date: March 16, 2015
A chance meeting turned my world inside out.
And he wants me.
My past has left me broken and humiliated, wary of men like him. I cut myself off from the pain, moving thousands of miles away to escape every reminder, determined to start anew.
I’ve been second best before. It isn’t happening again.
One kiss and I’m caught under his spell, drawn to him with every breath I take.
I can’t resist.
The passion that explodes between us becomes an intense connection neither of us thought we’d share.
The suffering inside me reflects his – a pain I know he feels, but can’t bring himself to reveal.
I have no idea his love can heal me – that mine can heal him…
…if only I can let down my guard for him and trust.
It has taken a long time for me to find words to adequately describe a debut novel that is truly a masterpiece of flawless fiction. Stephanie John has an amazing talent and has written a powerfully beautiful story. You cannot help but fall in love with Nate and Kara. They hook you at the very beginning and gradually reel you in until you wonder how you ever lived without them in your library.
Nate is – on the surface – a self-assured CEO and ladies’ man. Kara is – on the surface – a savvy, sassy foil for his advances. But, as always, what you see isn’t necessarily what you get, and you get so much more from each of these principal characters. They have layers that are gradually peeled away to reveal a passionate depth and complexity, compelling you to keep reading, and wanting more when you get to the end. They are truly memorable characters will stay in your heart as their journey continues.
Kara is cautious, reluctant to admit – and even more reluctant to give in to – the powerful attraction she feels for Nate. She believes him to be a player, the very last thing she needs to complicate the life she is trying to build for herself in Los Angeles. If she allows herself to trust him, she is certain he will break her in the end. She wants to believe that his love is genuine, but her memories – and her assumption that Nate will be inevitably unfaithful – hold her back, time and time again. Kara has been broken before – and left with a sense of failure and unworthiness that she accepts without question – until Nate ignites the spark that begins to change her.
Nate knows that Kara is “the one,” long before he probably should – but say what you will about the implausibility of “insta-love,” it happens. And when it does there is nothing on earth that will stop it. Nate realizes he has to earn Kara’s trust, and he devotes himself to the task with all that is in him. Gradually he makes her feel safe, he makes her feel sexy, and he makes her feel cherished. We all want a man like that.
Naturally, the course of true love never runs smoothly. What Nate fears most is losing Kara, so in an attempt to gain her trust, he does the one thing that threatens it … he keeps secrets. Nate, too, has a trauma in his past that threatens his present and their future. He wants their relationship to last – to find the healing and happiness they both deserve – but there are treacherous curves ahead…in the next book of the series.
Stephanie John has a genuine talent for bringing stories and characters to life and taking the reader along on an effortless ride to pure pleasure. And when I say pure pleasure – your heart will pound as their love heats up. One particular scene at the beach house will rank among the most erotic and powerful expressions of love that I have ever read.
This book deserves more than five stars – it deserves a heaven full of them – because that is where you’ll think you’ve been when you’ve finished Salvation. I can’t wait for the next chapter … and the next … and the next. Don’t deny yourself one of the truly outstanding contemporary romances of 2015.
When I joined him, he was leaning against the sink staring at the wall, his features twisted in annoyance. “It’s important to me,” I encouraged, setting his empty bottle on the counter beside him. I pressed a hand to his shoulder. “I want to know all about you like you do me.”
“Yeah,” he scoffed, shrugging me off, “except you won’t let me in either.” The ferocity of him tossing the plates into the sink with a crash panicked me. My ears began to ring with the sound of my heart thudding in my chest. Nate glanced sideways, his face set. “You’re keeping secrets, too.”
I winced at the harsh truth of his words. What right did I have, asking him to open up when I couldn’t do it myself?
“Kara.” His fingertips drifted over my cheekbone. I jumped, taken aback by the veneration in his touch and the gentleness of his voice. “I don’t want to argue, to spoil an idyllic couple of days.”
I hated seeing him like this, so lost and bewildered, out of control. It went against so much of what I treasured about him. Yet it gave me comfort to know he wasn’t just an ideal high on a pedestal, completely out of reach. Nate was human, and he was here, with me.
I stepped closer and rubbed his arm. His eyes were mesmerising, the pupils almost fully dilated. My breath caught when I saw the depth of his feelings swimming in them as he stared back at me. The tiny tick of his jaw pulsed as he gritted his teeth. “I’m trying to do right by you. Trying my utmost to shelter you.”
My body tensed. “From what?”
Nate caressed my face, seeking and finding strength the way I did from him. His eyes were fretful and undecided. God, what had happened to make him behave so out of character?
I wrapped my arms around him and pressed my cheek to his chest. His heart pounded frantically. His shower gel still lingered on me, and mine on his skin. The two scents, woody and almond merged together, giving me an inevitable sense of calm and assurance. “What happened in New York?”
You do not want to miss this novel … or deny yourself your next book boyfriend. So why wait? Order Salvation today!
Most days, you’ll find Stephanie John on a yacht, wearing a very skimpy bikini, drinking champagne, eating chocolate and never gaining weight. When she isn’t asleep and dreaming, in real life you’re more likely to find her at the school gates, wearing whatever she dragged on that morning, drinking copious amounts of coffee. She still eats chocolate, though — everyone has their vices, right? Somehow, amidst the chaos of full-time mummy duties, she manages to write. Contemporary romance has always been her favourite genre to read for as long as she can remember (age-appropriate, of course).
Never in a million years did it occur to her to write one of her own. Now, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.