Shimmy Bang Sparkle, by Nicola Rendell – Excerpt Reveal!

EXCERPT REVEAL!!

Shimmy Bang Sparkle by Nicola Rendell

Release Date: August 21st

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About Shimmy Bang Sparkle

To catch a thief…or fall for one?

All Nick Norton wants is to stay on the straight and narrow…and never get caught stealing again. Then he lays eyes on her: Stella Peretti—100 percent sexy and absolutely irresistible. Especially when he sees her smooth moves lifting a two-karat diamond. Nick realizes he’s found the sparkling woman of his dreams—one so perfect for him it’s almost criminal.

The Shimmy Shimmy Bangs are master jewel thieves who are planning the heist of the century. And Shimmy leader, Stella, isn’t about to let anyone—even if he is a hunky, tatted-up studmuffin—get in her way. But when two of her girls are put out of commission, Stella realizes that Nick isn’t just a red-hot distraction. He might be the answer to her pilfering prayers.

Now, Nick and Stella are putting everything on the line for one last job. But when two thieves have this much chemistry, it’s only a matter of time before somebody’s heart gets stolen.

 

An Excerpt from Shimmy Bang Sparkle

Two hours later, I was standing in a department store in Palm Desert, wearing gray dress pants, a pair of Italian loafers that squeaked when I walked, a light blue button-up shirt, and . . .

Suspenders.

When she’d picked them out, I’d said, “Oh, fuck no,” but as she stood in front of me outside the men’s dressing room, buttoning them into the slacks and making helpless groans and moans, I knew I didn’t have the strength to tell her no for real. At this rate, I’d be buying dipped fruit and suspenders for the rest of my life, and honestly . . .

I was psyched about it. When I turned to check myself out in the mirror, I realized the suspenders didn’t look so bad. Not at all. They looked sharp. Old-fashioned in the right way, like out of Peaky Blinders. But I was an ex-con who weighed 275 pounds and drove a motorcycle. I couldn’t be wearing suspenders, for Chrissake.

“It’s a big ask, Stella,” I said, eyeing her as she riffled through a rack of dress shirts. Over her shoulder was a dog carrier bag she’d brought with her, pink-and-white with black paw prints. Priscilla had nodded off and was slowly sliding down into the bag, her lip stuck on the top edge.

Stella froze with one finger perched on a hanger hook as she chewed an enormous chunk of apple, moving it around in her mouth so that it expanded the inside of her cheek. “I know,” she said, with her palm covering her overstuffed mouth. “But just look at you.”

As she said it, a woman approached, pushing a stock cart. When she glanced in my direction, she promptly drove the cart right into a mannequin, and its arm popped off. That, in turn, knocked over a second mannequin, which knocked over a third. Everything the lady did just made it all so much worse. I stepped in to stop the domino-mannequin effect, while Stella stood next to the shirts with a big told you so smile on her face. The woman clutched an arm and a foot, and stared at me, as I tried to reposition a mannequin in a fuzzy track suit on its stand.

“Oh sir, that ensemble is very nice!” she cooed, with big Bambi eyes. Her gaze went from my tattoos to the suspenders, to the pants, and back again.

“You like it?” I asked as I rolled up my sleeves.

The woman gulped. “I do. Very much. Very much.”

Stella circled back around a table covered with dress shirts, and I saw that in her hand she was holding a fedora—like a stylish hipster sort of thing. Not my jam at all.

“Oh no you don’t,” I growled, teasing her, trying to snatch it out of her hands. But she pressed her body up against mine, and instinctively I pulled her into me. She took advantage of me being a fucking sucker for her body, and put the hat on my head. Her eyes lit up, and she leaned back in my arms. Then she said to the salesgirl. “What do you think?”

The salesgirl didn’t even speak. Just dropped a plastic mannequin arm and smiled. Stella made a long, adorable, “Mmmhmmmm!” as she slipped from my grasp, and headed off toward cocktail dresses.

Once I’d changed, and made was sure the woman wasn’t going to knock over another row of mannequins, I followed along behind Stella, weaving and dodging between racks and displays. Stella held up a stunning little black dress, classy and with a slit up a side that was mouthwatering even on the hanger. But then, behind her, there it was. The dress. Little black dresses were fine, but we were going out on the town for our first real date, and that dress was the one. A showstopper. So I shook my head at the black one in her hand, and Stella rumpled up her eyebrows. She put the dress back on the rack, plunged her hand into her purse, and emerged holding the apple on its stick. She took a bite, and stuck it back in its bag, and turned her attention to a strapless red number that would’ve looked great on her, no doubt. But still, it wasn’t the dress.

I tickled her side to get her attention, and when she turned to me, I pointed behind her, at a two-story atrium. The mannequin was set up on a round platform, with a spotlight on it, next to a piano that wasn’t being played. The dress was nothing but rhinestones, with thin jeweled straps coming up from a plunging neckline.

Stella hooted and approached the dress while laughing and shaking her head. “I can’t possibly wear this,” she said, and ran her fingertips over the jeweled front. “I’m not sure anybody can wear this.”

“Oh yeah,” I said as I circled her. “You most definitely can.”

I took the first dress off the nearby rack and held it up. The tag said XS/S. Seemed about right. I held it out, imagining her in it. The very idea made me start to get hard. I let it dangle from my finger and waited for her to take it.

She grabbed the size tag of the dress I was holding. A huge laugh shot out of her mouth, echoing around the marble foyer. “Oh you,” she said, shaking her head, and then grabbed the dressed marked M/L. She took the dog bag off her shoulder, and I transferred it to mine. Priscilla was out cold, snoring softly. I gave her tummy a little scratch as Stella headed off to the ladies’ fitting rooms.

While she was gone, I picked out a gorgeous light-pink teddy for her, and a pair of black panties that had a red ribbon up the back, corset-style. I was thinking through what it’d be like to pull that ribbon off with my teeth while she had them on when my phone buzzed in my pocket.

I don’t think I can pull this off.

Let me see.

I look like I just got Bedazzled.

Let me see.

I feel like my phone case.

Let me see.

Or like a disco ball.

Let me see.

Or like the rhinestone aisle at Michaels.

Stella . . .

I can’t wear a bra OR panties!

You’re getting the fucking dress.

I can’t stop thinking and talking about this clever story! Read my review of Shimmy Bang Sparkle here:

Book Cover for Shimmy Bang SparkleShimmy Bang Sparkle is wicked sexy fun from cover to cover, with enough tension to keep you riveted, enough heat to set your Kindle on fire, a heavy dose of heart, and a lot of humor. I read it on a road trip and missed most of the scenery because I couldn’t put it down. I also sprinted past my data limit and kept on going.

SBS has a unique storyline–a comedic, romantic, sometimes emotional contemporary Robin Hood tale with a gutsy female as the lead. There are hilarious, relatable, well-developed primary and secondary characters, and if that isn’t enough, there’s also an adorable dog. It’s a non-stop adventure, in alternating POV, with masterful banter and hilarious internal monologues.

Nick and Stella are a perfect match: sexy, passionate, and smart. From the moment they meet, their chemistry is off the charts. Fans of “insta-love” may object, but Nick falls fast and hard for Stella, for some very good reasons: he respects her, admires her, and understands her. He is willing to risk his freedom to give Stella the life she deserves, and Stella is willing to do the same.

The stakes are also high for Stella, who’s left to pull off the heist without her usual partners-in-crime, the Shimmy Shimmy Bangs. But Nick is a perfect companion for busy days of plotting and planning, and for hot, hot desert nights full of passion and romance.

I don’t want to spoil any surprises – and there are plenty of them in this wonderful read – so all I will say is if you want a perfect, funny, fast-paced, and suspenseful summer romantic read, look no further. Five sexy stars.

About Nicola Rendell

Bestselling author Nicola Rendell loves writing naughty romantic comedies. After receiving a handful of degrees from a handful of places, she now works as a professor in New England. Nicola’s work has been featured in USA Today’s Happy Ever After and the Huffington Post. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. Her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady, but she’s totally okay with that. She is represented by Emily Sylvan Kim at the Prospect Agency.

Connect with Nicola

Website: http://nicolarendell.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNRendell/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorNRendell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15292581.Nicola_Rendell

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nicola-Rendell/e/B01JCVXOAU/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nicola-rendell

 

Black Hearts, a Dark and Deadly Romance by Karina Halle: Book Review

A Review of Black Hearts

The Sins Duet, Book One

by

Karina Halle

Read the synopsis and an excerpt HERE

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Black Hearts (Sins Duet, #1)Black Hearts by Karina Halle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG. This book. The twists. The turns. The questions. The fear. The suspense. The dark, erotic feel of it all. The terror of what lies ahead, especially for the one character I’ve loved from page 1, Violet McQueen, and the sinister antihero I’m still a little (no, a lot) afraid of, Vicente Bernal. He’s complex. Dark. Dangerous. Cunning and manipulative. Scary as hell. Sexier than hell. A deadly mixture of fire and ice, a man at war with his basic instincts, driven by demons straight out of purgatory. He’s captivating, and like Violet, you might find yourself enthralled, consumed by his power, his prowess, his presence. Until the point of no return.

This is not your ordinary dark romance. You truly don’t know who all the villains are, but they are literally all around you. And, as you might expect, at the root of it all lies a deep, penetrating web of the darkest, deadliest kinds of secrets. Family secrets. A lifetime of lies for Violet, a lifetime of cold-hearted, calculated murder and mayhem for Vicente.

There’s more deception and betrayal in Dark Hearts than you can imagine. It’s insidious and pervasive, so ingrained in the lives of the characters that even the truth feels like a lie. Like Violet, it will make you question everything you believe about the story from beginning to end. You’ll feel a dull ache at first, that morphs into a steady pain that resonates in the recesses of your heart. A pain that’s overpowered only by the silent, deadly chill that creeps into your awareness and seeps into your bones. And a persistent twist in your gut that tells you, in no uncertain terms, that there is no way this story will end well.

Dark Hearts is a paradox. It’s “The Godfather” meets “Bonnie and Clyde,” but even that comparison is inadequate. This is one incredibly powerful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, with a frightening twist that only the most savvy reader will see coming near the end. A deadly game is afoot. There can be only one winner, and there’s only one way to win. When the sins of the father are revisited upon the sons and daughters, all bets are off.

As this is book one of a duet, its ending cranks up the tension to unbearable levels, then levels off at a new level of terror. It will l leave you dangling off a shallow cliff, imagining the worst but still wanting to believe that somehow things will work out for the best. However, Dark Hearts will force you to think — deeply — about which of all the possible outcomes might be the “best” for all concerned. Because if there is to be any sort of happy-ever-after for Violet and Vicente, it most certainly won’t be the kind of HEA you’ll expect. It will more likely be the lesser of many evils, which doesn’t mean it won’t be satisfying; it just means you may have to redefine your concept of happy-ever-after.

The Sins Duet will continue soon; it’s conclusion, Dirty Souls, releases on March 17th. I can’t wait to see what happens next, even as I dread what promises to be one or more deadly confrontations. Still, I suggest you give in to the temptation to dive into Black Hearts now, and allow yourself the dark pleasure of a few weeks of breathless anticipation. You’ll need some time to think after you’ve finished book one; and time to prepare for what promises to be the ending you won’t see coming.

Highly recommended.

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Damage Control (Dirty Money #2) by Lisa Renee Jones – a Steamy, Suspenseful Treat

Release Banner for Damage Control, by Lisa Renee Jones

Damage Control

Series: Dirty Money, Book 2

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense

The only thing more dangerous than a dark secret is a damaged heart… 

Book Cover, Damage Control by Lisa Renee JonesShane Brandon has been pushed to the brink, torn between his corrupt family and his explosive, all-consuming desire for Emily Stevens, who he now knows is not who, and what, she seems. Has he trusted the wrong person? Will she, not his brother Derek, be the ultimate destruction of his family Empire?

Emily tries to run from Shane, but he will stop her, confront her, force her to reveal all – one hot touch and kiss, at a time, until every intimate detail of who this woman is, and what she wants, is exposed. But as he tears away the dangers of the unknowns with the woman in his bed, and in his heart, The Martina Cartel has set their sights on his company, his family, and the one piece of leverage they believe he won’t gamble with: Emily.

Book Review

Damage Control (Dirty Money, #2)Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a staggering read! I’m completely addicted to this story, but especially to its lead characters, Shane Brandon and Emily Stevens. Simultaneously dark and incredibly sexy, tender, yet dangerous, savvy, smart and strong, their chemistry radiates straight off the pages and their story will quickly find its way into your heart.

Picking up exactly where Hard Rules left off, the suspense begins immediately, as Emily is forced to reveal her painful past, and a dangerous secret. Aware that she has been living in fear for her life, Shane vows to protect her, even as he struggles to save his family’s dynasty from its self-inflicted spiral of corruption. The drama surrounding them simmers at the boiling point throughout the story, just below the surface, occasionally bubbling up to scare the bejeezus out of you, but always set to explode in all directions.

Damage Control is complex, full of twists and turns, heartbreaking betrayal and dangerous deceit. It will keep you guessing and holding your breath from beginning to end. (I know this because the activity app on my watch had to remind me to breathe a few times along the way.)

The stakes were high in Hard Rules, but they’re even higher now, and Lisa knows exactly when and how to ratchet up the conflict to keep you on the edge of your seat. I’m hooked on the adrenaline rush I feel as the suspense builds around Brandon Enterprises and within Shane’s wealthy, devious, dysfunctional family. I’m hooked on the fierce passion that Shane and Emily share, a passion that only intensifies as the tension increases and danger closes in.

Be aware, Damage Control not a standalone, and it’s not the conclusion of the story. Thankfully, there’s no dramatic cliffhanger that will make you toss your e-reader across the room, or send you off to rant at the author. It’s more like a soft landing, a calm before the storm. Like Hard Rules, Damage Control skillfully moves all the pieces in place to push the story forward, toward what promises to be a gritty but thrilling climax. To me, it’s the best kind of romantic suspense. I couldn’t put it down, and I’m ready to read it again.

I’m counting the days until August 8th, when Bad Deeds (#3) releases. I’m desperate to know who makes it out of this story alive, and if the love that Shane and Emily share is strong enough to last when everything else falls apart around them. I’m holding out hope that the villains get their due, with minimal collateral damage, and that Shane and Emily find the happy-ever-after they deserve.

Don’t deny yourself this smart, sexy, suspenseful treat. Start – or continue – the Dirty Money series today. I welcome your comments on this review.

View all my reviews

Buy Links

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Other Books in the Dirty Money Series

Hard Rules (Book 1) – available now

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Bad Deeds (Book 3) – 8/8/17

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 An Excerpt from Damage Control

“You make me remember I need to be good and right in my choices.”

“Do you ever question doing what is good and right?”

“There have been times when I felt like my hand was forced.”

“When you were a lawyer?”

“No,” I say. “I manipulated the law, as does every attorney, but I never broke it. I’m talking about when I’m with my family.”

“Did you go where they lead?”

“Not so far.”

“That sounds like you might.”

“I don’t want to be them.”

“You aren’t them. You don’t have to be them.”

“I know that,” I say. “But you just keep telling me so I don’t forget.” Her legs hit the bed frame and she grips my arms.

I lean into a kiss and she pulls back, her hand pressing on my chest. “Wait. Now it’s my turn to say talk to me. Are you okay?”

“Death happened. The one thing I can’t control. It’s not the night to push me to stop protecting you. Not tonight. Can you do that?”

“Yes. We can.”

“We,” I repeat, “and that word sounds as good on my tongue as I know you’re going to taste. I’m going to make love to you properly. The way I plan to many times in our future.” I reach down and untie her robe, letting it fall open; my fingers sliding underneath just far enough to tease her nipples. They pucker beneath my touch, and her lashes flutter, settling on her cheeks. “But when it’s over, I’m going to fuck you hard and fast again.”

I tug gently on her nipples and she bites her lips. “Look at me,” I order gently.

She opens her eyes, and there is desire in their depths, but there are shadows there too,. I do not think she intends for me to see doubt or uncertainty that wasn’t there before. That I do not like or wish to know ever again. I want it gone. Now. Tomorrow. Forever. I reach up and rip the silk tie from her robe, wrapping it around my hand, before I reach up and caress the robe off her shoulder, letting it tumble to the ground.

“Give me your hands,” I order, but it’s really a question: Does she still trust me?

She studies me for several beats, her eyes narrowing ever so slightly, and I do not know what she sees in mine, but she offers me her hands. I wrap the silk around her wrists then lean in close to her, my cheek against her cheek, my body touching her nowhere else. “Now you’re at my mercy.”

“Yes,” she agrees. “I am.”

“How do you feel about that?”

“Warm.”

My lips curve with the answer that is every bit the combination of sweet sexy honesty I’ve come to expect from her. “I’m going to make you warmer.”

“Promise?”

I go still with that question, which on the surface is innocent, but I wonder if it truly is or if it’s about those shadows in her eyes. “I promise,” I say. “And you know, I never—”

“Make a promise you don’t keep.”

“Exactly,” I say, and her reference to my previous words tells me that I am not the only one on a mission of trust, and I intend to deserve hers.

I bring my hands to just above her shoulders, letting them lightly touch her before beginning a slow caress downward. She makes a soft little sound that has my cock thickening and my blood running hot, but I won’t rush this. My lips follow, tracing a line down one of her arms, then the other. I lean and caress my lips over hers, a feather light touch that teases me, if not her.

I take her hands in mine, pressing them behind her head. “Hold them there, for me, so I can see all of you. Understand?”

“You intend to tease me incessantly,” she says, without so much as a hint of hesitation. “Yes. I understand.”

I wrap my arm around her waist and pull her naked body against me, my free hand on hers above her head, our mouths a breath apart. “I intend to lick every part of you, and then do it again, so yes. If that’s the definition of incessant teasing, then yes. I am going to tease you incessantly.” I close my mouth down on hers, my tongue licking into her mouth, a deep, hungry tasting I force myself to end far too quickly. “That was the beginning. Should I could continue?”

“Yes. Please.”

“Please,” I say. “I like that.”

Giveaway!

GIVEAWAY PRIZE: 2 $25 Amazon gift cards, 3 signed copies of Hard Rules and 3 Dirty Money tote bags

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Meet Lisa Renee Jones

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series. Suzanne Todd on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense. Sara’s character is strong, flawed, complex, and sexy – a modern girl we all can identify with.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is presently working on a dark, edgy new series, Dirty Money, for St. Martin’s Press.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.

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