Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Reading Room

According to to read someone is defined as: To lecture someone with a sharply worded barrage of painful truths about themselves.

With all the mess and non-sense on social media and lately in most books I think a read is necessary.

  • Can anyone tell me what happened to love stories? Where the women had a backbone and abuse wasn’t considered being an alpha male and disguised as love. Don’t get me wrong I do read what is considered “dark” reads but it’s between two consensual adults. Lately these so called “dark” reads feature young kids and rape is considered ok because the so called hero had a bad past.  Does anyone else not see a red flag? I know there is an audience for this stuff. But what are we telling women about their experiences? I feel as a reader some subject matter should be handled with a little more care and tact. And this is from someone who read and went to see 50 Shades.

  • I miss knowing what characters look like and not having to guess. What’s up with ambiguous descriptions of characters or none at all?  For instance, the women are described in terms of food and objects like heart shaped face, bow lips, long hair down her butt, and my favorite creamy skin. What is that? Sounds like you are creating an avatar and not a character.

  • I agree reading has some element of fantasy but it was a time people read for both fantasy and to see a little bit of themselves in the stories. What happened to the stories with real women? Now they are all young, virgins, dating billionaires and blemish free. And the women writing them are real full figured women. Take a chance and write about something other than the mainstream cliché.

  • And for my ladies who write in the IR genre lately a lot or posts have been devoted to color not mattering but its contradictory to what many write in their books. For example, you don’t have to demonize black men i.e. present them as a thug, no good, deadbeat to make them more appealing against the white man your character wants to be with. Men are men no matter the color. If color doesn’t matter as many of these authors say then don’t put down one race to justify being with someone of another race. Love is love and no relationship is easy. Another issue about race and representation is that there is no representation. Well let me rephrase that diverse representation. Newsflash we are not all the same color with long flowing hair. Which many of these authors know because they look nothing like who and what they write about. All I can say is self-hate is real and is reflected so much in these IR groups. I just want to give many a bell hooks book and say have at.

  • Because this is a business and you want to put your best work out why not invest in a good editor and a few beta reader? Lately there has been issues with beta readers and arc’s being pirated which in itself is sad because it is stealing and not cool on any level. Nonetheless get a few well trusted people to help read and offer advice on your book. I have come in contact with many authors who don’t have either. Huh? Do you not want advice on your story outside of your FB group of fans? How can you be better without constructive criticism? I have people who reach out to me and say you spelled that wrong, or that sentence doesn’t make sense and I take what they said and correct it. I don’t cry, or post statuses about it for validation.

But I digress…..

  • I just miss good love stories. What I mean to say is romance. There is no romance, no courting, it’s just I want you let me stalk and obsess over you until you cave.

  •  Where is the plot in some of these books? What’s up with freaky/fetish titles and a book filled with sex scenes? I am no prude but I miss actual character interaction. I love a spicy love scene but some books well the ones lately you get to 13% in and already the characters are have raunchy sex and in love. Did it happen that fast? I read insta-love/lust stories but the authors rarely tell why the two are in love. Where is the connection? I know, I know its fiction but jeez.

  • And the trolls. Once you say something about any story its let me attack and defend. If the author isn’t saying anything why are you? Especially when readers who are the buyers are asking questions about a story?
  • Remember the days of getting paperbacks and your only correspondence was the sheet of paper in the back?

  • Also, tagging your books as cook or whatever not related to the book just so you can get #1 on Amazon. Really? Really?

  • My author friends I genuinely want to know what’s up with this phenomena of step-brother stories. Is it because its taboo?  

Note these are just my thoughts as a reader and blogger so please don’t take offense. This post is not toward anyone person in general but what is reflected on social media.

Side note: Coming up in March a good friend and mentor of mine are partnering up for a few posts in a series featuring some very well-known authors. So please stay tuned.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fighting Silence ( On The Ropes Book 1) By: Aly Martinez

I love discovering new authors especially new authors with a fresh story to tell. This story is one of those books you read and it reminds you of a love story with purpose. It’s not just boy meets girl and they have a simple misunderstanding this is real life. The good, bad and definitely the ugly. I admit I was a little hesitant because this is a series but readers this is a full story that ends in a hea.

Till didn’t have the best introduction in life. His father would sell him out to save his own life and his only glimmer of hope was Eliza. She was not only his love but his best friend. I love that as a reader we got to see their relationship grow from childhood to adulthood.

Everything was a fight. He had to fight for his life, respect, love and now his hearing. Life happens and people grow apart. But you never forget your first love.

This story is an emotional rollercoaster and as a reader you experience it all. They live in a world that they created as a means of escape but reality soon sets in. Till knows at this point in his life he cannot be everything sweet Eliza needs. He has his brothers to take care of and at this point in his life he can’t offer her much.

 Eliza isn’t a pushover. Being viewed as invisible but to Till she is the world. These two lean on each other through the most difficult parts of life and often times not always together. Granted I didn’t like that for a good portion of the book the two weren’t together.

Although this book is such a rollercoaster Flint and Quarry are very funny. Hopefully we will get more of them. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and can’t wait to see what else the author has in story. Please judge this book for yourself and not based on this one review.

Monday, February 23, 2015

By Any Other Name ( Forbidden Book 1) By: J.M. Darhower

The calm before the storm….

Tick, Tick, Boom…..

Primo Galante lived for his wife and kids until one day it all went up in smoke. You hit they hit back. The Barasantis started it and the Galante’s were determined to finish it. You know how the saying goes, “an eye for an eye.”

 An all-out mafia war ensued between the two once friends until one day everything changed. What happens when your sworn enemy becomes the love of your life?

Genna Galante is a wild-child. Her need to be free and independent has landed her in a bit of trouble with the law. Her father is one of the Kings of New York and with that comes certain privileges. Because every action has an opposite reaction Genna has to face some tough love. Having what she thought was the worse day of her life changed into a life changing experience. Fate intervened on Genna’s behalf. Stuck in an elevator with the most hypnotic man she has ever seen. She is drawn to him and he fits her father’s criteria: Italian.  

 “Matty” Barasanti the one that got away. He is a myth in the streets of New York. Leaving the family business behind to attend college. He is forced to return home and face his demons. Matty never wanted the life that is imposed upon him. Loosing so much as a child has shaped who is as a man.

He meets her in an elevator a friendly wager over a game of pool is made. You can have whatever you like and Matty choose Genna. She is unlike anyone he has ever meet. Although, their story is one of insta-love can their love overcome a long standing family feud written in blood?

J.M. Darhower’s new series By Any Other Name is a spin on Romeo & Juliet, The Hatfields and McCoys with a mob element thrown in.

Genna came off as very annoying and entitled. She had no accountability for any of her actions. Granted she was very young in this story but being who her family was you would think she would be more cautious. It was as if nothing else mattered besides her relationship with Matty. For instance, in one scene her brother gets into a full blown fight with their enemy. They are in enemy territory and instead of trying to stay to see if her brother is ok she leaves with Matty. It has been mentioned more than once in this story that loyalty and family is everything. Genna’s brother Dante is her protector and best friend but to just leave him was a betrayal. Does she not get that her father is the mob and her boyfriend is a mob boss son? Were the risks worth the rewards? People paid for their lives in blood due to the war and their love affair. Did this not affect the relationship? It was never mentioned in the story. It was a few inconsistences in this book. The characters actions mainly Genna didn’t add up with what readers were lead to believe about this mob family.

This book dragged a bit in certain areas. It was a few editing issues at some points I didn’t know who was speaking. The fathers were the mob connection for this book. I wish we would have gotten more of that because for a good portion of the story it felt like a warped version of a young adult Romeo and Juliet book. I know the author does use a few quotes from the Shakespearean book but the execution just wasn’t there.  

After all the pain and drama I was looking for more of an emotional reaction. Genna and Matty lost so much but it just felt like the emotions were swept under the rug and we were reading the next scene. The parents were more emotionally charged then the kids. I understand that they didn’t choose this life but they acted as if their actions didn’t add fuel to the fire. It was no self-reflection i.e. did Matty or Genna have any doubt about continuing on with their relationship. It was just we are in love so who cares? It wasn’t much relationship development given. The cat and mouse game between the two in the beginning was a good chunk of the story. Towards the end of this story it really turned around and I wanted to know more about what was going to happen. This author writes really good mob stories that are gritty and emotionally charged but this story lacked much of that mob element. I hope the next book in this story focuses more on that versus the teenaged love affair. I enjoy this author’s work and honestly look forward to the next book in this series this story just fell a little flat for me. Please judge this book for yourselves and not based on this one review.  



Friday, February 20, 2015

Fighting Silence (On The Ropes Book 1) By: Aly Martinez

Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine.  I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting for my career.

Fighting the impending silence.

Fighting for her.

 Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

 I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.

*Sexy Excerpt*
“Hi.” I stood up off the bed as he started climbing through the window.

His eyes went wide when he saw me, causing him to momentarily lose his balance on the windowsill and go crashing to the floor. “God. Damn,” he cursed as he rose to his feet while taking in my new wardrobe. “You… I…um…” His hand went to his lip.

He was rooted in place only a few steps away, but his eyes traveled over every inch of my body and back again.

Till was speechless. I had never felt so empowered in my life.

“Are you okay?” I feigned concern as I slowly approached.

“Not even close,” he told my breasts, making me giggle.

After sliding a hand under the edge of his T-shirt, I raked a fingernail over each of his abs before dipping it into the waistband of his jeans.

“I’m sore today,” I announced, closing the distance between us. My breasts were pressed against him, but he still hadn’t even attempted to touch me yet. I had plans to remedy that. I smirked then stood up on my tiptoes, kissing the base of his neck. “Make me sore for tomorrow too.” At the last second, I darted my tongue out to the hollow dip at the base of his neck. It was meant to tease him, but as the taste of his skin hit my tongue, I was flooded with memories of taking more of him in my mouth. The moan escaped before I’d even felt it coming.

A loud rumble shook his chest, but that was the only warning I received. Suddenly, I was off my feet and sailing through the air. Just as I landed on the bed, Till crashed on top of me. His mouth roughly landed on mine.

“Tell me we can’t do this again,” he demanded as his hands found my breasts.

“We’re definitely doing this again.” I arched into him.

“It’s gonna get so messy, Eliza. Please.” He groaned as I reached into the front of his jeans.

“I’m okay with messy,” I breathed, guiding his hand from my breast and into my panties.

“Fuuuuuck” he cursed when he discovered just how thorough I’d been with the razor earlier. His finger pressed inside me as his body traveled down the bed and settled between my legs, stripping my panties off during his descent.

He added another finger in a less than gentle but overwhelmingly intoxicating, rhythm.

“Tell me to stop, Eliza. We can’t do this again.” He grazed his teeth on the inside of my thigh.

“We’re already doing it.”

“Tell me to stop.”


“It’s going to ruin us.”

“If you don’t stop talking, you’re going to ruin this.”

“I’m serious.” He kissed the inside of my other thigh, his fingers never faltering in their steady pace.

“So am I. Stop trying to talk yourself out of this while your fingers are buried inside me.” I threaded a hand into his hair and gave it a gentle tug.

“Goddammit. Tell me to stop!” he demanded one last time, but his fingers sped before twisting in the most delicious way.

I decided to give him what he wanted, but only because I knew he wouldn’t follow through.

“Stop.” I rolled my hips forcing him even deeper.

“Well, it’s too fucking late now.”

I would have laughed, but his mouth sealed over my clit and stole my breath, words, thoughts, and orgasm. My body shook as he pushed me higher even while I was falling. It shouldn’t have worked like that, but whatever voodoo magic Till Page was working with that night was all right with me. He didn’t stop swirling his tongue until I used his hair to pry his mouth away.

“Too much!” I cried.

He looked up with a wickedly proud grin. His hand disappeared, and seconds later, his cock replaced it.

Pre-order Fighting Silence


RELEASE DATE: February 23rd, 2015

About the Author:

Aly Martinez

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.






Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wolf in Exile Unchained By: Amber Ella Monroe

Thane and Kalena are back in Wolf in Exile Unchained. This story picks up where the second book Wolf in Exile Captured takes off. Because this story is told in parts I suggest that readers start with book one to fully understand what is happening.

Kalena: The ex-pharmaceutical assistant to the V.P. has found herself not only in a shifter prison but drugged with short term memory loss. With more questions than answers her only support is Thane. But how do you trust someone whose brother (Gavril) is the reason you are in danger?

 Thane has never felt this way towards another especially a human. Kalena sparks something in Thane that he hasn’t felt in centuries. A lone wolf with more family drama and danger than anyone knows. What do you do when the person you want to protect is in danger by just being with you?

Gavril, Thane’s brother owns Silex Pharmaceutical and has been testing his drugs on unsuspecting people this time one of the persons is Kalena the very person who Thane is now willing to risk his life and freedom to protect. A complicated situation with many lives at risk including Thane’s niece the rightful heir to the Silex fortune. Is Thane now ready to take back his title as Alpha?

In the midst of danger a strong desire blooms between the two. Kalena is not very experienced in the men department but Thane is very well equipped to teach her what she has been missing. The sex scenes between these two are off the charts. It’s a slow build-up of foreplay and sexy banter.  

This second installment starts off with non-stop action. The author gives the reader insight into the pack line and a mini-history lesson on how Thane came to be. The first book set the scene this second story gave us the situation. As a reader my issue like it always is with short stories is that I wish they were longer because as soon as you get into the story it’s over. This story does end on a cliff-hanger with a big decision left hanging in the air. I look forward to reading the follow-up to this series. Please judge this book for yourselves and not based on this one review.
**Note both books are available on Kindle Unlimited **




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Romantic Heart Beats By: Alexandra Isobel

Alexandra Isobel is a Canadian based romance writer who sees the romance in everyday life, and spins it all into her romance stories. She adores movies and photography which are the corner stones of her creative writing imagination.

MiXeD tRiBe is her social medial blend of culturally rich reading, writing and visual inspirations.
About Romanic Heart Beats ....
Alexandra Isobel’s book Romantic Heart Beats is a group of short stories all with a military theme. Readers this book is what I like to call a sneak peak of what the author has in store. All these stories do end on a cliffhanger. These stories all whet the appetite leaving the reader wanting more. Hopefully she doesn’t make readers wait too long.

Because the stories are all short and very fast paced I will only review one of them as to not give much a way.

Romantic Heart Beats opens with the first story Take Flight:

Taking place in Indonesia gun shots are everywhere Daria Hill has no idea what is happening. Being trained as a military daughter she is used to drills but the real thing has her on edge. Mercury her protector and soldier has been assigned Daria’s life. But what happens when work mixes with pleasure?

These two have a rocky relationship. Mercury is a man with many secrets and very closed off except when it comes to Daria. Her parents have her life planned and she is to do as she is told but her heart has other plans. Daria has loved Mercury for years but these two can never be more than work and obligation or can they? One night the lines are crossed and obligation is thrown out the window.

In the midst of all the pandemonium the author has flashback scenes on Daria and Mercury’s relationship. I would have liked to see more development of their relationship. This story was more the reader being told what was happening. At times I was confused as to what was going on. I am a visual reader and I had no idea what these two people looked like just their names and a brief background description. Because these stories are short it leaves the reader wanting more information. Please judge this book for yourselves and not based on this one review.
Romantic Heart Beats is now available for purchase.  
Connect with Alexandra Isobel on twitter. @AlexandraISOBEL



Unxpected Fate By: Harper Sloan

First let me say that I love the Corps Security series so when I found out that Cohen Cage was getting a book I was ecstatic. I will admit that I fell in love with little Cohen in the previous books so reading about him as a grown man with adult feelings was a little bit of a transition. But I didn’t have to worry too much because even though he is all man an Alpha male like his father and uncles his character stays

Although this book focuses on Cohen and Dani-girl as he calls her family is very prevalent in this book. I love the fact that as a reader we got to not only see these two characters grow into adulthood but how the family reacts to this mainly Axel. He is ever dominating and possessive over his little princess and a bit much at times but it was all out of love.

Following in his father’s footsteps Cohen joins the military (Special –ops) his life is his work and although he loves his family and still is super-co he has a life of his own. Due to his job and lifestyle Cohen has never settled down or forgot the little girl who confessed her love for him. Dani has consumed his thoughts since that one day. Being too young to act on his feelings little Dani is all grown up and is ready for some very adult activity.

Dani has never forgotten the love of her life Cohen. Even though he seems oblivious to her feelings that doesn’t stop Dani from daydreaming and lusting after him. Tired of playing the game she decides to go after what she wants. Getting Cohen Cage is not as easy as just confessing feelings he is a lot work and a whole lot of man but Dani is up to the challenge.

But can their love survive stalkers, war, crazy-possessive fathers and distance? It’s been said that true love is worth the wait. Find out what happens when two kids destined to be together fight all the odds to keep their love alive.

I love that this book is about the second generation of Corps Security as readers we get a glimpse into the lives of all the previous characters children. The author stayed true to the essence of how these kids and their families were. If you thought Axel was over the top over Izzy imagine just how crazy he is over his little princess. Although this book was an emotional rollercoaster at times there still was some very laugh out loud moments especially scenes with the infamous Sway.

I did wish that some scenes like the coming of terms with their feelings would have been explored more before moving on to two weeks later. Although I did love this book and characters I would have liked to see more relationship development between the two characters. I won’t give much a way but majority of the book is told from Dani’s perspective and I understand because of Cohen’s situation that we wouldn’t read much on his perspective but I still would have wanted to see a little more relationship development then just the sex. At times Dani did annoy me she needed a backbone instead of having to be prompted by her roommates and mother to stand up.

I will say that due to her age as readers we got to see Dani become stronger and more secure within herself as the book progressed. Some things didn’t add up like with all of the drama going on behind scenes why did they continue filming? And did the roommates continue to stay at the house although danger was nearby? Although this book has few sex scenes they are very hot and unlike anything we have seen from this author. We got to see some new characters outside of the family namely Chance who I can’t wait to hear more on. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to the next book in this series. Please judge this book for yourselves and not based on this one review.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Author Spotlight: Phoenix Rayne

On my mission to discover new authors I discovered Author Phoenix Rayne. She writes contemporary romance and fantasy romance story with a strong alpha male that makes readers with they were the leading lady. If you are looking for something new and refreshing or just a good read please check her out.

Phoneix Rayne was born in Federal Way Washington in a small community. Currently she resides in Nashville Tennessee where she is a student as well as a full time author... Phoenix is a published author that has several novels under her belt that she has penned with G-Street Chronicles. When not writing you can find her in a shoe store shopping or catching a good movie.

About The Enclave of Jyme (G Street Chronicles Presents)...

As a child, Jyme Samson believed his family trait was a curse and he tried his best to cope with it. His high school sweetheart Elle was there for him every step of the way until betrayal sat foot on his doorstep and tore them apart, making him doubt everything he ever believed.

All he wanted was to leave the past behind. When he met Cricket Hooper, his desire to be everything she needed forced him to enclave into the real Jyme—the man he’s always wanted to be.

Every story has two sides. In Heels of Love and Wounded Love, Cricket had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Jyme’s eyes. This is his story from the first moment he laid eyes on her and knew she was the real meaning of his existence.

The Enclave of Jyme (G Street Chronicles Presents) is now available for purchase.

Connect with Phoenix, and stay in the know.

Tweet me @hellophoenixx

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cupid: A Dark Erotica Romance By: Jade Eby & Kenya Wright

One shot with his bow, Justification in blood, Trained from birth to “protect”……

“Cupid”: He only hurts those who hurt others. Men all of them were deceitful monsters. It was his job to kill the monsters. And so he did. Bow and arrow in hand he was riding the world of all the monsters. But no one is above the law. The old adage rings true, “what’s done in the dark comes to light.” Desperation turns into obsession and the games have just begun.

Asher: One of Ovid Island richest men. He has eyes everywhere and the power to put fear in any man. Asher is a man with a dark past and even darker secrets. An Island state in a world only few would understand. He carries the burden a reminder of his mother’s hurtful past. His mother groomed him from the start: it's only us in the world. But what happens when the world you known is turned upside down?

Diana: Trapped in a loveless marriage or so it seems. She enjoys the perks of being married but has become bored. Wanting something new and tired of the same adventure finds Diana and suddenly she finds herself stuck in cupid’s arrow.

This is a psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns. One thing I did find that the story at times seemed a bit inconsistent. For instance, Diana never wanted to leave Neil (husband) she mentions he didn’t give her any reason but had multiple indiscretions that she knew of. But now she is flirting and finds herself “dating” none other than Asher. This was a cat and mouse game between the two characters. Which leads readers to ask who is playing who? Diana is a reporter and Asher wants to protect his investment as they both try to find out the identity of serial killer Cupid. I enjoyed the dual point of views and the flashback scenes of the killers past. It gave readers insight into the mind of a psychopath or is it sociopath? At times the inner dialogue was a bit much and I wanted more present dialogue between the characters.

I wasn’t quite sure of the time line in this story because everything progressed so rapidly. The authors don’t leave the readers guessing long about who the killer is. The story jumps right into the nonstop action. This book was like lifetime, snapped and American Psycho met and had a baby. At times it was hard to differentiate what was actually happening vs. Imagination. One of my few issues with the story is that this is a series and the story just ends. Asher was a psychopath and very complex. When secrets and lies are revealed I wonder how Diana will find herself, she seemed terrified and intrigued at the same time. I really did feel as though Cupid didn’t have any remorse or redeeming qualities. This story has some underlying tones of darkness. It will be interesting to see what the next story will explore. Hopefully the authors don’t make us wait too long. Please judge this book for yourselves and not based on this one review.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Unexpected Fate By: Harper Sloan

Unexpected Fate by Harper Sloan
“Axel Reid, don’t you dare!”  my mom exclaims. Then she yelps when my daddy charges through the front door.

“Don’t I dare what, Princess?  No way that boy is going near my girl.  Look at him!  He looks like he can’t wait to creep on my daughter!”

“Well, there is no need to scare him to death!” she mocks.

My cheeks heat instantly when I see Dane start backing away from the porch.  My hopes of being able to actually go to my senior prom are starting to go up in flames.


Just like that.

Not that I should be surprised about it.  Mom did her best to calm Daddy down, but we should have known better.  He took one look at me and stormed over, only to return ten minutes later looking like he does now.

So embarrassing.

“You need to stop this nonsense right now, you big lug, or you’ll be sleeping on the couch,” Mom fumes.

“Like hell I will, woman!” Daddy roars at my mom.

I watch her face get sharp.  He stops long enough to sling one of—that’s right, ONE of—the rifles he’s carrying over his shoulder, where it lands next to the other one he already has over his other shoulder.

Only my mom would be brave enough to deal with him when he’s in “Protect Dani from everything with a penis” mode.  He looks absolutely ridiculous.  He has two hunting rifles now hanging by their leather straps over each shoulder.  He has two handguns strapped to each thick thigh, two on each side of his belt, and various knives along the way.  His shirt, which he thinks is hilarious to wear when I attempt to go out on a date, says I kill things…and eat them.  I know it’s a hunting shirt—for animals, not teenage boys—but Dane doesn’t.

Mom moves in front of him, standing in the front doorway and blocking his path, where Dane is still slowly retreating.  She’s been dealing with this way before they even had me.  He’s…protective.  I guess that’s the nicest way to put it.  Well, she calls him protective.  However, I call it possessive, overbearing, controlling, demanding, and jerky.

“This is her senior prom, Ax.  You wouldn’t let her go last year.” She pauses when he grunts. “And I’m sorry, but you won’t be stopping her this year.  She has a right to experience this.  And Dane is a nice boy.  Right, Dane?” she yells over her shoulder.

“Uhh…” he stammers, causing my daddy to grunt some more.

“The boy doesn’t even know how to talk, Izzy.  I bet he will be nothing but handsy and think with his little pecker.  Nope.  No way.  Not near my baby girl.”

Oh.  My.  God.  I wish I could just fall into a hole right now.  I try to see over my parents to find out if Dane heard that, but with Daddy basically being a giant, that’s not happening.

“You did not just say that!” I yell at his back.

Daddy turns around, his movements awkward with how many weapons he has strapped to his body.  His green eyes, so like my own, slant and harden.  He looks down at my dress for the thousandth time since I came downstairs and doesn’t even bother hiding his displeasure that it’s showing too much of my body.  Even if it is about as tasteful as it gets.

My strapless, red dress has a sweetheart neckline, and everything he calls my “girly bits” is covered.   There isn’t really any cleavage.  Well, okay, there is some, but surely with my lack of being busty, you couldn’t even call what is showing “cleavage.”  His first problem was with how much of my legs was showing.  Then I made the mistake of turning around without my wrap on.  That’s when he saw that the dress was completely backless to my bra line.  Well, what it would be if I had been wearing one.  Which is clearly when he lost his mind.

“You look just like your mother did that night twenty years ago when we finally came back to each other.  Right down to those strappy shoe things. And I guarantee you, Danielle Reid, any teenage boy who doesn’t bat for the other team will be thinking thoughts I’ll cut his dick off for.  No.  You aren’t going with that boy, and that’s final.”

I harden my eyes, and his narrow even further.

I put my hands on my hips, and he squares his shoulders, his rifles clinking together.

I raise one brow, and he mirrors the action.



“I’ll cry.”

“No, you won’t.  You have more balls than that.”

“Want to bet?”  I attempt to muster up some tears, knowing that he won’t be able to handle them, but before I can force the first one out, my brother jumps into my line of sight and blocks our standoff.

“Yo, Dane!  You just run along now.  Dani is unfortunately feeling a little under the weather.  Ebola. Or the flu. I don’t know.  It’s really ugly and you probably don’t want to be around this.  The boils—they could pop at any moment.”

“You did not just do that,” I heatedly whisper, fuming at his nerve.

Nate turns and smirks at me. “Oh I just did.”

“I can’t believe you two!”  I spin to look at the one person who can help me.   “Mom, seriously?”

Her expression softens, and she just shakes her head.  “I’m sorry, Dani.  I tried.”

“You two,” I start, pointing between my older brother and father.  “You just can’t leave it alone?  I’ll be eighteen in a few months.  What are you jerks going to do then?”

“You’re not dating, Danielle.  Not ever.”

“Oh yeah, Daddy?  And how realistic is that crap?”

“Watch your mouth, little princess.”


“I’m so sorry, Dani.”  She walks over and wraps me in her small arms.

I could probably really cry now a lot easier than when I was trying to fake it, but I’ve never been one of those girls who weep constantly.  It would be easier to just go upstairs, take off the dress mom and I spent hours looking for, scrub off the light makeup she helped me apply, and pretend this night didn’t happen.


An hour later, I’m sitting in my bedroom, still wearing my perfect dress.  My makeup is still done and my hair is still flowing in long waves.  And I’m no less mad at the men in my life than I was earlier.  I’ve considered climbing out my window.  I’ve considered asking my best friends, Lyn and Lila, to come help me escape.  But what would be the point?  Rambo-Dad already scared away my date, the only boy left in school who had been willing to ask me even though his friends had warned him about my father.

I lie down on my bed and stare up at the ceiling.  Maybe I should go away for college.  I planned on living at home while I attended Georgia Tech, but there is no way I can deal with this stuff any longer.  If my father had things his way, I would be shipped off to become a nun.  Or he would buy an island and make it an all-girls cult.

“Uhggggg!” I yell to the empty room.

“Seriously, Dani-girl, things can’t be that bad.”

I jump up when I hear the deep, gravelly, insanely sexy voice coming from my bedroom door.  That voice.  My lord.  The things it alone does to me should be classified as illegal.

My hair slaps me in the face, a good handful landing in my open mouth, and I hastily pull it out before I turn to where he is standing.

My lord, he’s beautiful.  He’s always been.  My heart speeds up when I take in his smirking face and the mischief dancing in his brown eyes.

“Cat got your tongue?”

I shake my head.


I shake it again.

“Do you really have some flesh-eating, boil-slash-Ebola-like sickness?” he laughs.

I narrow my eyes at him, and his rich laughter booms through the room.

“I’m just kidding, Dani-girl.  Come on. Get yourself ready and let’s go rock this prom.”

My jaw drops again.  “What?” 

For the first time, I notice that he’s dressed in a perfectly tailored tux.  My eyes travel down his tall form to his shining, black dress shoes.  On the way back up, my eyes hit the corsage spinning around his finger before I look back up into those gorgeous eyes.

“Let’s go, beautiful.”

“Does Daddy know you’re here?” I ask, not moving from my spot.

He sighs, steps into my room, and walks over.  His cologne, Gucci Black, wraps around me.  He’s worn the same scent for years.  I perversely sniff it every time I hit the mall with Lyn and Lila.  That scent—it’s my undoing.

He grabs one of my hands and gives my knuckles a kiss before placing the corsage around my wrist.  He gives my hand a squeeze before letting go.  Placing his strong hands on my shoulders, he presses down until I’m seated on my bed.  Kneeling before me, he takes my feet one by one and fastens the straps of my black heels before standing and grabbing my hands, again, to pull me to my feet.

The whole time, I act like a freak and just gape at him.

What in the hell is going on?

“Ready?” he asks.


“Right. You’re ready,” he laughs, grabs my hand, and pulls me through the house, down the stairs, and into the entryway of the house, where my parents are waiting.

Mom has her camera ready, forcing us to take some pictures, for all of which I’m sure I’m just standing there in a daze.  I think I smiled in them, but I was too busy trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  Daddy smiles big and triumphantly the whole time, like he’s won some battle here.

“Oh, good.  You got here,” Nate mumbles through a sandwich he’s stuffing down his throat.

I shake out of my stunned stupor and look over at him.  “You did this?”  I ask with disbelief.

“Well, duh.  Can’t have my little sister miss her prom because of some boils.  Plus, I knew this guy,” he says, pointing at our father, “wouldn’t mind him.”  He takes another bite before he looks over my shoulder.  “And I know he isn’t going to try to pet the cat.”

“Nathaniel Gregory!” Mom gasps.

“What?  Why do you think Dad acts like he does?  Just because I’m willing to say the words doesn’t mean you have to freak out.”

I look over at my mom, who has turned bright red.

Daddy laughs at her embarrassment and pulls her into his arms.  “Are you sure we didn’t drop that one a few times as a baby?”

She slaps his hard stomach and shakes her head. “You look beautiful, honey.  Have fun, okay?”

I smile at her and move my eyes to Daddy to judge his mood.

He just smiles at me. “I trust him.  He won’t let any of those pimple-faced, prepubescent boys touch a beautiful hair on your head.  Have fun, sweetheart.”

I walk over and give them both a hug, standing up on my toes as far as a can to whisper my gratitude in his ear.  He’s annoying, overprotective, and possessive of his girls, but I love him and I know he comes from a good place.

“Uh, excuse me?  Do I not get any little-sister love here?  I’m the one running this show, you know?”

“You’re such a dork, Nate,” I laugh and give him a hug before turning back to my date.

He’s standing by the door, talking in low tones to my daddy.  I can’t hear him, but he’s still smiling, so I’m guessing there isn’t any talk about dismemberment going on.  He looks over, his smile deepening and the lines around his eyes crinkling.  Something moves behind his eyes that darkens them slightly, but he looks back over at Daddy, finishing up their conversation.

“Ready, Dani-girl?” he asks a few minutes later, making my heart speed up again.

Holy.  Crap.

“Yeah. I’m ready.”  Or at least as ready as I’ll ever be.
That night, while dancing to Brett Young’s “Kiss by Kiss,” I knew I would never be the same.  I could feel the jealous waves coming off every female in the room as he held me in his arms.  Of course, I had a man and not a boy as my date.  Five years older than I am and very obviously not a teenager.

Being held in his arms was a dream come true.  His scent invaded my lungs with every inhale.  His eyes twinkled as his smile held me hostage.  I knew I would never love a man as much as I love him.

Yeah.  That was the night I confirmed what I had always known.  What I had always felt.

Cohen Cage owned my heart and I never wanted it back.
Meet Cohen & Danielle in the newest stand alone

in the Hope Town Series by Harper Sloan!

Releasing:  February 17th

Have you ever felt like you were living your life for a future that was predetermined? Like there was some bigger picture you just prayed you would someday see clearly? That picture has been crystal clear to me since I was old enough to recognize it for just what it was.
Or I should say recognize him for who he was.
I’ve loved Cohen Cage since I was a small child. He’s been my everything for the last twenty-two years. I’ve loved him through every girlfriend he’s ever brought home. Through his college years and then mine. I’ve loved him through two deployments. And ever since the day I told him how I felt, he’s acted like I’m a stranger.
My name is Danielle Reid, and it’s time for me to get my man.
Our future is an unexpected fate, and no matter what our parents, siblings, and friends say…it’s going to be worth every second of the fight to make it happen.
About the Author:
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed 'Estrogen Ocean', much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero--the super alpha kind!
Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn't take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.