Tasty Book Tours: TURN UP THE HEAT by Serena Bell

Tasty Book Tours

Turn up the Heat
Second Chances # 1
By: Serena Bell
Releasing July 14, 2015
Loveswept

TUTH_coverBlurb

For readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell teases all five senses in this poignant, tantalizing novel of fantasies long hidden . . . and finally indulged.

Aspiring chef Lily McKee noticed Kincaid Graves the first time he walked into the dingy diner where she waits tables. With his ice-blue eyes and primal tattoos, his presence puts Lily on edge—and reminds her of all the unfulfilled longings she isn’t pursuing while she’s stuck in this dead-end job. Without a doubt, the man is dangerous to her long-term plans of leaving town and hiring on at a real kitchen—and yet, she hungers for him, if even for just a taste.

Kincaid didn’t come back to his coastal Oregon hometown looking for a good time or a good meal. The ex-con has a score to settle, old wrongs to set right. But Lily, equal parts innocence and insight, brings out an impulsive side of him he thought he’d left behind in the past. And it only takes one intense moment of weakness between them to make him consider the possibility of an entirely new future—and the promise of passion beyond either of their wildest dreams.

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Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23568227-turn-up-the-heat?ac=1

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/147029-second-chances

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

SERENAAuthor Info
USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people sometimes do stupid things, and how love can make it all better. She wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since—a skill that’s particularly useful now that she’s the mother of two school-aged children.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
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Ebook copies of:
• CLAIMED by Stacey Kennedy
• MY OBSESSION by Cassie Ryan
• DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett
• TAKE THE FALL by Marquita Valentine
• YOUR TO KEEP by Serena Bell
• SWEET THE SIN by Claire Kent

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Excerpt 1
“Tonight’s special is turkey dinner,” Lily told her table.
The turkey dinner was safe enough: sliced deli turkey, a small scoop of powdered mashed potatoes, canned cranberries, and gravy made from cream of chicken soup, all served on white bread. Nothing much to go wrong there, if nothing to celebrate, either.
If the diner had been hers, turkey dinner would have been fresh-roasted turkey, homemade gravy, a warm, freshly buttered biscuit, apple-and-bacon stuffing, local cranberry preserves, and a heap of hot, creamy garlic mashed potatoes. Her mouth watered at the thought. Her hands felt itchy with her desire to overhaul Markos’s dad’s Thanksgiving feast. And pretty much everything else about the diner, too—it was a shame that a diner in a seaside town hadn’t nodded at a beach theme, or at least gone after a sunshiny feel. Markos’s diner was cozy at night, but cavelike and stifling when the sun was up.
But the diner wasn’t hers, and she had to keep her eyes on the prize. If she kept saving at her current rate, she’d have enough money to move back to Chicago, where most of her culinary school friends now lived. She’d get a job in a real restaurant, actually cooking. And eventually, someday, she’d have the know-how and the name recognition to start her own place. It would happen, despite her mistakes.
“And the meatloaf?”
“If you liked the meatloaf, you’ll love our spaghetti and meatballs tonight.” There were only so many ways to warn people away from a meal without turning them off a restaurant completely, and Lily was mastering all of them.
“I want that,” said the freckled, redheaded children simultaneously.
“Two turkey dinners and two spaghetti and meatballs,” the mom said, smiling at Lily.
“Easy enough! Thanks, guys!”
Lily turned toward the counter, a wood and stone monstrosity built to look like a hunting lodge’s fireplace, just in time to see the diner’s front door open. She had only a general impression of the figure pushing through it, but that was enough.
Him. Her mystery man.
Her body woke up. Pulse, breath, that surge of adrenaline in her veins. Maybe, if she were willing to admit it, other body parts were taking notice, too.
A strange push-pull. Half of her wished he’d find some other place to hang out, while the other half constantly monitored that back booth, noting his absence or celebrating his presence. When he wasn’t there, she wished he were, and when he was, she wished he’d leave and take the distraction with him. So she could just do this job, do it well, and get on with things.
But she couldn’t deny that he cut through the twitchy boredom of waiting tables, like a wire through wet clay.
She forced herself to focus on the tasks at hand, hanging the order for the kitchen and delivering the drinks for Booth 12, though she knew from past experience that she couldn’t pretend he wasn’t there. Even when she couldn’t see him, she registered him—how much space he took up in the diner, how he moved through the restaurant to his seat, his walk as assured as a swagger but so much more self-contained. Unhurried. Unapologetic.
His expression was grim—no smile for the hostess, only his cool pale-blue eyes absorbing everything, wary and watchful. In his jaw, she saw the knot of muscle that told her he never let his guard down.
At first she’d guessed he was a cop, maybe, or ex-army. He had that look.
He sat, as always, in the corner, his back angled so there were two walls behind him. He drew the blind—another habit of his—even though the sun was weak. He almost always sat alone, though once he’d had dinner with a man Lily knew, a grizzled, bearded grandfatherly man who was one of her brother-in-law’s fishing friends. That was a small town for you—if you didn’t know someone, you at least knew someone who knew him.
She’d been trying not to let herself wonder about him, about what it would be like to be with him, whether he could—and would—give her what she wanted and needed, because she was supposed to have shut down that whole line of thinking. But it wasn’t working so well. Her mind kept going there, even as she delivered the drinks to Booth 12 and took their orders. They made it easy for her—turkey dinners and burgers all around.
When she had a moment to peek again, he was drinking coffee, which was all he ever drank, and reading an impressively large book. And still, his thickly corded arms, the span of his shoulders, dwarfed the book and, somehow, the whole booth. Her gaze slipped over the tattoos that peeked out of the neck of his T-shirt. Black and flesh, geometric, triangles and diamonds—almost tribal-looking. His arms were tattooed, too—she’d seen enough to know that one arm was densely and elaborately drawn with evergreen forest.
He glanced up and caught her eye, quickly looked away.
Her heart pounded, as it always did when she caught him looking. A little thrill of speculation chased its tail in the pit of her gut.
I bet he’d be rough . . .

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Never Loved by Charlotte Stein, Excerpt!

 

Tasty Book Tours

Never Loved
Dark Obsession # 1
By: Charlotte Stein
Releasing July 21st, 2015
Loveswept
Blurb
Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines, the first novel in the Dark Obsession series tells the story of a beautiful wallflower who falls for a chiseled street fighter—and learns just how dangerous love can be.

Beatrix Becker spent most of her life under the thumb of her controlling, abusive father. And now that she’s free and attending her dream college, she has no idea how to act like the normal crowd: partying, going on dates, even having a conversation. Then she meets Serge Sorensen. Big and surly with a whole host of riotous tattoos, Serge is supposed to scare the hell out of her. But beneath his harsh exterior, Beatrix discovers a kindred spirit who knows what it’s like to be a misfit. Most exhilarating—and terrifying—is what he does for a living: illegal street fighting.

There’s nothing like the rush Serge gets from the intense athleticism and brutal glory of combat—though his chemistry with Beatrix comes close. Slowly at first, he introduces her to his world, where he lives by instinct, passion, and desire. He even helps her out with her equally traumatized brother. But when Serge gets in too deep with the wrong people, he ends up paying in blood. And suddenly, just as Beatrix has been drawn into Serge’s perfectly sculpted arms, she’s thrown once and for all into the fight of his life.

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Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/03/never-loved-dark-obsession-1-by.html
NeverLoved_CoverGoodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23433442-never-loved?ac=1

Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/139124-dark-obsession

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Loved-Dark-Obsession-Novel-ebook/dp/B00O02CBH4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1426971764&sr=1-1&keywords=9781101882771
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-loved-charlotte-stein/1120817196?ean=9781101882771
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/never-loved/id954737927?mt=11
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/never-loved
Publisher: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/247831/never-loved-by-charlotte-stein

Author Info
Charlotte Stein has written over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including entries in The Mammoth Book of Hot Romance and Best New Erotica 10. Her latest work, Run To You, was recently a DABWAHA finalist. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. For more on Charlotte, visit: www.charlottestein.net

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Excerpt #1
I know they are the ones I have to speak to. I recognize the guy with the tattoo of a hammer on his biceps, and some of the others look familiar from that bar on Maple Street. I’m pretty sure that’s the guy who pointed Tommy out to me, yet still I hesitate. Of course I hesitate.
They look like such an insane rabble. As I watch through the windscreen of my car, three of them start fighting. One of them pushes another one; the third guy grabs the first by his dirty tank top. Harsh words are exchanged, so fierce and forceful I can almost make out the spittle flying.
Then suddenly there’s a knife. I see its edge gleam in the bright sunlight, about a second before something red appears across the chest of the guy who started it. Blood, I think dizzily. That’s blood. He’s bleeding all over his own T-shirt, and though it isn’t anywhere close to a mortal wound, it doesn’t encourage me to get out of the car.
Nor does the way the fight ends. The one with the knife goes to slash at the other guy again, and I’m just about to cover my eyes with my hand when this enormous man comes out of nowhere. He lashes out with a hand like a shovel, and somehow the knife is on the ground. The brawling men are scattering, as though they were never there at all.
And I understand why.
The big one is pretty terrifying. And obviously everyone else thinks so, too, because they part like butter under a knife before him. He goes back to his bike without anyone so much as brushing his arms, and once there he sits down in a way that gets my attention in a fucking chokehold. I mean, he had it before, but watching the machine balk beneath his weight is something else. It actually seems to sag. I can almost hear its sound of protest.
God knows how he rides the thing. God knows about anything going on here. I try to make a list in my head of all the shenanigans that might be ensuing, but all I can come up with is drug ring. And I’ve got to be honest—I don’t think drug ring is a real thing. It sounds like something my father would have ranted about whenever I asked if I could go anywhere, or do anything, or be out past five in the afternoon.
The drug ring will get you, I think, which would probably be funny if I couldn’t feel his ghost pressing down on my shoulders at the same time. Or if I understood any of this on any level whatsoever. I mean, even if they’re not dealing meth to kids, or about to snatch me and put me in a van, a ton of this stuff is disturbing.
For a start:
Why are they all congregating outside an abandoned convenience store? It’s not even a nice one, with those signs people like to collect and stick up on their walls, or some remnant of civilization still hanging around. It’s an ugly rotten tooth of a place, striped all over with rust streaks and half sagging in the middle.
Yet here they are, milling around in this big odd jumble. Some of them have bikes; some of them have battered cars. Some are dressed in leather and denim; others wander around in mismatched tracksuits. In a couple of cases I spy business-wear, as though the wearers came straight here from an early-morning meeting. This is secretly the abandoned-convenience-store branch of GE, and in a second they’re all going to start funneling funds through accounts in the Caymans.
Or maybe I just hope that’s the case, because now I have to get out of the car.
I have to if I want to find my brother, yet somehow I’m still not doing it. Instead I take out my phone and call the only person who might be able to help me, even if I suspect she won’t be able to help me at all. When I left our dorm room, she was trying to decide if scarves are in or out now, which seems pretty far from this.
I’m not even sure if I should say. But I do anyway.
“Do you know anything about gangs that hang around outside convenience stores?” I ask, bracing myself for all kinds of answers. One time I tried to tell her about my brother and his problems, and she suggested I change my name so I won’t be bothered anymore.
Of course, I couldn’t explain to her why that was ridiculous. Whenever I try, I start doing something silly, like crying uncontrollably. I get this urge to start spilling all my secrets, and most of them barely make any sense. Sometimes I look back on them, and it almost seems as if they happened to another person—one who never had to hide a magazine with a man’s naked chest on it under her mattress, or push every clock in the house back by two minutes so Tommy would be home on time, or fear enclosed spaces in case the next time we never get let out at all.
Those things were just a dream.
This is the reality, where I am a cool and very normal—if slightly older than most freshman—college girl.
Or at least, I will be one soon. All I have to do is get through this latest disaster, and onward to the other side. On the other side is the possibility of being a proper person, a person who is successful at doing the things that everyone else does. I could be more interested in parties and hairstyles and dating, to the point where Sam might actually approve and maybe even remember me.
At the moment, that isn’t happening.

 

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