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review 2019-08-21 08:30
New Release Blitz - Hitting Black Ice
 
Title: Hitting Black Ice
Series: Heart and Haven, Book One
Author: Heloise West
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: August 19. 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 75100
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, FBI, double agents, action/suspense, medical profession, action, suspense, theft, gay
 

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Synopsis:

 

Shawn is on the run from the law and love, to protect himself and anyone else involved. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for the temp front desk clerk. He keeps his distance from relationships for a good reason but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passions explode in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings both their hearts back to life. But as they explore their relationship, the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, and when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Will Shawn sacrifice himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder?

 

 

 

 

Hitting Black IceHitting Black Ice by Heloise West
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hunter & Shawn work at the same hospital. They admire one another from afar. After tragedy strikes, they have a moment full of passion. Hunter finds he cannot resist Shawn.

Shawn is on the run. He tried to have the law help him, but what he found out is that he has to help himself. He never wanted to involve Hunter, but resisting him is no possible.

This was kind of a slow burn, with bursts of heat. It had a good mystery, and the pace is steady. I liked the characters and hope to see more of them in this new Heart And Haven series.


***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

Excerpt:

Hitting Black Ice
Heloise West © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Hunter had a crush, a big one.

In the cafeteria late one night on his break at the hospital, he sipped at a coffee and focused on Shawn, the night desk clerk for the ER, sitting a few tables over. With long black hair tied back neatly and eyes of faded denim blue, Shawn had a lean body, his face long and bony. Tonight, he wore a brown turtleneck under a white-and-green-striped button-down. The rolled sleeves revealed muscled forearms dusted with golden hair, as mismatched to the dyed black hair as his pale eyebrows and lashes. A silver skull ring and silver studs in his ears appeared at odds with the lanyard and dangling ID card.

Hunter drank more coffee, barely tasting it. He’d tried to talk himself out of it, but he couldn’t squirm away from the attraction. When he’d walked past the registration desk to the water cooler—again—or hung out there a moment too long with an empty clipboard in his hands, he caught those tiny flicks of interest in Shawn’s eyes. Hunter must have given away his interest, because the nurses smirked at his pretended obliviousness.

He bent to the not-very-engrossing crossword in the newspaper, imagining what tattoo might lie beneath Shawn’s cool demeanor. Maybe gargoyle wings across a broad and muscled back, or a snake wrapped around his thigh. Something more esoteric—a phrase in Latin, like Hunter’s own primum non nocere, or a bit of wisdom in Chinese characters. Or an old-school Aerosmith tat? Hunter glanced up from filling in the little squares with black ink blocks. He could have sworn Shawn hurriedly dropped his attention down to the paperback in his hands. He turned the page and shot a second glance at Hunter. Gazes locked and jumped away.

Shit!

Heat rushed through Hunter all at once and climbed up to his face. Too aware of the black-haired man with biceps to die for and long legs to—well, never mind. Taking a boner back to the ER was not a good idea.

He had touched those biceps once when he gave Shawn a flu shot back in the fall. Shawn had taken the needle without a flinch.

Shawn stood with his tray in hand and walked toward the trash container behind Hunter. The back of his neck prickled as if Shawn breathed on the little hairs there. Hunter picked up his coffee cup once more but tasted only the dregs.

Good thing he’d decided to become a physician’s assistant and not an actor. He didn’t talk to Shawn unless he had to, the worst giveaway of all. No shy bones in his body, yet he feared conversation led to more conversation, to flirting, and the next thing he knew, they’d be going on a date, Hunter falling head over heels, and then the asshole—

Stop. You know how the story ends.

Behind him, Shawn cleared his throat. Hunter didn’t turn around. Shawn returned to his seat, picked up the paperback, and slumped down into the chair with a scowl.

Marisa slipped into the seat across the table from Hunter, and he smiled.

“I’m onto you,” she whispered.

“Uh-huh.” Hunter moved his body slightly so he could still see Shawn around her.

“You’ve been taking late lunch for three weeks now. I know why—or who.” She smiled, a small Hispanic woman with curly chestnut hair framing her heart-shaped face and hazel eyes. If Hunter weren’t himself, and she weren’t married, he thought he’d be with her. Her lips always gleamed with gloss, and her eyes snapped with fire when she got pissy. He loved it, most days, even when she aimed for him.

She leaned toward him. “Shawn, right?” Her eyes took on a warning snap now and dared him to contradict her.

“I don’t even know if he’s gay.” Which wasn’t true, but he knew better than to deny it to her face.

She sipped at her coffee with her gaze on him. Her mouth left lipstick smiles on the rim of the cup. “There’s something different about this one. And he’s lovely to look at.”

“Lovely.” Hunter snorted. Dead sexy Shawn. Hunter spied him out at the clubs twice now but avoided him there too. Shawn undulated like liquid fire across the dance floor.

“Talk to him, honey.”

“Please. Don’t.” He must have spoken louder than he meant to. Shawn glanced at them and away again.

“You’re letting Jerry’s death run your life.”

Hunter slapped the magazine down. “I’m too sober for this conversation.”

“It’s like he’s locked your heart away.”

Mindful of the potential audience, he lowered his voice. “You’re jumping way ahead here.”

She shook her head. “I know you. You have so much love to give, and I hate to see you suffer.”

Her probing questions about Hunter’s past, family, present situation were all familiar ground. Friendship he could manage; he recognized it when it was offered to him. He’d been out since he was nine. Always been out was what he told people. She was one of the few friends to whom he could confide nearly everything. Jerry’s addictions had killed him, but his family and friends blamed Hunter, and on a deeper emotional level, he blamed himself too. Marisa knew this, and it worried her. She wanted him to find love and move on, be part of a couple. She knew, but she didn’t understand.

He wasn’t abstinent now, not at twenty-five, and never got involved with anyone beyond one- and two-night stands. Hunter didn’t want to take responsibility for another heart.

When the tide of emotion and memory washed through him and left him able to speak again, he said, “I’m not suffering here.” He kept much of the darkness at bay with whiskey and anonymous sex. Who needed Prozac with a warm, muscled body in the bed?

“Stagnating,” Marisa said.

“Maintaining.” It had been a far prettier day in May, eight months ago now, when he walked out of the ER at Boston General to Jerry waiting for him in the parking lot with a gun.

“Ask him out on a date. An old-fashioned date where, at the end of the night, you kiss him good night.”

“No!”

“Don’t get angry.” She patted his hand.

He whipped it away. “Too late.”

Marisa sighed. “I’ll make it up to you. Toni, Anna, and I are going to Twisters tonight. I’ll buy you a drink.”

Hunter gathered up his tray. He liked the ER crowd. They always had fun when they got together in off-work hours, and he agreed to meet her at Twisters before hitting the clubs.

When his shift was over early in the morning, he drove back to his apartment and crawled into bed as the day glowed behind the blackout curtains. The end of the week had left him exhausted, and his sleep was blessedly dreamless.

 

Purchase:

 

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

 

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance. She travels and gardens with her partner of fifteen years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine. Find Heloise on Facebook.

 

Giveaway:

 

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review 2019-08-20 06:54
Run
Hitting Black Ice - Heloise West

Hunter & Shawn work at the same hospital.  They admire one another from afar.  After tragedy strikes, they have a moment full of passion.  Hunter finds he cannot resist Shawn.

 

Shawn is on the run.  He tried to have the law help him, but what he found out is that he has to help himself.  He never wanted to involve Hunter, but resisting him is no possible.

 

This was kind of a slow burn, with bursts of heat.  It had a good mystery, and the pace is steady.  I liked the characters and hope to see more of them in this new Heart And Haven series.  I give this a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2016-09-12 00:00
Hitting Black Ice
Hitting Black Ice - Heloise West A free copy of the book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

2.5 stars

The writing came off a bit funky to me. There were errors and I think it needed another round of editing. It was really throwing me off.

Shawn (Alex) and Hunter were not stellar/upstanding characters and I was extremely turned off by both when they admitted they wouldn't mind sleeping with each other even if they were in a relationship with someone else.

The story behind why Shawn was running was interesting and was probably what kept me reading. Besides wanting to know how things turned out for Shawn and Hunter. The issues leading up to the two having another chance was a little vexing.
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text 2015-09-03 17:59
Best 1st Book in Contemporary Romance Series
Mackenzie's Mountain - Linda Howard
How to Misbehave - Ruthie Knox
Rock Chick - Kristen Ashley
Once Upon a Rose (La Vie en Roses) (Volume 1) - Laura Florand
The Unsung Hero (Troubleshooters, Book 1) by Brockmann, Suzanne (2000) Mass Market Paperback - Suzanne Brockmann
Simply Irresistible - Rachel Gibson
The Dom Project - Heloise Belleau,Solace Ames
It Had to Be You - Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Head Over Heels - Susan Andersen
Imperfect Chemistry - Mary Frame

In order to get hooked on a series, I need a great first book. 

 

Here are some of my favorite first books in Contemporary Romance Series.  My lists are never in any particular order. Enjoy!

 

1.  Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard 5 Star Read! 

 

Mary Elizabeth Potter is a spinster with no illusions about love. But she is a good teacher and wants Wolf Mackenzie's son back in school. And after one heated confrontation, she knows father and son have changed her life forever. Still paying for a crime he didn't commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder. But Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn't see him as the dangerous half-breed the town has branded him. She sees him as a good, decent, honest man. A man she could love...

 

2. How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

 

s program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?

 

Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own—unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?

 

3. Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

 

Indy Savage, cop's daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy's employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicting matters, Lee has decided he's interested, Indy's decided she's not. But she can't seem to keep Lee out of her life when she's repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she's finding dead bodies).

 

Indy's best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee's challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.

 

 

4. Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand

 

She stole his roses.

 

Fleeing the spotlight, burnt out rock star Layla—“Belle”—Dubois seeks refuge in the south of France. That old, half-forgotten heritage in a valley of roses seems like a good place to soothe a wounded heart. She certainly doesn’t expect the most dangerous threat to her heart to pounce on her as soon as she sets foot on the land.

 

He wants them back.

 

Matt didn’t mean to growl at her quite that loudly. But—his roses! She can’t have his roses. Even if she does have all those curls and green eyes and, and, and…what was he growling about again?

 

Or maybe he just wants her.

 

When an enemy invades his valley and threatens his home, heart, and livelihood, Matthieu Rosier really knows only one way to defend himself.

 

It might involve kissing.

 

And that might be just the start.

 

5. The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

 

After a near-fatal head injury, Navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the sighting as injury-induced imaginings. In a last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorism team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton. As the town’s infamous bad boy, Tom was always in love with Kelly, a sweet “girl next door” who has grown into a remarkable woman. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day.

 

6. Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson

 

Georgeanne Howard leaves her fiancé at the altar when she realizes she can't marry a man old enough to be her grandfather, no matter how rich he is. Hockey superstar John Kowalsky unknowingly helps her escape, and only when it's too late does he realize that he's absconded with his boss's bride. This bad boy isn't looking to be anybody's savior but his own. Still, a long night stretches ahead of them—a night too sultry to resist temptation.

 

Seven years later, Georgeanne and John meet again. She is on her way to becoming Seattle's domestic darling and he is past his hellraising days. Shocked to learn that he has a daughter, John's determined to be part of her life. Georgeanne has loved John since the moment she jumped into his car, but will he risk the wrath of his boss, and one final chance at glory, to prove that this time his love will be everlasting?

 

7. The Dom Project by Heloise Belleau

 

By day, Robin Lessing has a successful career as a university archivist. By night, she blogs about her less-than-successful search for Mr. Tall, Dark and Dominant. Living up to her handle "The Picky Submissive," she's on the verge of giving up and settling for vanilla with a side of fuzzy handcuffs when she discovers her best friend and colleague has a kinky side, too.

 

Sexy, tattooed techie John Sun is an experienced Dom who never lacks for playmates, male or female. If he can't satisfy Robin's cravings, maybe no one can—after all, he knows her better than anyone. So he offers to help her master the art of submission for one month.

 

Robin eagerly agrees to John's terms, even the pesky little rule forbidding any friendship-ruining sex. But rules are made to be broken, and once they begin their stimulating sessions, it's not long before she's ready to beg him for more—much more…

 

8. It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

 

he Windy City isn't quite ready for Phoebe Somerville—the outrageous, curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not ready for the Stars' head coach, former gridiron legend Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors. And the sexy new boss is everything Dan despises—a meddling bimbo who doesn't know a pigskin from a pitcher's mound.

 

So why is Dan drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does the coach's good ol' boy charm leave cosmopolitan Phoebe feeling awkward, tongue-tied...and ready to fight?

 

9. Head Over Heels by Susan Andersen

 

Who said, "you can't go home again"?

 

In Veronica Davis's case, who'd want to—especially when you hail from Fossil, Washington? But now she's back among the kooks and crazies, the small-time losers and the jerks who think she's fair game just because she's in a waitress uniform.

The truth is, Veronica's the boss—at least until she can sell the family saloon and skip town again as fast as her pretty legs can carry her—and nobody knows that better than Cooper Blackstock. From his place behind the bar, the former Special Forces Marine sees everything. And his undercover agenda has made the feisty boss-lady's troubles his own.

 

And her troubles are considerable, what with a family in turmoil, a pseudo-bartender with dangerous secrets, a murder investigation and death threats. Though the town surprisingly rallies in support, it's still a good thing that Cooper will be there to catch Veronica if she stumbles—if he doesn't start falling himself.

 

10.  Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame

 

Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she's amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

 

When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions: by experiencing them herself.

 

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy's neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen's life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy's study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what's more important: analyzing her passions...or giving in to them?

 

I am sure I missed your favorite.  Let me know!

 

Vote on my Goodreads list:  1st Book in Contemporary Romance Series

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review 2015-07-18 18:16
I'm just not quite sure about this one...
Hitting Black Ice - Heloise West

I don't think I've ever had a book leave me feeling quite so confused about whether I liked it or not. I know I didn't hate it and it was not even close to being the worst book I've ever read or the best for that matter. Actually for me the title explains it quite well. It was like hitting a patch of black ice and from there I just fishtailed my way through the story.

 

There was a lot that I really liked about this book. I liked the overall plot it was excellent and I liked Hunter. He had some serious emotional baggage going on and that's ok because let's face it, most people do to some degree. I liked that while Hunter did have said emotional baggage it was balanced with a loving family and some awesome friends. Then we have Shawn/Alex not so much on the emotional baggage which was nice. For Shawn/Alex it was a case of being in the wrong place at the right time or is that the right place at the wrong time...oh well, whatever it wasn't good for him to be there but unfortunately he was and it screwed up his life big time.

 

I can't really decide if these two men have the worst luck or the most incredible luck I've ever read about. On the one hand I'm pretty sure that by the end of the book given everything that happened to them at least one or both of them should have been seriously injured or worse but no they both survived, not totally unscathed mind you,  being shot at numerous times, kidnapped, hunted by criminals (of the serious badass drug cartel kind) and lawmen alike, this one was sketchy to say the least because it was questionable as to who the good guys really were, as well there were traffic accidents involving multiple cars and I'm sure there was more but you get the picture, right?

Add to all of this Truman. Truman was very central to this story and he was epically a person that you love to hate. By the end of the book I was kind of wishing Truman would just die in a fire. I'm pretty sure that the ending was suppose to give him some kind of redemption and I'm sure for some it did...but, honestly for me...nope, just die in a fire Truman, ok? Thanks. (Just let me clarify here I did like that the author gave me this character who I was so easily able to direct my rage at, honestly the guy was just a bag of dicks).

 

Oh yeah, the dogs there are dogs. Huskies beautiful big fluffy huskies and really who doesn't like dogs? I actually wish the dogs could have had a larger part in the story but still they were there.

 

So all in all it was a busy book but there's no way I can say I didn't like it or enjoy it. I truly don't stay up until 3 a.m. to read a book that I don't like. Honest even on a bad day I don't dislike myself that much.

 

So that's it 3.5 slippery, fishtailing on black ice stars for this one. Rounded up because it's black ice and when you hit black ice you slide forward not straight forward but still forward.

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