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text 2017-09-21 13:10
Blog Tour: A Hero to Love by Gail Chianese with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Gail Chianese’s A Hero to Love. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


A military police officer on the verge of a new beginning. A beautiful woman devoted to her career and her dream of putting down roots. The hardest thing they’ll ever do is to take a chance on love . . .   Navy Chief Master at Arms Jackson “Jax” Faraday is at a crossroads. He has to decide whether to reenlist or get out while he’s young enough to make a difference in the civilian world. Either choice could mean leaving behind his girl: his K-9 partner, Bella. But when she’s injured during a training session, Jax’s only concern is making sure she’s okay.   As the Navy base veterinarian, town local Risa Reynolds is right where she belongs: close to her parents in a farmhouse full of animals—with room to grow. She’s seen enough to put military men are on her “not happening” list, because they always leave.   But when a tall, hazel-eyed sailor arrives in her clinic with his dog in his arms, Risa finds herself falling hard. And all kinds of rules will get broken when Jax, a man who sticks to the straight and narrow, learns that there’s no predicting the twists and turns of the heart . . .

 

 

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Chapter 1

Jackson Faraday was worried about his girl. He should have been worried about his future. Time was running out for him to make a decision—stay in the Navy or get out—and the detailer was breathing down his neck. But the decision to throw away the past twelve years wasn’t easy. He wanted more. If NCIS—Naval Criminal Investigative Service—would make a decision on his application, that would be great. But what if they turned him down? Did he stay in for twenty years and retire? Then what? Start over at the bottom? Go home to a one-stoplight town with a police force that spent all its time dealing with bored teens wreaking havoc or frustrated couples fighting? Work security for one of the nearby casinos? All viable options, just not what he wanted. He wanted to make a difference. He shoved away the nagging questions. He had more pressing concerns. Like what was wrong with Bella, which was why he was at the base training center, even though his shift was officially over. “Come on, Bella. Give me your best for an hour, and then I’ve got a treat for you.” He wagged the Frisbee to get her attention. Instead, Bella whined and flicked her ear. “Hey, Jax. Heard we had a win in the courtroom today.” Chief Casey Thomas drove his Jeep up next to the chain-link fence. “Stone? Yeah, he’s going away for a good couple of years for that little video stunt of his. Not that it makes up for what he put Lieutenant Riley through, but it’s a start.” “Me and a couple of the guys are going to grab some grub and head out to the beach. Enjoy what’s left of summer. Come join us.” Casey drummed his fingers on the outside of the driver’s door, giving away he had more on his mind than a night’s celebration. “What’s up with you, man? You seem agitated.” He and Casey went back a ways; spent some time in the sandbox together. Normally the guy was as easygoing as cool beer slipping down your throat on a summer day. “Got my orders in today.” Casey slid out of the vehicle and walked through the gate. “I’m heading to Pensacola.” “Isn’t your ex-wife there?” “Near enough.” Casey squatted down and scratched Bella’s ears. “Did you hear back on your application yet?” “You know what they say: No news is good news.” At least he hoped that’s what it meant. “You know what you need? To find a nice lady who can take some of your stress away and make you forget your worries.” “The only lady I need in my life is Belladonna.” “She’s a little hairy and full of attitude.” “Aw, but you forget. She loves me unconditionally and always has my six.” “Not lately.” Casey stood and looked out at the obstacle course. “The new handler had her out this morning, running her through basic commands, and she ignored them all. I know you two have a tight bond, especially after two tours, but you’re leaving soon. She’s got to get used to new people.” Bella had been more than his partner while deployed; she’d been his anchor, his pillar of strength, his confidant, and his hope when all seemed lost. She wasn’t just his K-9 partner. She was his family, and the idea of leaving her was ripping him apart inside. Chances were she could sense his mood and the turmoil going on inside. “Which is why I’m passing on your offer.” Jax released the German shepherd’s leash. “Thought I’d do some special one-on-one training with her and see how it goes. Find out if it’s the new guy or her.” “She wouldn’t be the first dog to burn out.” Casey looked down at the dog, who hadn’t moved. “Of course, if she’s declared unfit for duty, you could adopt her. But then, what would you do with her while you’re in Glynco for NCIS training?” Jax dropped the leash and Frisbee on top of his backpack and looked into the brilliant blue sky. He’d been playing the “what if” game for two months now with no answers in sight. “Let’s deal with one problem at a time.” “If you change your mind about tonight, you know where to find us.” Casey waved as he hopped back into his Jeep and drove off. Jax squatted down and ran his hand down Bella’s back. “Okay girl,let’s get the work over so we can play.” Truthfully, everything they did was work. The game of Frisbee honed the dog’s speed, agility, and tracking ability just as much as anything else they did. She simply liked it better than the obstacle course. Not that Jax blamed her. Jax stood up and gave the hand signal for sit. The dog looked at him, then closed her eyes with a deep sigh. “Bella, sit,” he commanded. She rolled over onto her side and laid her paw across her nose. Casey really nailed it with his description. The dog was full of attitude—bad attitude—and a military working dog that didn’t follow orders was of no use to the service. Jax went through the commands again and again, getting no response. The two of them had worked together for almost six years, since Bella’s first assignment, and she’d transferred with him from the Middle East to the Sub base. In all that time, she’d never ignored an order from him. He bent back down and gave her a cursory inspection, but he didn’t find any obvious reason for the dog to balk. Concerned, Jax sat down on the ground next to his partner. “Bella girl, talk to me. What’s going on in that brain of yours? Is it the heat? Don’t you like the new guy? Tired of the same old routine? Trust me, I’d understand if that was the problem. Maybe we should call it a night, and tomorrow go see Doc and make sure you’re okay.” Bella scooted closer and laid her head on Jax’s lap, her tail thumping in the grass. “You gotta be okay, girl.” Absently, he scratched behind her ears as he thought of the past six years. “I don’t think I could handle it if we’d come this far and something happened to you.” Jax leaned forward and picked up the Frisbee. As he talked about nothing to the dog, he tossed the toy up and caught it, making no demands on Bella. Pretty soon she was sitting, her gaze following the disc. “Ah ha. Okay, I get it. There are times when I don’t feel like working either. I’ll make a deal with you. Five minutes of play and then a lap around the course. Deal?” Bella barked in response. Jax laughed and jumped to his feet, relieved to see her respond like her old self. He threw the Frisbee, and Bella took off at the speed of light. She caught the disc and returned it. They repeated it again and again. “Okay, last one and then we work.” Jax threw it with all his strength. The disc flew up. Bella chased, but instead of running straight across the lawn, she ran up the stairs of the dog walk. When she got to the top, she jumped and caught the disc in her mouth. But as she came down, she twisted. The scene before him unfolded in slow motion. He ran, reaching for Bella. Almost there. He dove to catch her but it was too late. Bella crashed to the ground a couple of feet in front of him, letting out a yelp that made Jax’s stomach cramp. He crawled to her side. Thank God she was breathing. He ran his hands over her body. Nothing protruded and there was no blood, but she was crying. Carefully, Jax scooped her up and ran for his truck. “Hang on, baby. Everything’s going to be okay.” And he prayed like he hadn’t done since his last night in the desert. Just like now, Bella had been at his side and they’d been pinned down by enemy fire. He’d prayed that night that they’d make it home alive and in one piece. He prayed now that his dog would live, because even though she technically belonged to the U.S. Navy, she was the love of his life.

 

 

 

 

 

Gail Chianese's love of reading began at the tender age of three, when she'd make her grandpa read Fourteen Country Rabbits over and over and over again (and correct him when he skipped parts). While she's branched out over the years by reading mystery, women’s fiction, and urban fantasy, she always circles back to romance in the end. That's probably because she's married to her real life hero. Her wonderful hubby has served in the US Navy for the past twenty two years and he’s done things he can’t tell her about. But it doesn’t stop her from being extremely proud of him and the sacrifices he makes for her, his family, and his country. He’s also uber-supportive of her dreams and of their three children. Living in Mystic, CT and a member of Connecticut Romance Writers of America, Gail loves to hear from readers.

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Amazon *** Goodreads

 

   

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-hero-love-gail-chianese-excerpt-giveaway
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review 2017-04-16 04:42
Stalkery alpha-type... why, yes, I do enjoy reading about those types.
Jumping In - Cardeno C.

3.5 HEARTS--Officer Clint Rivera is having a very, very bad day.




So bad it feels like the universe is against him. Why?

He's being kicked out his apartment, his closeted ex-lover--who he wasted many months on--is suddenly getting married after two weeks of leaving Clint. And this cheating douchcanoe had the audacity to send Clint an invitation to his engagement. After internally raging, he returns to his soon-to-be ex-home to find it destroyed by his lovely dogs.  This would drive a man to drink an ice cold stiff one, but he's out of that too after a clumsy catastrophe that caused all his bottles of beers to break.

He'd had enough. Life keeps taking the piss, so he figures his ex owes him all the alcohol after the last couple of shitty hours he's had.





Enter hunky deputy mayor of Clint's small New Mexico town, Hawk. The 6' 6" blue eyed man seems to always be underfoot whenever Clint least expects it. If only he could get over his crush on the hunky, boner inducing man. The best he can manage around Hawk is be adorably tongued tied. Besides, Clint's pretty sure Hawk's straight. Especially with his luck, the best he could do is keep Hawk in his spank bank.

Enter a boozy night where he's rescued by a patient, possessive stalker of a knight in shining armor: Hawk!

Hawk has changed his entire life waiting for his man to be free of that douchecanoe. And he swoops in just like a Cardeno C. possessive hero can do.

We're talking hot dirty talking, sweet courting and possessive insta-love.

And hot sex all over the place once Hawk gets his hands on his man. *coughs* *hint* An appliance might need to take a pregnancy test after a really rocking time.

I'm still fairly new to this author. Cardeno's contemporary seems to do it for me. I wanted possessive alpha that is intense in getting their man. It's exactly what was delivered. It's short enough not to bore and read in between novels.

Some of it was super quick. I mean the coupling lasted for a weekend before we're plopped into a HEA. Something tells me they're going to stick together forever and ever.

And if Clint ever gets second thoughts... well Hawk is just going to have to show him what his amazing tongue and "eight and half inches" can really do.

Newsflash: A fucking lot.





And I'm not mad at it.

Recommended for smutsters who want to read something possessive, hot and sweet all at the same time. 

You know, when you're in a mood. ;D



A copy provided for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-08 05:50
Gearing up for my fave author's first MM!
Shadow's Claim - Kresley Cole

I think my love for this author's words are well documented. She's definitely one of my faves.

How? I'm still reading a series after how many years now? A decade? Little over, under?

I just open up the wallet and send over my ducats to anything remotely IAD related. I own the series, or the series owns me? Hmm...



So the Dacians...borne from one the best frigging vampires EVER, Lothaire. I will forever <3 this evil, diabolical creature. And the Dacians, his royal family are intriguing.

I finally got to this story so I can be prepared for Shadow's Seduction, Cole's first MM!


(I'm so ready)

So how was book #1? The Dacians, Salem and Lothaire saved this story.

Princess Bettina of demon realm Abbondae, half demon/half Soceri, pines for the unattainable, her childhood best friend, the demon man whore, Caspion the Tracker. They've just become immortal (that's how young these two are which helps explain why they acted so...young for lack of a better word). But Bettina's crush/love for Caspion is not returned nor will it ever be. And you can read between the lines from the start he was not attracted to her. He's the star of book #2 which answered the vibes I got from him. (The hints Cole wrote as well helped. ;P) Bettina is ravaged by a bunch of Vrekners and nearly dies.

Does she avenge her attack? No. She suffers from anxiety and PTSD. (This I had no issue with)

Prince Trehan of Dacia, is a cold blooded assassin that is the 'sword of Dacia'. Due to Caspion's meetup with a royal Dacian cousin, Trehan leaves to hunt the young demon down and finds his Bride who bloods him...Bettina.

Out of the entire Lore, the Soceri are one of my least favorites. Witches aren't normally my fave but my intro to the Soceri was Sabine, who is hands down my least fave heroine from the entire series.

Bettina is a close second.

Two heroines whose mates are too good for them, IMO. The only Soceri female who is worth rereads is Melanthe. I <3 her to pieces. Bettina was a doormat. She whines, rolls over for her guardians and lets everyone else rule her life. She is the next in line to rule the kingdom but she doesn't act like it. So soft.

Cole uses another 'immortal to the death tournament' plot device with virgin Bettina and her kingdom as prize. So it was like reading reused tea bag tea. Because you can read the same kind of tournament in the first bunch of books from Immortals After Dark with stronger female characters.

Granted, the tournament was entertaining with Bettina's guardians/ godparents as side characters. There is something about Morgana, the Queen of Sorceri that is funny to read.

And Salem, the foul-mouthed, cockney speaking, invisible phantom? I could read him all by himself, he was so entertaining. What a crass pervert! Loved him

We do get more of the vampire realm, Dacia. Their history is interesting. Trehan was a great hero - patient, calculating, confident and in love with an obstinate woman who thinks a crush with her uninterested friend is the best thing since sliced bread.

And Caspion was a dick and not worth the infatuation. I understand why Bettina was infatuated in the beginning, first crush, etc But c'mon...

he's sleeping with other people --they never made any promises

(spoiler show)



So the impossible becomes possible, hot near sex (and actual sex happens), Nix shows makes a cameo--doesn't say a thing but my Valkyrie loving heart was ecstatic for the bit role she played, and LOTHAIRE shows why he's KANG for like 5 minutes.

The story ends with a HEA, an obvious send off as to who will be the players in book #2.

I'm wavering between a 3 and 4, so I'll rate 3.5 stars

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review 2017-01-03 04:25
The Loyal Heart (Lone Star Heroes #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Loyal Heart (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story) - Shelley Shepard Gray

Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything. After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda’s home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip’s name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone. Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can. He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn’t prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Three years after the close of the Civil War, widow Miranda Markham is still trying to adjust to life as an independent woman in Galveston, Texas, continuing to mourn the husband she lost in a prison camp. Struggling to make ends meet, she decides to turn her home into a boarding house, renaming it the Iron Rail. However, it seems no amount of hard work and up & up business practices will be able to repair her tarnished reputation. Shortly after her husband Phillip's death, gossip spread that Phillip was a traitor, spilling valuable information to the enemy while he was imprisoned.

 

Captain Monroe exhaled. "Don't forget...no matter what, we need to continue to stress that Phillip Markham was nothing more than one of my lieutenants who happened to have a very good seat on a horse."

 

"Yes, sir. And, uh, let us not forget he was a gentleman who really loved his wife."

 

Captain Monroe smiled. "That will probably be the truest thing we've ever said during our time here. Phillip seems to be fairly sure that the sun rises and falls on his Miranda. The man is still smitten after several years of marriage."

 

"Do you think any woman can be that wonderful?"

 

Monroe looked at him sadly. "I would like to think there is at least one woman who is. If Miranda Markham loves Phillip even half as much as he loves her, I shudder to think how she is going to receive the news of his death."

 

 

 

Guilty by association, Phillip's wife got her own share of whispers, most suggesting that her business was a front for illicit activity. Miranda's employee, Belle, suspects most of the gossip is coming from those wanting to keep fingers pointed away from their activities. Additionally, Miranda continues to periodically receive anonymous letters, threatening that she needs to leave town "or else".

 

Just about the time Miranda is stressed and scared to her limit, in to town walks former Second Lieutenant of the Confederate Army Robert Truax. What Miranda doesn't know is that Robert was imprisoned with her husband and in fact made a vow to the dying Phillip that he would look after Miranda... just took him a few years to get around to keeping that promise! All Miranda knows is she has a customer in front of her and she definitely needs the business. While Robert's initial intention may have only been to keep a vow, it doesn't take long for him to be pulled in by Miranda's beauty and her blend of quiet strength and vulnerability. Robert then makes a renewed promise to stay by her side and protect her until her good name has been rightfully restored. But about that reputation... well, turns out there might in fact really be a secret lurking within Phillip's story. 

 

"Jesus, why?" she whispered. "I thought you suffered so much so I wouldn't have to. Why do I have to keep being reminded of how hard life is and how fleeting the feeling of security is?"

 

When I first started reading this novel, I somehow missed the connection that the author is the same Shelley Shepard Gray who wrote the Chicago World Fair series I reviewed in mid-2016. As it turns out though, even though we're talking about completely different time periods, there were some notable similarities between this book and that series! The initial scene between Belle and Sheriff Kern in this novel I found strangely echoed (almost movement for movement at times) that of the first conversation in the police station between Katie Ryan and Detective Owen Ryan in Deception On Sable Hill (Chicago World's Fair Mystery #2). Likewise, the parlor scene involving Viola & Ruth Markham (Miranda's sister in law and mother in law), Robert Truax and Captain Monroe -- the way it was staged, the dialogue, everything -- reminded me of the "big reveal" scene between the police and the Sloane family at the end of Secrets of Sloane House (Chicago World's Fair Mystery #1). Thirdly, there was the scene with Miranda being nabbed and taken to the abandoned fishery, similar to that of Rosalind being held against her will in one of the abandoned fair buildings, also in Secrets of Sloane House. I don't mean these observations as knocks against the writing of Shelley Gray at all, simply stating similarities I noticed. 

 

While the general premise of this story -- friend looks after pal's grieving widow, falls in love with the girl -- has been done dozens of times over, Gray does bring her own unique touches to the idea. First off, you don't often get to see characters killed off by gangrene!  But then again, we are talking Civil War era. Then there was the overall tone... this novel got waaay darker in parts than I was expecting! Both Miranda and Robert admit to battling bouts of deep, dark depression... to the point of actually attempting suicide. Again, given the time period this story is written around, you expect some post-war emotional trauma but I honestly wasn't expecting the topic of suicide to come up within a Christian-based historical novel. But I appreciate the layer of realness it brought to the characters and the overall story. I was also touched at Miranda's rememberances of her last moments with Phillip before he went off to war. Gray writes those scenes with a respectable, unvarnished honesty. 

 

At story's end, I didn't necessarily find myself strongly, deeply moved or disturbed by the lives of these characters -- as I said earlier, this story idea has been played out a bit by previous authors -- but there was enough here that left me curious to see how the next installment of this series turns out. 

 

FTC DISCLAIMER:  TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own. 

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review 2016-12-19 12:32
The Loyal Heart (A Lone Star Hero's Love Story) - Shelley Shepard Gray

I loved that this one was set in Galveston. I got a little history lesson as well as being entertained. I had no idea that the Tremont and the Strand had been a part of the Island that long. Although I'm sure it all had been rebuilt after the storm of 1900 or was it 1906? Whenever it was, I know there was a huge storm that no one knew along this time period. This was also the first book that I had read that was set in the America's during this time period. It was kind of shocking to me that the whole town had turned against the widow Miranda just because of some rumor.

I won't spoil it for any other readers, but it was pretty much obvious who was behind the letters. One reason was apparent, but the other reason was a much deep, darker, creepier one.

I loved that Miranda's war unit soldiers were there for her and helped her to alleviate a lot of her problems. Namely the big one that her husband was a traitor before he was killed in the war. While this book was rife with helpless women, the main ones stood up and held their ground in a time when it was not becoming. That was another source of the rumors that Miranda had to deal with.

I felt this was a very entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned one major basic thing. I would not have wanted to live on Galveston Island during these times. HA!

Huge thanks to Thomas, Nelson, Zondervan for my big box of books. I know you said I didn't have to read them all. However, I have most of them very interest and enjoyable. A big plus when your sending out presents for people you don't know. As usual, I have posted my reviews on all my major sites.

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