The Carolina Cold Fury hockey team is stacked with hotshots. But when a new player joins their ranks, he learns that even superstars can’t go it alone when it comes to love.
Lucas Fournier is only serious about one thing: hockey. The league’s fun-loving charmer, Luc is always up for a good prank or a great lay, and he has no intention of settling down. But being traded to the Carolina Cold Fury—and to play alongside his big brother, Max—is no joke. With another title in sight, the last thing Luc wants is to let his new teammates down. To succeed, Luc will need to keep his head in the game and the most . . . er, demanding member of his anatomy in check. But when temptation hits, Luc hits back harder.
Museum curator Stephanie Frazier has always put business before pleasure, which just about explains her nonexistent sex life. But when Stephanie meets Luc at a champagne-fueled gala, she finds herself flirting like crazy—and going home with the uninhibited athlete. For one night, she learns what passion is all about. She just never counted on the little surprise Luc leaves behind. And that’s when things really start to get . . . interesting.
Sawyer Bennett’s New York Times bestselling Carolina Cold Fury series can be read together or separately.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33593824-lucas
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Lucas by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is book #8, in the Cold Fury Hockey series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers, and for complete understanding of this sexy series - I recommend reading this series in order.
Stephanie is working in an interim position. At a major charity event, she meets someone who can change her whole life. If she has the courage to let him in.
Lucas meets Stephanie at an event. He is drawn to her immediately. They do not really have much in common. But neither can stay away....
This book makes me wish there are more starts to give. I really enjoyed reading this story, and it is an excellent add to the Cold Fury series. I literally laughed, while I cried reading this amazingly sexy book. I found the characters real, and very fun.
***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author:
Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.
Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.
Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.
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Lucy plays a princess by day and is looking for her prince charming by night. While having her brother and his best friend and business partner watch over her. Too bad his partner pushes all her buttons, since he is not even in her league.
Jared stopped thinking of Lucy as a little sister when he got a good look at her legs. She attracts him on several levels, but he does not want to mess up a good friendship with her brother by acting on that attraction. Still, he cannot help the way he feels.
This is an amazingly sexy and fun story. It puts so many elements together in a terrifically sweet package. The characters banter, the ocean views, well... let's just say if it were a movie opening weekend would blow the critics away. I loved the simple and strong characters and all that they are to one another. I cannot wait to see more with this theme. In my opinion, this is the author's best work to date. I give this book a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!
***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.
Today we have the release day blitz of Black by Donya Lynne! Check out the release festivities and grab your copy today!
Author: Donya Lynne
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Micah Black thought he was the last of his bloodline. He was wrong. Dead wrong.
Micah just found out he has a brother. Ronan, the cat burglar who broke into his apartment and stole the ankh he’d been entrusted to protect, has turned out to be none other than his own flesh and blood. But that’s not the only revelation he uncovers about his family. After centuries of thinking his father was killed during the war, he learns that his father is alive. Still suffering the loss of Micah’s mother, his beloved mate, but alive.
The discoveries continue to pile up as more tightly held secrets and shocking surprises come to light, upending Micah’s world, sending him into a whirlwind of emotions and memories of war, love, and death. But it’s what King Bain reveals that throws Micah for the biggest loop. One that will chart a new path for Micah’s future and change the course of the coming war between the vampires and the drecks forever.
In the much-anticipated eighth book of the emotionally-wrenching, heart-stopping All the King’s Men Series, you see Micah as you’ve never seen him before. You will meet new characters pivotal to the survival—and hearts—of the characters you’ve come to love. Aliases will be revealed, alliances will be formed, and new enemies exposed as paranormal forces converge in a battle to decide who will ultimately rule humanity.
Recommended for fans of J.R. Ward, Lara Adrian, Kresley Cole.
Grab Your Copy Today:
Books in the All the Kings Men Series:
Rise of the Fallen
Heart of the Warrior
Return of the Assassin
All the King’s Men – The Beginning
Bound Guardian Angel
Approximately 950 years ago
A steel-tipped arrow whizzed past Micah’s head as he and Malek battled their way through the rush of drecks pouring through the village from all directions. Metal on metal rang out as the village’s males took up their swords and engaged the enemy. It was their duty to defend the females and humans against this unprovoked, peacetime raid.
Who was Micah kidding? They weren’t in peacetime, anymore. This attack was enough proof that the drecks had risen up against them once more like some kind of fungus rot on their cultivated fields. No matter how many diseased plants you pulled, the shit just kept coming back.
Would the godforsaken war ever end? It had raged off and on for centuries before Micah’s birth, and, at this rate, would continue for centuries to come, even under the guise of peace.
Micah whistled to get Malek’s attention. When his friend and fellow warrior turned, Micah pointed to the top of a nearby ridge.
“High ground!” He had to shout over the roar of infernos consuming nearly half the cottages in the village, casting blazing heat that scorched his skin and singed his long, braided hair, coating him with soot and ash.
Malek nodded, pulled the strength from only God knew where, and hoofed it up the steep incline behind Micah.
Micah’s lungs pumped hard as his legs churned, propelling him higher as the burn and fatigue in his muscles grew so great that his thighs almost locked up in protest. But somehow, he pushed through the pain. The safety of his family depended on him. Katarina had fled to the forest at the first sign of attack, and thank God for that, but he refused to leave even one dreck standing who could pursue her and the other vampires and humans who had escaped.
But he didn’t know where his parents were. Surely, his father was engaged with the enemy, but he had yet to sense that his mother had found safety. On the contrary, what he felt vibrating in his soul was impending doom.
Another arrow flew past him, this one close enough to catch the side of his arm, nicking his flesh. Blood already spilled from multiple wounds all over his body, so this one merely added to the collection. None of his injuries were life threatening, but eventually, the loss of blood would weaken him. There was no time to spare.
He and Malek reached the top of the ridge and Micah turned, pulling an arrow from his fully stocked quiver as he brought his bow up in front of him. Malek did the same.
From here, the damage to their village robbed him of breath. It was a total loss. More than half the structures were consumed by flames or already falling into piles of smoldering rubble.
Beyond the steel tip of his arrow, Micah saw a dreck toss a torch on one of the remaining cottages. Calming his breath, he lined up the blue-tinted creature in his sights, held for a moment, and then released the arrow.
It impaled the dreck square between the eyes.
Malek took out another.
One by one, he and Malek sniped the enemy from their advantageous location, killing the drecks gradually but steadily as they worked their way along the ridge that surrounded the village, moving toward his parents’ cottage on the far end.
Behind him, he could feel the first sign of sunrise spreading light across the horizon. They needed to hurry so the vampires had enough time to seek shelter in the forest beyond the fields or in any of the remaining dwellings not taken by fire.
As Micah’s quiver neared empty, he caught sight of his uncle Rory, engaged with three drecks. Rory was a deadly male, fighting like a banshee unleashed by the devil himself. His skin and clothing were red with spilled blood, streaked with fresh, blue blood of the drecks, which quickly faded to red. No doubt Rory had killed half the invaders himself.
“I’m empty,” Malek said beside him.
Micah handed him one of his last two arrows. “Me, too.”
The good news was that the number of the fallen enemy was greater than that of the villagers. Drecks were no match for vampires, and their dead and dying bodies littered the cobbled paths and open spaces of their village, their blue blood running in rivers into the grass, where it pooled and gradually turned from blue to purple to red.
Just as he nocked his last arrow, Micah turned in the direction of his parents’ cottage. With the faint light of the pending sunrise granting him greater breadth of vision, he found his childhood home. His father was nowhere to be seen, but his mother stood in front of the open door, a sword in her hand, facing off against a pair of drecks.
Micah’s heart raced as a premonition of dread shocked his mind’s eye.
His mother was not a fighter. Not at the level needed for this kind of combat. Not against a trained enemy, and especially not against two of them.
As one attacked, she lifted the sword, blocking the dreck’s blade. But she wasn’t fast enough to counter the second dreck as he lunged forward, holding a pair of short swords, and sliced into her abdomen.
“NOOOOOO!” Ignoring the fatigue in his muscles, Micah took off at a sprint, traveling the top of the ridge like a streak of lightning.
“Micah!” Malek called as he gave chase.
His mother staggered backward, toward the open doorway as if she were trying to block the way inside, blindly swinging the sword at her attackers, unwilling to surrender even as her knees wobbled.
Like a true warrior, she refused to give an inch, despite her rapidly weakening state. Mustering what must have been the last of her strength, she surged with determination, parrying her foe and driving her sword into his belly.
The next seconds flashed by in an instant, even though Micah saw the events unfold as if through a thick, slow-moving fog. The dreck she impaled fell, his body spasming in the throes of death. The second dreck moved in, blades flashing. His mother was left unprotected, alone, and without a weapon. Micah stopped and raised his bow, determined to save her.
Just as he released his arrow, the glint of cold steel dripping with vampire blood rose over her. Would the arrow find home before the dreck’s blade did? The firelight reflected off the sword’s edge as it fell in a swift descent.
Micah held his breath, his heart and soul flying alongside the arrow blazing a trail in the distance between them.
The sword sliced into his mother a split second sooner than his arrow lodged into the center of the dreck’s back.
“NO!” Micah burst into a run, barreling down the steep decline of the ridge, falling, tumbling, then regaining his footing as he reached the base.
With Malek hot on his heels, he vaulted the simple wooden fence and charged into the small square of land surrounding his parents’ cottage, leaped onto the dreck, who was still alive, and drove his dagger into the beast’s heart, releasing a savage war cry.
And he kept stabbing, long after the dreck was dead, turning the foul creature into nothing but tenderized meat.
“Micah, stop!” Malek remained a safe distance from his swinging dagger, but Micah could feel his desperation.
He couldn’t stop. He had to keep stabbing. Had to keep destroying that which had taken what he loved. His anger—his fury—required vengeance.
Malek pushed dangerously close, dodging Micah’s dagger as it plunged through the air and into the dreck’s chest, and grabbed him by the collar as he raised the blade again. “Micah! Your mother! She needs you!”
They were the only words that could have gotten through to him.
The bloody dagger in his hand halted in midair then dropped to his side as he swung his rage-hazed gaze around to where his mother lay in the flattened grass.
“Is she alive?” He abandoned the gore he’d created and lurched toward her.
“Barely.” Malek’s dismal tone said all Micah needed to know about his mother’s fate, and he froze, meeting his best friend’s eyes with a sense of foreboding. “She doesn’t have much longer, Micah.” Malek bobbed his head in her direction. “She asked for you.”
The breath caught in Micah’s raw throat, scorched by hot smoke and strained from shouting. Then he sprung to life and scurried to his mother’s side, falling to his knees. He took her hand. It already felt too cold. Too small. Too . . . lifeless.
“Mother . . .?”
Her eyes blinked open as if just that simple act took too much effort. “Mi . . . cah.”
Tears blurred his vision, but he forced down the sob that threatened to break through his throat. “I’m here. You’re going to be okay.” He squeezed her hand and brushed the bloody hair off her face.
She weakly shook her head as the corners of her lips turned up knowingly. She knew she was dying. This was her end, and nothing could stop it. Then she shifted her gaze to the open door of the cottage. “Your father . . . needs you . . .” Her breath rattled in her lungs like shackles being tugged by the Grim Reaper. “In . . . side.” She tried to lift her arm but couldn’t, instead pointing in the general direction of the doorway.
Micah glanced toward the cottage.
And that’s when he saw it.
His father’s booted foot lay on the floor, in the shadows, unmoving, just beyond the door.
“Go . . . to . . . him . . .” His mother’s voice was quickly fading, no louder than a whisper now. “Needs to . . . give . . . you . . .” Her hold on his hand weakened. Her body relaxed. Everything in her went slack.
“Mother . . .?” Micah turned back toward her, only to find the light that had been in her eyes moments ago was now gone. She was gone. Her soul claimed and taken to the other side. “Mom?” He shook her. But it was useless. She was dead.
Tears trailed down his cheeks as he bowed his head. “I will kill every last one of them, Mother,” he vowed on a whisper. “I promise not a single dreck will remain when I am finished avenging you.” He bent forward, placed his palm over her silent, unbeating heart, and kissed her dirty, abraded forehead. “I promise.”
There was no time for more. The remaining drecks were quickly closing in, and he had to save his father.
Pulling the strength from deep within, he leaped to his feet and rushed into the cottage. His father lay on his stomach in a pool of blood, his hand outstretched toward the large wooden chest against the wall. Its lid was open, the contents scattered as if his father had been searching through them before he fell.
There was so much blood. Too much.
“Father?” Micah crouched and rolled over the heroic male he had always admired and looked up to. No less than a dozen wounds seeped his life-giving blood.
“Son . . .” His father’s voice rasped from him as if from a ghost.
“Father . . . I’m getting you out of here.” He began to lift him, but his father protested.
“No . . . no time . . . I’m not . . . going to make it.” His skin was already so pale it was a wonder he had any blood left to sustain him. “Save yourself. Save your mother.”
Micah didn’t have the heart to tell him she was already gone. Hot tears stung his eyes once more. “I will.”
“Take . . . the chest”—his father let out an ugly cough that speckled his lips with blood—“with you.” He turned his head toward the large wooden structure only a few feet away.
There was no way he could take that with him.
“It’s too heavy.”
His father shook his head. “No. Inside. The chest . . . smaller one. The box . . .” He coughed again, and it sounded like his lungs were filling with what little blood he had left. “Take it. Protect it. The ankh . . . inside . . . keep it safe.”
Micah looked inside the large chest, and, there, to the side, was a smaller one. No wider than the length of his hand and as deep as three of the leather-bound books Kat enjoyed reading. It was ornately carved and secured by a disproportionately heavy lock. He lifted the chest and secured it under his arm as he returned to his father.
“I have it.”
“Take it . . . go . . .” His father held out a key fastened to a knotted length of leather. “Hurry . . .” His father’s midnight blue eyes glanced through the open door toward the east. “The sun . . . almost . . . here . . .” He winced and groaned then fell silent as his body went lax.
“Father?” Micah knelt closer. “Father?”
“Micah!” Malek’s frantic voice shot through the doorway. “Hurry!”
There was no time. The drecks were coming, and the sun was close behind. He had to leave.
He plucked the key from his father’s loose grip and tucked it into the pocket of his cloak, stashed the small chest in his father’s pack, which he slung over his shoulder, and then crossed his forearm over his chest as he faced his father’s lifeless form. “I will avenge you, Father.” He glanced out the door at his mother. “I will avenge you both.”
With one last sorrowful glance toward his father, he breathed in the last inhale of air he would ever take inside the home he grew up in. Never again would he set eyes on the male who had taught him how to hunt, how to track prey, how to kill, how to be a good mate, and how to lead an army. A male more powerful than a tidal wave, stronger than a gale-force wind, and more respected even than the king. A male who had been, was, and would always be his hero.
His father was dead.
Or so he thought.
Donya Lynne is the bestselling author of the award winning All the King’s Men and Strong Karma Series and a member of Romance Writers of America. Making her home in a wooded suburb north of Indianapolis with her husband, Donya has lived in Indiana most of her life and knew at a young age she was destined to be a writer. She started writing poetry in grade school and won her first short story contest in fourth grade. In junior high, she began writing romantic stories for her friends, and by her sophomore year, she’d been dubbed Most Likely to Become a Romance Novelist. In 2012, she fulfilled her dream by publishing her first two novels and a novella. Her work has earned her two IPPYs, five eLit Awards, a USA Today Recommended Read, and numerous accolades, including two Smashwords bestsellers. When she’s not writing, she can be found cheering on the Indianapolis Colts or doing her cats’ bidding.
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About TRIPPED OUT:
Where there’s smoke…
Stirling Gradsky abandoned the corporate rat race for a more laidback lifestyle. So it’s ironic she’s stuck working with a hard-bodied, know-it-all scientist who treats her like a stoner instead of a stone cold business woman capable of running a large scale cannabis operation. Dr. Hot and Tattooed with the big…brain needs to stop sampling their product; he’s under the half-baked idea that he’s the boss.
Dr. Liam Argent’s doctorate isn’t in chemistry, but from the moment he meets his sexy new coworker, there’s enough heat between them to short out all the lights in the grow house. First item on his agenda? Clearing up the sassy, blunt blonde’s hazy notion that she’s in charge.
Sparks fly as their attraction blazes. But can they weed out their differences without getting burned?
The first rule of being a prankster?
A killer poker face.
And StirlingGradsky had that down pat.
The second rule of being a prankster?
Learn your opponent’s weak spots.
Maybe Stirling didn’t have that rule down entirely. Her pranking prey, Dr. Liam Argent, remained as much a mystery now as he’d been when he’d waltzed into High Society ten months ago and declared himself emperor.
Okay, maybe not emperor, but he definitely acted like the laboratory was his private kingdom.
His appearance hadn’t been a surprise. Stirling’s brother Macon, her business partner in High Society—a cannabis operation that included a retail store, a medical dispensary, and an onsite grow house—had informed her that he’d hired a guy from California, a cannabis expert, to work in the lab.
After dealing in euphemisms regarding all things cannabis related, Stirling believed “the lab” was Macon’s shorthand for the grow house. She imagined the California dude to be an older version of the iconic stoner character Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Turned out she had been wrong on both accounts.
Macon had indeed meant he’d created a full-blown, state of the art laboratory, complete with a beefed up security system for their resident cannabis expert. And the “dude from California” turned out to be Dr. Liam Argent, stuffed shirt extraordinaire, with advanced degrees up the wazoo.
The man drove her crazy.
From day one he’d refused to tell her what he was working on in his fancy-ass lab. When she’d complained to Macon about Dr. Argent’s secretive manner, he’d instructed her to leave Dr. Argent alone.
Her brother may as well have waved a red flag in front of her.
She’d tried being friendly…to no avail.
She’d tried being bossy…to no avail.
She’d tried every “employee relations improvement” tactic she’d learned in her years in the corporate world…to no avail.
Hence her oh-so-mature decision to prank him until he cracked. She’d worked with men like him before. At least if you got them angry enough, they’d yell at you, which nine times out of ten led to an actual conversation.
Except Dr. Argent hadn’t shown the slightest chink in his armor. In fact, he’d joined in on her prankfest and one-upped her on occasion.
Which was why today’s prank ranked as one of the better ones he’d pulled on her.
It was also why Stirling was massively annoyed.
Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary erotic western romances set in the modern day Wild West and also contemporary erotic romances. Lorelei’s books have been nominated for and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice Award, as well as the CAPA Award. Lorelei lives in western South Dakota with her family…and a whole closet full of cow girl boots.
From Lorelei: “Why do I have a particular fondness for all things western? Well, I’m a fourth generation South Dakotan, living in the Black Hills, which is chock-full of interesting characters, including cowboys, Indians, ranchers, and bikers. The geographical diversity of the surrounding area showcases mountains, plains, and badlands. Living in and writing about rural settings gives me a unique perspective, especially since I’m not writing historical westerns. Through my fictional world, I can show the ideals and the cowboy way of life are still very much alive.”
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