Happy Wine and Books Wednesday, reader friends! Hope the last week of May is treating you well. This week's wine / book pairing is brought to you by Author Brianna Hale's Lap of Luxury (second book in her Love Don't Cost A Thing series) and indie winemaker Patrice Grasset's Chenin Blanc. Truly, a luxury pair for your summer reading list, especially if you love fast paced, dark romance and silky white wines. Don't delay! Pour yourself a glass of Grasset's chenin blanc today, settle in with the second installment of Hale's Love Don't Cost A Thing series, then sit back and ahh, enjoy, dahlings! Happy Wine Wednesday!
Captive. Pet. Lover. Pawn…
Darkness lives inside Damir Ravnikar, and that darkness craves one thing: me. Rich, ruthless, and handsome as sin, Damir’s promised me the world to make up for my life’s myriad disappointments.
But his promise comes with a price.
Damir intends to use me to hunt down his double-crossing brother. With every jewel, every kiss, I can feel myself losing my morals, my freedom and even my sanity. Because darkness lives inside me, too. He’s laying my deepest secrets bare, and there’s nothing I can do to stop him.
My name is Bethany, and I’ve fallen into the lap of luxury.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Contains dark romantic themes. This book is NOT a standalone and is intended to be read after COME TO DADDY. No cliffhanger.
From my review:
Dark, Thrilling and Hot, Hot, Hot!
I love Ms. Hale’s writing and I loved this book! After reading book 1 in the ‘Love Don’t Cost A Thing’ series, I was really curious to see how she was going to make us fall in love with Damir. (Brutal, psychotic, devastating Damir) But she totally did! I adored Bethany’s character too. She’s such a quirky, different personality type for a heroine and Hale really fleshed out her back story, bringing the snarky secretary from book one to life in an endearing way. Bethany and Damir were made for each other and I enjoyed every steamy, thrilling moment of their story. If you love dark, edgy romance with action, suspense and underground crime world intrigues then you’ll love Lap of Luxury. Be sure to read Come to Daddy (book 1) first though.
Welcome to another edition of Wine and Books Wednesday. This week's pairing is brought to you by Author Astrid V.J.'s fairy tale retelling, Gisela's Passion and indie wine maker, Frank Massard's Verdejo. And what a beautiful couple these two make! I fell in love with both the book cover to Gisela's Passion and the gorgeous label on this Spanish bottle. As soon as I laid eyes on them, I knew they were a match. Your going to want to make sure you have them both for your summer reading time. So, pour yourself a glass of this light, citrusy wine (perfect for the season) from Naked Wines' indie winemaker's Angels series, grab a copy of Gisela's Passion and enter an enchanted folktale world. Ah, enjoy. Happy Wine / Book Wednesday, everyone and happy reading!
Ever since she can remember, 18-year-old Gisela Winry has wanted to dance. Her strict father sees dancing as the path to immorality, licentiousness and debauchery. Devastated at his wrath after she secretly auditions and wins the title Harvest Queen of Ylvaton, Gisela turns to her best friend, Hilarion, who proposes a path she cannot take. With their friendship broken, Hilarion retreats to the solace of the forest where he lets his hatred and jealousy fester. Meanwhile, Gisela meets Vincent, a young nobleman seeking to escape his dead brother’s shadow.
Will Gisela be able to uphold her family honour and get to do the one thing she’s always been passionate about?
Will Vincent’s chance encounter with the lovely harvest queen from a tiny village become more meaningful than earning his father’s approval?
And will Hilarion fight for the love of his life or give in to the darkness within him?
Immerse yourself in the life of the common people of Vendale in this prequel to The Siblings’ Tale. Gisela’s Passion is the retelling of a lesser-known Slavic folk tale, which is better known in its incarnation as a French ballet.
The e-book of Gisela's Passion also includes exclusive access to "Vincent's Dream OR The Power of Decisiveness". This alternative ending to Gisela's Passion, which explores the possibility of a different path for the three protagonists of this story, is not intended for wider publication. The link to Vincent's Dream is embedded in a hidden place. This is a treasure hunt. Good luck!
From my review:
A Beautiful Ballet Fairy Tale Retell
I’ll start by saying that I am I love with the classic story ballet, Giselle. I was very excited to find a retelling of it in written form. The author’s description of setting was absolutely beautiful and probably my favorite part of the book. Seriously, I want to find this story book world so rich in the landscapes and culture I’ve always imagined when thinking of regional Eastern European folkdances and set up camp. Gisela’s village was vibrant and her vineyard home quaint. All the characters from the original story make an appearance in V.J’s retelling and I like what she did with the male MC’s character especially.
It is no secret that Gisela’s passion is her dancing and the dance scenes were very nicely described, I thought. The connection and romance between the leading pair was somewhat brief. What we learn about the characters mostly revolves around each one’s personal internal struggles. I do wish there had been a little more ‘Gisela and Vincent’ before the book’s dramatic end. But we have it from the author herself that this book is a precursor to other stories set in the same world with more magic to come. All in all, a beautifully written interpretation of an old tale. Would recommend to readers who love old world romance with a touch of magic woven in.
*Small spoiler and WARNING to romance readers with a penchant for HEAs. This retelling stays true to the classic folktale and ballet that it is derived from which is, in essence, a tragedy. As such, it was written sans a romantic HEA, but is still a lovely rendition of the story that remains one of the most well known and beloved ballets of the Romantic Era.
Happy Book Teaser Tuesday, romance readers! Here's a tiny tease from my WIP, Storm Tide. I have to say, this next lost king of Atlantis is working his way into my heart. *Sigh
Tides of Atlantis Series
Mankind and the gods alike have grown complacent and the restless forces of the underworld that have been simmering beneath the surface are coming out to play. They will not stop until their thirst for vengeance is satisfied and all worlds have returned to yawning pre-time chaos.
Ten lost kings ─ sons of Poseidon ─ and rulers of a condemned land are our last hope…if only they can be found. Cursed by the gods after the fall of Atlantis, the kings have passed into anonymity with no memory of who they are. Forces of both good and evil are hunting them. Poseidon needs them to win the war for the universe. Evil is bent on their destruction.
Happy Monday, everyone! This week I wanted to share a romantic little book moment from the free novella I have available here on this website. Pearl of the moon is a compilation of all the ancient Atlantis scenes from Moontide, book 1 in the Tides of Atlantis series. I've added many more scenes of King Gadeiros and Aureliaura and what all went on back in the day that you didn't get to see in Moontide in Pearl of the Moon. If you haven't read Moontide, Pearl is a great way to get some background on a lot of the characters you'll see in the modern day era the Tides of Atlantis books are set in when you do. If you've already read Moontide, it will be fun to go back and get this insider look at what went on in the kingdom of Gades before the great destruction of Atlantis.
This little scene shows Gadeiros and Aura in the king's hidden grove away from the prying eyes of the gods. (*keep in mind, this exact location turns up again for a really hot, romantic scene later in Ronan and Cindy's book)
The princess and the king alighted in a grove of trees. Aureliaura blinked her eyes at the sudden change in locations. She looked all around, then up at the one who’d brought her. Stolen her rather, and to what end? She didn’t know.
She wasn’t a fearful girl, however. Her disposition more freely given to curiosity than to fretfulness and, just then, the king looked more shocked by what he’d done than intent on violence. He released her hand as if it had burned him.
Aura walked away from him, into the center of the grove, letting the sunlight that dappled the area fall soft on her skin. She reached one hand up toward the light, drawing it into her palm until her whole arm glowed from the borrowed rays.
Gadeiros shifted and her focus went back to him. His mouth worked as the bones of his jaw moved, shaping the strong lines of his face. He was very handsome she decided. His eyes stood out against skin that had been bronzed by the sun. They pierced through the space, bluer than diamond, but not as gray as feldspar. They were defined by a ring of thick, black lashes. He probably used no kohl to deflect the sun’s rays she thought. He didn’t need it.
“The sun is hotter in your realm than mine,” she said to break the silence.
His gaze locked on her fingers as they bounced a ball of sunlight between them. She dropped her hand and his eyes came up.
“Is it?” He asked.
She smiled by way of an answer and the space around them softened. Encouraged, Aura ventured further.
“Yes, Emania is a cooler world than this one.”
“I’ve heard little of the place, I confess. I know nothing of the sky realms at all,” he said. “I am a little surprised to find that Poseidon has been able to make friends there.”
Aura shrugged, continuing her study of the trees. It hadn’t been very long that she’d known about the pact between her father and Poseidon. She considered herself fortunate to be given to such a beautiful place in betrothal… and to such a handsome man. Intense as King Gadeiros was, the whim of youth made it all too easy for her to find the brooding warrior intriguing rather than frightening. She wondered what more lay beneath the surface of both kingdom and king.
“I know not the details of their acquaintance,” she rejoined, “only that my father hopes that our marriage will bring certainty to the Tides and keep the worlds in balance, Anax.”
“Gadeiros please, when we are alone, princess.”
She gave him a small smile.
“And are we alone?”
“Assuredly,” he answered, “this space here by the falls is one of many secluded spots on Gades. I have it shielded with Atlantean crystals. Even the gods cannot see us here.”
His voice was hard with confidence and housed the barest note of a threat. Aura started a little at the change, her eyes going wide.
“My father won’t like that. You should take me back.” She kept her voice light. The way one would when speaking to a predator they didn’t want to provoke.
Gadeiros moved into the sun-filled space where she stood. Reaching forward, he touched the crest of her cheek, then stroked a golden curl at her temple all the way down to where it fell on her breast. He twisted it softly, watching its color change in the sun. Aura took in a shaky breath, but it wasn’t fear that made her shudder.
“I don’t think I will,” he said.
Releasing her hair, he skimmed the backs of his fingers down the center of her breast, over the hard peak there and Aura’s breath caught. No man had ever touched her thus. His hand kept travelling. He watched the small jerks of her body with an unreadable expression. All the way down it went, over her ribcage, past the dip in her waist until he found her hand and clasped it. Finally, the hardness in his eyes relented.
“If you are to be my queen, you should know all you can about the lands I rule. I can show you more without an assembly, unless you do not wish to explore. I assure you that you are well protected with me, princess.”
Aura slanted him an assessing look. She wasn’t so certain of that.
He’d been angry back in the temple, but now he did not seem so. His touch delighted her body. Still, he was a frightening figure. His warrior’s heart lay just beneath the surface of his royal exterior. She wondered exactly what kind of man he was. Of course she’d heard the stories of his conquests and his demigod status, but not much else. He was pleasing to the eye, this son of Poseidon, but all too often, a beautiful face hid a wicked heart.
His chest was bare to her view—golden skinned and heavily muscled in the manner of a man who spent much of his time on the battlefield. He wore gold and onyx neck plating with a black crystal ankh in the center. His head was free of elaborate headdress save a thin gold and black jeweled band that circled his forehead. His dark black hair hung thick and straight to his shoulders underneath it. Both his hair and skin were oiled, as was custom for a visit to temple. The scent of body-warmed sandalwood filled her nostrils, making her lightheaded.
She brought her head up to meet his stare. Inches below his eyes, his mouth twitched turning up in the barest hint of a smile. Aura realized he’d been watching her study him and hadn’t said a word the whole time.
The sight of his lips stirred things inside of her that her maiden’s burgeoning awareness had yet to bring to life. She reached out to retrace the path that her eyes had taken with her fingers, but her hand stopped in mid-air.
Suddenly, he grabbed her wrist. She jerked her head up. His eyes had been changed by his smile, warming from their normal stone to something more liquid. She swayed toward him, might have fallen into his chest, but his grip on her tightened. She righted herself just as he pulled her hand to his mouth and kissed the sensitive undersides of her fingers.
Her eyes drifted closed. It was as though she could feel his lips everywhere on her body all at once. She could sense the curving of his smile and opened her eyes just as he brought her hand down between them.
Probably nothing on this island presented her with more danger, that she might need protecting from, than him. He would take her back to her parents if she asked him, of that she was sure, but alone as they were and as thrilling as this place and its king were, she didn’t want to go, not yet.
“Show me Gades,” she said.
To find out what happens next and get the chance to see King Gadeiros's amazing private Atlantean bathing pool - trust me, you don't want to miss that, it's a very steamy (ignore the pun or don't) scene - just sign up for the Amanda V Shane newsletter and get the whole novella FREE!
Pearl of the Moon
King Gadeiros of Atlantis, son of Poseidon and a seasoned warrior - his only concerns are for his pursuits in battle and winning more land and riches for his kingdom. He has no interest in marriage whatsoever but when his father god, Poseidon, arranges a bride for him his world is turned upside down. Infuriated, he whisks his would be bride away from the temple, intent on showing the gods and the known world that he is king in Gades and no one will dictate his future.
Aureliaura is a princess of Emania, shining and golden and with a strong control over the moon and the tides. She seems the perfect pawn in Poseidon's game of power but when the princess manages to capture the king of Gades' heart the instant he sets eyes on her the question of who holds the most power is up in the air.
Can Gadeiros thwart Poseidon and, in fact, all the gods in their bid for power by winning the maiden's love?
Find out for FREE by joining the Amanda V Shane newsletter and receiving Pearl of the Moon, Kingdoms of Atlantis as well as updates and drink recipes from Ramone's Party Cove!
*Pearl of the Moon was formerly published on the Amanda V Shane website as Gadeiros.
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Happy Friday! Just a heads up - King of the Tides is FREE today on Amazon! Grab your copy of book 3 in the Tides of Atlantis series and "Slip into the Tides" this weekend.
Attacked by the demons –
– that threaten Earth’s Realm, secret agent Marlowe Casey is in a fight for her life. As poisonous demon venom seeps into her veins, Adam Atlas takes her underground. When things go from bad to worse, the immortal Atlantean does the unthinkable, something forbidden by the gods, to save her.
Now she’s alive, but she’s on everyone’s hit list, Poseidon’s, the demons’… even the cartels’! She has powers she never could have imagined. The only problem is, they’re coming from the wrong team.
She needs a power greater than she’s ever known to make things right again. She needs…
… the King of the Tides.
18+ Adult urban fantasy paranormal romance. Contains explicit scenes, sex, violence and adult language, if such material offends you, please don’t buy this book.
Tides of Atlantis Series Teaser
Mankind and the gods alike have grown complacent and the restless forces of the Underworld are coming out to play. They will not stop until their thirst for vengeance is satisfied and all worlds have returned to pre-time chaos.
Ten lost kings—sons of Poseidon, rulers of a condemned land, are our last hope... if they can be found. Cursed by the gods after the fall of Atlantis, the kings have passed into anonymity with no memory of who they are. Forces both good and evil are hunting them. Poseidon needs them to win the war for the universe. Evil is bent on their destruction.
Happy Wine & Books Wednesday! I have a very exciting pairing for you today. This week's lovely wine / book couple are brought to you by Author Miri Stone's shifter novel, Pyro, Pyro, Burning Bright, and Indie wine maker Scott Kelley's amazing pinot gris. If you love originality, adventure and fantasy, you won't be disappointed with this dynamic duo. Grab up your copy of Stone's debut novel today, pour yourself a glass of pinot gris and prepare to be swept away. Happy Wine Wednesday, reader friends, and happy reading!
*Scott Kelley Pinot Gris can be found in the Naked Wines indie winemaker's Angel series.
FROM THE ASHES, EVEN THE MONSTERS CAN BE REBORN.
Mackenzie wakes up, naked, in front of a burning apartment with amnesia and a voice in her head telling her to run. But when she takes refuge in a small mountain town, the fire beckons. The voice in her head has a disturbing psychic connection to the flames. And yet, she can’t seem to stay away from Ryan, the local Fire Chief and bear shifter alpha.
Too bad it’s a terrible idea to date a fireman when you’re harboring an inner pyro...
Ryan is on the hunt for the arsonist who’s stalking his town. Yet, he can’t get his mind off Mackenzie, the sassy new barista who pours lattes like a dream. When she keeps turning up at increasingly dangerous call-outs, he has to decide…
Is his mate the arsonist or merely a soul swept up in the flames?
Their sexual charge is through the roof. But their lives, and the lives of everyone they love, are set to combust if they don’t work out the true identity of the arsonist. Because he has a dark vendetta of his own. One that will not be denied.
PYRO, PYRO, BURNING BRIGHT is the first book in a suspense-filled, paranormal shifter romance series. If you like kick-ass female main characters, sexy bear shifters, troubled villains, sizzling romances, and high-stakes adventures packed with mystery then you’ll love Miri Stone’s PHOENIX CREW series.
This is a full length novel (133k words) and written for mature audiences (18+ only please!) It includes explicit sex scenes, frequent cussing, psychic magical powers and hot growly alpha males bumping up against sassy heroines who can hold their own.
From my review:
Great paranormal romance (my favorite kind) read! The eerie mysteries surrounding Mackenzie’s character drew me in from the start and, all the way through, I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I’m usually a little on the fence as far as shifter romances go, but Stone packed this novel full of amazing, richly developed characters that I connected with right away (to the point that I’m hoping a bunch of them show up in future books.) Not to mention all the smokin hot chemistry between Mackenzie and a certain fire chief bear shifter. Whew, my kindle is still sizzling! Can’t wait to read more about the Phoenix crew. Would recommend to paranormal romance readers that love hot shifters.
Hello lovely readers, for this week's Monday Moment in Romance, I'm pulling a little snippet from my book Odile, a dark fairy tale romance full of danger, magic and simmering sensuality. *Sigh, Odile and Azarus are definitely one of my favorite fantasy romance couples. This little book moment takes on the idea of time from a star mage's point of view.
Later, Odile rested beside Azarus on the heap of furs and cushions. Their bodies were still entwined, arms and legs a tangle of love worn flesh. She stared up at the painted star scenes on the tent’s canvas.
“I wish there could be a thousand nights like this one, here in this magic place with you.” She murmured against his chest.
“Never wish beyond a ripe, perfect moment, mistress. Enjoy the sweetness of this instant fully, at its most complete with no diluting thoughts of tomorrow. Man’s most elusive gift is now. It burns too hot then fades out quickly without ever being lived if one is not careful. I won’t let any of my moments with you slip away, my love.”
His words heated her desire for him anew. He’d brought her stars back to life, her fire he’d spoken of so often. Her Black Swan’s armor would always be what she wore for the world, but for the sorcerer alone she could burn. The flame in the stone—that was what she was for him. In his heart of darkness, she’d found a home.
For more sexy star mage musings and moments in romance with Aarus and Odile, pick up a copy of Odile, Legend of the Black Swan at Amazon, Barnes Noble, Ibooks and Kobo.
Pale, cold mistress of the serpent’s lair, blood red lips and coal black hair…
Enter the world of the Black Swan, a dark and seductive tale where things are not always as they seem. Odile is the reviled villainess of Aarroughac, a castle inhabited by the evil wizard, Count Rothebart. After a sinister magic sweeps through the land and results in death, Odile is accused of the crime. Von Rothebart vanishes, leaving her to face the wrath of an entire kingdom alone until a mysterious stranger with powers of his own comes along.
With vengeance as his guide, Lord Azarus di Caspari hunts an ancient curse. When he crosses paths with the Black Swan of legend, he immediately makes up his mind to use the temptress’s magic for his own devices. But when Azarus learns that the story of the sorceress might not be true, disappointment gives way to desire. Spells are cast and secrets are revealed, but can love exist in the shadow of two dark hearts such as theirs?
Are the tales of the Black Swan true? Is she a murderess and an evil sorceress to be feared or is she the only thing standing between true evil and the fall of a kingdom? Only time will tell as the magical story of the Black Swan unfolds.
Odile, Legend of the Black Swan is a stand alone fantasy, fairy tale romance inspired by the legendary ballet, Swan Lake.
An Enchanted Lands Romance.
18+ This book contains sex and some violence. If these things offend you please don’t buy this book.
Happy Wine and Books Wednesday, everybody. Our favorite day of the week! This week's pairing is brought to you by Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery's Chardonnay and Author Frost Kay's dark fairy tale, The Hunt. And what a beautiful pair these two make. If you love your fantasy romance with a rich, flavorful chard on the side then look no further. Pour yourself a glass of Sebastiani, find your favorite reading spot and settle in for fairy tale adventure. Happy reading!
Death marked her from her very first breath.
Being sired by a Madrid is supposed to be a blessing, but for Tempest, it's a curse that leaves her orphaned, penniless, and enslaved to a blood thirsty crown on the brink of war.
Found too unruly to become a ward of the court, she's thrust into the care of the King's Hounds - the assassins and warriors responsible for protecting the kingdom. Driven by rage and an oath to avenge her mother's memory, Tempest throws herself into training.
But becoming the first ever female assassin isn't enough. Now, she must obtain the heart of her kingdom's most feared enemy - the jester - a deadly shapeshifter hidden in a land twisted by myth and darkness.
Revenge is never easy or cheap. Tempest is willing to sacrifice everything to see justice served. Even her own soul and freedom.
Enter the world of the Twisted Kingdoms at your own risk where monsters wear pretty masks, good and evil are at war, and fairy tales don't exist. If you love fiery heroines, sexy villains, enemies-to-lovers romance, pulse-pounding action, mafia undertones, and dark fairy tales, you need to discover the new series readers are comparing to Holly Blacks's Cruel Prince and Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows.
"They'd found each other in a dream world...
... a place so illusive that to meet someone there defied fate."
Tides of Atlantis
Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited
About the Author
Amanda V Shane is an author of paranormal and fantasy romance and is currently working on her Tides of Atlantis series about the super hot lost kings of Atlantis as well as her Enchanted Lands Romances.