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GIVEAWAY, Excerpt and Review: The Dirty Martini by Renee George

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The Dirty Martini (CockTail #4)

Cover Artist: Renee George

Publisher: Renee George

The Blurb…

When bartender Chris Lawson goes into shock after getting the worst news of his life, he wakes up in the arms of Marty Lincoln, an Army Ranger on leave from his post. Even in his grief, Chris feels instantly connected to the war-ravaged vet. Only two problems: Marty is his boss’s younger brother. And even if that wasn’t an obstacle, the battle-hardened Ranger is straight. Or is he? ***This takes place in the CockTail serials world, but is a stand alone novella.

An Excerpt

Driving up the highway, only a couple hours from his hometown, Chris allowed the surrealness of the situation to envelope him. Marty hadn’t said more than a few perfunctory words to him since they’d stopped at Chris’s apartment to pick up his things for the two-day trip, and he’d made a point of not making eye contact with Chris. The silence and distance lingered between them—a thick and heavy barrier. Did Marty already regret his decision to take Chris home? They barely knew each other. They weren’t friends, and one night didn’t make them lovers.

Chris pursed his lips, steeling his courage to give Marty an out. “About last night. It doesn’t have to mean anything. Just two people hanging out, hooking up. It’s not a big deal.” He snapped his mouth shut and swallowed hard. God, he sounded like a rambling imbecile. Marty’s white knuckles and seriously drawn brows indicated Chris was making things worse not better. “Look. One time doesn’t mean your gay or anything. I was sad. You were sad… or whatever. We helped each other. End of story. No reason to feel bad or guilty. It’s not like I’m going to be heartbroken if you don’t want me.”

Hearing his own words, the possible truth of them, hit Chris like a punch to the gut. “I hope that’s not why you’re taking me to my dad’s funeral. Because you feel guilty about what we did.”

The car slowed. Marty flipped the right blinker. He pulled them over to the side of the highway, put the car in park, and turned his head until his gaze fell on Chris.

Chris, who had some experience with the fight or flight reflex, was suddenly in flight mode. He should’ve kept his mouth shut! Marty looked like he was ready to beat the crap out him, and considering his ranger training, Chris had little chance against him.

When Marty undid his seatbelt and turned his body to face the passenger seat, Chris pressed his back against the door. Marty leaned over the console between them until his face hovered inches from Chris’s. Chris tucked his chin and closed his eyes, bracing for the punch.

His eyes fluttered open when he felt the unexpected warm press of Marty’s lips against his own. Not the punch he was expecting, but just as hard of a knockout. Marty’s eyes had softened at the edges, but he still looked angry when he pulled back.

“I’ve wanted to do that since I walked in on you having coffee with Jay this morning. Not kissing you before now has been the hardest part of my day.”

Stunned, Chris said nothing when Marty sat back in his seat, put his seatbelt on, and started the car. “Have I cleared up your confusion?”

Chris shook his head and smiled. “Not at all.”

So What Did I think?

This is the fourth book in a series but the blurb advised can be read standalone– which I did. The story brings together Marty, an injured military man who is tormented with memories, and Chris, who suffers his own loss. Combine this with a coming-out(at least to Chris) story line and some hot first-time sex, and it was a great story.

really enjoyed the story. The highlights were the characters themselves, the super hot sex scenes and natural dialogue. There was a real sense of believe-ability to the story. I loved the author’s style but had a small regret.

The length – I loved the characters and wanted MORE. We only get to spend a little bit of time with Marty and Chris and I wanted a full-blown novel. It’s a short story and ends just as the guys are getting together. I wanted to see their next steps, how Marty would talk to his family, anything really. That being said, I was very impressed with the depth to the characters considering the shortness of the book.

There are some little glimpses of the characters from the previous books in the series. So tempting, that I now have to read them too. You definitely don’t need any prior knowledge of these characters but I am intrigued to hear their stories.

So in summary, I felt this was a really well written, although short story. Fabulous for a quick read!

About the author

Renee George   Multi-published, award-winning author Renee George has been a factory worker, an army medic, a nurse, a website designer, a small press editor, an artist, and a teacher, but writing stories about sexy alpha men is the BEST job she’s ever had. When she turned thirty, she went back to college and earned her BA in creative writing. She has been married to the love of her life, a wonderful man who supports in every way, for over half her life (and that is a VERY long time!). She happily lives in a small, Midwest town with her husband, two needy dogs and a very independent cat.   Author Links: Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Reneé-George/e/B009MGCL9Q Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorreneegeorge Twitter: reneegeorge2008 Google+: https://plus.google.com/+ReneeGeorge_author/about Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/reneegeorge12/ Tumblr: http://reneegeorge.tumblr.com/

Tour Stops

 DMBadge     Parker Williams, Prism Book Alliance, Amanda C. Stone, Night Owl Reviews, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Michael Mandrake, Hearts on Fire, My Fiction Nook, Havan Fellows, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews, It’s Raining Men, Love Bytes, Lee Brazil, Redz World, Wicked Wolves & Dreaming Dragons, The Hat Party, Reviews & Ramblings,  Cate AshwoodIyana Jenna

Giveaway

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Stranger On The Shore by Josh Lanyon

We welcome our new reviewer Barbara who gave 4 stars to Stranger On The Shore!

And don’t forget to check out the book trailer!

Stranger on the Shore

Stranger On The Shore

By Josh Lanyon

The blurb..

Twenty years ago young Brian Arlington, heir to Arlington fortune, was kidnapped. Though the ransom was paid, the boy was never seen again and is presumed dead. Pierce Mather, the family lawyer, now administers and controls the Arlington billions. He’s none too happy, and more than a little suspicious, when investigative journalist Griffin Hadley shows up to write about the decades-old mystery. Griff shrugs off the coldly handsome Pierce’s objections, but it might not be so easy to shrug off the objections of someone willing to do anything to keep the past buried.

So what did I think?

Journalist Griff Hadley has always been fascinated by the lives of the rich, so when he is invited to write a book about the unsolved kidnapping of four-year old Brian Arlington, he jumps at the chance. The Arlingtons are extremely wealthy and Brian was taken 20 years before in the middle of a costume party at the family’s lavish estate.  One of the family servants was jailed for the crime, but Brian was never found.

When Griff arrives at the estate he finds himself unwelcome in the extreme.  Only the family patriarch Jarrett is kind. The rest of the family and servants are hostile, fearful that Griff’s research will turn up too many family skeletons.  Worst of all is Pierce Mather, the family lawyer.  Pierce is handsome, well-groomed, and an imperious jerk who tries to buy Griff off on the very first evening.

Griff is undeterred by the general hostility and throws himself into the research, uncovering many details that the police never knew.  He also uncovers a softer, although confusing side of Pierce during an awkward one-night stand.  Just as Griff is making progress putting together the pieces of the kidnapping and the pieces of Pierce’s story, a stranger appears who claims to be the long-lost Brian.  It seems as though the Arlingtons are due for a happy ending but something still isn’t quite right.  It’s up to Griff and Pierce to find out the truth.

This is a great mystery and a very satisfying romance.  There are lots of twists including one big whopping one at the end, and it was the kind of plot that I like where the reader can’t solve the mystery until the characters do.  The characters and setting were very well done, and even though murder in the mansion is a common plot device, it was handled with originality. The author was very smart- he carefully referenced the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and The Great Gatsby both of which added a lot of atmosphere.

I liked the romance a lot.  Pierce is that kind of Mr. Darcy type who you hate at the beginning and like more and more as the story goes on.  He and Griff are both complicated characters who don’t fall in love easily, and that added the satisfying level of erotic tension to the story.

I recommend this book highly!  Good plot, good characters.  What more can you ask for!

4 stars

Reviewed by Barbara

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To find out more about Josh Lanyon and his books visit his website.

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