Christmas at the Lake

Christmas at the Lake
Charlotte Blake
(Great Escapes, #2)
Publication date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes love gets forgotten …
Hugely successful Lexi Stuart is used to guys pursuing her, but for all the wrong reasons. Sure, she’s beautiful and rich, but the men in her life never seem to want anything more serious than just sex. It’s a stark reality she’s become used to.
As a code writer in Silicon Vally, Adam Hunt doesn’t have to worry about money. And as a heartthrob in general, he doesn’t need to worry about attracting women, either. But when he meets Lexi during a Christmas holiday in Lake Tahoe, he’s floored that she won’t give him the time of day after one wild night together.
Now, this sports bum is about to take Lexi on the ride of her life. All she needs to do is hang on!

NOTE: This STAND-ALONE romance contains very steamy love scenes. All of the books in the Great Escapes series can be read in any order.


She knew she should have waited to drive over the pass to Lake Tahoe, but she just didn’t have that sort of patience. The snow was practically a blizzard now, and she pulled off to the side of the road where men waited to put on chains for motorists. She rolled down the window of her Tesla SUV, the crack just wide enough to slip the man a couple of bills.
“Chains are in the back.”
She rolled the window up again, wiping the snowflakes off her leather seats.
She was so ready for a break that she’d ignored the weather warnings and driven up on her own, purposely leaving her laptop at home. Now, if she didn’t get over the pass soon, she’d be sleeping in the car.
The hatch opened, and two men took out the boxes of chains she had stashed there. It was illegal to travel up this road without them; her brother, Jack, had reminded her of this, and she’d sent her assistant out to purchase a pair for the trip.
A frigid breeze blew through the car as the men closed the hatch, making her shiver a little. She pulled out a scarf from her bag and, wrapping it around herself, cranked up the heat.
The men finished quickly with the chains, but the rest of the drive was not quick at all. She had been listening to Christmas music, trying to get into the mood of the holiday. But as the storm increased in intensity, she switched over to the channel broadcasting road conditions.
“Highway 50 is open for the time being, but is expected to close within the hour. Blizzard conditions are expected to worsen for the next twenty-four hours. Motorists are advised to exit off the pass as soon as safely possible to allow snow clearing crews to plow the roads.”
Her wheels had more traction with the chains, but the going was slow, and the whole car vibrated from the rough mountain road.
She tapped her fingernails against the steering wheel, a nervous habit she had when she was stressed. Now she could only see a few feet in front of her. She knew that just off to her right was a deadly drop-off. She squinted at the windshield, trying desperately to keep her eyes on the tire tracks and red lights of the cars ahead.
She drove like this for over an hour. Shoulders hunched. Neck tight. The radio silent now.
Finally, the road started to descend from the mountain, and, just visible below, the lights of South Lake Tahoe came into view.
She drove through the town, signs for ski and snowmobile rentals winking down at her. Finally, the sign she’d been looking for popped out.
Black Bear Lodge
She held her breath as she turned down the uncleared lane, hoping that the SUV would be able to make it to the other side of the narrow drive.
The chains were what saved her. The car plowed through the snow, which accumulated along the front bumper and blew across the windshield. But the chains held traction all the way to the lodge. She pulled the car into the small parking lot, where just four others were parked, each made nearly unrecognizable by the snow piled on the roofs.
She parked, but left the car, and the heat, running. She pulled off her knee-high boots and replaced them with the snow boots she had bought at the last minute. Then came a puffy, silver jacket, which she zipped all the way to the top.
She looked around. No bellhop.
Sighing, she shut off the car and opened the door. The snow was so deep that it went above her protective boots. She trudged along to the back and retrieved her two large suitcases. Trying to roll the bags through the snow was nearly impossible, so she resorted to simply dragging them along. She was lucky; they were both light, one with clothing, one with gifts for her family. Gift cards and candles could only weigh so much.
As she passed through the lot, she saw that none of the cars were those of her family. They must have not made it over the mountain yet. They wouldn’t have unless they’d been right behind her on the drive. The news had told her that the pass was closed now.
She struggled with the suitcases up the steps to the main entrance of the building, spitting out the snowflakes that landed on her lips. By the time she got up the small flight of stairs, she was covered head to foot in heavy white flakes.
Even though she hurried to get inside, it was impossible not to notice that the lodge was spectacular. Long wood beams jutted upward, supporting the great vaulted ceiling. It was a large home, really, run by an older couple as a bed and breakfast. There were only a few rooms, and it was this privacy her dad had wanted when he’d had her book the vacation for everyone. In a day or two, when the storm ebbed, she would be joined by him, her two brothers, their wives, and one niece.
Secretly, she was happy to have a little time on her own before family descended upon her. They always had more questions than she felt like answering.
When was she going to settle down?
Has she been dating?
Work wasn’t everything, you know …
She sighed, her breath blowing out of her mouth like smoke from a cigarette.
Every light in the place was lit, casting a warm glow over the snowy landscape. She didn’t knock, and instead walked right in. Immediately, a gust of warm air washed over her.
“Hello?” she called.
She hadn’t seen them, but two men sat in front of a huge fireplace at the far end of the room. They turned at her voice.
“Hi,” one of them said, getting up and walking toward her.
“Hi,” she said. “Am I in the right place? Black Bear, right?”
“This is it.” He opened his arms.
The front room was huge, even bigger than it looked from outside. A staircase descended from the second floor, curving down toward a ten-foot-tall Christmas tree, its star soaring high above. It was decorated with what looked like family heirloom ornaments. Her own mother had built a collection over the years, and it looked like the owners here had done the same. The tree was a sparkling wonder that seemed to never end. Its scent filled the room, and she took a deep breath in.
“It’s wonderful, isn’t it?” the man said.
“Mmm. How do I check in?” she asked, stomping the snow off her boots onto the mat.
“That’ll be Mary and Edward. They’re the ones who run this place. But I think they might’ve gone to bed already. It’s pretty late.”
She hadn’t noticed the time. It was already past ten.
“Mary left a note for you on the table. Can I help you with your bags?”
“Sure,” she said, leaving them where they stood.
She walked over to the entry table and picked up the note.
Ms. Stewart-

Sorry we haven’t been able to stay up to meet you. Your family’s rooms are in the east wing of the house. Please feel free to choose from the four of them. If you’d like wine or hot cocoa, there is a table close to the fire. Breakfast starts at seven and runs until ten. If you’re an early riser, you’ll also find coffee available at six.

Your father called to let us know that they have been unable to make it over the pass into Lake Tahoe. The roads have been closed, and it may be a couple of days before they reopen.

We look forward to meeting you in the morning.

Mary and Edward Holden
She sighed. “Can you help me upstairs, too?”
“Sure.” He outstretched one hand. “My name’s Adam. Over there is my brother Jake.”
Jake sent a wave in her direction.
She took Adam’s hand. “Lexi. Thanks for your help.”
For the first time, she got a good look at him. He was tall and broad, his brown hair cut short. Green eyes, too; her favorite. To her, he looked like he might be good for a fun night. Or maybe a few fun nights.

Author Bio:

I am happy to call the San Francisco Bay Area home, where I lives with my husband, two kids, one dog and three cats. I started writing at an early age, but have only been writing novels for the past five years. I love the idea of love conquering all, and that is what drove me to begin the Great Escapes series, where the reader follows couples meeting up in exotic locations around the world. In this series, each book is a stand-alone, and each can be read in any order.
But readers, be forewarned, there is a healthy amount of steam in these books!
Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy Great Escapes!


Between You and Me

Between You and MeLynn Turner
(The Wild Rose Press)
Publication date: September 20th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Love at first sight strikes Seattle Scientist Finnegan Kane at the worst possible moment, paralyzing him as he’s pitching his cutting-edge idea to powerful New York venture capitalist Emanuela Monroe…
Finn survived the crash that killed his parents when he was sixteen. Twenty years later, his smart devices are about to redefine what it means to be disabled.
Emanuela makes dreams come true for a living, but still longs to fulfill her own. Despite Finn’s stunning secret, she thinks his idea might be worth the risk…and he’s determined to show her that he is, too.


Christmas Eve
Finn removed the large gift box he’d hidden in Emanuela’s closet and set it on the bed in front of her. He sat at its edge, his obvious anticipation of her opening it almost as great as hers. “Happy Christmas Eve, Emmi.”
She smiled and, at his nod, lifted the lid. “Whoa.”
She reached in, carefully lifting the model house from the box. It was alabaster in color, and the detailing was incredible. She recognized the floor-to-ceiling windows at the south end and gasped, turning it to admire the familiar wrap-around deck. There were grooves indicating the planks of wood the deck was made from, and exterior lighting just like the ones on the house Finn rented in Penn Cove. She fingered the tiny fibers that made up the rigid parts of the house.
Her eyes narrowed. “You printed this?”
He nodded again. She giggled at his body language. He was as still as a log, his ears perky, eyes bright–If he’d had a tail, it would have wagged.
“Take the roof off. Have a look inside.”
She lifted the ends of the roof and it came completely off. Inside was a perfect replica of the interior, each room complete with removable furnishings and detail equally as stunning as the outside—like the natural granite of the free-standing fireplace in the living space and the logged walls of the bedrooms. Perfect—except there seemed to be extra space.
She frowned. “I don’t remember that being there.”
He grinned, crinkles appearing at the corners of his eyes. “That’s because it isn’t there yet. Turn it again, but this time go slow.”
Her head jerked to the side, but she did as instructed, turning the model until the front of the house faced her again. There, just out front, was a tiny signpost that read “Sold.”
She yelped. “Oh my God! When? I thought he wasn’t selling?” Her voice grew higher and squeakier with each question.
He shrugged. “I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
“Finn!” She smacked him impatiently.
He laughed, lifting his shoulder against her assault. “My offer was more than fair—well above market value. I could tell he wanted to keep it, but after I told him it held sentimental value for me—and that he could buy a house almost anywhere with what I was offering—I convinced him to sell.”
She could have cried. She loved that house, but was resigned to living somewhere else, convincing herself that anywhere with Finn would be home. Maybe it was selfish, but she’d been heartbroken at the prospect of someone else living there, getting to watch the sunrise—their sunrise—every morning.
She pointed to the extra space again, her voice barely above a whisper. “And this?”
“A bigger office, a den, a pool—whatever you want, Emmi.”
She slid the model to the side, enough to clear the space between them, and beckoned him to her with her finger. “I’m so happy,” she whispered against his lips.
“That’s all I want.”

Author Bio:

Lynn Turner inherited her writing gene from her mother, who created fantastic tales about witches, invisible worlds and talking animals, and read them to her children at night. Lynn isn’t as great with the voices as her mother, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.
She discovered romance far too young, when a mission to find a young adult fantasy title led her to historical romance. She spent hours skimming those sumptuous pages, drinking in the vivid descriptions of settings and clothes, feisty heroines and looming lords, and poetic language. (She may or may not have enjoyed the PG-13 bits too, tucking a new title beneath her pillow at night).
She enjoys character-driven narratives most, and anything that transports her someplace else. Passionate about food and travel, she features healthy doses of both in the stories she crafts. Above all, she is dedicated to writing inclusive stories that explore what it means to be imperfectly human.
When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling, dreaming of traveling, or watching old Samantha Brown travelogue videos and wishing she had her job. She and her husband share their home in California with their two extraordinary children, and hope to add a little furry one to the family very soon.


The Vixen’s Lead

The Vixen’s Lead
Tate James
(Kit Davenport, #1)
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

I want vengeance so badly that I can almost taste it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. So, I did what any privileged, adopted boarding school girl would do. I slapped on a secret identity and became an internationally renowned thief, known as The Fox. Nobody knows me. Nobody can catch me.
Or so I thought…
It turns out; I have what they want. Special abilities. And trust me, these abilities are coveted–and dangerous. Now, I don’t know who to trust or where to go. Peril lurks on every corner as I try to uncover my past and origin. Teaming up with unlikely allies may be my only chance at survival or my biggest mistake. Only time will tell.
I’m Kit Davenport and this is only the beginning.

Author Bio:
Tate James was born and raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud (New Zealand) but now lives in Australia with her husband, baby and furbaby.

She is a lover of books, red wine, cats and coffee and is not a morning person. She is a bit too sarcastic and swears too much for polite society and definitely tells too many dirty jokes.


This Heart of Mine

This Heart of Mine
by C.C. Hunter
Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pub Date: February 2018
Genre: Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness. 

My Review: This is something different than Ii’m used to from C.C., but oh my I loved it!
Leah doesn’t think highly of the future. Mostly because she has no heart and doesn’t know if she will have a future at this point. In the mean time, she walks around with cute Disney slippers, reads romance novels and gets tutored at home. 
Then you have Matt, a cool and cute guy who is also hurting. He still isn’t over the loss of his dad fully. But things are going to get worse for him when his twin is found dead and everyone but him ruled it out as a suicide. 
Well turns out one day Matt ends up tutoring Leah as her usual teacher couldn’t make it. Leah and Matt talk. She explains her crush on him,  wants a kiss, and well after that things are different. Matt can’t stop thinking about her. It’s not long until  Matt knows. Knows that something is wrong with his brother. He finds out what happen and uses that chance to help Leah.
Now with a real heart Leah may have a future. She doesn’t  know what she’s going to do with it yet, what the new her would be like. She certainly didn’t expect to play detective and fall in love. But it happened. 
Now the ending got me. I was excited to see Leah made it through and survived. That Matt was there in the hospital every day until finally he got to see Leah. The love they have and everything that happened, it just gets you. So be prepared to have the tissues out!!!
I can’t wait for C.C.’s next book!

My Rating:

Never Again Excerpt and Interview

John. Checking in are we?” asked Price.
morning to you too, Price.” I answered halfheartedly.
          “Uh oh,
you don’t sound too enthused. Have you talked to Hannah yet like I
          “Yes, I
did. We met for coffee yesterday, but didn’t have the opportunity to buy
happened?” Price asked with concern in his voice.
ah, linked hands and then something strange happened to both of us. I’d rather
not get into detail right now, but, needless to say, we spent the entire day
and night together. She only left a little while ago to get ready for
          “And now
you have to suffer with a painful heart until you see her again, am I
and I can’t take anything to numb the pain because you know what happens.”
          “Yes. I
remember you tried that in the sixties and seventies. Not one medication or
narcotic worked. Your blood just diluted everything; same for the alcohol. You
tried so hard to get drunk during Woodstock but it barely affected you.”
Price said, reminiscing to when he was a child and my secret was under the care
of his father before being passed to him.
some would say that is an advantage, but not if you are drinking to numb the
pain.” Sighing heavily, we both let brief silence linger before I
continued. “Have you found anything in the books yet?”
haven’t translated much else but found a lead on another book. There’s just one
problem. I called the college library in Virginia I traced it to and they
haven’t been able to locate that book for over a decade. It was last checked
out and returned by an Andrew Jacobs but, since it was technically returned,
they couldn’t say he still had it. It was deemed lost in the system.”
did I really hear you say the words Virginia and Jacobs?” I asked
          “Why? Is
there something I should know?” Price asked, sounding more hopeful than he
did before.
is from Virginia and when I researched her parents deaths the names that came
up were….” I paused for a second, almost not believing what I was about to
say. “They were Penelope and Andrew Jacobs.” And then dead silence
          “Do you
think she knows – ?” Price began.
interrupting his train of thought, I retorted “no….well, I don’t know.
Maybe. She hasn’t given me any reason to believe she would.”
let’s forget I asked. But if these two Andrews are one and the same then let’s
say for arguments sake that somehow he still had the book. With him dead his
belongings would resort to Hannah. Is there any chance she would still have it
in her possession?”
          Letting this
hypothetical talk sink in I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose.
Knowing that this missing book could hold the key to a future with Hannah I
told Price where to
find her.
you will find Hannah at the Jefferson Memorial Library this morning. I think
she is done at noon but you best leave now in case you do find it. Chances are
she has the book or at the least knows its whereabouts. She may have had a hard
life with her father but based on how she talked about him this morning she
loved him and wouldn’t just let everything go. I am positive she has kept some
things to remember her parents by.”
          Stunned Price
said, “Now I think I am hearing things, though it could be my getting
older. Did you say Jefferson Memorial Library?”
          “I know
you don’t believe in coincidences but how about fate or destiny because I am
already there,” he answered.
must be joking. Tell me you are joking, Price.” I snapped at him.
you called I was already coming up to the library entrance. There is a
reference for a student’s paper I need to crosscheck before entering a final
grade. Like I said, maybe it’s fate or destiny. Maybe we are meant to look
inside that book. Otherwise why would Hannah and I be in the same place at the
same time?”
          “You are
probably right, as usual. Well, when you get inside look for a woman with deep
chestnut hair, big sea blue eyes, and a heart shaped face. She will be the most
beautiful one there,” I advised Price, smiling as I did so. Just the
thought of her was making my heart go wild but at least it didn’t hurt.
I will try to be tactful but depending on how much she knows I can’t promise
anything. You know, if we are lucky she would have tucked the book away on a
shelf that rarely sees visitors. A library this size would be the perfect
hiding place for a book you don’t want found.”
          “Yes, I
suppose it would. Well you best get in there and be careful on approaching her.
Her past is something she doesn’t openly share with others.”
          “I see.
But, ah, she did with you?” Price softly asked, not sure if he should have
in the first place.
she did. But I will give you details after you get that book. I need to know
what our options are,” I replied.
          “Okay, I
won’t press you further but don’t sit by the phone waiting. I will call you
after I’m done here. Bye John.”
bye.” Ending the phone call several emotions ran through me at once. I was
elated at being so close to this book Price says could be the key to
everything, but was also
apprehensive about what it will tell us. Most of all I
feared that Hannah may know about the world I was born into, making me wonder
if she would accept me for who I am no matter our

feelings for each other. I suppose we shall find out soon

When did you realize that you wanted to become a
I began writing a scene that caused me to smile all the way through. It felt
amazing to be the cause of that happiness like so many other authors have been
for me with their stories.
What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
I don’t include the awful song lyrics I tried writing as a kid, it is Never
Again. The first in the Book of Origins series, it’s my first true attempt at
writing and my first published novel. I had fun writing it and just want to
know if others enjoy my twist on an over-crowded genre.
What was the inspiration for your book?
reading so many stories that portray vampires as a whole as monsters I began
wondering what it would be like if they really weren’t. Then one night a
co-worker mentioned rewriting a story if you don’t like it and I just couldn’t
help myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the books I’ve read, but I needed
to know if making vampires victims would work. And it did. With help from my
medical background vampirism became a disease you can cure, so hunters no
longer have to kill the vampires infected. Instead they can save them.
How much of your characters are based on your
traits or someone you know personally?
of them. To seem more realistic I put in lots of my own likes and dislikes for
the main character Hannah. The other characters that share the names of people
I know personally have a little bit of them as well. The rest I just tried to
make different to add dimension to the story. And as for names, all derive from
either people I know or people from my family tree with the exception of
Hannah. I just really love the name and my husband didn’t for our daughters, so
I found a different way to use it.
Describe your main character in six words.
Wow. Well, first, Hannah is loyal, guarded but passionate, and a gifted fighter and leader. Second, John is chivalrous, fiercely protective, gorgeous, and dangerous yet safe.
Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
parallels ours but has a hidden and misunderstood past
resulting in victimized vampires.
What are you working on now?
Again, volume two in the Book of Origins series. A continuation of volume one,
the characters discover secrets that lead them to Central Europe and an
encounter with the first vampire. After given an ultimatum one character leaves
with the first vampire to save the others but whether it’s as a guest or prisoner,
no one knows.
Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
Get volume two
out before the end of 2018! At the rate it’s going it feels like it will take
forever. Too much life drama and writer’s block has slowed my inspiration so if
I can keep that deadline I’ll be ecstatic.
Are there any authors or books you recommend?
Well, as I like
a variety of genres, for authors my first thoughts are Steve Martini’s The
List, Nelson DeMille’s The Lion’s Game, Elizabeth Hunter’s Elemental Mysteries
and World series, and Roxie Rivera’s Russian Protector books. I have re-read
many of these books and still can’t get them out of my head.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not
for sure, but if I’m too frustrated at life then it’s easier to binge watch TV
shows on Netflix than to pick my next book to read.

Protector’s Claim

Title: Protector’s Claim
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Genre: Dark Romance
Publication Date: Oct. 31st, 2017
Gabrielle Thornton
I made a mistake.
I allowed myself to be born. I allowed myself access into a life that wasn’t mine, and for that, I had willingly submitted my body and soul to a man whose sadistic pleasures knew no bound, a man who relished in my pain as much as he craved my flesh.
A monster I would do anything to escape.
But what if I could make it stop? What if the cost of freedom was a single night in a stranger’s arms? What if one final sin was all I needed to commit to find peace?
 Kieran Kincaid
I had always known of the sickness that lived inside my father, the demons who controlled the man. His death was a blessing to every innocent he’d destroyed with his dark hunger.
Yet, despite his demise becoming my curse, a shackle trapping me in his twisted secrets, it lured me to it, too. It promised me the thing I coveted above all else. It seduced me deeper into the world I wish I knew nothing of, but there was no turning back, not even if by accepting, by taking what didn’t belong to me made me a monster like him.
Gabby would finally be mine.

Airicka Phoenix is a multi-genre author of novels starring strong female leads and sexy alpha heroes. She started her journey after never finding the type of books she wanted to read. Her love of tortured souls and forbidden romance carried her into writing her own hard-earned happiness. Currently, she lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her babies and can be found hard at work on her next project.

For more about Airicka, visit her at

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Bed of Lies, Vol. 1

Title: Bed of Lies, Vol. 1
Author: Niquel
Genre: Dark Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
I used to be naïve.
I used to think monsters didn’t exist.
I used to think I was safe, untouchable, and free from harm.
Boy was I wrong…
My name is Whitney, and I used to think my old life was mediocre and boring. I thought I was missing out on something exciting. Now that Linc has shown me how dark and twisted life can be, I’d go back in a heartbeat…
*Warning* This book is not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to the use of mature language, adult content, and violent situations. The abuse written in this story is graphic and not sugar coated, which could be upsetting to some. This story is NOT for everyone. Proceed with caution.
Niquel is a self-diagnosed coffee addict, lover of rice and beans, and chocolate—preferably not all together. She’s the creator of multiple stories full of love, passion, and power. She may toss in a ghost story every once in a while.
When she’s not busy taking care of her two little girls, she’s writing or creating graphics or you can find her binge-watching TV with her significant other.
Boston born and raised, she’s always been a creative soul: attending multiple colleges to develop her love of the visual arts.
Author Links:
Street Team:
Buy Links:
Bed of Lies, Vol. 1:
Bed of Lies, Vol. 2:
Bed of Lies, Vol. 3 (Pre-Order):