My Top Ten Books of 2014

Top-10-Defined-Contribution-ArticlesI was having a convo with some friends on Facebook last night, and we were talking about all these high profile romance top 10 lists for 2014. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t a single interracial or African-American romance on the list. You can ask yourself why, but deep down we know why even if we don’t want to admit it…

With that being said, I thought long and hard about what my top 10 would look like. I’ve literally read hundreds of books this year, and this was a relatively easy decision. My criteria was simple:

  1. Enjoyment factor
  2. Good plot
  3. Actual romance (okay, sex dammit)
  4. Likeable characters (even the assholes)
  5. Re-readable (muy importante!)

So I give you my Top 10 Romances of 2014 (in no particular order):

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Probably one of the most slept-on books of the year. Compelling storyline; sexy, loveable hero; likeable, relate-able heroine; foreign locale; just the total package
This was an everyman who wasn't rich. He was actually down and out and rebuilding his life, but he knew how to treat a woman and was sexy as hell. The heroine was also very like!
This was an everyman who wasn’t rich. He was actually down and out and rebuilding his life, but he knew how to treat a woman and was sexy as hell. The heroine was also very like!
This is actually a serial-a beautiful, wonderfully-written serial that is the hidden gem of IR romance. So many readers lament about quickies or series, but I personally enjoy them, and when the characters are so well-written, you actually look forward to the next installment.
This is actually a serial-a beautiful, wonderfully-written serial that is the hidden gem of IR romance. So many readers lament about quickies or series, but I personally enjoy them, and when the characters are so well-written, you actually look forward to the next installment.
This was a beautifully written, picturesque historical that felt like present day in a sense. The hero was dashing, albeit somewhat asshole-y at times, but that's what endeared me to him. And the locale...whew!
This was a beautifully written, picturesque historical that felt like present day in a sense. The hero was dashing, albeit somewhat asshole-y at times, but that’s what endeared me to him. And the locale…whew!
I have been fangirling over this book since I read it. This is also a historical. Set in the 1930's, it features some actual historical figures with a wild storyline. Beautifully written with a swoon-worthy ending.
I have been fangirling over this book since I read it. This is also a historical. Set in the 1930’s, it features some actual historical figures with a wild storyline. Beautifully written with a swoon-worthy ending.
This was author Lolah Lace's first stand alone book, and she did not disappoint. Lukas was a very sexy, albeit cocky (literally ha ha) blue collar hero. And I love stories where the h/h hate each other in the beginning then come together unconventionally
This was author Lolah Lace’s first stand alone book, and she did not disappoint. Lukas was a very sexy, albeit cocky (literally ha ha) blue collar hero. And I love stories where the h/h hate each other in the beginning then come together unconventionally
This book had me consumed from the first page! What would you do if you found out the man you've fallen in love with is not only a felon but a white supremacist? This is a thinking woman's romance. What would you do? Does love truly conquer all? Hmmmm...
This book had me consumed from the first page! What would you do if you found out the man you’ve fallen in love with is not only a felon but a white supremacist? This is a thinking woman’s romance. What would you do? Does love truly conquer all? Hmmmm…
This story was epic-literally! One of the most angst-filled, romantic, teary, sensual reads ever. You will immediately fall in love with Emmet Grayne.
This story was epic-literally! One of the most angst-filled, romantic, teary, sensual reads ever. You will immediately fall in love with Emmet Grayne.
OMG, this guy Sloane Stryker (ok, that name y'all) is all that! Homeless vet, down on his luck but proud and good with hands-in every sense of the word. Very likeable heroine; poignant, romantic story.
OMG, this guy Sloane Stryker (ok, that name y’all) is all that! Homeless vet, down on his luck but proud and good with hands-in every sense of the word. Very likeable heroine; poignant, romantic story.
You know what? This book had me in wonderful knots from beginning to end. Although this is book 3 in a trilogy, it could technically be read as a standalone. AJ and Sam had to fight to be together since Day 1 and this story was the cherry on top. Highly romantic and sensually erotic without the theatrics of a raunchy sex scenes. You will fall in love with AJ as I have.
You know what? This book had me in wonderful knots from beginning to end. Although this is book 3 in a trilogy, it could technically be read as a standalone. AJ and Sam had to fight to be together since Day 1 and this story was the cherry on top. Highly romantic and sensually erotic without the theatrics of a raunchy sex scenes. You will fall in love with AJ as I have.

So there you have it! These are my top 10 books of 2014, and I have a shitload of honorable mentions. Who is in your top 10? Do we share any of the same books? I’d love to know who your faves were.

Have a safe and happy new year! See ya in 2015!

Monday Musings: Goodbye 2014

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My last musing for 2014! Can you believe it’s almost 2015?! Where has this year gone? I swear it feels like I just started this blog last month when I actually made my first post in June! It’s been a turbulent year in more ways than one, and I for one am looking forward to the new year.

I have met so many wonderful authors and bloggers this year, and I want to take the time to personally thank them for their friendship and for writing such wonderful, entertaining books. You da real MVPs! (And if I didn’t shout you out, charge it to my head, not my heart).

Coco Fierce: My road dog, my sister, confidante, and all-around partner in crime. I couldn’t do it without you. You inspire and motivate to keep going when I want to quit. Your friendship means more to me than you could ever imagine.

Allyn Lesley
Ancelli
Angelia Vernon Menchan
Harper Miller
Kaia Bennett
Kim Golden
Lolah Lace
Michelle Hardin
Mika Jolie
Olivia Linden
Raven St. Pierre
Roxy Wilson
Toye Lawson Brown
Twyla Turner
Victoria H. Smith

 

 

 

My Top 10 Debuts of 2014

FotorCreated2014 saw the release of lots of new books by new authors. Some were great, and some not-so-great. Some were mega-hits, and some barely made the radar. There were authors who hustled and made a name for themselves, and there were some who quietly released their work quietly with little or no fanfare. I’m here for all of it!!! As you can see by my list, it’s a pretty good mix. I own all of these books and while I admit that I have not yet read all of them, they have made an impact in my reading world in some capacity. I’ve either met and befriended the author, or I’ve read the book and fallen in love with the characters or a combination of both. Either way, these authors deserve a round of applause for doing the damn thing in 2014. I can’t wait to see what they bring us in the new year. And if you haven’t read one or more of these fabulous works, I encourage you to get to clickin’! Who are some of your favorite debuts for 2014?

A Chance at Destiny by Lilah K. London

Beautiful Prey by Phoenix Daniels

Dangerous Beauty by Michelle Hardin

Full Circle by Blake Haugen

Heart of the Matter by LaQuette

Mended by Kimbery M. Clayborne

The Scale by Mika Jolie

Sunday by Kaia Bennett

The Sweetest Taboo by Harper Miller

Taste of Lacey by Linden Hughes

Monday Musing: U-N-I-T-Y

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But I ain’t seeing it in the IR community y’all! I’m not seeing it from all the authors who write the stories, and I damn sure don’t see it from the fans. If you are deep in the game as I’ve become over the last 2 years, you will know there are invisible lines of demarcation throughout. You have this sect who stay to themselves only and only promote within. Then you have this sect who go outside the fold to get the love they don’t get from their own fam. Then you have this sect who scheme and conspire to tear down other authors and/or groups who don’t conform to their agenda or who are seen as threats. Yeah, I said it because I’ve seen it, and I’ve experienced it. This ain’t rocket science. This genre is already a target that has become the literal bottomless pit of the romance genre. Got aliens? Stick it in IR. Got women fucking otherworldly beasts? Stick it in IR…

I have seriously tried to bridge the gap and bring some umoja to the IR genre via Facebook and this blog, but people ain’t feeling me. I don’t know if it’s because I speak candidly on topics that make some people uncomfortable, or because I have the balls to call bullshit when I see it. I don’t know. But what I do know for sure is that I can’t stop, won’t stop. I believe in this genre even when many don’t. We’re losing good authors who are going mainstream to sell titles and get validation because they can’t get it at home, and that saddens me.

I sure do hope things change for the better in 2015, but I’ma still do me regardless. I’ma still rep for the authors who show love to everybody and are inclusive and appreciative of the love they’re shown. I’ma still rep for the newbies because they need love too. I’ma rep for the old heads because they put this genre on the map. Basically I’ma rep for anybody who’s down period.

Wednesdays With CoCo

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Coco Fierce is my girl, and she makes my reviews look like 7th grade book reports! Here is her review of Taming Val by Trevion Burns. Reprinted with her permission of course. Brace yourselves…

Taming Val By: Trevion Burns

This is book one in the Romanovsky novella series. This book introduces us to Val Romanovsky the elder of the clan and love Zoey Black.Val has just found out from his doctor at such a young age he is infertile with his playboy lifestyle he had no idea that one day he would want a family until the option no longer exists for him. The only problem is Val’s dating list doesn’t look like the A-team for parenting. In a moment of weakness he breaks down and considers the only option that technically isn’t an option.

Zoey has always been very adamant about not wanting kids at all. Due to the circumstances surrounding her parent’s death she doesn’t want a child to feel the hurt and abandonment she did as a child. Although taken in by the Romanovsky clan since the age of 12 she still doesn’t feel like she is quite yet a member of the family. Older brother Val makes a point to tell her every day that she is not his “sister” nor will she ever be. The need to belong mixed with hopelessness and lust Val and Zoey find themselves in a very precarious situation.

Val’s and Zoey’s “relationship” started off a bit rocky. Val has kept Zoey at a distance for so many years its a hard transition for him to just open up and let her in. Zoey wears her heart on her sleeve and although a bit naïve she does love hard and very deep. In the beginning of their growing relationship Val seemed emotionally abusive. At times I wish Zoey would stick up for herself and stop allowing him to jerk her around. When she finally did grow a spine she forgave him so easily. One cute and funny part in the story was Zoey’s lasagna. I won’t give too much a way but this was a very light part of the story.

Although this is a story about Val the elder brother we get a glimpse into the other three brother’s storylines as well. For instance brother Roman finds out some life altering news in this book but the author merely glosses over the issue. I know this is a novella and Roman’s story will be next. But why bring up such a dramatic shift in the story and just leave it hanging there? The family called but didn’t try to find him.

As a reader I would have liked to have seen more about the parent’s perspective on this issue. There were a lot of issues in this story that could have been given more attention or not brought up at all. As a reader I like to visualize what the characters look like and in order for me to do that physical descriptions are needed. In this story there were no real descriptions of Zoey except that she had long hair down her back and that she was black. The author kept making mention to Zoey’s “blackness” in the story. For example after agreeing to help Val the old fashion way Zoey brings up some issues about the two having a child together. One of them being that the child will be black and that the name would have to reflect that. She goes on to say that Marcus is a black name and a suitable one for the child and Val needed to accept that as a name for their kid because the kid would be black. I know you might be thinking that I am nitpicking here but that whole scene was problematic for me. For one the superficial concern of Val and her having a kid would be the name not the fact that he was to be like a brother for her since the age of 12. But to assign color to a name? I don’t understand why this was even brought up in the story if race was an issue I think there could have been a better way to tackle the issue.

One of the biggest issues in this story were the inconsistencies. (Possible Spoilers) If the doctor Val was seeing was said to be a hack why didn’t Val expose the doctor as being unethical? With his personality he seemed like the type to try to ruin this doctor. For someone who got devastating news why not research all your options? I understand it was an emotional time and to receive such news is devastating but when Zoey and her friend gave him new information he just jumped on board with no reservations. Throughout the story the author kept mentioning that Val was incompetent. The word is impotent. If he was incompetent how is he running a billion dollar online real estate business?

Despite my issues with this story it wasn’t all bad. I did find the “fling” Reggie storyline to be interesting and added some depth to the story. Val’s secret and how he and Reggie know each other make for a good follow-up story. But is this to be uncovered in the next story because the next story seems about Roman and Val’s friend? Like I mentioned before this is a novella and unfolds through the length of four stories about each brother. I just wished as a reader some issues regarding Val and Zoey were explored before moving on to the next storyline and brother. For instance we only got information on Val’s hate for Zoey out of a dying attraction but not much on their newly developed relationship except sex scenes. Hopefully the next story will be more fleshed out.

Note to the author and other readers: This is not a personal attack on the author or my attempt to bash the author in any way but the thoughts of one reader and reviewer. I know lately a lot of authors have taken to social media about “hurtful” reviews. This is not intended to be hurtful in any way just my thoughts on this book. And let’s face it not everyone is going to like your work. Not everyone finds my reviews helpful and that’s ok. I know I stated my truth and I will leave it at that. Judge this book for yourself and not based solely on this one review.

Monday Musings: I Do Not Subscribe To This Philosphy

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LIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lemme tell you something: I totally judge a book by it’s cover. I mean, after all, it is the first thing you see before clicking or adding to your shopping cart. I’m a visual person. The cover needs to be both appealing and inviting. I will bypass a book so quickly if the cover looks photocopied or pieced together. Yes, I’m being unfair, but it’s my way. Those plain covers irk me too. You know, the ones with just the title and author or a photo of the sky or the ocean….At least give me something related to the storyline. And oh…do not get me started on the darkening of white cover models to make them appear to be a person of color. I know how difficult it is to find quality photos of IR couples for book covers, and we’re tired of seeing the same ones being used (I probably own at least 5 books with the same cover), but if you have to resort to virtual blackface to get the cover you want, then I will not buy your book based on principle.

Now, I do have exceptions, and her name is Mallory Monroe. She’s one of my favorite authors, and she writes these incredible, over the top interracial romances, but her covers suck ass! Almost every last one of them. Girlfriend gives no fucks. She will take a cover stock photo and plaster her name and title all over it, and that joint will sell like hotcakes lmao! But her books are so freaking addicting that I one-click regardless. Girl, you need to holla at Taria Reed for the hookup!

Here’s a creepy cover for you. Somebody call the authorities…

Sneak Peek of Deeper by Allyn Lesley

Y’all may not remember, but about a month or so ago, I wrote a lil piece about brand new author Allyn Lesley. Well, her debut novel Deeper is fast approaching, so read on to get to know her and the characters you won’t soon forget! Oh, and there’s a lil giveaway at the end 😀
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Sneak Peek

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Book Title: Deeper
Author: Allyn Lesley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

Synopsis

Everything Avianna Linton thought she knew was shattered in one traffic stop. With her life turned upside down, she flees to the bright lights of New York City hoping for anonymity and a new life.

Rising from nothing, Noah Adams holds onto his power and control with a bone-crushing grip. No one dared challenge his authority until her…

Avi’s disdain for Noah is barely contained, and Noah does everything he can to restrain himself—a concept he has little experience with.

There’s more between the two than either of them realize. A force looms near, hovering with deadly precision and motivated solely by revenge.

Avi wonders who her new friends truly are and if she’s already in too deep. Noah, accustomed to getting what he wants, will do whatever it takes to draw Avi’s in deeper.

Deeper is an interracial romantic suspense novel by new author Allyn Lesley.

Meet the Cast

 

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Noah Adams
Age: 33 years old
Occupation: CEO, Accipiere LLC
Background: He makes no apologies for who he is.

Avi

Avianna “Avi” Linton
Age: 24 years old
Occupation: Elementary Teacher, New York City Board of Education
Background: Recent transplant from a small Floridian town who’s looking for a do-over

excerpt

© Allyn Lesley 2014

Where the fuck is that little she-devil?

Zo pointed toward the dance floor, addressing his employer’s unvoiced question. “Under the ball.”

Noah saw her clear as day and dancing way too close with someone who might soon be leaving the club with a limp. He blew out a breath. She knew better than this, yet she still tested the limits set up for her protection.

A restraining hand on Noah’s arm paused him mid-stride. “Boss?”

Noah’s eyes widened at Zo’s hand. Immediately, the younger man’s hand fell away, and he wisely stepped back. Even in the dim light, Noah saw embarrassment tinge Zo’s face.

“I, um. Excuse me, Mister Adams, but I can’t let you go over there,” Zo said, swallowing the fear his boss evoked.

“Let. Me?” Noah pointed at himself and straightened to his impressive six feet and five inches. “And who’s going to stop me?”

Teasers

 

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Standing-poster

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Book Trailer

Never Before Seen!

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Meet the Author

Allyn Lesley

Allyn Lesley writes real stories about real people.

As a teen, Allyn lost herself in the pages of some of Romance’s heavyweights, trusting that a happy ever after was just around the corner. In Allyn’s own writing journey, as in life, she’s learned that people don’t always experience recovery and restoration after a fall. Her stories speak to the gritty side of life where the right choice isn’t always easily identified and happiness not quickly gained.

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Meet Mel Blue!

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BONUS INTERVIEW!!!!

I love androgynous names, and Mel Blue does not disappoint! Okay, so her name is Melissa Blue, but I think Mel Blue is so cool. I mean, it’s traditionally a dude’s name, and it’s only two syllables, ok, I’m rambling…On to the interview!

MIRJ: The first question I ask all authors who write IR romance is why do you write IR romance?

MB: I didn’t want to limit to only writing AA characters so I wrote an IR. That title was Everything You Need. The hero is Italian. I got to research some of the customs, the language and I had a blast. It gave me confidence that I could write outside the color lines. Writing an IR also taught me it is all about the character. And, you love who you love. That’s the ride everyone agrees to go on. Romance is at the heart of every book I write so writing an IR was kind of destined.

MIRJ: Do you write full-time?

MB: For a few months this year I did. I was ecstatic and then I burned out on writing. So right now I’ve picked up a very part-time assistant job and I also do graphic art. All writing, all the time makes Mel an unhappy girl.

Musing: Well that sounds very Jack Torrance-ish ala The Shining teehee

MIRJ: Describe your writing process. Do you come up with a concept or plot, outline, research, write, then edit, or is it more of a stream of consciousness where you just let the ideas and thoughts flow and you edit as you go along?

MB: I’m a character-driven writer. I can get really excited about an idea but that excitement peters out if I don’t fall in love with the characters. So I may have an idea first, but the ball really doesn’t get rolling until I find people who will be perfect for that particular plot bunny.

Depending on the length of the story, I’ll make an outline and interview the main characters. And then I start to write. Sometimes this part of the process will go seamlessly. Sometimes I get stuck around chapter 4. I whine to my friends about how writing is hard and my characters are stupid and liars. I get hit with an epiphany and finish the rest of the book. At that point the truly hard part starts because I have to make that book something I’d charge for. My first drafts are never anything I’d make someone pay for. I actively feel guilty making people read it for free to tell me what is wrong with it. I repeat the process until I feel secure the book is ready.

MIRJ: Do you self-publish, or are you affiliated with a publishing company?

MB: I’m mostly self-published. My other name, Sofia Harper, has a book out with Entangled.

MIRJ: You have an impressive library of work, and I’ve admittedly only discovered you in the last year. You don’t just write IR, but AA, and mainstream (WW/WM) romance as well. Is there any difference or nuances that you have to be cognizant of aside from skin tone when writing about characters of different ethnicities?

MJ: That’s a hard question that deserves an essay-like answer, but let me try to be concise. (Anyone who knows me just laughed really hard at that.) So let me cut to the chase real fast first. It’s not what makes us different, it’s what we share. I know that sounds kumbaya, but let me explain.

Someone’s skin tone is an important factor, but that’s usually the last thing I know when I create a character. Well, when I create a story that’s not already part of a series. The most important question I ask myself is what does this character need? To answer that I need to know their history. How did they grow up? Was it a happy childhood? What are some of their triumphs and heartbreaks? Were they poor? Did they grow up in a middle class environment? Was he a bad boy gone good? Was she? Family, friends and lovers shapes us much more than skin color so I need to know all that too.

Yes, we might share some experiences if we share an ethnicity. But at the same time, you can know and share the pain of never really having a father. You can share that pain with someone who is vastly different from you. That person can speak a different language than you. They live and breath in a different culture, but you’ll share that same pain and you could connect on a deeper level.

That’s where I go for the nuance. Knowing someone’s skin tone can and will add to it, but if that’s where I stopped then I’d be doing my stories and characters a disservice. So knowing the culture, the mores, the family make-up, etc. is where I find the crunchy bits. Once I know that I can find the pieces that overlap. Their differences will have that much more impact because even though he’s a Scot and she’s a Cali girl, they connect where they hurt the most.

So if it’s something I don’t already know intuitively I research, but if I’ve built a character where X is believable then it kind of doesn’t matter. We aren’t all the same and we aren’t all that different. Knowing that, putting it on the page is the nuance.

I wrote an essay anyway. My bad.

Musing: That was awesome! I appreciate your telling it like it T.I. tis and not sugar-coating or giving a “PC” response per se…

MIRJ: So far, Under His Kilt is my favorite story by you. Where did the inspiration come from?

MB: I always wanted to write a British hero. I watch BBC like there is no tomorrow. Plus, I have a thing for Spike from Buffy. I said this to my CP at the time and she hit me back with why not write a Scot? She’s Scottish and she offered to vet the hero for me. And that’s how the series was born. Lol I know. A Scottish hero happened by accident and convenience. But then I dug into the culture, the history of Scotland and I fell in love. At the time I wasn’t ready to set a book in Scotland so I needed a reason for him to be in America. The rest of the story fell in place from there.

MIRJ: If you could turn any one of your books into a movie, which would it be, and who would you cast as your two leads?

MB: I’d actually choose my Modern Fairy Tale series. It has a cast of thousands, but trust me I’ve thought about who I’d pick as the actors. That’s what Pinterest boards are for lol… So the first book would be Emma/Tobias and that’s Kerry Washington/Morris Chestnut. Second book is Abigail/Drew and that’s Nia Long/Boris Kodjoe. The last book is Sasha/Warren and that’s Megan Good/Malcolm Jamal Warner.

Like I said, I put some thought into this.

Musing: HELLOOOO!!! Admitted Pinterest junkie here…and I would be the first in line to watch all of those movies! Hot casting!

MIRJ:  How important of a role does social networking play into getting your work recognized? Do you feel it takes away from time you could be spending writing, or is it necessary to make that time to interact with readers and fans to keep them engaged and interested in you, the author?

MB: I say this emphatically, FOR ME, it is vital. Anyone else it’s going to be a different answer. Without social media I don’t think I would have had the success I’ve had. My roots run deep in writing forums. It’s where I learned to be a better writer. So these were the first people who listened to my online ramblings. Because I was always myself, I can’t help it, folks followed me on Twitter and Facebook. Some wanted to read my books after some of my online shenanigans. That fed into sales and more people found my books. Some followed me on social media and it’s one thing feeding into another. I don’t find social media a chore because I take to the heart it’s “social.” I treat it as I’m hanging out with some online peeps who are cool and funny. If I end up selling some books that’s gravy. So I know it’s a tool to network and sell books, but I don’t treat it like that. It’s been beneficial for me, which is surprising.

Anyway, if you’re a fan and you see me online, don’t be scared to say hey.

MIRJ: What authors or genres do you like to read when you aren’t writing or promoting your work?

MB: Surprisingly enough my go-to genre is historical romance. I find it easier to take off my writer hat while reading a historical. I can’t nitpick because it’s not in my wheelhouse. The same goes for UF or mysteries. I have to be in the mood to read contemporary romances. I know. It’s crazy, but that’s what happens when you turn your passion into work. You have to find other ways to not make everything work.

Musing: I love historical romance too! From an IR perspective, it is always interesting to see how the author spins romance with the sign of the times…

MIRJ: What’s on the horizon for Melissa Blue in 2015?

MJ: At the moment I don’t know and that’s scary as hell. I know my Sofia Harper name will be busy with her Tanner Creek series. (I know it’s weird to talk about myself in third person. Lol) But Mel’s slate is kind of clear. I know I want to put out Kilted For Pleasure, but that book needs to do some more cooking before it’s ready. The moment I know for sure I will scream it from the rooftops. And while folks wait they can totally check out my backlist.

Thank you so much Melissa B! That was an awesome interview!


 

Melissa Blue’s writing career started on a typewriter one month after her son was born. This would have been an idyllic situation for a writer if it had been 1985, not 2004. She penned that first contemporary romance, upgraded to a computer and hasn’t looked back since.

Outside of writing, Blue works as a mail clerk for the federal government, has a paralegal certificate (that she has more use for as a dust pan) and is a mother of two rambunctious children. She lives in California where the wine is good and, despite popular belief, is not always sunny.

You can find her camped out on Facebook or Twitter. You can also check out her website at: http://themelissablue.com

 

UNBIDDEN DESIRES BLURB

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When your greatest enemy becomes your best lover…
Zora Riley’s intentions were to discover the scandalous story her rival dug up on The Beaudelaire. If the whispers were true then a five-star hotel in New Orleans transformed into a Den of Sin. Just the name of one famous attendant could make the rest of her career, and if Alastair planned to report the story first then she had to be the one to scoop him. It was only fair since he’d been taking her stories for the last six months. But when a heated argument with Alastair turns into a toe-curling interlude, she’s shaken to her core.

Alastair Halliday left Great Britain to make a name for himself in America, but he didn’t come to the Den for a story. Working for years in a dog-eat-dog environment, with insane hours, has left him needing something a little less refined and ambitious…something that will feed his kink. The Den’s winter masquerade ball will allow him to be anyone, someone whose work won’t get in the way of something simple and primal. That is until he kisses Zora, his most tempting rival.

When the weekend is over and the masks come off, will they go back to being enemies or will they stay lovers?

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