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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott - SPOTLIGHT + EXCERPT!

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Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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Today, we're grabbing our party hats and making some noise as a new Historical Fiction title makes its debut via William Morrow.  It's set in the 1940's amid all the glamour and excess, while it dances around a game of cat and mouse that could end in fiery passions untold.  Ready, set, let's READ ALL ABOUT IT!


A Retelling of Dangerous Liaisons
by
Sophfronia Scott
ISBN: 9780062655653
E-Book: 9780062655677
William Morrow Trade Paperback Original

About the book...
William Morrow is thrilled to publish UNFORGIVABLE LOVE (On Sale: September 26, 2017; Trade Paperback Original), a vivid reimagining of the French classic Les Liaisons Dangereuses, set in the glittering, dramatic world of Harlem in 1947. In this “elegant page turner,” it’s the summer when Jackie Robinson breaks Major League Baseball’s color barrier and a sweltering heat has Harlem’s elite fleeing the city for a breezier Westchester County, as two schemers get caught up in a exhilarating game of cat and mouse.

In UNFORGIVABLE LOVE, Jazz may be king, but heiress Mae Malveaux rules society with an angel’s smile and a heart of stone. She made up her mind long ago that nobody would decide her fate. Marriage, money, freedom… Mae wants complete control. To have the pleasure she craves, control is paramount, especially control of the men Mae attracts like moths to a flame.

Valiant Jackson is accustomed to getting what he wants—and he’s wanted Miss Malveaux for years. The door finally opens for him when Mae is slighted by her former lover Frank Washington, and she strikes a bargain: seduce her virginal young cousin, Cecily, who is now engaged to Frank, a man who values Cecily’s innocence above all else. If Val is successful, his reward will be Mae.

Unbeknownst to Mae, Val seeks another, even more valuable prize. Elizabeth Townsend is fiercely loyal to her church and her civil rights attorney husband. She is certain that there is something redeemable in Mr. Jackson. Little does she know her most unforgivable mistake will be Val’s greatest triumph. But Mae and Val are unprepared for what can happen between a woman and man when the thrill of the chase spirals wildly out of control.

Scott deftly tackles themes of love, faith, lost innocence, betrayal, and redemption in this stunningly original novel. UNFORGIVABLE LOVE introduces readers to both the café society and upper crust Harlem and takes readers from the grand townhomes on Lenox Avenue to the lush woods of Anselm, North Carolina, in a whirlwind of passion.




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~~~ EXCERPT ~~~
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Harlem, May 1947


Mae loved herself with a ferocity that came of feeding too hard and too long on her own exquisite beauty. She could smile in the rearview mirror of her car and see the alabaster beam reflected back from her picture in advertisements for Malveaux’s Magic Hair Pomade plastered on every billboard and in the windows of every drugstore starting from West 53rd Street, going all the way up Manhattan and through Harlem for the next hundred blocks.
Even now she gazed happily into her vanity as her maid, Justice, applied the French pomade and arranged the dark folds of her hair into thick Victory curls perfectly framing her face. She never used the concoction her mother had created and made famous. Tired of having it smeared on her head since childhood, Mae had thrown away her own grease-filled powder- blue tin in the days after her mother’s death.
She held out her wrists and Justice dabbed on fragrant dots from the crystal bottle of Caron Fleurs de Rocaille perfume. Mae’s cold-creamed skin glowed bright and her eyes danced with the sparkle of a girl, making her seem younger than her thirty-three years. She knew this feature made her irresistible. Mysteriously, each man thought he had discovered this light for himself and believed only he could see it in her. They never noticed her well-hidden contempt for their arrogance.
Mae was vigilant about her expressions. She learned long ago the faces she wore would always be more essential than any dress she put on, no matter if it were a Christian Dior or a Pierre Balmain. Her beauty was a formidable instrument because people liked to stare at her as they would a motion picture actress and, in the same vein, she could tell them any story she chose to project and they would believe it. So she practiced the lift of her cheeks, the turnings of her mouth, the shapes of her lips, and the conjured emotions that she flitted across her eyes. Her masterstroke came when she could wipe her face smooth and present a look of calm so numinous it bewitched her admirers into claiming her a goddess.
In rare instances, though, she suffered a rebellion to her visage of serenity. It was an errant twitch seated in the muscles of her lower-left eyelid. She always felt it right be- fore it surfaced. It was as though the weight of all the folly the eye had beheld was suddenly too much for it. She saw how, though small and fast, it unmasked her disdain. Not everyone would notice, but someone less foolhardy—someone like Val Jackson—would never miss such a telling detail.
Regina, her white Polish maid, brought in Mae’s long, satin Dior that had arrived from Paris the previous day. Mae stood, stepped into the gown, and enjoyed the feel of the gold fabric flowing down her body in a shimmering cascade. She placed one hand on Justice’s shoulder and lifted her right foot with the grace of a ballerina. Regina took hold of Mae’s ankle, guided her into leather slingback pumps, then pulled the strap through the buckle.
Too tight. Too tight.
“Ouch!” Mae lit out with her right hand, landing a blow upon the woman’s ear and side of her face. Regina’s arm rose in defense.
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry.”
Mae looked away while she finished. The stacked heel added nearly two inches to her height so she had to sit again. This allowed Justice to fasten the necklace of marquise-cut diamonds while Regina clasped the diamond-and-platinum bracelet around Mae’s thin wrist.
Mae occupied the largest brownstone on Sugar Hill. Designed by the noted architect Branford Waite, it featured a double- width façade and a broad stoop from the front door to the street. Perfect white shades on the windows muted the sun’s glare during the day but let in plenty of light. The flower boxes on the ledges contained enough nicotiana, tuberose, and alyssum so their combined sweet fragrance would greet Mae each time she walked out the door.
That night she came gliding out of the building like a new moon rising. All down the block she knew quick hands snapped shutters closed then reopened them a crack so their owners could spy on her floating down the steps to where her man, Lawrence, held open the door to her forest-green Packard. She knew this because she knew exactly how her world was situated—how every single person thought, including and especially what they thought of her. She choreographed each step, each motion, and she moved through Harlem exactly as she pleased because of it. What good was money otherwise? She laughed at the predictability of society and how no one but her seemed to understand how to wield this delicious power. And since her mother died, and then her own husband, Mae reveled in the added sweet freedom of answering to no one.
She settled into the caramel cushions of the car’s backseat. Lawrence steered in the direction of the Swan, her chosen nightclub. Mae knew in particular how it would be there. Lately the bandleader would make sure they didn’t play Duke Ellington’s gorgeous new piece, “Lady of the Lavender Mist,” her favorite, unless she was in the room and ready to dance. Her usual party would be seated and waiting at her table. The air al- ready hummed with the expectancy of an unseasonably warm Saturday night. The scene was set. It only needed her to make it come alive.

*********


Before Val Jackson had left for the Swan he’d sat in his office above his own club, the Diamond. The handsome walnut clock on the wall struck the half hour: nine thirty. He felt the bass throbbing in the floorboards under his feet. Half of Harlem danced beneath his good graces tonight but Val, pulling on his crisp white tuxedo shirt, thought only of Elizabeth Townsend, who was quietly situated at his aunt Rose’s Westchester estate. She would be getting ready for bed about now.
His aunt always insisted on dinner at six—ridiculously early. Then she and Elizabeth would walk in the rose garden. Auntie turned in well before nine and that’s when Elizabeth wandered the great house alone, sometimes reading in the library. Her husband called each night at nine, an annoying detail. Then she would dress in her nightclothes, a thin cotton gown—sleeveless, the maid Annie had said—and sit on the balcony outside her room and gaze up into the sky before going to bed. One night the housekeeper thought she heard Elizabeth praying out there.
Val fastened the silver cuff links at his wrists and recited Elizabeth’s routine to himself twice more as he finished dressing. He knew all the details, thanks to his man Sebastian’s unfailing ability to bribe just the right people in his aunt’s household. Elizabeth would be in bed by ten p.m. sharp; that’s what the latest report had said. He loved the potential of those two succulent hours between eight and ten. Just now, in May, they would be filled with air so thick with humidity no one’s mind would want the trouble of thinking straight. The end of a hot summer day was when a woman’s guard might be down just enough to entertain latent thoughts.
But that’s what he enjoyed about this particular conquest. Elizabeth Townsend didn’t have any latent, smoldering desires. He had watched her long enough to know this, seen her loving eyes trained on her straight-as-a-board husband and her arm looped through his. Val would change that. He knew he would be the one to light the match, and whatever thoughts burned in her from there would be entirely his own creation. For a few sweet moments he paused and allowed himself the pleasure of imagining Elizabeth in her bed, her bare skin sliding between the cotton of her nightgown and the famously soft sheets his aunt’s home was known for. The prospect made him ache with satisfaction.
A long, slow smile ignited from one corner of his mouth and spread to the other as he sat down behind his desk and leaned back in the enormous burgundy leather chair. Was this what Satchel Paige felt like, coming to the mound to meet a fresh opponent after so many years? Was he rolling in the life of it, so excited that there was still someone worth pursuing even after he had bedded and tasted the best? Elizabeth Townsend was so damn perfect—not one of these pants down, legs up women easily charmed by his name alone. He would savor Elizabeth Townsend when the time came—and it would be so fine the streets of Harlem would want to open up and swallow him, engulfing him in praise and awe.
“Sebastian.”
The butler answered so fast it was as though he’d come at Val’s very thought. Without a word, he took his employer’s left hand and, with a silver file, smoothed the nails and cleaned underneath them.
“Any news?” Val used his right hand to remove a Montecristo cigar from the mahogany humidor on his desk. Sebastian pulled a lighter from his pocket and lit it. The smoke encircled Val’s head like a gentle fog and the spicy wood aroma filled the office as Val settled into his feel-good body for the night.
“Miss Malveaux, they say, will be at the Swan, sir.”
Val drew on the cigar with a long, deep breath. Nice. He and his wayward love would play their game tonight. There was nothing better than when he and Mae got to perform before an audience.
Only one question remained—who would be their targets?





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About the author...



Sophfronia Scott hails from Lorain, Ohio. She was a writer and editor at Time and People magazines before publishing her first novel All I Need to Get By. Her short stories and essays have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, NewYorkTimes.com, Killens Review of Arts & Letters, Ruminate magazine, Saranac Review, Numéro Cinq, Barnstorm Literary Journal, and Sleet magazine. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, with her husband and son.


SITE  |  TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK



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Special thanks to Libby at HarperCollins Publishers for the heads up regarding this release as well as the excerpt to share with all of you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is IN STORES NOW via William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!



RABT: The Sullivans Books 1-3 from Bella Andre - SPOTLIGHT + EXCERPT!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.





Today, we're joining a blog tour already in progress starring the first three books in The Sullivans series from author Bella Andre.  It's a new(ish) book set now available to get you right in the middle of it all so you'll be begging...to go to the bookstore and grab the other releases in the series.  Trust me, you will...and I know first hand because I read these once upon a time, but I must warn you, ADULTS ONLY.  Got it?  Got it.  Alrighty then, let's get down to business!  Today's title in the spotlight is...





The Sullivans Books 1-3
Contemporary Romance
Date Published: December 5, 2015
Publisher: Oak Press, LLC


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More than 6 million readers have already fallen in love with the Sullivans! Now get ready to meet your new favorite family in Bella Andre's New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romances with the first three books in the #1 hit series.


"Not since Nora Roberts has anyone been able to write a big family romance series with every book as good as the last! Bella Andre never disappoints!" - Revolving Bookcase Reviews







Amazon  |  iBooks  |  B&N  |  Kobo   |  Google Play



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THE LOOK OF LOVE
Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she's convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true.


 Or is he?


As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he's home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is--until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love--and protect--her, but will she let him?


 - - - - - - - - - -


FROM THIS MOMENT ON
For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.


Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name - Nico - for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is...or hurt her again.


Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger - and the sinful promises - in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.


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CAN’T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire...and can't stop thinking about.


Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving - and losing - a man with a dangerous job again.








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~~~ EXCERPT ~~~
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Enjoy the following excerpt from THE LOOK OF LOVE...

Chase almost missed the flickering light off on the right side of the two-lane country road. In the past thirty minutes, he hadn’t passed a single car, because on a night like this, most sane Californians—who didn’t know the first thing about driving safely in inclement weather—stayed home.
Knowing better than to slam on the brakes—he wouldn’t be able to help whomever was stranded on the side of the road if he ended up stuck in the muddy ditch right next to them—Chase slowed down enough to see that there was definitely a vehicle stuck in the ditch.
He turned his brights on to see better in the pouring rain and realized there was a person walking along the edge of the road about a hundred yards up ahead. Obviously hearing his car approach, she turned to face him and he could see her long wet hair whipping around her shoulders in his headlights.
Wondering why she wasn’t just sitting in her car, dry and warm, calling Triple A and waiting for them to come save her, he pulled over to the edge of his lane and got out to try and help her. She was shivering as she watched him approach.
"Are you hurt?"
She covered her cheek with one hand, but shook her head. "No."
He had to move closer to hear her over the sound of the water hitting the pavement in what were rapidly becoming hailstones. Even though he’d turned his headlights off, as his eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness, he was able to get a better look at her face.
Something inside of Chase’s chest clenched tight.
Despite the long, dark hair plastered to her head and chest, regardless of the fact that looking like a drowned rat wasn’t too far off the descriptive mark, her beauty stunned him.
In an instant, his photographer’s eye cataloged her features. Her mouth was a little too big, her eyes a little too wide-set on her face. She wasn’t even close to model thin, but given the way her T-shirt and jeans stuck to her skin, he could see that she wore her lush curves well. In the dark he couldn’t judge the exact color of her hair, but it looked like silk, perfectly smooth and straight where it lay over her breasts.
It wasn’t until Chase heard her say, "My car is definitely hurt, though," that he realized he had completely lost the thread of what he’d come out here to do.
Knowing he’d been drinking her in like he was dying of thirst, he worked to recover his balance. He could already see he’d been right about her car. It didn’t take a mechanic like his brother, Zach, who owned an auto shop—more like forty, but Chase had stopped counting years ago—to see that her shitty hatchback was borderline totaled. Even if the front bumper wasn’t half smashed to pieces by the white farm fence she’d slid into, her bald tires weren’t going to get any traction on the mud. Not tonight, anyway.
If her car had been in a less precarious situation, he probably would have sent her to hang out  in her car while he took care of getting it unstuck. But one of her back tires was hanging precariously over the edge of the ditch.
He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. "Get in my car. We can wait there for a tow truck." He was vaguely aware of his words coming out like an order, but the hail was starting to sting, damn it. Both of them needed to get out of the rain before they froze.
But the woman didn’t move. Instead, she gave him a look that said he was a complete and utter nut-job.
"I’m not getting into your car."
Realizing just how frightening it must be for a lone woman to end up stuck and alone in the middle of a dark road, Chase took a step back from her. He had to speak loudly enough for her to hear him over the hail.
"I’m not going to attack you. I swear I won’t do anything to hurt you."
She all but flinched at the word attack and Chase’s radar started buzzing. He’d never been a magnet for troubled women, wasn’t the kind of guy who thrived on fixing wounded birds. But living with two sisters for so many years meant he could always tell when something was up.
And something was definitely up with this woman, beyond the fact that her car was half-stuck in a muddy ditch.
Wanting to make her feel safe, he held his hands up. "I swear on my father’s grave, I’m not going to hurt you. It’s okay to get into my car." When she didn’t immediately say no again, he pressed his advantage with, "I just want to help you." And he did. More than it made sense to want to help a stranger. "Please," he said. "Let me help you."
She stared at him for a long moment, hail hammering between them, around them, onto them. Chase found himself holding his breath, waiting for her decision. It shouldn’t matter to him what she decided.
But, for some strange reason, it did.


...Excerpt from THE LOOK OF LOVE by Bella Andre © 2015











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About the Author




Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “The Sullivans”, “The Morrisons” and “The Maverick Billionaires” series.


Having sold more than 6 million books, Bella Andre's novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists 33 times. She has been the #1 Ranked Author at Amazon (on a top 10 list that included Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, James Patterson and Stephen King). Apple iBooks named her one of their “Bestselling Authors of All Time” (alongside Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts and EL James). And Publishers Weekly named Oak Press, the publishing company she created to publish her own books, the Fastest-Growing Independent Publisher in the US. After signing a groundbreaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella's “The Sullivans” series is being released in paperback in the US, Canada, and Australia.


Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post called her “One of the top writers in America”; and she has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America in New York City.


Bella also writes the New York Times bestselling Four Weddings and a Fiasco series as Lucy Kevin. Her “sweet” contemporary romances also include the new USA Today bestselling Walker Island series written as Lucy Kevin.


If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100-year-old log cabin in the Adirondacks.





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Reading Addiction Blog Tours






Special thanks to Cami at RABT Book Tours for the chance to bring this promotion to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the series, the author, the publisher, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This set is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to grab your copy today!  Be sure to check out the other sites on the tour for more bookish fun.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!



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