Happy Book Birthday, @MaryL_MarissaC! Review of Neighbors with Benefits

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Love thy sexy jerk of a neighbor…

CEO Michael Anderson might be something of a “control freak.” Still, he’s not quite sure why his therapist thinks dogsitting will fix anything—especially since he and the canine share a kind of mutual loathing. And to make matters worse, a house sitter moves in next door disrupting his peace—and his dates—with the worst possible music at the worst possible time... every time.

Free-spirited artist Mia Argaropolis has settled into the perfect gig—housesitting in NYC’s Upper West Side while working as an art therapist. Too bad she’s stuck living next door to a bossy control freak with a penchant for calling building security when she blasts music to drown out the noises coming through his bedroom wall.

Post-apocalyptic dinner rolls that nearly take her kitchen with them, a douchebag ex, and a Shih Tzu with the personality of Godzilla attack Mia in one day, and her unlikely neighbor comes to the rescue. Like it was her fault. And now, somehow, they find themselves engaged? Both agree, this neighborly feud just got taken to a whole new level.

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You know when they say, "it's always the quite ones"? The same goes for the ones that hold on to their control the tightest. When they lose the long-held control, they do it spectacularly.

In the second book of the Anderson Brothers series, the oldest brother, Michael, is about to spiral out of control. He is fostering a dog for his therapist, working on the biggest deal of his career, and not getting anything done in the bedroom (sleep or otherwise) due to the house sitter in his neighbor's apartment.

Mia is a nomad, moving from one house sitting job to the next, with only one real constant in her life, the group of ladies she instructs in an art therapy class at the local retirement home. She does not realize that her way of life is more about protecting herself from heartache than being able to make connections with people.

After Mia and Michael have a terrible first meeting, Michael feels horrible when Mia's ex shows up and says some of the very same things Michael did. Michael butts in hoping to help the situation and ends up declaring himself Mia's fiancé.

From this point on, I did not have any idea how Marissa Clarke was going to spin this story. The couple's explosive attraction was evident from the first touch, but I never guessed Mia would be the one to hold back. Clarke surprised me at every turn and thrilled me with every kiss. Each kiss was like an event. Some authors get to wordy and descriptive about kisses, passion, and sex. Clarke did not do that here. The couple's first three kisses were like a getting pulled onto the dance floor when your favorite song begins to play, completely spontaneous and uninhibited. Michael's carefully planned life gets upended and, in the long run, he begins to love the mess.

I haven't read the first book in the series, Sleeping with the Boss, but if it is anywhere close to the phenomenal caliber of writing that Neighbors with Benefits is, I will move it to the top of my TBR list.

Thanks so much to Marissa Clarke and Entangled Lovestruck for granting me with a copy of Neighbors with Benefits in exchange for an honest review.



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Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes. 

When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa's heart) with an iron paw. 

Prior to attending University of Houston Law School, she received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Drama from the University of Houston. She has taught drama and playwriting in a large public high school and English in a private school. 

Currently, she serves as Vice-President of Programming for the West Houston RWA Chapter, and is a founding member of Houston YA/MG Writers, and the QueryTracker.net Blog. 

She loves to connect with readers, so follow/friend her on Facebook and Twitter (buttons in the bar above), or shoot her an email from the "Contact" page. 

Marissa also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA under the name Mary Lindsey.

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Tempting Tuesdays ~ Triple Berry Smoothies

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To round out my Summer Drink Series, I wanted to do something with a red, white, and blue theme. I found hundreds of recipes, but this one from In Katrina's Kitchen really caught my eye. As you can see, my blue looks more like purple and my red is more like pink, but that does not distract from the taste which is the important thing here. Right?

Ingredients

Blue layer:

1/2 cup milk or cranberry juice ( I used cranberry juice )
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 Tablespoon honey
3 oz yogurt ( I used Lemon Chobani )
ice

White layer:

1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon honey
6 oz yogurt ( I used Lemon Chobani )
ice

Red layer:

1/2 cup milk or cranberry juice
1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
1 Tablespoon honey
3 oz yogurt ( I used Lemon Chobani )
ice







Blend all ingredients for blue layer in blender. Divide into glasses for smoothies. If you want, you can also make these into popsicles. At this point you will need to place your sticks in the mixture if you are wanting popsicles. Place glasses or popsicle molds in freezer for at least ten minutes to freeze and the layer to set up to prevent blending with the next layer.


Next, blend all ingredients for white layer. Pour mixture into glasses or molds and return to the freezer for at least ten minutes.


Blend all ingredients for red layer. Pour mixture into glasses or molds and return to freezer for at least ten minutes. For popsicles, you might want to let these freeze for several hours just to make sure they are solid.

When you are ready to eat, remove from freezer and enjoy!






#TeaserTuesday ~ The Single Game by @AmandaBlackAuthor

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THE SINGLE GAME by Amanda Black

AN APARTMENT NOVEL


In this third, stand-alone installment of Amanda Black’s Apartment Novels series, sparks fly during a sexy party game.
When Eden Foster’s parents tell her they’re moving from the suburbs of Chicago to the tiny farm town of Aledo, Illinois, Eden is crushed. That is, until she runs crying to her jock boyfriend, who she finds on top of her so-called best friend. Moving’s not looking so bad anymore.
Now a senior at Mercer County High, Eden is ready to re-enter the dating scene. Still burned over the betrayal of her ex, she’s looking for someone sweet and innocent. With the help of her two new friends, Zoe and Amy, Eden makes a list of what she’s looking for: an eager virgin, ready for training—and no jocks.
Eden thinks she’s found what she’s looking for in Logan Black, a shy and geeky classmate. But why are Zoe and Amy convinced that the answer to her search is a party game…with kissing?

Eden better get ready, because she’s about to play the Single Game.
The Single Game is the latest addition to the erotic Apartment Novels series, which began with Lily and Ethan in The Apartment and The Blank Canvas.

~Excerpt~


There were times when I could swear that I felt his eyes on me, but I couldn’t bring myself to look. I didn’t want to see him looking away again to avoid me, or even worse, find out that he hadn’t been looking at all.

That’s when it dawned on me that I definitely wanted him to be looking at me, and the realization almost made me cry.

It really sucked to already know that there was no possibility with the first guy who interested me.

As I gathered up my things in my bag, I couldn’t help but notice his forearm on the table next to me. It was covered with the prettiest hair, and his muscles kept flexing. I looked further, landing on his long, slender fingers clenching into a fist.

Why hadn’t I ever noticed how sexy his hands were? 

I suddenly mourned the loss of those beautiful fingers ever touching me.

And I mourned the friendship that I thought I’d had with a sweet, quiet boy.

When the bell finally rang, freeing me from that torment, I wiped at the traitorous tears that were beginning to spill over onto my cheeks. Tossing my bag over my shoulder, I muttered a barely audible, “Bye, Logan,” before busting ass out of the room and heading straight to my locker.

When I finally got the combination to work, I threw the metal door open and shoved a few books inside. Taking a deep breath, I forced myself to calm down. There was no reason to get so worked up over something that quickly.

“Eden?” I heard his voice beside me. Why hadn’t I ever realized how rich it sounded?

Perhaps because he was always mumbling and avoiding me.

I took another deep breath to steady myself before shutting my locker and turning to face him. “Yeah?”

He was looking down at me through those fucking cute glasses, and all I could think in the back of my mind was: When did his eyes get so pretty? They were almost pure gray.

It took him a moment to speak; he kept looking at me, no doubt taking in the redness of my eyes and my puffy lids. It was without question the longest we had ever maintained eye contact.

“You weren’t bothering me,” he finally whispered.

“What?” I asked, not quite sure I had heard him right.

“Last night. You thought you were bothering me. I should have spoken up instead of letting you walk away.”

“You don’t have to spare my feelings, Logan. I get it. I know I talk too much sometimes.” I looked at him and gave him a weak smile. “I’m just sorry that I didn’t realize how annoying I was before now.”  

“No! Dammit… that’s what I’m trying to tell you!” He looked almost frantic for a moment, like he didn’t know what to do, and then the next thing I knew his soft, beautiful hands were holding each side of my face, forcing me to look at him. His thumbs moved slightly over the surface of my cheeks, as if he were memorizing the texture, and I wanted to reach my tongue out and lick one his thumb as it grazed the side of my mouth. “Listen to me, Eden. You have never annoyed me. Never.”

He glanced down at my lips as he finished speaking, and I could swear that I heard the slightest whimper under his breath. Before I had time to process what that sound was doing to my body, he was gone.

I looked around, but he was nowhere in sight.

Leaning back against my locker for a moment, I let out a huge gust of air that I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. My pulse was pounding in my ears and my legs felt wobbly.

What the hell just happened?


AMANDA BLACK



Amanda Black was born and raised in the Midwest, where she still lives with her husband and spoiled-rotten dogs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art before deciding that she actually needed to pay some bills, which is when she took a position as an ophthalmic technician.
For the past few years she’s been a closet romance writer in her spare time and would love nothing more than to make it a full-time career. When she’s not writing her next steamy love scene, her interests include reading, sketching, and annihilating her friends and family in movie trivia.


Visit the author on:
Facebook: /AmandaBlackAuthor
Twitter: @AmandaBlackAuth
Tumblr: amandablackauthor.tumblr.com/
Spotify: /user/amandablackauthor
Blog: amandablackauthor.blogspot.com/

Author on Author Book Review ~ Bridesmaid Blues by @BooneBrux

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Maid-of-Honor Dani Brown can handle anything that comes her way when it comes to her best friend’s wedding. That is, until the bride asks for a huge favor—Dani needs to distract the best man, who happens to be Dani's ex. The ex she has fantasized dismembering for a year now. The ex she’ll have to suck it up and play nice with if this wedding is to go off without a hitch.

Businessman Jamie Kingsland is back in Seattle for a wedding. There’s just one problem – the maid of honor wants him dead. Except she doesn’t. Even though he knows he broke her heart last year when things got too serious and he panicked and left, she’s being way too nice about it now. And it scares him.


Something is up with his favorite bridesmaid, and he’s determined to find out what.

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Do you have a friend you would do absolutely anything for? Dani loves her best friend so much she is willing to entertain her commitment-phobic ex-boyfriend. Roxy is terrified her fiancé, Kyle, will get some bad martial advice from his best man, Jamie. She asks Dani to keep Jamie occupied any way possible.

One night out on the streets of Seattle rekindles Jamie and Dani's friendship. Dani knows she is not over Jamie, and he sees that he might have made a mistake running away from Dani when she confessed her love for him.

The first book in Wedding Favors series gave me a titillating tale of second chances. Brux wove a story full of emotion, passion, and hilarious situations that kept me laughing out loud and reaching for my tissues to wipe away the accompanying tears. I loved the banter between Dani and Jamie, giving me a real sense of their long-time friendship before their romantic relationship began. The chemistry seemed ingrained in the one-time couple's DNA. Even when Dani had ideations of hurting Jamie for what he did to her, she could not hold back her attraction to her former lover or her longing for her old friend.

I can't believe that I have missed out on Boone Brux's stories until now. She is an extraordinary storyteller and I can't wait to read more from her soon.

Thanks so much to Boone Brux and Entangled Lovestruck for gifting me with a copy of Bridesmaid Blues in exchange for an honest review.


Pre-order or Purchase June 30th, 2015


Boone is a bestselling author in both fantasy and series romance. She began writing in an attempt to ward of the slow decomposition of her mind while being an at-home-mom of twin toddlers. It soon became clear that storytelling was her true calling.

Her books range from epic fantasy, full of hot heroes and demons, to humorous urban fantasy, where hockey moms are grim reapers and Greek gods live next door. Though she loves writing romance, Boone prefers stories where she gets to blow something up or kill somebody.

She calls Alaska home and lives there with her husband, daughters, rescue dog, Oreo, and Velma Underfoot, a black cat who rules the house.

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