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Friday, January 20, 2017

Book Review: Trick Me Once (Magical Matchmaker Series Book Three) by Sharon Clare + giveaway

Trick Me Once (Magical Matchmaker Series Book Three)
by Sharon Clare
December 28, 2016 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Apatite Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9952674-3-5
ASIN: B01N0MVQ81
Number of pages: 256
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: Book Nook Designs
Magic pushes them together. Reality pulls them apart.

Humiliated radio show host Jessica Stirling is a survivor, yet nothing prepares her for the stage trick that transports her across the country to a man suspiciously like the nineteenth-century folk hero idolized by Hollywood. About to lose her job, her life savings, and the home that matters to her more than love, she can’t stay stranded in the mountains with a dangerously appealing man who believes in elves.

Trapped in an Elvin world for a century, Scottish artist Aiden MacAuley is finally free and back on Earth. But he’s not home. He’s not safe. And he’s not alone. To prevent the destruction of his bloodline, he must get back to Scotland immediately. He can’t be distracted by the exasperating woman sent to him by a match-making elf, even if she does stir his lust like no woman has.

When she tries to heal the sins of his past, he can’t open his heart. There’s too much to lose and as the new guardian of the gate between the human and Elvin worlds, he isn’t free to fall in love.


Trick Me Once is a very cute and light hearted paranormal romance read. If you're not looking for something with a gore heavy plot and action packed episodic event, this one will be the perfect fit for you. 

At 256 pages you get the right amount of story-line mixed with a HEA that gets close to crossing that too gooey line for me. But overall I liked the change of pace with this one. Sometimes you need to lay the vampire slayer weapons down for moment and just take in a different kind of read. This one's just what the TLC doc ordered.

While I picked up at this point in the series, I never felt left out of the two previous books. So you could easily read this magical tale alone. There's some unique components this tale and seeds of humor sprinkled throughout. Entertaining and fun for a quiet afternoon.

Getting 3 and 1/2 Sheep






KD

Excerpt:
If she didn’t know better, she’d think she was in a log cabin in the mountains. This set design was fabulous. The scene out the window looked so real, she couldn’t help feeling a little respect for the Alfar family of illusionists.

She felt him come up behind her. Why was he standing so close? Without turning, she asked, “Please direct me to the manager’s office. I’d like to speak to someone about Finn’s disappearing lady trick.”

His soft snort sounded in her ears. “You’ll not be finding a manager’s office here. Where do you think you are?”

She was about to say she must be under the stage, but her throat clamped down on the words. Two squirrels skittered around the trunk of a tree. She’d assumed it was some kind of video screen, but if that were the case, she’d not be hearing the faint chitter of the grey squirrel on the defensive.

But it couldn’t be. It was impossible for her to be anywhere other than the Empire Theatre in Mesa, Arizona. “Where do you think we are?” she countered, gaze fixed on the squirrels.

“It was my hope to be in the Highlands, but the air’s not got the smell of peat, nor whiskey, nor sweet heather honey.”

She spun around then, and would have bumped into him if he’d not taken a quick step back. “As in Scotland? Very funny.”

“’Tis no jest.”

“No? Well then, you woke up on the wrong continent, buddy.” His pupils were slightly dilated, but his gaze was clear and steady. He obviously had quick reflexes, and he didn’t look delusional, but what did she know about psychotic episodes? His clothes looked like he’d been sleeping in them for longer than a quick nap. Perhaps he’d wandered into the theatre off the street. She took another step backward.

His sharp gaze flicked to that remarkably real backdrop. “How can you be sure?”

Because I’m sane. But she didn’t say that, of course. She was unsettled enough to not feel perfectly grounded herself. “If you can’t direct me to the manager, then I’ll find him myself, but this show is over.” She marched across the room, threw open the door to the pseudo living room, and stood dead still in the open doorway as a very alive, damp outdoor breeze blew in the scent of bug-infested woods, fish-filled lakes, and decomposing fungus.

Illusion.

She slammed the door shut, moved back to the bedroom and opened what looked like a closet door. Damn, a closet. She crossed the hall and whipped open another door—bathroom. Where were the stairs leading up to the theatre?

Perhaps she’d just thought she’d seen mountains when she’d opened the door in the living room—a mind warp from the stress of landing in a stranger’s bed. She headed back across the room, spared a quick glance at the stagehand who looked vaguely amused, and opened the door cautiously.

She stumbled across the threshold to stand on the wooden deck and face an illusion much too large to be contained to one theatre. Her lungs constricted. Tree-covered mountains stacked atop each other all the way to the overcast horizon. A liver-colored lake roiled in a pocket thirty feet below. Dark, dense woods pressed in on her like a surly crowd.

But they couldn’t be in the mountains. That was impossible. Arizona was desert. There was no such thing as magic, no disappearing lady.

She felt the blood drain from her face as reality struck.

She was losing her mind. This must be exactly what had happened to her nana. Every day, sitting in the Sunshine Acres Nursing Home, Nana thought she was living on her childhood farm in Saskatchewan, talking as though she were on the prairie, seeing the farm house, her mommy and daddy. Thinking it was all real.

Jessica had sudden early-onset dementia. Sinking to the deck, she wrapped herself up in her arms. She felt the vibrations of the stagehand walking around her, heard the smooth gait of his boots on the wood, and she would have chuckled if her voice worked—she’d thought he was crazy. If ever there was a kettle calling the pot black, she was that kettle.

“I’m not sure what Finn told you,” he said, “but you seem ill-prepared to be here, and that’s not good.”

An insect buzzed by her ear. Bugs! She swatted at it. “Yes, I’m quite ill-prepared—quite ill, period. I see mountains and a lake. How’s that for ill?”

“I see. And there were no mountains or lakes where you came from?”

She peered up at him. “Not mountains like these. I live in the desert.” She massaged her temple—maybe that would bring much needed blood to her head. “I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, and…my brain must have tried to compensate, but now it snapped. I’m seeing things that can’t possibly be there.”

He crouched down in front of her. “Your mind is sound, woman. You see mountains because we’re in the mountains. Finn sent you here because he likes to play games.” He slipped his hand over hers and pulled. “Come, stand up.”

At least he saw the mountains, too—a tiny acknowledgment. She tugged her hand away. She may be losing her mind, but she could still stand on her own two feet. One deep breath sent a good supply of oxygen to her head as she stood up. “Just so you know, your explanation does not make me feel better. People can’t go from the desert to the mountains in the blink of an eye. It’s impossible.”

His grin didn’t hold much humor. “Not impossible. People can’t. But elves can.”

He’d just re-established he was, indeed, crazier than she. “You see elves. Oh my, that’s good news. Maybe we can get adjoining rooms at the funny farm.”

About the Author
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Sharon Clare writes light, paranormal romance with a little magic, a little suspense and a little humor. 

She’s always been fascinated by the idea there’s more to the world than we perceive. That’s why she created Finn, a mischievous, match-making elf, from a world just a wee bit off Earth who believes every time love is experienced, energy empowers our worlds. 

Life has enough difficult times, so it’s important to Sharon to write novels where happiness ultimately triumphs. She helps her characters overcome their demons, open their hearts, and find the love everyone deserves. When you reach the end, she strives to leave you in a happy place. 

If you’d like a free book in the Magical Matcher series, please come visit Sharon at: http://www.sharonclare.com/


Tour giveaway 
5 ebook copies Trick Me Once

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Character Confessions: Nathan Newcomb and his author Felisha Antonette (A Burden Novel) + giveaway

W/ Nathan Newcomb from A Burdened Novel and Author Felisha Antonette 

Thank you! I’m excited to be hosting this inside scoop with Nathan Newcomb here at I Smell Sheep! He’s the hero in A Burdened Novel, and I’m hoping he’ll behave during his exclusive confession today.

Nathan: I’m going to bypass the introductions and get to the meat of this thing now that I can finally get a word in without Felisha controlling my tongue.

Felisha: Nathan you can’t just barge in here taking—

Nathan: *throws up hand* Cut it short, slick. It’s called Character Confessions not Author Takeover.
Felisha: *nods*

Nathan: There's at least thirty things I have problem with, with the way Felisha tells my story. I won't hold you up with all one hundred forty of these things.
Felisha: I thought you said it was only thirty?! How'd we get to one hundred forty?!

Nathan: I changed my mind. Hush it over there. *leans back on chair* I’m a Burdened Sephlem. Not many of you have heard of my kind, which is okay. Stick with vamps and werewolves, they’re nicer. At least, they’re supposed to be nicer. Felisha has made me nice. *gags* The taste of the words is repulsive. I’m nice and I’m mated. I’m nice because I’ve mated. Grant it, I love my mate; she holds my heart in her chest. Literally, thanks to Felisha. It wasn’t enough that the world wants me dead, but this author over here made it so that when I mated, I lost my heart and took on the heart of my mate. This means if Tracey dies, I die. Period.
Felisha: Let’s not give away too much of your story, Nathan. And you better cool it. You can be written out.

Nathan: *narrows eyes* I dare you. If it weren't for me, you'd have no story!
Felisha: *shuts her pie hole*

Nathan: My biggest issue here, is the danger. I wouldn't mind it if I didn't mate. But there's no rest. We fight to stay alive. We fight to breathe. And some days, I want to hold my mate and for once be telling the truth to her when I say everything is going to be fine. But I don't know for sure if it will.
Felisha: Aww, I knew the kind side of you would peek out.

Nathan: *purses lips* It’s fading. *leans over on knees* Want to know my biggest issue? You made me “Swoon” worthy. You know I don't look like this for real.
Felisha: But, Nathan, come on. You’re damn looking in this skin. Like a Stephen James with facial hair, attractive.

Nathan: You did not just compare me to a model!
Felisha: *laughs* Sorry. If it counts. You let your demon peek more times than I would've liked to. I gave you a bit of control. Even over Tracey. Cut me some slack here. It’s for young adults. We can't have you barging out, killing and cussing at people. You do enough cussing and have enough sex to just ride the cusps of making this story a pass for mature young adults. *shrugs* What else could you want from me?

Nathan: I want you to tell the real story of my life. So your readers don't think I’m a romantic wimp.
Felisha: No one is going to think you're a wimp, Nathan. Tyrant, maybe. But not a wimp.

Nathan: Write my own story and make it adult. You’ll have more freedom to do and say what I want.
Felisha: Tempting. Since we have a crossover series, I think we can squeeze that in later. Maybe in your third story. *winks* What do you say we call it a night before you find another reason to make me out as the bad guy?
Nathan: No. The bad guy is my father. But you, my friend, aren’t far behind him. Let’s get outta here. Tracey’s heart is going insane. *rubs chest* I’m never going to adjust to this. Thanks for that, by the way.
Felisha: *pats Nathan’s back* You’re welcome, Nate.


Three Times Torn (A Burdened Novel #2)
by Felisha Antonette
January 9, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Print Length: 437 Pages
Format: Digital and Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9971455-4-0
Living for someone has never been this literal. Tracey's fun and free life has taken a nefarious turn. Since releasing her heart to Nathan, the repercussions for choosing to love a Burdened Sephlem have been deadly, daunting, and more dangerous than she ever predicted.

If life only allowed her a moment to breathe, to break away from her tainted father and chaotic friend, the injurious bonding may be easier. But there are sentiments rushing through her veins that is twisting her through a whirlwind of bliss and chaos. And a breath of fresh air only resides in one place. . . Until he's changed. . .

Someone who lives to destroy Tracey's mate, Nathan, has the perfect concoction for tragedy and Tracey is his primary ingredient. Influenced by the sinister intentions of Roehl, Nathan's half-brother, Tracey's outlook on her bond has faltered. She will be required to choose again, and all signs point in the wrong direction; for her and her friend.

Can bonds tied to the soul be broken? Or will a Burdened Sephlem have to bare his soul to keep his mate.


Excerpt:
I cross the room, stopping before I get in front of him. “I don’t know how to do that.”

His hand shoots out, easing around my waist, and yanks me to him. “The same way you do everything else,” he affirms, taking my hand his and placing his lips to my palm. A cool breeze I recall sweeping over my face that took away my feather, black hand, and heals me blows across my hand. It tingles with him being so close and the touch of his lips against it. “Just barely kiss my back on each side and maybe in the middle. As you desire for them to go away, you breathe out through your desire for them to fade. And hope you don’t get something started.” He moves my hand to his shoulder. I smile, failing at holding it back. Him saying that is getting something started.

I climb onto the bed behind him. The marks make his back a different kind of attractive. Maybe, deadly attractive, when you know it’s something you aren’t supposed to be involved with . . . but you go with it anyway.

I sweep my fingertips over their areas.

His head falls forward as he mumbles, “Can you not touch me like this? We have to be down for dinner, and then go to your house to finish helping your parents pack for their departure week after next. Keep touching me like this and we’re going to miss something.”

Bringing my lips to the curve of his ear, I drip a kiss on his earlobe. “I vote dinner,” I whisper, kissing the side of his shoulder.

Twisting around, he wraps his hand around my neck, pulling me into his stop my heart from beating, steal the breath from my body, kiss. I lay back on the bed, taking him with me.

He welcomes himself between my legs, gliding his hand over my thighs right up to my butt. 
More books from the A Burdened Novel series 

Four Times Broken 
Free on Kindle Unlimited!
$.99 



About the Author: 
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BookBub-Instagram
Felisha (Peiri) Antonette writes heart-throbbing young adult and new adult romantic suspense, paranormal, science fiction, and contemporary romance with compelling characters who stick with you long after you turn the last page.

When she's not writing, Felisha spends time with her beautiful daughter, staying cool in Arizona, considering mountain climbing, and finding a way to get back to her hometown Chicago. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Creative Writing, she can pick apart a person's motivations to create a believable character, but she has yet to master time management.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review: Cast in Godfire (The Magecraft Series Book 5) by SM Reine

The Magecraft Series (1-5) is now complete.

by SM Reine
March 13, 2016
Pages: 357
The gods are rallying to take down Marion, their ally and voice in the mortal worlds. She’s gotten her memories back to disastrous results. She’s destroying the faerie courts, and the rest of the universe is next. The other deities want Seth—also known as the God of Death—to stop Marion before she breaks something that can’t be fixed.

Unfortunately, when Marion looks at Seth with those eyes and insists that she’s not doing anything wrong, he wants to believe her. Marion claims she isn’t trying to rewrite history. She’s protecting it.

Seth wants to trust Marion. It’s only the universe that’s at stake, after all. And some women are worth shattering worlds over…

The final chapter in New York Times Bestselling Author SM Reine's Mage Craft series.


Marion has her memories back and seems to be back to her cold, arrogant self. Seth wants nothing more than to help her. As the God of Death, he sees everyone’s death and he wants nothing more than to help Marion. James, one of the other gods, gives Seth a small amount of time to go back and do what he must, but the cost is high.

Marion seems to be playing so many different angles it is hard to know who the real Marion is. Seth is convinced that he knows who she is, and that she only tries to do things to help others. The rest of the world sees Marion in a much different light.

Benjamin has Nathaniel Faulkner inside his body making his life miserable. Benjamin doesn’t want to change the world. He just wants to go home. He’s been missing for months and can’t figure out how to come out on top of his horrible situation.

The final book in the Mage Craft series and I was sad to see it all come to an end. I know it isn’t the final book in this long running story but it was the one that made me the saddest to see end. Absolutely a fantastic story and end, you are not going to want to miss this one! Look out for the next series by SM Reine where Marion’s half-sister, Dana, who is a vampire hunter gets bitten.


About the Author:
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Hi everyone! My name is Sara, and I'm the New York Times Bestselling Author of urban fantasy known as SM Reine. I collect swords, cat hair, and typewriters (which I do use for writing!). You can usually find me writing on my treadmill desk at 2am whilst listening to dubstep. Yes, dubstep.

If you would like to know the instant I have a new book available, you should enlist in my Army of Evil! I'll only email you when I have a new release, which is generally no more than once a month. I can't write any faster than that. :) http://smarturl.it/armyofevil


Author Nancy Northcott Guest Post: The Mysterious Past (The Herald of Day book tour) + giveaway

The Mysterious Past 
By Nancy Northcott 

Many, many people love a good mystery, especially one that involves the past. There’s a reason Sherlock Holmes remains so popular today and a reason people remain fascinated with the unknown identity of Jack the Ripper.

There are many other mysteries sprinkled through history. How did the image come to be on the Shroud of Turin? Who was King Arthur? Did Robin Hood really exist? What happened to Amelia Earhart?


As a North Carolina native, I grew up hearing about the Lost Colony. In the summer of 1587, a group of English colonists established a settlement on Roanoke Island, on the North Carolina Outer Banks. The colony struggled, and its governor, John White, returned to England late that summer, promising to return with supplies.

Unfortunately, various circumstances delayed his return until 1590. He found the colony deserted and the word CROATOAN carved on one of the fort’s palisades, with CRO carved into a tree. The colony’s fate remains a mystery.

I really love pondering what could have happened to them. I also enjoy thinking about an even older mystery, one that a college classmate brought to my attention. That is the fate of Edward IV’s sons, who’re better known as The Princes in the Tower.

The traditional view, drawn from Shakespeare’s remarkable Richard III, is King Richard, their uncle, usurped the throne, imprisoned the boys in the Tower of London, and subsequently had them murdered.

But…


Shakespeare was a dramatist, not a historian. Perhaps even more important to note is that he wrote during the reign of Elizabeth I, granddaughter of Henry VII, who defeated Richard III at Bosworth Field to win the crown. Any play not in keeping with Elizabeth’s view of the world would not have lasted long and might have been dangerous to stage.

History is written by the victors, and Henry, who had a very, very shaky hereditary claim to the throne through a bastard line, did everything he could to make Richard out to be a monster England was well rid of.

As I read about this part of England’s history, I realized that there’s a lot more to the situation than those who get their history from a play are told. For example, Parliament passed an act called Titulus Regius in early 1484 stating that Richard III, and not his brother’s son, who had been proclaimed Edward V, was the rightful heir to the throne. This finding was based on the conclusion that Edward IV’s marriage to his queen was bigamous because he had previously contracted a clandestine (meaning outside Church rules in this context) marriage with another woman, Lady Eleanor Butler, who was still alive when he married Elizabeth Woodville.

Getting married was a lot easier then, so easy that people didn’t always realize that was what they’d done. To discourage fornication, Church courts held that if two people agreed to marry in the future and consummated the relationship, they were actually married. This appears to be what happened with Lady Eleanor Butler and Edward IV.

Anyway, as often happens with writers, all this started bubbling around in my head. One of the favored alternate suspects for having done away with the boys was the Duke of Buckingham, who also had a blood claim to the throne, though a more distant one than Richard III. The boys were last seen playing in the Tower--which was a royal residence, not just a prison--in the fall of 1483, about the time Buckingham rebelled against Richard and tried to seize the throne. He failed, but many think he was in cahoots with Henry VII’s mother, Margaret Beaufort, and spurred on by her advisers.

So I wondered what it would mean if Buckingham actually were guilty. And if he gained access to the Tower with the help of a wizard who trusted him and didn’t know what his intentions actually were. How would that wizard react when he learned he’d abetted a double murder?

In the Boar King’s Honor trilogy, which launches with The Herald of Day on February 27, the wizard was overcome with guilt. He threw himself on the mercy of King Richard III, who noted that it was a sticky time politically and told him to keep silent until the king directed him to speak. Before that happened, the king went off to Bosworth Field, where he died.

This left the wizard, Edmund Mainwaring, Earl of Hawkstowe, with no way to atone for his guilt. As the Tudors muddied the name of a king he knew to have been a good man, that guilt gnawed at him more and more. Finally, he swore that neither he nor his direct heirs would rest in life or death until King Richard’s name was cleared.

When they die, they’re trapped in a shadowy afterworld between life and death. There they remain until someone proves the truth about the boys’ fate.

After decades of reading about Richard III, I could go on at much greater length about the various crimes the Tudors attributed to them and why I don’t accept those allegations. I have an essay, “Richard III and Me,” about my interest in this historical controversy on my website.


The Herald of Day is now available for preorder on iBooks and will be on other sites shortly.

The Boar King’s Honor Trilogy 
A wizard’s fatal mistake 

A king wrongly blamed for murder 

A bloodline cursed until they clear the king’s name 

Book 1: The Herald of Day
Release: Feb 27, 2017 
In 17th-century England, witchcraft is a hanging offense. Tavern maid Miranda Willoughby hides her magical gifts until terrifying visions compel her to seek the aid of a stranger, Richard Mainwaring, to interpret them. A powerful wizard, he sees her summons as a chance for redemption. He bears a curse because an ancestor unwittingly helped murder the two royal children known as the Princes in the Tower, and her message uses symbols related to those murders.

Miranda’s visions reveal that someone has altered history, spreading famine, plague, and tyranny across the land. The quest to restore the timeline takes her and Richard from the glittering court of Charles II to a shadowy realm between life and death, where they must battle the most powerful wizard in generations with the fate of all England at stake.

About the Author:
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Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy and YA romance. A sucker for fast action and wrenching emotion, Nancy combines the romance and high stakes she loves in the books she writes.

Her debut novel, Renegade, received a starred review from Library Journal. The reviewer called it “genre writing at its best.” Nancy is a three-time RWA Golden Heart finalist and has won the Maggie, the Molly, the Emerald City Opener, and Put Your Heart in a Book.

Married since 1987, Nancy and her husband have one son, a bossy dog, and a house full of books.


GIVEAWAY
I’ll give a signed paper copy or a Kindle download of The Herald of Day to one commenter today, but it won’t be delivered until after the book’s February 27 release date. So tell me, what’s your favorite historical mystery or historical time period?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: Dirty Money (Roughneck Billionaires) by Jessica Clare

Dirty Money (Roughneck Billionaires)
by Jessica Clare
January 17, 2017
198 pages
Penguin Group InterMix
Southern Texas heats up when four roughneck billionaires set their sights on love in the new series from New York Times bestselling author Jessica Clare.

Boone Price and his brothers know oil; at least, the dirty, backbreaking side of working an oil rig. But when their scrubby, worthless hunting land turns out to be sitting on top of one of the biggest oil wells in North America, they go from the rig to the boardroom and end up billionaires practically overnight.

Now with enough money to do whatever he wants, Boone is developing a taste for fine things. And the finest thing he's ever seen is Ivy Smithfield, local realtor. Boone's determined to win her affection and show the world that he's more than just a dirty fool with a bit of money. Ivy's classy and beautiful - she'll make the perfect trophy wife. The fact that she's sexy and funny is just a bonus.

There's one tiny problem - Ivy's as dirt poor as Boone was. Her carefully crafted veneer of luxury? All an act to promote her business. What's Boone going to do when he finds out the woman he's falling for is, well, in his league?

Wowser! You know the old story that a woman always wants to change a man after she gets him? Well how about a man who targets a woman specifically because he wants to be changed (among other things of course)? Who wouldn't love to be in Ivy's shoes when a big, burly, scruffy,determined uncouth man hones in to make her "his" in hopes that she would bring a little class to her life. OH, and did I mention he was a billionaire!

Boone is a roughneck oil driller owner who has never progressed from the attitude and culture of a guy not used to the "civilized" ways of the upper class. A little chip on his shoulder, he barrels his way through negotiations like a bull in a china shop. Speaking freely and straightforward he approaches Ivy with the same mentality that he does with everything else...refreshing to say the least. At least you know what he is thinking even if you might entertain the idea that he is a stalker or at the very least a nutcase!

And what will happen when Boone finds out "Ivy" isn't necessarily the person he thought she was?

This is a straight forward romance with straightforward dialog and plenty of "dirty talk"! Not for the squeamish literary prudes, but I for one love a quick "love" story and that's what I got. I had to keep reading and finished it in one day. Not a paranormal but definitely a fantasy read (someone's fantasy anyway!)

Getting 4 steamy, pumping sheep





Jeanie G.

About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jessica Clare writes under three pen names. As Jessica Clare, she writes erotic contemporary romance. As Jessica Sims, she writes fun, sexy shifter paranormals. She also has a third pen name, because three is more fun than two. As Jill Myles, she writes a little bit of everything, from sexy, comedic urban fantasy to fairy tales gone wrong.

She lives in a teeny tiny town in North Texas that has no Starbucks, which is a cruel and unusual punishment. She spends her time with her husband, pets, and Keurig. Because, coffee.