New York Times bestselling paranormal author, Nicky—Nick—Love is anything but successful in love. For years he’s lost himself in his writing career, but now he’s ready to get back to his rebel-boy roots. While restoring a motorcycle at Stone’s Auto Service, he meets the Wildcat of his dreams. She’s a shock to the system for the romance writer who doesn’t remember a damn thing about wooing a woman.
Cool-as-ice, Catarina “Wildcat” Steele is utterly untouchable until Nicky ignites a spark she can’t control. Their electric attraction explodes as Nicky pursues her, but he comes bearing the baggage of a family tragedy he’s hidden from everyone. He knows love has no guarantees.
Their passionate romance falls apart when Nicky discovers Cat’s secret rivals his own. The truth about her past reopens Nicky’s raw wounds and awakens a ghost he never laid to rest. He doesn’t know how to have Cat, and now he can’t trust her. Will they be torn apart . . . or tamed by love?
With the backdrop of his home town, Mt. Pleasant, Nicky Love was lacking just that, love not that he wanted it or needed it. That was until Catarina Steele came in with her knee-jerk reaction of slapping people across the face and her holds no barrels attitude. Cat is one badass mama jamma: respectable ball busting lady by day, tattooed bad ass mofo by night. I definitely respected Cat’s character a lot. She went through hell and came out the other side better than she was before and stronger.
Rest assured Nicky and Stone’s bromance was still going strong in this novel which manifested in Stone naming Nicky as his best man! The way that they had each other’s backs was completely refreshing and resulted in quite a few aww moments between them!!
When I first was getting into the story I was waiting for the laugh out loud funny moments like in the first novel had. But I had to remind myself that this was a completely different character that didn’t act or think the same as his best friend. There were funny moments but this story as a whole took a much deeper heartfelt direction.
Their stories, separate and intertwined, hit on very serious issues and the angst filled crazy, raw emotions that came with them. More than once you were definitely hit in the feels by their words and actions. This story was about finding love and learning to forgive oneself.
Nevertheless Nicky and Cat’s relationship was very hot and cold. There were balls to the walls fighting, and they would hit each other right where it hurts. Each character had their low wtf moments where I wanted to slap them upside the head and yell what the hell is wrong with you fool?!?! But the love always ended up shining through.
With that being said, daayuum. If the last novel was panty melting this is panty annihilating…Should come with warning label: Do not read in public ovaries will spontaneously combust!! I loved the cat and mouse, hard to get sparring between Cat and Nicky. Every scene that was push and pull between them was extra hot.
The biggest thing I wished the story had more of was a buildup of Nicky and Cat’s initial relationship. I felt like one minute they weren’t together and then the next they were. Also man I’ve never wanted a female point of view as badly as I wanted Catarina’s. I wanted to know everything that was running through her head, while she was in and out of his presence.
All in all this was a fantastic continuation of the Carolina Bad Boys series. The cover and blurb fit the story to a tee. I am impatiently waiting the next installment, slated for April 2015!!! The first of two brothers Catarina has is coming out to play and I can’t wait 😉
As we surged with the crowd toward the midway of South Carolina’s biggest fair, I mentioned, “Ya know, this is the perfect place for a zombie apocalypse.”
“A zombie what?”
“Zombie Doom. Think about it. People already screaming on rides, high fences, huge crowds and no way out—excellent undead feeding grounds.”
She continued to give me the crazy eye. “You truly are strange.”
“C’mon. Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talkin’ about.” I did the zombie shuffle-grunt, and felt like a total tool until she clasped my hand and planted a kiss on my cheek.
“Must be a writer thing.” She smiled.
I liked this side of Wildcat—playful, flirty, freakin’ hot. We decided to hit the rides before the food because nausea and green face were not good first date ingredients. People crushed around us on the thoroughfare. The lights were blinding. The ride lines long and winding, and carnies drew attention to their games booths with ear-bashing rock music.
It was awesome.
Holding hands with Cat while we waited for the Flying Bobsleds, I murmured in her ear, “So you really have all my books?”
She rolled her eyes and nodded.
“Hardback, Mr. Love.” She was breathy, sexy, seductive . . .
“And you still don’t want my autograph?”
“Maybe a little.”
“Hmm. A little? You weren’t saying that last week.”
“Maybe you can sign something for me . . .” Her hand brushed the front of my jeans just enough to wake up my cock and put it on high alert. Scandalous . . .
I loved the way her hair flipped all over the place and the grin on her face was as permanent as her throaty laugh and high screams as we did the carnival circuit from the Gravitron to the Pirate Ship to the Ghost Train. All the fair ride classics.
In the Ferris wheel, we stalled out at the top. I stopped noticing the cool bite of the air when Cat draped one lean leg over mine. Her thigh nudged the long stretch in my jeans that quickly formed a solid erection.
“I like you this way, Nick.”
I leaned my neck back when she started stroking the strained cords of my throat with her tongue. I stared at her through low lids. “How’s that?”
“Relaxed.” Her palm slid along the curve of my hard-on and up over my drum-tight stomach. “Really sexy.” She nipped the line of my jaw, rasped her tongue on the stubble. “Rugged.”
With a twist of her fingers through my hair, she brought my face to hers for a deep and demanding kiss.
“Not feeling so relaxed anymore, darlin’,” I bit out when she broke the kiss.
She laughed and whooped when the Ferris Wheel began its descent.
Q&A on Stone, At Your Service
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
It was my first romance writing convention several years ago. I’d driven to Atlanta to join some friends at Georgia RWA Moonlight and Magnolia. It was there I started bouncing ideas for a male romance writer, at a convention. Lots of giggles ensued, and I knew I needed a sidekick for my male writer, which was how Josh Stone and the premise for Stone, At Your Service was born.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
I’ll admit, I had a hard time finding Josh’s profession. At one point he was a chef, a painter . . . I mean, can you imagine? Josh would have hated me. When I took my car into Gerald’s Tires to fix a flat, inspiration struck!
I saw a nice looking mechanic ambling toward me, and BOOM. Josh Stone and Stone’s garage was born.
The antagonist—literary agent Andrew LaForge—actually has a very real source of inspiration, but I’ll just keep that to myself 😉
4. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
Oh yes! I’ve always written, starting with erotic poetry in college. Mm hmm. Anyway, there was a period of years when I didn’t write because of work, life, time constraints, etc. Now that I’m writing again, I feel awesome. It’s very fulfilling, and I can’t imagine ever not doing it.
5. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
Stone is the first book in my Carolina Bad Boys series. Love, In The Fast Lane is book #2, and is out now. Ride is the full length novella that is featured—in small sections—in Stone. It’s also available now. The third novel—Steele, Into Your Heart—is available for preorder, and releases April 2nd.
After that, I’ll be writing a spin off MC series of novellas, then the fourth novel . . .
Yep, I’ll be busy.
6. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
I’ve got books coming out of my ears! The third and final book in my Don’t Tell series from Grand Central Publishing is coming February 3rd.
My other project in the works is a M/M series about a streetwise, in-the-closet boxer who falls for his openly gay trainer. My agent is sending it to publishers as we speak!
7. What made you decide to go the self-pub way?
I got my rights back early for my first book, Sugar Daddy, when my publisher merged with another. Instead of signing a new contract, I retained my writes, heavily re-edited the book and added a new final chapter, and took the plunge.
8. What would you say was the toughest part?
Juggling the creative side of writing with the organizational parts of running my own business.
9. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
I use Gilly Wright’s Red Pen for editing—we have been together since my Twilight fanfiction days, and Gilly is awesome! We work together on all stages—from start to publish.
Jada D’Lee Designs makes my covers. She’s a rockstar! I do my own formatting, because I like to torture myself, apparently.
10. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I would have taken the plunge into self-publishing much sooner.
11. If you were to recommend one article, blog, post, or book to someone hoping to self-pub, what would it be?
There are so many online resources. I would recommend reading Kristen Lamb’s and Ruth Allen’s blogs. They cover all things concerning writing life: personal, professional, creative, and marketing.
12. In retrospect, what was the toughest part of self-pubbing? Was it the part that you thought would be toughest before embarking on this adventure?
Honestly? It was making the decision to Just Do It! Before you start self-publishing it is this big, scary, mysterious world.
13. What’s one characteristic of an author who self-publishes, one word that would describe them?
14. Name your favorite fruit.
I actually do not like fruit, but I’ll pick bananas. No suggestive remarks, please ;-).
15. Coffee or tea?
Tea! Loose leaf Earl Gray.
16. Favorite season?
Summer, without doubt.
17. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
18. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
I didn’t buy it, it was a present, but I just finished Gone Girl. It was crazy insane good.
19. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
20. What song have you listened to most recently?
Crash This Train by Joshua James. Love it.
21. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book…
Ohh! Gallowglass from The Discovery of Witches series!
22. You were/are a hardcore fan of…
Two new Netflix shows: Marco Polo and The Fall! Both were excellent, and I devoured them.
23. If you could have any one superpower, it would be…
The ability to move at hyper-fast speeds. Zoom. Think about how much more I could get done!
24. The one thing that always brightens your day is…
Getting a nice review or message from a reader.
About the Author & Links:
Rie is the badass, sassafras author of Sugar Daddy and the Don’t Tell series–a breakthrough trilogy that crosses traditional publishing boundaries beginning with In His Command. Her latest endeavor, the Carolina Bad Boys series, is fun, hot, and southern-sexy.
A Yankee transplant who has traveled the world, Rie started out a writer—causing her college professor to blush over her erotic poetry without one ounce of shame. Not much has changed. She swapped pen for paintbrushes and followed her other love during her twenties. From art school to marriage to children and many a wild and wonderful journey in between, Rie has come home to her calling. Her work has been called edgy, daring, and some of the sexiest smut around.
You can connect with Rie via the social media hangouts listed on her website. She is represented by Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency.
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