Friends to Lovers Romances

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By A.M. Arthur, author of FINDING THEIR WAY

I’ve always been a fan of the friends-to-lovers romance trope.  I enjoy reading it in romance novels, seeing it in films, and especially watching it unfold over time on a television series. You get to see a relationship build between two characters before it becomes sexual, which often establishes an even stronger foundation for their HEA. My upcoming Carina m/m romance release, Finding Their Way, uses the friends-to-lovers trope, allowing my heroes a chance to get to know each other, find common ground, and slowly fall in love.

Below are (in no particular order) ten of my favorite examples of friends-to-lovers romances from various media formats.

  1. Served Hot, by Annabeth Albert (novel). Robby’s slow-burn crush on the standoff-ish David creates a fun, sweet story.
  1. Walk the Line (movie). This fictional recounting of the real life love story of June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash is one of my favorite movies.
  1. The Assignment, by Evangeline Anderson (novel). Some folks may label this one as gay-for-you, but since Valenti and O’Brian are long-time partners with a years-long relationship, I like this for an angsty, drama-filled friends-to-lovers m/m romance.
  1. Kaylee/Simon, Firefly/Serenity (TV show/movie). Fellow Firefly fans will probably agree that this one the most anticipated pairings of the short-lived series. Their flirtation was almost immediate, the chemistry intense, and I definitely cheered when Simon finally had his “ah ha!” moment in Serenity.
  1. Shades of Gray, by Maya Banks (novel). Part of an m/f romantic suspense series, this particular installment brought together PJ and Cole, two members of an elite squad of private sector soldiers.
  1. Nobody’s Hero, by J. Leigh Bailey (novel). A fun, heartbreaking new adult m/m romance, I can’t say enough good things about Bradley and Danny’s story.
  1. Anastasia (movie). Don’t laugh. Yes, I’m talking about the 1997 animated film/musical with Bartok the Bat. It’s awesome.

  1. Love Lessons, by Heidi Cullinan (novel). Walter takes the very naïve Kelly under his wing and never expects to fall for his charge in a fantastic new adult m/m romance.
  1. Monica and Chandler, Friends. Do I really have to explain this one?
  1. Latter Days (movie). This is without a doubt one of my favorite movies ever. A closeted gay Mormon missionary moves to Los Angeles, and meets flashy, very out Christian. Christian makes a bet with his friends that he can seduce Aaron, but what starts as a challenge becomes so much more.

 

What are some of your favorite friends-to-lovers romances?

 

CARINA_0715_9781426899904_FindingTheirWayThanks to an abusive father and a string of bad relationships, Riley McCage learned the hard way that people are not kind without a reason. Now, after landing a job at popular gay bar Pot O Gold, Riley is on the right track—until the night Boxer finds him drunk and drugged in the back room of an exclusive sex party.

Donald “Boxer” Boxwood wasn’t looking for anything beyond some casual kink until he peeled Riley off the floor and gave him a safe place to stay. But there’s something compelling about the guy crashing on his couch, and the two forge an instant friendship that eases into unmistakable attraction. Despite Riley’s hesitancy, Boxer knows one thing to be true: he needs Riley in his life.

Riley risked everything to run away and build a new life for himself, and his secrets aren’t something he’d ever wish upon his kind, gentle new friend. But when the past comes to call, he’ll have no choice but to put his trust in Boxer…and believe people can change enough to deserve a second chance.

Book two of The Restoration Series

 

Available now at CarinaPress.com or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland.  She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop.

Connect with A.M. Arthur!
Website | Email | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr 

Join us for our #RWA15 spotlight—even if you’re not attending RWA!

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You’re cordially invited to attend the Carina Press RWA Spotlight
When: Friday, July 24 2p–3p Eastern
Where: NYC Marriott Times Square
Imperial/Julliard
Or
Via Periscope, link to be posted at www.twitter.com/angelajames 5 minutes before start of spotlight.

Every year we strive to make sure we’re giving authors who attend RWA the best possible experience and information when they attend the Carina Press Spotlight. Three years ago, we devoted half of our spotlight session to an author/audience Q&A, where we left the room and audience members asked a panel of Carina Press authors whatever they wanted. That feature was so popular that we did it again last year, and we’ll be repeating it one more time at this year’s spotlight.

But there are several things new to this year’s spotlight: First, rather than just hearing me talk, this year attendees will hear from our author concierge, representatives from marketing, PR, and Kerri Buckley (Senior Editor for Carina Press). By having everyone speak, we hope to give authors a clear insight into the team approach we take at Carina Press.

The other new thing for this year’s spotlight, and something I’m super excited to be able to do: even if you’re not attending RWA, you can still attend our spotlight! We’ll be streaming the spotlight live via Periscope from my Twitter account! So all you need to do is watch my Twitter account here and as soon as we start streaming, a link will go out—click on it to watch the spotlight live. Please note, we will only be streaming from approximately 2p-2:35p EST, for the presentation portion of the spotlight, not the author Q&A, as that Q&A is meant to Carina-Press-spotlight-swagbe private for attendees present in the room. That portion will also not be recorded for RWA recordings.

As if attending the spotlight and getting entranced by our brilliance, wit and wisdom isn’t enough, we also have a great amount of swag for attendees this year (sorry, this is one thing we can’t beam through the internet for those watching from home and work).

I hope you will join us for this year’s spotlight. We’ve put a lot of thought into giving you the information and insight about our program we think you’re looking for.

 

When: Friday, July 24 2p–3p Eastern
Where: NYC Marriott Times Square
Imperial/Julliard
Or
Via Periscope, link to be posted at www.twitter.com/angelajames 5 minutes before start of spotlight.

The Kinkier the Sex, the Higher the Price

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By Jeffe Kennedy, author of UNDER CONTRACT

In UNDER CONTRACT, Ryan and Celestina share linked tablets, with a special app that lets them plan their next session of kinky sex. Sometimes he sends her images, as in this scene:

“Mr. Black mentioned you’d be working on your tablet, so I have the window up. Drive should take about twenty minutes. Just use the intercom if you need to stop anywhere.”

At least that spared her idle chitchat while she struggled to keep herself from going crazy with need. Taking the remark about the tablet as a hint, she swiped it on and found Ryan had sent a number of pictures for her to look at. As if she needed more stimulation. However, he’d asked her to comment on each, at least a like or dislike.

One showed a woman tied on her hands and knees with a vivid red handprint on her white skin. It felt like fatally exposing herself, to click the heart on that and others. That he would no doubt keep a record and revisit them with her in person.

Or on her person.

Here’s some of the mildly NSFW—Not Safe For Work (or kids or nosy strangers on the train)—images I imagine he might have sent her.

http://erotismo-italiano.tumblr.com/post/119778790129

http://americansinner86.tumblr.com/post/52845652298/weave-me-a-rope-that-will-pull-me-through-these

http://bdsm-and-more.tumblr.com/post/113210143471

http://bdsm-and-more.tumblr.com/post/116258892630

http://oy-rcm.tumblr.com/post/67444700412

http://summertime75.tumblr.com/post/85458065382/chained-http-wp-me-shdxr-chained-eve-grey

What about you—would you be brave enough to “like” one of these, knowing it might happen to you?

CARINA_0715_9781459290013_UnderContractThe kinkier the sex, the higher the price tag…

Ryan Black has admired Celestina Sala from afar for years, her lush body and sensual nature calling to the dominant in him. For just as many years, Celestina was off-limits—married, proud and self-sufficient. But all that has changed, and now Celestina is in debt and in need…and available. Ryan proposes a contract: he’ll pay off her debt if she gives herself to him in bed, yielding control in exchange for the pain and pleasure he’ll bring them both.

There are words for women who take money for sex, and none of them are nice ones. Celestina never thought she’d have to sink this low, but giving up control sounds more enticing than ever before. And suddenly it’s not about having to give in to Ryan. It’s about wanting to.

But when Ryan’s dark past comes to light, they may both be in over their heads. The terms of his contract say her body is his…but her heart may be another story.

One thing is for sure—now that Ryan has Celestina, he can never let her go.

Available now from Carina Press and your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on her naughty Tumblr (http://jeffescloset.tumblr.com) and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy.

Bad Breakups — A Playlist

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By Christi Barth, author of BACK TO US

Bad breakups (I’ll pause and give you time to both reminisce and groan). We’ve all had them. I once ate an entire Caramel Pecan French Silk Supreme Pie  in one sitting, and I was even the one who did the dumping! No matter whether you are the dumpee or dumper, filled with righteous indignation or hurt beyond belief, it is hard.

Crazy as it sounds, I wrote an entire book (Back to Us, Book 3 in the Shore Secrets trilogy, available now!) about high school sweethearts who broke up—horribly—and then somehow managed to go back to being friends. Of course there is more to it than that. Secretly, they both still loved each other and lo and behold, Ward tricks Piper into trying to date him again ten years later.

But the point is, break-ups suck. I created a Spotify playlist of songs dealing with break-ups from musicals. Not just because I’m a musical theatre geek (which I most definitely am!), but because, in theory, people break into song because there is too much emotion to hold in – like when your heart is broken. Please bop over and check it out.

The first song (by the incomparable Stephen Sondheim) sums up Piper and Ward’s relationship perfectly:

I’d love for you to share your break-up songs with me below. I can always use them in the next book! Here’s a peek at how Piper dealt with it:

“The last time Ward and I broke up, I ate a steady diet of nothing but butter pecan ice cream and tortilla chips for three days. My television never turned off and my butt didn’t leave the couch. That’s how you wallow. This?” Piper waved a hand at the pristine nature surrounding them. Stupid colorful trees with their picture perfect autumn-hued leaves. Sun sparkling on the lake like a field of blue diamonds. “I need a whole other day to wallow over how much I’m not wallowing right now.”

Ella gave her a sympathetic look. Tugged on the end of Piper’s cream scarf. Kept a hold of it, turned around and speedwalked backwards, pulling Piper along. “You were nineteen last time. Did you gain any weight after that three day ice cream splurge?”

“No.”

Giving the scarf a final flap, Ella bounced back into step with the other two. “If you did it today, we’d have to go buy you new pants.”

“For the inevitable mushrooming of your currently perfect ass.” Casey goosed her and then darted away with a laugh.

“And as much as we love shopping, break ups are sad enough. You shouldn’t be punished by gaining weight on top of it.”

25164406

Ward Cantrell always went for the long shot. But that recklessness cost him his college scholarship and his chance to play pro ball, and—worst of all—it ended his relationship with the girl next door. Neither the town nor the girl has ever forgiven him. Now he’s taking one last long shot by opening a boutique distillery on the family farm he inherited.

Piper Morrissey spent high school in Ward’s shadow, but she’s come into her own in the years since. Maintaining her spotless image, and that of her family’s winery, is priority number one. Nobody knows that she still yearns for her golden-boy ex. Or at least they didn’t—until Ward agrees to sell Piper the land she needs to start her precious port line. The caveat? She’ll need to date him for one month.

Ward hopes a month is all it’ll take to convince his former sweetheart that while he’s changed, his love for her hasn’t. But when the chance arises to thumb his nose at the town that turned its back on him, he can’t afford not to reject Piper’s offer. Will that make her reject him and his love—for good?

 

Available now from Carina Press and your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

Christi Barth earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi lives in Maryland with her husband.

Spotlight on the Gaslight Chronicles

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Do you like your adventures to have a Steampunk twist? You should be reading The Gaslight Chronicles by Cindy Spencer Pape! Combining the best of historical and science fiction, you won’t want to miss a single installment of this series.

New from the Gaslight Chronicles

CARINA_0715_EtherAndElephantsAbout Ether and Elephants:

Sir Thomas Devere and Eleanor Hadrian have loved each other most of their lives—but sometimes love doesn’t conquer all.

Their chance at happiness was ruined by Tom’s hasty marriage to someone else. Heartbroken, Nell left home, finding a new life as a teacher at a school for the blind. But when one of her supernaturally gifted students, Charlie, is kidnapped, Tom reappears and her worlds collide.

Tom claims he hasn’t seen his wife since the day of their marriage…yet he fears the missing student could be his son.

The deeper they dig, the more Tom and Nell discover: a deadly alchemist, more missing gifted children and long-suppressed feelings neither of them is ready for. A race on airship across England and India may lead them to answers—including a second chance at love—but only if all of British Society isn’t destroyed first.

Start from the beginning…

Steam & Sorcery

{6324BB13-8E23-45E0-A12F-AF43940FB808}Img100Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess.

Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she’s ever met–and out of reach for a mere governess.

When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery…

“If Steam and Sorcery is an example of Steampunk Romance I’m going to put this genre on my favorites list.” –Amazon review

 

Photographs & Phantoms

{557C0099-E96D-4C73-A9A5-D2A79DDEF461}Img100Brighton, 1855

As a member of the Order of the Round Table, Kendall Lake is overqualified to be investigating strange phenomena at a seaside photography studio. But since the photographer is related to the Order’s most powerful sorcerer, Kendall reluctantly boards a dirigible to Brighton.

Amy Deland is haunted by a shadow that appears in some of her recent portraits. In each case, the subject died within days of the sitting. Does she have her grandmother’s gift of foresight, or has she somehow caused the deaths?

As Kendall and Amy search for answers, their investigation draws them together in a most improper way–but it seems the evil presence in the studio is determined to keep them apart…

“I loved this story. It had a bit of mysticism, a bit of spooky value & some subtle romance.” –Barnes & Noble review

 

Kilts & Kraken

{2889BAA5-580F-42DF-8738-AE8DDDA564A5}Img100Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he’s swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.

Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.

As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises–from within the village itself…

“The characters in this book were fantastic.” –Goodreads review

Click here for the rest of the Gaslight Chronicles series!

Spotlight on Caitlyn McFarland

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Meet debut author Caitlyn McFarland, whose new book Soul of Smoke is going to have you on the edge of your seat! Keep reading for a note from Caitlyn, as well as more information on the Dragonsworn series!

“Growing up is overrated” by Caitlyn McFarland

A Tumblr user named powertothepencil asked Neil Gaiman, “I want to be an author when I grow up. Am I insane?” Neil Gaiman replied, “Yes. Growing up is overrated. Just be an author.”

I recently turned thirty, which technically makes me a grownup (that or my three kids), and I do my fair share of adulting. But one of the best things about being an author—especially a fantasy romance author—is that I get to keep my sense of childlike wonder at the magic of the world. I get to entertain the idea that I can wander through a wardrobe and find myself in Narnia, or that wizards live among us, or that dragons might hide in the Rocky Mountains.

There are those who think people who enjoy fantasy and romance are naïve. That we don’t see or understand the mundane, ugly things of the world. We see them. In fact, I think truth and human nature stand out more sharply against the magic of a make-believe background. But that doesn’t mean we have to lose the wonder that’s been bringing us joy since we were kids.

After all, growing up is overrated.

About Soul of Smoke:

25273071On a hike deep in the Rocky Mountains, Kai Monahan watches as a dozen dragons—actual freaking dragons—battle beneath a fat white moon. When one crashes nearly dead at her feet and transforms into a man, Kai does the only thing a decent person could: she grabs the nearest sword and saves his life.

As the dragon/man, Rhys, recovers from the attack, a chance brush of skin against skin binds him inextricably to Kai. Becoming heartsworn to a human—especially such a compelling one—is the last thing Rhys wants. But with an ancient enemy gathering to pit dragons against humanity and his strength nearly depleted, Kai has just become the one thing Rhys needs. A complete bond will give him the strength to fight; a denied bond means certain death.

Kai is terrified at the thought of allowing any dragon into her mind…or her heart. Accepting the heartswearing and staying with the dragons means sacrificing everything, and Kai must decide if her freedom is worth risking Rhys’s life—a life more crucial to the fate of humanity than she could possibly know.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Writing Historical Fiction

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By Kari Edgren, author of AN IMMORTAL DESCENT

The Goddess Born series is set in the eighteenth century, which has allowed me to spend a great deal of time living in the past. Here are some interesting tidbits I’ve picked up along the way.

Ten Things I’ve learned from Writing Historical Fiction

  1. European men started wearing high heels in the sixteen hundreds. Women followed suit to masculinize their outfits.



  1. The English fancied curse words that started with the letter B, e.g., Ballocks, Blast, Bloody and Bugger were four favorites.



  1. On matters of equality, Quakers were centuries ahead of their time. While slavery plagued much of the known world, they were the first organization to officially ban the practice in the mid seventeen hundreds.



  1. Europeans in general were very fond of witch-hunts. Between 1450 and 1750, tens of thousands of people were executed for witchcraft, two-thirds of these being women. Torture was a must for the best confessions. Preferred methods of execution included drowning, hanging, and fire, though there was the occasional beheading.



  1. Europeans were equally fond of dueling. The French mastered the art, conducting approximately 10,000 duels between 1685 and 1716. The art reached new heights in 1808 when two Frenchmen took their quarrel to the Parisian sky and fought a duel from hot air balloons. The loser was shot down and died on impact along with his second.



  1. Not all women played by the rules. Princess Amelia, second daughter of King George II, is believed to have had an affair with a commoner that resulted in the composer Samuel Arnold.



  1. For several hundred years, Europeans of all ranks practiced medicinal cannibalism by ingesting remedies that contained bones, blood and fat taken from human corpses. This practice peaked in the seventeen hundreds.



  1. Flowery language was all the rage. Form and flourish mattered in conversation, as did word count, and one never said in ten words what could be better said in thirty.



  1. “You sexy beast you…” From the sixteen to eighteen hundreds, high-ranking women used their fans to carry on whole conversations without uttering a single word. A fan held in the left hand indicated a desire for company. A tap to the right cheek signified “yes”, while a tap to the left was a resounding “no”. Drop your fan and it was off to private nook for a clandestine affair.



  1. Historical people were suspicious of raw fruits and vegetables. That’s right, give them a corpse to gnaw on, but keep the fresh produce away.



25527254Selah Kilbrid, descendant of the Celtic goddess Brigid, has been ordered to remain in London and leave any dangers in Ireland to her goddess-born family. They fear she’s no match for Death’s most powerful daughter and—if the legend holds true—the witch who once nearly destroyed the Irish people. But Selah has never been good at following orders, and nothing will stop her from setting out to find the two people she loves most—her dearest friend, Nora Goodwin, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan.

Hiding from kin, traveling uneasily beside companions with secrets of their own, Selah is forced on an unexpected path by those who would steal her gift of healing. With precious time ticking away, she turns to a mortal enemy for help, heedless of the cost.

Selah would pass through hell to rescue Nora and Henry, but what if it means unleashing a greater evil on the human world? Her only chance is to claim the fullest extent of her birthright—at the risk of being forever separated from the man she longs to marry.

Book three of Goddess Born


Available now from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

Top Five Things I Love About Steampunk

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By Eleri Stone, author of THE ADVENTURES OF CASSIUS FLYNN AND MOLLY McGUIRE

 

Steampunk is a mash-up of science fiction and alternate history. The stories are often set in Victorian England, but there are plenty of western tales out there too.  It’s a sometimes dark, always twisted, FUN genre full of adventure and romance. Some of the things I love most about it are…

  • The clothes. Who doesn’t love a corset?

 

http://colinridiculous.tumblr.com/post/88554192661

  • The interesting forms of transportation

 

http://contentimus.tumblr.com/post/47969443776/contentimus

  • Mad Science!

 

http://clockworker.tumblr.com/post/275883933/baron-von-fogel-via-lex-machina

  • Romance shines brighter in a dark world

 


  • Sci-Fi + Re-imagined History = Lots of crazy adventure

 

http://very-fancy.tumblr.com/post/95683323667/madddscience-bruce-campbell-rides-a-rocket

 

The Adventures of Cassius Flynn and Molly McGuire is a western-set story about a pair of semi-reformed airship smugglers who are out to pull off one last job.

A Reapers novellaCARINA_0615_9781459290532_Cassius_Molly

Cassius Flynn is a smuggler. An outlaw. A scoundrel. Charming, devilishly handsome in a maverick sort of way and fiendishly clever to boot. He’s also the only man Molly McGuire has ever loved.

Molly’d left him a year ago. Stolen his airship, broken his heart and made him look like a damn fool. Still, he’s rushed to her rescue, storming into Reaper territory to snatch her out from under the repulsive bounty hunter who brought her in.

High above the plains, up among the clouds in the most rarefied Scraper city of them all, a ruthless statesman has stolen everything Cassius considers important. And without Molly, without her quick hands, sharp mind and pretty face, he doesn’t stand a chance of getting it back…

What’s your favorite thing about Steampunk?

Available now from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo

 

Eleri Stone is a RITA-nominated author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She was born in New Jersey, but now lives in Iowa with her husband and their three children. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction in them and they all end with a happily-ever-after.

 

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Vlad the Bad…revealed!

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By Elizabeth Harmon, author of TURNING IT ON

 

Not only does music put me in the mood to write, often a song will inspire my story and shape my characters.

That’s been especially true for the Red Hot Russians heroes, who are, or have been, figure skaters.  But their musical personalities extend beyond the classical music they perform to.

In TURNING IT ON, former ice dancer Vlad Shustov now struts his stuff as one of Miami’s hottest male strippers. But Vlad the Bad has another dream—to become a best-selling horror novelist like his idol Stephen King.  An odd mix?  Not really. The best figure skaters weave stories into their programs, and I realized Vlad would take the same approach to stripping.

We see Vlad strip to four songs and not only does each dance show off his gorgeous body, it reveals a bit of the gentle heart behind his sexy, bad boy image.

Applause– Lady Gaga.  Vlad portrays a bad boy movie star when he strips to this song about fame and fortune. He’s just been cast in “Last Fling,” TV’s steamiest reality show, and though he has doubts about whether it was the right thing to do, the show will change his life in ways he can’t yet imagine.

Hard To Handle– Black Crowes.  As a Miami stripper, Vlad’s life is all about wild parties and even wilder women. Though he looks hard to handle, what he really wants is to be worthy of the love of a special woman, someone like shy book editor and fellow contestant Hannah.

Calling Dr. Love– KISS.  This song fits Vlad well, especially the line “even though I’m full of sin, in the end you’ll let me in.” Once she sees the man Vlad truly is, Hannah is eager to do so.

Stronger– Kelly Clarkson. Though Vlad doesn’t choose his final strip song, “Last Fling” has  definitely proven that  what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. “Last Fling” and Hannah’s love have given him the strength to leave his past behind, and become the man he truly wants to be. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn676-fLq7I

What song do you love to dance to? Does it evoke a favorite memory, or inspire you? Share your comments below.

 

CARINA_0615_9781426899959_TurningItOnBook editor Hannah Levinson couldn’t be happier. This “Nice Jewish Girl” is ready to marry the man she’s longed after for half her life. When her fiancé suggests they audition for Last Fling, a steamy new reality show for engaged couples, she lets herself be swayed. Maybe she’ll learn a thing or two.

Vlad Shustov’s fall from a once-bright career as a competitive figure skater was swift. Now trapped by a shameful past and an uncertain future, “Vlad the Bad” strips for cash. Joining the cast of Last Fling could earn him a fortune—or at least enough to finally leave stripping. But to win the show’s prize, he must seduce an engaged woman, something he can’t even bear the thought of.

Hannah’s not like any woman Vlad’s met before. Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and relegated to the ugly-duckling role she’d worked so hard to shed, can she trust there’s more to Vlad than meets the eye? With sleazy TV tactics shattering the last shreds of the contestants’ confidence, they’ll have to believe true happiness is not only possible…it may be looking right at them.

For more Red Hot Russians, don’t miss Pairing Off—available now!

96,000 words

Available now from Carina Press or your favorite ebook retailer!
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GooglePlay | iBooks | Kobo


An adventurous cook, vintage home enthusiast, occasional actress, and entry-level figure skater, Elizabeth Harmon makes her home in the Midwest, where life is good, but the sports teams aren’t. She loves to hang out on her front porch, or at her favorite local establishments, enjoy good food and wine, and talk writing with anyone who will listen.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, she has worked in advertising, community journalism and as a freelance magazine writer. She feels incredibly blessed to have a career that allows her to spend her days imagining “what if?” and a loving family that keeps her grounded in the real world.

Elizabeth is a member of Romance Writers of America.  Enjoy her other Carina Red Hot Russians releases, PAIRING OFF, and GETTING IT BACK, (March 2016).

Spotlight on Shore Secrets

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Contemporary Romance fans, your summer read is here! Back to Us, the final book in Christi Barth’s Shore Secrets series, is out this month. Why not start from the beginning and learn more about a series guaranteed to hook you from the very first page!

Back to Us

25164406Ward Cantrell always went for the long shot. But that recklessness cost him his college scholarship and his chance to play pro ball, and—worst of all—it ended his relationship with the girl next door. Neither the town nor the girl has ever forgiven him. Now he’s taking one last long shot by opening a boutique distillery on the family farm he inherited.
Piper Morrissey spent high school in Ward’s shadow, but she’s come into her own in the years since. Maintaining her spotless image, and that of her family’s winery, is priority number one. Nobody knows that she still yearns for her golden-boy ex. Or at least they didn’t—until Ward agrees to sell Piper the land she needs to start her precious port line. The caveat? She’ll need to date him for one month.

Ward hopes a month is all it’ll take to convince his former sweetheart that while he’s changed, his love for her hasn’t. But when the chance arises to thumb his nose at the town that turned its back on him, he can’t afford not to reject Piper’s offer. Will that make her reject him and his love—for good?

More from the Shore Secrets series…

Up to Me

{229364BC-D4A0-4BEB-92B8-484CA0B0BAA8}Img100Ella Mayhew’s always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family’s hotel.But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds–shirtless. He’s the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn’t even know his name.

Graydon Locke’s on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine’s always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before anyone discovers his decisions impact hundreds of lives. He’s always believed nothing good comes out of small towns. Why would this one be different? Then he makes two classic rookie mistakes–falling for the sweet, sexy girl who owns the very business he’s on the verge of axing. And letting the town’s residents get involved in both his life, and his relationship with Ella.

Ella’s the best thing to ever happen to Gray, but he’s lied to her from the start. If he pulls the plug on Mayhew Manor, the entire town may crumble. Ella couldn’t save her parents, but it’s up to her to save their hotel. Even if that means turning her back on true love.

 

All for You

{6CD566B3-A56D-4F8A-9A20-F47A509879C3}Img100Small-town park ranger Casey Hobbes has spent her life under the radar, carefully guarding a secret. “The forest flirt,” as her best friend calls her, keeps things casual with men. That way she’ll never care enough to be tempted to share the truth about her past. But when she spots a half-naked stranger on the lake’s edge, Casey can’t resist his muscles or his charm and she’s all-in for enjoying both, while keeping emotion out of it. What could be the danger of one summer fling?

Professor Zane Buchanan has built his entire career on exposing the dark realities of cults, but one–the Sunshine Seekers–remains infuriatingly impossible to crack. Zane’s shocked to discover its sole anonymous survivor is hiding in his new hometown. It’s nearly impossible to concentrate on work, however, when he’s derailed by his attraction to the beautiful blonde in khaki uniform shorts.

As things between Casey and Zane heat up, she struggles with keeping her past from him. And Zane’s on a quest to expose the truth, no matter the consequences. Will their growing emotions finally unseal Casey’s big secret? Or will she turn her back on love to keep the past safely buried?