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My 10 Favorite Authors & Why …

This is going to be so difficult!  I started reading young adult romances when I was probably younger than I should have been.  The Sweet Dreams series hooked me and I’ve been a fan of the romance genre ever since.

In my early teens I found Danielle Steel.  Again, probably younger than I should’ve been, but I devoured her books faster than they were published, re-reading several of them multiple times.

A few years ago I picked up a Nora Roberts book, Irish Dreams.  Instantly I was drawn to her.  I can’t read or watch anything suspenseful at all, so I shy away from her JD Robb books, but the others…I’ve read them all.  I’m drawn to books involving dance or Ireland and she has both.  Those books on my shelf are so worn, I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve read them.

Then I found Susan Mallery and Carly Phillips and my world was rocked again.  Their writing styles are similar to my own.  I love how Nora, Susan and Carly write in a series.  I always feel like when the last page is turned, I’m a little let down because the story is so good I want to know more.  I’ve become attached to the characters and I want their stories to continue, you can do that in a series.  I love hot romance combined with great dialogue.  These women have that and more.

My best friend is an avid reader as well, she raved about this author she had found.  Following her advice I fell in love with Something Borrowed and its sequel Something Blue by Emily Griffin.  I think I’ve now read them both roughly five times a piece!

When I began my journey into the writing industry I knew no one, had no contacts, and basically had no idea of what to do next  after the stories were written.  With the help of the Twitter world, I became friends with some ladies who, not only do I adore their work and devour their books the instant they hit the stands, but they’ve become treasured friends.  Keri Ford, Renee Vincent, KE Saxon, Mari Carr and Jan Romes—these women are amazing.  I think that has made them such special authors in my book.  (No pun intended!)  I can’t even count the number of times I’ve recommended their names to my friends.  Now that I’m an author as well, it seems like even people I don’t know ask me all the time who I’d recommend.  Especially in the erotic romance genre.  That usually turns into a lengthy conversation as there are so many authors I adore in both the contemporary and erotic genres.  I prefer stories that are fun, sassy and in the end the girl gets the guy.  With these gals, I know I can trust I’ll be smiling when the last page is turned.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to sneak in an eleventh author to my list.  This woman is a very dear friend and has done more for me and my career than I can ever repay her for.  A.L. Jackson.  On top of being an amazing friend and person, her books are spectacular!  Gripping, moving and at times heart-wrenching, and in the end you feel like you’ve ridden a roller-coaster along with the characters.

~*~

Victoria’s commentary:
Awesomeness. All those writers are amazing and the writers journey you are on… coolness. Please see the end for my review!

Title: Jesse’s Soul ( Book 2 in Racing to Love Series)
Author: Amy Gregory
Date Published: 1/03/2013
Synopsis: 
Jesse Frost lived the life most men would have killed for. Fast bikes, fame, money and
looks—from the outside looking in he had all, but the combination nearly broke him. He hadn’t thought
much about any of those things throughout his career, he was just an easy-going guy from a speck of a
town in Texas that had always worked hard for everything he had gotten in life. He’d been the shy guy
in school, so when the prom queen found him years later, he thought he had finally made it, winning her
affection was the crown jewel. Her mirage however, left him empty and certain there was no one that
wanted him just for the man inside.
Emery Kincaid has a last name that is revered in their world. A woman in a man’s world and
succeeding, Irish through and through, she has the temper and sass to boot and a reputation that
precedes her. She has remained strong because she’s had no other choice. The pain she masks runs
deep and hiding it is the only way she can survive.
Thrown together because of circumstance and forced to be in each other’s space day in and
day out, sparks start to fly—from chemistry and the brakes she tries desperately to throw on. Without
a doubt in his mind, Jesse thinks he’s found her, but the girl that stole his heart has a stubborn streak a
country mile wide.
In reality, what Jesse doesn’t know could break his heart. Hiding her true feelings for him is the
only way for Emery to protect him and in turn—herself because her secret, her pain is just too big. She
barely made it out the first time, if she let Jesse in, only to have him walk away…well, that’s a risk her
heart can’t take.
Excerpt:

Jesse had always had a sixth sense when it came to bad news. Anxiety would send a rush of heat from head to toe and his stomach would drop immediately. When he was little, he knew from the moment he hit the bus stop when his ass was in trouble for something. Plus, Jesse knew his manager and friend well enough to know the signals. Gripping the back of his neck like he was right now wasn’t a good sign. Their teasing was done and Reid was serious. Jesse had a feeling he wasn’t going to like what he was about to hear, and he had no doubt in his mind it was regarding Emery.

“Listen, Jess, I’ve always tried to be a man who looks at life like everything happens for a reason. I know it’s affected you with Shawn leaving, but I can’t say I’m all that upset about it. I needed her here. I need her here with me so I can watch over her. And she’s good too, huh?”

He had been right as rain. It was what Reid wasn’t saying that scared the hell out him. Sure, she was a mechanic and this could be a natural place for her to be as any, but she was a grown woman. Reid’s need to watch over her sent a shiver up Jesse’s spine.

“I’ll admit it, she is the best, like you said. I just wish she’d let me in.”

“I know, son.” Reid smiled. “I’ve seen the way you look at her. Give it time, it’ll—“

Cutting their conversation off, Emery came out in just a pair of straight-legged Levi’s and a simple white t-shirt. Still, Jesse’s jaw dropped open. He didn’t mean to stare so openly, especially in front of her father. There was just no way to help it. His brain was stuck on one thing—making sure he didn’t look like an idiot wasn’t it.

She’d been in her uniform all day, and the tight jeans and low-cut v-neck showed off her curves where the boxy polyester team shirt and shorts did nothing to flatter her. The messy bun she’d been wearing was gone. Instead her hair reached her shoulders in loose waves and curls that could only be natural. She had on very little makeup, from what he could tell, maybe just some mascara, but it made her big green eyes pop. She had added lip gloss, but that was it. Simple, not overdone. A classic beauty without even trying.

“Wow, Em. You look really pretty.”

She barely grinned, hiding it under the guise of sleepiness. But she couldn’t control the blushing. Whether it was because of the compliment or because it was said in front of her father, he couldn’t tell. She rolled her eyes—something Jesse was getting used to. An endearing part of her that tugged at his heart.

“Sorry, I didn’t pack anything but jeans and t-shirts. I had no intentions of going someplace where I’d need anything but my team shirts or something like this.” She motioned down at her attire.

“I think you look great. And you’ve got some color back in your face.”

She cocked her head to the side. Jesse read the silent warning not to start on her, particularly in front of her dad. He just didn’t care. That part of him that needed to protect her was too strong, too big to ignore, especially after the slip her father just let him in on. Reid may have not intended for it to happen, but after their conversation a moment before, albeit brief, Jesse now had confirmation she had a problem. He was going to help. Emery probably wouldn’t agree, but then again, he wasn’t asking.

There had been an instant attraction upon their introduction—chemical, hormonal, pheromones, whatever science wanted to break it down to. Jesse knew it wasn’t just lust and the fact he hadn’t had sex in way too many months. It wasn’t his d**k, as much as it was his heart, that had taken the lead in this thing between them and he could do nothing but follow.

“What? I’ve been worried, sue me.”

“I just might. You ready?”

She grabbed her fleece-lined jean jacket off the chair. “What?” she questioned as she glanced back over at him.

A true skeptic. Her curled lip and arched eyebrow made it harder than hell not to smile, but Jesse held it in the best he could.

He was playing with fire, but God she was beautiful. The chase she was sending him on was fueling the flame, making her all the more enticing.

With his tongue in his cheek, he answered, “Nothing.”

 

Review:
* I received this book in exchange for an honest review*
What I love about reviewing books is that sometimes I read something I never would have picked up at the store and then boom I’m hooked. Racing bikes sounds so NASCAR and I’m a Boston Irish girl originally from Charlestown. (See the Town and understand, I’m a Townie.) These boy races never strike me as anything to read. Now this being said, age has taken some of my hardness of youth and I found myself rooting for Jesse despite his concern for his new mechanic, by page 4. Townie in me wanted to bash his head in for whining, but he dropped that fast.This is why I adored Emery and why I rooted for her immediately, telling that man to stop his dang whining.
I wouldn’t keep going except, I get liked the heroine, Emery Kincaid. She’s fun and boom… Irish. She’s telling him what I thought for four pages. I’m invested the second the heroine showed up. And Jesse grew on me with his intentions toward Emery, and I found myself wanting the hero and heroine to get together. 
Will also say the children and mental anguish angle was well played. I’m a sucker for stories like this sometimes, and such a hard thing for a young woman. I was going to not put this in my review, but I know what it’s like to know you can’t have children from age 18. Then at age 32 be told there is a small chance. Talk about an emotional roller coaster I’ve been on in my life. So Emery’s struggle hit home to me , though her actions and choices were painful and sometimes even wrong. She had different reasons for what happened to her, and made bad decisions. But I get the pain., and stayed on the emotional rollercoaster to the end. And I kept waiting for the happy ever after which was delivered!
I’d recommend this for a book that hits the emotional buttons. Love and lose and redemption and happy ever after. What more can I ask for?!? 
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