Piatkus Entice News

Yours Tonight by Joya Ryan: read an extract

We’re hugely excited to be publishing Joya Ryan’s sensationally sexy Yours Tonight on the 5th March, so to whet your appetite here’s an early sneak peek . . . 

‘Maybe if we left and I got these pants off you, I’d be more convinced.’

Okay, that had to be one of the better – worst – lines I’d heard tonight. And, like all the other lines, it wasn’t directed at me.

‘I think I’ll have to show you my tattoo after all then,’ the woman responded. The way she spoke was so confident. Like she was in control of herself and her sexuality, and the man coming on to her was eating it up.

The woman also looked happy.

Not scared in the least.

I took a deep breath, ignoring the flash of envy shooting through my veins, and looked around again.

Waiting.

Tattoo woman and her guy didn’t seem to care that they were all but invading my table in order to better climb all over each other. Mine was a small table wedged against the corner of a packed bar . . . a table for two.

And yet, I sat alone.

I had been there for almost an hour, and was now convinced my ‘blind date’ wasn’t coming. Pulling out my phone, I called my best friend Harper; she was the one who had the great idea to set me up in the first place.

‘Hey, Lana,’ she answered.

‘Hey, so Rick never showed up.’

‘What? He didn’t? I’m sorry. He was an idiot.’

‘Then why did you set me up with him?’

‘Because you need to get out more. Date. Be social. It’s summer, you should be enjoying your freedom.’

Ah, yes, freedom. Too bad all I could think about was the fall and starting grad school in my sleepy town of Golden, a safe twenty miles outside of Denver. Harper was on this kick that I needed to ‘live life,’ to which I politely pointed out that going for my masters in statistics was a plenty thrilling endeavor.

Tattoo girl bumped my table with her butt again, only this time it was because she and Mr Smooth Talker were getting even closer.

‘I think I’ve reached my fun quota for tonight,’ I said, wishing I had driven myself into the city, instead of having Harper drop me off tonight. ‘Can you come get me now?’

‘Yeah, I’m at the office. I just need to finish up a few things. I can be there in an hour.’

I laughed a little. ‘And you tell me to have fun? You’re the one still working on a Friday night.’

‘What was that?’ she teased. ‘You don’t need a ride home?’

‘Yes, I do. I’ll wait. Thank you.’

I glanced around. An hour. Not my ideal scene, but, surely, I’d survive.

I hung up and scrolled through my text messages. My heart skipped when I saw my dad had finally texted me back about my suggestion for lunch tomorrow. But that skip didn’t last long, since it was a polite way to say:

Sorry, Pumpkin, can’t tomorrow. Next week?

At least he used a colon and parenthesis after the rejection to soften the blow. Text jargon or not, it was a smile from my father, so I’d take it.

Running a few fingers through my brunette curls, I tried to smooth away a little of the anxiety creeping up. One hour. Two words that were growing a little daunting. I pulled out my phone one more time and texted my dad back.

I know it’s a little late, but can I come over and hang out for an hour until Harper can pick me up? I’m kind of stranded in the city.

And send. My dad only lived a mile away. Twenty minute walk, max. Though his wife wasn’t my biggest fan, it was better than sitting alone in a busy bar. Maybe not better, but the lesser of two evils. My phone dinged and excitement raced. That was quick!

I smiled and read:

Sorry, Pumpkin, busy night tonight.

My smile faded, and I put my phone on the table and sat back in my seat. Looking down at my simple summer dress, I felt the same thing I’d felt a thousand times growing up, while I waited around for my dad to swoop in and save the day:

Invisible.

When the couple bumped me again, apparently I wasn’t the only one they annoyed. A guy standing next to them started yelling. Before I comprehended what was going on, a fist was thrown, and the two men were in a fight. One of them knocked against my table so hard it spilled my water all over me, and I gasped in fear and put my arms over my face like an ‘X.’

My nerves went into overdrive from the shock of what had just happened. Mentally chanting to myself to calm down, I slowly lowered my arms and saw a large man in a white T-shirt throwing himself between the two fighting men and, along with the bouncer, kicking them toward the exit.

They’re gone, I told myself, trying to get a handle on my breathing. The water had hit me straight on, and covered my stomach and lap. I did my best to blot the wetness with my napkin, shaking my head. I shouldn’t have even come tonight. I should have stayed home, like usual.

Two more months and I’d start grad school in Golden and not have to come back to the city for any reason, other than my parttime job working at my dad’s financial service company. A job I was doing so well at that I had been bumped up to thirty hours a week, now that summer was here. If I kept up this pace, logged my hours at his company, and succeeded at grad school, he’d hire me on as an account lead. Finally, he’d give me the chance to build toward the dream he’d hammered into me since I was a kid. Family business. Sure, it was a small, struggling business he’d started back when I was a kid, but when he married Anita, she and her money put my dad in the black. I may be the dirty, poor step-child, but I was still his, and whether Anita liked it or not, I was determined to be a person he’d be proud of.

People were already over the fight and back to enjoying themselves.

At least their eyes weren’t on me anymore, but I was soaked and now getting cold.

‘Excuse me?’ A deep, raspy voice said. I looked up to find a tall, chiseled man with the darkest eyes I’d ever seen, staring down at me. ‘Are you alright?’

‘I, ah . . . ’ I looked down at the front of my damp dress and blotted again. It was no use. The thin fabric was clinging to my thighs, making me very uncomfortable.

‘Here,’ he said, shrugging out of his jacket and placing it on my shoulders. It smelled of spice and leather. I tried to work a breath out, but it was no use. Between the sudden heat of his jacket enveloping me and the sight of his obviously broad chest and hard torso, I found it difficult to make my mouth move.

I didn’t know if it was the rush of the fight I’d witnessed followed by the cold water, but whatever it was, my body was confused and prickling with heat while flushing with goose bumps.

‘Are you sure you’re okay?’ he asked, his onyx gaze roaming over my entire body.

When he began to roll up the sleeves of his white button-up shirt, I watched transfixed. His forearms flexed a little as he moved to the other cuff. The way his long fingers worked the material, exposing tan skin as he went, made me wonder how the simple act of rolling up his sleeves could be sexy.

Trailing my gaze up, I took in every edge of his face. With a five o’clock shadow that matched his black hair, he looked exotic. Powerful. What must it be like to be a man like him? A person with so much confidence it radiated in every tiny movement. What would someone have to do to obtain that kind of essence?

Without knowing the answer to that, I’d likely sign up. Because whatever Kool-Aid this guy drank, I wanted some. Bad.

Harper told me once that prey could recognize predators and, while most run, some go into shock from the predator’s power. I think she had been on her third shot of tequila and was only half listening to the Animal Planet episode that was on, but it made some sense.

True or not. I felt like prey, transfixed by a predator. And I didn’t have the good sense to flee just yet.

Want more? Of course you do. Yours Tonight will be available to download from Thursday 5th March.

Win the complete Windfall series by Chelsea Fine

Full of friendship, history and heartbreak, Chelsea Fine’s Windfall series is the ultimate escapism. There’s romance (like, seriously HOT romance), laughter, tears and such incredible characters you’ll feel bereft when you turn that very last page.

All three books in the Windfall series: Best Kind of Broken, Perfect Kind of Trouble and Right Kind of Wrong, are now available in paperback, and to celebrate we’ve got a complete set to give away.

To be in with the chance of winning, simply answer the following question and fill your details in the form below (making sure to read our terms and conditions first).

What is the name of the heroine in Best Kind of Broken?

A. Pixie
B. Elf
C. Penelope

Ask Becks Anything – the hero of K. Bromberg’s Slow Burn answers your questions

As promised, the smoking-hot Becks has been busy answering all your questions, with a little help from K. Bromberg, author of Slow Burn.

Take it away, Becks . . .

Q: What is your favourite thing to do when you aren’t with Haddie or hanging out with Colton?

A: I’ll call Walker to come over to watch the game and have a beer . . . or I’ll head out to the farmhouse for some R&R.

Q: What fascinates you the most about Haddie? What is the future for the two of you?

A: Damn . . . look at her. I mean she hooks you in with her looks and then reels you in with her sassy mouth and fiery temper. She’s a contradiction of so many things that I never know who I’m going to get from day to day. Our future? Hmm, I like my Macallan too much to give it up, so I’d say for a long damn time.

Q: Can I be your UK Girlfriend/No 1 Fan?

A: Yes, but shhh, Haddie has a mean left hook.

Q: Where in the UK would you love to visit? Obviously my house but where else? Oh and if you do come over make sure you bring Kristy with you!

A: In the UK I’d love to visit everywhere. I’ve never been there so I think once I got the hang of driving on the wrong side of the road I’d rent a car and take a long drive. Well, after I visit your house of course. I’m sure I could convince Kristy to head out there as well. I know she really wants to come with her ‘UK Lovelies’ as she calls them.

Q: Becks, just wondering how alike are you to the hero of Driven? If not how different are you from him? What sets you apart from him?

A: How am I like Colton? That fucker wishes he was like me. Ha! I think Wood and me are opposites in so many ways but so alike in others. While he’s all about speed, I like to take my time . . . slow and steady. We both like to fight for what’s ours though. As he says, that’s non-negotiable. We both finally agree that voodoo is the real deal. Scary shit but oh-so-good once you accept the magic.

Q: Becks, did you like Haddie from the first time you saw her??!! I always thought you guys would be a great couple! Can’t wait to read Slow Burn! :)

A: How could you not? On that plane ride to Vegas she owned my attention . . . but she’s my best friend’s girl’s best friend. Say that ten times. Ha. So I had her in a no-go zone but well . . . some things are just too damn good to not fight hard for. When you read Slow Burn you can decide for yourself if you think we are great or not . . . because damn that woman is stubborn!

Q: Have you ever had any interest in being a race car driver, or is it the mechanics part you love?

A: For about two seconds…but no, the calculations and the precision is what excites me. Running the well-oiled machine is my thing. Knowing that when Colton crosses the finish line it’s from all of the crew’s hard work behind the scenes? That’s fucking cool.

Q: What was your first thought the very first time you saw Haddie?

A: Damn. Just damn. Need I explain it further?

Q: What was the first thing that attracted you to Haddie?

A: Those sexy legs, those lips, that smile, and then her laugh. Can’t not like a woman who draws you in with her laugh.

Q: Is there anything you wanted to say in your story that Kristy refused?

A: I think that there are times that readers will think Haddie is being a martyr . . . that she needs to suck it up and let me in . . . but I don’t think people get what it was like to be in her shoes. High heels can be sexy as fuck but you can also stumble real easily in them, if you catch my drift. I wish Kristy would have left in some scenes where I defended Had . . . no one likes their woman criticized but she wouldn’t allow it because it was Haddie’s journey to take and not mine to defend. Besides, Haddie would want to kick my ass for defending her . . . she’s independent that way.

Q: How did you get your middle name? ;)

A: From a family friend. She was good friends with my Mom and so she used her maiden name as a nod to her.

Q: When did you know I was your one and only?

A: Ahh of course you are. It was love at first internet sight, right? Lol. You and Haddie and so many others. I’ve got enough love in this big country heart of mine for all of you!

Q: Do you think we can talk Kristy into a second book about you? Because I promise it’s needed and wanted.

A: You’ll have to ask her about that one. I think Slow Burn tells a complete story but you never know what that woman will pull out of her mind.

Q: Becks and Colton have been friends a very long time. What is it that connected them so closely?

A: Sarcasm. And honesty. Those are two very important things in our friendship.

Phew, after all that we need a lie down. Want more Becks? Then download your copy of Slow Burn today!

Elizabeth Hoyt on contemporary romance

To celebrate publication of Elizabeth Hoyt’s three modern romances, HotFor the Love of Pete and Once and Always, we asked her to tell us why she went back to contemporary romance after so many years spent in Maiden Lane . . .

You know how some actors get typecast—they play a pointy-eared alien on a very popular 1960s science fiction TV show and thereafter they can only get acting jobs involving space? Well, I think the same thing sometimes applies to writers. Take me, for instance. I’ve written a rather popular (if I do say so myself) historical romance series (Maiden Lane) set in Georgian London and for some reason that makes readers surprised when they find out that I write contemporary romance set in Midwestern America as well.

Dude. It’s not like I grew up in the eighteenth century.

I love writing my historical romances, but I also love writing contemporary romances. It’s a bit like using a different muscle group. If you spend a lot of time lifting weights, it feels good to get out and go for a brisk walk. Writing a contemporary romance feels fresh and fun after writing several historical romances—I use different vocabulary, different pacing, and different character life stories. And after writing a contemporary romance, my historical writing feels lush and sensuous. I think writing both subgenres makes me a better all around writer.

But! Several years ago the American book market swerved and we writers were told that the contemporary romance was DEAD. Dead, I tell you! Fortunately I already had my historical romance career. I simply continued writing about Maiden Lane and decided—sadly!—that writing contemporary romances just wasn’t meant to be.

And then, of course, the book market swerved again.

Suddenly readers were interested in contemporary romances, which was very nice for me as I’d never be able to work dog sledding and ice fishing, not to mention the Russian mob, into a Georgian historical.

So I’m thrilled that my third contemporary romance will (finally) be coming out and I do hope that I’ll continue to be able to write both lush historicals and fast, slightly silly, contemporary romances, because life is better with a little variety.

At least in my opinion.

Do you prefer Historical or Modern settings? Why? Comment below for the chance to win a free copy of Once and Always!

Fifty Shades of Grey – review

Our new Junior Editor, Dom (no pun intended), shares his thoughts on the most eagerly anticipated film of the year . . . 

It seems like only yesterday that Fifty Shades of Grey was taking the world by storm, the trilogy by E.L. James responsible for bringing BDSM to the masses and making it socially acceptable to read erotica on public transport. That the film adaptation would be a sure-fire hit is a given, but would it satisfy the millions of fans worldwide who have their own ideas about Christian and Ana?

Thankfully, yes. Both director Sam Taylor-Johnson and star Dakota Johnson achieve the impossible – they’ve turned Ana into a real person, with a convincing interior life (no inner goddess in sight!) and a sassy streak. In a star-making turn, Johnson shows Ana to be more than just Christian’s plaything, and suggests that he isn’t the only dominant in this relationship . . .

Ah Christian. How could any actor measure up to fans’ expectations of the hottest romantic hero in recent memory? Unsurprisingly, Jamie Dornan is perfectly cast as Mr. Grey – he’s both strong and vulnerable and, obviously, outrageously good-looking. With a performance that recalls his sexy serial killer (an underused epithet) in The Fall, unfortunately sans accent and beard, Dornan fleshes out Christian and gives texture to the handsome billionaire with an interesting playroom.

The reason Fifty Shades works so well on film is that it remains faithful to the essence of the books but heightens the intensity of the main relationship (though the sex scenes could do with less sultry glances and more naked Dornan, at least according to the gals sitting behind me!), while at the same time softening the rough edges in James’s writing and allowing her characters to breathe.

Yes, there are some silly moments involving helicopter montages straight out of The Apprentice, monogrammed stationery and hilariously inappropriate use of Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’, but overall I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun in a cinema.

My inner goddess breathily anticipates the next installment . . .

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you may have noticed that we at Piatkus Entice have been getting very excited for Valentine’s Day! As our authors and bloggers have all been sharing their Book Boyfriends with you, we thought we’d join in the fun and so asked our Little, Brown colleagues who their favourite literary loves are . . .

Zsadist, one of J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brothers. He starts off as the the most damaged of the Brothers, virtually monosyllabic and lacking in self-esteem after years of being used as a blood slave. His transformation by the love of a good vampire is incredibly moving, and has me in tears every time I read it, which is often’

My ultimate book girlfriend has to be Clara del Valle in The House of the Spirits’

Mine are Luther Fox from Dirt Music or Bucky Wunderlick from Great Jones Street

‘I’ve always secretly liked the idea of Mr Rochester - why keep this a secret?

Jamie from Outlander because he is gentle, loyal, funny and totally capable of killing anything that ever threatened him. Got to love a Highlander, especially for their good taste in whiskey’

Becky Sharp. And if she’s busy, Emma Bovary. Both indomitable women who know their own minds’

The Empress of Blandings has my heart’ – if you don’t know who this is, we suggest you Google immediately!

We hope you have a great Valentine’s Day and that you find some time to spend with your Book Boyfriend, because as we all know . . .

Lots of love from all at Piatkus Entice x

J. A. Redmerski Joins Piatkus!

We’re delighted to announce the acquisition of J. A. Redmerski’s stand-alone romance, THE MOMENT OF LETTING GO. Set in Hawaii, this is a sexy, delightful whirlwind of a romance that’s absolutely perfect to escape with this summer. J. A. Redmerski is the bestselling author of THE EDGE OF NEVER, and we’re so happy to welcome her to Piatkus!

J.A. has also picked out her very own book boyfriend, being as it’s so close to Valentine’s Day:

As far as my ‘book boyfriend’, I’d have to say that: “My number one book boyfriend is (and no one has yet to beat him for the spot) Alexander Barrington, more intimately known as ‘Shura’ from THE BRONZE HORSEMAN trilogy. Talk about swoon! Not only is Alexander a military man, but he’s super protective of the girl he loves and will fight to the ends of the Earth for her. He’s got that bad-boy vibe, but without being bad. He’s kind and compassionate, yet mouthy and sometimes infuriating! And did I mention he’s panty-melting sexy?”

K. Bromberg & Chicks That Read choose their Valentines Book Boyfriend

Another day, another #valentinesbookboyfriend! Today we’ve got author of Slow Burn K. Bromberg, plus Tay from Chicks That Read . . . Make sure to join us on Twitter and Facebook where we’re chatting about OUR favourite book boyfriends for Valentine’s Day.

K. Bromberg and Tay from Chicks That Read

K. Bromberg:

This is a hard question…Who my fave book boyfriend is….So besides Colton and Becks (obviously… lol), I’m going to have to say Christian Grey. My reason may be a little different than some but Christian got me reading again when I hadn’t in a while due to day to day life and kids and lack of time. But I picked up Fifty Shades of Grey (after a phone call from my mother) and devoured all three books. Then I read more books. And more books. Then one day I thought, “I can do this. I can write a book,” and so I started outlining Driven. So to me Christian is my favorite book boyfriend not only for the character he is between the pages, but also for the unexpected career he led me to.

Tay:

My ultimate book boyfriend is Jared Trent, from Penelope Douglas Fall Away series. This was a hard decision for me as I have an irrational love for all of Douglas’ leading men, from the self-assured Madoc to the complex Jax, but I had to pick Jared for a number of reasons. Firstly he is a bad boy and what woman doesn’t like to make that bad boy go good, specially when said bad boy is a delicious tattooed god who drives not only a fantastic car but a motorcycle too! *swoon* Jared is so much more than a pretty face though, he oozed emotion for me, with a heavy heart, he faces personal and heartbreaking trials that just made me love him even more. I can say with complete confidence that Jared Trent is the perfect book boyfriend, Penelope Douglas is a master at creating characters that capture you and I am captured, hook line and sinker!

Ask Becks Anything – exclusive Q&A with the hero of Slow Burn by K. Bromberg

 

Fans of Driven, there are 12 days to go before Becks and Haddie’s story is finally available! I know, it’s too long and we can’t wait either. So we spoke to K. Bromberg and she, lovely author that she is, has agreed to give us exclusive access to the one and only hero of Slow Burn, the smoking-hot Becks!

Up until publication you have the chance to send us in any questions you have for Becks and he promises to answer them as honestly as he can (unless it’s very rude . . .).

And to make this even better, if you’re a UK fan sending in a question you will be in with a chance of winning a SIGNED  COPY of Slow Burn.

Just email your question to piatkus.entice@littlebrown.co.uk – he’s waiting!