DISTORTED (Alabaster Penitentiary #1) by NYLA K.

5 Dark MM Romance stars!

‘That’s what they want…They want you dead, that’s why you’re here. Everyone thinks you’re dead, and now you are. You’re as good as dead.’

What did we just read? Oh wow…. Distorted by Nyla K. – we are speechless! We have never read this Author before and we went into this book completely blind. We’ll be honest with you; we did read the synopsis after a reader recommended it to us, but that’s it, we stayed away from all reviews and wow are we glad we did! 

Warped, twisted, violent, tragic, horrific yet sweet and tender, Distorted drew us in and swallowed us whole. At no point could we look away, yet we had to take the odd break to process what we just read. Clever, agonisingly fragile yet hard-hitting, it evoked every single one of our senses and the characters stole our hearts along the way. which surprised us- until it didn’t. What a powerful read. Unique, exhilarating, and magnificent storytelling. We have no words. Other than we bloody loved it!

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DISTORTED (Alabaster Penitentiary #1) by NYLA K.

The Story Behind Rogue Wave by Isabel Jolie

By Isabel Jolie

Last June (of the year that shall not be named) my family and I descended upon Bald Head Island for a two-week vacation. Signs of the pandemic wrapped around us as we unloaded our car and prepared to board the ferry. Everyone wore masks, and those in line whispered worries about whether or not they’d make this ferry or be stuck waiting for the next one given the lower capacity requirements to meet Covid safety protocols.

We weren’t sure what would await us on the island. It had opened for visitors weeks before we arrived. But we felt a profound need to get away after essentially being locked inside our home since mid-March. In my tote bag I carried several hardback books, plus my trusty ebook reader with a gazillion more. The fringe of an enormous cold front hit as we waited in line, and light rain splattered us. We bought sweatshirts from the SailShop before we ever entered our cottage rental.

For almost all of the next week, it poured. And we didn’t even mind. That was how happy we were to be out of our house and in another. I sat on the covered porch as the rain pelted down, and read The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina. As I read his account of real life events and people, and I stared out at an ocean chock full of white caps, the seed of Rogue Wave sprouted.

It was on that beach vacation that I began my outline for not only Rogue Wave, but for the entire Haven Island series. Because I also read Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, about a modern-day Great Gatsby and a billion dollar scandal that Bill Gates is quoted as calling “thrilling.” And at some point on that vacation, my husband asked me if I had heard of a site called OnlyFans.

So, that second week of our vacation, as we stacked surfboards on top of our golf cart to get to the best location for surfing, the characters of Tate and Luna spun to life. As did Gabe, Poppy, and to some extent, Cali and Logan.

What are some of the cold hard facts that have stayed with me about our lawless ocean? First and foremost, we’re courting environmental disaster. I’m fully aware everyone’s tired of hearing about saving the whales, the turtles and the planet. I purposefully didn’t delve too much into all of the dangers of overfishing, or how complicated a scenario the world faces in regards to policing the ocean (spoiler alert: for all practical purposes, it isn’t policed). And overfishing? Let’s just say when people talk about the dangers of advances in technology, few think about fishing, but maybe we all should. Ian Urbina referred to the ocean as lawless, and others make references to the silver ocean. Silver or gold are probably more apt, because like pretty much everything else in our world, our issues revolve around money and greed.

Adrian Tate grapples with this reality in Rogue Wave. When he meets Luna, she’s everything he used to be. In a way, it’s an opposites attract romance, as he’s in such a different head space. She’s starting out, exactly where he was so long ago. It’s an age gap romance, but the chronological age isn’t the issue – it’s the life experience and the variance in perspective. As so often is the case in life, what starts out as mere sexual attraction, grows into more.

We’re preparing to go back to Bald Head this summer, only this year Rogue Wave and Adrift will be released. I’ll be working on the final edits for First Light, the third book in the series, which is due to my editor on July 4. It’s a bit surreal. We’ll also be vaccinated and maybe this summer masks might not be mandated. Or they may be. Who knows? But the ocean will be waiting, and I can’t wait.

Isabel Jolie is the author of the new book Rogue Wave.

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New Memoir Books For Your Spring Reading List | 2021

New Memoir Books For Your Spring Reading List | 2021

Finished all the memoir books on your reading list? There’s no need to worry because we’ve found some amazing new books we think you’ll love! Check out our latest book recommendations from Laila Tarraf, Jenny Lawson, Hunter Biden, Erin French, Blake Bailey, and John Boehner. Happy reading!

Strong Like Water

by Laila Tarraf

Release Date: April 13, 2021

Laila Tarraf was the Chief People Officer for Peet’s Coffee and Tea, the iconic Berkeley coffee roaster that launched the craft coffee movement in America, but she had a secret: she was failing in the most important relationships in her life. Yes, she was a strong and effective business leader, the successful daughter of immigrants, and the mother of a toddler; but she was also disconnected from her own feelings and had little patience for the feelings of others.

Buy on Amazon


by Jenny Lawson

Release Date: April 6, 2021

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way. With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it.

Buy on Amazon

Beautiful Things

by Hunter Biden

Release Date: April 6, 2021

When he was two years old, Hunter Biden was badly injured in a car accident that killed his mother and baby sister. In 2015, he suffered the devastating loss of his beloved big brother, Beau, who died of brain cancer at the age of forty-six. These hardships were compounded by the collapse of his marriage and a years-long battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

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Finding Freedom

by Erin French

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Long before The Lost Kitchen became a world dining destination with every seating filled the day the reservation book opens each spring, Erin French was a girl roaming barefoot on a 25-acre farm, a teenager falling in love with food while working the line at her dad’s diner and a young woman finding her calling as a professional chef at her tiny restaurant tucked into a 19th-century mill.

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Philip Roth: The Biography

by Blake Bailey

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Appointed by Philip Roth and granted independence and complete access, Blake Bailey spent years poring over Roth’s personal archive, interviewing his friends, lovers, and colleagues, and engaging Roth himself in breathtakingly candid conversations. The result is an indelible portrait of an American master and of the postwar literary scene.

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On the House

by John Boehner

Release Date: April 13, 2021

John Boehner is the last of a breed. At a time when the arbiters of American culture were obsessing over organic kale, cold-pressed juice, and SoulCycle, the man who stood second in line to the presidency was unapologetically smoking Camels, quaffing a glass of red, and hitting the golf course whenever he could. There could hardly have been a more diametrically opposed figure to represent the opposition party in President Barack Obama’s Washington.

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The post New Memoir Books For Your Spring Reading List | 2021 appeared first on NewInBooks.

Must-Read Science Fiction Novels | April 2021

Must-Read Science Fiction Novels | April 2021

Have you been on the hunt for some exciting new science fiction novels? You’re in luck because we’ve made a new list of some of our favorite must-read releases. The list includes new books by Edmond Geanta, T.E. Butcher, Bob Blanton, Kyla Stone, Ken Lozito, and Glynn Stewart. We hope you enjoy your new sci-fi reads!

Crimson Transcendence

by Edmond Geanta

Release Date: March 26, 2021

The fourth book in the Blood Calls Series by Edmond Geanta… A desperate call comes from Jenkins’ son, Josh who is now trapped and surrounded by zombies in Florida. Tormented by guilt for neglecting his son, Jenkins along with Rey and Silvia goes on a rescue mission. Along the way they encounter a strange fellow who calls himself God and who might hold the secret to the global pandemic. During the rescue attempt, a local king pin captures, tortures and forces the two men to kill each other. Will Silvia save the man she loves or the one she swore a blood oath to?

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Armored Warrior Panzerter: The Red World War

by T.E. Butcher

Release Date: April 10, 2021

The first book in the Armored Warrior Panzerter Series by T.E. Butcher… Mars. October 2135. Captain Paul Reiter must prepare for war. His homeland, The Republic of Tharsis, stands on the brink of war with it’s neighbor the Union of Mars. As a member of the republic’s Provincial Watch, Reiter must prepare his soldiers for battle with an utterly ruthless enemy. Their weapon: powerful Mecha known the system over as panzerters. He must leave behind his life as a teaching assistant to lead a rag-tag team of pilots in defense of their homeland.

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Delphi League

by Bob Blanton

Release Date: April 6, 2021

The 10th book in the Delphi in Space Series by Bob Blanton… The Delphineans have to deal with the fact that the Fazullan ship has slaves on it. They repatriate the Paraxean slaves with Mangkator and need to find a planet for the other slaves. But what do they do with the Fazullans? Then Catie takes is assigned the mission to take the Onisiwoens, the third set of aliens, home. What will she find there?

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Edge of Valor

by Kyla Stone

Release Date: March 28, 2021

The seventh book in the Edge of Collapse Series by USA Today Bestselling Author Kyla Stone… The final battle for Fall Creek looms…not everyone will make it out alive. With enemies closing in on every side, the survivors of Fall Creek find themselves facing impossible odds. Do they flee for their lives? Or do they defend their town and risk losing it all? Some things are worth fighting for, even dying for. This may be their last stand.

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Acheron Salvation

by Ken Lozito

Release Date: April 9, 2021

The second book in the Federation Chronicles by Ken Lozito… First came the development of a Personality Matrix Construct—PMC, transferring human consciousness into a machine. It changed the galaxy and the way wars were fought. Then something went wrong with PMCs and the Federation Wars toppled the galactic order. PMCs became a menace to be hunted and exterminated.

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Eyes of Tomorrow

by Glynn Stewart

Release Date: April 27, 2021

The ninth book in the Duchy of Terra Series by Glynn Stewart… Captain Morgan Casimir’s mission to stop a war has ended in a nightmare. In the heart of an ignored nebula, trapped behind a ring of newborn stars, she has awoken a creature of another time: the horde of biological starships who call themselves the Infinite.

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The post Must-Read Science Fiction Novels | April 2021 appeared first on NewInBooks.


‘Although you and I have different backstories, I guess I’ve been resisting the possibility of a first love in the same way that you’ve been resisting the possibility of a second.’

Kayley Loring has done it again! We love, love, love her stories! And we LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this book! What's not to love in The Love Interest? Our reading tastes were certainly sated with this book.  Let's see, there was:

Age Gap
Loveable heroine
Grouchy gorgeous hero
Sizzling chemistry
Forbidden love
Fabulous secondary characters
3 stories in one (you'll understand when you read the book)
A story that made us grin with delight from ear to ear.

This book is hot, flirty, sweet, and swoony fun. You don't want to miss this one!

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Must-Read Historical Fiction Novels | April 2021

Must-Read Historical Fiction Novels | April 2021

There have been so many amazing new historical fiction book releases for readers to enjoy this month. Don’t miss our latest must-read recommendations from bestselling authors Julie Tulba, Emma Lombard, B.G. Cousins, Rhys Bowen, Ann Bennett, and Kelly Mustian. Enjoy your new historical fiction novels!

The Dead Are Resting

by Julie Tulba

Release Date: March 31, 2021

Growing up in post-World War II America, Becky always knew who she was- the daughter of a Holocaust survivor- and yet a label that had never really defined her because of how her father was. The only survivor in his family, Becky’s father had always refused to talk about the past, having spent his entire adult life internalizing his pain and suffering rather than coming to terms with it. It’s because of this that her relationship with her father has always been one of tumult and discord.

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Discerning Grace

by Emma Lombard

Release Date: February 22, 2021

The first book in The White Sails Series by Emma Lombard… Wilful Grace Baxter, will not marry old Lord Silverton with his salivary incontinence and dead-mouse stink. Discovering she is a pawn in an arrangement between slobbery Silverton and her calculating father, Grace is devastated when Silverton reveals his true callous nature. Refusing this fate, Grace resolves to stow away. Heading to the docks, disguised as a lad to ease her escape, she encounters smooth-talking naval recruiter, Gilly, who lures her aboard HMS Discerning with promises of freedom and exploration in South America.

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The Tachi

by B.G. Cousins

Release Date: November 23, 2020

The fourth book in The Rainey Chronicles by B.G. Cousins… After the Battle of Falkirk, Angus Rainey is hunted by a powerful English earl. Fleeing Scotland with the help of the Templars, he finds himself in the Holy Land, where he disappears with his Templar friend, Helmut Freiburg, to join a caravan traveling the fabled trade routes to Cathay. Along the way, they meet a disgraced Nihon nobleman and a Muslim princess fleeing persecution. Together, they form a pact to help the Nihon nobleman reclaim his rightful place in a land at the edge of the world.

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The Venice Sketchbook

by Rhys Bowen

Release Date: April 13, 2021

The new novel from New York Times Bestselling Author Rhys Bowen… Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great-aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper…Venice. Caroline’s quest: to scatter Juliet “Lettie” Browning’s ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for more than sixty years.

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The Lake Pavilion

by Ann Bennett

Release Date: April 9, 2021

India 1935: Amelia Collins, a missionary’s daughter, left destitute by the death of her parents, leaves their home in the Himalayan foothills to find work in Darjeeling. There she meets District Officer Reginald Holden, a powerful older man, who spirits her away from poverty and prejudice to start a new life as his wife in Ganpur.

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The Girls in the Stilt House

by Kelly Mustian

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her hard life on the swamp and her harsh father. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father.

Buy on Amazon

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Hot New Romance Book Recommendations | April 2021

Hot New Romance Book Recommendations | April 2021

Looking for a hot new love story to add to your collection? You won’t want to miss our latest must-read romance book recommendations from bestselling authors Mckenna James, L.J. Shen, Ava Ryan, Anna Zaires, Isabel Jolie, Penelope Ward, and Vi Keeland. Enjoy!

Inherit Love

by Mckenna James

Release Date: March 9, 2021

The couples in this collection will do everything they can to find love, even when riches get in the way. The 6-book Inherit Love collection follows six couples’ romantic journey to inheritance and love. Inside, you can escape to a tropical paradise or an Irish castle. Read stories of arranged marriages, second chances at love, office romances, enemies to lovers, and even amnesia. You’ll find marriages of convenience (and inconvenience), babies, football teams, bodyguards, and other smoking hot heroes.

Buy on Amazon

The Devil Wears Black

by L.J. Shen

Release Date: March 9, 2021

The new second chance romance from USA Today Bestselling Author L.J. Shen… Maddie Goldbloom stitched up a plan to ensure everything in her life was perfect—from a career in fashion to a chic NYC apartment to a pediatrician boyfriend. When her ex, Chase Black, storms back into her life with an outrageous request, her immediate reaction is to refuse him. But he only wants to fulfill his father’s last wish. So even though he’s the man who broke her heart, playing his fiancée shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means she gets to watch the arrogant devil squirm a bit.

Buy on Amazon

His Forbidden Love

by Ava Ryan

Release Date: April 8, 2021

The new release in the Manhattan Billionaires Series by Ava Ryan… I can’t get Ally out of my head. She was there four years ago, back when I was chief resident and she was my intern. Back when I was married to someone else. Somehow, I managed to resist this forbidden temptation. But things change. I’ve made my fortune. I’m building a cutting-edge surgery practice and I need brilliant doctors like her. Most importantly, I’m now divorced. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

Buy on Amazon

Devil’s Lair

by Anna Zaires

Release Date: April 13, 2021

The first book in the Molotov Obsession Duet by New York Times Bestselling Author Anna Zaires… On the run from ruthless killers, I’m down to ten bucks in my wallet and a half-tank of gas in my ancient car when I spot the ad. The job sounds like the answer to my prayers, but there’s a catch. The child’s father is the most beautiful, most dangerous man I’ve ever met. Darkly seductive and filthy rich, Nikolai Molotov is a tantalizing mystery, a lethally alluring contradiction.

Buy on Amazon

Rogue Wave

by Isabel Jolie

Release Date: April 13, 2021

The first book in the Haven Island Series by Isabel Jolie… I roamed the untamed ocean. Set out to play the conservationist hero. Those high seas? They remain lawless for countless reasons. Over ten years, I saw the worst that humanity has to offer. And accomplished… nothing. The futility of it all left me disillusioned. Numb. I returned to the island of my childhood summers. All I wanted was to lick my wounds. Hide. Regroup. Like a rogue wave, an idealistic beauty thrust herself into my world. Tells me we can make a difference. We can save the oceans. We’re one with the sea.

Buy on Amazon

Not Pretending Anymore

by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Release Date: April 10, 2021

Finding a good roommate through a classified ad isn’t as easy as it sounds. I was starting to lose hope. Until a knock at my door came and God answered my prayers. Except…uh…wrong prayer, God. I’d definitely requested the big guy find me a drop-dead gorgeous man on more than one occasion…just not as my roommate.

Buy on Amazon

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Interview with Laila Tarraf, Author of Strong Like Water

What can you tell us about your new release, Strong Like Water?

Strong Like Water is a leadership book disguised as a memoir. It has been described part memoir, part leadership guide, part psychological probe. It chronicles a period in my life when I lost my husband, my father and then my mother as I was trying to raise a young daughter and establish myself in my first senior executive role. As is so often the case, times of tremendous adversity become powerful teaching moments in our lives. For me, it was the moment in my life when I realized that if I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable and feel the pain associated with those losses, I would become hard and brittle and unable to raise my daughter with compassion and vulnerability. I was terrified the journey would make me soft, and it did. But soft turned out to be strong.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have always enjoyed reading and writing stories. Throughout my life I would catch myself trying to capture the moment in a few words in my head as if I were writing a book, but I never consciously thought I would be an author until a friend invited me to a daylong workshop for aspiring writers led by Laura Munson. I was so moved by that day that I signed up for a 5-day author retreat at Laura’s home in Montana. Throughout the retreat, she had one or two participants read a scene we had written out loud in front of the others. I remember being really nervous and feeling like an imposter. I chose to read a scene that represented a particularly poignant moment with me and my mom and when I finished the piece and looked up, everybody was crying. Something clicked in my brain in that moment. I had touched them with my writing. Maybe I could do this.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I never know how to answer these questions because it’s so hard for me to compare vastly different stories to each other.

I love reading the books of contemporary writers like Ann Patchett (Bel Canto), Kristin Hannah (The Nightingale) and Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things). They are all amazing writers.

I love sagas like Ken Follette’s Pillars of the Earth and Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. I’m always so sad when I finish reading them because I have completely immersed myself in the worlds they have created.

Classics by the Bronte sisters and Jane Austin like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and Pride & Prejudice and books we all read in school like To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck are near the top of my list.

And finally books that have had a big impact on how I see the world are Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and more recently The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Two women whom I would love to speak with are Diana Gabaldon author of the Outlander series or Margaret Atwood author of The Handmaid’s Tale. I would ask them all about their process in conceiving, structuring and writing in such rich detail the worlds they create. I can’t even get my head around what that would take, and I’m fascinated by their ability to do it so masterfully.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is when you are so into a scene that it almost writes itself. It is revealing itself to you as you write it as if it’s not coming from you at all. It’s a magical space to be in.

What is a typical day like for you?

Well, I still have a full-time job. I’m the Chief People Officer for Allbirds and right now I’m pulling triple duty as a full-time leader, an emerging writer and a single mother of a high school teenager. Lots and lots of coffee!

What scene from Strong Like Water was your favorite to write?

I actually loved writing about my Aunt Helen. She was iconic. Everything she said and did could be turned into a bumper sticker. She had her own way of looking at things which was maddening and hysterical at the same time.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I used to have a Maya Angelou quote up on my whiteboard at work for years, that said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

I think it captures my philosophy to life. I can be dissatisfied with something and even complain about it a bit, but I pretty quickly either figure out how to change it so it works for me or how I can let go of my attachment to it if I can’t.

Laila Tarraf is the author of the new book Strong Like Water.

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Interview with McKenna James, Author of Inherit Love

Today we’re interviewing both halves of the Mckenna James writing team.

What can you tell us about your new release, Inherit Love?

Mckenna: Inherit Love is a series of contemporary romance stand alone novels. We came up with the idea for the series one day when we were talking about how, in other genres like cozy mystery—

James: –and Hallmark movies.

Mckenna: Yes, in so many of those—you have a character who inherits something and their world changes. So we decided to write a series of books where an inheritance plays a major role in the story.

James: And they are all very different. In Inheritance Goals, the heroine inherits a football team, which makes her life complicated because the team’s quarterback is her ex-boyfriend. In Inheritance Reversal, which is an office romance, a woman who is a mere assistant inherits the company and becomes her hot boss’s boss.

Mckenna: We had a lot of fun writing them. Readers like them because they have some steamy scenes, but there’s also a sweetness to the stories that fans of Hallmark movies will enjoy.

What books are currently on your nightstand?

Mckenna: I’m reading The Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson.

James: And I’m reading Lord of Chance by Erica Ridley. Also, we both just got The Heroine’s Journey by Gail Carriger, a book on writing that we’re both dying to read.

If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?

Both: Reading!

What makes your world go round? Why does it bring you joy?

Mckenna: My kittens. They are a year old now, but a stray cat had kittens in our garage during the pandemic, and we kept the momma and two of her kittens. Watching them grow up has brought our family so much joy. They keep us entertained.

James: I’m a dog person. Her cats are cute, but I have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and they are my babies. We go on walks every day together and have a great time.

What scene from Inherit Love was your favorite to write?

Mckenna: The scene in Baby Inheritance where Valentina and Hudson come to an agreement to make a baby. It’s both awkward and sexy at the same time.

James: Probably the scene in Forgotten Inheritance where Roman realizes the hospital staff thinks Charlie is his wife and in a split second he decides to go along with it. There are so many complex emotions that run through him in that one scene, and the ramifications are so huge!

McKenna James is the author of the new book Inherit Love.

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Interview with Ava Ryan, Author of His Forbidden Love

What can you tell us about your new release, His Forbidden Love?

A sexy alpha male billionaire doctor who could have anyone struggles with his feelings for the one unforgettable woman who’s off-limits to him. Emotional turmoil, intense passion and a happily ever after ensue.

Which books would we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Jon Krakauer’s riveting Into Thin Air, about the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, is one of my favorite books. I revisit it in audio or ebook at least once a year.

Who is your favorite couple from literature?

Do Calvin & Hobbes count? Is that literature? 😉

If His Forbidden Love is turned into a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?

Thinking…thinking…this is a surprisingly difficult question…Okay. Got it. Kit Harrington, but we’d have to de-Brit him and give him blue contacts. And Bryce Dallas Howard. Man, they’d make beautiful kids, wouldn’t they?

What’s in your Netflix queue?

My life is all about Grey’s Anatomy right now. I’m late to the game and watch an episode a day. It’ll be a dark day around here when I get to the end.

What scene from His Forbidden Love was your favorite to write?

There’s a scene where Michael finally confesses his feelings–emotional FIRE!!!

Ava Ryan is the author of the new book His Forbidden Love.

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