Tag Archives: Suspense

Can He Love Her AND Her Past? Our Hero Has A Hard Decision To Make In ‘The Plot’ by @Melinda_De_Ross #FoolInLove #Romance

FOOLINLOVE

The road to a happily ever after in Romanceland is never an easy one. This month, we’re highlighting the dark moments of our favorite romance novels. In The Plot, our hero has a decision to make.

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He didn’t know how many hours had passed since he was staring sightlessly at the ceiling, alone in darkness with only his thoughts as company. It had been more than a week since he and Yoko had been together in this bed, ready to make love for the first time. A week since she’d told him she loved him, and he’d said the same to her. Then her sordid confession had been like the hit of a bus.

He still couldn’t take it all in. Whenever he imagined his sweet, innocent Yoko in bed with some other man—or men—he felt he would go mad. When he thought of everything she must have endured, of how brutally she had been robbed of her innocence, he cursed God, fate and whatever monster was responsible for that. If he knew, he would kill him or them with his bare hands—because surely there was more than one person involved in this kind of crime.

But what about her? Had there really been nothing she could do to stop it? Why hadn’t she gone to the police, to the consulate? His mind circled around these questions and always returned to the same point: the threats against her family. How could he judge her when he would do anything to protect his family from harm? What choice did she have? The bastards knew exactly how to control and manipulate her.

He’d read and heard about such things in the news, but tragedies like these seemed far away, things that happened to ignorant women from underdeveloped countries. What a shallow fool he had been! Just like everyone around him, he didn’t stop to think twice about this kind of atrocities. Never had he considered he would meet a victim of human trafficking. Or fall in love with one of the troubled, tortured women whose existence seemed only a theory.

Was he truly in love with Yoko? He’d said so when he didn’t know about her past. But did he love her now? Did her past make a difference? He thought about everything he liked and admired about her: her seriousness, her rare, child-like smiles, her determination, her intelligence. Her beautiful face and enticing body. God, could he love her without thinking of all the men who’d had her?

He rubbed his hands hard over his face. He would have said a real man wouldn’t hold her past against a woman, especially since she’d been forced into it. But was he man enough to love Yoko, to forgive and forget?
His eyes opened and he stared into the blackness, stunned at his selfishness.

Listen to him! Forgive and forget. Who was he, a former thief and breaker of too many laws too count, to judge anyone? Yoko was a victim. She didn’t need his forgiveness, but his love and support. She needed someone to help her get over the horrible traumas and memories that had scarred her soul forever.

Yes, forever. He didn’t fool himself. He knew an experience like hers could never be forgotten. She might have learned to live with it, but the wounds were burned into her mind. Now he understood so many things he hadn’t comprehended before: her reactions, her reluctance and initial suspicion, her reserved nature. She’d suffered terribly, endured things no woman should endure, especially a young girl.

When he recalled her telling him about the first rape—there was no other word for it—that had stripped away her virginity and dignity, he felt tears stinging his eyes. She’d needed comfort, love, healing. Instead, he’d sat there like a statue, unable to move, unable to utter a sound, numbed by shock. She’d left thinking he thought her dirty, as she felt about herself. She never knew the pain that torn his own heart. He ached for her with every cell of his being.

Why then hadn’t he gone after her? Why had he needed all this time to exist like a zombie, day after day, to realize he did love her and wanted her in his life, despite everything? He’d said to himself he needed time to absorb what she’d told him, but truth be told, he was a damned coward. A stronger, better man wouldn’t have brooded all this time, wouldn’t have doubted the feelings he’d professed so ardently only a week ago.

He flung the sheet aside and stood. He hadn’t managed to sleep more than a few restless hours these past days. He descended the stairs and went to the kitchen, where he poured himself a large whiskey. He’d done nothing but drink, moon around the shop and haunt the streets in search of answers. Actually, the answer had been in his heart all along. His head just needed to catch up. He loved Yoko. No matter what her past was, whether she’d had a choice or not, he wanted a future with her.

He wasn’t sure he had the patience and tenderness necessary to help her heal, but he was determined to do his best to try. If she was still willing to accept him. But what if she wasn’t? What if it was too late and he’d lost her because of his gutlessness and hesitation?

Tossing back his drink, he went in search of his phone, praying she would answer. She hadn’t returned to the shop since the fateful day of her graduation, and he couldn’t bring himself to even call her. Now he frantically dialed her number, ignoring the fact that it was nearly three a.m. But when the connection was made, his mouth went dry.

Her number had been disconnected.

the-plot

REALITY IS NOT A FAIRYTALE. CAN A VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING HAVE A HAPPY ENDING AFTER YEARS OF ABUSE AND DEGRADATION? ESPECIALLY WHEN HER ONLY FOCUS IS GETTING PAYBACK…

At eighteen, Yoko Hirano falls into the tentacles of a human trafficking organization and is forced into prostitution. Her first sexual experience is close to a rape, so she becomes traumatized and her opinions about men are low and unflattering. She uses her charms only as means of manipulation.

Four years later she meets the tall, dark and charming antique dealer Mark Chandler. They both acknowledge reluctantly the complicated chemistry between them, but Yoko’s grand scheme of things doesn’t involve falling in love, nor does she think Mark would want her if he found out about her past. To get revenge and prevent other girls from sharing her fate, she plans to ruin the Chinese triad that has destroyed her life and innocence.

However, she doesn’t realize that Mark can be an asset in her plans of bringing down the powerful mobster Michael Chen and his interlopers. Together, they make a quite formidable pair…

buy-links

Amazon: http://goo.gl/de9zDn
Barnes&Noble: goo.gl/XHaxko
Kobo: goo.gl/CJtlLz
Google Play: goo.gl/j7eMTi

Meet the author

Melinda De Ross is an international author of Romanian origin. She writes in two languages, and her books combine the elegance specific to the European style with the modern appeal of the American culture. She has a Law degree and has been a professional target shooter for over a decade. Her favorite genre to read and write in is Romance, and anytime she prefers to watch a classic movie instead of going to a noisy club.

She loves to hear from her readers, and you can find her at:

WHO’S THAT GIRL?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melinda-De-Ross/513999791983330

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163748.Melinda_De_Ross

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Feisty Females In Romance Part 2: Vanessa from One True Thing by Amber Lea Easton

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Happy Sexy Saturday!

June is here and all month long I’ll be shining the spotlight on feisty heroines in romance. Today’s Feisty Female is Vanessa Warren from One True Thing by Amber Lea Easton. Vanessa is definitely part of the Feisty Female Club.
**My review of the book is at the bottom of the post. 🙂 **

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Title: One True Thing
Author: Amber Lea Easton
Genre: Romance Thriller/Contemporary Romance/Suspense
Release date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Mountain Moxie Publishing
Heat Level: 4 out of 5

Purchase Sites:
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/OneTrueThing
All Romance eBooks: https://goo.gl/2KZ6IB
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/624431
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/one-true-thing-13
iTunes/iBookstore: http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B01BE7LEL6

synopsis

Power…it’s a heady drug.

Vanessa Warren is America’s favorite rebel. Daughter and granddaughter of US Presidents and sister to a future one, her family connections and notoriety are seen as leverage for manipulating the White House—if she’s captured.

One little lie leads to a whole lot of trouble.

Reclusive international resort developer, Dominic Varga, needs a date to ward off his matchmaking parents. When he persuades the notorious Vanessa Warren to play his girlfriend for the night, he has no idea he’s stepped into the crosshairs of kidnappers who will do anything—destroy everything—to get to her.

One true thing…

Trapped in a rapidly escalating international terror plot, Dominic and Vanessa’s lie becomes the only real thing in the midst of betrayals, conspiracies, and murder. As their world falls apart, they suddenly only have each other to rely on against ruthless people who will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Who can they trust? Who is behind the plot—her own family, a political rival of her family’s, or a terrorist organization? How far will the kidnappers go—what will they be willing to sacrifice—to control the power of the White House? Is there anywhere in the world where they can find safety?

Excerpt-

Chin resting on folded arms against the balcony’s railing, she stared down at the streets below, erratic energy zapping from her bent body encased in violet while the breeze tossed her long tresses against bare shoulders.
She was too beautiful, too known, too wild, too…much. He knew that she was the kind of woman who could devour him, who would know his soul, who would wield her power over him with advanced skill. Yet he couldn’t leave. Maybe that’s why he had come, armed with chili-cheese fries, to dare destiny.
“My great-grandmother was a painter,” she said after he’d joined her. “Being an artist is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
“And you did it. You had a successful showing and—”
“Someone destroyed them all.”
“Yes, they did.” He couldn’t imagine having one of his resorts go up in flames. Maybe it wasn’t the same exactly, but he poured so much of himself into each design, into every part of the decision making process, that it would feel like…a death. He didn’t know what to do or what to say to ease her pain.
She blew out a long breath before standing straight and looking at him through the shadows. “It’s at least one in the morning by now. Time for bed. Are you joining me?”
He inhaled sharply at the idea of resuming where they’d left off.
“Don’t you want to…talk or something?” he asked.
“About my feelings?” Her lips twisted. “It sucks. It hurts like hell. It pisses me off. There. I talked about my feelings. We good now?”
He’d never met anyone like her. Vanessa Warren was definitely one-of-a kind. She sauntered to him, almost like a predator about to go in for the kill, stood on her tiptoes until her breath caressed his chin, and whispered, “Make me believe in something good, something better than a lie.”
He grabbed her ass and lifted her up until they were eye-to-eye. Hair licked with fire slipped across his face when she leaned over him, all color and warmth. He wanted this, wanted her. This is why he had come, to feel this again, this agony of desire that he had suppressed for years.
Fingers twisted in the strands of hair that slipped against his face. He crushed her to him, ravaging her mouth like a dying man grasping at life. Tongues teased. Teeth nipped. And he fell past a point he had never thought to cross, not that he cared, not that it mattered. In his mind, he could see the lights of the city, blurring with speed and spinning beneath them.
God, she felt good. Intoxicating. Her lips nibbled across his neck.
“I shouldn’t want you so much, but I do. I can’t stop myself,” she whispered.
“Why do you want me?” He held her firm with his fists wrapped in her hair. “Tell me.”
“You wanted me when you didn’t know who I was. We were just two people, strangers, without a past or a future. I knew you wanted to fuck me against that mural, beneath that tarp, I saw it in your eyes, thought about it all damn day. Then tonight there you were. You walked up those stairs like a predator, seeking me out, sweeping me away.”
“You want to be swept away?”
“Desperately.”
“I’ll do my best.” He scooped her off her feet and carried her from the balcony to the bedroom. He fell onto his back against the mattress with her silk-encased body draped across him.
“Damn dress.” She propped herself above him and grimaced. “Help me out of it?”
“With pleasure,” he whispered against her neck.
His fingers moved to the discreet zipper at her side and — with his gaze never leaving hers — he slid it down. She shrugged it off her left shoulder. As if unwrapping a Christmas gift, he wasted no time in sliding the rest from her lean, toned body. Velvet hissed down her torso and slipped from her legs. Clad only in strapless bra and panties with her hair falling in wild layers past her shoulders, she kicked the tangled material off her feet and flashed him a devilish smile.
“You’re deadly.” But what a way to die.
Off came the bra. She grinned like the seductress she was and tossed it aside. “I’ll be gentle.”
“Don’t lie to me anymore.” His hands covered her breasts, claiming them. “Game’s over.”
“Wrong, Nic. It’s just getting started.” She pushed his shirt from his shoulders and kissed his neck.

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Q: What motivated this suspense plot about the pursuit of power?

A: I have a love/hate relationship with politics. Not only am I an activist on the local level, but I find the political spectacle fascinating. How low will someone go to win office? What will it take for someone to betray a confidante? Is the ideal of the ‘greater good’ still relevant in today’s cynical world and, if so, what exactly does that mean? Are there still genuine good guys in office—I believe there are—and what is their struggle to remain that way?

Q: That’s a lot of questions. Do you deal with them all in One True Thing?

A. In a subtle way, yes. One True Thing is essentially about Vanessa Warren’s struggle to have her own identity despite a very public upbringing and a larger than life lineage. When she is suddenly thrust into the role of a pawn to be used to manipulate her famous family, she is forced to embrace the power that comes with her last name whether she wants to or not. As the story develops, the concept of the greater good comes into play—and it’s one she openly mocks in the beginning of the book—and she eventually realizes exactly what that means. That’s all I can say without giving spoilers.

Q: But this is a love story?

A: Yes, it is definitely a love story about a man who had closed himself off to feeling much of anything about anyone. He’s devoted himself to building an empire. Tragedy made him skittish about opening his heart, which is how he winds up with the most notorious woman in the world as a date to a party to deter his matchmaking parents. Their little lie has more truth to it than they initially believe and, as the story unfolds, becomes the only true thing they can trust. He sees Vanessa as a woman without an intimidating lineage and she sees him for the kind person he once was before tragedy made him a cynic.

Q: You’re known for creating a vibrant cast of characters in all of your stories, but in this one—although there are obviously secondary players—the focus is keenly on the main characters, why did you construct it a bit differently?

A: In this story, Vanessa’s world is shrinking as she’s being hunted. Everything she has taken for granted—even friendships—is being stripped away. Layer by layer, she starts doubting the people around her, begins questioning the world she’s lived in her whole life, and realizes how isolated she has become. The only person she can trust is a stranger she met named Dominic because he has no history with her, no motivation to sell her out. Hence the architecture of this book starts out broad and works into a sharp peak with Vanessa and Dominic at its center.

Q: What is the one true thing?

A: Family. Love. Strip away the power, the money, the fame, the illusion, and there is only one true thing that matters—love.

Author Links

Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published author of romantic thrillers, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, and nonfiction. She also writes five different blogs, volunteers for children’s literacy, and advocates for suicide awareness. In addition, she is a professional editor and mother of two extraordinary human beings. She currently lives in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains where she is completely aware of how lucky she is.

To find out more about her books, please visit http://www.amberleaeaston.com.
Follow her on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/MtnMoxieGirl) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmberLeaEaston).

FiveStars

What a great read! Vanessa is definitely a feisty female. Yet, underneath her tough exterior lives a woman who just wants to be left alone. Like all of us, she has dreams and goals. But, unlike most of us, she’s not free to pursue those dreams. Why? Because her family is involved in politics. And though she wants nothing to do with that life, she keeps being dragged back into the thick of things. And then she meets Dominic, the very sexy Dominic. These two are made for each other. He has secrets he’s trying to outrun and she has a killer she’s trying to stay two steps ahead of. If you enjoy a novel that is full of suspense with twist and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, then this novel is for you. Throw in steamy sex scenes and you have a five star read. This book has definitely made me a fan of this author.

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Feisty Females Part 1: Yoko from ‘The Plot’ by Melinda De Ross #Review

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Happy Sexy Saturday!

June is here and all month long I’ll be shining the spotlight on feisty heroines in romance. Today’s Feisty Female is Yoko Hirano from THE PLOT by Melinda De Ross. Melinda is going to share with us what traits make her character part of the Feisty Female Club.
**My review of the book is at the bottom of the post. 🙂 **

The Plot
~Feisty Heroines: Yoko Hirano~

When I was invited to talk about my most impressive book heroine, I immediately chose to talk about Yoko Hirano, the twenty-two-year-old female lead from my Suspense Romance, THE PLOT. Yoko is one of the strongest characters I have ever created, and I admit her story wasn’t easy to write. A strong woman by nature, she was forced to become even stronger when she was pushed into prostitution at age eighteen. Unfortunately, this horrifying experience with which many women are confronted in real life every day has made her hard, almost unfeeling.

Her only goal becomes to get revenge on the Chinese triad that has stolen her innocence and destroyed her life. And to achieve that, she is willing to go on selling her body even when she escapes the tentacles of the organization. She tries to freeze her mind and heart, and performs sexual acts with strangers like a robot. That is, until she meets Mark Chandler.

Since she was a virgin when she was forced to become a prostitute, Yoko’s opinions about men and sex are very unflattering. But she senses there is a strange chemistry between her and Mark, which she can’t explain. As a prostitute, she’d never allowed any man to kiss her on the mouth, so when Mark kisses her for the first time, she is torn between shame and love.

Feeling soiled and dirty because of her past, and afraid Mark would find out about it, she refuses to do anything about the attraction between them. But Mark is persistent, and even though Yoko’s all-consuming ambition drives her to one purpose, she finds herself dazzled by the charming antique dealer. It remains to be seen if he’ll manage to overcome all of her fears and accept love completely…

The Plot Teaser 8

~What readers say about Yoko and THE PLOT~

“I loved this story, Yoko is such a strong character. I can’t imagine going through everything she has been through and she still turns out to be a strong willed, independent, ambitious woman.”

“Mark brings out the innocent, fun loving side of Yoko. I enjoyed the storyline, the interactions between characters, just the overall book. I’ll definitely be reading more books by this author.”

“A very powerful read. Human trafficking is and will always be a sensitive, controversial issues and Melinda De Ross weaves a story that will both grab and empower you to understand and feel every page of this book”

“Best work ever, Melinda.”

“De Ross handles the disastrous effects of human trafficking in a believable, sensible fashion.”

“Melinda De Ross gives us another spine tingling story. This is more intense then all her other books!”

“This was a very intense read throughout , something completely different to what I have read before.”

Buy links:
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/zqHzf0
Amazon UK: https://goo.gl/v6NXkh
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/633190
Barnes&Noble: http://goo.gl/By1ST0
Google Play: https://goo.gl/q0pqPt and everywhere eBooks are sold.

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Melinda De Ross (real name Anca-Melinda Coliolu) is an international author of Romanian origin. She writes in two languages, and her books combine the elegance specific to the European style with the modern appeal of the American culture. She has a Law degree and has been a professional target shooter for over a decade. Her favorite genre to read and write in is Romance, and anytime she prefers to watch a classic movie instead of going to a noisy club.
She loves to hear from her readers, and you can find her at:

WHO’S THAT GIRL?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melinda-De-Ross/513999791983330

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163748.Melinda_De_Ross

FiveStars

~My Review~

I give THE PLOT five stars. I absolutely loved it. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess I’ll start with the feisty female. From the very beginning we see that Yoko is smart and ambitious. She only wants to better her life, not only for herself, but for her family.

Then the unthinkable happens and those dreams are stolen from her. I admire her courage and her ability to stay strong during those dark years. When she breaks free from those chains she’s determined to make those who hurt her pay.

Then she meets Mark and she has to make a decision: give up her plan for revenge and turn to love instead or turn her back on love and seek the vengeance she’s dreamed about for years. You have to read the book to find out what happens.

But I will tell you this, Mark is the perfect man for her. He’s kind, caring, sexy and he has a few secrets of his own. Purchase your copy of THE PLOT to find out if Yoko chooses to follow her heart or if she allows her need for revenge to lead her away from love. Trust me, you won’t be sorry and you’ll be surprised by the twists and turns the author takes you on. I highly recommend The Plot by Melinda De Ross.