My newest guilty pleasure is That Man (1-3) by Nelle L’Amour. For me, it’s always about the characters. I have to be pulled into their world, become invested in their story. I have to know how things turn out in the end. They must be flawed, daring, weak and strong. In short, they have to breathe.
I would have probably never heard of this book had I not received an invite to host a pre-release tour for That Man (2). Included in the material packet were excerpts from the first and second serials. The concept of a woman going from working in a children’s television network to working at SIN TV, an adult entertainment network was interesting. Throw in a hot dare, gorgeous billionaire bent on winning her heart and a tense plot and you have the perfect book confection. I loved part one and was inspired to immediately buy two and three on release, which I devoured. If you haven’t picked this one up, you should.
So, what guilty pleasures are you reading this month?
Elemental Magic #1
Blurb: Writer Liv Corrigan has the worst luck with men — her telepathy tends to make them run for the hills. When she meets widower and ex-cop Jack Roarke, she decides to keep her talent hidden. Things are looking up until their third date crashes and burns as the man who murdered Jack’s wife turns out to be after him too.
Injured, Jack retreats with Liv to his house under armed guard. But with Liv’s mysteries rapidly coming unraveled, a diamond-thief killer to stop and passion in the air, the safe house is anything but safe for their hearts!
Excerpt from Earth Enchanted: Elemental Magic Book One:
Jack scanned the bookstore as he sat in the hard metal folding chair, at the small table, and wrote. He thought his hand would fall off. Whoever said writing wasn’t real work had to have been crazy. He knew things about two hours’ worth of people their mothers probably didn’t know. Mandy Lou something or other had a granny who thought he was grade A and she was his number one fan. She didn’t look old enough to be allowed to read his brand of horror, but she had two copies of each of his books.
Jack had politely—he hoped—shrugged off the forty invitations to dinner, fourteen offers for coffee, and two very indecent proposals for ‘wild, hanging from the chandelier sex’ to quote one lovely fan. All in all, a long day barely described it, but he’d seen people and observed, that was for sure. If it helped with the new book, it might have been worth it, and then again maybe not.
Ellie dropped by to see how things were going, and then promptly ran away when he tried to beg out. He didn’t like being maneuvered, and Ellie was a champion at it. Entertaining the notion of strangling her got him through the second hour, but considering he needed a good editor, he changed his mind.
The line grew shorter. While he juggled the newest Hastings baby on his knee, which the boy’s proud papa had insisted on, Jack inscribed a message in the front cover to Mrs. Hastings, another number one fan and the mother of six children all under ten. How does she have the time to read at all? His message to her read, “Mrs. Hastings, I’m your number one fan. You rule. Jack.” Mentally saluting her efforts, he passed back junior, and sent them on their way. He automatically reached for the book a slim hand offered. Eyes down on the cover of what he’d created, he said the same thing he’d told countless others. “Hi, who should I make this out to?”
“Just sign it to Olivia Corrigan, fellow mystery writer.”
Her voice alone lifted his eyes to meet hers, a musical lilt that teased of mist and bogs, faeries and leprechauns. She was dressed professionally, but he could easily imagine her calling up a wild wind or casting spells. She was only about 5’4” and slim, claimed black Irish coloring. He saw a flash of what might have been a premonition, but after blocking the gift so long he couldn’t hold on to it. Did he smell rain? Candles or lightning? But the sun was shining. For a moment he just stared, couldn’t speak , and was certain he knew her but couldn’t remember where from.
“Is something the matter?”
He quickly signed her book, before he forgot that was the reason for their meeting in the first place. She was the last in line, and he was free. Thank God! Sorry, muse, position filled.
“Jack Roarke, it’s a pleasure, Miss Corrigan.”
To Take Up The Sword
Elemental Magic #2
Blurb: Missing diamonds and a killer on the loose…will a schoolteacher and FBI agent escape with their lives and hearts intact?
After the acquittal of Gueraldi’s right hand and favored killer for hire, Ashton Smythe, Special Agent Gabriel Spiller takes time away from his work with the FBI. Having failed in his mission to avenge his lost would be lover, Serena Roarke, Gabe returns to Alabama in search of the missing diamonds needed to reopen the investigation and to lay low from the death threats he’s received since Smythe went free.
Almost two years after her sister’s death, Leannan O’Neal feels the loss of Serena more now than ever. A secret meeting between them before she died left Lea with an ugly figurine and nothing but questions. Hang-up calls at work and a trashed house reminds her of the card Serena gave her. “If you find yourself in trouble, go to him and only him” were the last words her sister spoke to her.
With Smthye out for revenge and hot on her heels, Lea goes on the run in search of Serena’s ‘Angel’, but how long can Gabe keep her alive, and is the cost worth more than her life?
Wait for the Wind
Elemental Magic #3
Blurb: Kate O’Connell grew up loved by the Corrigan family, all the while suffering from the inescapable reality of her own alcoholic father. At a young age she gave her heart and innocence to Ryan Corrigan. For once happiness seemed within her reach, until in one horror-filled night, the monster she called ‘Daddy’ changed everything.
Too many misunderstandings forced Kate and Ryan apart, but now Kate’s come home to open her clinic and raise her daughter, Allaina, closer to his family. Will she be able to open Ryan’s heart to his magic?
Ryan is glad to be back on Irish soil, but the reason he left still haunts him. As he tries to build a new life and redeem his past, can he forgive Kate and reclaim his healing gift in time to save his sister and her twins?
Elemental Magic #4
Blurb: Love can come along at the most inconvenient times…
Skye Corrigan treasures family above all else. Standing by his best friend Rhia while she suffers the heartache of losing her father to cancer has strengthened their childhood bond. Lately Rhia affects him in ways she never has before.
Rhiannon O’Malley shares Skye’s past and hopes for a future with him, but love must come with a willing heart. Her father’s terminal illness has left her in charge of the family pub. Skye has always been there for her, but when their relationship changes, will she find the courage to claim the future? Or will a thousand-year-old curse keep its grip on two hostage hearts?
Excerpt from Sea’s Sorceress: Elemental Magic Book Four
Note* Edited slightly for word count. Actually book text may differ.
Rhiannon pushed open the swinging door into the kitchen. Skye turned to her, smiled and pulled out a chair at the small table he used for breaks. She sat and sort of melted into the chair and rested her forehead on the table. The pub belonged to her family, but this was his space, his territory, no matter whose hands prepared food here. “Your ex-girlfriend is evil. Pure evil.” She mumbled into the tabletop and didn’t protest when his long artist fingers began rubbing circles into her aching shoulders and neck. His touch was steady, soothing. The stress eked away.
“Yes, she is. Better?”
“Mmm.” Had that purring sound actually come from her lips? His hands felt like heaven. “Much.”
“Then eat your soup, love, and keep me company while I work.” He patted her shoulder and walked back to the sink. Tension bounced off him like waves.
“Ah, we need three orders of apple tarts. Two for the Finneys and the other for the table in the back. A peace offering.” She sipped the soup and watched him take four saucers off a stack and fill the order.
He’d tied up his black hair with a leather band and now it fell in a thick rope of silk between his shoulder blades. What would it feel like if she ran her fingers down its length? Better not to think about that too much. Damn him for threatening to kiss her.
Skye gave her a dazzling smile and handed her one of the saucers. “Be right back.” He gathered the other plates onto a tray and took them out to the waitress. When he came back to the kitchen, Skye sat next to her at the table.
“You’d have kissed me in front of everybody if I hadn’t come back here.”
“Hmm?” He tilted his head to the side, the tiny little scar at the corner of his eye crinkled. Did anyone besides her ever notice it? She’d been twelve that day, plenty old enough to go down to the water. Or so she had thought, until a loose rock sent her tumbling down the path. Skye had caught her, but not before a large stone had flown up and nicked the skin by his left eye.
Skye leaned in and whispered in her ear. “In a heartbeat, and enjoyed it.” His mouth brushed her cheek as he pulled back.
“You never did play fair.”
“All’s fair in love and most of the time both sides can find a way to win.”
“Would you have been sorry?”
“Never. I care about you, Rhia.”
“Well then. I guess that’s good to know.”
“I think we need to talk about earlier on the phone. I–”
Looking for a distraction, she gave up, leaned over and took a bite of the offered treat. “Mmm. It’s excellent. What’s gotten into you, Skye?”
“Magic. Lots of it.” His eyes skimmed down over her mouth and her lips began to tingle. Her stomach fluttered. Would he kiss her? Did she want him to? Yes. She almost closed the distance herself. She just didn’t want to talk about her feelings for him. He’d be kind, sweet when he told her he didn’t love her. She couldn’t bear that and so she changed the subject.
“Want to tell me about that?”
“Liv almost died today.”
“What! Skye. You told me she was all right!”
“She is. Now.” He took her hands in his, eyes bright with excitement. “I wish you could have been there, Rhia. I told you it was amazing. Ryan healed her. Well, Jack, Allie, Devin and I lent what energy we could, but Ryan saved her. She was bleeding out.”
“He healed her?”
“Yes. I was thinking we could try something like that with your father.”
The hope in his voice broke her heart. Hadn’t she already tried everything within her power? With Devin’s help, she had cast a circle and pleaded with the goddess to heal her Da. Nothing had worked. He was still sick. Cancer was devouring her father’s body and his time. Dr, Kate O’Connell–and if Skye’s prediction was right, soon to be Mrs. Ryan Corrigan and Skye’s sister-in-law–had given him a couple of weeks, but in truth nobody thought he would make it that long. Two days ago, he’d driven himself to Kate’s clinic alone, but this morning he hadn’t been able to get out of bed. He wouldn’t even eat. She had seen the agony in his eyes when she’d carefully hugged him before heading in to town to open up. To know her touch caused him such pain broke her heart.
“Skye.” She squeezed his hand and was surprised when he twined his fingers through hers. “I know you mean well, but magic won’t help him.”
“I want to help, Rhia. Let me ask.” Skye pressed a kiss to her hand in an old fashioned gesture.
“Devin has already tried. There is nothing more to do, nothing more anyone can do. I have to get back to work. Thanks for the meal.” She picked up her bowl and glass, set them on the counter, and walked back into the dining room.
Well, that was awkward. For a split second she had thought he would kiss her. Did she want him to? Did he really think about her like that? And how could she let herself think about Skye when her father was dying?
Elemental Magic #5 (series end)
Blurb: Ultimate power, or endless love?
Born the son of a Scottish laird a thousand years ago, but now trapped by his cousin’s spell, Devin McLoch has seen countless battles and death. The erstwhile thief has turned away from darker pursuits to lead a life of peace, protecting those he loves and considers part of his clan.
However, there is one woman he can never forget, who must be given a chance to change, to accept her heart and his.
Arianne Farrell is just as dangerous and intoxicating as her power. Imprisoned in an ancient stone dance more than a thousand years ago, her only chance at freedom from the spell is through love—a love she denied. When Devin asks for her aid to save another from imminent death, she realizes there is more at stake than just her freedom or her heart.
Excerpt 3 from Fire’s Ice: Elemental Magic Book Five
Dark, rich chocolate colored bedding echoed the tile framing the fireplace. Dainty furniture, curved legs and soft cushions, yet the poster bed was large and sturdy. She’d seen it before while she visited his dreams. Definitely Devin’s room. And remembering didn’t help the ache snaking through her body.
Walking into the en suite, the first thing to catch her eyes was the floor-to-ceiling mirror covering one wall. Arianne studied her reflection. Her long, dark curls were mussed and tangled around a pale face. Her lips were pink and just a bit swollen from Devin’s kiss. The only thing she wore was a long white shirt. Sniffing the collar, she smelled the crisp, clean fragrance clinging to the material. His shirt, not conjured. Devin didn’t wear cologne, but the scent of his soap always stayed with her. He must have changed her clothes. What else had she missed?
Because I love you. Men were ever a puzzle. Still, hadn’t she known? The dreams they shared had changed over time, slow and sweet instead of hot and fierce. A softness came over his face each night she visited his sleep, the same one she had seen this morning. Just that look was enough to have her quaking inside.
She found a bottle of bubble bath on the side of the tub. Thanks to Devin’s dreams and Allie’s influence, she had knowledge of modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing. Turning the faucet on hot, Arianne poured two capfuls under the stream and let the water run until the big round tub filled. Reluctantly, she unfastened the shirt buttons and let the material fall away to the floor. Slipping into the frothy bubbles, she sighed and let the reality of her situation sink in.
I am finally out of that wretched circle. True enough, but she was still in a prison of sorts. One with running water, walls, food that didn’t taste like air, and a sexy male witch bent on driving her to frustration. Not so bad, all things considered.
Being trapped in the stone dance didn’t mean she hadn’t noticed changes in the world around her for a thousand years. She tipped her feet out of the water, waved toward them, and turned her toenails a bright fiery red. Allie brought her little things from the modern world. Mostly books filled with sweet love stories; more than a few of them brought a blush to her cheeks. What would Ryan think of his daughter’s taste in novels? Better not to head down that road. Allie had dreams of being a writer like her aunt and uncle. If what she liked to read was any indication, she’d write hot. Very hot. Speaking of hot, a soft tapping sounded at the door. Her maddening laird had returned.
“Okay in there?” His voice sounded hesitant. “Breakfast is ready.”
Time to ruffle the phoenix’s feathers a bit. “There is no need to be shy, Devin. You can come in.”
The sound of splashing water rippled past his ears. Temptress.
Knowing Ari was just on the other side of the door, naked and wet, willing to succumb to every fantasy he could imagine, was a torment in itself. All he had to do was accept her sultry invitation and toss aside his plan. But she deserved a sweet slide into love, not the wild, mad rush of pleasure he craved. One palm rested on the door of its own volition, ready to comply. Not yet. Now, if only his traitorous body would listen to his heart. “That depends, sweetheart.”
“Oh?” she called out from the other side. “On what?”
Devin chuckled at the line, but he just couldn’t resist teasing her. “What are you wearing?”
She laughed. “Bubbles. Lots of bubbles. Share them with me.”
He saw it so clearly. Ari’s creamy skin peeking through the frothy bubbles. Open, welcoming. Need clawed under the skin, screamed at him. Why the hell not? Feeling a quiver of desire vibrate through his body, he called her bluff. “And what would you have me do with those bubbles? Hmm, Ari?”
“Oh, I am sure you could think of something. Something deliciously wicked. I have shared your dreams. I know your fantasies, Devin.”
Oh, you have no idea. His mind made up, Devin opened the door.
She lay in his huge garden tub, feet propped up on the rim, eyes closed, waterfall of black hair piled on top of her head. A soft smile graced her face. So she was enjoying their teasing banter. “Have you changed your mind and decided to join me?”
“Maybe.” No reason he couldn’t push them both to the edge. Pulling the t-shirt over his head, Devin tossed it into the corner. He laid his cellphone on the sink–out of danger–kneeled by the edge of the tub and dipped one hand into cooling water, using his magic to heat it.
He let his voice drop to a whisper as he leaned close to her ear. “I want to slick my hands over every inch of your skin until you shiver from the heat.” His fingers found the back of her knee in the water and trailed higher along the inside of her thigh. “And then…”
A soft “Devin” slipped from her lips as Arianne’s eyes flew open. “And then…”
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About the Author: Brynna Curry was born south of the Mason-Dixon Line. After living all over the southern states, she finally landed in North Alabama where she lives with her husband and their three children. Growing up, books fueled her dreams and imagination, ultimately becoming her salvation during the hardest times in her life.Writing is her passion, but she enjoys the fun of sharing those stories with others by reviewing books and working in publicity.
When she isn’t writing or promoting, she’s often found haunting the library for new books to read or just spending an quiet evening at home with Jackie watching old westerns on TV. Although her wizards, shifters and vampires are as real to her as anyone, she insists love is the truest magic and with it every day is another wonderful adventure.
$10 Amazon or B&N gift card to be given away on 10/1 during the kickoff of 31 Days of Halloween
1 digital copy of series