Spotlight on Karen Erickson and…

Tempting Cameron/LONE PINE LAKE #2

TC KEBOOK BLURB: For Cameron McKenzie, Chloe Dawson has always just been his younger sister Jane’s best friend—a pesky annoyance who followed him around and acted like he hung the moon. It isn’t until Jane’s wedding to her firefighter beau Chris that Chloe reappears in his life…and she isn’t pesky or annoying anymore. In fact, the beautiful Chloe tempts him beyond reason. But Cam knows he’s damaged goods—not nearly good enough for Lone Pine Lake’s resident good girl.

Chloe’s always dreamed of a future with the dark, brooding Cam, and after they share an explosive kiss, she wonders if her dream could be coming true. Cam’s never stuck around his hometown for long, though, so she makes him an offer: one sweet summer romance with no strings attached. This good girl’s ready for an adventure…one that just might end up lasting a lifetime.

EXCERPT:

She started to walk away but he stopped her, curled his hand around the crook of her elbow. Her skin was soft, silky. His knuckles brushed against her chest, sent a shockwave through him that rendered him completely still.

“You’re not boring,” he murmured. “Everyone moves at a different pace. Everyone has a different purpose. I think you might’ve already found yours.”

She swallowed hard. He saw the delicate movement of her throat. Without thought, he drew his thumb across the inside of her upper arm, swore he felt her shiver from his touch. Electricity crackled and sparked between them, heady and fluid, and he drew her closer. Closer…

“I should go inside,” she repeated, her voice shaky. “I sound like such a baby, complaining when one of my dearest friends just got married. Your sister. God, you must think I’m completely selfish…”

He cut her off with his lips, rendering her completely silent. She did talk too much. Way too damn much…but she also seemed sad. A little lost.

And he could relate. Despite her thinking he had it together, he didn’t. He was as lost as she, maybe even more so.

MINI REVIEW: I love Karen Erickson’s steamy Historical novels, but lately I’ve been checking her Contemporary ones and I like them. A lot!

‘Tempting Cameron’ comes on the heels of ‘Jane’s Gift’ which I read and reviewed for Christmas, and is the second book in the Lone Pine Lake series. Don’t fret if you haven’t read the first as they’re stand alone, but you’ll be missing a great intro into McKenzie family and Lone Pine Lake residents.

Both characters are likable and just so very real and their happily ever after worth the read.

Karen Erickson has a knack for creating characters that are filled with humanity, for the lack of a better word. These people she populates her stories are just too real, and they just jump off the pages to grab you and pull you deep into their problems, their troubles that you can easily forget your own.

What may surprise you, as it did me, is that this author can write erotic, sensual, steamy and waaaay too hot romance as well as the sweet, touching and STILL sensual without that scorching hot factor, and you won’t even notice ‘till you’re at the end of the story. Oh and the endings of her stories will leave you with this feeling of utter awe and satisfaction…peace and contentment…and a wide smile!

Highly recommend and not to be missed if you’re into contemporary genre.

Karen EricksonAUTHOR BIO: I’ve always loved the written word. From being one of the best readers in my kindergarten class to penning romantic stories that never ended about my favorite band members (Duran Duran!) in high school, I always had a feeling I wanted to write. It just took me a while to seriously pursue it.

With the birth of my third child came a realization – it’s one thing to talk about writing a book, another thing entirely to do so. So I decided to go for it and in 2005 I began my pursuit in writing toward publication. After completing a few clunkers that should never see the light of day, I was first published in 2006. I currently write for Samhain Publishing (sexy, glamorous contemporary romance), Entangled Publishing’s Bliss Imprint (sweet, small town contemporary romance), Avon Impulse/Harper Collins (historical romance) and Carina Press (historical romance).

On a personal note, I’m a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with my husband and three children, the dog and way too many cats.

‘Five Golden Rings: A Christmas Collection’ by Sophie Barnes, Karen Erickson, Rena Gregory, Sandra Jones & Vivienne Lorret

STORY: The holidays are a time for wishes, magic and, of course, love. Celebrate the season with this delightful collection of Christmas tales. 

What better way for Connor Talbot, Earl of Redfirn, to spend the holidays than convincing Leonora Compton that the only match she needs to make is with him!

The Duke of Ashton has had three years to plan for his perfect Christmas present—the Lady Eleanor Fitzsimmons as his wife. Now, all he has to do is convince the reluctant lady …

Phin Baldwin does not believe in Christmas magic … until the clever and beautiful Ginny Overton gets it into her head to show him how wonderful it can be when wishes come true.

Just returned from the Crusades, marriage is the last thing on Sir Caerwyn’s mind. But will he be able to resist Lady Nia, the thief of his boyhood heart, when she tempts him yet again?

Responsible Ethan Weatherstone is determined to save Penelope Rutledge—and her reputation—from her silly scheme, but can he save himself from the temptation of her lips?

REVIEW:  This collection of short stories was an excellent way for me to get acquainted with some of the authors I’ve never read before, such as Rena Gregory, Vivienne Lorret and Sandra Jones. Sophie Barnes and Karen Erickson are somewhat familiar to me as I read only a handful of their novels, but I’ve been very impressed with both so far.

In “Mistletoe Magic” by Sophie Barnes you’ll find a pair of matchmakers in hero and heroine who’ll make you laugh out loud with the antics they come up with to match the ‘unsuspecting’ duo. Loved it!

Karen Erickson’s “His Perfect Gift” made me root for this Duke and his heroine. I loved the story and the second characters of this story were also fun to read about. Loved it!

“War of the Magi” by Rena Gregory gave us a hero that needed someone like the heroine to point him in a right direction and show him the joy of the season. Cute and sweet, with some interesting characters on the side. Liked it!

In “Her Christmas Knight” by Sandra Jones I was wishing for a Knight of my own! If you love stories with a second chances, this one’s a must then. It will make your eyes mist and the end will leave you satisfied and warm all over. Loved it!

Vivienne Lorret’s story “Tempting Mr. Weatherstone” brings us two childhood friends who finally find courage to admit love for each other, but the road to it is fun-filled with adventure our heroine is craving for. Liked it!

‘Five Golden Rings’ was a wonderful collection of fun, entertaining and character driven short holiday stories. Overall I found the writing very good and each story unique and fun.  A great holiday read!

‘Jane’s Gift’ by Karen Erickson

STORY: A devastating house fire cost Jane Clark nearly everything: her husband, her confidence, and her looks, with the physical scars marbling her body. Now, two years later, she’s living and healing back in her childhood hometown of Lone Pine Lake. The upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring some Christmas cheer into her young children’s lives, starting with a visit to the firehouse, where her brother’s best friend has offered to help quell their residual fears.

Lone Pine’s resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. He’s an everyday local hero, so he’s never wanting for attention around the holidays. But when Jane Clark shows up, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful widow—even though kids and commitment have never been his style.

Despite her brother’s warnings about his friend’s playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can’t help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. The holidays are a time of new beginnings, but can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?

REVIEW: The above blurb is a perfect hook for this heartwarming and very touching story of one woman’s acceptance of the tragedy that befell her family and hope for their future.

Jane Clark is surrounded by her children, her siblings and her parents, yet deep down she feels that the hole in her heart where her husband used to dwell, is empty. And when she decides to face her fears of fires and meets a man who just might help her do that and possibly offer her a second chance in love, she isn’t sure of herself, nor of the man himself.

Christian Nelson was surprised how quickly he became attracted to the young widow and how much he started to care for her children. As a new friend to her brother Mac, he knows that his reputation of ‘player’ might hurt his chances with Jane, but what worries him even more is his fear of commitment.

MY GOD! The chemistry between these two was AWESOME! Every scene between the two was electric. The author blew me away with the tension build up! As I was reading the story, through Chris’ eyes, I just went through everything he felt. My heart beat faster and the tension had me shaking at some moments. The sexual chemistry was jumping off the page, that’s how good this story is!

Yes, there’s a lot of pull and push, second guessing, family drama and cute kids to boot, but make no mistake, this is romance at its best. I am so glad I read it! Another must for your Christmas List!

I am new to Karen Erickson’s work, but I mean to correct that very soon!

“Lessons in Indiscretion” by Karen Erickson

STORY: Widowed Lady Julia Renwick is still young enough to crave a man’s touch; but she’s too old to think that the Earl of Bedingfield could see her as anything more than a family friend. Garrett Walker is handsome, charming and only 26 years old—the perfect catch for any one of this year’s debutantes.

Garrett has no interest in the maidens vying for his attentions. He wants only Julia. With just two weeks left in the season, he makes a bold move by asking her to dance. When she counters with a shocking request of her own, Garrett eagerly agrees.

Soon, they are stealing away for passionate encounters at every society event they attend. Garrett introduces Julia to excitements she never knew existed, and her newfound confidence quickly attracts other eligible men. It’s not long before Garrett realizes he must find a way to keep the lady all to himself…

REVIEW: By now, if you’re one of my blog followers, you already know my weak spot for older woman/younger man stories. You all know that I’ve basically ‘robbed the cradle’ as it were, by marrying a young man that’s twelve years my junior, and that I’m enjoying every minute of our life together. And because of that, it came as no surprise to me how easily I identified with Lady Julia Renwick. Here she is, at thirty-one and a widow that most of her married life suppressed her sexuality. Her husband was older than she and her passionate nature had been subdued by his proper lovemaking. As this story opens, she finally makes the decision to take a lover. This decision wasn’t made lightly. She even has a man in mind.

Garrett Walker, the Earl of Bedingfield is twenty-six years old, and he’s known Julia since he was fourteen. His father was friends with her husband and they belonged to the same circles. He watched her from afar and liked her very much. He respected her and now that she’s widowed, he wants her as his lover. His desire for her is overwhelming and all-consuming for him to wait, so he sets out to seduce her.

As these two passionate people come together for a one Season’s liaison, we’re treated to a very hot and sensual romance that is too short. I wanted this to keep going, and going and going!

I loved this strong and determined woman. She acknowledges who and what she is. She has no grand illusions about this ‘affair of the lust’ and she is more than ready to experience the passion only Garrett can give her.

Oh, and now I come to Garrett! From the moment he asks Julia to dance with him, I just knew I’d like this rascal! He doesn’t give a rat’s ass of what society thinks of him. He is arrogant, handsome, and sought after by a bevy of beauties, married and unmarried.  He wants none, but Lady Julia. Every scene written with them just sparkles and sizzles! From the garden scene, then the carriage scene and their bedroom scene, I just enjoyed it all. The end of their story just made me cry. How cool was this Dude! I’m not spoiling it for you when I tell you I shed happy tears at the way they get their HEA! Karen Erickson wrote a very erotic romance that melted my heart and gave me a hero to remember for a long, long time. So the long and short of it is this: Lady Julia Renwick and Garrett Walker were putty in the hands of Karen Erickson who has managed a perfect balance between romance and erotica with this short yet still sweet and heartwarming story.

 

*To buy this book, click on its cover, to visit Author’s website, click on her name*

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*