Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Take You to Another World Contest Day #10


Today, Jaci Burton is here giving away a copy of her fabulous new book, Riding the Night. I've been a huge Jaci fan for years, so it's a thrill for me to have her here at Love Musings-- she's a terrific writer and a wonderful person. So leave a comment below for a chance to win.

Blurb:

AJ and Pax work together as undercover operatives for a government agency of bad-boy bikers known as the Wild Riders. And though they play as hard as they work, both men are looking for the one woman who can tame them…

On vacation, AJ and Pax run into AJ’s high school sweetheart, Teresa. While they’re catching up at Teresa’s bar, a fight erupts between two biker gangs, leaving one man dead and Teresa’s brother wrongly accused of murder. With no proof and Teresa as the only eye witness, the trio points their Harleys toward the annual bike rally in South Dakota in hot pursuit of the real killer…

Her life in jeopardy, AJ and Pax become Teresa’s fierce protectors. But a past trauma keeps Teresa guarded, unable to trust them--until AJ and Pax uncover her secret and vow to do anything to help her heal. And in their arms she discovers a sensual desire that knows no boundaries, a passion strong enough to overcome her tragic past and awaken a force that brings both men to their knees.

Danger may temporarily bind the three together, but it’s their shared passion that will lead them to the ride of their lives: love.

Excerpt:
Dawn hadn’t filtered yet through the blinds on Teresa’s windows, only shades of gray announcing it was morning but too early to get up.
It didn’t matter. She hadn’t slept much anyway, had tossed and turned, wondering what Pax and AJ were doing, coupled with random thoughts about the bar fight, what she’d witnessed, and her worry about Joey’s welfare. None of that added up to the ability to get a restful sleep.
She took a shower and got dressed, opening the bedroom door and moving into the living room, surprised to find both the guys there. AJ was asleep on the sofa, Pax sitting in a chair near the front window. He turned to her and smiled, grabbed the pistol sitting on the table next to him and slid it into his pants.

For some reason, knowing they were armed comforted her. Besides, there was something sexy as hell about a guy carrying a weapon who knew how to use it. Not for show or to look tough, but because it was part of his job.
“Heard anything from the police station yet?”
Pax shook his head. “Nothing, but it’s early.” He came over to her, brushed his knuckles along her cheek. “Too early for you to be awake. You didn’t get much sleep.”
She took a step back, not used to the little thrill that shot up her spine at his touch. She liked it, which made her uncomfortable as hell. “I’m fine. I’ll go make coffee.”
“It’s already made.”
“It is?”

“Yeah. I brewed a pot a little while ago. Go kick the couch and wake up AJ. I’ll start breakfast.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
He gave her a look over his shoulder, and a smile that made her toes curl. “I want to.”
A guy who made himself at home in her kitchen. That was also a little disconcerting. And comforting. And sexy.
It had been five years. And maybe it wasn’t freaking her out as much as it used to. She’d wanted to get back in the game again for a long time now. She was tired of being afraid, of letting what had happened rule her life. She wanted to be a woman again, and damn if she was going to let those guys ruin her. Every man wasn’t like they had been.
Every guy wasn’t going to hurt her. And maybe every guy wasn’t going to run away when he found out the truth about her.

She moved over to the sofa. AJ was too big for her average-sized couch. One arm was slung over his head, his booted feet hung over the edge of the arm. Beard stubble peppered his jaw, making his face look dark and ruthless. AJ had never been ruthless. A bad boy, yes, but he’d always been the fun kind of bad boy.
And he’d never hurt her.
Once, he’d loved her. And she’d loved him. But that love hadn’t been enough to keep him out of trouble. They’d just been kids, on the verge of adulthood. Neither of them had known what they were doing back then. It had been innocent and intense, as all teenage romances are.
Ten years later she still didn’t know what she was doing. Nor did she know who AJ really was now, other than he was one of the good guys.
She smiled. She liked that he was one of the good guys. It suited him. But he still carried an edge of danger that fit him well, too.
“You’re staring.”

Startled, she jumped back, realizing he’d moved his arm and his eyelids were partially open, revealing smoky grays studying her. She tried to calm her racing heart. Goddammit, when was she going to relax? “Sorry. I debated waking you.”
“I was already awake. Pax walks like a herd of elephants.”
“Fuck you,” Pax said from the kitchen.
AJ sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the sofa and planted his feet on the floor. “Plus, I smelled coffee.” He dragged his fingers through his hair, winked his sleep-laden gaze at the window, then turned his attention on her. “It’s still dark out. Why are you up?”
“I slept enough.”
He tilted his head to the side, examining her with his intense gaze, then stood, came closer. He reached out and grasped a strand of her hair in his hand. He held it light, not demanding, just let it sift through his fingers, his gaze focused on her face. “You look tired.”
She inhaled, let it out on a shiver of awareness. What was it about these guys that got to her, that made her so cognizant of them as men? Her usual wariness was absent when they were around, the blocks she put up nonexistent. She knew AJ, but he’d been gone a long time. She didn’t know Pax at all. And yet she’d let them stay in her house last night.
None of this made sense. She was usually a lot more guarded.

“Who’s hungry?” Pax called from the kitchen.
AJ’s lips curled in a way that made her stomach tumble and heat flush her skin.
“I’m hungry,” AJ whispered, so only she could hear.
He let go of her hair and walked away.
Her heart was pounding and her palms were sweaty. But it wasn’t from fear.
She took a full minute to get her body and emotions under control, then went into the kitchen to join Pax and AJ.
Question of the Day: I think Pax is a fantastic heroine, which gave me the idea for today's question. Who are some of your favorite heroines in romance novels? I really like Xhex from Lover Mine, Eve Dallas from Nora's Born in series, Mercy in the Patricia Briggs series, and Mercy from Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series.

53 comments:

  1. My favorite heroine is Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like all the heroines from Kate Pearce's House of Pleasure series. She writes smart heroines who know how to communicate what they want without being bitchy. :)

    Crossing my fingers for a win, because I LOVE Jaci's books, and this series especially!

    ~Lindy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh I agree, Lizzie Bennett is fantastic! In contemporary books I love Elena is Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series and Kate from Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. I also love Anne Shirley from the Anne series by LM Montgomery, yes, I consider the Anne books romantic :-)

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great question...
    I would have to say some of my favorite heroines would have to be Caroline in Sweet Caroline by Lissa Matthews, Grace from Stranger by Megan Hart, Lady Lyssa from The Vampire Queen's Servant series by Joey W Hill. They all have their own independence and that is important to me when I am reading a book. I do not want some wishy-washy character who does not have a backbone for one, who does not believe in herself, who does not know what powers she possess as a woman.. heart and soul.
    Thanks Tracy!
    alliwantandmorebooks@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love Jaci's Wild Rider series books.....can't wait for this one! :)

    A couple of my favorite heroines are Beth Randall in Dark Lover and Bella in Lover Awakened! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was also going to say Elena, from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series...and also Paige Winterbourne from the same series. I loved how we got to see Paige really grow into herself and her powers during the course of the series~

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can hardly wait for this installment of the Wild Riders.

    I like the WARDens's Xhex, too - and so many others, hey, it's hard to pick.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love Stephanie Plum from Janet Evanovich's Plum Series. Very funny but tough!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Xhex is one of my faves too! I also really like Charlie Madigan from Kelly Gay's The Better Part of Darkness.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of my favorites is the heroines of The Master of Times series by Brenda Joyce. Your book sounds really good and I love the cover.
    Sue B

    ReplyDelete
  11. Riley Jensen from Keri Arthur's series is my favorite!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I to really like Xhex from Lover Mine, Mercy- P Briggs, Riley- Keri Arthur's series, Rachel- Kim Harrison series, and there are so many more I can name...Great interview and the book sounds like a really good summer read...add me to the giveaway, please...
    Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello,

    Wow, this is a good question - I'm usually so focused on my favorite heroes. I have a couple that come to mind - Samara Lyons from Christy Reece's LCR series, Skeeter from Tara Janzen's Loose Series, Suz Brockmann's heroine's are always so well written and complex. Congrats on the upcoming book.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love my heroines that have humor, wit, dedication and compassion.

    Some of my favorites are Blue Bailey, Phoebe Calebow, and Molly Tucker from SEP's Chicago Star series, Claire Fraser from Outlander series, and Callie from Laura Kinsale's Lesson In French.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love Eve from the in the Death Series. To me she is one of the best characters written.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have to vote for Xhex too... I just read Lover Mine a couple weeks ago and she keeps popping up in my head!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I agree...Xhex is a great choice. I also like Kitty Norville from Carrie Vaughn's werewolf dj series. She's strong and is the alpha in her clan so you know she can kick-butt.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have to admit, Eve Dallas is my favorite heroine. I also like Lizzie from the Demonslayers series by Angie Fox.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Jaz Parks (Jennifer Rarding) is one of my favorite ones... and I really like Joanne Baldwin by Rachel Caine

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love Elena from Nalini Singh's Angel series and Miki from Shelly Laurenston's Magnus Pack series.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love this series!

    Some of my fav heroines are of course Eve Dallas, Madeline from Dangerous Desires by Dee Davis, and Grace from Lori Foster's Too Much Tempation.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I'm gonna have to go with Anya from Gena Showalter's The Darkest Kiss, Cat from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series and Mercy from Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series too. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Great list so far, Rachel Morgan is another one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love Sonia from Allison Brennan's "Fatal Secrets" and Johanna from Julie Garwood's "Saving Grace."

    ReplyDelete
  25. I adore Nina from Lauren Dane's Cascadia Wolves series. She has some of the best lines ever! Renee from Trinity is great also. Destiny from Christine Feehan's Dark series and MaryAnn as well.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hmm... some favorite heroines are Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray's--Sirantha Jax, Kyra, Mia... all smart, tough women who mostly know their own minds and are more than capable of taking care of themselves. That said, they never veer into chip-on-the-shoulder, overly independent mode. They're just fabulous to read!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really like Erin Grayson from Angela Knight's Master of the Night.

    Thanks,
    Tracey D

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like Kate Daniels and generally any spunky heroine with a sense of humor.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow, ummm....let's see: Eve Dallas from Nora Roberts In Death Series, Meredith Gentry from Laurell K Hamilton's series, Brenna from Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series, and Nina Reyes from Lauren Dane's Cascadia Wolves series. I think I love the series heroine's so much because their characters grow throughout the stories.

    ReplyDelete
  30. One of my favorites is Heather from Adrian Phoenix's Makers Song series.

    ReplyDelete
  31. oh, i do love Xhex! i also love Cat from the night huntress series. And Simi!!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I love Roanna Davenport from Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard.

    ReplyDelete
  33. That is almost too simply and way to hard, lets ponder ....
    Hawke - Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series
    Anna - Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega Series
    Dev - Syndey Croft ACRO Series
    Dr. Armani - Lora Leigh's Breed series

    ReplyDelete
  34. I think that my favorite characters right now are anita blake and Missy from Christine warren's book. both are such differnt characters but are fun to watch kick butt and fall in love

    ReplyDelete
  35. This sounds great! I love this series!

    Kelly Benton in Nauti Boy by Lora Leigh
    Jessie Matthews inRiding Temptation by Jaci Burton
    Chessa Tomas in Seduced by Darkness by Delilah Devlin

    ReplyDelete
  36. I love all of Jaci's heroines! I also love Skeeter Bang. I can't wait to read this one, it's been too long on the Wild Riders. I adore this series.

    ReplyDelete
  37. My favorite Heroins?

    Let's see I've become very fond of all the heroins from G.A. Aiken's Dragon Kin series so far.

    I've also liked Mina and Anna from Joey W. Hill's Daughters of Arianne series.

    Oh and I also liked Adrienne De Simone from Karen Marie Mooning's Highlander series.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Two of my favorites are Eve Dallas in J.D. Robb's In Death series. I also recently fell in love with Brittany Ellis in the young adult novel Perfect Chemistry. Stephanie Plum is also a favorite for all the crazy situations she ends up in.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Eve and Xhex definitely, Anya from LOTU (she's the goddess of anarchy, what's not to love?), and Blair Mallory from To Die For.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I tried not to read the other comments so I wouldn't be influenced by them. I love the Wild Riders series, BTW!

    To take a little different bent from what it looked like people were picking I'll go with Lisa Kleypas' heroines in her historicals. Rarely are they shrinking violets and they go after what they want. I also love the heroines in Jennifer Crusie's books, particularly the ones she writes along with Bob Mayer.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great question and I would have to say that there are so many it's hard to pick just a few...but the first that comes to mind are ..
    Anita Blake from Laurell K. Hamilton and All the Heroines from Christine Feehan's Dark Series. She has written them all so that they are fierce and funny at the same time.

    miztik_rose@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. My faves are Jessie from Jaci's Riding Temptation & Aislinn from Straight Up by Deirdre Martin.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I go for authors who write strong females. Croft, Ward, Dennison, Davidson's Queen Betsy, Laurens' Linnett, Holly, Feehan, Dodd, Holly, Dane, Burton, Kenyon, Banks, Foster, MacAlister's Ash Gray, OMG too many friends to list.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I agree about Mercy from Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series. A favorite for sure.

    marypres@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love that the UF genre features so many great heroines. I guess my favorites right now are Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson. Another heroine that I just love is Alexia Tarabotti from Gail Carriger's Soulless and Changeless. She's just so forward and unflappable, yet so Victorian.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Any of Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling women are interesting heroines.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love Kate from Ilona Andrews :)
    greetings, Chris

    ReplyDelete
  48. Such a great question, and there have been many already listed that I love. I think some of my favorites heroines from books that I have read within the last year or so were Jane from Charlotte Featherstone's Sinful, Erin from Lauren Dane's Laid Bare, Callie from Sarah McLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake and Keely from Lorelei James's All Jacked Up....oh and one more Sara from Shiloh Walker's Broken!

    Needless to say these have also been some of my favorite reads this year. I am so looking forward to all the books Jaci has coming out the rest of this year!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I like Claire from Rachel Caine's Morganville, Cassie from the Cassandra Palmer series of Karen Chance, Clary from Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruements.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love Mercy from Patrictia Briggs too..and Cat from Jeaniene Frosts Series

    ReplyDelete
  51. i agree with you - eve dallas rocks!

    meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  52. Eve Dallas has got to be the all time top heroine but the current one generally changes with what I'm reading.

    ReplyDelete