Thursday, July 26, 2012

Author, author... all about it!

Today's spotlight is...

Jessica Lauryn

For five lonely years, diamond smuggling kingpin Lucas Ramone has hidden himself from the world. With a father who has baited him all his life, made a game of trying to trip him up at every turn, Lucas will do whatever is necessary to protect what is rightfully his. What he isn’t prepared for is Lilah Benson…

Upon accepting a job in the home of her sister’s maniacal ex-fiancé, reporter Lilah Benson believes she has finally found the perfect way to make her mark on the world. Exposing the criminal endeavors of Lucas Ramone won’t soon be forgotten. But as she comes to know the man who was supposed to be her adversary, Lilah is tempted by a passion far stronger than the desire to see her name in print…

Power and control are tools of survival, critical in a world of thievery and deception. Lilah, an innocent in a land of criminals, may be the one person capable of bringing Lucas to his knees. But Lucas will stop at nothing to keep his empire secure.

He will have it all: His Fortune, His Legacy, and Lilah Benson in his bed…


Feeling the warmth of tears in her eyes, Lilah rose from the table. She never became so emotional over nothing. What in God’s name was wrong with her?

Lucas’s strong hand came against her shoulder. She didn’t pull away. In fact, she had the strangest urge to just lean into him. Like somehow, he would take away all of her doubts.

"Lena’s happy in her life with her children, and with Alec Westwood," he said. "I’d never begrudge her that. All I ever wanted was her happiness."

The way he said the words, she almost believed them. He seemed to care, or at least, maybe was trying to be a better person.

"You’re trembling," he said, reaching in before she could stop him. His finger brushed her quivering lip.

Her instinct was to smack his hand. But the tingling sensation racing from mouth to spine kept her in place. Lucas’s touch was so soft. It made her crazy. She was consumed by the strongest desire for his lips to be where his finger was now.

He took her wine glass and held it out to her. "Here," he said. "This’ll calm your nerves."

Senses returning with a bang, Lilah held up two hands in protest. "Are you trying to get me drunk?" she snapped, not entirely sure whether it was him she was angrier at or herself.

"Am I that obvious?" He laughed as if the whole thing was funny, setting the glass back down.

She enjoyed being in the company of a monster—there was nothing lighthearted about it!

"I’m guessing you’ve probably been down this road too many times, hmm?" Lucas replaced his hand on her shoulder.

"What road would that be, exactly?"

His gray eyes looked deeply into hers. "I’m sure I’m not the first man who’s tried to get you into a relaxed state, Lilah."

"Actually—" She hesitated, not wanting to get so personal yet feeling she could probably tell him anything and he’d somehow understand. "It’s been a long time, longer than you’d imagine. After I finished college, I had every intention of becoming a journalist. Meaning I’d be out most of the time chasing a story despite whatever danger came with it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted, for as long as I can remember."

He nodded, coming closer. "You must have been very persistent. It takes a good deal of perseverance and sacrifice to become a success at such a young age."

Lilah sure knew that. While her friends had been enjoying their last semester of college, she’d been frantically gathering writing samples, sending them out to every newspaper who would give her the time of day. But had her father noticed? Even when she became one of the youngest reporters at the New York Times, he’d barely raised a brow.

Deep down, she knew this was why she’d accepted Raphael’s offer, even in spite of the danger that came with it. A story about Raphael Ramone’s family laundry wasn’t going to impress Blake Benson. But exposing Lucas’s diamond smuggling operation would be a print-worthy unearthing that would win her father’s admiration as well as her first Pulitzer.

She lowered her gaze. "I haven’t given up anything so wonderful."

Lucas lifted her chin. "But if it came to that, do you think you’d be willing to make that sacrifice? Give up something you want—maybe something you want more than anything—to attain some ultimate level of self-victory?"

A chill came over her at his words. Lilah came back a step, unsure of what had just happened but wanting desperately to pretend it hadn’t.

Lucas cleared his throat. "Let’s get some air, shall we?"

Something she needed desperately. She followed him to the balcony, welcoming the cool night breeze as it caressed her hot skin.

"It’s beautiful here," she said, hoping very much to steer the conversation in a new direction.

"It is." He nodded and came beside her, bracing the rail with one hand. He slipped an arm around her back.

His body was warm—like a furnace—and he felt strong, as if he spent his days loading lumber instead of dabbling away at a computer.

Lilah shivered, goose bumps forming along her bare arms. It felt so nice being close to Lucas. Too nice. Maybe she’d just stay there with him a few minutes longer. They weren’t exactly hurting anyone by being in each other’s company.

He leaned into her, speaking in a tone she could only describe as husky. "Those men you never met," he said, "that was their loss."

She blinked, keeping her eyes on the night sky. "Please. A man’s the last thing I need in my life."

"Are you sure about that?" Lucas asked, his warm breath coming against her ear. "Or is it possible you’ve been hiding behind your work for so long, you don’t even know how things could be?" His palm brushed her bare shoulder as he turned her to face him. "No one knows what it’s like to be hidden from the world more than I do, Lilah. You can trust me on this. I think we’re more alike than you realize. And it’s possible we’re both missing out on something incredible."

She didn’t push his hand away as it cupped her cheek. Or his arm as it encompassed her waist. No, she let him do what he wanted. She wanted him to touch her...

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Wow! DANGEROUS ALLY really had a true demented villain in "Raphael" that would do anything in order to get "Project Gemstone" from his son. I really hope that he pays for everything that he did to almost every single character in this book. He just gave me the creeps from the very beginning.
I really enjoyed this book; it was so hard to put it down. It had all the twisted plots that a good suspense book should have with just the right amount of passion and romance. It shows the reader that not all relationships are a walk in the part, there are times that even if they are meant to be together, it is best just to let them leave and if they return, you know that it was meant to be. Just like Lucas and Lilah. Pick up this book today and see what struggles they went through to finally be together. I can't wait for the next book to come out.
 ~Cozy Reader, The Romance Reviews,

The first novel in the series, Dangerous Ally, features new reporter Lilah Benson and sexy bad boy Lucas Ramone. You see, Lucas is a diamond smuggling kingpin who used to be engaged to her sister Lena, and also Lilah’s nemesis. So why is it she decides to take a job working for his father in the same home Lucas lives? The answer is easy really it gives her a chance to write the story that will make her career soar. The plan sounds easy enough until she actually meets him again and is tempted by the unwanted desire he invokes inside of her. Oh, he’s dangerous alright, because now that her heart is involved Lucas is more powerful than ever, but is he as ruthless and hard as she first suspects, or is he willing to make changes to save them both from the dangers that lurk in the background?

A tempting read, right? I thought so. The suspense begins immediately, and the chemistry between Lilah and Lucas is scorching. Add in manipulative relatives, sexy seductive staff members, a little stubbornness and a will to fight for what’s yours, and you’ve got yourself this intriguing read that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. I loved it!
~Jennifer Labelle, Labelle Books,

I found the book to be thoroughly engrossing and engaging from the start and I couldn't bring myself to put it down to go to bed.  I had to keep reading until I reached the end just to find out how it concluded.  Did the characters find their Happily-Ever-After?  Well, I had to know, didn't I?
There were so many different twists and turns in the book, it definitely grabbed my attention.  There are parts where I wasn't too sure who to trust.  Of course, that worked to make me fall deeper into the story.   
I really enjoyed the fact the author didn't stick with a golden boy.  The hero, Lucas, just happens to be a villain.  He knew he was one of the bad guys and would be the first to admit it.  I like that the author didn't fluff out and fill him with excuses to blame everyone else for his behavior as some writers have the tendency to do.  He kept on his big boy pants the entire book and didn't flounder for excuses. Of course, don't get me wrong, the man had a seriously dysfunctional family, major trust issues, a dark past, and a certain level of paranoia.  Can't say I blame the guy though, but he didn't use those factors as a scapegoat for his actions.
While those driving forces impacted much of his life, it's great to read about this guy's bumpy road to redemption.  Villain or not, you couldn't help but cheer on Lucas as he feels his way through uncharted territory with the heroine, Lilah.  
Lilah was caught in between a rock and a hard place if I've ever seen one.  She fights her attraction for Lucas, knowing he is the villain that left such a dark shadow hanging over her family.  However, you can't choose who you love, right?
~Melissa Limoges,

In this book we meet Lilah Benson, a  reporter who has taken a job in the household of a big diamond smuggling Kingpin (Lucas). She thinks she is able to get a story of a life time  but when she comes face to face with him she struggles over what she desires more her work or a passion for a man who is dangerous. Is Lucas really the man she thinks he is or is there more behind his bad boy image. Is he able and willing to make big changes in his life to save both of them from what dangers follow them.
 Well what can I say, apart from it was a really interesting read that took me no time at all to read because I couldn't put it down. The story flowed so easy and had me gripped from an early stage in the book. I loved the relationship between the two leads, talk about hot, toe curling and belly fluttering amazing.If you haven't read this book then I really think its worth a try. I really think you will like it.
~Satin Sue, Satin's Bookish Corner,

Honestly, I was captivated with this book based simply on the synopsis. Then I began reading and it took it to a completely different level for me. Normally, I believe that the synopsis covers basically what the book is about. In this case, Lauryn left all secrets within the book, which made for SUCH a great read!
  ~Tabatha Ventura, Insightful Minds,

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