September 24, 2013

Tour Stop + Giveaway: Malachim by Naima Simone

Secrets and Sins
Malachim 2
Naima Simone
Entangled Ignite
September 23, 2013
Romantic Suspense
When Danielle Warren shows up on Boston attorney Malachim Jerrod’s doorstep looking for a job, his first thought is trouble. Well, actually his first thought is how does a woman with the face of a saint have the voice of a sex phone operator? But sexy trouble or not, he’s desperate for a paralegal to help keep his struggling law office afloat. Can the boss keep his distance from the silk of his employee’s skin, the siren lure of her body…or ignore the haunting vulnerability in her eyes.

Danielle can’t remember her own name, because it belongs to someone else. The new identity has afforded a fresh start and a new job. She’s taking control, making her own decisions, and refuses to allow anything to distract her—even her unwanted desire for her boss. Because distraction is dangerous and letting her guard down is not an option. Especially with a shadowy figure stalking her every move.

Danger is on the hunt, threatening the boss she’s falling in love with. Should she fight for the future of her dreams or flee to save Malachim’s life? Danielle must make a decision. Because her lies are unraveling. And some secrets can kill…
Silence reigned in the cab. Malachim wedged his body into the corner of the backseat, sprawling his legs as far as the cramped space would allow. In the close quarters, he studied her exotic profile. The high brow; thin, aristocratic nose just a shade too long by conventional beauty standards; the wide mouth with its full bottom lip; and the small, stubborn chin. His gaze dropped to the elegant, tightly clenched hands on her lap. Even in the shadows, he noted the paler skin stretched over her knuckles. Did she fear him? God, the thought caused the alcohol in his gut to roil and pitch.
“Danielle.” He’d deliberately softened his voice, yet she flinched as if he’d roared her name.
“Yes,” she said, keeping her head averted, continuing to stare out the side window.
“Look at me.” He paused. “Please.”
Her shoulders stiffened, and her fingers were clenched so hard, he feared they wouldn’t easily straighten. After several seconds, when her head turned in his direction, his lungs relaxed.
God, he longed to touch her.
Yes, he would be a eunuch and a flaming liar if he denied he wanted her beneath him, straining against his body as he thrust deep into soft, hot flesh he knew would squeeze his cock in the sweetest, tightest embrace. He craved it. Woke up in cold sweats from dreaming about it. But this… This need swelling within his chest now was gentler but no less hungry. No less desperate.
He yearned to rub his thumb over the hard line her mouth had become, coaxing the sensual fullness to appear once again. More than the next critical beat of his heart, he desired to brush his lips over her brow, ease the panic and pain in her eyes, and replace them with pleasure. With wonder. With joy.
What would Danielle look like carefree, laughing…unburdened?
Jesus, he wanted to know.
He straightened from his slouch, at the same time shifting closer to her. Carefully, unhurriedly, determined not to spook her. Not to threaten her.
In the darkness, her eyes widened, and her breath quickened. At any other time, he would’ve backed off. But not tonight. As much as he needed to have her sun-kissed skin under his fingers, she needed to understand—believe—he would take a blade to his own hand before harming her.
Gently, he cupped the nape of her neck. Pressed a thumb into the side of her throat and circled. She went rigid beneath his hand and loosed a tiny whimper.
“Shh,” he crooned. “No, look at me,” he tenderly ordered when her lashes fluttered. He had to see her eyes, had to be able to detect if his caress became too much for her to bear. Even more, he had to see the moment the fear bled from her beautiful dark gaze and trust entered.
“Thank you,” he murmured, staring into the brown depths. Yes, panic still lingered, but so did another emotion…an emotion that set his heart racing for his throat. “I would never hurt you,” he said. “Not that way. I may be an asshole sometimes and kick the hell out of your feelings, but I’ll never hurt you in the way that makes you shake under my hand.” He slid his hand into her hair, loosening the bun and cradling her head. And had to bite back his groan at the sensuous glide of her heavy hair over his hand and wrist. “You’re safe with me. I promise,” he said hoarsely.

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Naima Simone's Favorite Romantic Suspense Novels

I loved romantic suspense before I knew what the phrase was or meant. It was the “romantic” part that drew me to a book, not the “suspense”. And when I was younger there were certain authors guaranteed to deliver in the love area. Nora Roberts. Linda Howard. Sandra Brown. But soon I came to realize their stories always had another twist. Their stories were…more. Subplots that kept me as spellbound as the romance between the hero and heroine. Secrets I couldn’t wait to unravel. Fear that set my heart-pounding even as I flipped to the next page to continue the wild ride. Evil that sometimes made terrifying sense. In other words—suspense. I soon came to realize their stories always had the best suspense.

These authors created the most intricate puzzles using the characters, their motivations,
and stories as the pieces. It inspired a desire in me to assemble my own enigma, to somehow grab the sometimes seemingly random bits of information and revelations and form them into a complete picture that would reveal a decades’ long secret, unearth a startling, heartbreaking truth, and also offer closure and peace.
I’ve read hundreds—probably thousands—of books that took me on a thrill ride. And many of them—their authors—have inspired me to write, to weave a story of intrigue, surprise, and twists. Still do. Here are just some of them.

1. Shades of Twilight by Linda Howard – Roanna Davenport was in love with her cousin Webb Tallant (by marriage, don’t worry!) since she was a child. When he marries their beautiful cousin Jessie, Roanna is hurt but not surprised. But she—and the entire family and small Alabama town—is stunned when Jessie is killed. Angered by his family’s lack of support when he is initially considered a suspect, Webb leaves town and doesn’t return for ten years. Roanna fetches him home, bargaining her body for one night in exchange. She isn’t the same impulsive, innocent, carefree girl, and Webb yearns to see that girl in the woman. But when he returns home it’s to a killer who wants to finish what he started ten years earlier. LOVED this book! Webb affirmed Roanna, loved her unconditionally; she didn’t have to be anyone but herself for him. And at the roughest moment of his life, she was his only stalwart support, even though he couldn’t see it at the time. And then let’s not forget the fantastic, totally unforeseeable twist in the end when the murderer was uncovered…and why!

2. After the Night by Linda Howard – Anyone see a theme here? LOL! I luvs me some Linda Howard! This was another favorite. Poor, from the wrong side of the tracks, LA Faith Devlin loved the first family of Prescott, LA’s son, Gray Rouillard from afar. When her mother runs away with his father one hot summer night, Gray runs Faith and her family out of the Parish. She returns to her hometown over a decade later, successful, confident and ready to uncover the truth behind the lie that destroyed her family and childhood. Because her mother didn’t run away with Guy Rouillard all those years ago. So where has the patriarch been all this time? Gray’s first glance at this grown up Faith stirs a desire in him he isn’t able to quench. He wants to run her out of town again before he does something stupid like make love to her. But Faith refuses to go, and now someone is after her, willing to kill to keep the secret of that long ago night buried. Gray and Faith was a scorching couple. They sizzled on the page and the volatile history and hurts from the past only made that fire burn hotter. And then there was the mystery surrounding Guy’s disappearance. Linda Howard weaved so many different strings together, catching this thread and that thread, and when I read what really happened, I wondered why I hadn’t seen it from the beginning. Cause she’s that damn good!!

3. Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts – Someone is killing young, beautiful women in Innocence, MS. And the common thread is Tucker Longstreet, son of the wealthiest family in Innocence. Famous concert violinist Carolyn Waverly arrives in town seeking peace and time to recover from a grueling tour schedule and an all-too-public breakup. What she finds is murder, bodies, and an unwanted but irresistible desire for Tucker. And now she’s caught in the target of a killer…could it be the very man she’s falling in love with? Nora Roberts has a way of drawing the reader in with her characters, including the sultry southern setting of a small town in Mississippi. You’re so invested in them, you want them to fall in love, to be happy. And Tucker and Carolyn were no different. Tucker with his easy-go-lucky, laid back personality was the perfect foil for uptight, reserved Carolyn. It was so much fun watching Tucker melt her. And all the while there was a murderer in the background stalking their every move. The twist at the end, the identity of the murderer—and why—stays with me even after all these years.

4. Best Kept Secrets by Sandra Brown – Frankly, there are too many wonderful Sandra Brown books to pick just one. Best Kept Secrets was one of the first I read by her and is one of my absolute favorites. It’s classic Sandra Brown to me. Alex Gaither returns to the town she was born twenty-five years earlier—and the town where her mother was brutally murdered. She’s determined to solve the cold case and gain belated justice for her mother. She fully expected the resistance of her top three suspects, Sheriff Reede Lambert, wealthy businessman Angus Minton, and his son Junior. What she doesn’t expect is her red-hot attraction to Reede—who was once her mother’s lover twenty-five years ago. Her investigation stirs the dormant hatred of a killer, and now that murderous rage is focused on the daughter. I know there are several factors that, at first glance, can seem a bit icky. Twenty-five year age difference between 25 years old Alex and 43 year old Reede. Reede was once her mother’s lover. But Sandra Brown did an awesome job of removing the ick factor and instead turned it into a love story for the ages. Even as I’m typing this I’m thinking, I need to go find this book on my shelf to read over. There was conflict, insecurities, passion, and so much love. Not to mention a mystery that kept me guessing until the last few pages. Sandra Brown is another master of suspense!

In Secrets and Sins: Malachim, my newest release from Entangled Publishing’s Ignite line, Malachim Jerrod encounters a mystery in the form of his new hire, paralegal Danielle Warren. He isn’t unfamiliar with secrets—it’s because of a twenty-year pact he now faces the possible loss of his law firm—but as he falls for Danielle, her shadowy past is coming back to stalk her and those she cares about…including him. They have to uncover the identity of the threat before they lose their lives. Because some secrets can kill…

I can only hope I did half the job Linda Howard, Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown have done and continue to do!

A huge thanks to Talk Supe for having me here today! I have so much fun!

What’s your favorite romantic suspense book or author? Share with me and September 23rd through October 4th, enter the Secrets and Sins: Malachim giveaway to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card, a World Traveler Boston cuff bracelet, and 4 Ignite September releases! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below!

Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair.

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Tour organized by Buy The Book Tours


  1. Replies
    1. Awesome!! I'm so glad you enjoyed the read, Joe. And thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  2. I haven't read this one yet but I can't wait. Great giveaway!

    1. Hi, Mary!
      I'm so glad the blurb and excerpt caught your attention! I have to admit--and I may be a teensy-bit biased here--Malachim is one of my favorite books. Imagine that! LOL! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

  3. Hi Naima, I love discovering new authors. Your story sounds intriguing and I'm putting it on my TBR list!

  4. Yay! Awesome, Deb! Thank you for adding me to the list! I hope you enjoy Malachim. And thank you for coming by and giving the excerpt a read!

  5. Holy hotness! I want this asap! *runs to amazon*

    1. LOL!! Go with that, Hootie! Run like the wind to Amazon! Hee-hee!

  6. Thanks, Naima, for helping me moderate the comments on your post :)

  7. I'm a fan of Linda Howard as well. I also like Suzanne Brockman, Lori Foster, and Trish McCallan. I like a little mystery and danger with my romance.

  8. Another book to add to my to-read list! It sounds amazing ~ thank you for the giveaway. x


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