Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Snake in the Grass (Good Gods #2) by Staci Hart

Welcome to the blog fellow book lovers! Today we're here to share in the excitement of Staci Hart's new release, the highly anticipated book two of her Good Gods series; SNAKE in the GRASS. We've got a post jam packed with AWESOME... An excerpt, deets on both books in the series, my review AND our own GIVEAWAY!!! We've made it easy for you this time around, simply COMMENT on this post for a chance at a FREE ecopy of SinG. Please be sure your comment is relevant to the post. Random.org will pick our winner a week from today! GOOD LUCK!!!

Before we send you off to the yumminess, I want to thank Staci for granting me the ARC for review, and Tabby at IMR Blog Tours for hosting this blast. ENJOY! HAPPY READING! ~Shell


It’s Round Two of high stakes Love Connection on Olympus, and this time, everything has changed. For Aphrodite, at least.
Ares is on deck, and Aphrodite is nervous. As much as she loves to hook up with him, she doesn’t trust him as far as she could throw him, which isn’t very far. He’s a big dude. They haven’t been together in a very long time, but she can’t resist him. She never could. Even when every part of her screamed that he was a liar.
Ares has a plan to keep Aphrodite, for good this time. He wants to win the game, but he’ll hold back to get what he wants. He’s sitting on a chance that he’s been waiting thousands of years for, and he’ll do what he has to do to convince her to stay forever.
The only thing that could stop him is the secret that he’s been keeping from her for eons. If she finds out, it will destroy everything.
Kat and Dillon have been through a lot, and everything has been to protect their younger siblings. They have sacrificed everything to make sure their brother and sister are safe. The players are tough and loyal. Fierce and determined. But they become each other’s weakness, even though they fight it, and even though it means danger for Kat and her sister.
If Aphrodite can get the players over their egos and issues long enough to see that they’re meant for each other, the competition will be a piece of cake. One that she’ll eat a la mode, right in front of Ares, if she beats him.




Dillon parked in front of MacLennan’s and stepped out of the car. He looked up at the green and gold pub sign with a small four-leaf clover next to the name. They hadn’t been there in forever, since Brian liked to tour Brooklyn’s Irish pub circuit, to “keep it fresh.” He walked up to the door with his hands shoved in the pockets of his leather jacket, his grey hoodie hanging out of the neck, and Owen walked behind him with his collar flipped against the cold.

Dillon hated these after parties. He didn’t drink. Drinking made him too unpredictable. On top of that, he was always wiped out after fights. He’d much prefer to be home, but there was no way around it. The bigger he got, the more people expected to see him after a fight.

Brain said that it was all about PR. If the people who bet on him got to hang out with him, they’d be more likely to bet on him again. But the attention was too much for Dillon. He was honored that so many people wanted to wish him well, but the whole ordeal exhausted him.

He grabbed the brass handle to the pub door and gave Owen a look before pulling it open. The sound of music and people hit him like a wave, which surged once the crowd saw him and exploded into cheers. He smiled and ran a hand through his hair. The crowd parted, and Brian stepped through to him, grinning.

“Took you long enough. Come on, this way.” Brian turned, and the crowd opened up to let him through. They called Dillon’s name, some slapped him on the back. A few tried to hand him drinks, which he graciously turned down, and followed Brian to the bar with Owen in his wake.

They reached the long bar, all mahogany and brass, and the minute he sat down, a small pack of girls led by a bleached blond pushed their way in next to him.

“Hey, Dillon. Congrats on the fight.” Her glossy lips turned up in a smile, and she batted her mascara heavy lashes at him. She squeezed in close and laid her hand on his forearm.

“Thanks, Jessica.” He slid his arm out from under her hand and turned to Owen.

She poked out her lip for a split second, then pasted her smile back on and tried again. She pressed her arm against his as she leaned over the bar and shoved her breasts together. “So, you gonna buy a girl a drink?”

Dillon’s gaze swept over her cleavage spilling out of her low-cut shirt and he rolled his eyes. “You should ask Brian. He’s in charge of rounds.”

Her lip popped out again, and her cheeks flushed. A brunette next to her gave her a nudge and whispered something to her.

Jessica put on a seductive smile and slipped her hand down to his thigh. “Come on, Dillon.” Her words were sugary sweet. “For old time’s sake?”

Dillon looked her over again, his jaw set. “There weren’t ever any ‘old times’.” He turned in his stool and jerked his chin at Brian. “Hey, Bri. Jessica wants a drink. Can you help her out with that?”

Brian snickered. “Yeah, come on, Jess. The bartender’s down here. What are you drinking?” He draped his arm over her shoulders and steered her away. She looked back at Dillon, blowing him up with her eyes with her cronies on her heel.

Owen laughed and shook his head. “God, she never quits.”

“If I had known she was crazy, I never would have hooked up with her.”

“She’s not just crazy, she’s the queen of the asylum.” Owen leaned over the bar. “Damn, what does it take to get a drink around here?” Owen flagged his hand behind the bar.

A girl bent down behind the bar, hidden by a sheet of long, black hair, and when she stood up and turned to face him, all the breath left Dillon’s lungs.

His eyes met hers, intense and gray-green, lined with thick, black lashes. He traced the bridge of her long nose, over the tiny freckles sprinkled across it and onto her flushed apple cheeks. Her rosy lips were full and parted, and his gaze lingered there before pulling back to her eyes, snapping his to hers like magnets.

Owen’s face ping-ponged between the two, amused as they stared at each other. The noise in the bar was almost deafening, but the two of them were still and quiet, two unmoving points in an ocean of people.

Dillon shook himself, and she did the same. She turned to Owen. “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you ordered.”

Owen cocked a smile, his eyes on his brother as he answered, “Uh, Guinness. Thanks.”

“And for you?” Her voice was smoke and fire, and she turned to Dillon again, he swallowed hard.

“Just water,” he said, his eyes fixed on hers.

“Sure,” she said and turned to walk to the taps, looking back over her shoulder at Dillon.

He watched her walk away, and Owen gave him a sly smile.

Dillon blinked a few times as his brow dropped. “What?”

“Nothing.” Owen smirked and turned back to the girl.

She came back a moment later and set their drinks down. Owen pulled out his wallet, but she put her hands up. “This goes on Brian’s tab.”

Owen snorted. “Right, Brian’s tab. Hey, what’s your name?”

She stood tall and confident, with her eyes on Dillon, and his on hers. “I’m Kat.”

“Hi, Kat. I’m Owen, and this here,” he slapped Dillon on the shoulder, “is Dillon, my big brother.”

“Yeah, I heard.” She cracked a smile, and Dillon’s heart beat a little faster. “Brian’s been talking you up for the last hour.” Someone shouted to her from the other end of the bar. “Nice to meet you,” she said casually and turned to the mob.

Kat blinked a few times as she walked away. For a second, she had been connected to him, his eyes holding her captive like a snake charmer, and she couldn’t look away. Her brows knit together while she poured a drink, trying to understand what happened. She glanced back over at him and found his eyes on her. The bruise on his jaw was dark, and he had a small cut under his eye. His lips were full and wide, and the bottom one was split. He looked at her fiercely, and she flushed, dropping her eyes back to the drink in front of her.


Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom; she has three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife; even though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f, ends with k, and there a uc in there. Just saying. From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics. But let's be honest, she's mostly writing. 





 

I love this series. Absolutely love it. The mythology. The creativity. The humor. The fashion. The opulence. The romance. The steamy sex. Even the darkness. SNAKE in the GRASS is Ares' story. It is a tale of human nature at its worst and passion at its most powerful. And it's HOT!

It's Ares' turn to play with, ahem... I mean against our sweet, irresistible, and unbeatable  Aphrodite. Is he up for the challenge? Can Dita continue to resist the pull to be near him, or will she give in to her own desires? Can either of them stay focused on the game? And what of our players, Kat and Dillon? Holy moly.

Make sure you're buckled in, SitG is one intense, twisted, volatile, sexy-ass ride. Unlike our sweet, artistic Lexi and rocker heartthrob Dean's love affair in Deer in the Headlights, this one is a real hot mess. Dita's got her work cut out for her when Ares uses all his dirty little tricks to win the competition and her love. Of course she won't go down without a fight- and maybe a little... ah yeah, anyway...

Like Deer in the Headlights, this tale is wildly fun and sexy. But it is most definitely a darker telling. After all Ares is the god of war. He enjoys mayhem, a good fight, and thinks nothing of his manipulations. It's all simply a means to an end. It certainly makes for a complicated and exciting game. But what I found most interesting about this installment was how closely the four resembled each other. Now it's hard for me to explain that statement without giving too much away, but let me continue by saying each of them are not afraid of risk or danger- unless we're talking about their hearts. They've sacrificed much. And punish themselves needlessly. Well, not necessarily our gods. There you'll find plenty of guilt, blame and suspicion. Suffice to say, Kat and Dillon have chosen to live dark, painful, and unfulfilling lives. They want and need nothing more than to find true love but they're far too afraid to reach for it. With their combined track records it seems near impossible to achieve.

Never fear though, Dita is the goddess of love for goodness sakes. She's yet to lose, and she's got a few tricks of her own.
Her first and likely most effective play? Enter Kiki and Owen. Kat's sister and Dillon's brother. Mix a little romance of their own and some sibling intervention and you've got...
well you've got manipulation on another level- and at it's best. Both Kat and Dillon are fiercely protective of their younger sibs and will do anything to ensure their safety and happiness, so of course their paths must cross. Perfect setup right?

Perfect on paper, but Kat and Dillon's first meeting doesn't go so well. Or the second. Or... you get the idea. These two hotheads have an obvious attraction but they can't take down their walls long enough to have a simple conversation. Tempers flair, insults fly, apologies go awry. It looks like they may never come together. It's frustrating for all involved.

This is all just one layer of Staci's second masterpiece. The back stories for these characters add so much. Learning where they come from, what they've been through, who they really  are brings a level of empathy, understanding, and hope.
We see the results of abuse and family expectations. That you can't run away from your past. That every action has a consequence. That putting up walls doesn't protect anyone. I'm not sure it was Staci's intention here, but she teaches you life lessons amidst all the muck.

Beyond that... the characters are as vibrant and likeable as ever. Each set of siblings are amazing together. So much love and respect- even though they harbor secrets. Kiki and Owen are delightful and freaking adorable. Kat and Dillon- strong, determined, and so completely right for each other you want to jump in and smack their heads together, and say, OPEN YOUR FREAKING EYES and get over it all!!!

So who wins? Does love prevail? Do Dita and Ares find common ground and rekindle their affair? Can anyone truly leave the past behind? There are several twists,jaw dropping surprises, and harsh revelations to keep you guessing and glued to the page. And with TWO swoon-worthy hotties- who couldn't be more opposite, you can't go wrong. If you're not drooling over both (seriously!) you'll most definitely be panting for one of these beautiful boys.

My conclusion? Like I really need to add more???? Fine, I'll indulge you... Snake in the Grass is another brilliant, touching, thought provoking, frenzied fucking thrill ride. I. Ate. It. Up. So, if you like your romance original, SMEXY, twisted, torn, AND mixed with Greek mythology, I'm pretty sure you will too. This series is off the charts kick ass fun. And, YES (!!!), I'm already stalking Staci for the next book. 

Book 1 in the series...(and yes...it is best for you to read them in order...)

What do the Greek gods do when they're bored? Because they're always bored, so humans are the perfect players in their games.

Aphrodite owns love; she hasn't lost a competition on her turf in over three millennia. Apollo is on a mission to win. He's counting on it to finally get the one woman he's never been able to have. The two gods will choose their human players, and if Aphrodite can't get them together before the clock runs out, Apollo will get his way. And Aphrodite couldn't have that.
Lex and Dean are perfect for each other, they just don't know it yet. Dean is a perpetual bachelor, and a brooding, beautiful rock star. Lex is always with a man, but she'll never fully give herself up. Aphrodite has her work cut out for her, but if she can't make it work, no one can.
The gods have their own drama. Apollo killed Aphrodite's mortal love - they've got beef that's been dragging on for thousands of years. Ares, the douchebag, is forever trying to pick a fight, and trying to get Aphrodite into bed. And Persephone, Aphrodite's best friend, is the one person who Aphrodite shares everything with. 
Follow the gods as they fight, laugh, cry, lose,  love, gain power, and make a mess with humans.

Book Links:

 Remember....EASY, PEASY...
Just comment below (making sure it is relevant to this post) and you will be entered to win a Ecopy of 
Snake in the Grass.  GOOD LUCK!!!

26 comments:

  1. I am such a huge fan of Deer in Headlights. I cannot wait to read SIG :)

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    1. Me too, Ebony! SinG is just as amazing! Thanks for stopping by. Good luck! ;) ~Shelleyw

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  2. I'm not usually one to read books about gods (I think I may have overdone it with the genre when I was younger), but I have heard such AMAZING things about this series! The excerpt was tantilizing... it definitely has a more modern feel than the gods books I've read in the past. I am dying to give it a try!
    Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. Yes, I would definitely recommend checking out my series! It reads like a contemporary. First chapters of both books are available on my website if you want a tease! www.stacihartnovels.com

      <3

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  3. I've read a few raving reviews now about this book and would LOVE to win it!!!!!

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  4. Definitely not your typical gods tale. Much more of a contemporary romance. You've never seen gods and goddesses like these. Thanks much, ladies! And good luck to you!!! ~Shelley

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  5. Great review! I've heard great things about this series and I'm looking forward to reading these books. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Thanks so much!!! Good luck! :D ~Shelley

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  6. I like the concept of the gods in modern life coping with modern couples. There was some of this happening in Sherilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters. I loved that series and it looks like I've found another series like hers. If it is half as good as the Dark Hunters of kenyon, I'll be right there waiting for the next and the next books in the series to come out.

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    1. Sherrilyn's is much more of a paranormal with a lot of action. There's most certainly action here but a very different type of action and style of book. You can check out the first book for free on Amazon and see if it's up your alley. My friend Chantal is a HUGE fan of the Dark Hunters series. She even named one of her sons after Acheron. ;)

      Thanks for stopping by! ~Shelley

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    2. Yes, mine is more of a rom/com, though SIG was much darker and heavier than the first. There's drama and tension, but not like a typical Paranormal.

      Hope you decide to pick it up!

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    3. Yvonne, you are our winner. Please send your email to tsktskwhattoread@gmail.com Congrats!

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  7. Staci!!! Let me tell you all- this woman is not only a brilliant writer and gifted artist, she's also a most warm, funny and AMAZING person. Thank you so much for making me laugh, cry and feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It means so much that you dropped by to share with our readers. Love you bunches, girlfriend! xxx ~S

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    1. <3 <3 <3

      Thank you so much for writing this amazing review. It left me speechless (which NEVER happens haha). I can't tell you how much it means to me when readers enjoy my work and are moved by it.

      xoxoxoxo

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  8. Ah, but we are the pawns of the Gods and what games they play.

    :)

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    1. LOL. Indeed! Thanks for stopping by! <3 Shelley

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  9. I loved Snake in the Grass! I highly recommend Staci's Good Gods Series!! Oh Ares he's something!!

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  10. Is "smexy" even a word? I love it!

    Having read book#1, I'm now on the hunt for some sexy Greek Gods artwork to hang on the walls!!! Would love to hear what visitors to my house will think of them!

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    1. So awesome! I was considering doing prints and canvas wraps of my covers. Not quite sexy, but so pretty!

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  12. Me too, Lariza! I can't make up my mind about Ares. I must see more of him. (: Thanks so much for stopping by!

    PrairieMoon??? Of course it's a word! LOL. Smart and sexy= SMEXY. ;)

    What awesome walls those would be. Hmm. You just gave me an idea- not that I have any wall space for more art, but anyway, it would be interesting to see what you chose and what people thought.

    Now read book 2!!! He he. Thanks for the great comments and good luck! ~S

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