Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Deceptions (The MacLane Family #3) by R. J. Van Cleave - Release Day Blitz & Excerpt

Deceptions is the third book in the MacLane Family series and can be read as a standalone. It is the story of Jake and Natalie, but due to 'adult content,' it is best suited for mature readers.

Jacob “Jake” MacLane couldn’t give two shits about money, power, or prestige. His love for guns turned into a love of serving his country. His remarkable ability as a sniper gave him a purpose for living. His bad-boy looks and alpha-male attitude had the women vying for his attention. All of that ceased to matter the day his best friend was killed in action. What happened that day has haunted Jake ever since. No one - not his own brothers, or one mysterious woman - would ever know his deepest secret.

Natalie Sherman had her future planned out: graduate high school, get accepted into Juilliard’s dance program, and take Broadway by storm. What she hadn’t anticipated was her mother’s cancer diagnosis or death from the wretched disease. Natalie’s bright future quickly faded, until a one-night stand with a dark and sexy stranger made her feel alive again. Too bad he didn’t stick around to see what he’d left behind. A chance encounter with him had Natalie keeping her own secret locked away - especially because he didn’t even remember her.

When both of their secrets come crashing down around them at the same time, Natalie finally asks for Jake’s help. This time, he can’t refuse. It quickly becomes the most important mission of his life, and once the dust settles, nothing will ever be the same for them. Sometimes, only the right person will help you rebuild the ruins left by your deceptions...

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The following is an excerpt from Deceptions
by R.J. Van Cleave. All rights are reserved…

Natalie finally looked up to see what, or better who, had her girlfriends’ g-strings in knots. Holy hell. No wonder they’re drooling. Piercing green eyes were locked on a target, and apparently, that target was her. Mr. Green Eyes was huge - easily six foot four - and bodies parted like the Red Sea as he cut across the crowded dance floor. His hair was either dark brown or black, but it was cut too short to tell. Military, she thought, from the look of him and the way he carries himself. He stopped just a few feet shy of her and she drank him in.

His jeans were worn in all the right places and he wore them well, slung low on his hips. A simple black tee stretched across a massive chest. Tan, muscular arms, that begged to be touched, were peppered with intricate tattoos. A tribal print meandered up one arm, disappearing into his sleeve, and reappeared at his neck. Natalie was itching to strip him of his t-shirt and follow the pattern to wherever it led. His body was made to be worshiped, and suddenly Natalie was feeling very spiritual at the moment.

It seemed that he caught the look of appreciation in her eyes because he gave her a half smile, half smirk as he took one step closer and said, “Dance with me.” He took her hands in his, and pulled her up into his massive chest. Before she could protest that he had not actually asked her, she found herself wrapped up in strong, yet surprisingly gentle arms, as he carried her out onto the dance floor. He let her body slowly slide down his, until her feet touched the floor. Then he cupped her chin with his large hand and gently lifted it, so that she was forced to look up at him. Big mistake.

He looked into her eyes, as if he were searching for something, and then mumbled, “So fucking beautiful,” before he brought his mouth down onto hers. She was in total shock when he pulled his lips away from hers, all too soon, and then he gently tucked her head under his chin. Half of her brain screamed that she should knee him in the nuts and run, while the other half told her no effing way – the man could kiss her again like that any damn time he wanted. But he didn’t. He just stood there, swaying gently with her in his arms, as if they’d done this a million times before.

The man made that one simple kiss the hottest thing Natalie had ever experienced - even if he was a freaking total stranger. Too bad he can’t dance worth a shit, though. Usually that would bug her enough to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and walk away - but not tonight. For the first time, she found she just didn’t care that a man couldn’t dance. It some how just felt right being in his arms, with her nose pressed against his neck, inhaling his spicy, musky cologne. And even more surprisingly, for the very first time, her dancing legs didn’t want to dance anyway, and she sighed as she stumbled ever so slightly.

“Whoa, there, Princess. You okay?” his deep voice rumbled as he picked up on the subtle movement.

She felt her legs begin to buckle again, and Natalie could only nod her head and hum, “Uh huh.”

“Damn, woman, but you have a body and a voice that could bring a man to his knees. You’re here alone, I hope?”

“Well, it just so happens to be your lucky day,” she sighed again, as she breathed in his intoxicating scent once more. “Aside from my posse back there, I’m here alone because my asshole boyfriend decided to dump me – on my twenty-first birthday, no less.”

“Well, your ex obviously is an asshole, but hey, his stupidity makes me one lucky bastard,” Jake chuckled.

Natalie giggled in turn – he had a great laugh. “Maybe,” she replied, but she resisted looking up into Jake’s eyes again. She could have sworn there was some kind of weird cosmic thing going on between the two of them, but she wasn’t sure if he felt it too.

Natalie’s throaty, hypnotizing laugh made Jake stop swaying and look down at the woman in his arms. His need to have her became even more intense when she finally lifted her head and looked him in the eyes again…and then she smiled. For a brief moment, he forgot to breathe. The emotions rushing through him in that instant were totally foreign to him. Jake MacLane was always in control, always in charge. Love at first sight didn’t exist, but he had an inkling that this sapphire-blue eyed woman, with her short blond hair, could actually get under his skin and become a pain in his ass. Kind of like how Tinkerbelle always messed with Peter Pan. All she needs is the wings, he chuckled to himself.

He hoped like hell the foreign feelings he was having were really due to the shots he’d slammed back right before he walked up to her, and not because she was wrapped up in his arms. He could feel the alcohol beginning to seep into his bloodstream, so in an effort to regain control and tamp down any actual emotions, he cleared his throat then gruffly asked, “Wadda ya say we celebrate your birthday properly then? My buddies and I are looking for a few ladies to show us around this little town. You think you’re up for the challenge tonight, little girl?”

Without even consulting her friends, or batting an eyelash, Natalie retorted, “You bet your sweet ass I am, little boy.”

His eyes darkened as he said, “Oh, Princess, let’s get something clear right here and now. There’s nothing sweet, or little about me. The sooner you understand that, the better prepared you’ll be for when I fuck you senseless.”

Natalie’s jaw dropped at his directness. If it had been any other man, she would have slapped him, and walked away. But her hand wouldn’t quite co-operate, and her feet were staying firmly planted where they were. Her damn body betrayed her as it actually shivered with anticipation. For some inexplicable reason, even smelling the alcohol on his breath couldn’t make her back away, as it usually did thanks to her step-father.

“You think so?” she challenged the gorgeous stranger before her.

“I know so,” he replied as he pulled her harder into his body. The bulge digging into her stomach told her there was no denying it.

The familiar tingle in her happy place, even if it had been non-existent lately, told her she wanted him just as badly. Something about him ignited a fire in her that she’d never felt with Mark, or any other man she’d been with over the last six years. Too bad she had no freaking clue what that something was. All she knew was that her body was in fact ready, willing, and able.

Natalie was far from being easy, but she liked sex. Ever since her first time, at the age of 15, she realized sex could fill a void in her life and provide her a much needed distraction. Even if it was only a temporary one at best, it was still far better than the hell she lived with at home. A bitter, alcoholic father and a terminally ill mother, who lived far far longer than the doctors ever anticipated, made from some not so joyous occasions in her life.

“Hey, earth to Princess. You okay?” Jake’s soothing voice brought Natalie back from her past.

“No. Yes. Sorry. I was just thinking about something else. I’m good now.” Before Jake could question her more, or hell, even ask her name, she added. “Really, I’m okay. Let’s go get your friends and get this party started. The night’s still young.”

She pushed out of his arms and Jake looked on in appreciation at Natalie’s ass, as she walked off in front of him. He had to actually tell his feet to get moving because watching the woman walk was like watching poetry in motion. When he finally joined her group, she was already sitting on a barstool at the table with her back to him. He thought he overheard one of her friends call her “Lee” and he let the name roll around in his head. Unbeknownst to him, partially because the music was so loud, and possibly because of the blood loss to his upper head, he hadn’t heard the “Nata” part of her name.

“Jake, my man. What do you have for us here?” asked Colin Hanson, the douchebag sniper that Jake’s boss, John Fielding, had picked to round out Jake’s mercenary team.

So it’s Jake, she mentally noted, as she leaned back slightly and found a solid wall of muscle.

“Well, hellooo there ladies,” Colin drawled. “I’m Colin, at your service,” and he winked at Natalie.

When the rest of the crew walked up behind him, Colin quickly introduced them. “Along with Jacob over there, who prefers Jake, this here’s Mitch, Dustin and Benito.” Each of the men politely nodded and said ‘hello,’ but Jake thought they were all staring at his woman a little too long. When Colin Hanson walked over to Natalie and asked her to dance with him, Jake decided he wasn’t in the mood to share. Ever since Ranger school, Hanson was always going after the woman Jake set his sites on. He pushed Hanson back with one hand and then barked out, “Change of plans, gentlemen.”

Natalie found herself quickly spun around on the stool and was now facing that solid wall of muscle. Jake pulled her up into him, and said, “Night boys. Lee and I have some things to do while the night’s still young. I’ll see y’all in the morning.” He took her hand in his and quickly dragged her away from his men. She heard him comment over his shoulder, “There are three more to choose from. Get your own damn woman, Hanson. You always go after mine, you little peckerhead.” That last part was said under his breath.

Jake’s vice grip on Natalie’s hand never loosened, as he continued to pull her across the crowded dance floor, past the bar and out the door. As soon as they hit the cold, night air, Natalie slammed on the breaks. “Just where in the hell do you think you’re taking me?” she cried, as she pulled back hard on Jake’s hand to get his attention, finally breaking his grip. Lord knows all her stumbling, and the colorful curse words she yelled each time she tripped, had no effect on the man. “And for the love of God, slow down. I can dance in heels but if you think it’s easy running in these damn things, then you wear them and I’ll be more than happy to drag you across a crowded bar, you freaking Jolly Green Giant!”

Jake simply turned, arched an eyebrow and replied, “Well, my little pint-sized pixie, I’m taking you to my hotel room, that’s where. And no, I won’t slow down, because I don’t want to wait one fucking minute longer than I have to before I get inside you.”

Natalie’s jaw dropped open once again, in shock, and this time she growled, “You cocky, arrogant son of…” Jake took two steps, grabbed the back of her head with one hand and crashed his mouth down onto hers, cutting her off. He hadn’t anticipated kissing her like this, and in public no less, but he couldn’t help it. When he first saw her on the dance floor, his first thought was only to go somewhere and talk, maybe just lose himself in this tiny little town with her for awhile. But fuck that. He’d been horny as hell after watching her for only a few minutes, and needed to lose himself in her.

He and his men had been exhausted from their long flight and were still dealing with the loss of their teammate, James, during their last official mission as Army Rangers. They touched down in Sacramento this morning and picked up a rental car en route to James’ hometown for his funeral. The drive to wherever they were now was only supposed to be a stop for gas, but the surrounding area looked all too inviting. Actually, since none of them were looking forward to the funeral, they agreed that one night to celebrate James’ life wouldn’t hurt. Only Jake hadn’t expected to find the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, dancing in a bar, in the middle of Farmtown, USA.

Jake noticed the kiss got hotter as she lifted herself up, wrapping her long legs around his waist. He may have started this, but now, much to his delight, she was the one currently in charge. Jake put his other arm around her waist to steady her and almost took her against the truck they were standing next to, when she ground herself down onto him. Even in his slightly drunken state, though, he wanted to take his time and savor her.

He slowed the kiss down, which caused her to growl, but he ignored her. He slid his second hand up to the back of her head so he could hold her where he wanted her. He took back control as he thoroughly explored her mouth, and then her neck. Her hands wrapped around his forearms, but it wasn’t an attempt to remove them, rather it was her way of keeping herself right where she wanted to be.

He found her mouth again and sucked, then nipped her bottom lip. Knowing he couldn’t hold out any longer, he unwrapped her legs from his waist. In retaliation for removing her legs, she pulled his lower lip into her mouth and nipped it, just a little. That earned her a growl from him. “My hotel room, now.” he demanded against her lips. “Before we put on a fucking show for everyone in the parking lot.”

If the kiss hadn’t already knocked Natalie off kilter, his command definitely would have. When she didn’t protest, he’d quickly dragged her the few blocks to his hotel, in what seemed like a matter of seconds. Lucky for Natalie, the hotel elevator was filled with guests, so Jake kept his hands, and mouth, to himself. But his eyes - those eyes - never left hers. The look he gave her told her exactly what he was planning to do to her. Once they exited the elevator and were alone in the hallway, Natalie found her back up against the wall, and his mouth once again greedily on hers.

This time, his hands stayed away from her face, and they brushed down her upper thighs to her skirt hem. Her skin tingled and burned in the wake of his fingertips, as they skimmed up her bare legs. Instead of going directly where she wanted them to, they slid over her hips, only to find what she already knew. “Fuck, Lee. I had no idea your ass was bare under this skirt.”

“Well, Jacob, that sort of thing tends to happen when I wear a thong,” she sighed as he sucked on her neck, while caressing her skin. Usually he hated being called Jacob, but damn, not by her.

He pulled away, and he hesitated momentarily before saying, “I may be under the influence of the rocket fuel I downed at the bar, but I know for sure that I want you more than I’ve wanted any other woman. Now that we’re here, tell me that I can have you - at least for tonight.” Jake’s look was both intense and yet unsure. He wanted her, yes, she could feel it. But he also wanted to make sure this was what she wanted, too. He wasn’t a total dick, after all.

He’s slightly sloshed and he thinks my name is Lee. Perfect recipe for a one night stand. Get laid and get lost.

Yes,” she said almost breathlessly, afraid if she said it any louder, she might try and talk herself out of it. One-night stands were so not her, but why the hell not? Especially after the craptastic day she’d had, she could use some good sex to chase it all away.

Jake’s Songs

Redneck Crazy, by Tyler Farr

International Love, by Pit Bull, feat. Chris Brown

Let Her Go, by Passenger

Outta My Head, by Craig Campbell

Savin’ Me, by Nickelback

Animals, By Maroon 5, feat. J. Cole (remix)

Coming Home, by Diddy, feat. Skylar Grey

Stay, by Florida-Georgia Line

Far Away, by Nickelback

Bottoms Up, by Brantley Gilbert

Natalie’s Songs

Before He Cheats, by Carrie Underwood

Can’t Remember To Forget You, by Shakira

Jar of Hearts, by Christina Perry

Chandelier, by Sia

Habits (Stay High), by Tove Lo

human, by Christina Perry

Wasting All These Tears, by Casadee Pope

Listen To Your Heart, by DHT, feat. Edmée

The Heart Wants What It Wants, by Selena Gomez

Follow the playlist on Spotify: Deceptions

R.J. Van Cleave grew up in a small town near San DiegoCA, where she still lives today. She loved science as a child and had planned on becoming a doctor. However, she realized she wanted to be a mother more, and switched to working in the Biotech industry. One daughter was eventually joined by fraternal twin sisters (a surprise), and R.J.’s life was complete. In 2011, her mom died from undiagnosed cancer and R.J.’s world was turned upside down. In an attempt to honor her mother’s life, R.J. got a few tattoos and schlepped through a few half marathons. Needles and strenuous exercise were two real fears for R.J., but her greatest fear was actually putting a story in her head down on paper. In June of 2013, R.J. finally conquered that fear when she sat down and wrote Demons, which she self-published on February 14, 2014. The MacLane Family series was born and R.J.’s career as a writer was too.

Website  |  Facebook |  Twitter  |  Instagram |  Goodreads  | E-Mail: rjvancleave@gmail.com  |  Google+

~ Synopsis ~

Demons is the first book in the MacLane Family series. It is the story of Jase & Cassie and does NOT have a cliffhanger ending. Due to ‘adult content,’ this book is best suited for readers 18 years of age and older.

Jason “Jase” MacLane grew up surrounded by money. Being half of Anderson-MacLane Industries had its privileges and provided a rather comfortable life for Jase and his siblings. Sure his family worked hard for that money, but to the opposite sex, that’s what made Jase so damn attractive. His luck with women, and love sucked. It took a few ex-girlfriends, and one cheating ex-wife, to cement the idea that he’d never be worth more to a woman than the amount of money he had in his bank account.

Cassandra “Cassie” Middleton grew up in a working-class family, surrounded by more love than money. When her parents died, Cassie stepped in and took care of her teenage sister while putting her own life on hold. It took one selfish ex-boyfriend, and one distant ex-husband, to prove to her that she was better suited for the role of caregiver and mother than for what she wanted most – to be desired and loved for who she was, rather than for what she did.

When Cassie buys the old Potts Farm out from under Jase, the compost hits the fan, and then the sparks fly. Cassie sees Jase as more than a means to financial security, and Jase sees Cassie as more than a mom and a provider. However, the demons from their past relationships prevent them from seeing themselves for who they really are. It will take trust, perseverance, one hell of a wild ride, and the willingness to risk it all, just one more time, to find the love they both deserve. Sometimes, you just need to find the right person to help you drive out your demons…

~Book Links ~

Amazon / B&N  / iTunes  / KOBO / Goodreads

~ Playlist ~

Jase’s Songs
Demons, by Imagine Dragons

 Cruise, by Florida Georgia Line

 Knock You Down, by Keri Hilson, feat. Kanye West & Ne-Yo

God Gave Me You, by Blake Shelton

Cassie’s Songs
Sparks Fly, by Taylor Swift

Take Over Control, by Afrojack, feat. Eva Simons

See You Again, by Carrie Underwood

If I Didn’t Have You, by Thompson Square

Follow the playlist on Spotify: Demons

~ Synopsis ~

Damages is the second book in the MacLane Family series. It is the story of Justin and Mary, and can be read as a standalone. Due to ‘adult content,’ this book is best suited for readers 18 years of age and older.

Justin MacLane had it all, except for good luck when it came to women. He had money, good looks, and a great, down to earth personality. He was the youngest MacLane executive at Anderson-MacLane industries, but his connections and wealth were more impressive than his work ethic. Justin was just too nice and too giving, and women used him only to get ahead. That made Justin realize that he’d rather be alone than be a stepping stone for the next Hollywood sensation.

Mary Andrews had a hellish childhood, and only had bad luck when it came to men. The physical and sexual abuse she suffered as a child eventually led Mary to the biggest mistake of her life – Carson Matthews. After years of living with an abusive husband, she finally got out. Getting out, however, was the easy part. That made Mary realize she would rather be lonely, than ever trust her heart, or her body, to another man.

When Justin crosses paths with Mary, it takes only one look from her to know she is different from the others. Her razor sharp tongue and conservative dress protects her from the world, and Justin realizes Mary isn’t going down without a fight. Mary is totally and utterly unimpressed with Justin, his fat bank account, or his flashy Porsche. When his gentle manner stirs up feelings that she’s never felt before, Mary realizes she’s facing the biggest fight of her life. Sometimes, risking it all on the right person can help you finally heal the damages inflicted by others...

~ Book Links ~ 

Amazon / B&N / iTunes  / KOBO / Goodreads

~ Playlist ~

Justin’s Songs
Lost In Paradise by Evanescence

Enchanted by Taylor Swift

Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus

Knock You Down by Keri Hilson, feat. Kanye West & Ne-Yo

All of Me by John Legend

 Like A G6 by Far East Movement, feat. The Cataracs & Dev

Mary’s Songs
Run The World (Girls), by Beyoncé

Body Party, by Ciara

Because Of You, Kelly Clarkson

Gunpowder & Lead, by Miranda Lambert

Independence Day, by Martina McBride

Dark Horse, by Katy Perry, feat. Juicy J

My Heart Is Broken, by Evanescence

Bring Me to Life, by Evanescence

Love The Way You Lie, by Eminem, feat. Rihanna

Follow the playlist on Spotify: Damages

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