Happy Monday! Today on the blog we have a blog tour stop for Fire Me Up with an awesome guest post by Rachel Johns about the inspiration behind The Deacons of Bourbon Street series and her inspiration for some of the scenes in Fire Me Up. We also have an excerpt from the book, our review and rating, and details about a giveaway as well as information on where to find Fire Me Up online.
Fire Me Up
Release Date: 09/01/2015
Can a scorching affair with a bohemian beauty tame a motorcycle man with a dark side? Rachael Johns takes the wheel in the sexy series co-written with Megan Crane, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates.
Travis “Cash” Sinclair values only two things from his days with the Deacons of Bourbon Street: his prized Harley Davidson and the man who gave it to him. But now Priest Lombard is gone, and Cash has inherited the Deacons’ clubhouse—not to mentions its unexpected tenant. She’s exactly the type of woman he tries to avoid: all incense and art, with a sharp tongue that promises trouble. So why does Cash want to push aside those flowing skirts and lose himself between her legs?
Billie Taylor fled a bad marriage to start a new life among the grit and glamour of the French Quarter. She refuses to let another man distract her from her dreams, especially an outlaw biker with nothing to offer except hot sex and an eviction notice. Cash is dangerous, with an untamed streak he tries desperately to conceal. He drives Billie wild, sending her too close to the edge for her own good. And she won’t fall under his spell—or into his bed—without a fight.
*Keep reading for an amazing guest post, a book excerpt, a review, information about the author, details on how to enter the giveaway, and buy links.*
The Inspiration Behind Fire Me Up
by Rachel Johns
In May 2014 I went to my first ever Romantic Times convention. It was in the French Quarter of New Orleans and I roomed with my friends and fabulous authors Maisey Yates and Megan Crane. The three of us fell in love with the French Quarter and spent more time exploring the city’s uneven streets and quirky boutiques than we did at the actual convention. We went on ghost tours, walked around the famous cemeteries and I visited a couple of plantations and learnt about the fascinating and often sad history of Louisiana. And of course we ate out at a lot of fabulous restaurants.
Everything about New Orleans – from the famous beignets of Café Du Monde to the street bands and many art galleries stole my heart. The locals were captivating characters and the tourists were an eclectic bunch from hen’s night parties, convention goers to classy middle-aged couples who didn’t quite look as if they belonged in such a place. Because in many ways the French Quarter is a little seedy – it boasts a number of voodoo shops and strip clubs, along with dingy bars that house questionable characters. It’s famous for it’s Mardi Gras and the strings of beads people through down from balconies in order to get people on the street below to flash their tits, but it also offers funky jazz clubs and restaurants you’ll rave about for months after.
Not long after we returned from RT, someone suggested the three of us write a series set in New Orleans and of course we thought it was a fabulous idea. We already anticipated the French Quarter being a major character in the book and somehow over a long Skype brainstorming session, we decided to write an MC romance series. That’s when we invited Jackie Ashenden to come to the party – because she’s also a good friend of ours, who happens to have immense talent writing gritty bikers.
There is pretty much NOTHING I don’t love about the French Quarter and there was so much I could have put in the book but I had to narrow it down, so the book was about The Deacons Of Bourbon Street, rather than my love affair with this magical place.
Some places I visited that made it into FIRE ME UP include:
Café Du Monde – where we went more times than I care to tell you and ate far more beignets than I will ever admit.
An art gallery I fell in love with on Bourbon Street was the inspiration for Billie’s gallery. We chatted to the owner and one of the artist’s for a quite some time.
The animals – Billie has a cute little dog in FIRE ME UP because I noticed so many shops and galleries that had cats or dogs in them and I simply adored this.
Some other of my favourite photos taken in New Orleans.
Muriel’s was one of the restaurants we fell in love with and it had it’s own ghost – featured in this photo Maisey Yates and Megan Crane.
One of the many street bands we stopped to admire.
From Fire Me Up by Rachel Johns:
Fucking Ajax wanted to keep the joint, revive the damn club, embrace the old brotherhood, and Leon was all for it. They’d spent all night after the funeral downing bourbon, reliving “fond” memories and making plans, and had gotten progressively more obsessed. Only Travis and Micah could see that the best thing for all of them would be to sell off the buildings Priest had left them and get the fuck back out of town. Tallahassee might seem boring in comparison to New Orleans, but it was safe. This place still set him on edge; it made him feel things he didn’t want to feel. Travis knew the longer he stayed, the more likely he was to lose his shit with someone and end up in jail. Again.
Realizing she was still staring at him, he straightened and then gestured beyond them to the door that led inside. Despite her coolness, her paltry attempts at hostility did nothing to calm the fire rising within him. “Then you can show me to my room,” he told her, indecent suggestion dripping from his tone.
Her outraged expression only wound the coil of heat inside him tighter. He turned and headed over to where he’d dumped his bag on the floor. Billie wasn’t wearing any shoes so he didn’t hear her stalking after him, but he felt her. She was following him and if he played his cards right, he could turn what had been a shitty day into one that would blow both their minds. Leaning over, he hitched his pack over his shoulder and then turned, expecting to come face-to-face with her alluring anger, but almost tripping over a little gray dog instead.
“What the fuck is that?” And where the hell had it come from? He steadied himself against the wall, his fingers closing around the edge of some grotesque fairy painting, and peered down at the thing that had almost resulted in giving him a broken leg. It looked up at him, teeth bared, a low growl emanating from somewhere beneath rolls and rolls of wrinkles. Travis had never been big on small dogs, but he had to give it to this one—it had balls.
Billie smiled that saccharine smile again. “This is Baxter, and I think what he’s trying to say is you don’t have a room here.”
“Well, Baxter.” Travis glared down at the pathetic excuse for a dog. “That’s where you’re wrong. In case you misunderstood before, Billie,” he said, looking back to her, “I’m the new owner of this building. And, as it happens, I need a place to stay for a few weeks. Maybe longer.”
“That may be,” Billie said, standing her ground, although he noted a quiver in her voice, “but I already live here, so you’ll have to find somewhere else.”
“I don’t think so.” He shook his head and made to move past Billie and Baxter.
She sidestepped so that she was in his way and Baxter bared his teeth even more, his growl growing deeper. “If you are my new landlord,” Billie said, her tone filled with disgust, “then you’d know I have rights as the tenant. You need to give me notice for an inspection and you definitely can’t just move in.”
“Sweetheart.” He leaned forward so he was invading her personal space. She smelled sweet, of some kind of strawberry shampoo or something that made his muscles tighten, but he ignored it. “No one tells me what the fuck to do. And if you can afford a lawyer, then you’re not paying us enough rent.”
“I . . . I . . .” Billie blinked, and her tits heaved up and down as she searched for more words.
He made no apology for looking, waited a beat, and when it seemed she didn’t have anything to add he tossed her one final question. “Can you afford a lawyer?”
Her shoulders slumped and she shook her head.
He smirked his victory. “In that case, you, me and Baxter are roommates.
*ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review *
First Impression: Well-written and easy to read. Great opening. The hero, Travis, pulled me right into the story.
One of my favorite things when reading a new book is finding a read so compelling it draws me into the world of the characters and refuses to let me go. Fire Me Up by Rachel Johns was just such a read for me.
The second of four planned books in the Deacons of Bourbon Street series, Fire Me Up is the story of Travis “Cash” Sinclair and Billie Taylor. In the book, Cash has unexpectedly inherited the Deacon’s old clubhouse and Billie, as the current tenant and owner of the gallery now housed in the clubhouse, inherits Cash as a roommate.
I loved this book! Not only was it well-written, but the characters were so compelling and the story so engaging that it quickly became a book I couldn’t put down. And while I’ve not read anything by Rachel Johns before, I have to say, I fell in love with her writing style in this book because it has that deep point of view that I absolutely love to find. The kind of point of view that brings the reader into a story rather than keeping them at a distance because it allows readers to really feel, relate, and understand the characters in the story.
More than once, I found myself grinning and chuckling at something Travis thought or did to frustrate Billie. He’s one of those amazing characters that just commands your attention from the second you meet him on the page and he doesn’t have to do much else to keep it, either. He’s exactly the kind of hero I love to read in a romance because there’s a reluctance in him, a type of dragging his feet and denying that he wants anything to do with the Deacons he feels betrayed him in the past. It’s what makes him such a fascinating character because there are contradictions in what he thinks he wants and what he doesn’t know he actually needs or is looking for.
Another thing I loved about Travis is that he’s an alpha male, arrogant and stubborn, but he’s also a little bit wounded, and though he doesn’t really show that on the outside, it’s easy for readers to see it in him and also relate to it.
Billie’s kind of on defense where Travis is concerned because he just kind of comes in and takes over, and yet, even as crazy as his disturbance to her life is, she can’t help but be fascinated and attracted to him. He’s a strong man, and though the last thing she wants is another man becoming part of her life, she’s attracted to his strength and his ability to command a room simply by stepping inside of it. He’s different, and he intrigues her even when she tries her best not to be intrigued by him.
If you love powerful, smart, computer savvy alpha males who drive spunky art gallery owners mentally and physically crazy, Fire Me Up by Rachel Johns is a fantastic read that I highly recommend giving a shot. I got lost in reading this book, and I loved second of it!
If you’d like to check out my review of the first book in this series, Make You Burn by Megan Crane, you can find it and more here
This is a tour-wide giveaway for:
Ebook bundle of:
MAKE YOU BURN by Megan Crane
THE DEVIL’S THIEF by Samantha Kane
ALEX by Sawyer Bennett
BREAKING NOAH by Ashley Suzanne and Missy Johnson
BAD ROMANCE by Jen McLaughlin
BOUND BY BLISS by Lavinia Kent
BRING ON THE HEAT by Katie Rose
THE REAL THING by Cassie Mae
BREAKING A LEGEND by Sarah Robinson
DELAYED PENALTY by Sophia Henry
SHREDDED by Tracy Wolff
Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a supermarket owner, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. She writes contemporary romance for HQN and Carina Press and lives in rural Western Australia with her hyperactive husband and three mostly-gorgeous heroes-in-training. Rachael loves to hear from readers and can be contacted through her website at www.rachaeljohns.com
This tour was put together by the fabulous:
Want to follow the tour? You can do so here
Special thank you to Rachel Johns for taking the time to write and share such a wonderful guest post with us, and to Tasty Book Tours for putting together another fantastic blog tour.