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April 17, 2015

|*| BLOG TOUR & REVIEW |*| Black Number Four by Kandi Steiner

Title: Black Number Four
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 4, 2015
Find on Goodreads
Known as one of the youngest and most ambitious poker players in the country, Skyler Thorne has a reputation to uphold in Vegas this year. Her sole focus for spring semester is to perfect her game and get tournament ready – and have some fun with her sorority sisters, of course. Meeting a care-free pledge with incredible arms adds a whole new element of fun to her semester, but when a shocking discovery about his past surfaces, Skyler finds herself stuck in a game she wasn’t prepared to play.

Kip Jackson is on a mission from his father. His plan was to get in, have a little fun, and then get out – on to bigger and better things. A feisty girl with bright blue eyes wasn’t on his list of things to do, but she quickly moves her way up to the very top. When he realizes completing his dad’s mission means crushing her in the process, he must decide if his dreams are worth the risk – or if he even has the same dreams, at all.

Two secrets. Two hearts. Two hands being played in one twisted game of deceit.

When the cards are on the table, will anyone be left standing?

The perfect poker face can only hide them for so long.

We get to my apartment around noon and I throw together a couple of turkey sandwiches for us. By the time we finish eating, we’re both exhausted – both from paddleboarding and from not sleeping last night.
“Why don’t we take a shower and watch a movie?” I suggest as Skyler yawns.
“I don’t have any clothes here besides the ones I have on now and they’re all sandy.”
“You can borrow a pair of boxers and a shirt of mine.”
Skyler chews her lip, unsure. “I don’t know, I’m pretty tired.”
“So am I,” I say, standing and pulling her up with me. “So maybe we watch a movie and maybe we take a nap. Don’t leave yet. I barely see you during the week and I know there’s not many weekends where you don’t have sorority stuff going on.”
“I actually have a sisterhood event tonight.”
“See?” I pull her wrist and lead her toward my bedroom, which really is just my bed separated by hanging curtains on a rack. I rummage through my clothes until I find a clean shirt and pair of boxers, tossing them to her and pointing to the bathroom. “Towels are above the toilet in the cabinet, shampoo and shit’s in there.”
She still seems unsure, so I pull her into me and move the fallen strands of hair from her face. “Come on. Just for a few hours. You’ll feel better once you shower and I know you’re tired. You’re not going to get any sleep if you go home to your sorority house.”
At that she sighs and nods. “You’re probably right about that.”
I smile and nudge her toward the bathroom again.
“Fine,” she says. “But just for a little while. And no trying to ambush me in the shower, either.”
I hold up my hands in surrender. “I promise. You can shower in peace.”
“Mmm hmm,” she says, suspicious, but she walks to the bathroom and closes the door behind her.
I smile and start straightening my bed, turning on the TV to find something for us to watch. I’m flipping through the channels when I hear the shower turn on and the smile leaves my face. Suddenly, I’m completely aware of Skyler’s naked body in the other room.
Shaking my head, I focus on finding something to watch, willing my own body to behave. After a few minutes, I realize I’ve flipped through the channels three times now without stopping or even recognizing what I was seeing on the screen. I bite my lip hard, cross my arms, and pace.
Don’t do it. Don’t make this more complicated than it is. She trusts you, she’s opening up to you – that’s what you need from her. Poker. Poker. Poker.
That’s all.
I pace more. Back and forth. Back and forth. Before I know what I’m doing, my knuckles are knocking softly on the bathroom door. I have no idea what I’m going to say or what the fuck I’m doing, but I can’t stop my hands. The door opens slightly on the third knock, as if it wasn’t completely closed, and through the slit, I see Skyler.
She’s standing there shocked, her mouth open slightly as the water continues to drip down her body, running in rivers down over her breasts and meeting between her thighs. I swallow hard, unsure of my decision. I have nothing to ask, no reason to be staring at her through this door – but Skyler doesn’t cover herself, she doesn’t scream, she doesn’t tell me to get out.
I open the door a little further, still wondering what the hell I’m doing. I consider asking if she needs anything else, if she found a towel, something – but we both know I didn’t come in here to give her a towel.
“I suck at keeping promises,” I admit, just above a whisper, and I wish I could tell her I’m not just talking about the promise to not interrupt her shower.
“And I suck at pretending like I don’t want you.”
 
My Review

Let me be very clear, this is the first time I read anything by Kandi Steiner, and it sure won’t be the last. Black Number Four is a fresh take on a little known storyline but what makes it REALLY UNIQUE is that the lead is a female. Yeah I might’ve did a little fist pump in the air over this point. Hey what can you say, I’m from Jersey, and it’s bound to come out from time to time… In any case I had a blast reading this New Adult story. Well written so when reading you flow right through it and I am happy to say that all the characters are now some of my favorites.
Black Number Four centers on a college campus in Florida, and Skylar loves her time there being in sorority and pretty much being a top female dog around. Not to mention that she can play a pretty mean game of poker, she always gets the guys eyes and she’s very careful not to get to close. Until he comes along. The transfer. The geeky jock. The smart one who has just as much fun as that college guy who’s been on campus for 7 years. Kip. Kip Jackson who has the blue radiating eyes hidden behind glasses has Skylar tripping over her own game.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I always have my stuff together. I’m confident. I’m sexy. I’m Skylar f**king Thorne, dammit.”

The only thing is that Kip has an agenda of his own and it’s not just academic but the one thing he didn’t bet on is the undeniable pull he has to Skylar.


I loved the banter that went on between these two. I loved the tension that was well placed and even though it seems this is all sunshine and happy moments; I was pleasantly pleased to have some angst and suspenseful drama to even out my reading palate. I know, it’s kind of mean to want a little suffering but hey I didn’t write the story J I just enjoyed it like I would if I had Four of Kind, Aces baby. 


4 Stars
 
Latch
Hannah Trigwell & Nick Howard
Chapter 1: Ante Up
Scene: “Latching onto the transfer already?”
Hell Yeah
Midnight Red
Chapter 1: Ante Up
Scene:  “What do you say we make this party a little more interesting?”
Blank Space
Tyler Ward
Chapter 2: Lady Luck
Scene: “Passion can be a dangerous thing.”
Take U There
Jack U ft. Kiesza
Chapter 3: Ace
Scene: Ralph’s is packed when we arrive, which isn’t out of the ordinary for a Friday night.
Slow to Learn
Manchester Orchestra
Chapter 4: Deuces
Scene: I’ve been too damn distracted by how sexy she is when she’s schooling these tools.
Sledgehammer
Fifth Harmony
Chapter 5: Hot Table
Scene: There’s also the fact that I like being around him. I like it way more than I care to admit and that’s not good.
Heartbreaker
Jayme Dee
Chapter 5: Hot Table
Scene: He smiles and licks his lips, his eyes smoldering, which causes practically the entire chapter room to swoon.
Blame
Calvin Harris
Chapter 6: Nicely Played
Scene: But then I remember that I will hurt her, whether I want to or not. It will happen. It’s inevitable.
Shower
Becky G
Chapter 7: Two Can Play That Game
Scene: “How is it that you infuriate me yet turn me on at the same time?”
What Makes You Beautiful
Boyce Avenue
Chapter 8: Power Moves
Scene: “Hold me so I won’t float away?”
Try
Colbie Caillat
Chapter 9: Poker Face
Scene: “We’re just trying to help,” Ashlei says.
Life of the Party
Shawn Mendes
Chapter 10: Weakness
Scene: “I don’t care about what people think, Skyler. I know you do, but I don’t.
Break Free
Ariana Grande
Chapter 11: Angle Shooter
Scene: There isn’t another option in this game, no matter how badly I wish there was.
Lay Me Down (acoustic)
Sam Smith
Chapter 12: Blank
Scene: How was I supposed to know the kind of drug I was getting into?
Bumper Cars
Alex & Sierra
Chapter 13: Bluffing
Scene: I hate this. I hate this so, so much.
Here We Go Again
Mat Kearney
Chapter 14: Tilt
Scene: “You’re coming home with me tonight.”
Hideaway
Kiesza
Chapter 15: No Limit
Scene: I have no idea what I’m doing.
Same Sea
Lights
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “I never thought studying could be so sexy,”
#GetItRight
Miley Cyrus
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “You’re killing me, Sky,”
She Looks So Perfect
5 Seconds of Summer
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “IT’S SPRING BREAK, BITCHES!”
Give Me Something
Alex & Siera
Chapter 16: Black Number Four
Scene: “Yeah, good luck with that game.
Surrender
Cash Cash
Chapter 17: Bad Beat
Scene: And the rest of the world can just deal with it.
Strip
Jessie J
Chapter 17: Bad Beat
Scene: “And what would make it perfect-perfect
Blame It On Me
Mapei
Chapter 17: Bad Beat
Scene: I can’t lose him.
Tenerife Sea
Ed Sheeran
Chapter 18: Rush
Scene: When we’re alone, that same electricity buzzes to life. The air feels tight, hot, charged.
All About You
Hilary Duff
Chapter 19: Game Changer
Scene: It’s crazy that a simple text can make my stomach flip like this, but it’s exactly what I needed.
Breathe Again
Sarah Bareilles
Chapter 19: Game Changer
Scene: I want him to fix it. To fix me.
It’s Not Over
Secondhand Serenade
Chapter 20: Downswing
Scene: “You don’t want to kiss me.” “Yes I do.”
Growing Up
Alex G
Chapter 21: Tell
Scene: As if I’m a glutton for punishment, I pull his oversized black t-shirt from my bag and slip it over my head, taking everything else off.
Pretending
Glee Cast
Chapter 22: Freezeout
Scene: For a moment she just stares at me, and I just stare at her. We don’t wave or nod or even really acknowledge that we’re both looking. We just look.
The Sun is Rising
Britt Nicole
Chapter 23: Game Over
Scene: And somewhere in those ocean blue eyes of his, I find what I’ve been searching for.
Stay With Me
Janxx
Chapter 23: Game Over
Scene: Love doesn’t care about the games we play.
Real Love
Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne
Chapter 24: Break Even
Scene: “I’m done leaving my life to chance. Black number four can suck it.”
Don’t Go Home Without Me
Lights
Epilogue: Heart
Scene: “I could get used to kisses like this.”
Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa with her husband. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.

~*~COVER REVEAL~*~Time of Want by Amanda Bianco and Stacie Jacobs



Authors: Amanda Bianco &Stacie Jacobs 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction 
Title: Time of Want,
Book one of ‘The Times Trilogy’
Book release: Expected Summer 2015
 Time of Want

Book one of The Times Trilogy

Samantha Bennett has the perfect life. A beautiful home, a loving husband, and all the designer labels a girl could want. But she is lonely. Feeling trapped at home while her husband John works long hours, Samantha craves love and attention. She is desperate for the one thing she can’t have - a child.

Following one let down after another, Sam questions her existence. Her lonely lifestyle drives her to want more. She looks to fill the void from John’s hectic business schedule.

That's when the Millers move in across the street.

Derek and Elizabeth have moved to Long Island so that Elizabeth, a successful pediatrician, can take up a new post close to her family. She is expecting their first child, and Derek, a former sports writer, has given up work to stay home with the baby and write a novel. Quickly, the Miller’s become friends with the Bennett’s. But cracks soon appear in their marriage as Elizabeth works long hours at the hospital.

Derek’s head has been turned and now he too is faced with his own demons.

As temptations grow, Sam begins to slip back into her old mischievous ways. She is
willing to risk everything she and John have worked for, because for Sam it is all about the thrill of the chase.

However, Derek has his own agenda and is playing by a different set of rules. This leaves Sam even more confused. She begins to question if it’s all worth it…

Have you ever wanted something so much that you would risk everything for it?

Even if it meant hurting the ones closest to you?

A contemporary novel of,

 Love, Loss, Desire, and Deception
 About us

Amanda was born and raised on Long Island, New York, and still lives there with her husband of eight years, and two small children. Their son is six and daughter is two. After giving birth, she was fortunate enough to stay at home with her children. Amanda is the youngest of four girls, and loved growing up in a big family. Once she graduated high school, she started working in retail full time.  She has always had a creative imagination, but her passion for writing only started a few years ago. The more she read, the more obsessed she became. Now, she loves to write and create stories that people will hopefully enjoy reading. A few of her favorite things to do are: listen to music, read, bake, and spend time with family.
Stacie was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She is the youngest of three girls. After high school, Stacie went to Dowling College and then to St. Joseph's college, with the hopes of being a teacher or speech pathologist. Her senior year, she became very ill and left. At the age of thirty two, she was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis. Wanting a change, Stacie relocated to Texas in 2006, and shortly after moving, she met her husband. Within six months, they married and now have a three year old son. They hope to complete their family with another baby soon. Now, being a stay at home Mom, Stacie has hopes of finishing her degree and to continue writing.
Amanda and Stacie have been friends for over twenty years. The first ten years, they worked in retail together, until they both decided to pursue other careers. The friendship has grown stronger over the years and no matter how far apart they live, it continues to grow. Amanda and Stacie have always made a great team.