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* an erotic suspense *

Newsflash!: Looks Are Deceiving
 was awarded the Bronze Award for Best Suspense
 in the 2010 Readers Favorite Contest!

 

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~ The Wine Thief
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a Hot Excerpt
~ Pool Party
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You Never See Everything.

      All shadows and mystery, Elissa Baker's in hot pursuit of something bigger, uglier, and meaner than Greg Moretti, and she keeps her destiny with the scum of the Earth a closely guarded confidence. Only Greg--muscles, brains, and passion--can wreck her long-laid path by being Mister Right At The Wrong Time, and refusing to let her go.

      How can she resist her Latin lover's dark-chocolate eyes always arresting her, his hypnotic lure stealing her soul, and dealing lusty persuasion like trump cards in a fixed bet?

      Restauranteur Greg Moretti is crazy for a woman who leads a smoke-and-mirrors life. He'll fix that by cooking up some heat, triggering a little hunger, and melting the ice-wall around her world. She'll have to choose between Greg and the criminal world. What holds Elissa from his total consumption? Why does she keep so many secrets?

      Greg will take no hostages nor will he back down from his chase until he identifies his competition and makes Elissa want him more than her other distractions. Good boys can be bad too...and lethal to the heart.

      The serendipitous solution to the cold-case murder of Greg's father leads to a gun battle that changes everything. Who invited the Mob?

      Someone's going to lose, and someone will die. Another someone. Everything changes with a bullet. 

Read the First Chapter here.

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Reviews for
Looks Are Deceiving

There are so many very nice reviews rolling in,
I decided to put them all in one place!

 
2010 Readers Favorite Contest
Bronze Award Winner for Best Romantic Suspense

5 out of 5 Stars!

     Elissa Baker's hair was a mess, and her clothes were streaked with dirt from working in the garden. She had made a quick trip to the store, not taking time to clean up. Her car insurance was due and she needed to buy gas. Three strangers walked up to her and offered her money to go on a blind date.
     Elissa showed up for the date dressed to perfection. Greg Moretti was awe-struck. The four men were always playing pranks on each other. Greg and Elissa agreed to play a little trick of their own. They would go out together for a month to win a $1,000 bet. He pretended to be in love with her, and she agreed to act like a dumpy plain Jane. Only, soon, Greg could not deny his feelings for her. Can he convince Elissa that he truly loves her? Throw in the mob and murder for an exciting mixture of romance, suspense, and humor.
     I eagerly turned the pages to see what would happen next between the two great lead characters. The sensual tension between Greg and Elissa is delicious. Excellent read!

Here's what this Review Looks Like!

Review Your Book
"Addictive" 5 Stars

     Elissa and Greg date initially because of a dare. They end up falling in love. Elissa has difficulty giving up control. Will Greg be able to break through to her core? Greg's family secrets are threatening his security. Will Elissa help him discover the family secrets? This is a breezy read. I could not wait to get home to see what happened next. I loved the ending. I recommend this!"
- Ashley Turlington, Review
Your Book

Find the Review Here!

Manic Readers
5 out of 5 Stars!

     How many times have our parents told us to never judge a book by its cover? In Ms. Hart's erotic romance thriller Looks Are Deceiving, the title says it all. This tantalizing story will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end. Moreover, the sexual chemistry between Greg and Elissa will set your body on fire. Greg is one ruggedly handsome, sensual Italian who knows how to mesmerize a woman with his mix of dominance and kind-heartedness both in and out of bed. His desire to take care of Elissa is endearing and will make you want to switch places with her in a New York minute. The light bondage and role play between the couple will definitely warm you in all the right places on a cold winter's night. To be honest, I couldn't get enough of them. As I anxiously hit the next page button on my Kindle, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. 

     The plot of the story is realistic in that Ms. Hart will have you questioning if there's more to each character than what's actually being said, which only brings the story to life. Although she allows the reader to learn some of their secrets upfront, she also maintains a high level of suspense by not divulging everything, which balances the plot and only piqued my curiosity even more. The fears exhibited by Greg and Elissa are realistic considering everything that they have experienced in life both in the past and present. The ole saying that opposites attract is on the money in Elissa and Greg's case because they definitely complement one another. In fact, they complete one another if the truth be told, especially when they both decide to live in the moment. 

     In Looks Are Deceiving, Ms. Hart provides the reader with a fast-paced, action-packed story that will have you begging for more at every turn. Although I couldn't wait to see what would happen next, I must admit that I was somewhat sad to see the book come to an end. I hope that Looks Are Deceiving is the first book in a series that allows us more insight into the other characters' lives. I would love to see what happens to Penny and Julian, as well as Derek, Greg's brother. In addition, I would love an update on Greg and Elissa, as well as Allen and Sissy. Two thumbs up to Ms. Hart for providing us with a heartfelt story that will make you laugh and cry, while covering your body in goose bumps from the sexual tension emanating between Gregg and Elissa. If you're looking for a book that will warm your heart, bring a smile to your face, and warm you on a cold winter's night from the scorching hot sex scenes, then Looks Are Deceiving is definitely the book to read. I would definitely recommend Looks Are Deceiving to my friends.
-AJ

Find the Review Here!

Whipped Cream: 4.5 Cherries out of 5!

Just Erotic Romance Reviews
4.5 out of 5 Stars

     Scoring a blind date was the last thing on Elissa Baker's mind when she goes grocery shopping looking like a bedraggled puppy. Delighted at her less-than-satisfactory appearance, three guys offer her money to have dinner with their friend. The mystery man turns out to be handsome restaurateur Greg Moretti who is knee-deep in solving troubles at his family restaurant. But one whiff of Elissa's butterscotch toffee body spray and Greg's heart is a goner. She is just as taken with the enigmatic man but what will she choose if she has to pick between love and her lifelong dream?

     Elissa's personality is a mystery, especially to Greg. She is presented as a fun loving, normal woman but there is a lot going on inside that intrigues and mystifies. She is a whole package and I loved every bit that I discovered but couldn't understand her reluctance to show her dreams. Greg is a fine man. He knows his responsibilities and can become a wonderful support system for anyone when the need arises. Their coming together was all part of an interesting bet to get back on the childish prank his friends played, but I wasn't prepared for all the simmering heat that their union generated. Elissa and Greg uncover each other's potential during the whole course of their budding relationship and the intensity is evident in the sex scenes. The lovemaking scenes will delight readers who want their zings mixed in perfectly with the ongoing storyline. The secondary characters are mostly integral parts of Greg's past and I loved the banter and camaraderie between them. All the female characters have a great deal of strength and spunk and I liked knowing them. A few sub-plots join in the main one but it is a relief that it doesn't get tangled up. The mystery was decent and I was really looking forward to meeting the villain. Ms. Hart managed to grab my interest with a clever opening and held my interest till the end. All in all, Looks Are Deceiving is a fast-paced, adventure filled story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Nicely Done!
--Mahaira, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

Here's the Review!

Simply Romance Reviews
GRADE:  B

     Looks are Deceiving is in itself a deceit. It starts out lighthearted with a prank being pulled by three lifelong friends on a fourth. They seek and out and proposition the most unattractive female they can find and offer to pay her to go on a date with their friend, Greg Moretti. Being a broke student, who is seriously debating if she can afford real ketchup, Elissa takes them up on their offer. The joke is on the three when Elissa shows up for her date and is a bombshell. They caught her at her worst after a long day of yard work.

     Enter Greg. He's the fortunate recipient of his friends blind date prank. She instantly attracts him, but he has no time for a relationship. He's running the family business and trying to solve the murder of his father.

     What I thought would be a fun read turned out to be a darn good mystery. The dialogue and attraction between Greg and Elissa was intriguing. Neither wanted or was ready for a relationship, but couldn't help themselves. Added in, Greg proposed that they keep fooling his friends so Elissa could get the money from the bet that originated the prank in the first place, and to prove a lesson to his friends. This added another dimension to the story.

     As with any romance, each has their secrets, and they must out in the end. Both had good reasons for keeping them, and I appreciated how they handled themselves. Secondary characters were well-written, and I liked the storylines that followed them.  Definitely a read worth picking up.

~Reviewed by Christine, Simply Romance Reviews

See the Review Here!

    Michele Hart has written an artful erotic romance with strong notes of suspense that leaves the reader breathless. I was drawn into the sensual world that opens up for Elissa as her love for Greg blossoms. Ms. Hart has created a page-turner that leads the reader from the underworld connections of the restaurant business to the glittering social scene of power and money, woven through with dark, sexy ribbons of desire and passion, danger and betrayal.  
-- Anna Small, author of To Tame the Wild Wind

     Looks are Deceiving is a fast paced, engaging novel that captures the reader at the start. Michele Hart employs a technique I appreciate in books by starting the reader off by thrusting directly into a situation where the heroine, Elissa, is challenged by a strange and unusual offer. By the end of the first chapter, Michele Hart has already captured the reader in the intense chemistry between Elissa and the hero, Greg. The passion builds through the book as the author expertly develops a deeper relationship between Elissa and Greg.

     Elissa is a charming mixture of shy and daring, adventurous and pragmatic, sexy and, yes, frumpy at times. Driven by an undeniable attraction for Greg at first, it soon becomes obvious that Elissa's desires are complicating a much deeper goal. Greg's motives are more pure and straightforward, but no less complicated. As the single minded, determined hero, he suffers from a flaw that real men are often accused of. Greg sometimes fails to be direct about the smaller details.  Between Elissa's intentional deceptions and Greg's lack of explanations, the plot twist and turns in unpredictable ways. Looks are Deceiving has many layers of depth and a reader would be well advised to keep the title in mind when starting in on this novel. Even once you think you've figured it all out, there is still a mystery to be revealed in the last chapter.

     Michele thrusts the reader directly into the action from the beginning and keeps them there. With sizzling sex, engaging heroine and hero, a full range of colorful side characters and a well-developed plot, I highly recommend Michele Hart's novel for anybody who loves their romances filled with suspense. 
-Jenny Penn, author of Mating Claire

 

Elissa's Diary Greg's Journal

Elissa's Diary

TROUBLE WITH DARK-CHOCOLATE EYES
     I did it for the money...went on a blind date-for-pay tonight, meant to play a trump card in a sardonic bet between childhood friends. Unexpected, I met the most delicious man who skillfully stiffed me out of the $300 Iíd been promised for my appearance while enchanting me with dark-chocolate bedroom eyes. The minutes spent sitting opposite Greg at the shadowed restaurant table felt for me like seconds passed too quickly. I was mindless to all but his deep voice and playful gaze.
    Greg hatched a plan to cost his friends a grand, and if I agreed to play along, I could walk away with $1,000 pain-free.  All Iíd have to do is hang out with him for a month.  Looking my absolute worst.
     I see trouble ahead. Itíll be difficult to gaze at Greg for four weeks and keep my heart off the playing table, my life unexamined.  Itís just a business deal, right?
     Back to the study of ballistics.

AFTER A NIGHT IN GREGíS ARMS
     Greg is a dangerous man, and all that peril reminds me of what it would mean for me to turn my focus to him. Iíll never see lightning and not think of Gregís body searing into me to the turmoil of the storm outside.
    Why did a man with a gun come for crates of wine?
     Time for that chapter on abnormal psychology.

HOW MUCH DOES GREG COST?
     Already, all my thoughts and body.  Slowly next, my heart and soul.  Then finally, all my hopes, dreams, and independence. Men and my kind of career aspirations donít mix. Already, Iíve missed two classes in favor of time spent with Greg. He takes too much of my mind, and every day I want him a little more, want my life-long goals a little less.
     The Mobís lurking. Where did they come from? Whatís with the wine? 
     Off to my karate class.

HE TOLD ME I WAS SCARED
     Greg might be right. He handed me the choice of being the cop or the robber. My pick told all. I can no longer concentrate without him in the background of every thought.
     Greg has something the Mob wants, and he doesnít know what that is.

NOTHING LOOKS THE SAME AFTER THIS
     The wine thefts led somewhere no one saw coming. Guns, the Mob, video. A cold-case murder.
     Now someoneís DEAD. ANOTHER someone.

 

Greg's Journal

THE NIGHT I MET ELISSA.
     Tonight I took a dare Iíd earlier regretted, and I laid eyes on the paprika-tressed woman of my dreams. 
     As usual juvenile, Iíd bet childhood friends I could fall for a woman for her mind, and tonight theyíd mistakenly sent me a woman I canít get out of my thoughts. My heart skipped a beat when I spotted her lean, satin-fringed legs on stiletto heels, one foot rising when she leaned against the hostessís podium. My mouth went dry at the sight.
    There on a mercy date for pay, Elissa sat across me in my favorite booth in the restaurant, and the mood lighting turned her vibrant blue eyes into jewels winking back at me with her every small expression. Her hair, the exact shade of Hungarian paprika, called me to touch it. It took some concentration to keep my hand from following instinct. She smelled like toffee and, God, she made me hungry on a few different levels just sitting there. I really canít remember when Iíve reacted so instantly, so potently to a woman. 
     Many times tonight Iíve tried to study contracts for the restaurant franchise, but her cherry-painted mouth, her bare shoulders, her long legs interrupted every thought until I just gave in to the fantasy and pictured myself stripping off her black-satin dress before the fireplace.

AFTER THE RESTAURANT ROBBERY.
     I kissed her three times tonight.
     Once in front of the world, ten sets of eyes from my childhood looking on, ten chins I remember staring up at as a kid, falling downward. It was a blast, and Elissa fell right into the kiss and played along. I like that.
     I kissed her twice in private, a second first kiss, and a third kiss to guarantee she didnít imagine the second kiss. Her blue eyes just TOOK me. Irresistible impulse.

 

AFTER VISITING ELISSA AT THE BAR.
      Tonight, I dragged the guys to Elissaís new job at Club Renoís. I thought Iíd die watching her rear-end sway atop those stiletto heels half the night. The guys never once realized...when they checked out the hot server providing them drinks, they were looking at the same girl Iíd taken to the graduation party.

WHATíS HER SECRET?
     That girl builds taller walls than China. Elissa gives me her body, but not her soul. She keeps her life under wraps, all details to herself, past and present. She wonít give me a peek, not a clue or hint. Every day I want to see more of her, and she turns another lock.
     Wasnít the Great Wall of China built with the mortar of dead bodies? Elissa knows too much about crime.
     Is there a dead body in her past?

3 DAYS WITHOUT ELISSA.
     Somethingís gotta give. I havenít heard from Elissa. I left her a few messages on her voicemail through the week, but got no response.
     That ends tonight. I plan to strip her of her mystery...after I strip her of her job and anything else in my path to her. An ally will ease my way.

I HAD A PREMONITION.
     I learned Elissa didnít have a dead body in her past.
     She had a dead body in her future.
     
We all did.