Cover Reveal – SAY I’M YOURS by Corinne Michaels

SAY I'M YOURS Cover Reveal

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Corinne Michaels, is unveiling the cover to SAY I’M YOURS, a a standalone adult contemporary romance, releasing March 27, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

SAY I'M YOURS by Corinne Michaels

SAY I’M YOURS by Corinne Michaels

About the Book
Title: SAY I’M YOURS
Author: Corinne Michaels
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
From New York Times Bestseller, Corinne Michaels, comes a new second chance standalone romance.

I spent twenty years waiting for Trent Hennington to open his eyes and see me. But it was all for nothing. He chose to keep himself guarded and let me walk away, proving that my time and efforts were wasted.

I’m done being invisible.

It’s time to move on.

A single dance sets my new reality into motion, and I welcome it. After all, Cooper Townsend is perfect. He’s kind, sexy, and attentive–everything a girl could want.

I thought I got it right this time.

That my heart could mend, and I would be happy.

Apparently, some things really are just too hard to walk away from.

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SAY I'M YOURS by Corinne Michaels (Full Cover)

SAY I’M YOURS by Corinne Michaels (Full Cover)

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Author Corinne Michaels

Author Corinne Michaels

About The Author
Corinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Salvation Series (Beloved, Beholden, Consolation, Conviction & Defenseless). She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.

Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha heroes are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.
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Where to Find Corinne Michaels
Goodreads | Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Facebook GroupTwitter | InstagramPinterestAmazon
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – YOUR TEMPTING LOVE (Bennett Family) by Layla Hagen

YOUR TEMPTING LOVE Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for YOUR TEMPTING LOVE, the fifth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Bennett Family, by USA Today bestselling author, Layla Hagen. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Your Tempting Love (Bennett Family #5) by Layla Hagen

Your Tempting Love (Bennett Family #5) by Layla Hagen

About the Book
Title:
 Your Tempting Love
Series: Bennett Family #5
Author: Layla Hagen
Release Date: February 17, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
This is book 5 in The Bennett Family series, but can be read as a standalone since every book features a different couple.

Christopher Bennett is a persuasive man. With his magnetic charm and undeniable wit, he plays a key role in the international success of his family’s company. 

Christopher adores his family, even if they can be too meddling sometimes… like when they recommend him to employ Victoria Hensley’s decorating services for his new apartment in an attempt to set him up with her. Christopher isn’t looking to settle down, but meeting Victoria turns his world upside down. Her laughter is contagious, and her beautiful lips and curves are too tempting.

Victoria Hensley is determined not to fall under Christopher’s spell, even though the man is hotter than sin, and his flirty banter makes her toes curl. But Christopher is her client, and she knows better than to get involved with clients. Besides, Victoria isn’t looking for love. After her parents’ death, Victoria is raising her much younger siblings, and she can’t afford any mistakes.

But Victoria and Christopher’s chemistry is not just the sparks-flying kind, but the downright explosive kind. Before she knows it, Christopher is training her brother Lucas for soccer tryouts and reading bedtime stories to her sister Chloe.

Victoria wants to resist him, but Christopher is determined, stubborn, and oh-so-persuasive. 

When their attraction and connection both spiral out of control, will they be able to risk it all for a love that is far too tempting?

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YOUR TEMPTING LOVE Teaser 1

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Excerpt #1
“Victoria? No offense, but that all sounds like pig latin to me. If there’s anything you know will make this place look like a home, go ahead. I’m giving you carte blanche.” Evidently, I was so immersed in my proposal, I didn’t take notice of him advancing toward me, or me backing into the wall opposite the kitchen. One of his hands is propped against the wall near my ear, and with the other one, he twirls a strand of my hair in his fingers.

“Really? I don’t want you to think I’m trying to upsell you things. I want you to love your new home.” The words tumble out of my mouth at an alarming speed, but Christopher’s proximity is setting me on edge. Drawing in a deep breath, I attempt to calm myself, but my heart rate ratchets up. Feeling his fingers move from my hair to my temple and then descend to my jaw isn’t helping.

“I was hoping it was just an excuse to spend more time with me,” he says gently. The space between us seems to become increasingly smaller, even though neither of us moves. “You smell like eggnog.” Something in his voice has changed. I can’t pinpoint what; maybe his timbre is lower, but it sounds more intimate than it did seconds ago. It sends desire coursing through me, and I become aware of the fact that my breasts are squished against his chest. His hot breath lands on my cheek, like a forbidden whisper.

“I am going to kiss you, Victoria.” His words unleash a hunger inside me, so deep and so powerful that I have no hope of resisting it. I nod slightly, and then his mouth covers mine. I part my lips invitingly, and when he coaxes my tongue with his, I’m on fire.

Oh, this man knows how to kiss. He is demanding and in control, and I love every second of it. Before long, we’re a tangle of limbs because I need to feel so much more, and I’m not alone in my desperation. One of his hands finds the hem of my sweater, and I shudder. Pressing his knee between my legs, he opens my thighs. Driven by a will of their own, my hips roll forward, and I find myself pressing my center against his thigh. A rough groan reverberates from his chest, and his hand slides up, stopping where the fabric of my bra meets my skin. All movement stops for a few interminable seconds, and I realize he’s seeking permission.

I nod almost imperceptibly, and our control snaps. Christopher cups my breast over the fabric of the bra, and my nipples turn hard within seconds. His mouth descends to my neck.

“I am going to make you come, Victoria,” he whispers against my skin.

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YOUR TEMPTING LOVE Teaser 2

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Your Irresistible Love (Bennett Family #1) by Layla Hagen

Your Irresistible Love (Bennett Family #1) by Layla Hagen

About Book 1
Title:
 Your Irresistible Love
Series: Bennett Family #1
Author: Layla Hagen
Release Date: January 13, 2016
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

Synopsis
Sebastian Bennett is a determined man. It’s the secret behind the business empire he built from scratch. Under his rule, Bennett Enterprises dominates the jewelry industry. Despite being ruthless in his work, family comes first for him, and he’d do anything for his parents and eight siblings—even if they drive him crazy sometimes. . . like when they keep nagging him to get married already.

Sebastian doesn’t believe in love, until he brings in external marketing consultant Ava to oversee the next collection launch. She’s beautiful, funny, and just as stubborn as he is. Not only is he obsessed with her delicious curves, but he also finds himself willing to do anything to make her smile.
He’s determined to have Ava, even if she’s completely off limits.

Ava Lindt has one job to do at Bennett Enterprises: make the next collection launch unforgettable. Daydreaming about the hot CEO is definitely not on her to-do list. Neither is doing said CEO. The consultancy she works for has a strict policy—no fraternizing with clients. She won’t risk her job. Besides, Ava knows better than to trust men with her heart.

But their sizzling chemistry spirals into a deep connection that takes both of them by surprise. Sebastian blows through her defenses one sweet kiss and sinful touch at a time. When Ava’s time as a consultant in his company comes to an end, will Sebastian fight for the woman he loves or will he end up losing her?

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Your Captivating Love (Bennett Family #2) by Layla Hagen

Your Captivating Love (Bennett Family #2) by Layla Hagen

About Book 2
Title:
 Your Captivating Love
Series: Bennett Family #2
Author: Layla Hagen
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

Synopsis
Logan Bennett knows his priorities. He is loyal to his family and his company. He has no time for love, and no desire for it. Not after a disastrous engagement that left him broken-hearted.

When Nadine enters his life, she turns everything upside down. She’s sexy, funny, and utterly captivating. She’s also more stubborn than anyone he’s met. . .including himself.

Nadine Hawthorne is finally pursuing her dream: opening her own shop. After working so hard to get here, she needs to concentrate on her new business, and can’t afford distractions. Not even if they come in the form of Logan Bennett. He’s handsome, charming, and doesn’t take no for an answer.

It doesn’t help that Logan’s family is scheming to bring them together at every turn. Their attraction is sizzling, and their connection—undeniable. Slowly, Logan wins her over.

But what starts out as a fling soon spirals into so much more. Will they learn to trust their feelings?

Will they have the strength not to let go of each other?

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Your Forever Love (Bennett Family #3) by Layla Hagen

Your Forever Love (Bennett Family #3) by Layla Hagen

About Book 3
Title:
 Your Forever Love
Series: Bennett Family #3
Author: Layla Hagen
Release Date: July 28, 2016
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible

Synopsis
Eric Callahan is a powerful man, and his sharp business sense has earned him the nickname Shark. Yet under the strict façade is a man who loves his daughter and would do anything for her. When he and his daughter move to San Francisco for three months, he has one thing in mind: expanding his business on the West Coast. As a widower, Eric is not looking for love. He focuses on his company, and his daughter.

Until he meets Pippa Bennett. She captivates him from the moment he sets eyes on her, and what starts as unintentional flirting soon spirals into something neither of them can control.

Pippa Bennett knows she should stay away from Eric Callahan. After going through a rough divorce, she doesn’t trust men anymore. But there’s something about Eric that just draws her in. He has a body made for sin, and a sense of humor that matches hers. Not to mention that seeing how adorable he is with his daughter melts Pippa’s walls one by one.

The chemistry between them is undeniable, but it’s the connection that grows deeper every day that has both of them wonder if love might be within their reach.

When it’s time for Eric and his daughter to head back home, will he give up on the woman who has captured his heart or will he do everything in his power to remain by her side?

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Your Inescapable Love (Bennett Family #4) by Layla Hagen

Your Inescapable Love (Bennett Family #4) by Layla Hagen

About Book 4
Title:
 Your Inescapable Love
Series: Bennett Family #4
Author: Layla Hagen
Release Date: November 10, 2016
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
A sizzling new friends-to-lover romance from a USA Today Bestselling Author. Each book in the Bennett family series is a full, standalone story.

Max Bennett was nine years old the first time he met Emilia. The two formed a tight friendship that lasted for years until she moved away. Now, years later, Max enjoys a successful career, and his brilliant business sense helped him take his family’s company to the next level. Max loves his life: carefree and fun. He has everything he wants, and has no intentions of settling down anytime soon (even though his family might have other ideas).

But when a chance encounter brings him face to face with Emilia, he starts questioning everything. The girl he last saw years ago has grown into a beautiful woman with sensual curves and a smile he can’t get out of his mind. Their chemistry is sizzling, and between old memories and new challenges, the two form a connection that is undeniable.

Emilia Campbell has a lot on her plate, taking care of her sick grandmother. Still, the twenty-eight year old physical therapist faces everything with a smile on her face and a positive attitude. The one area in her life where she’s not too optimistic is love. After practically being left at the altar, Emilia has sworn off men. Until the childhood friend she hero-worshiped and hasn’t quite forgotten, steps into her clinic. Max is every bit the troublemaker she remembers, only now he has a body to drool over, and a smile to melt her panties. Not that she intends to do the former, or let the latter happen.

They are both determined not to cross the boundaries of friendship. But as they spend more time together, their chemistry spirals out of control.

Can Emilia trust her childhood hero with the key to her heart and accept she might have found her one true love?

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Author Layla Hagen

Author Layla Hagen

About the Author
Welcome! My name is Layla Hagen and I am a Contemporary Romance author. I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later. I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world. And I drink coffee. Lots of it 😀

SIGN UP FOR MY MAILING LIST and find out about future books as soon as they are released! (just copy and paste this link in your browser to sign up):
http://laylahagen.com/mailing-list-sign-up/

I am represented by Louise Fury (The Bent Agency)

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Where to find Layla Hagen
Goodreads Website Facebook Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – ALEX (Perfect Opposite) by Zoya Tessi

ALEX Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for ALEX, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Perfect Opposite, by Zoya Tessi. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

Alex (Perfect Opposite #1) by Zoya Tessi

Alex (Perfect Opposite #1) by Zoya Tessi

About the Book
Title: Alex
Series: Perfect Opposite #1
Author: Staci Hart
Release Date: January 23, 2017
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
Their wishes were simple and modest. Fate had other things in store though, and she can be a real bitch sometimes.

All he wanted was to get the job done and somehow to endure those long months playing nanny to a spoiled little rich girl. Without strangling her with his bare hands in the process. Well, it is going to be much easier said than done.

All she wanted was to escape the past and live like any other nineteen-year-old girl. Her plan definitely didn’t include the arrogant, tattooed savage, with his awful mohawk hair and lack of social graces, whose only mission was to stick real close and mess up her life.

But, people aren’t always what they seem to be, are they?

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ALEX Teaser 1

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Excerpt #4
Alex

It was impossible to tell how much time had passed before her trembling ceased and she finally calmed down. Her face looked suddenly small and fragile tucked in the crook of my neck, as though at a stroke she’d lost all of her worldly bravado. Based on her steady deep breathing, she’d finally fallen asleep, but I went on running my fingers across her brow. Curled in a tight ball in my arms, with her tangled locks tumbling down over her face, she reminded me of a butterfly, perhaps the last of its species, landed on the curve of a great wheel. Yet again, I asked myself what the fuck could have happened to scare her this much. It was impossible to say for definite, but I was pretty sure that something had triggered a full-blown panic attack, the kind that bites down hard and leaves a bitter taste for hours, if not longer.

Christ! How could Nikolai have allowed her to be drawn into this mess?!

She would never admit it, but I saw right through her bluff. Below that “nothing can touch me” attitude, and the Medusa stare she served up to anyone who dared to get too close, she was far too fragile for this kind of life. It was only a matter of time before Nikolai’s poisoned apple got into her soul, and then the looking glass would shatter. 

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ALEX Teaser 2

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Author Zoya Tessi

Author Zoya Tessi

About the Author
Zoya spent years doing volunteering work all across Europe, from cleaning school basements in Northern Russia to excavating Stone Age artifacts in Euskadi (the Basque country) and renovating castles from the middle ages in Southern France. She always dreamed of working with ‘Doctors without borders’ somewhere out in Africa, but ended up doing an ‘ordinary job’ in one of the smaller European countries.

Her greatest passion is devouring each and every book that comes within her reach.

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Where to Find Zoya Tessi
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebookTwitter | Amazon

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz – Playlist + Giveaway – AUTUMN’S DANCE by Sarah Gai

AUTUMN'S DANCE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for AUTUMN’S DANCE, a stand-alone new adult contemporary romance, by Sarah Gai. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive playlist, and details on her giveaway.

AUTUMN'S DANCE by Sarah Gai

AUTUMN’S DANCE by Sarah Gai

About the Book:
Title:
AUTUMN’S DANCE
Author: Sarah Gai
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
“A story that captures your heart and continues you thinking about it long after you fall asleep.”

Autumn Nash lives a nomadic existence with her harvest-travelling father, except every summer when they return to one place like clockwork…Ligonier, PA. But this season, Autumn meets a young man who changes her world and makes her long for more.

Eric Foster has been sent to stay the summer in Ligonier with his grandfather in hopes of altering his path as his life spirals downward. His direction changes the moment he sees Autumn; he knows his very reason for breathing is solely to be with her.

When Autumn is ripped away from Ligonier, she leaves Eric confused and devastated that their time is over. Both teens struggle through the years gone by without the other. Will Autumn ever see the boy who changed her life again? Will Eric wait for her? Will Autumn ever make it back to Ligonier? And what will happen when buried secrets surface?

Discover a love that takes you back to what it’s all about—the confusing, yet simplistic, beginnings of falling in love and watch it evolve into something that takes your breath away..

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AUTUMN'S DANCE Teaser 1

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Playlist
AUTUMN'S DANCE Playlist

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AUTUMN'S DANCE Teaser 2

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Author Sarah Gai

Author Sarah Gai

About the Author
So this is me in short. I’m plus size and completely adorable (or so my husbands tells me). A momma of three princes who light my world. I drink way too much coffee, chocolate is a staple. I love to write after midnight and my love for short stories will never fade. With such a limited amount of time to enjoy quiet writing, I have mastered the  skills of fitting a lot into a small amount of pages. Humour keeps me smiling and well.. if you’ve read my books you’ll know that I put a lot of myself into the characters. And to answer your questions. My best friends and I forgot the part about growing up and love every minute of it. Aside from writing I also run a publication IndieLove Magazine,  promoting Indie Awesomes from a range of fields and professions. Check it out at www.indielovemagazine.com.

In 2017 I will be saying goodbye to Chick lit for a while and heading into Contemporary Romance. I hate to be put in a box! Join my street team at www.sarahgai.com and come have some fun!

Love to all xo.

Wanting to write for all the women out there who want a good short read about strong friendships, romance and body positive, love the skin you’re in kind of fiction. .

Where to Find Sarah Gai
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cover Reveal – TAKE ME BACK by Meghan March

USA Today bestselling author, Meghan March, is unveiling the cover to TAKE ME BACK, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing March 20, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

TAKE ME BACK by Meghan March

TAKE ME BACK by Meghan March

About the Book
Title
: TAKE ME BACK
Author: Meghan March
Publisher: Red Dress Press
Category: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 20, 2017
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Barnes & NoblesiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
We fell in love on a beach, got married in paradise, and I carried her off into the sunset. It should have been perfect, but saying “I do” doesn’t guarantee a happily-ever-after.

Two years later, I barely recognize either of us behind the walls we’ve built.

It’s time to bring it full circle. Back to a tropical paradise. Back to find out if we can still make this work.

I’m not willing to give her up, but to save us, I have to risk everything.

Two damaged people.

Countless secrets.

The fight of our lives.

We might be broken, but we’re not done.

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TAKE ME BACK by Meghan March (Full Cover)

TAKE ME BACK by Meghan March (Full Cover)

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Author Meghan March

Author Meghan March

About the Author
Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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Where to Find Meghan March
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon
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Cover Reveal – ROYALLY MATCHED (Royally Series) by Emma Chase

ROYALLY MATCHED Excerpt Reveal

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Chase, is revealing a new excerpt from the upcoming release, ROYALLY MATCHED, the second book in her adult romantic comedy series, Royally, coming February 21, 2017. See below for information on the book and series, pre-order links, and the exclusive excerpt.

ROYALLY MATCHED (Royally #2) by Emma Chase

ROYALLY MATCHED (Royally #2) by Emma Chase

About the Book
Title: ROYALLY MATCHED
Series: Royally #2
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | KoboBAM! | IndieBound

Synopsis
Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

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ROYALLY MATCHED Teaser 1

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Excerpt
“Are you a virgin?” I ask.

“Well . . . yes.”

“Then why are you complaining? You qualify.”

Sarah’s eyes flash with annoyance. “Because I’m more than my hymen, Henry! To base the value of an accomplished, intelligent woman on a flimsy piece of skin is degrading. How would you feel if your worth rested on your foreskin?”

I think it over. And then I grin. “I’d be all right with that, actually. I’ve heard it was an impressive foreskin—all the nurses were fawning over it. It’s probably being showcased in a museum right now.”

She stares at me for a beat, then she laughs out loud—a rich, throaty, sensual sound.

“You’re a terrible human being.”

“I know.” I shake my head at the calamity of it all.

“And you’re an even worse feminist.”

“Agreed. That’s something I need to work on. You’ll help me, won’t you? We should spend as much time together as possible—every minute of the day and night. I’m hoping you’ll rub off on me.”

Sarah pushes my shoulder. “You’re just hoping I’ll rub you off.”

Now it’s my turn to laugh. Because she’s not even a little bit wrong.

“But there’s never been anyone? Really?”

Sarah shrugs. “Penny and I were tutored at home when we were young . . . but in year ten, there was this one boy.”

I rub my hands together. “Here we go—tell me everything. I want all the sick, lurid details. Was he a footballer? Captain of the team, the most popular boy in school?”

“He was captain of the chess team.”

I cover my eyes with my hand.

“His name was Davey. He wore these adorable tweed jackets and bow ties, he had blond hair and was a bit pale because of the asthma. He had the same glasses as me and he had a different pair of argyle socks for every day of the year.”

“I am so disappointed in you right now.”

“He was nice,” she chides. “You leave my Davey alone.”

I shake my head. “So what happened to old Davey boy?”

“I was alone in the library one day and he came up and started to ask me to the spring social. And I was so excited and nervous I could barely breathe. And then before he could finish the question, I . . .”

I don’t realize I’m leaning toward her until she stops talking and I almost fall over.

“You . . . what?”

Sarah hides behind her hands.

“I threw up on him.”

And I try not to laugh. I swear I try . . . but I’m only human. So I end up laughing so hard the car shakes and I can’t speak for several minutes.

“Christ almighty.”

“And I’d had fish and chips for lunch.” Sarah’s laughing too. “It was awful.”

“Oh you poor thing.” I shake my head, still chuckling. “And poor Davey.”

“Yes.” She wipes under her eyes with her finger. “Poor Davey. He never came near me again after that.”

“Coward—he didn’t deserve you. I would’ve swam through a whole lake of puke to take a girl like you to the social.”

She smiles so brightly at me, her cheeks maroon and round like two shiny apples.

“I think that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”

I wiggle my eyebrows. “I’m all about the compliments.”

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ROYALLY MATCHED Teaser 2

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Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

About Book 1
Title: Royally Screwed
Series: Royally #1
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | BAM! | IndieBound | Powell’s | Audible

Synopsis
Emma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled Series & Legal Briefs Series, returns with the first of three sizzling standalone books about a family of racy, irresistible Royals.

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness”, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant—hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

***

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately—the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia—Nicholas is worth it.

***

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is, but more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever..

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Author Emma Chase

Author Emma Chase

About the Author
Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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Where to Find Emma Chase
Goodreads | Website |  FacebookTwitter
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Cover Reveal – SPIES AND SINNERS Series by Annika Martin

SPIES AND SINNERS Cover Reveal

New York Times bestselling author, Annika Martin, is unveiling the covers to her adult romantic suspense series, SPIES & SINNERS, releasing February 16, 2017. See below for all four covers, information on the books, and buy links. Also, you can pick up THORNE for free during this promotion!

COLE (Spies & Sinners #1) by Annika Martin

COLE (Spies & Sinners #1) by Annika Martin

About Book 1
Title: COLE
Series: Spies & Sinners #1
Author: Annika Martin
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Links: GoodreadsAmazon

Synopsis
She hates him. And now she has to play his girlfriend.

Deadly abs. Deadly aim. Deadly brilliant. Cole is one of the Association’s top agents, but he’s never come up against a psycho like Borgola…and he’s running out of time.

Then he catches Angel cracking the man’s uncrackable safe. He’ll blackmails her into helping him. He can’t worry about her safety. She’s just some criminal…right?

But the deeper they fall into Borgola’s web, the more innocent Angel seems…and the more real those fake kisses start to feel..

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MAC (Spies & Sinners #2) by Annika Martin

MAC (Spies & Sinners #2) by Annika Martin

About Book 2
Title: MAC
Series: Spies & Sinners #2
Author: Annika Martin
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Links: GoodreadsAmazon

Synopsis
Where do you hide when your ex is the world’s most dangerous psycho?

Laney fled to Bangkok—new life, new identity, new everything. She keeps mostly to herself until the night she meets arrogant, gorgeous Professor Peter Maxwell and the sparks fly. He shatters her defenses—along with her pride when she discover he only seduced her to steal some secrets.

Just hours later, she finds him shirtless and sweaty, chained up in the hotel basement. He’s some sort of undercover agent. She should probably leave him there after what he did to her, maybe even kick him for good measure. But her pscyho ex is on his way back—she can feel it in her bones—and she could use a dangerous friend.

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THORNE (Spies & Sinners #3) by Annika Martin

THORNE (Spies & Sinners #3) by Annika Martin

About Book 3 – NOW FREE!
Title: THORNE
Series: Spies & Sinners #3
Author: Annika Martin
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Links: GoodreadsAmazon

Synopsis
He’s gorgeous. He’s a killer. And he can never discover he’s Benny’s father.

Nadia fell for the most feared hitter on her late father’s payroll, but she’s not sorry; without Thorne she wouldn’t have their beautiful boy. Now Thorne’s burst back into her life, arrogant and demanding, making himself right at home. She can’t let him figure out Benny is his…so she enlists a friend to play their son’s daddy.

Thorne knows exactly how Nadia sees him—as a brute and a killer just kinky enough to play her sexy games. And that’s how it has to stay. Leaving her two years ago was the hardest thing he ever did, but it was the only way to protect her. Now his undercover mission has thrown them back together…and it drives him crazy to see her with this other man, this new family.

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HUGO (Spies & Sinners #4) by Annika Martin

HUGO (Spies & Sinners #4) by Annika Martin

About Book 4
Title: THORNE
Series: Spies & Sinners #4
Author: Annika Martin
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 16, 2017
Links: GoodreadsAmazon

Synopsis
What do you do when dangerous criminals win your twin sister in a card game? Trade places, of course.

Zelda and her sister grew up with identical faces, but their paths went in opposite directions—Zelda became a secret agent while her sister got caught up in drugs. Zelda will do this one last thing to save her sister. She’s handled lethal men before…she can do it again.

But things don’t go as planned. Zelda ends up getting traded deeper and deeper into South America. Suddenly she finds herself at the beck and call of a domineering and mysterious new captor. Is he just another criminal? Or is could this be the legendary killer she spent so many years hunting back in her secret agent days?

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SPIES AND SINNERS Series by Annika Martin

SPIES AND SINNERS Series by Annika Martin

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Author Annika Martin

Author Annika Martin

About the Author
Annika Martin is a NYT bestselling author who lives with her awesome husband and two cats in a home full of plants, sunshine and books. She’s heavy into writing love stories about criminals–some of them are dirty and fun, others are dark and intense. She also writes as the RITA-award winning author Carolyn Crane. Get on Annika’s private email list here: http://eepurl.com/qzztT

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Where to Find Annika Martin
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – RED (Love in Color) by S.M. West

RED Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for RED, the first book in the romantic suspense series, Love in Color, by S.M. West. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

RED (Love in Color #1) by S.M. West

RED (Love in Color #1) by S.M. West

About the Book:
Title:
 RED
Series: Love in Color #1
Author: S.M. West
Release Date: February 6, 2017
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
Red. The color of extremes.

Tate Conrad’s existence is annihilated. Destroyed by two men: one, her hero and the other, her worst nightmare. She has nothing to lose.

Determined to survive, vengeance feeds her.  There are no limits, no boundaries, not even death, in seeking liberation.

*******

Rylan Wolfe is driven. A stellar FBI agent close to breaking the case of a lifetime. It’s more than career-making, it’s personal. Tate’s the linchpin to it all. They need each other to succeed.

For Tate, is he her salvation or ruin?

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RED Teaser 3

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Excerpt #1
The grand ballroom is lavishly decorated in black, white and gold with at least forty tables, each seating ten, placed throughout the dimly lit room. A large dance floor is at one end of the room with a band and singer on stage playing Sinatra’s Fly Me to the Moon. Sidling up to the bar, I order a scotch.

Surveying the room, it takes two sweeps before I spot them. He’s like a human jail cell. One arm anchors her waist, his hand cuffing her wrist. Fuck, my chest tightens at seeing a woman caged like that, especially when she now looks nothing like the vibrant, fiery woman I met early today. Her face is vast emptiness. Now it makes more sense. With the abuse, I wondered why she didn’t leave him. Divorce him. She can’t leave. She’s trapped. From what I know, if he’s obsessed with his wife, which he blatantly is, her leaving him would very well mean her death.

Nursing my drink, I silently watch them. Throughout the entire hour, Tate’s frozen, a mannequin. He’s not said one word to her, and neither has anyone else, yet he’s beaming from ear-to-ear like he won best pumpkin at the county fair.

Despite her stoicism, she’s stunning in her long red dress, high heels and hair up. The dress is classic and tasteful. The deep, hypnotic red fabric is like a beacon of desire. I can’t tear my eyes away from her. She’s elegance and sin. Many men have cast glances her way.

Even with her beauty, there’s something dejected about her. No one appears to notice or if they do, they don’t give a fuck. Everyone wears masks. Many, like Tate, play a part to survive. Warriors fighting to live another day. While others conceal their depravity. Here in this room, they are monsters lurking in masks, hiding behind money and power.

I want to see beneath her mask. I got a glimpse today. She pushed my buttons and got me red hot under the collar. There’s more to her than meets the eye. I want to see more.

Watching her blank expression, her eyes briefly narrow before glazing over once more. If I hadn’t been looking, I would’ve missed it. Glancing in the direction of what, or more accurately who ruffled her veneer, I see Warren and Taya Conrad.

Swirling the ice in my empty glass, I watch as they exchange greetings. Time to make my move. I’ve patiently waited six months for Bobby to introduce me to Warren and the asshole always has an excuse. Tonight, I’m forcing his hand.

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RED Teaser 4

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Author S.M. West

Author S.M. West

About the Author
Born on the shortest day and longest night of the year, Winter Solstice, she’s a self-professed night owl. From a young age, creating stories and conjuring characters was always one of her favorite pastimes.

She loves a great story with romance and intrigue, a strong heroine and fiercely passionate hero with passion, intensity and edge.

If she’s not writing or reading, she’s planning her next adventure, spending time with her family or drinking a great glass of wine and indulging in chocolate.

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Where to Find S.M. West
GoodreadsFacebook | Twitter Instagram | Pinterest

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Trailer Reveal – AS YOU LAY SLEEPING by Katlyn Duncan

AS YOU LAY SLEEPING Trailer Reveal

HQ Digital and author Katlyn Duncan are unveiling the trailer to AS YOU LAY SLEEPING, a young adult thriller, releasing February 20, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

AS YOU LAY SLEEPING by Katlyn Duncan

AS YOU LAY SLEEPING by Katlyn Duncan

About the Book
Title: AS YOU LAY SLEEPING
Author: Katlyn Duncan
Publisher: HQ Digital
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Release Date: February 20, 2017
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
I did it all for you…

Cara’s boyfriend is dead.

When fingers start pointing at her, she knows she’s in more trouble than she originally thought. Because Cara can see that something isn’t right.

As her carefully constructed life begins to crumble, Cara isn’t sure who she is anymore.

But maybe that’s exactly what someone wants her to think…
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Trailer

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Author Katlyn Duncan

Author Katlyn Duncan

About the Author
Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her ever since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

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Where to Find Katlyn Duncan
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon
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Blog Tour – Excerpt – WICKED CHARMING (Wicked Ever After) by Nazarea Andrews

WICKED CHARMING Release Day

Welcome to the blog tour for WICKED CHARMING, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Wicked Ever After, by Nazarea Andrews. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.

WICKED CHARMING (Wicked Ever After #1) by Nazarea Andrews

WICKED CHARMING (Wicked Ever After #1) by Nazarea Andrews

About Book 1 – ON SALE FOR $0.99!
Title: WICKED CHARMING
Series: Wicked Ever After #1
Author: Nazarea Andrews
Release Date: February 13, 2017
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
He’s at the top of the world.

He’s rich, sought after, and in control.

And he’s bored.

A string of one-night stands have left Samul Charming increasingly dissatisfied. When his mother pushes him to settle down, his best friends come up with a brilliant plan: Audition the submissives at The Kingdom.

The problem is, Charm knows who he wants: the only girl to challenge him, while submitting as naturally as breathing.

But he can’t have her.

With the entire club watching and his parents expecting him to marry soon, Charm decides to settle.

But love in the Kingdom is never simple and it is never painless.

And Charm is about to be reminded of that.

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Excerpt #2
I beeline toward the office. Mal will be there, and Beast follows, whistling once, sharp and shrill. There’s a show on the center stage; a man in black leather and a long hooded cape is securing a little sub to the St. Andrew’s cross. His head lifts, and I can feel his gaze tracking us as Beast shadows me through the club. Then his attention goes back to the girl in front of him, dismissing us completely.

The thing is, I want to play. I’m not working, not more than I ever am here, and I want to cut loose. I want to find a girl, drag her to her knees, and ride the high of her submission.

I just can’t.

I slam into the office, and Mal pauses, in the middle of typing. His eyebrow raises, the only clue I get that my entrance is disturbing him, and I grin, because I don’t actually give a fuck.

He resumes typing and says, “I thought you had found him a girl, Beast.”

“I did. He doesn’t like her.” Beast doesn’t even look offended. He looks just as pissed as I feel.

“Why?”

“Why the fuck has he thrown back every girl I’ve brought him in the past six months, Mal? He’s a picky fucker.”

“I’m right here,” I say dryly.

Beast flicks a disgusted look at me, and points. “You shut up. There was nothing wrong with that sub.”

There wasn’t. She was lovely, she was submissive, and she was clearly dying for it, if the tiny tremors of arousal just from kneeling were any indication.

She was perfect.

And she was gonna take anything I gave her without ever telling me what she wanted.

“I don’t want just any sub,” I say, grumpy. Mal leans back, staring, waiting for me to continue.

“I want my sub,” I say, almost defiant, daring the two of them to say something, and for a moment, neither do, because there’s nothing to say—not to that.

I’m Samul Charming. I’m the heir to a pharmaceutical empire, the only son in a family of sisters, and my mama’s favorite. I’ve played my part of partyboy bachelor for years, quite happily. I like women, and I like fucking a lot of them. I like playing with a new sub, like seeing what I can do to make her break.

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WICKED CHARMING Teaser 2

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Author Nazarea Andrews

Author Nazarea Andrews

About the Author
Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next...

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Where to Find Nazarea Andrews
Goodreads Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Street Team | Newsletter | Pinterest
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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – THE BEST MAN by Barbie Bohrman

THE BEST MAN Cover Reveal

Author Barbie Bohrman is unveiling the cover to THE BEST MAN, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing March 28, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, an exclusive excxerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE BEST MAN by Barbie Bohrman

THE BEST MAN by Barbie Bohrman

About the Book
Title: THE BEST MAN
Author: Barbie Bohrman
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Veronica Webber is single again after being in a loveless marriage way past its expiration date. For the first time in a very long time, she feels free and after being burned so badly by love in the past, any thought of romance is the last thing on her mind.

In walks a man from her past, Trevor Allen, a tall, dark, and handsome womanizer who is usually all about the bottom line. For Trevor that bottom line has always been made up of the countless notches on his bedpost. But when he sees Veronica after so many years, he can’t help but be drawn to her and know her again… even if that means being friend-zoned from the start.

As this unlikely pair spends more and more time together, they quickly realize that there might be something between them that goes past “just friends.” But there’s just one tiny detail that makes this situation slightly more complicated… Trevor was Veronica’s ex-husband’s best man at their wedding nine years ago.

So when past mistakes and indiscretions come back to haunt them, will their happily ever after end before it even gets started?

Or will the best man win this time.

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THE BEST MAN by Barbie Bohrman (Full Cover)

THE BEST MAN by Barbie Bohrman (Full Cover)

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Except
I couldn’t pinpoint how I had been feeling for the past couple of days, but I was just… I don’t know. Off my game, I guess was the best way to put it. And the worst part was I knew exactly when and why this all started for me.

Ever since I’d seen Veronica off from my apartment this past Saturday, I couldn’t shake her from my thoughts no matter how hard I tried. And trust me, I had tried. But then my mind would wander and then the next thing I knew, I would remember how beautiful she looked as she peeled away a layer of insecurity at a time during our night out. I’d recall how she exuded that confidence at the karaoke bar that I found so alluring in any woman, but in Veronica, it was off the fucking charts sexy. And then I’d be reminded of how I slowly undressed her with care and put her in my bed for the night. All of her flawless, soft skin on display, the way her long legs stretched as I pulled her skirt off of her and the barely there lace panties she had on. As if all of that wasn’t enough to torture a mere mortal man such as myself, when I helped to remove her sweater and I got a damn good eyeful of the matching bra, it had taken every ounce of effort to not run the backs of my knuckles softly and slowly against the swells of her breasts. My dick was getting hard just thinking about it all over again. The images were still as vivid as if it had happened a minute ago… and I knew I was a piece of shit for thinking about any of it. For picturing Veronica over, around, and under me; for imagining her plump lips wrapped around my dick; for knowing how sweet she would taste against my tongue and how hard I could make her come.

“Fuck,” I muttered under my breath and ran a hand down my face. “What the hell is wrong with me?”

I should have gone out for lunch with Jack. Maybe the momentary change of scenery would have helped to keep my mind busy because studying up on the new client was quickly becoming a distant memory. Maybe the one thing Jack said was right though… I needed to get laid. And since Veronica was obviously not an option, I had to go elsewhere for the relief my dick was so sorely in need of. Because there was no way that my sanity could afford to wake up one more day this week with a case of blue balls. I was but one man.

My mind was racing through a mental catalog of women I knew that I could request the pleasure of the company of their pussy. They were women that knew without any prompting that I was the kind of guy you didn’t bring home to meet your parents. I had always appreciated those women the most; the ones that didn’t need the introduction or the “talk.” All they wanted or ever needed from me was a fuck. And that worked out perfectly as far as I was concerned.

Let’s see, I could call either Patsy, Bridget, Mary, Liv…

As soon as Liv’s name popped into focus, I knew she was the one I needed to reach out to. We had met at some sort of meet and greet for under-thirty-entrepreneur-shindig when I was technically under thirty some time last year. She was a tall, leggy blonde with perfect tits and an ass that I could bounce quarters off of. Liv and I had hit it off that first time we met, fucked, whatever. What made her different than other women was that right off the bat, she was the one to tell me that she had no intention of wanting any kind of relationship. Ever. So since that first time we slept together, she had been someone I knew I could call on to take the edge off. She hadn’t let me down yet, and I sure as hell hoped that she wouldn’t tonight.

I shot off a quick text to Liv:

Can you meet me later?

It didn’t take too long until I saw the familiar three flashing dots and then her response:

I can. Where and when?

Smiling, I knew I was in good hands and texted her back the name of a bar that was walking distance from my apartment that we could meet up at and the time. She was quick with her response:

See you there.

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Author Barbie Bohrman

Author Barbie Bohrman

About the Author
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Barbie Bohrman dreamed of becoming an author. Long after she had given up, a book club’s prologue contest enticed her to give it one more go. What emerged were the beginnings of her debut novel, Promise Me. Now she’s living her dream and writing stories that entice readers to escape and break away from reality. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to get through the books on her Kindle (more than a thousand at last count) or watching Lost or Seinfeld. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs.

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Where to Find Barbie Bohrman
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Sale and Giveaway – CHAMELEON by Zoe Kalo

CHAMELEON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for CHAMELEON, a young adult gothic novel, by Zoe Kalo. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. And for a limited time,  you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99!

CHAMELEON by Zoe Kalo

CHAMELEON by Zoe Kalo

About the Book – NOW ON SALE FOR JUST $0.99!
Title: CHAMELEON
Author: Zoe Kalo
Release Date: February 2, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Gothic
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
Kicked out of school, 17-year old Paloma finds herself in an isolated convent in the tropical forests of 1970s Puerto Rico, where she must overcome her psychosis in order to help a spirit and unveil a killer.

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.

When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…

Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?

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Excerpt #3
The foliage swallowed me. Sodden leaves gave under my shoes. Twisted limbs and giant ferns reached out to scratch my arms, my legs.

“Adelita!” I called, hastening my pace.

Flash of white ahead.

“Adelita!” No response. “Damn it. It’s getting freaking dark!”

Voices? I halted, panting.

Then broke into a run again. The mist, carried by the waterfall, clung to my lashes, my cheeks, my lips. I tasted its bitterness on my tongue.

Giggling.

“I’m here!” Adelita called.

I slowed my pace. Toward the end of the path, fibrous vines hung from branches like a curtain of snakes. I pushed them aside and staggered forward. Slowly, I looked up.

Against the blackening sky, the monster roared, cradled by twisted, stunted trunks and wisps of fog, looming over me in all its brutal magnificence. Its crystalline waters gushed ferociously, cascading into a murky, swirling pool that spiraled into a descending rock-studded stream gurgling with white iridescent foam.

A cloud of spray enveloped me, cold and impersonal like the wings of some giant bat. Had it not been for one of the vines, I would have fallen to my knees.

Cold water, sucking me down, searing my throat, my eyes. Can’t see, can’t breathe; his hands grab me; blackness, like tar, steals its way down my lungs, spreading its web and filling every corner, every crevice; utter agony before oblivion settles—

The sight of Adelita, standing at the edge of the pool, shook me out of my trance. She was very still, her skirt puffing from the thundering falls.

“Step back!” I shouted.

Slowly, Adelita lifted her arm and pointed to the center of the waterfall. “She’s in there.”

“Who?” When she didn’t answer, I answered for her. “The ghost? Your invisible friend?”

Adelita lowered her arm. She seemed to have fallen into one of her sudden spells.

“Is that who you were speaking to?” I said urgently.

She was silent.

“Adelita,” I coaxed. She was about ten yards from me. I took one step toward her, my toes curling. “Please… step back.”

“She wants to speak to us,” Adelita said, moving closer to the edge.

“What’s wrong with you? Stop!”

She turned her head to look at me. When she smiled, her teeth looked unnaturally white, as if the iridescence of the foamy water reflected on them.

I edged a little closer and extended my hand. “Please.” I clenched my teeth. “I can’t come any closer,” I said, stressing each word. I squeezed my eyes shut, willing reality to go away, willing it all to be a nightmare. But when I opened my eyes, Adelita’s toes stood just over the edge. For an instant, as if suspended, she seemed to sway, before she opened her wings like an angel about to take flight.

“No!” I sprang forward and seized her arm. She twisted, lost her balance and clutched at my gold chain—“No!”—The gold snapped. I grabbed her shirt and jerked her toward me. We staggered in a drunken embrace before stumbling to the ground. My hand groped wildly around my neck, but my pendant, the most precious object I possessed, was gone. I searched for it on my hands and knees, my flesh sinking into the cold, wet earth.

Then I stood and stared hard at her.

Smudged with dirt, she sagged against a moss-covered boulder. “It’s in there,” she said, her gaze lowered, pointing to the water.

“How do you know?”

“I saw it fall,” she said.

A jolt of nausea hit me and I held my stomach. “That can’t be.”

I stared at the swirling pool and thought I saw it twinkling in the depths. I squeezed my eyes shut—for an eternity, it seemed—before I spun and grabbed Adelita and shook her violently. “You’re lying! That’s what you do. You lie.” I kept shaking her. I wanted to hurt her, hurt her. That was the only way to ease my pain.

She started whimpering, in a manner not unlike my sister Sara. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she kept saying.

I shoved her away and reeled backwards. I felt breathless, delirious.

I glanced one more time at the swirling pool, before I grasped her muddy hand and we headed back. She didn’t resist, an obedient, repentant little child.

By the time we got back to the graveyard, it was already dark. The lamp post cast an iridescent glow on the white roses and tombstones.

To my dismay, Madre Estela had just stepped out of the garden gate and was marching in our direction. With the light behind her, her face was a black mask. But her chin was high and her stride purposeful.

As if out of habit, she went for Adelita first. “What are you doing here? You haven’t done any of your chores.”

I stepped forward and shielded Adelita with my arm. “This isn’t her fault,” I said quickly. “I told her to come and help me.”

She bared her teeth. “Help do what?” she said, her eyes sweeping over our dirt-covered hair and clothes.

“We heard voices coming from there,” I said, gesturing. “We thought one of the girls had gotten lost, so we decided to take a look.”

This made her pause, but only for an instant—before her hand came down, hard and brutal. I staggered backwards, more from shock than pain. No one had ever slapped me before. I touched my burning cheek and just stared at her.

“Voices here, voices there,” she said, disgusted, as if she couldn’t stand to hear more of it. “There are no voices, do you understand? No voices,” she repeated, as if she were trying to convince herself of the fact.

“You should know better than listen to Adelita’s lies.”

Adelita didn’t even flinch when Madre Estela twisted her ear. I thought she was going to wrench it off her head right in front of my eyes.

“Pick up the things and go change immediately, both of you,” she ordered, “before you catch pneumonia.”

Before we went inside, I glanced back at Madre Estela. The vegetation rose up behind her, dark and menacing. Her eyes seemed strangely unfocused. She was clutching her wooden cross and murmuring a prayer. A gust of wind rattled the branches.

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About the Author
A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery. She lives amongst cats and books in Belgium, and is the author of the Cult of the Cat young adult fantasy series and the Retribution novella series for adults.

Sign up for her newsletter at www.ZoeKalo.com and get her exclusive short story “Irkalla.”.

Where to Find Zoe Kalo
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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