Welcome to the blog tour for BEING ALPHA, the seventh book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Alpha Girl, by Aileen Erin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.
Tessa and Dastien’s trip to the Caribbean is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of—sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. She couldn’t be happier. So, when a local man turns up inexplicably dead on the beach, Tessa brushes it off. Not every bad thing that happens in the world is a supernatural mystery to be solved. And when Sebastian—one of the Council of Seven Alphas who rule all the werewolves—appears on the island, she thinks it must be a coincidence. Everyone needs a break now and then. Even council members. Right? Besides, Tessa is beyond determined to not let anything get in the way of her romantic vacation.
But when Dastien goes missing, the honeymoon is most definitely over. Tessa can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. And whoever messed with Tessa’s mate is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.
Excerpt #5 As I picked up my tray and headed toward the tables, I realized that whatever Claudia said, I could handle. I had Dastien. And sitting at the table with Claudia, Lucas, and Raphael were Chris and Adrian. I wasn’t alone. Adding in my parents, my brother, Tia Rosa, Meredith, and Donovan, then I really had nothing to worry about it. We’d fought a whole chapel full of demons, plus one powerful demon-possessed witch. Astaroth might be more powerful, but we would figure it out together.
Was some super scary demon after me? Yes.
Was the supernatural world coming apart? Also, yes.
Had Eli told me I was going to have to sacrifice something in order to get his help to stop the apocalypse? Again, yes.
But at least I had friends to help figure out how to fix this whole shitshow that my life had turned into.
Christ. Who was I kidding? This was a freaking disaster.
Go back to the part about the friends. I liked that part, Dastien said.
And with that I started laughing. Even my mind wasn’t my own anymore, but I didn’t really mind that part.
Would seeing my abs again help? He grinned, and his dimples deepened. And then he winked.
I laughed harder. You know, it might. Let’s see them.
Oh, I’m not actually undressing here. I was just curious.
Is everyone a tease today?
Nah. Just me and Claudia.
As the laughter faded, I was left feeling a little lighter. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next, but laughing through the crazy was as good a plan as any.
Author Aileen Erin
About the Author AileenErin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
Author J. Lynn Bailey is unveiling the cover to PEONY RED, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, releasing August 14, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
PEONY RED by J. Lynn Bailey
About The Book
Title: PEONY RED Author: J. Lynn Bailey Publisher: J. House Publishing Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Release Date: August 14, 2018 Links:Goodreads
Synopsis Alex Fisher hasn’t been able to find her stride since the death of her husband three years ago. She’s out of a job, out of time, and running on fumes. So, when she receives two postcards from Granite Harbor, Maine, inviting her for a visit, she takes it as a sign for a start fresh.
For game warden Eli Young, life is simpler when he’s exploring the back roads of Maine. In the north woods, he doesn’t have to deal with town politics or his soon-to-be ex-wife.
When Alex makes Eli an offer he can’t refuse, he should say no. He should walk away. Except he can’t. Something about her leaves him tangled.
A dark storm is brewing in the small coastal town, and everyone is on edge when word spreads quickly about a young woman who has gone missing.
When a picture of Alex shows up at a gruesome scene, no one is prepared for what will happen next.
Eli wants to save Alex, but she has to save herself.
The question isn’t, Can she? It’s, Willshe?
PEONY RED by J. Lynn Bailey (Full cover)
Excerpt Alex looks ahead, and I watch her. The snowflakes dance and stick to her face; some attach themselves to her eyelashes. Alex holds her hands out and tries to catch a few.
We walk to her side of the truck, only because she has the coffees. She’s gotten more adjusted to the door thing. She said I’d probably tire out soon from opening the door all the time, but I told her it’d take a lifetime. Before I let her in, I hesitate. Not sure if I should do this in town with people watching. But I do it anyway. I lean down, and I kiss her in the softest way possible on her cheek. I linger there for a moment and then pull away, looking down into her caramel-colored eyes. She stares back, and all is quiet as the snow falls around us.
“What was that for?” she whispers.
“For all the times Kyle can’t.”
Author J. Lynn Bailey
About the Author Lynn Bailey has loved to write since she learned to read, around the second grade. When she isn’t running after her children, watching COPS, or on the hunt for her next Laffy Taffy joke, you can probably find her holed up in her writing room feverishly working on her next book. She lives in Northern California with her family.
Welcome to the blog tour for SWEET FIRE, the sixth book in the adult contemporary romance/romantic suspense series, Into the Fire, by USA Today bestselling author J.H. Croix. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SWEET FIRE (Into The Fire #6) by J.H. Croix
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: SWEET FIRE Series: Into The Fire #6 Author: J.H. Croix Release Date: June 28, 2018 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Charlie Lane doesn’t have time for fairytales. Jesse Franklin might be handsome, and perhaps dangerously sexy, but she doesn’t have time.
Jesse finds Dr. Lane uptight and oh-so-professional, yet he can’t help but be drawn to her. He’d love to see her with her hair down—in more ways than one.
Charlie’s life is complicated. She’s taking care of her ailing mother and stumbling through a crash course in parenting a teenager. Her niece has spiky purple hair and an attitude for days. The last thing on Charlie’s mind is romance. Most especially not romance with her neighbor Jesse whose a hotshot firefighter and has the side effect of practically setting her on fire.
The first time Jesse sees Charlie with her guard down, he’s hooked. She’s brilliant, gorgeous, and challenges him in ways he never expected. He knows her life is complicated. He doesn’t do complicated. Or so he thought.
Jesse ends up surprising Charlie again and again. He’s much more than a hotshot firefighter who’s too handsome for his own good. She finds she just might want him to rescue her. Yet, she’s independent and has pieced together her small family’s life in the aftermath of painful, unexpected losses.
She finds herself falling for Jesse—hard. Passion burns hot and fast between them, threatening to burn her defenses to ash. All the while, she’s facing painful choices as she tries to take care of her mother and learn how to be a mother to a cranky teenager who tests her emotional limits daily. She’s not used to depending on anyone, much less believing in happily-ever-after.
Meanwhile, Jesse is fighting to prove to Charlie he can be the man she needs—when she doesn’t even believe she needs anyone’s help. Charlie fights against letting herself be vulnerable. All the while her heart is in so deep with Jesse, she doesn’t know how to protect herself.
Jesse’s strength is intoxicating, so much so, Charlie can’t help but fall a little harder for him.
Excerpt #4 Glancing over, my gaze collided with hers. I was so damn tempted to kiss her. I didn’t think she’d quite appreciate a public display like that, not just yet.
“Whenever you’re ready,” I said, not even bothering to resist the urge to slide my hand on her thigh and give it a squeeze. I heard the soft hiss of her breath, satisfaction rolling through me. I loved knowing that maybe, just maybe, she was as powerfully affected by me as I was by her.
A few minutes later, we stepped through the back hallway out into the dusky evening. Swan Lake spread out before us just beyond the parking lot behind Wildlands.
The sun was setting in the distance over the trees and the mountain ridge. The sky was shot through with red and orange as the darkness slowly claimed the light. The lake’s surface shimmered with the colors.
Charlie paused beside me, leaning back to look up at the sky. When she glanced to me, I caught her hand in mine. I needed to touch her, craving that point of contact.
When she smiled, it was like the sun coming out after days of rain. I’d managed not to dwell too much on her over the past week. The only thing that had made that possible was the brutal pace of our work. We’d left the area with the fire under control, but only after days of intense work to create firebreaks while the air team did their part to help us out.
There was that fire, and then the one burning between Charlie and me. The banked embers were sparking to life now that we were close again. I was beginning to think there was no way to put this one out. The most I could do was contain it.
With her hand held in mind, we walked to my truck. Opening the passenger door, I held it while she climbed inside. “Charlie…”
She looked up with her foot still resting on the running board. I stepped in between her knees and lifted a hand to slide my fingers through the ends of her hair.
“So you missed me?” I asked.
Her eyes widened and then darkened. I could see the rapid flutter of her pulse in her neck. Her tongue darted out to swipe across her bottom lip. She nearly did me in with that.
“I did,” she finally said, her voice husky.
I couldn’t wait any longer to kiss her. Sliding my hand into her hair to cup her neck with my thumb brushing along the soft skin, I angled forward and fit my mouth over hers.
It was as if a whip cracked through the air, loud and sharp. That electrifying point of contact set me on fire, heat sizzling through me.
Charlie’s hand slid around my waist as she arched toward me, pulling me closer. Her tongue tangled with mine, and she moaned softly into my mouth. For a moment, I lost myself in the scent of her, in the feel of her hot, sweet mouth.
Author J.H. Croix
About the Author USA Today Bestselling Author J. H. Croix lives in a small town in the historical farmlands of Maine with her husband and two spoiled dogs. Croix writes steamy contemporary romance with strong independent women and rugged alpha men who aren’t afraid to show some emotion. Her love for quirky small-towns and the characters that inhabit them shines through in her writing. Take a walk on the wild side of romance with her bestselling novels!
Welcome to the book blitz for THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER, a young adult contemporary romance, by Linda Budzinski .See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER by Linda Budzinski
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER Author: Linda Budzinski Publisher: Swoon Romance Release Date: November 15, 2016 Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
As President and CEO of Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises, Lexi Malloy is Grand View High School’s undercover Cupid. One problem: She’s stuck in the friend zone when it comes to her own crush, Chris Broder. She and Chris have been best friends since the third grade, and he doesn’t even seem to realize she’s is a member of the opposite sex.
When pretty and popular cheerleader Lindsay LaRouche hires Lexi to whisper Chris, she has to decide whether to place her commitment to her company—and Chris’s happiness—before herself.
Excerpt #2 I crank up Mumford & Sons on my iPod and pull up the Boyfriend Whisperer Enterprises files on my tablet. With Valentine’s ten days away, I need to plot out some big moves for my clients.
I start with Jolene. I watched Brendon staring at her this afternoon during the pep rally. He’s falling hard. No need to play it subtle. He likes spicy food, so Red Hots are an obvious choice, in a heart-shaped tin. What should the card say? Something super flirty. “Let’s heat it up on Valentine’s.” No … “spice it up.” I jot that down and move on to my next client.
Just as I’m picking out a sweet YouTube link I want her to send her BF-to-be, Coach Reilly pulls my earbud out and scares me half to death.
“Malloy! I’m talking to you. What are you working on?”
I slam my tablet shut. “What? Homework. Sorry. What do you need?”
She shoves my backpack to the floor and plops down beside me. “Let’s talk about tomorrow. We’re expecting scouts from all over. Rumor has it someone from U Conn might even turn up.”
She pauses as if to gauge my reaction, so I force a smile. “U Conn? Wow. That’s great.”
She leans in. “There’ll be a lot of buzz in that arena. Parents, coaches, other players. They’ll all be talking about the scouts and about you and your future. Here’s the thing: You need to ignore them.”
“Exactly. You have one job tomorrow, and that’s to play the best game Alexis Malloy knows how to play. Run, pass, shoot, rebound. That’s it. The rest is static. Ignore the static.”
“Got it. Static.”
Coach furrows her brow. “You nervous?”
“Maybe a little.”
She pats my arm as she stands. “A little nervousness is good. You’ve got this, Malloy. You can do it.”
I smile and slump back into my seat. The fact is, I’m not at all nervous. I only said that so she wouldn’t launch into a lecture about being too cocky. She’s forever vacillating between warning me not to be too nervous and not to be too cocky, when in reality, I’m neither. The truth is, when it comes to college scouts, I just wish they’d leave me alone.
Author Linda Budzinski
About the Author My young adult novels, EM & EM (2015) and THE FUNERAL SINGER (2013), were both published by Swoon Romance YA. My upcoming novel, THE BOYFRIEND WHISPERER, scheduled for publication in fall of 2016 by Swoon, received the Romance Writers of America Young Adult Chapter’s 2015 Rosemary Award and the Virginia Chapter’s 2015 Fool for Love Award.
I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, Joe, and our feisty chihuahua, Demitria (also known as Dee Dee, The Puppy, and Killer). I’m a sucker for romance and reality TV and have been known to turn off my phone’s ringer when watching “The Bachelor.”
My favorite flower is the daisy, my favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite song is “Amazing Grace.”
When I’m not writing, I work in nonprofit management. I’m represented by the amazing Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc..
Welcome to the book blitz for BLOOD AND MAGIC, the first book in the new adult urban fantasy/paranormal romance duology, Blood & Magic, by USA Today bestselling author, Danielle Annett. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
BLOOD AND MAGIC (Blood and Magic Duology #1) by Danielle Annett
About the Book Title: BLOOD AND MAGIC Series: Blood and Magic Duology #1 Author: Danielle Annett Release Date: June 28, 2018 Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis A pyrokinetic, a dangerous new enemy, an imminent war.
Mercenary Aria Naveed is going to have her hands full.
Throw in a shifter or two and sh** is about to get serious!
Grab Blood and Magic Volume One. Books one and two in the exciting new urban fantasy series by USA Today Bestselling author DanielleAnnett
What’s inside CURSED BY FIRE: BOOK ONE Blood is going to spill …
I just hope it won’t be mine.
After two weeks of searching, I found the seven-year-old I’d been hired to find too late. His body broken and discarded. Dead.
My boss doesn’t want me to hunt down his killers. It’s too dangerous.
But the Pacific Northwest Pack steps in, hiring me to bring the bastards to justice.
Turns out the kid was half shifter. And shifters don’t abandon their own.
In a search that takes me through the maze of shifter hierarchy and the depths of the paranormal underworld, these killers underestimate how determined I am to mete out their punishment. Vigilante justice is the only kind these people understand.
Yes, blood will spill. And I’m determined it will be theirs.
KISSED BY FIRE: BOOK TWO
New Rule: If it has sharp teeth, don’t trust it.
Getting bit hurts like hell.
As Friend of the Pack, I should be untouchable, protected by the most influential group in the Pacific Northwest. But someone is unleashing rogue vampires to hunt me down, and I’m determined to find out why.
But on my hunt for answers, the unimaginable happens. Bound to one of the most influential power players, I must tread carefully.
Paranormal politics are at play.
And I refuse to be anyone’s puppet.
If you like C.N. Crawford, K.F. Breene, Dannika Dark, and Ilona Andrews, you will LOVE the Blood and Magic series. Click BUY NOW to jump into the Aria’s adventure TODAY!
“Breakneck pacing, a strong fierce heroine, and a twist at every corner.” — CHERRY ADAIR, New York Times Bestselling Author
“I personally am a Kate Daniels fan, and I loved this series.” — Amazon Reviewer.
Excerpt Mike noisily cleared his throat, “UH, hey, Ari…”
“God, I hope whoever they send isn’t a complete moron. If I’m going to be stuck with a Pack partner, the least they can do is give me someone competent.”
Mike noisily cleared his throat again.
“What?” I looked up from my desk and scowled at the tall man standing just inside the office, casually leaning against the doorframe. He had tousled brown hair and steely gray eyes. High cheekbones and a strong jaw formed his face and a hint of stubble dusted his jawline. It was not enough to appear unkempt, but just enough to give a roguish impression. Dressed in black jeans, a black tee, and a black leather jacket, he oozed tall, dark, and handsome with deadly intent.
I shoved my notebook into the top drawer of my desk. Shit.
“That would be this furball right here,” James said, an arrogant grin lifting the corner of his mouth.
I let my head fall to the surface of my desk, then for good measure, I none too gently knocked my forehead on its smooth surface, one, two, three times. Dammit, I couldn’t believe I’d just called him a freaking furball!
My cheeks warmed, and I heat crept up my neck.
On the upside, at least my partner was someone I actually knew and trusted to watch my back.
“You all done with the show?” he asked. I lifted my head and glared at him, then dropped my head to the desktop once more before sitting up and rubbing the sting away.
“Yeah, I’m done.” This wasn’t going to be as bad as I’d expected. James Shields was a wolf and having him as my partner was going to make this gig a lot more tolerable than I’d expected.
“So you’re my partner?”
James nodded. “Yeah, I’m your partner.” He sauntered into the room, his eyes scanning the articles pinned to the exposed brick walls. “Think you can play nice for once?”
“Hey!” I admonished. “I’m always nice to you.”
He snorted and wandered farther into the room, his gaze now locked on mine.
He moved with a confident and carefree grace.
If he weren’t the closest thing I had to a best friend, I’d be drooling like the rest of society when he walked into a room.
“Sure, you are. You ready to get reckless?” His lips curved to one side, and his eyes pulled me out of my seat.
I smiled. He knew me all too well.
I grabbed my messenger bag and followed James out of the office, aware of Mike’s disapproving gaze following my every step.
Author Danielle Annett
About The Author USA Today bestselling author Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.
Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE DOCILES, the first book in the young adult dystopian series, The Secret Archives Trilogy, by Valerie Puri. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
THE DOCILES (The Secret Archives Trilogy #1) by Valerie Puri
Synopsis Walls are meant to keep the monsters out…
Deep in the forest there is a wall where no wall should be. Behind it live the people of the Commune, the last remnant of human kind.
Jennie Caraway has lived behind the wall her entire life, certain that it protects her and her brother from the lemerons, ravenous undead monsters whose only desire is to kill – and feed.
Jennie’s peaceful existence is shattered when she uncovers a secret organization whose purpose threatens to destroy not only Jennie, but her entire world. The Order has a deadly mission, and they will stop at nothing to see it completed.
Jennie and those closest to her must expose the evil truth before they are killed – or worse.
Sash Sash smiled as he recalled his transition into adulthood. He’d chosen his own path and proved how useful he could be to the Order. He had been doing this work ever since the day he walked away from the burning remnants of his past life. His technique had been polished over the years. He learned how to control his rage and do less conspicuous work. After all, he couldn’t burn down every building he did a job in just to cover his tracks and make it look like an accident.
Some of his targets were not so lucky as to be killed. What awaited them was something worse. Eleanor Townsend was one such target. His usual sneer crept over his lips as he thought about the hell she would soon be trapped in. She hadn’t screamed when he bagged her, though. Pity, he thought. Sash loved when they screamed.
He reached the end of the long dark tunnel. He stood before a thick steel door with a single, dim light flickering above his head. He made a fist and banged on the cold metal two times. He heard shuffling behind the door, and a strip of metal at eye-level slid away to reveal a small, rectangular window. A set of eyes masked behind tinted, round goggles peered out at him, surveying the load hoisted over his shoulder.
“I’ve got another one for processing,” Sash said.
The metal strip slid back into place covering the tiny window. Sash heard the grinding sound of metal scraping against metal as the gears were engaged to unlock the door. It swung inward to grant him entrance.
Author Valerie Puri
About the Authors Valerie Puri has always had a lifelong interest in all forms of artistic expression. She has tried her hand at many things, yet she always found her way back to reading and writing. With inspiration everywhere, she finally put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard) with the intent of publishing her stories.
Writing has always come naturally to Valerie, and for a time she even worked as a technical writer. She continues to hone her skills by having at least one writing project in the works at any given time. Her true passion lies in the freedom that comes with writing the stories that pour from her imagination and real life inspiration.
Valerie believes that the experiences we have in life are just stories waiting to be written.
Welcome to the blog tour for OH BABY, the first book in the adult contemporary romance/romantic comedy series, DILF Diaries, by Stephanie St. Klaire. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt. You can still pick up the eBook for just $0.99 through Sunday.
Synopsis He likes to find them hot, and leave them wet…
Women are setting their lawns on fire and sticking cats in trees all so they can dial 911 and get a glimpse of Jack Decker’s…hose. When a firefighter looks like he does, it’s no wonder panties are melting, and hearts are ablaze all over the city because he is H-O-T…hot! Jack might put out fires like a regular hero, but it doesn’t stop him from heating up the sheets and letting them smolder.
In a burning twist of fate, Jack finds himself up all night long for an entirely new reason, a reason that’s anything but smoldering. That is until the feisty firecracker next door threatens to ignite a fire he doesn’t know how to battle…Oh Baby!
Excerpt #1 Noise from Jack’s side of the fence pulled her from her thoughts. It sounded like women. Young women. A harem of young women. Jules didn’t know what a young woman sounded like, or a full harem, but she was certain it sounded like the chaos coming from Jack’s backyard.
Though the underground sprinklers did a fine job watering the shrubs lining the property, Jules thought it couldn’t hurt to give them an extra watering. They’d had record breaking heat lately, and if she didn’t water them, she’d be replacing them. So, it was good for the environment too. As she moved down the fence line, closer to Jack’s, she leaned into the planks, trying to get a better view. There’s nothing wrong with giving a thorough watering, she told herself.
The tiny cracks between boards weren’t quite giving the view
she needed, so she pushed on, until she found a knot hole in a board that allowed her a straight shot glimpse of Jack’s patio and pool area where they were all seated. The shrubs where she was standing seemed to be especially dry, so she leaned in to get a better look, but only because she needed to water the hell out of the surrounding greenery.
“Looking for me?” came a deep voice from behind her. “Or did you drop a contact?”
Jules jumped at the sound and gasped when she hosed herself in the face with the frigid water. “Oh my God, what the hell, Jack? You made me spray myself!”
“You’re the one eavesdropping in my yard,” he accused, an entertained look on his face.
Jaw dropped and thoroughly offended, she corrected, “I am doing no such thing. I’m watering the plants!”
“You mean watering the fence?” Jack pointed to the area where he caught her not so secretly gawking.
When Jules looked behind her and noticed the fence panel to the right of where she stood was indeed thoroughly watered, she decided the only way out of the hole she was digging was to dig a little deeper. “That’s because I’m…weeding too.”
She bent down and grabbed the first thing she could wrap her sturdy grip around and gave it a fierce, root-popping tug. “See?”
Amusement filled his expression. “You just pulled up a juniper.”
“Yeah…” Jules’ eyes widened when she looked at the shrub in her hand. In a quick recovery, she confidently fired back, “Well, I didn’t like it there. I think an azalea would look nicer.”
Crossing his arms, Jack bobbed his head as if he agreed, and looked behind her before replying, “Okay, but that’s my juniper. Your yard ended like ten feet that way.”
Shit. She followed the direction he was pointing only to gain a little time to come up with her rebuttal. She knew she was in his yard, and nowhere near her own, she just hadn’t thought of that ninety seconds earlier when she made the impromptu decision to rid his yard of a perfectly fine juniper. “Consider it a favor. This thing is dying, and…it’s ugly.”
She marched off, hose in hand, stomping in the now muddy flower bed that was somewhat of a property line between them. She paused when the mud splattered all over her. How much humiliation could a girl handle? When she heard the ear-piercing laughter coming from his direction, she marched on, mud splashing and all, but not before she turned around and placed her thumb over the hose nozzle, giving Jack a high pressure wetting of his own.
“FYI, Jack Decker…” she hissed, “you’re just…average.”
* * *
Jack sat on his back patio, enjoying a day off by the pool. It seemed his neighbor next door had the same idea. He heard her over the fence talking to someone about seeing them that evening and looking forward to dinner. Probably that kid doctor who wants in her pants so bad. Whatever, the guy’s a douchebag. She can do better.
After the last appointment he had with Ramsey and Dr. Dickhead, Jack was surprised the guy was still calling Jules and trying to date her. Jack wasn’t sure why, but he felt obligated to inform the good doctor about Jules and her revolving door of men. It seemed she was into younger guys — college dudes. At least, they appeared to be in college, and everyone knew if you’ve been with one frat boy, you’ve slept with the entire campus.
Sure, none of that was true, but Jack had zero fucks to give. If Jack wasn’t good enough for Nurse Jules, Dr. Dickwad definitely wasn’t. Pediatrician, whatever. I guess it could be worse, he could be a gyno just to meet women. The guy was a creep, and Jules would thank him someday for doing her a solid. He owed her one anyway.
Dickface might not have been good dating material for Jules, but he was a hell of a good kid doctor, and if it weren’t for Jules, he and Ramsey may not have met the guy. When the sound of Jules’ lawn mower stopped, he realized he’d been lost in thought long enough for her to do her backyard and move onto whatever else had her humming loudly.
Humming soon became singing…if you could call that pitchy mess singing. He stood and stretched, hoping to get a peek over the fence, but all he saw was a blonde ponytail bobbing up and down. He made his way around the pool to the corner where the ground was raised for a rocky waterfall feature that flowed back into the pool. He climbed just high enough to see her dancing around, earphones in.
She shook her ass and swung her head around to what sounded like a terrible rendition of a 90’s Pop chart-topper. Jules grabbed what looked like the last red geranium from a flat of flowers on her outdoor table and a garden spade, each taking a turn as her microphone as she shimmied her shoulders. She planted the flower in a nearby pot and tamped down the dirt while hunched over.
That’s when her ass began to swing from side to side. It was also when his dick began to twitch. Who would’ve thought gardening could be so hot? And that was just the beginning.
It turned into full porno-stripper mode when she got hot and pulled her shirt over her head with nothing but a skimpy something or other underneath — bikini, sports bra, regular bra — he didn’t keep up with women’s fashion, he just knew it was fucking hot. Especially with those tiny shorts of hers — the shorts currently sliding down her perfectly toned, tan legs.
Bikini. It was a boner pleasing bikini. Under all that hard, bossy exterior, there was a sexy beast waiting to get out. Oh, what he would have given to tame that sexy beast and smack her perfect ass for shits and giggles.
Jules dipped her toe into her pool, testing the water. A swim was just what she needed — if you asked him — not that anyone had. An image of Jules pulling herself from the water and taking one step at a time as she climbed out, the water dripping from her glistening body, ran through his head. All in slow motion, of course.
“Hey, jackass. The fence is there for a reason.”
Shit. He was caught. He was pulled from his dirty thoughts so quickly, it threw him off. He lost his footing and slipped on the wet rocks, sliding down the waterfall, right into the pool. Laughter was all that could be heard from over the fence — and from his patio. He now had an audience. What he didn’t expect was the bomb Jules had been saving for days since their last encounter. She yelled, “Heads,” just before a two-foot-tall juniper flew over the fence and landed in his pool.
Author Stephanie St. Klaire
About the Author Stephanie St. Klaire debuted in 2016, launching her writing career with Rescued, the first book in the widely popular, five book series known as McKenzie Ridge. Stephanie is a Pacific Northwest native currently living in Oregon with her husband, five children, and two ferocious lap dogs.
As a writer, Stephanie brings realistic circumstances to the pages, and fills them with real emotion, reactions, and outcomes. Her characters are passionate, have bold personalities, and full of life. She writes happily ever after’s, with plenty of twists, turns, drama, and of course, steamy romance.
Stephanie has always been a story teller, with the gift of “gab”, and a life-long goal to be a writer. Unfortunate circumstances with her health, finally afforded her the time to do so. Irony at its best, she began writing her first novel at an adverse time, to escape her circumstance and explore the stories in her imagination for relief. She is happy to share those stories with her readers, and bring a little fun, entertainment, and of course smexy characters to the pages.
Follow Stephanie St. Klaire on Social media to learn more about her, and to keep up with her work.
Author Tracey Jerald is revealing the cover to FREE TO DREAM, the first book in her adult contemporary romance series, Free, releasing August 9, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
FREE TO DREAM (Free #1) by Tracey Jerald
About the Book Title: FREE TO DREAM Series: Free #1 Author: Tracey Jerald Release Date: August 9, 2018
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Synopsis Cassidy Freeman doesn’t believe dreams come true because every night her dreams trap her in a nightmare she barely escaped as a child. She maintains rigid control over all aspects of her life, giving the illusion she’s strong and confident. Allowing very few close enough to see the brave heart buried beneath, she’s convinced she’ll carry her burdens alone.
From the minute they met, Caleb Lockwood disrupted everything by destroying her sense of order. His patience, compassion and sensuality obliterated her defenses. It’s as if he knew her from the inside out.
Helping his younger brother hire a wedding planner shouldn’t have led to this. In just a few short days, Caleb’s learned untold secrets about his family – and about the Freemans. When he demands to meet them, he doesn’t expect the pull he feels towards the petite dynamo in front of him whom life has dealt an unspeakable hand.
With Caleb, Cassidy’s lost her semblance of control. Now, she’s not sure she wants it back. Not if giving it up means having a chance at something she never imagined.
Excerpt “So, about that first appointment,” Phil starts. I slowly uncross my legs and sit forward.
“There’s something you should know.”
I’m going to throttle my brother. After all our years of working together, if he left out telling me any minute detail about this appointment, I’m going to lose it.
Knowing Phil, this could be anything from the appointment was supposed to be at the Lockwood company headquarters in Manhattan or their family compound in Greenwich. If Phil suddenly springs on me that he forgot to tell me the client’s expecting to have a champagne catered breakfast ready, I’m going to give up on keeping my legendary control, take my scissors and straddle him while I cut off all his hair in massive chunks. He won’t be able to stop me because he’ll be too busy choking on the extra-skinny, watered down latte he just made me pick up.
In my calmest voice, I ask, “What about it?”
Ali whispers “Uh-oh” under her breath.
Phil looks at his hands, then at the clock. Another minute ticks by. Sixteen minutes until this appointment. He looks at Ali, who just stares back at him with a mean look. He looks back down at his hands. Silence. Fifteen minutes.
From the doorway, Holly pipes in with “Did you fuck the groom or something?”
Ali starts to laugh as I gasp. Standing in the door, Corinna, Em and Holly are standing in varying states of arms crossed, waiting for Phil’s answer. Em just mean mugs Phil. I check the clock again. Fourteen minutes.
Phil sighs and looks at me with guilt on his face. That was my only warning.
“No, but Jason was engaged to him about ten years ago and broke it off to be with me. Or so the story goes.”
Chaos erupts in my office. In my disbelief, I make a few mental notes. First, Phil is prohibited from doing any further client event profile forms. I also give myself a mental reminder to review all his other forms for new clients for the rest of the week. How could he not think this information was important for me to know, especially now, having more than mere minutes before the Lockwoods come through my door?
As I sit back, listening to my siblings yell among each other, I try to regroup. I have no time to call Jason to discreetly find out what occurred.
I now have five minutes to get this under control.
Forget who fucked who or who fucked whom over. This is not how we built this business.
Phil. Might. Die.
Blunt force trauma caused by my planner. That’s a delicious thought.
I’ll enjoy planning it in detail, after I deal with damage control.
“All of you, get out of my office. RIGHT NOW!” I yell at my siblings. “I have exactly four minutes to figure this out. I think you all might be depraved lunatics, and how I know this and continue to work with you all on a daily basis is eluding me. This is not the impression this company will give under any circumstances, short of the building catching fire. Find your offices and have your meltdowns in there.”
Then I hear it. That fucking bitch Fate. Three goddamn minutes early. Of course.
“I happen to agree with Ms. Freeman. She and I have an appointment on behalf of my family.”
I find myself staring briefly into a set of the most gorgeous, chocolate brown eyes I have ever seen.
Author Tracey Jerald
About the Author Tracey Jerald knew she was meant to be a writer when she would re-write the ending of books in her head on her bike when she was a young girl growing up in southern Connecticut. It wasn’t long before she was typing alternate endings and extended epilogues “just for fun”.
After college in Florida, where she obtained a degree in Criminal Justice swearing she saw things she’ll never quite believe and never quite forget, Tracey traded the world of law and order for IT. Her work for a world-wide internet startup transferred her to Northern Virginia where she met her husband in what many call their own happily ever after. They have one son.
When she’s not busy with her family or writing, Tracey can be found in her home in north Florida drinking coffee, reading, training for a runDisney event, or feeding her addiction to HGTV. Friend her on Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tracey.jerald.71) or on Instagram (TraceyJerald) to see what antics she’s up to on a regular basis.
Welcome to the blog tour for OFFICE MATE, an adult contemporary romance, by New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling author, Katie Ashley. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
OFFICE MATE by Katie Ashley
About the Book – Read for Free on Kindle Unlimited Title: OFFICE MATE Author: Katie Ashley Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Release Date: July 9, 2018 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
From the first time I played army as a kid, the military has been my life. As an Airborne Major, I’d led my men through two tours in Afghanistan. But when my father was elected president, I became an even greater target for the enemy—a prize for someone to take out. To ensure not only the safety of myself, but of my men, I got stripped of my cammies, shoved into an Armani suit, and placed into a management position at my father’s company. After years of trekking through the desert with an assault rifle, I was way out of my area of expertise, which my transition coordinator was more than happy to let me know on a daily, if not hourly basis. The brunette bombshell would be the death of me in more ways than one, especially since I hadn’t been with a woman since my last deployment. She’s turning out to be one of the greatest foes I’ve ever done battle with.
In the backwoods Georgia town I was born in, you either married right out of high school or got the hell out of town. I chose the second and never looked back. After graduating top in my class, I started working for The Callahan Corporation. Fast forward five years and I was about to become the youngest female manager in the history of my department. And then all the blood, sweat, and tears I’d put into my career were for nothing when the boss’s billionaire son was handed my position on a silver platter. Not only that, I was expected to help transition him into the job that was supposed to be mine. Sure, he’s easy on the eyes with his chiseled good-looks and impossibly built physique, but I’m not going to let that distract me. I hope soldier boy is good at military strategy because sabotage is the name of the game I’ll be playing.
Excerpt Today found us doing some last-minute tweaking in preparation for our dinner meeting with George Halliwell. Although it was just a typical business dinner, Thorn appeared exceptionally tense. He kept popping his neck and jerking his hand through his hair. I hated when he did the hair jerk because it made his sandy blond hair look all tousled and sexy like he’d been rolling around in the sheets during a sexathon.
Yes, I utterly despised myself for thinking that.
We’d just hit a tedious part of reviewing the files on the computer when Thorn leaned his head back and pinched the bridge of his nose. “If I’m going to get through the rest of this, I’m going to need some strong coffee.” He stared pointedly at me.
Oh. Hell. No. He was not suggesting I get his coffee.
In a sugary-sweet tone, I replied, “I believe I showed you where the break room is last week, but if you’ve forgotten, it’s down the hall and then take two lefts.”
“I want an espresso from Starbucks.”
“Then you’re going to need to take the elevator and go down the block.”
“How much plainer do I need to make this, Ms. Flannery? I want a Venti espresso from Starbucks, and you’re going to get it for me.”
“Well, Mr. Callahan, there are a lot of things I want that I don’t get. That’s just life. Furthermore, I know you’re still new to the workforce, but being a coffee runner is not part of my job description. You have an assistant, AKA a secretary for that, not to mention a Secret Service agent who is outside thumbing through Cosmo.”
His blue eyes narrowed at me. “I never said it was part of your job. However, I do believe it is part of your job description not to be insubordinate to your superior.”
If I had been a cartoon character, this was the moment imaginary steam would have billowed from my ears at Thorn’s audacity. At that moment, I had two choices—my own version of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. Fearing for my job, I could bow to Thorn’s will and get his damn coffee, or I could throw caution to the wind and put Mr. Trust Fund Baby in his place. By now, you should know me well enough to know which one I chose. It also didn’t help that I’d caught the end of Nine to Five, one of my all-time favorites, on HBO when I got in from work the night before. Facing down my own version of Franklin Hart, I was going to make Violet, Doralee, and Judy proud.
I jabbed his chest with my index finger. “Look, soldier boy, I know you’re used to barking orders and having your men and women scramble to obey them, but we’re not in Afghanistan anymore, Toto. Now I’m going to walk out of here and tell your secretary you’re about to piss yourself for an espresso.”
While I fully expected Thorn to be enraged by my declaration, I didn’t expect the amused smirk that twisted on his face. “Alice isn’t here.”
“She took a half day to go to the dentist.”
Damn Alice and her teeth. Now my ass really was on the line. “Fine. I will go get your precious espresso, but don’t doubt for one minute that I’ll be filing a grievance via the proper channels,” I hissed.
Thorn had the audacity to grin. “You make sure you do that.”
MOTHERFUCKER. After I whirled around, I started stalking out of his office.
“Oh, Ms. Flannery?” he called.
I fought the urge to reply, Yes, Satan? Instead, I slowly pivoted around. “Yes, Mr. Callahan?”
“I would offer you some cash, but I’m sure you’ll want a receipt to corroborate your story.”
Smug bastard. Of course I wanted a receipt, and of course I planned to put it with my grievance. I hated that he had the ability to read my mind; it made it hard to maintain any ground with him. Well, sometimes he could read my mind—obviously, if he were fully psychic, he would have busted me for the underhanded shit I’d been doing to him.
I gave a nod of my head before turning back around and sprinting out the door. After I stopped by my office for my purse, I hopped on the elevator. When I jabbed the button for the lobby, the woman behind me snickered.
“Tough day, huh?”
“You could say that.”
“Trust me, I’ve been there.”
The commiseration was nice, but at the same time, I inwardly groaned at my behavior. I mean, when had I sunk so low as to act like a petulant toddler by taking my frustrations out on an elevator button? That was somewhat of a rhetorical question since I knew exactly why I was acting the way I was. It was all because the devil incarnate had usurped me at my job and was hell-bent on driving me batshit crazy.
While it pained me to admit it, I really, really wanted to hurt Thorn Callahan, and that in itself was unnerving because I normally wasn’t a violent person. Back home in Georgia, I was constantly stopping my car to help wayward turtles in the middle of the road. I’d even been known to put spiders outside rather than squishing them.
Ugh, the man was driving me absolutely insane, and it had only been three weeks. How was I possibly going to make it a year to eighteen months with him? As I pushed through the doors of the Starbucks, I found myself actually contemplating the thought of changing companies, but I really didn’t want to go that route. It wasn’t that I couldn’t have found another job, but more about the fact that I loved the Callahan Corporation, which had been home to me for so many years.
After I placed my order for Satan’s precious espresso, I started shuffling around in the bottom of my purse for my debit card, and I finally found it hiding under a bottle of dog laxatives. After I handed the card to the barista, my gaze once again fell inside my purse, more specifically on the bottle.
You see, it wasn’t normal for me to have dog laxatives rolling around in the bottom of my purse. Dani was known to suffer from constipation from time to time, which the vet assured me was part of living the city dog life. I hadn’t meant to bring them with me that day. When I was raking stuff off the kitchen counter and into my purse, I thought I’d swept up a bottle of Midol.
At that moment, a truly devious idea entered my mind. It was so heinous that I actually sucked in an agonized breath upon realizing I’d actually thought it. I even went so far as to glance left and right to make sure no one was staring at me in fear. I don’t know why I thought someone could suddenly have the ability to read my mind, but if they did, I would be in big trouble.
I could almost imagine the expressions of horror on their faces, as well as the dialogue that might take place.
“That seemingly normal-looking chick right there? She’s debating putting dog laxatives in her boss’s coffee.”
“Damn, that’s cold.”
“Forget cold—it’s downright psychotic. If she keeps gobbling up the cuckoo puffs, she’ll be rocking a straight-jacket down in Bellevue.”
“I dunno, bosses can be epic pricks. He probably deserves a lengthy ride on the porcelain chariot.”
“Espresso for Isabel.” I jumped out of my thoughts at the sound of my name being called.
Author Katie Ashley
About the Author Katie Ashley is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of both Indie and Traditionally published books. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her daughter, Olivia, and her spoiled mutt, Duke. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Shakespeare, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Scooby-Doo
With a BA in English, a BS in Secondary English Education, and a Masters in Adolescent English Education, she spent eleven years teaching both middle and high school English, as well as a few adjunct college English classes. As of January 2013, she hung up her red pen and expo markers to become a full-time writer. Each and every day she counts her blessings to be able to do her dream job.
Although her roots are firmly planted in the red Georgia clay, she loves traveling the country and world to meet readers and hang out with fellow authors. When she’s not writing or chasing down her toddler, you might find her watching reruns of The Golden Girls, reading historical biographies, along with romance novels, or spending way too much time on Facebook.
Welcome to the blog tour for NASTY, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Naughty, by R.L. Kenderson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
Synopsis Piper Stevens had already met—and lost—the love of her life. When she buried her husband, she buried her chance for a happily ever after…but also found a shoulder to lean on in Nate.
As a commitment-phobe womanizer, Nate Hall has never had a female as a friend, but he made a promise to his buddy before he passed. Take care of Piper.
And these days? He can’t imagine his life without her.
Now, a year later, things Piper thought were long gone are beginning to come back.
Like her previously healthy libido.
Except she can’t picture dating someone in her husband’s place, nor can she sleep with a stranger either.
So, she turns to Nate. After all, he’s the perfect choice. He’s her friend but also a player. He cares about her but they’ll never fall in love…and she won’t get hurt. Not like she did when she lost her husband.
But can two friends give their bodies without involving their hearts and things turning nasty?
Excerpt Piper and Jordan had moved to the area in January the previous year, and when they had first moved, it had been all about getting situated. Jordan had settled into his new job while Piper had to search for her own. Then, before she had known it, it had been May, and she was a widow.
After that had come his funeral and sorting out all the paperwork after someone passed, all while trying to deal with grief. For a while, the only people Piper had seen outside of work were her mom and Nate. She had just wanted to be left alone. Socializing took too much energy.
But she’d slowly started coming back to life a few months ago, and that was when Nate had really started bringing his friends around. She knew he’d been afraid that she’d be lonely with no family in the area. She felt like she was almost back to normal. Well, her new normal because she was never going to be the same person she had been before Jordan passed away.
And, now, she was grateful that Nate had introduced her to Elise. The two of them got along great, and while Nate was her best friend, sometimes, a lady just needed some girl time. They still didn’t know each other that well, but Piper hoped that could change.
Nate and Luke burst through the front door, shirtless, sweaty, and laughing. They went straight to the food without a word to either of the women and dug in like they hadn’t eaten for a week. Neither of them bothered to sit either; both stood on the other side of the counter.
“I apologize for my husband’s table manners—or lack thereof,” Elise said.
Luke looked up from stuffing his face. “Wha—” he said around a mouthful of food, his brown eyes gleaming with humor.
“You’re a pig,” Elise said.
Nate nestled in the corner of the counter and laughed.
Luke swallowed and smiled. “But I’m your pig.”
Elise shook her head and rolled her eyes, but Piper saw she was hiding a smile.
“Apologies, Piper,” Luke said. “I’m hungry.”
Elise turned to Piper. “Do you care if I get a glass of water?”
Piper jumped from the stool, feeling like a terrible hostess. “Oh my God, I’m sorry.”
“No, you don’t have to get up,” Elise protested, also rising from her seat.
“Yes, I do. My mother would pass out from shame if I didn’t take care of my company.”
Elise sat back down and laughed. “I understand.”
She looked around to the two guys. “Water okay with you guys, too?” she asked as she walked around to Nate and Luke’s side.
“I can get my own, you know,” Nate said.
It was true. He wasn’t really a guest in her home anymore. He raided her fridge whenever he was hungry and helped himself to whatever he needed without asking anymore.
“That’s okay,” she said as she opened the cupboard and reached up for the glasses.
But Nate went for them at the same time she did. As he reached from behind her, she felt his naked chest against her back. A tingle went down her spine, straight to her belly, and she dropped her hands to the counter as she tried to fight a slight tremor.
Apparently, her libido hadn’t died with Jordan. It had just gone dormant. And she didn’t know what to do with it if it was coming back.
Authors R.L. Kenderson
About the Authors R.L. Kenderson is two best friends writing under one name.
Renae has always loved reading, and in third grade, she wrote her first poem where she learned she might have a knack for this writing thing. Lara remembers sneaking her grandmother’s Harlequin novels when she was probably too young to be reading them, and since then, she knew she wanted to write her own.
When they met in college, they bonded over their love of reading and the TV show Charmed. What really spiced up their friendship was when Lara introduced Renae to romance novels. When they discovered their first vampire romance, they knew there would always be a special place in their hearts for paranormal romance. After being unable to find certain storylines and characteristics they wanted to read about in the hundreds of books they consumed, they decided to write their own.
One lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and the other in the Kansas City area where they’re a sonographer/stay-at-home mom/wife and pharmacist/mother by day, and together they’re a sexy author by night. They communicate through phone, email, and whole lot of messaging.
You can find them at http://www.rlkenderson.com, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, and Goodreads. Join their Facebook Reader Group. Or you can email them at email@example.com, or sign up for their newsletter here. They always love hearing from their readers.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Kendall Ryan, is unveiling an excerpt from to her latest stand-alone new adult romantic comedy, LOVE MACHINE, releasing July 16, 2018. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and the exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis A best-friends-to lovers standalone romance from New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan.
After a rather uncomfortable ladies’ night involving a cucumber-wielding instructor with judgy eyes, I’m forced to admit my weaknesses. Rather than point blame at my lack of a sex life, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
As a junior executive who’s clawed her way up the corporate ladder, failure is not in my vocabulary. Confident and bold in other areas of my life, I have to admit it’s time to up my bedroom game.
Asking my friend Slate Cruz is really the only option. Slate is like a walking billboard for sex. The man gets more ass than a toilet seat. There’s no way I’ll want more from this playboy than a little inspiration to revive my inner sex kitten.
Except, what happens if I do?
Excerpt: “I can’t believe I struck out every single time,” Keaton says with a whine. “I tried all night and not one goddamn penis wanted me to touch it. God, my fucking feet hurt so bad.”
I loop my arm around her waist, partially to comfort her and partially to hold her up as we stagger down the sidewalk to her apartment. It’s almost two in the morning, and the streets are deserted. Only the predawn stars are watching over us.
“Don’t think of it as striking out. Think of it as . . .” I wave my hand, searching for a positive spin. “Being selective. You just didn’t meet a good match, and it’s better to go home alone than with the wrong guy.”
She growls loudly in frustration. “I’m not looking for a friggin’ husband; I’m just trying to get laid! There’s no point in being picky. Face it, Slate, it’s not me who has the high standards here. Guys just don’t like me. End of story.”
I stop in my tracks. “That’s not true.”
She sways in my arms to face me with tipsy defiance. “Really? Because literally everything that happened tonight says different.”
“So you had one bad night? Big deal. Plenty of guys like you.”
“Prove it,” she insists, her eyes brimming with need and wounded pride.
Her body is so warm, her scent so sweet, and it all feels perfectly natural to just lean in and . . .
Our lips meet. She squeaks in surprise, but before I can pull away and apologize, she kisses me back. Hard.
Her hot, soft mouth crushes against mine, opening with an intense hunger, her tongue demanding entrance, and I can’t help devouring her right back. I couldn’t stop, even if I wanted to.
Why the hell haven’t I done this before? What have I been missing out on all these years?
All my reservations and doubts are swept away in a wave of desire. No overthinking, no self-doubt, just chemistry. Pure, primal instinct. Our tongues touch and my heart rate triples because, holy fuck . . . I’m kissing my best friend.
And, fuck me, I really, really like it.
We break the kiss, both flushed and breathing a little harder, a powerful new tension buzzing between us. Goddamn . . . just that one moment of contact was enough to send every drop of blood traveling from my brain straight to my dick.
Keaton’s never given me wood, not even once. Okay, that’s a lie. There was this one time that she rubbed my shoulders and her boob brushed my arm by accident, but that was just biology. That’s all that was.
“That was . . .” I pause.
It should have felt weird, like kissing my sister. I’ve always had a strictly platonic relationship with Keaton. But I can’t lie. It was perfect. Like a textbook-perfect kiss, chemistry and attraction, and just the right amount of tongue. And I want to do it again as soon as possible.
“Yeah,” Keaton murmurs. Her gaze has darkened. She licks her lips and glances up at her apartment building. “Want to come inside?”
Author Kendall Ryan
About the Author A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.
Today is release day for THE REAL DEAL, a stand-alone adult contemporary romantic comedy, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lauren Blakely.See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis Sophie Kinsella meets Jennifer Crusie in your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!
April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.
Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.
Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.
Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.
She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.
He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.
They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.
But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?
Excerpt #2 ~THEO~
When I clock out and head for the park, anticipation runs through my veins like a good buzz on a night out. A reunion booking could be my way out of trouble. A five-day gig might bring me very close to the finish line.
Along the way, I stop in front of a dry cleaner, check my reflection in the plate-glass shop window, and reckon that I look the part April wants: dark jeans, motorcycle boots, and well-worn T-shirt that shows off the ink on my arms. Tribal bands, a sunburst, and a compass. I haven’t shaved in two days, and my stubble is rough. If she wanted clean-cut and business attire, I’d have covered up the tats with a crisp white shirt and a fine silk tie, then slid a blade across my jaw in the a.m. If she wanted sophisticated, I’d have given her the smooth, James Bond voice to boot. She could have me as a country boy, even, in a pair of steel-toed cowboy boots and with the drawl to match.
But April wants the guy who might have screwed her in the restroom of a bar.
She wants gravel and sandpaper, ink and danger, shades and leather.
The more you give someone what they want, the more you get in return.
When I reach the park, I head to the Terrace Bridge. She’s not here, but I’m early, since I like to get a read on any and every situation. I scan the surrounding area, noting the benches, the nearby tables, the cool placid water gurgling under the bridge. June in New York City can seduce you or it can trick you.
What it has in store today is anyone’s guess. I lean my hip against the stone railing, and I wait. Two minutes later, I spot a threesome walking in my direction. My heart thumps, and I groan quietly.
Why does the universe do this to me?
Blond curls, lips like a bow, a tight trim waist. Even from several yards away, I can tell she wears little makeup—she has that fresh-faced, rosy glow about her, and something innocent yet knowing in her expression. Like Lily James, whom I developed a wicked crush on when I watched her in her latest movie.
April’s not tiny, but she’s not towering either. Maybe five-three, five-four. A delicious dream. Which translates roughly to “just my type.” She wears tight jeans, a long black shirt that clings to her figure, and a huge silver necklace with a heart charm that dangles between her breasts.
As if I wouldn’t already be checking them out without the pendant between them.
I’ve had many clients. Keeping it platonic has never been an issue since I’ve never been attracted to a customer.
Looks like I’ll be getting familiar with how to resist temptation.
Author Lauren Blakely
About the Author A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In October, she’ll release HARD WOOD, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!
Today is release day for BROKEN LOVE STORY, the third stand-alone book in the adult contemporary romance series, Love, by Natasha Madison. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive teaser.
BROKEN LOVE STORY (Love Series #3) by Natasha Madison
About the Author When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
Author Natasha Madison is revealing an excerpt from BROKEN LOVE STORY, the third stand-alone book in her adult contemporary romance series, Love, releasing July 10, 2018. See below for information on the book and series, pre-order links, and the exclusive excerpt.
BROKEN LOVE STORY (Love Series #3) by Natasha Madison
Synopsis Samantha: I had the perfect life; a husband who loved me, and two kids who were my world.
Until someone else answered his phone and my perfect life shattered.
When he died, I was left with answers he couldn’t give me and a box full of lies.
He left me broken.
Blake: I fell in love when I was fifteen, knowing she was the one.
For five years, she was my everything—my every breath, every heartbeat, every thought.
She made me promise to move on, promise to find love again, but I broke those promises because I can’t move on.
Two broken souls brought together by tragedy and heartbreak.
Can a broken love story be fixed?
Standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room, I smooth down my black skirt. My blond hair is tied up in a ponytail, my cheeks are sunken in more than normal, and the blackness around my eyes indicates I haven’t slept well since this whole thing happened. Since I found out that not only did my husband die, but that he also married someone else.
I sit on the made bed and look down at my wedding band. My thumb of my right hand touches it, and the lone tear that falls out of my eye lands straight on it. “Mommy.” I look back at Lizzie, who is standing in the doorway wearing a black one-piece dress similar to mine with ballerina flats.
My mother-in-law went shopping yesterday and bought us all new outfits for today. “We need to put our best foot forward,” she said as I watched her walk in with the six bags. “We can’t let people talk.”
I turned around and walked out of the room, going upstairs. Shutting myself in my bathroom with my back against the door, I cried quietly, trying to hide my sobs. “We can’t let people talk,” I whispered to myself. The hatred I had begun feeling when I remembered my husband.
Lizzie walks to the side of my bed and sits next to me. “I hate this dress,” she says when I put my hand around her shoulder and bring her to me, kissing her head.
“I know, baby,” I whisper, “but after today, it’s going to be all over.”
“That’s what Grandpa A said.” She mentions the name she calls my father-in-law. Grandpa A because you can’t get better than an A.
“Is everyone ready?” I hear Ethan yell from downstairs. “The limo is picking us up in twenty.”
“Let’s go, baby,” I tell her, getting up and holding her hand while we walk downstairs. My in-laws are both sitting in the kitchen. My mother-in-law in a black skirt and top while my father-in-law has on a black suit. “Where is Daisy?” I ask them.
“Elliot is upstairs changing her. She spilled milk on her dress,” Judy tells me, looking at Lizzie. “You look like such a big girl.” She blinks her tears away.
Elliot comes down the stairs with Daisy on his hip, smiling at me when he walks in. “Okay, you girls go sit in the living room while us grown-ups talk,” my father-in-law says, and the girls both know to leave the room. When he knows they are both out of earshot, he starts. “Today is going to be tough, tough for us all, but we have to stand together. We have to be the family that we are.” I lean against the counter while he talks. “The situation with the other one has been taken care of, and she has been served papers.” I look at him and then at Elliot and Ethan, both of them looking down when our eyes meet. It’s almost as if they feel guilty for meeting this woman. My father-in-law continues, “After all this is done today, we are meeting with the lawyers in person, so we can go over the will, start the paperwork for the insurance, and make sure she doesn’t touch a thing that belongs to him.” I stop listening at this point, turning to look out the window at the backyard.
The swing set that he built in one day to make sure the kids could use it when he left the next day. The patio set he had delivered to us, so I could have somewhere to sit while I watched the girls while he was living with another woman. I shake my head, walking out of the room. I sit on the couch, and the girls come to sit next to me, one on each side. “Today is going to be really hard,” I whisper to them, “but we have to be strong for Daddy.” They both look at me, their eyes exactly like their father’s. “But, if at any time, you need to leave or you need me… I don’t care who is talking to me or who is around; you come and get me.”
“Grandpa A said we had to sit and wait,” Daisy whispers just as Elliot comes into the room and kneels in front of us.
“What is this meeting about?” he asks, smiling at us. The circles around his eyes are just as black as ours. He hasn’t left our house since this happened.
“Mommy said if we need her that we can go to her,” Daisy says, looking at him and then me, “even if Grandpa A said no.”
He leans in, whispering, “You can come to me too, and I’ll make sure that you get Mommy.”
“Okay,” Lizzie and Daisy both whisper at the same time, and then the doorbell rings.
We get up, put our jackets on, and one by one file into the black limo that has come to take us to the funeral home. We arrive before everyone else. “We get an hour with him, and then they will open the door,” Adrian says as Judy grabs her tissue and dabs her eyes.
I look around the funeral home. I’m not sure what I’m looking for, not sure where he is. I haven’t seen him since he kissed me goodbye four days earlier. His last words to me were, “Call you when I can.” That phone call never came.
I follow my in-laws to the big brown door that is closed. “I want to go in before the girls.” Everyone turns to look at me.
“We can keep them in the lobby,” says the lady who greeted us at the door. She told me her name, but I just didn’t listen.
I nod at her as she turns to ask the girls if they want hot chocolate. Daisy’s eyes get big as Lizzie turns to look at me. I nod my head, giving her permission, so she can go with the woman.
The doors open, and I don’t even know what to expect. I’ve never been to a funeral. Never known anyone well enough to pay my last respects. Judy and Adrian walk in first, followed by Ethan, and Elliot waits with me. I step foot into the room, and it’s so cold that I shiver. The smell of flowers hits me right away, making me turn my head. The number of flowers and wreaths shocks me; the whole room is almost full. Some wreaths blocking others. Rows and rows of brown chairs line the room, all facing toward the front of the room. My eyes land on the brown wooden casket at the front of the room. The open half showing you the white satin inside. I walk down the aisle toward him, and then my eyes land on him. Eric. I can’t take another step forward because my knees give out, and I fall. Elliot isn’t fast enough to hold me up, and my knee lands with a thud. But the pain doesn’t matter because nothing could take the place of the pain in my heart. The sound of wailing fills the room as I look up at my dead husband.
I feel arms around me; I feel myself lifted; I feel myself almost floating. He isn’t the Eric who kissed me goodbye; he isn’t the Eric who I made promises to; he isn’t the Eric who made all my dreams come true. This isn’t him.
The man with makeup caked on his face isn’t my Eric. My sobs overtake my body as I look at him, expecting him to open his eyes. Expecting something, anything but this. “I want the casket closed,” I say, my voice soft. “I want it closed.”
“Samantha,” my father-in-law starts, “it’s—”
I shake my head. “I don’t want the kids to see him like that,” I say softly. I know that for me they wouldn’t even consider it, but for the girls, they would move heaven and earth. “They need to remember him alive and smiling, not like that,” I say, pointing at the casket.
“Dad,” Ethan says after me, “I agree.”
“Me too,” Elliot says from beside me. “Close it.”
He just nods at us, then walks to the man standing in the corner. The man looks at him as they have a hushed conversation and then just nods his head. “Do you need some water?” Ethan says to me, and I nod. I don’t bother listening to what else he says; instead, I get up and go to the casket. Standing before the brown box, I look at him, really look at him. You see some bruising under the makeup, and his nose is a little swollen. His hands are folded over his stomach, resting on his black suit. The suit he wore when we got married. Why? I ask him in my own head. Why did you do it? I ask him, hoping I can hear him whisper something to me, whisper anything back. To answer my questions, to give me something; anything to make me understand why he did what he did. Why he left me with so many fucking questions and not one answer.
The man comes over to close the casket. Eric’s face disappears slowly, the shadow filling his face till the casket finally shuts. “I’m sorry for your loss,” the man says, nodding at me. “If at any time you want it open, we can open it back up.” I turn around now, looking at the chairs that will fill up as soon as the people start coming in. Ethan consoles my mother-in-law, and Elliot stands where we were just sitting, his hands in his pockets.
“I’m getting the girls,” I tell them and then walk out with my head held high but my shoulders slumped. Defeated is a word that you use so many times not really understanding what can actually defeat you. I know now, my husband dying, him cheating on me, my kids without a father, my dreams of growing old with him gone. Beaten straight down to my core, straight down to my bones.
I walk over to them as they look up. “Let’s go, girls,” I tell them as they both get up and walk to me. Lizzie takes one hand, Daisy takes the other, and we walk back into the room that holds a piece of our hearts. The room where their father lies, with no answers and no tomorrow.
We stand in that room for four hours while people come up to me and give me their condolences. I nod my head and play the part of the grieving wife. I am the grieving wife, but I’m also the wife whose husband didn’t love her enough to just be with her. The wife who knew her husband was slipping away but couldn’t catch it in time. The wife he said he would love and protect. The wife who stands here between his girls wishing that for one second he suffered horribly. The wife who has to pick up the fucking pieces and lie to her girls about what a great guy he was. The wife who, at the end of the day, just wasn’t good enough.
We listen as people tell us how amazing he was, how much he loved his family, and how much he loved his girls. The whole time, I’m yelling on the inside, ready to stand in the middle of the room, throw my head back, and yell at the top of my lungs. But I don’t do what I want. I don’t tell them what a fraud my husband was. I don’t tell them that it was almost all lies. I don’t tell them that the day he died, they called his other wife and not me. I don’t tell them that I wasn’t the one with him when he died.
I stand here thinking about this other person—his other wife—and wonder how she would handle this. How she would be with my in-laws. Would she just let them control her and do everything for her? Would she want it to be open and weep for him beside the casket instead of standing next to it?
I look around the room at all the people who came to pay their respects, and my eyes find someone I’ve never met before. Someone I’ve never seen before, and our eyes connect. His green eyes stare into mine as I watch him nod to me and turn to walk out. As he walks out of the crowded room, I strain my neck to watch his back. I don’t have long to think because Elliot comes up and whispers, “It’s time.”
About the Author When her nose isn’t buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she’s in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It’s a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn’t listen to her…
Welcome to the book blitz for RIVAL,the second book in the young adult science fiction/urban fantasy series, Fate of the Stars, by Arwen Paris, releasing November 1, 2018. See below for the information the book and series, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
One deadly week has passed since seventeen year old Allison Delaney realized she must save Earth from the parasitic race of Ma’tiok. But the task is even more complicated than Allison feared, and she’s being set up to fail. Blamed for a fatal blow to the Alliance fleet that killed dozens of soldiers, Allison must face judgment for their deaths. The High Priestess Kiobaan is Allison’s only hope. Kiobaan sees the warrior spirit in Allison, along with her potential both politically and physically and agrees to train her.
And a game she can’t afford to lose.
Meanwhile, though Allison is the human host of Eenoki, protector of life, she’s not yet ready to harness their combined energy. Their bond is unpredictable at best—volatile at worst. Time is running out for Eenoki and Allison to trust each other—all or nothing—or she’ll never gain the power she needs to defeat the Ma’tiok and save Earth. When Allison is marked for death by an unknown enemy, the High Priestess Kiobaan must step-up and fight. But in return Kiobaan extracts a pledge from Allison, one that will compromise her new status and make her a target.
Excerpt Staring out of the tinted bulletproof windows of the limo, I can’t tell for sure how gray the clouds are that gather above us. I hope it doesn’t rain again. It’s unsettling to come back here. To see the complete destruction of the California ocean side town that I once called home—Avilene Beach. It’s a ghost-like cemetery of charred, crumbling homes and palm trees turned askew and broken apart. Just like me.
This is the direct result of my decisions.
Wind skitters across the surface of black puddles racing by, reminding me of the oily blood of the Ma’tiok. It’s been just one week since my old life, my human life, ended and this new one exploded into existence. Acid rises in the back of my throat, burning hot, and I crush my jaw together hard until my lips press into a thin line. Why did Eenoki pick me?
“Priestess, do you understand what I said?”
Katok’s sharp telepathic tone startles me out of my immersive guilt. “Stick to the speech the High Priestess provided. Yes. I got it.” I swallow hard against the rising bile being pressed there by the trembling in my gut. What if this press conference makes things worse?
“Allison, don’t worry so much. You’ll be safe.” Stephen reaches out to me and Katok snatches his hand midair, crushing it in his huge taloned palm.
“Ow! Dammit, Katok!” Stephen clutches his wounded limb.
I swear, that’s almost a smirk on the massive Vongjar commander’s leopard-like face. Katok’s lips curl back menacingly to reveal his white fangs and piercing resolve. Stephen knows better than to try and touch me.
I sigh, and can’t help but glare at Stephen who sits across from me. His dark muscular arms are crossed hard against his white Navy button up shirt. Even with the blotchy purple and yellow bruises healing across his tense neck and face, he’s still handsome. But his haircut, shaved in military style, makes me miss his longer tawny surfer hair.
“Stephen, if I can’t be the bridge between the Alliance and Earth, our world won’t survive the Ma’tiok. You understand that, right?”
His angry blue eyes lock on me, softening, and he smiles.
I look away and clench my fists on the cold, empty, black leather seats beside me. We can never make it work. He’ll never understand what I am, or what I have to do. I have to serve the Alliance to have any chance of getting them to fight the Ma’tiok on the ground, instead of glassing the Earth like they have so many other infected worlds.
The blue tint to the air thickens as we get closer to our destination. What if I had just gone with Z’iram and left Earth behind? Maybe he would have spared those who died here.
No. If we left, there would be no hope of the Alliance helping this world fight back. Any other choice would have meant the total destruction of Earth without any chance of survival.
I know Eenoki is right, but the truth still hurts.
The High Priestess will arrive soon, aboard the planet killer Star Fire, to judge and test me. This speech is another test, one that I can’t afford to mess up. If Kiobaan doesn’t publicly declare me a Priestess, of Earth, then there will be no ambassador to the Alliance or protection for our world.
I take a deep breath and straighten the pale gown Tarem made me wear, irritated at how ridiculous I look. Not that I own any clothes besides what the Alliance has provided me. Before we left, my reflection shocked me. The way they pinned up my long auburn waves under a small crystalline hairpiece that stands a few inches high, reminded me of my vision of Aakina. The memory Eenoki shared with me from her last day alive, before she and her world were wiped out by the Ma’tiok.
“How much longer Katok, until there are too many Ma’tiok for your troops to handle”
His golden eyes widen. “They multiply too quick. The ground troops struggle to do more than contain them. Our current calculations project ten Earth days at most. We need Alliance support to do any more.” Katok shakes his head.
Ten days left? It’s only been twenty one since the Ma’tiok arrived!
Stephen leans closer. “He’s not telling you the whole story. Admiral Hurst says that there are over ten thousand Ma’tiok and infected humans on the ground, and that combined kills between Katok’s troops and the US military don’t even equal the rate that they’re multiplying at. We are losing every day.”
About the Author Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she’s not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless – #F3Fanatic.
Author C.R. Ellis is revealing the cover to WHEN LIGHT LEADS TO YOU,the second book in her new adult romantic suspense series, Forget Me Knot, releasing August 1, 2018. See below for the cover, information the book and series, preorder links, and an exclusive excerpt.
WHEN LIGHT LEADS TO YOU (Forget Me Knot#2) by C.R. Ellis
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: WHEN LIGHT LEADS TO YOU Series: Forget Me Knot #2 Author: C.R. Ellis Release Date: August 1, 2018 Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis JASMINE Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a crush on a boy. Eventually, they fell in love. They lived happily ever after.
Except they didn’t. Not even close. I’m the girl, but that’s not my story.
Once upon a time, I fell for a boy, but we didn’t have a happily ever after. In fact, we crashed and burned. Which turned out to be for the best because it forced me to grow up and realize the only wedding bells in my future are the ones I orchestrate for clients.
For six years I’ve been perfectly content with meaningless, short-lived flings and running from anything that resembles a real relationship.
That boy? He’s my best friend’s brother, and he’s no longer the boy I fell for—he’s a man I can’t stand. Oh, and he’s also my new neighbor.
DEAN Seemingly overnight, Jasmine Winters went from being my sister’s best friend to being the girl I couldn’t get enough of. But like most good things, it didn’t last.
Things fell apart so suddenly, I’m able to convince myself that summer never happened. At least, I was, until the only distance between us is a hallway instead of a time zone.
Six years ago, I let Jasmine slip through my fingers without an explanation because I was convinced we’d be better off apart. But now that we’re neighbors, our unspoken vow of apathy has unwittingly been shattered. Our exchanges consist of trading insults and icy stare downs. But in-between, I catch glimpses of the way she used to look at me, glimpses of the girl I fell for years ago.
Things are different now, though. This time… I won’t let her walk away without giving me answers.
When Light Leads to You is the second full-length novel of the Forget Me Knot series, but can be read as a standalone. **Due to strong language and the sexy times between these two, this book is recommended to readers ages 18 and up.**
WHEN LIGHT LEADS TO YOU (Forget Me Knot#2) by C.R. Ellis (Full Cover)
Excerpt “Oh, no you don’t. I’m not letting you walk away this time, Goldie.”
“Don’t call me that. It’s like you nicknamed me after a retriever, and I hate it.” I tried to break free from his grip, to no avail. “Let me go, Dean.”
“No. This ends here and now, Jasmine.” He sighed and dropped my hand. “Fuck. I—Can we start over?”
The sincerity in his voice caught me off guard. It was an uncharacteristic moment of vulnerability, and it took me back to the days when we were close.
“Fine. You have five minutes.”
“Not here,” he said, shaking his head and grabbing my hand again. “Come with me.”
Against my better judgment, I didn’t rip free of his grip like every part of my brain begged me to do. He led me to a 4-wheeler and stopped, searching my face before hopping on and gesturing for me to climb on behind him.
“Jas, quit looking at me like you think I’m trying to decide where the best spot would be to dump your lifeless body.”
I swallowed a laugh. “Are you?”
He shook his head as a smile stretched across his lips. “Tick tock, Jasmine. You only gave me five minutes. Come on.”
I bit my lip and actively tried not to think about the fact that riding behind him would mean touching his body. Maybe even holding on to those drool-worthy abs I’d almost convinced myself weren’t there.
Shit, I muttered under my breath before climbing onto the ATV. It’s a fucking 4-wheeler; it’s not like he’s asking you to straddle his naked body and ride him into the wee morning hours.
“Ready?” he asked, releasing the clutch.
“Yes,” I squeaked, fighting a wave of butterflies our proximity set loose in my chest cavity.
I had to hold in a moan when I got a whiff of his cologne, which somehow gave off the perfect balance of masculinity soaked in scents of sandalwood and citrus. Pretty sure someone figured out how to sell pure seduction in a bottle. Before I could stop it, my mind conjured up images of our bodies tangled together, where the speed at which we were shredding each other’s clothes would’ve qualified us for the Olympics of undressing.
Jesus, that escalated quickly.
I shifted uncomfortably, cursing this position for not allowing me to press my thighs together. For the duration of the ride, I willed my brain to think of unsexy topics like the best brand of laundry detergent and the best way to cook cauliflower. No matter where my mind drifted, though, I kept coming back to the notion that this conversation was probably going to shift the very foundation of what our tempestuous relationship was made of.
About the Author C.R. Ellis is a Texas native who writes contemporary romance novels with plenty of drama and humor, and just enough heat to ignite e-readers and paperbacks everywhere. She can almost always be found attached to her laptop with coffee nearby and her two trusty canine sidekicks by her side. When she’s not writing or plotting, she enjoys going to concerts with her sweet husband, dragging him along to see rom-coms at any theater that serves booze, checking off the next destination on her ever-growing travel bucket list, and trying new recipes.
Her passion for writing stems from her lifelong love of reading, and she often binge-reads entire books in a day. She’s an unapologetic book hoarder, and her paperback collection is rivaled only by her massive shoe collection.
Welcome to the book blitz for the BORN TO LOVE WILD anthology, a collection of paranormal romances, by USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and an exclusive excerpt from WATER TEMPERATURE by Andie Biagini.
BORN TO LOVE WILD Anthology
About the Book Title: BORN TO LOVE WILD Anthology Authors: Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini Publisher: Stars and Stone Books Release Date: July 24, 2018 Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay
Synopsis A Paranormal Romance Short Story Anthology from Stars and Stone Books, featuring: USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Pepper McGraw, M.T. DeSantis, Read Gallo, J. Bigelow, and Andie Biagini.
Excerpt from Andie Biagini’s WATER TEMPERATURE I met the animal control officer at the outer gate of the Greenflower Nuclear Power Plant. He pulled up in a big red pickup truck and parked in a visitor spot. To my relief, he didn’t look much older than me. At least I wasn’t dealing with some grizzled old man who wanted to talk to someone more important than a twenty-one-year-old intern.
From twenty yards away, I watched him haul a black duffel bag out of the back of the truck, a motion which showed off smooth, well-defined biceps under his white T-shirt. I caught myself enjoying the view and quickly looked away. If any of the other interns knew I’d been staring at hot guys on the clock, I’d never hear the end of it.
“Hi.” I gave him a 3,412 BTU-per-hour friendly smile as he approached. “Are you Louis?”
“Luis,” he corrected my pronunciation, frowning. Even with the grumpy face, I couldn’t help but notice his eyes. They were an unusual shade of light brown, like sea glass.
“I’m Madison.” I stuck out my hand for him to shake.
He ignored it. “I know. We talked on the phone. Show me the canal.”
Eyes might be the windows to the soul, but it looked like his pretty ones were well-shuttered. I reminded myself to be polite. This was just a summer internship, but if I wanted the plant to offer me a position after graduation next May, I needed to prove I could handle whatever the job threw at me. Including rude people. “We’ll need to get you through security first.”
Luis scowled. Still, he followed me and submitted to the process.
The security guard at the front desk gave him a discreet once-over while he signed in. Even though she was old enough to be his mom, I couldn’t blame her. Luis looked like he should be lounging shirtless on a beach somewhere—a mental image that was almost enough to make me blush— not fishing lost reptiles out of Greenflower’s cooling canal.
It wasn’t until we were walking toward the golf cart that would take us to our destination that he said another word to me. “You’re the one who saw this alligator, right?”
I hesitated. “I saw a tail.”
“Tails are usually attached to something.”
I bit my tongue on a snarky response. My supervisor had been quick to tell me that alligators and other local fauna hung out near the canal all the time. I was at the plant to learn, but I was so tired of people talking down to me and explaining things I already knew. Normally I would have let it drop, but I’d been having a rough couple of days, feeling lethargic and frustrated for no reason I could pinpoint. I wanted a win, a problem to solve. So I pushed the issue, reminding my supervisor of the plant’s tenuous relationship with the local wildlife authorities. Reaching out to them was a good PR move—it showed that Greenflower cared about the ecology of the area. That’s when I’d been given permission to get in touch with animal control.
I motioned for Luis to put his duffle in the back of the golf cart and get in. “I only saw the tail,” I repeated. “I don’t think it’s an alligator. It didn’t look like one.”
“Have you ever seen a gator before?” His voice dripped condescension. More sincerely, he amended, “Sorry. But you don’t sound like you’re from around here.”
Luis didn’t have anything like what I considered a Southern drawl, but apparently something about my speech had made him judgey. “Connecticut,” I admitted. “But I’ve been going to school down here for three years. And I’m planning to move here after I graduate.” Hopefully. Pending impressing the right people at the plant and landing that job offer.
I started the golf cart and began to scoot along the path. It wasn’t even lunchtime yet, but it was already blazing hot. My long dark hair was starting to frizz and curl. I could feel myself sweating through my blouse. I wished I had the ovaries to wear a skirt or a dress to work, just for the breeze. But it was hard enough being the only girl intern without drawing attention to my legs, so I stuck to khakis.
Beside me, Luis lifted a hand to wipe sweat off his forehead. The sleeve of his white T-shirt pulled up, flashing a gray-green tattoo. I wanted a closer look, but I kept my eyes facing front. I couldn’t tell my supervisor that I’d wrecked the golf cart because I was distracted by the animal control officer’s nice arms.
We arrived at the edge of the canal. From far above, it looked a little like one of those old snake computer games, where someone had succeeded in getting the snake to fill the screen without eating its tail. It switched back on itself continuously, so its length would fit within five square miles. From where we were standing, there were just rows of blue-green water, broken up by strips of concrete.
Luis got out of the cart and walked to the edge of the canal, leaving his duffel behind. I went to stand next to him. He was a few inches shorter than me, and I was in flats. I could see the edge of his tattoo now—a tail, with fins. Mermaid?
“When the water leaves the plant, it’s hot,” I explained. “It cools down as it goes through the canal, so by the time it gets into the gulf it’s a normal temperature.”
“And all the nuclear waste in the water is just a bonus, right?” he said acidly. No wonder he was being so salty, if that’s what he thought went on at Greenflower.
My temper flared. “Do you honestly think we’d be putting it back in the damn ocean if it were contaminated?”
“I don’t know what you nuclear people get up to. I just live here.”
I didn’t respond to that. Locals were still touchy about the plant, even though it had stood for fifty years without a contamination issue.
Luis turned back to me. “So, tell me what exactly you saw.”
Before I could explain, I caught a glimpse of green scales with an iridescent shimmer breaking the water fifty yards behind him. “I saw that.” I grabbed his arm and spun him around to face the canal. The scaly thing slid back down, and the tail broke the water. It was long and ended in flukes, like a dolphin’s.
When the tail went back under, I worried it might not come back up again. I’d seen it twice now, and I was sure I could trust my own eyes, but would Luis believe me? Before I could gauge his reaction, a head appeared. It was triangular and decidedly snakelike, but it was bigger than the hard hats I had to wear around the plant. Which made me think the creature’s whole body was probably bigger than any snake I cared to see in real life.
Before I could notice any more details, the head disappeared. I turned to Luis, expecting shock, surprise, his mouth hanging open, maybe. Instead, he was grinning broadly. Something fluttered in my stomach, and I couldn’t help but smile back. I realized I was still holding his very firm, warm arm, and I dropped it, embarrassed.
Luis didn’t seem to notice the awkward extended contact, or if he noticed he didn’t mind. “Holy shit,” he said, gleefully. “You’ve got yourself a sea monster.”
Welcome to the book blitz for AN IMPOSSIBLE WORLD, an adult dystopian romance, by S.P. Cervantes. 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.
Synopsis What would happen if terrorism spread and hate took over? What would the world become?
Isabella (Belle) Grey trained her entire adult life to protect those around her––training that would prove invaluable in her quest to make a new life. Forced to live in an impossible world, terror was not only outside the walls of her protected community but also raged behind the walls of her very own home.
No longer willing to put up with her husband’s drunken abuse, Belle made the desperate decision to run away from the safety of her community and escaped alone into the broken world beyond.
Chased by death as bombs exploded in the distance, her next decision could not only save her life but could potentially bring light back into her darkened soul.
When faced with the impossible, Belle found strength in an unsuspecting stranger who set her path in a new direction––one she never considered.
Fear. Love. Revenge. Strength … all come together in this epic tale of fate and survival.
I protect my own. That’s all I’ve ever done, and that’s what I’ll do until the day I die. I also don’t change my mind once it’s made up.” He hovered over me setting me on fire in ways that confused me. “And I’ve made my mind up about you.”
Author S.P. Cervantes
About the Author S.P. Cervantes is the author of the acclaimed contemporary romance A BROKEN FAIRY TALE series. The series allows you to connect with a group of friends and their triumphs over tragedy. “Dust to Dust” is a suspenseful stand-alone romance that introduces readers to this close knit group of loyal friends. “Wished Away” is an emotional romance that should be read before the Bad-Boy romance, “His Jar of Hearts”.
S.P. highly acclaimed romance called “The Wife” is now available.
S.P. is also the author of the highly rated Young Adult Romantic Fantasy trilogy Secrets of Shadow Hill. “Always and Forever”, “The Prophecy”, and “War of Wizards” that has been described as “Twilight Meets Harry Potter”. It’s not your typical romantic fantasy.
S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel..
Welcome to the book blitz for STRONG HOLD, the fifth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Redemption, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Sarah Castille. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
For the longest moment Zack’s brain couldn’t process the sight in front of him.
Seven years, ten months and twenty-seven days. That was how long it had been since he’d seen her. That was how long it had been since he’d lived a life without regret.
Fight promoter Zack Grayson is on the prowl for a rising star. As the top recruiter of a prestigious MMA promotion company, he wants to take someone where he was never able to go: the top of the professional league. He didn’t expect that someone to be the woman he loved…and left.
Top-ranked MMA amateur fighter Shayla “Shilla the Killa” Tyler built walls around her heart when Zack left her seven years ago–and again when her husband turned violent. Now, seeing Zack is nearly enough to send those walls crumbling. But she can’t risk the exposure of the limelight, and she definitely can’t risk another heartbreak.
As Shayla and Zack grow closer, though, business turns personal. And once their passion unleashes, there’s no going back…
Against the Ropes (Book 1)
In Your Corner (Book 2)
Full Contact (Book 3)
Fighting Attraction (Book 4)
Strong Hold (Book 5)
What People Are Saying About Sarah Castille’s Redemption series:
“Powerful. Gritty. And sexy beyond belief. Sarah is a true master!”–Opal Carew, New York Times bestselling author of His to Claim
“Emotionally charged, amazingly sexy, and flat out fantastic.” —Fresh Fiction for Full Contact
“Castille continues to introduce characters who are both intense and vulnerable. The females are more than a match for the men in their lives, and these guys are worth their efforts.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars for Full Contact
Excerpt #1 “Let her go.” Zack crouches beside us and shows Sue how to free her head from between my legs. Then he sends her across the room to work with another newbie, gesturing for me to remain on my back on the mat. As soon as she is gone, his dark eyes harden. He is barely recognizable as the man who kissed me softly behind the punching bag a short time ago. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
“I don’t appreciate the swearing,” I huff. “And I’m keeping it light, if you must know. Doctor Death gave me the okay.” I push myself to my elbows when his mouth opens again. “Don’t even think about asking me to leave. I don’t answer to you, Zack. I do what I want.”
“I realized that when you got involved in something that wasn’t your fight.”
Ah. He was annoyed. “I’m sorry, but I’d do it again, because you aren’t ready for that fight. And I don’t care if you hate me for saying it, because we both know that if you were, no one could have stopped you from climbing into that ring.”
Zack stares down at me, lying on my back on the floor. Emotion flickers across his face but disappears so fast, I wonder if my words affected him at all. “Since you’re down there, we’ll see how you escape a choke from the guard.”
“With you?” My heart races as he kneels at my feet, and I take a deep breath and try to keep it below the seventy percent threshold.
“Yes, with me.” His dark eyes glitter as he rests a hand on each of my knees and unceremoniously pushes my legs apart. “Spread.”
I’ve done this move countless times in countless classes, but never has my partner set my mind ablaze and my body on fire. Never have I felt that word like a rush of heat in my core.
“Legs around my hips.” His voice catches, and I am perversely pleased by the fact that this highly suggestive position that has never seemed suggestive until now is having some effect on him, too.
Acutely aware that we are being watched by the other people in the class, I wrap my legs around his hips. Zack grabs the edge of my gi and rolls, pulling me down against his chest with his right hand until I am lying on his body, my cheek against his chest, my hips pressed against what I hope is a cup.
“Breathe,” he whispers.
I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding and pray this is over soon.
Zack bumps his hips up until they are tight against mine and grabs the back of my gi with his left hand. Then he pulls his elbow around my head for the choke.
But I don’t want to escape. I want to stay here, wrapped in his arms, pressed tight against his body, indulging in years’ worth of Zack-on-his-back fantasies in one fell swoop.
“Do you know how?” he murmurs.
Author Sarah Castille
About the Author Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Ruin & Revenge Series, Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series, and Legal Heat series. A recovering lawyer with a fondness for dirty-talking alpha males, she now is a full-time writer, who lives on Vancouver Island. Sarah’s books have been listed as Publisher’s Weekly’s Top Ten Picks and Best Summer Reads, and Amazon’s Best Romance Books of the Year, and have won numerous reader’s choice awards including the Holt Medallion..
Welcome to the blog tour for THE FRAGILE ORDINARY, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance,by New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Samantha Young. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are. Don’t miss THE FRAGILE ORDINARY releasing on June 26, 2018, and get a sneak peek of the book below!
I am Comet Caldwell.
And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.
People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.
But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.
When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.
Excerpt #1 I became so preoccupied with the thought of meeting Tobias after school and walking to Stevie’s and his flat with him, and then working in close proximity in their bedroom again, I was utterly useless as a friend. I barely had any recollection of anything Vicki or Steph said to me all day, and it became clear to them why when we walked out of school at the end of the day and I told them I had to wait for Tobias.
“So that’s why you’ve been so distracted all day,” Steph said, sounding put out. “You get to spend the afternoon in Tobias King’s bedroom.”
My God, was she jealous?
It sounded like she might be a little envious.
“Oh, Comet, please don’t tell me you like him,” Vicki said, not sounding jealous at all, but very concerned.
“I don’t,” I lied.
“Good. Because he’s a bad boy. And you’re…”
“Comet,” Steph supplied, like that explained everything.
Ugh. It did explain everything.
“Well I don’t. Now go, before he thinks we’re standing here gossiping about him.”
Steph laughed and threaded her arm through Vicki’s to lead her away. I gave Vicki a reassuring smile and a wave when she looked over her shoulder at me, still plainly concerned.
I almost jumped out of my shoes as I spun around to find Tobias towering over me. He was alone.
I’d been partly nervous about meeting him to walk him to his flat because I’d suspected Stevie would be joining us. Relief moved through me. “No Stevie?”
Tobias’s brows drew together. “No. Why would there be?”
I shrugged, confused by his somewhat belligerent response. “You live together.”
“He skipped out after lunch.”
Of course he had. I turned away so Tobias wouldn’t see me roll my eyes. “I suppose we better go then.”
If I’d thought last night’s walk was quiet, this one was positively dead. We said not a word to one another. I was going to start up conversation, attempt to not besocially awkward, but Tobias seemed lost in his thoughts and his silence made me lose my nerve.
“You’re not afraid of me, are you?” He spoke up suddenly, only a street away from the flat.
The question surprised me so much my tongue loosened. “What? Why would you think that?”
“The way you reacted when Mr. Stone made me sit next to you. Your hands were shaking yesterday. You were nervous at Stevie’s flat. The way you’re acting now.”
“It’s not that I’m afraid of you.”
“So you’re just shy as shit?”
What a charming adjective. I wrinkled my nose. “Maybe.”
Tobias chuckled. “You don’t have to be shy around me. Contrary to popular belief, I’m not actually Satan.”
“No one thinks you’re Satan.” I shook my head. “Just…maybe not the kind of boy who would talk to a girl like me. I get that.” I wanted to assure him that I knew we were just presentation partners and not actually friends. “So let’s just get to your place and get our work done.”
“First…go back. The part about me being a guy who wouldn’t talk to a girl like you. Explain.”
I frowned at the demand. “I’m academic. I like school. You…you may be smart, but clearly you don’t like school.”
“I can see where you might think that.” He nodded and then flashed me that boyish grin. “But maybe you’re wrong.”
“Possibly.” I nodded. “I don’t really know anything about you.”
“I don’t know anything about you either. Most girls are pretty talkative about themselves. You’re not. You’re kind of a mystery.”
Tobias King thought I was a mystery.
That made me laugh, and his eyes widened as he watched me, his mouth curling up at the corners in that way it was wont to do in lieu of an actual smile. “I’ve never seen you laugh before.”
Did he think I was some emo, miserable teenager incapable of it? “It’s been known to happen once in a while.”
This time he full-out grinned at my dry tone. “Apparently.”
“Endearing and relatable, Comet-the girl who is searching for her place in this world-will shoot through the sky and into your heart.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Erin Watt
Author Samantha Young
About the Author Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017.
Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.
Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author..