Welcome to the blog tour for RULES OF A REBOUND, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Breakup Bash, by Nina Crespo. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
RULES OF A REBOUND (Breakup Bash #2) by Nina Crespo
Natalie Winters thought she’d married the man of her dreams…but her marriage ended way too soon in a nightmarish divorce. She even has to share custody of the dog! The stress is killing her, so she decides to take a night off and attend the Breakup Bash—a private party for women celebrating their breakups—with her friends.
Former executive security specialist turned bartender Rome Collier is drawn to the woman easily trading sexy banter with him. And if she wants the “Do Me” condoms she accidentally throws across the counter at him, she’ll have to claim them…personally. Their flirtation turns into so much more, and every scintillating night they spend together is better than the last.
Strong, protective…and hot, Rome is everything Natalie ever wanted in a man. All she has to do is convince him he’s more than a rebound.
Excerpt #1 Stop! Natalie sat up in bed, batting away the sadness that threatened to consume her now. Today wasn’t like the past. She wasn’t dependent upon anyone to take care of her, and no one was making her leave her home. She’d restore what was missing, and, if karma truly existed, the jackasses that had robbed her of her things and her peace of mind would get what they fully deserved.
Natalie flung back the covers. As she walked out of the bedroom in her bare feet, she tugged down her mid-thigh- length “When I die, the dog gets everything” T-shirt. A cup of stress-relief tea would help her relax and possibly slow down her thinking long enough for her to get some sleep.
She was almost halfway down the hall before she remembered to walk softly so she wouldn’t disturb Betsy… or Rome.
As she crept past the closed door of the playroom, Betsy’s collar jangled, but she didn’t whine or bark. Natalie rarely locked her up, but she wanted to make sure her fur baby didn’t wander into places that she hadn’t cleaned up yet. Betsy would tolerate a night of not sleeping where she pleased as long as she was taken outside in three hours, at six in the morning.
Natalie continued to the end of the hallway, planning to quietly make her way through the living room to the kitchen. But seeing Rome laying on top of the bedsheet in his low-slung jeans, arm resting above his head, brought her up short.
The glow from outside streetlights streamed through small openings in the blinds, illuminating him. Even at rest, cuts of muscle stood out in his chest, stomach, and arms. When they were in the storeroom, she hadn’t gotten a look at the entire juicy package. Had she known all of that was available, she would have ripped off his shirt.
Sex with Rome, the drink-serving god…the orgasm maker. That’s how her night after attending the Breakup Bash should have ended…with a thrill of being with him, not disaster.
He shifted his legs, and the natural V cutting along his hips deepened, framing his impressive abs. He brought his arm down. “Is something wrong?”
Unexpectedly hearing his voice caused her breath to hitch and made her feel a tad embarrassed. Ogling him while he slept drifted into stalker territory. “No. I’m…”
As Rome sat up and put his feet on the floor, his rippling muscles took her words away. “If you can’t sleep, that’s normal. What happened can leave you feeling uneasy.”
Or hot and bothered. Very hot, in fact. Suddenly, her light sleep shirt felt like a winter coat. “I’m not upset. I mean, yes, of course I’m upset. I was robbed, but that’s not why I’m here.” Her gaze drifted to his lap. Was that bulge a hard-on, or was she just dreaming?
“Okay.” His low, husky voice made her skin tingle. “Then, why are you here?”
Go make herself a cup of tea, or give in to the desire that made her breasts heavy and lust pool in her middle. The choice was clear.
She walked to the pullout bed and in between his legs. His body heat seeped through his jeans and into her skin.
About the Author Nina Crespo lives in Florida where she indulges in her favorite passions — the beach, a good glass of wine, date night with her own real-life hero and dancing.
Her lifelong addiction to romance began in her teens while on a “borrowing spree” in her older sister’s bedroom where she discovered her first romance novel.
Let Nina’s sensual contemporary stories and steamy paranormal tales feed your own addiction for love, romance, and happily ever after.
***JOIN NINA’S READERS GROUP***
Help spread the word about the books in the Breakup Bash series as well as upcoming books. Your participation will not go unrewarded. Freebies, ARC’s, awesome swag, and bookish treats are a part of the fun!
Welcome to the blog tour for WE ARE THE GHOSTS, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, by Vicky Skinner. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis After her estranged brother suddenly dies, a girl embarks on a road trip to rediscover who her brother really was in VickySkinner’s contemporary YA novel, We Are the Ghosts.
When Ellie’s estranged brother, Luke, dies in a car accident, she’s not sure whether to be devastated that she lost the person who was once her best friend or enraged, still, that he left without a word a year ago. Now, the only people who seem to understand what she’s going through are Luke’s best friend and his ex-girlfriend, who she bonds with over their desire to figure out where Luke went when he walked out of their lives.
As she gets closer to them, and closer to Cade, a boy who seems determined to get to know her better, she realizes that she’s not the only one with reasons to be angry at Luke. And when Ellie makes a discovery that changes everything, she and her new friends hit the road, hoping that following Luke’s trail will bring them answers about the life Luke was living away from them.
Excerpt #2 My hands tremble as I rip open the envelope and pull out the contents. I stare at the folded map in my hand, seeing just fragments of highways and state lines and blue bodies of water before I unfold it.
I recognize it immediately, and it’s my first instinct to drop it, my heart beating loud in my ears. Because it’s like having Luke’s ghost in the room with me. I press my hands to my stomach and look down at it, lying sprawled open on my carpet. I can’t really be looking at this map. That map can’t really be on my floor. That map has been lost for ages.
“These are all the places we have to visit before we die,” Luke said when he brought the map home. It was the summer before my freshman year of high school, before his junior year, and he spread the map across the dining room table like we were about to discuss war strategy. “If you want to add anything to it, just put X’s over the places, but I’ve already got most of the big stuff. Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, Times Square . . .”
For months, we took turns researching new places to add to the map, and eventually we brought Wes into it. We picked big cities, ghost towns, weird attractions along the side of the highway. It was a whole summer of daydreaming about adventures in the mountains, relaxing on the beach, soaking up history and culture and sunshine.
I slowly reach down and pick it back up. All the X’s, in different color marker, his and mine and Wes’s, are so plentiful, I almost can’t see the city names beneath them. Notes in the margins about gas mileage and hotels and entrance fees. It’s been folded and refolded and laid out flat so many times that the original creases are gone. It was just a stupid thing he got excited about, the way he got excited about things and then didn’t usually follow through on them. The map was our world for a few months and then it was forgotten about, and that was that.
That was three years ago. Three years ago, and here it is, in my hands, and I feel dizzy with confusion and disbelief and maybe even a little fear. Where the hell did it come from?
Author Vicky Skinner
About the Author Born and raised in Texas, I don’t act like much of a Texan. I like cold weather and hate country music. I have a gorgeous husband, two dogs, and a Literature degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. If I’m not at home reading a book or doing laundry, I’m probably at the bookstore, nannying three rambunctious boys, or stuck on the side of the road with car trouble. I’m a reader, a writer, and a bit of a crazy person.
Welcome to the blog tour for ONE YEAR HOME, the highly-anticipated sequel to the adult contemporary military romance, FIVE YEARS GONE, by New York Times bestselling author, Marie Force. See below for information on the book and series, buy inks, and an exclusive excerpt.
He came home a hero and lost the only woman he’s ever loved…
I have no idea how to survive without my beloved Ava. She had no choice but to move on with her life during my six-year deployment and has now married Eric. I hate him for taking her from me. I’d prefer to wallow in my depression and heartbreak, but the whole damned world wants a piece of the SEAL Team leader who helped capture the world’s most-wanted terrorist. I need help handling the relentless requests, and when Ava sends her new sister-in-law to manage the media circus for me, I’m prepared to hate her on principle. Her brother took my Ava. What else do I need to know about her?
It takes five seconds to realize Ava’s ex is going to be the most complicated and difficult client I’ve ever had, but the opportunity to represent the most celebrated man in the world could make my career. I’m determined to do the job, even if I dislike John from the moment I meet him. And I like everyone. So much so that my brothers worry about me being exploited by those who would take advantage of my unwavering love for others. But John… He’s in a class by himself, and his bitterness is a festering wound that I begin to wish I could somehow fix for him. The more time we spend together, the more our mutual disdain morphs into something that feels an awful lot like desire. There’s no way I can want this man, or so I tell myself, and when Eric finds out I’ve developed feelings for the man causing trouble in his new marriage, well…
That’s going to be a hot mess.
The hotly anticipated follow up to Five Years Gone is here!
Excerpt #1 Chapter 2
He’s so scary looking that it’s all I can do not to shrivel up in a ball or bolt for the door to get away from him. If I’d run into him on the street, I would’ve moved out of his way so there’d be no chance of coming into contact with him. And that’s not like me at all. I talk to everyone I encounter, which drives my brothers crazy. They swear I’m going to end up dead one of these days because I’m too friendly to strangers.
I can’t help it. That’s just how I am. But this stranger is different, and I quickly realize he’s not about to do anything to make this easier for me. He’s also incredibly handsome, but I barely notice that. The scary requires my full attention.
Muncie breaks the uncomfortable silence by clearing his throat. “Captain John West, meet Julianne Tilden.”
Mustering courage and determination to get through this with my professionalism intact even if I’m quaking on the inside, I take several steps forward and extend my hand. “It’s nice to meet you, Captain West. Thank you for your service.”
He shakes my hand and offers a brusque nod as he lowers himself carefully onto a love seat. “Have a seat.”
I take one of the straight-back chairs that faces the love seat.
Muncie produces a take-out cup of coffee, cream containers, sugar and fake sugar. “Wasn’t sure if you drank coffee or how you take it.”
He seems very sweet, and I offer him a warm smile, greatly relieved that he’s there in case the scary captain decides to go postal on me. “Thanks. I can’t function without it.”
“You and the captain have that in common,” Muncie says with a pointed look for John as if to say, Get your head out of your ass and be nice.
At least I hope that’s the message he’s sending, because it would be very nice if he would get his head out of his ass and be nice.
I stir cream and sugar substitute into my coffee. “What can I do for you, Captain West?” He’s not going to make it easy for me? I can play that game, too.
“Deal with the bullshit.”
“You’re going to need to be more specific, I’m afraid.” I take a sip of the coffee and thank God once again for whoever thought it would be a good idea to dump hot water over ground cocoa beans. Did they know at the time what a service they were doing for all of mankind?
“I’m getting killed with calls from the media. Everyone wants interviews. They want me to write a book. One company asked me to model underwear for them. It’s nonstop and totally insane, and I can’t deal with it.”
“How are they contacting you?”
“Somehow, they got my personal cell number.” As he says those words, a phone on the coffee table vibrates with an incoming call. “That’ll be the first of at least a hundred calls today.”
“Well, that won’t work. Do you mind if I take the phone and manage the calls for you?”
He hesitates, glancing at the phone with such yearning that I feel my heart soften toward him.
“I’ll get you a new one and make sure she has the new number,” Muncie says.
That’s all the captain needs to hear. “Take it. It’s all yours.”
I take the phone off the coffee table. “Does it have a code?”
“Zero five twenty-five.”
I write that down in the notebook that’s always with me. I sleep with it under my pillow. It has all the most important information about my clients in it. My siblings make fun of my notebook, but a lot of the details contained in there are ultrasensitive, and I’d never keep them on a smart phone that can easily be hacked. We had a seminar at work about that topic last year. It scared the crap out of me and everyone I work with. Quite a few of us have switched to paper and pen since then.
Captain John West is my only client at the moment. The powers that be at the firm were so excited to land him that they bent over backwards to get coverage for all my other clients so I can give the man of the moment my full attention. After ten minutes in his presence, I want to give him back.
But I won’t do that for two reasons. One, everyone who is anyone in my business would literally kill to be me right now, and two, Ava asked me to take care of him, so I will. I adore Ava. She’s made my brother Eric happier than he’s ever been, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. This is a big deal to her—John is a big deal to her. She was in love with the guy for eight years, more than six of them spent wondering where he was while hoping he would return to her.
By the time he did, she was in love with Eric and they were planning a life together. I know how hard it was for her to see John again after all that time. I can’t for the life of me imagine what it must’ve been like for him to hear she’d found someone else and was engaged to be married.
“Why are you staring at me?” he asks gruffly, startling me.
I realize, to my horror, that I had in fact been staring at him. “Sorry,” I mutter.
He rubs his face. “Did I cut myself shaving again, Muncie?”
“Not this time, sir.”
“I, um, I apologize. I didn’t mean to stare.”
“So you said.” He seems to return the rudeness by taking the opportunity to blatantly stare at me.
I try not to wither under the glare of the most intense blue eyes I’ve ever seen, but I wilt a tiny bit waiting to find out what fresh hell he has in store for me next. “You sure I didn’t cut myself shaving, Muncie?”
The lieutenant commander laughs. “Nope. All good.”
I glance at the captain and note that his scowl has softened somewhat, not into what anyone would call a smile, but perhaps the starting of one.
“Your brother married my Ava.”
And there it is, the proverbial elephant in the room. “Yes, he did.”
“What’s he like?”
Oh, for God’s sake. I hadn’t expected him to ask me that and have no idea what to say.
“Is that a hard question? I take it you’ve known him awhile.”
“All my life, in fact.”
He leans forward, full of intensity and quiet rage. That’s the only way I can think of to describe the vibe coming from him.
“Captain…” Muncie’s word of warning goes ignored.
“He’s… He’s a good guy, one of the best guys I know. He’d do anything for anyone, give you the shirt off his back.” I hate the cliché, but it does the job—and it’s true. In a crisis, Eric would be the first person I’d call.
“What does he do for a living?”
“What the hell are high-end investments?”
“Five million dollars or more.” At his look of distaste, I feel the need to say more. “He can spend a year fully investigating a potential investment, only to have the acquisition committee in his company turn it down. It’s very complex work.”
Judging by his expression, that doesn’t help with the distaste. “Sounds like a heck of a way to make a living.”
“He likes it.” I take a deep breath and tell myself to get control of this meeting. “Back to the media inquiries.”
“How old is he?”
“Did you ask me here to discuss my brother, Captain West, or are you interested in my professional services?” I force myself to look him dead in the eye and not to let him see that he intimidates me.
He stares back at me for a long moment before he blinks. “Both, I suppose.”
“I’m only interested in the professional inquiries, if it’s just the same to you. While I empathize with your situation, I love my brother, and it doesn’t feel right for me to be discussing him with you.”
He doesn’t like that, but too bad. I’m here to do a job, not defend my brother.
“You empathize with my situation? Really?”
“Captain…” The note of warning in Muncie’s tone isn’t lost on either of us.
“Yes, I do empathize with what you’ve been through, and like the rest of America, I’m deeply grateful for the role you played in bringing a terrorist to justice at great personal and physical expense.”
He begins to clap, slowly and dramatically.
Heat creeps into my face, which is infuriating. The last thing I want him to see is that he gets to me.
“Did you practice that little speech on the flight out here?”
“No.” I wish I could punch him and still have a job afterward. The partners were thrilled when I told him who my potential client was. Land him, they’d said, and we’ll consider you for junior partner. “I made it up right here.”
“Nice to see that you’re good on the fly.”
“I’m outstanding on the fly, which is how I became one of the top young PR professionals in New York.”
His cell phone rings, which is when I realize I’m gripping it tightly. With him watching me in that intense, intimidating way of his, I take the call. “Answering for Captain West.”
It’s a producer for NBC Nightly News, wanting to book an interview. “Let me take down your contact information and get back to you.” The name and number go in my trusty notebook.
“And you are?” the producer asks.
“Are you working for Captain West?”
“Please hold for one moment.” I put my hand over the phone so I won’t be overheard. “It’s an NBC News producer. She wants to know if I work for you.”
He holds my gaze for a long moment, during which I honestly have no idea what he’s thinking. He gives nothing away. “Tell her you do.”
I offer him a brief nod and return to the call. “I’ll be representing Captain West for media inquiries going forward. May I give you my number so you can reach me directly?” I recite the number for my work phone and tell her again I’ll be back in touch. I end the call and glance at my new client.
The first thing I do is slide my company’s retainer contract across the table. “Before we go any further, I need you to sign this.”
He leans forward to retrieve the document, and after studying it, he says, “Two hundred dollars an hour?”
“I assure you, I’ll earn every dime of it.”
“Yes, you will,” Muncie mutters.
I really like him.
“Who’s paying for this?” Captain West asks Muncie.
“We’ve got it covered. Sign the form.”
He signs it and hands it over to me. “Now what?”
“Now we need to talk about what you’re willing to do—and what you’re not willing to do.”
“If he had his druthers, he wouldn’t do anything,” Muncie says.
I never divert my gaze from the captain. “Why is that?”
“I don’t want to talk about it, but the navy has decided to make me their new poster boy for recruitment. I just want to retire and ride off into the sunset, but they’re not going to let that happen.”
“What’s the minimum that he can do?” I ask Muncie.
“They haven’t given us a minimum. They want him to take full advantage of the opportunities he’s being offered, whatever that means.”
I redirect my attention to the captain. “What’re your physical limitations?”
If looks could kill, I’d be a goner. “I have no physical limitations.”
“So you can travel?”
“Yes,” he says through gritted teeth.
“Here’s what I suggest… We book a New York media tour, including morning shows, nightly news, late night, and then we come back out here and do an LA leg.”
As soon as I say the word “leg,” I wish I could take it back. Not that the word is incorrect, but I don’t want him to think I’m fixated on what he’s lost. And why would he think that exactly? Shut up, Julianne. I hate that inner voice that constantly critiques me. It’s my mother’s voice. She made a career out of critiquing my every move until the blessed day I left for college at Barnard and could breathe for the first time in my life.
He doesn’t respond to my suggestion.
I clear my throat. “Would that work for you?”
I glance at Muncie, who shrugs as if to say damned if I know what his problem is. Great. He’s been dealing with him for months, and he has no clue. What chance do I have?
I open my notebook and uncover my favorite gel pen. “Let’s cover what you will and won’t talk about.”
“I won’t talk about the raid, the mission or anything to do with Al Khad.”
“That’s what they’re going to want to know.”
“Despite the fact that Al Khad’s camp released the video of the raid, the mission is still classified on our end. I’m not at liberty to discuss the particulars, and even if I was, I wouldn’t.”
“Can you talk about what it was like to be deployed for more than five years?”
“Yeah. It sucked.”
“You have to say more than that.”
“What else should I say?”
“What did you do for all that time?” The question is one that I’ve had since I first heard the story about him and how he’d deployed the day Al Khad’s organization had taken out a US-based cruise ship with suicide bombers, killing four thousand innocent people. My sister-in-law, Ava, who’d been John’s live-in girlfriend at the time, waited five years in San Diego for him to come back before returning home to New York to start over.
“We looked for Al Khad.”
“Where did you look for him?”
He thinks about that, seeming to decide what he should say. “Our search spanned several countries that’re hostile to Americans, so we had to embed and blend in with the locals to get information. That took time and patience, among other things.”
“When you joined the navy, did you know you might have to deploy for so long without any word to your loved ones at home?”
“Other than the girlfriend I wasn’t supposed to have, I didn’t have loved ones at home, which is why I was initially chosen for the unit. In an interview, I could only say that I didn’t have loved ones at home. I can’t say I had a girlfriend.”
“What does it matter now?” I ask. “Cat’s out of the bag.”
“It matters. I don’t want her dragged into this.”
“Yes, that’s true.” I respect that he’s protecting her, even now. “I agree that we’re better off not arousing curiosity about her. The press would be relentless in their efforts to locate and interview her.”
“Which would be inconvenient and disruptive to your brother.”
Infuriated all over again, I stare him down. “It would be inconvenient, disruptive and intrusive for Ava. I’m sure you’ll agree she’s already been through enough.”
Muncie makes a sound that might be laughter, but he quickly coughs to cover it up.
“I agree,” John says. “Ava’s been through enough, and that’s entirely my fault.”
My heart breaks a little for him, because even though he tries to hide it, the pain of losing her is as obvious as his blue eyes, prominent cheekbones and sexy lips.
God help me, but the man is sexy—and completely off-limits to me for so many reasons, it would take me days to list them all in my notebook.
About the Author Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception.
All together, her books have sold 6.5 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list many times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack’s House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award for romance fiction.
Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news..
Synopsis It was never easy for Cassie and her mother, struggling to make ends meet in their tiny apartment in The Bronx, but they had each other and that was enough. When her mother dies suddenly from an aggressive form of cancer, Cassie is forced to finish high school in California while living with the wealthy family of her mother’s closest friend—a women she never knew existed.
Living with the Stantons is the complete opposite of what she’s used to—the massive house, a father figure, and Cody, the spoiled, insanely good-looking son with the bedroom across the hall.
Broken with grief and struggling to fit in, Cassie meets Mila, a female powerhouse that helps her cope with a hidden past, the overwhelming present, and a shared experience no one should have to endure—a nightmare they both thought was over.
Warning: Although this book is classified as Young Adult, I recommended it for mature readers due to explicit language.
My Review EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE is a powerful story about finding your inner strength even when everything around you seems to be falling apart. When Cassie’s mom dies of cancer, she moves from New York, the only home she knows, to the west coast to live with a family she barely remembers, a family that is not her own. Barely scraping by in New York, Cassie’s new life in Northern California couldn’t be more different, from the large sprawling homes to the intact nuclear family she comes to live with, including Cody, a boy from her childhood who has blossomed into a serious heartthrob with a room across the hall from hers. As she adjusts to a new life that does not involve wondering how they’re going to pay the bills, she is also thrust into high school drama she is totally unprepared to handle. Her east coast upbringing has given her a hard outer shell and the wit to hold her own, but only on the outside. Inside she’s crumbling from grief and feeling like a fish out of water. With the help of Cody, his parents, and new friends, she tenuously navigates her new world until secrets from her past and a cruel event at a party turn her world upside down once again, leaving her wondering if everything she thought was true is really just one more lie.
Plot The story is about Cassie learning who she is and coming to terms with the truths she discovers about herself, her family, and life itself. But it’s also about friendship, family, revenge and romance. The author weaves everything together in a well-plotted tale with a few surprises.
Characters I love Cassie. She’s snarky thanks to her childhood in the Bronx, strong, but not immune to the crap high school throws at you. Mila is hysterical as the new friend with a verbal stream of consciousness, and Cody is adorable as the quasi step-brother/love interest that creates a lot of the best conflict in the story. Cody’s parents and Cassie’s guardians are everything she needs and what we hope all parents would be. The antagonists are bit more stereotypical, but also different enough that I wasn’t always sure what to expect from them.
What I Enjoyed About EVERYTHING I KNEW TO BE TRUE 1. Mila. She is the vibrant colorful yin to Cassie’s dark and withdrawn yang
2. Cassie. It took me a little bit to warm up to her, but once I did, I absolutely loved her spunk.
3. Cody. Completely swoonworthy.
4. Surprises. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming that helped keep my interest when I felt the story was slowing down a bit.
5. Revenge. A dish best served deliciously cold.
Bottom Line A sold young adult tale with interesting characters who are easy to root for.
Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author Rayna York grew up with hippie parents that liked to adventure, so being the new kid was always a challenge. Where change was the norm, books were her constant–a way to escape. As an adult, many careers came and went, but writing has always been her passion. Everything I knew to be true is her first published novel.
Welcome to the blog Tour for PERFECT PITCH, the second book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Chameleon Effect, by Alex Hayes. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
PERFECT PITCH (The Chameleon Effect #2) by Alex Hayes
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: PERFECT PITCH Series: The Chameleon Effect #2 Author: Alex Hayes Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis All Dean wants is to escape…
But he can’t leave his younger brother, Ty, in the care of their alcoholic mother. And when their abusive father shows up, Dean has to get Ty out. Which means joining Shri — his best and only friend — in taking a job out of state and breaking the law by stealing his brother away.
Cadi’s life is almost back together after Dean blew it into a million pieces. She’s come to terms with her life as a shape-shifter — well, almost. She’s still trying to wrap her head around the fact that a vicious enemy is out to destroy the remnants of her people.
As if Cadi doesn’t have enough to deal with, Dean’s about to land on her front doorstep, forcing her to decide whether to let him into her secret world or slam the door in his face.
The Chameleon Effect series, starring shape-shifter teens with extraordinary superpowers, is sure to appeal to Young Adult and New Adult readers who enjoy romance with a paranormal twist.
Excerpt #3 At three, I text Ty and get no answer. After fifteen minutes of silence, I head home.
Dad’s truck is gone, so I park my car in its place—my space—as if that will somehow keep him from coming back. I kill the engine.
Pepper’s continuous barking from over the backyard fence makes me stiffen. Why would Ty leave him outside making such a ruckus?
The answer is, he wouldn’t.
I jog to the front door, trying to convince myself nothing’s wrong. Ty’s wearing his earbuds, that’s all. Or he’s in the shower.
“Ty?” I shout as I burst through the door.
Still nothing. The parents must have taken him out to an early dinner is all, but I hurry to his bedroom door, anyway, heartbeat racing.
I knock. “Ty?”
A faint sob.
Shit! I thrust open the door and face total devastation.
Broken pieces of wood and wire lay scattered across the floor. The shattered remains of Ty’s guitar.
Stifling a gasp, I turn toward the bed. Ty lies curled in a ball, his face hidden in the pillow, crying.
“Ty?” I bend over him, rub his shoulders and gently peel his fingers from a death grip on the bedding.
He twists in my arms and buries his face into my chest.
“What happened?” I whisper, trying to keep some semblance of calm in my voice. “Did he hit you?”
When he doesn’t answer, I push Ty far enough away to see his face. Blotches of red mar his features, but no swelling or bruising.
I swallow. “Tell me if he touched you.”
“He pu-pu-pushed me.” Ty’s slender frame trembles as I pull him close. “And b-b-broke my guitar.”
I squeeze my eyes shut, wrapping a tourniquet around the fury building in my chest, and take a deep breath. “Don’t worry about your guitar, okay? We’ll get you a new one. But I need to know if Dad hurt you in any other way. Where did he push you?”
The events come out in as many broken pieces as the guitar strewn across the floor. I reassemble them into a story that starts with Ty practicing his guitar with his earbuds in, and not hearing Dad yelling at him to stop making noise. It ended with our father bursting into Ty’s bedroom, shoving him into the wall and smashing his guitar across the floor, then stamping on it.
Once Ty has calmed down, I snap photos of the mangled guitar, for what it’s worth. Once I’ve confirmed neither Mom nor Dad are on the property, I let Pepper inside and tell Ty to pack a bag, because we’re leaving.
Ty throws a sports duffel on his bed and turns to me. “We have to take Pepper.”
Part of me wants to argue, but Ty’s right. Pepper’s no less prone to abuse than either of us. I throw clothes, toiletries and my most valuable belongings into a bag, including the graduation gift for Shri.
This whole situation reminds me too much of the past, of how powerless I was at Ty’s age. I grip the zipper tab and swipe it across the bag. History can’t be repeated. I won’t let it.
About the Author Alex Hayes wrote her first fiction story when she was twelve. Inspired by her mother’s storytelling, she began work on her first novel, Ice Cracks, at eighteen.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. In her twenties, she moved from Marin County, California to Boston, Massachusetts, where she built a career as an IT professional in database engineering. In 2004, she self-published Ice Cracks, which became a semi-finalist in the 2005 IPPY Awards.
Alex splits her time between Grand Junction, Colorado and Guanajuato, Mexico. When she isn’t writing, she’s helping her partner, Lee, renovate a 450 year old hacienda. She is mother to one beautiful daughter and many wonderful cats..
Synopsis I am the daughter of the first female POTUS, and today is about to become the longest day of my life…
24 hours—that’s how much time I have to save my mother before terrorists assassinate her. But now my father and brother are missing, too. This goes deeper than anyone thinks. Only someone on the inside would know how to pull this off—how to make the entire First Family disappear.
I can’t trust anyone, so it’s up to me to uncover the conspiracy and stop these madmen. Because little do they know, they picked the wrong person to terrorize.
My name is Sophie Washington, and I will not be a victim. No one, I repeat no one, is taking me or my family down. But the clock is ticking…
My Review Chasing Liberty meets 24, as the daughter of the country’s first female president finds herself embroiled in a terrorist plot to take down the administration. On her seventeenth birthday, Sophie Washington is doing anything but having the time of her life. Her brother is missing, her family is separated, and she has been told she cannot trust anyone, not even Frank, her secret service detail who has been with her much of her life. With minimal training in a teen CIA program for the offspring of operatives, she stumbles her way through an ever-changing game. Recruiting her best friends from the program, Jackson, Zeke, and Callie, she attempts to do what she believes no one else will, only to become a pawn in the biggest conspiracy to ever target the United States. Without knowing who is working against her mother, Sophie is isolated and terrified, but finds something within herself to rise to the challenge in this pulse-pounding young adult thriller.
Plot T-MINUS is a plot-driven tale, and the plotting is near perfect. The pacing provides plenty of page-turning action and just enough breaks to allow us to catch our breath before careening into the next big moment. The author keeps us guessing the entire time, allowing us to feel like Sophie, unable to trust anyone. One twist follows another, and layer upon layer of intrigue is expertly woven to create a story worthy of the big screen. In fact, I’ll be shocked if this isn’t turned into a blockbuster movie at some point.
Characters The characters are great, but pretty much in line with the story. There is no new ground broken here, but I love Sophie as the somewhat risk-averse teen who is forced to step so far outside her comfort zone, she hardly recognizes herself. The cast surrounding her provide just the right balance, and because I don’t want to give anything away, i won’t say anything more about them.
What I Loved About T-MINUS 1. The Pacing. The story unfolds at the perfect pace and I devoured it.
2. Twists. So many twists and turns, I never knew what was going to happen next, but all of it was perfectly foreshadowed.
3. Sophie. The reader gets to see her in a way she never envisions herself, making her both sympathetic and someone to root for and a kick-ass heroine.
4. Intrigue. I’m a political-thriller junkie, and this book has all the same elements that made No Way Out one of my favorite movies of all time.
5. Zeke. Her fellow TIA member and secret crush, he’s completely swoon-worthy.
Bottom Line A page-turning thriller with a strong female lead who also happens to be utterly relatable.
Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author Shannon Greenland, or S. E. Green, is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the teen spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; and the YA romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Shadow of a Girl is her latest novel and due out 9.19.16. Shannon has participated in and served as a guest speaker at festivals and conferences around the country to include but not limited to the LA Times Book Festival, American Library Association, Book Expo of America, Bouchercon, Romance Writers of America, RT Book Convention, Young Adult Keller Book Festival, Southern Festival of Books, and many more. Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor...
Welcome to the blog tour for COVERT VENGEANCE, the second book in the adult romantic suspense/military romance series, Vengeance, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Kaylea Cross. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Valkyrie hacker Amber Brown is deadly in her own right, but her preferred weapon is a keyboard. So after her teammates left her for dead, she took her revenge the way she was trained to—swiftly and brutally. Except one of her targets might be innocent. To right that wrong, Amber vows to rescue the at-risk Valkyrie no matter the cost, and this time she’s working alone. So when a sexy stranger shows up in the middle of a firefight and announces he’s been sent by her sister, it’s going to take a whole lot more than his word to make her trust him.
Chasing redemption may prove deadly.
Elite gun for hire Jesse Cordova lives on the edge of the law. When a new job offer sets off warning bells, he digs deeper and finds the startling truth. The woman he’s been tasked with capturing is a secret government assassin, and Amber Brown is unlike any target he’s gone after before. But bringing her in opens them up to a whole new level of danger, pitting them against one of the most ruthless assassins in the world. Now that the sexy Valkyrie has stolen his heart, Jesse will risk everything to see their mission through—knowing that the only way this ends is with one of them dying.
Excerpt #2 Footsteps sounded over their heads. Then raised voices came from outside the stairwell door.
“Get behind me,” Amber said, pushing Kiyomi back. She raised her weapon just as the door burst open and fired at the first man through it, catching him low in the chest. He cried out and toppled down the stairs.
Amber was already moving sideways toward the far wall, herding Kiyomi backward as bullets ripped down the staircase. Legs appeared in her line of sight. She fired at the thighs, was rewarded with another guttural cry as the next man tumbled down, but more rushed onto the steps before she could kill him.
She got off four more shots at the approaching men, hitting two more in the chest, then a large shadow detached from the steps and came hurtling at her.
A huge, heavy weight slammed into her side, taking her to the floor. She braced and grunted as her back hit the cold concrete, driving the air from her lungs.
Chest burning, she shoved the man off and rolled away from him. As soon as she was free she aimed her weapon at him, but Kiyomi leaped into action. Though it must have been agony for her the other Valkyrie lunged up and wound the chain binding her handcuffs together around the man’s neck, then twisted.
His eyes bulged and he clawed at the chains strangling him as Amber got to her knees and changed the angle of her aim. But Kiyomi didn’t let go, her teeth bared in a feral snarl as she choked the life out of him. They fell forward and hit the ground with a thud, Kiyomi still pulling on the chains.
Struggling for air and almost out of ammo, Amber reached for a fresh mag and shifted to one knee, turning to face the stairs as more shouts and running footsteps reached her from above. Three more men appeared in the open doorway at the top of the stairs.
She whipped her weapon up to fire but before she could pull the trigger, shots rang out from behind the men and they started falling. She watched in astonishment as they all slid down the stairs one by one, dead or dying, smearing blood all over the stairs.
Staggering to her feet, she blinked to clear her hazy vision just as another figure appeared at the top of the steps. She jerked her pistol up to aim at his center mass, then froze when his face came into view.
Amber stared up at him in astonishment, her pulse roaring like the ocean in her ears.
About the Author New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and has been nominated multiple times for the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.
Welcome to the blog tour for LILIES ON MAIN, the fourth book in the adult contemporary romance series, Granite Harbor, by bestselling author, J. Lynn Bailey. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
LILIES ON MAIN (Granite Harbor #4) by J. Lynn Bailey
Synopsis For bookstore owner Lydia White, another geographical move doesn’t faze her. She doesn’t even bat an eyelash at one more curveball thrown into her life plan. Five years running from a man who broke her heart, and her spirit, has taught her to keep her walls up.
Scared to trust again, Lydia swears to keep all men off limits. Even Aaron Casey, who seems too perfect to be true. With a daughter to protect and a life to build, she simply can’t afford to let her guard down.
But when William Davis, a seventy-something recovering alcoholic, steps into Lydia’s bookstore for the first time, holding the secret to saving both of their lives, she might have to learn that trusting a man with her life is just as dangerous as trusting one with her heart.
Excerpt “Come here,” I tell her as I lean in across the table.
“What?” She drops her head to the side.
“Come here,” I say again.
Lydia hesitantly leans in, but nevertheless, she leans in toward my mouth.
“I need you, Lydia,” I whisper in her mouth before I kiss her. She doesn’t move.
She doesn’t hesitate but welcomes my tongue into her mouth. I don’t care that I’m kissing her in front of patrons at the restaurant. I don’t care if the rumor mill starts. I’m making a statement. I love this woman, and I want everyone to know about it. Let them talk because kissing Lydia is like seeing in vivid color. Like feeling the warm breeze. Like the first taste of a beer on a hot summer day. Like the first time you hear I love you against a lover’s lips. The feeling of being wrapped up in a perfect moment. Where your mind is present and not in yesterday or today but right now. I pull away but only a little, so I can say, “I’m going to need you to touch my body tonight, Lyd.” I don’t ask if she’s okay with it. Because, looking in her eyes, I know she needs this, too.
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 SEVERANCE, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by N.N. Britt. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
SEVERANCE by N.N. Britt
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: SEVERANCE Author: N.N. Britt Release Date: July 25, 2019 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis They say first love doesn’t last. Alana’s ends on the night her boyfriend Dakota dies in a deadly shooting at a Portland club.
In an attempt to look for ways to deal with her grief, Alana reaches out to Dakota’s older brother Mikah, who’s struggling with moving on himself.
Both damaged beyond repair, neither Alana or Mikah know how to cope with their loss. What’s worse, they have zero idea how to handle the unexpected feelings they start developing for each other.
Excerpt Up close, he’s even more beautiful. He has an elegant face with a strong jaw and a cleft in his chin, high cheekbones, and wide-set eyes—all that, touched with a hint of softness. His skin’s the color of milk and honey and I wonder if he’s real. What if I’m dreaming? What if when I wake up, he’s gone?
My heart beats faster when he tosses a smile at me—wide, all-consuming, and with dimples—pretty much knocking me off my feet.
For a second there, I actually forget I’m a sweaty ice pop.
“Hey,” he says, ignoring the noise around us. His voice is a blend of rough and tender, and it washes over me like a warm, playful wave, flirty and tempting. Erasing all my surroundings.
“Hey.” I return the greeting, not sure if he can hear me when my tongue stiffens. He doesn’t need to, though. Because he looks at me as if he can read my mind, and I wonder if that’s why he’s smiling.
“Did you enjoy the show?” he asks without paying attention to Jess or Luke.
“Yes.” I nod. “Did you?” My eyes drink in every detail of him slowly and hungrily. He’s the kind of guy you’d see on Pinterest when you type “gothic fashion.” He wears rings and a chain necklace and his boots have metal studs. I can tell he’s put a lot of thought into his outfit.
“I did… I heard my buddy hooked you up with some tickets to see our show?” He gives Luke a pat on the back.
“Looks like it.” I breathe out, thrusting my hands into the tiny pockets of my jacket. The cloud of condensation coming from my mouth floats lazily in the air between us. “So…” I drawl, letting the words sit on my tongue for a moment. “You’re in a band.”
“Yep.” A head tilt. “And you like rock music.”
Author N.N. Britt
About the Author N.N. Britt is a Los Angeles-based music journalist and photographer whose articles appeared in numerous publications. Her photos have graced t-shirts, billboards, and CD covers. When she is not writing or drinking coffee, she is probably reading or attending a heavy metal show.
Welcome to the blog tour for BEAUTIFULLY DAMAGED, the first book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Shine Design, by Laura Pavlov. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
BEAUTIFULLY DAMAGED (Shine Design #1) by Laura Pavlov
About the Book Title: BEAUTIFULLY DAMAGED Series: Shine Design Author: Laura Pavlov Release Date: July 24, 2019 Genre: Adult Contemporary Sports Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Peyton Kroft was his forever, until the unthinkable happened. Walking away all those years ago had been the right thing to do. But, a decade later, he was ready to put the past behind him. Moving to San Francisco and hiring his first love, the city’s top designer, was a good place to start. Seeing her again stirred up feelings he thought he’d long buried. He wanted her. Just one taste of those sweet lips. The girl like a light leading him home. She’d found a way back in somewhere she could never stay. And, the worst part—he liked her there.
Jackson Vance broke her heart. He took half of it with him on his way out of town. Picking up the pieces hadn’t been easy, but more than nine years later, Peyton is living her best life. Coming face to face with her first love is not on the agenda. Emerald green eyes that see straight to her soul. Jackson Vance is beautiful, broken, and everything she’s ever wanted. He’s not a forever guy—but when their lips touch, it feels like forever. History has a way of repeating itself. The past still hovers like a dark cloud. But every dark cloud has a silver-lining.
Excerpt #1 The main door swung open, startling her. The water bottle slipped from her fingers and the liquid spilled down the front of her blouse. A gorgeous woman strode in, rocking a sexy black bandage-style dress, more of her on display than covered. Her breasts spilled from the narrow strap covering them, yet gravity appeared to be on her side. The sky-high red heels and platinum-blonde hair made her even more alluring. The woman the epitome of a bombshell.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. Is Jackson around?” the woman inquired in a silky voice.
Jackson walked up behind her, his tone didn’t hide his surprise seeing the woman here. “Hey, I thought I was meeting you at Giordelli’s?”
Is this his girlfriend? Her mind spun at a mile a minute and her mouth went dry.
“I decided to Uber here and surprise you.” The words rolled off her tongue.
He looked between the women. “Peyton, this is Lana. Lana, Peyton.”
“Nice to meet you,” she lied to the sex-on-a-stick woman standing before her.
“It’s a pleasure. Jackson tells me you’re the best designer in all of San Francisco.” Her sultry voice like a swift kick in the gut.
Peyton smiled, her stare following the woman embracing Jackson, running her hand up the back of his neck and into his hair. Who the hell does she think she is? Fury nearly choked Peyton. She swallowed hard, trying not to reveal her anger. What right did she have to be angry. Sebastian made her happy. Didn’t stop her from wanting to throat punch the sex goddess? All logic left Peyton the day Jackson Vance sauntered back into her life.
He pulled away from Lana, his gaze landed on the front of Peyton’s blouse, still wet from the spill. Looking away, she didn’t want his pity. This was like a bad episode of The Bachelor—where the hot girl rides off into the sunset with a rose and the dowdy girl stands there like a fool, with a stain on the front of her blouse. No, thanks.
Ever so casually, she hoisted her briefcase strap over her shoulder. “You guys have a great night. See you tomorrow.”
“Here, let me help you with your bag,” Jackson said, coming up behind her and grabbing the strap of her briefcase.
“I’ve got it.” She kept a tight hold not wanting his help, but he slipped it from her fingers with ease.
Stepping outside, she walked beside the couple like a pathetic third wheel. Her breaths came faster, and it took all her strength not to run for her car. Lana wrapped her hand around his bicep, and they strode along the sidewalk, like a picture, perfect couple. Peyton bit down hard on her lower lip and fought the urge to demand Lana remove her hand from his body. He paused at his car, parked right in front of the restaurant, and unlocked the door for Lana. His date. They were going on a freaking date. Nausea rose in her throat.
“I can take my bag. I’m parked right over there,” Peyton snarled, and grabbed at the strap with impatience.
Lana stepped into the car and he shut the door, his voice calm and controlled. “Stop it. I’m walking you to your car.”
She marched ahead of him, unable to stop the onset of a full-blown meltdown. She unlocked the passenger door and held her other hand out for her bag, avoiding his gaze.
“Bag, please,” she hissed.
“You’re mad.” He chuckled, the man obviously pleased with himself.
“Don’t flatter yourself.”
“Okay, Pea. See you tomorrow.”
He continued to stand there when she walked around to the driver’s side.
Irked by his cool, aloof manner, “Your date is waiting for you.”
“And I’m waiting for you to get your ass in the car.” His emerald-green stare drilled into her.
Author Laura Pavlov
About the Author Laura Pavlov writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance that will make you both laugh and cry. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, mom to two awesome almost-grown kids, and dog-whisperer to a couple crazy yorkies. Laura resides in Las Vegas where she is living her own happily ever after.
Welcome to the book blitz for DEFYING GRAVITY, the second book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Gravity, by K.K. Allen. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
DEFYING GRAVITY (Gravity #2) by K.K. Allen
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: DEFYING GRAVITY Authors: K.K. Allen Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Release Date: July 25, 2019 Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Our greatest risk was the one we never took …
It was an accidental spring fling three years ago—one week spent in the mountains of Big Sur and no one was the wiser. Ignore the fact that Tobias James was my neighbor and my best friend’s older brother. Or that upon our return his hoop dreams were waiting for him, robbing us of any potential future we could have shared.
Now, I’m fulfilling my own dreams in L.A. and my biggest dream of all is about to come true. The last thing I expected was for my past and my present to collide.
Not now. Not here. Not him.
But he struts back into my life like he never even left. Unfortunately, I’ll never forget what happened after he did.
The ball is in my court, but Tobias isn’t below stealing—my power, my resolve, my heart… When he wants a second chance to reignite our connection, my answer is simple. We can’t.
Not unless we defy the rules our dreams were built on and risk everything.
*Defying Gravity is a STANDALONE sports romance in an interconnected series.
Excerpt #2 She ran a hand through my hair, roughing it at the top, while I gazed at her, soaking in the way her light-green eyes looked almost brown in the dim overhead lights. “I guess this is goodbye, huh?”
I shook my head as my brows pulled together. “No.”
“Tobias,” she said, her tone soft and scolding.
“It’s not.” I searched her expression, praying I wasn’t being an idiot. All this time together, the nights we’d shared, the secrets we’d kept. It couldn’t only be me. I swallowed. “The way I see it, I’ll be focused on basketball, and you’ll have dance. That doesn’t mean we can’t talk. That doesn’t mean we’ll never see each other again.”
She looked lost in her thoughts for a minute, and I knew she was considering my words. “So, what? We’re long-distance … friends?”
I leaned forward, placing my forehead against hers. “You know as well as I that you can’t put a label on what we are. We’re just Amelia and Tobias. We’re moon and earth, living among the stars and sun. We’re everything. And no matter the distance, we still make sense together.”
Her next breath hitched as she sucked it in. “That’s beautiful, but gravity weakens with distance, remember?”
I shook my head, refusing to accept her point. “Not when it comes to us.” I swallowed around the thickness building in my throat. “Not when we defy gravity.”
I kissed her hard, pulling her body close while her mouth molded to mine. We fit so well, not even she could deny that. And she didn’t. Not when I stripped her of her clothes and lay her down. Not when I buried my head between her legs and stroked her devilishly with my tongue. And not when my fingers pushed inside her, working her center until she screamed my name like it was a curse word.
A layer of sweat coated her body when I pulled her into my arms and wrapped her legs around my waist. Our mouths stayed on each other as I walked her to her bedroom and placed her on her bed. I yanked my clothes off next and kicked them to the side before sitting at the edge of her bed and pulling a condom from her nightstand. My cock was hard as stone as I rolled it on, already missing the feel of her wrapped around me.
And when I hovered above her, fitting myself to her body and readying myself for that first thrust, I leaned in to steal another kiss before placing my mouth on her ear. “I’ll find my way back to you, Amelia.” I bit down on tender skin and nudged against her entrance, relishing the moan that slipped past her throat. “I’m about to make sure you don’t forget that.”
About Author K.K. Allen is the author of Contemporary Fantasy and New Adult Romance stories. She loves manatees, learned to swim for the mere purpose of pretending she was a mermaid, and adores the beach so much she promises to one day live on one (in a tent if she has to) in Hawaii and serve shaved ice on the side of the road. K.K.’s Summer Solstice series (The Summer Solstice Enchanted, The Equinox, and The Descendants) are now available for individual sale or as a complete trilogy! Her short story, Soaring, is available for FREE. K.K.’s upcoming New Adult Romance, Up in the Treehouse is set to release on July 19, 2016. See below on how to keep up to date on new releases!
Welcome to the blog tour for STRANGER RITUALS, the first book in the new adult dark fantasy series, by Kali Rose Schmidt. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis A fighter with a venomous grudge.
A monster with an immortal curse.
A girl with a terrible gift.
All three out for blood in a land torn apart by harsh gods and holy wars. Each entwined with the other, on their own quests for vengeance, and yet held together by strange links to sinister pasts. As their fates unravel, a dangerous romance blooms, and violent darkness beckons.
At turns both darkly humorous and utterly morbid, STRANGER RITUALS is the startling first novel in Kali Rose Schmidt’s dark new series.
Guest Post: Creating the Perfect Villain Hi! I’m Kali Rose Schmidt and I am the author of Stranger Rituals, a dark adult fantasy that blends blood magic and religion to create the perfect recipe for horrible people and heartbreak. And that leads me to our topic of Creating the Perfect Villain.
Stranger Rituals is full of villains. Nearly everyone is a villain, and even though I tried to warn my early readers about this, they were still astounded at the end of the book. That’s not a spoiler, just a…warning.
I’m a self-proclaimed villain lover, and I think creating the perfect villain is at once extremely difficult and very easy. It’s difficult because it can be hard to get readers to care for the bad guy/girl, when they’re doing awful things. It’s easy because everyone does awful things. Even you. Yes, you.
And that’s the trick, isn’t it? Humans (or elves or faeries or vampires) are capable of both good and bad, and the trick with a villain is to tip them over the scales to evil, while also remembering they’re still human (even if they’re not, you know what I mean). They still have wants and needs and desires, and even the most confident of villains has moments of self-doubt, which can go a long way in getting your reader to empathize with them.
They might kill an entire town with seemingly no remorse, and that’s awful, of course, but the key to empathizing is asking why? Sometimes you might wish to really hurt someone who has hurt you, and even though you’re a law-abiding citizen so you never would, of course, it’s helpful to dig into your own motives in those moments. Did someone mistreat you as a child? Did someone lie to you in a way that deeply wounded you? Do you feel justified in your thoughts of vengeance?
If so, you’re well on your way to becoming a villain yourself. I’m kidding, kind of, but those are the kinds of things readers will be able to understand (even if they don’t condone it). The villain takes what they want with no regard for laws or humanity because they’re villains, but their hurts are very human and very real.
Hanging on to those human qualities goes a long way in writing an at once despicable and yet somewhat likeable villain.
Author Kali Rose Schmidt
About the Author Kali Rose Schmidt is an author, mother, and villain lover. She likes bloody tales of monsters, yoga with the lights off, and anything that goes bump in the night.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE OTHER BROTHER, the fourth book in the adult contemporary billionaires romance series, Beta Brothers, by Hazel Kelly. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
THE OTHER BROTHER by Hazel Kelly
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: THE OTHER BROTHER Series: Beta Brothers #4 Author: Hazel Kelly Release Date: July 7, 2019 Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis College dropout Piper has been down on her luck for years, and she’s beginning to doubt whether she’ll ever achieve her dream of becoming a professional chef.
So when a handsome stranger who’s frostier than frozen food offers her a job that seems too good to be true, she’s in no position to ask questions. Yet the longer she works for him, the more she has.
Unfortunately, her billionaire boss is determined to keep Piper in the dark, especially about his past. But little does she know, her warm presence is making him think about his future for the first time in years, a future he increasingly hopes she’ll be a part of.
Can New York’s beastliest bachelor open his heart to the beautiful young woman he saved on a hunch? Or will his demons drive her away before he finds the courage to admit his feelings?
**This standalone, modern-day fairytale will make you smile and swoon all the way to the happiest ending you’ll read this year.
Excerpt The hint of a smile drew his lips to one side, and his face came so close I thought he might kiss me again. “I need to be with someone I can trust, Piper. Someone who trusts me.”
“I trust you,” I whispered.
“Yet you play games.”
My breath shallowed. “It doesn’t feel like I’m playing.”
“Good,” he said. “Because I am not a cat, and you are not a mouse.”
“What is this then?” I asked, my heart hammering in my chest. “Because I’m not your guest either. So what am I? Your dirty little secret? Do you sleep with all your personal employees or-?”
“Are you questioning my professionalism?”
“No,” I lied. “I just want to know what your intentions were last night.”
“Simple.” He locked his eyes on mine. “To make you earn all those baths you’ve been taking.”
I swallowed. “You think I’m taking too many baths?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know how dirty you are.”
He stepped forward, pinning me against the counter with his hips so I could feel his hard length against my stomach as it swelled in his track pants.
I leaned back, letting his eyes sweep over my face like we were a couple on the cover of an old romance novel, and by the time his gaze settled on my lips, they were parted and ready for him.
“Don’t ever play games with me again,” he said, his hard-on still burning against my belly. Then he stepped back, retrieved his espresso from the machine, and walked away.
“Wait,” I said, glancing over my shoulder at the breakfast I’d made. “Aren’t you hungry?”
“Yes,” he said without turning around. “But not for eggs.”
My chest finally relaxed when he disappeared down the hall, but a gentle smile tugged at my lips when I realized he wanted me back, wanted me still. Wanted me bad.
Author Hazel Kelly
About the Author Hazel Kelly is an Amazon bestselling author who writes sweet and steamy romance that will make you smile all over.
When she’s not traveling the globe in search of cozy hammocks to write in, she enjoys tackling her tbr list with a nice big glass of anything will do. She lives in Dublin with a charming Irishman and their three-legged furbaby.
Welcome to the blog tour for MAGIC HEIST, the second book in the young adult fantasy series, Fairy Trafficking, by Mary Karlik. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.
Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm. With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.
To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.
Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.
But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.
With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.
“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.” – I Am the Bookworm
Excerpt #3 Layla’s breaths came sharp and fast. Her heart dropped to her stomach and her blood to her feet.
So many fairies.
Her knees dipped. She held her breath.
Killing Fauth. Saving all those fairies hadn’t made a dent in the fairy trafficking scheme.
Ian tightened his hold and peered at the woman in red. “She’s been waiting for this moment for so long.” He turned to Layla and looked directly in her eyes. She got the message loud and clear—get a hold of yourself before you blow our cover. He spoke to her in a soft coaxing voice. “Take your time, love. We don’t have to make a decision right away.”
Layla’s hands trembled so hard she was afraid the woman would get suspicious. She wrapped her arm around Ian’s waist and drew in a sharp breath. “Full fey.” She said the words with wonder in her voice as if she’d never seen them before. “Can you tell me about the one in orange?”
The woman glided to the fairy. “Isn’t she lovely? She’s from the Paeonia flower clan. Their magic is specifically known for creativity. Our aspiring writers and artists have great success with them.”
The woman swept her arm toward a blue poppy fairy. “Aren’t her wings beautiful? The darker the blue, the stronger the magic. She is a premium model. Her magic is a powerful broad spectrum. Money, fame, intelligence. This fey can deliver your greatest desires.”
Layla’s stomach knotted, and her throat was so dry she wasn’t sure she could speak. She swallowed and tried to look awestruck and not sickened by what she saw. “What do you think? I can’t decide between the two.”
Ian smiled. “Why not both?”
The elf-woman’s eyes glowed, and she flashed a broad smile. “If you’re interested in our male fairies, we have a special on the Thistle variety.”
Layla’s heart went to her chest, and she took a step back. She couldn’t help it. Thistle was her clan.
The woman led them to the opposite side of the room. “Don’t let the name put you off. The lads have good strong magic.”
Layla stared at the lads who’d been placed side by side. She knew them. Robbie and Fergus. They were schoolmates of Esme—and they’d bullied Layla for being half-human.
About the Author Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.
You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”
She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.
She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.
Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.
Synopsis Bexley Seven Dates. Seven chances to win my heart.
It’s not hard – Don’t put ketchup on your eggs. Don’t wear tasseled loafers. For the love of all that’s Holy, don’t ogle the waitress.
Yet no one can get it right.
Tristan Dating Roulette. It’s Bexley’s game. Correction – it’s her life. A constant rotation of dates. You might get one; you might get seven. No one has ever gotten to eight.
There’s only one rule – Don’t commit a dating sin. I’ve watched for years and bided my time. Now, it’s my turn to play.
Excerpt “Has anyone come in, angel?” I ask. She gives a high-pitched whimper at the pet name. She likes it.
“No.” She gasps breathlessly.
“Good, because you’ve been teasing me tonight, and now it’s time for some payback.” As I bring my lips to hers, I slip a hand under her skirt. She stifles a cry when my fingers dance along the seam of her silky panties. She’s hot and wet in all the best places. I’d rather be doing this with my tongue, but if I play my cards right, my patience will be rewarded.
Our kiss escalates, and I slide my hand into her panties. My fingers glide easily through her excitement, and she kisses me deeper as I circle her clit. She’s a ball of pent-up sexual frustration, and it’s hot as hell. I thrust a single finger inside her, flick her clit, and pinch her nipple in the perfect combination. Bexley explodes, and I swallow her cries as her pussy pulses around my digit. She rides my hand through her orgasm, and I slide my hand out from under her shirt and caress her cheek. As her orgasm subsides, our kiss slows.
“Tristan,” she says softly, pulling back from our kiss to look at me.
When I slip my hand out of her panties, she reaches for a few napkins she stuffed in her purse earlier. She watches, eyes locked on mine, as I bring my finger to my mouth and suck her sweet essence from my skin with a tortured groan.
“I can’t believe you’re doing that right here,” she hisses. The theater is still empty, but even if it wasn’t, I’d give no fucks at this point.
“And I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on your taste for ten fucking years.” With both hands, I pull her face to mine and kiss her like the starving man I am. Our tongues entwine, and my cock aches with the knowledge I’m sharing her flavor with her.
She pulls away, gasping. “This is so damn dirty.”
I pull her close until our foreheads touch. “You think this is dirty? Wait until I come in your mouth and then devour your lips after. You can call it dirty, carnal, depraved, but I call it a fantasy fulfilled, and I can’t wait.”
She bites my bottom lip and soothes the sting with her tongue.
Our sexual chemistry is incredible, but the small part of my conscience that’s been whispering to me all night is becoming louder. Bexley isn’t a hot hookup for the night—she’s someone I could easily see myself building a future with. As sexy as it is to get her off in public, she deserves to know her worth. “Bex, I am sorry. You deserved a much better second date than this.”
Her fingers lace through my curls, and she tugs my hair gently and smiles. “Are you kidding me? This is exactly the date I wanted. I know we’re pretending in a sense, but . . .”
“Hey, this might be a form of pretending, but my feelings are real, and if I make it past date seven, you better bet the boyfriend title is a given. I want you to be mine, Bexley. Now I need to figure out how not to fuck that up.”
After placing a brief kiss on my lips, she gets comfortable in her seat and leans her head on my shoulder with a sigh. “That makes two of us. If it helps, you’re getting extra credit for the orgasm that was above and beyond.”
Author D. Kelly
About the Author D. Kelly, author of The Acceptance Series, The Illusion Series, and standalone companion novels Chasing Cassidy and Sharing Rylee, was born and raised in Southern California. She’s a wife, mom, dog lover, taxi, problem fixer, and extreme multi-tasker. She married her high school sweetheart and is her kids’ biggest fan.
Kelly has been writing since she was young and took joy in spinning stories to her childhood friends. Margaritas and sarcasm make her smile, she loves the beach but hates the sand, and she believes Starbucks makes any day better.
A contemporary romance writer, D. Kelly’s stories revolve around friendship and the bond it creates, strengthening the love of the people who share it.
Synopsis Set against the smoky, gaslit allure of Victorian London, this sweetly romantic historical debut is full of humor and stars a whip-smart female heroine ahead of her time.
Where one story ends, another begins.
1861. Miss Lucinda Leavitt is shocked when she learns the author of her favorite serialized novel has died before completing the story. Determined to learn how it ends, Lucinda reluctantly enlists the help of her father’s young business partner, Mr. David Randall, to track down the reclusive author’s former whereabouts.
David is a successful young businessman, but is overwhelmed by his workload. He wants to prove himself to his late father, as well as to himself. He doesn’t have the time, nor the interest, for this endeavor, but Lucinda is not the type to take no for an answer.
Their search for the elusive Mrs. Smith and the rightful ending to her novel leads Lucinda and David around the country, but the truths they discover about themselves—and each other—are anything but fictional.
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Last Word by debut author Samantha Hastings is a fun yet intellectual romp through Victorian London—the perfect book for book-lovers.
My Review Reminiscent of Jane Austen, THE LAST WORD combines neoclassicism and romanticism along with a healthy dose of humor and wit to bring Lucinda’s and David’s story to life. The two are childhood friends who meet again after a four-year separation to find the other both the same and yet infinitely different than the person they remember. Throw in a big misunderstanding and a young woman ahead of her time, constricted by the customs of 19th century England, and sparks fly higher than between Emma and Knightley or Elizabeth and Darcy, but with the underlying warmth of Elinor and Edward. The two dance around a mutual attraction while Lucinda fights against society’s dictates for her. Fresh out of finishing school, she wants nothing to do with being a proper lady, but rather to use the brain that God gave her to work in her father’s counting house. A natural talent with numbers, she helped him when she was younger but now is expected to do needlepoint instead of auditing.
If there’s anything Lucinda hates more than sitting around and waiting for someone to call on her, I don’t know what it is. Not having been born to a high-class family, her social standing comes from the wealth her father has amassed. His goal is to marry her to a man of higher social standing. Lucinda has less than zero interest in that plan. She managed to get through the long boring hours by reading. But her favorite author died before finishing her last novel, leaving Lucinda desperate to find out how it ends, as if her own ending will somehow reveal itself in those final pages. With the help of her father’s business partner and her longtime friend, David, she sets out to find anyone who may know how the story ends. But the more they dig, the more she’s left wondering, before a tragedy forces both of them to reevaluate what really matters. And what doesn’t.
Plot The main plot focuses on the budding romance between Lucinda and David, but Lucinda’s desires to work in business and find out the ending of her beloved novel are strong subplots that drive most of the action. The conflict derives for the social norms of the time, status and who is allowed to associate with whom. Women’s options and their carefully guarded reputations only further bind Lucinda in a world she finds too restrictive. Her father withdrew into himself after her mother’s death years before and their strained relationship underlies everything. The author does a phenomenal job of keeping the reader in Victorian England through scene setting, language, fashion, and customs. There is both a whimsical and sweeping cinematic feel to the places Hastings sets her characters in, drawing the reader right along with them.
Characters If you love any of Jane Austen’s characters, you will love these! From the narcoleptic Mrs. Patton to the eccentric woman in the half-built estate they visit in their quest, the characters are a delight. Lucinda is utterly relatable as a young woman who wants so much more from life than the world wishes to allow her and David is a man after my own heart, both seeing Lucinda as an equal, and treating her with that respect. The American girl, Persephone, who befriends Lucinda, is a delightful, although often inappropriate, breath of fresh air.
What I Loved About THE LAST WORD 1. Everything. Seriously, the entire book was just amazing. It was a joy to read.
2. Lucinda. I love that she’s independent and strong and refuses to be confined by rules of society.
3. David. He is also a man ahead of his time with his ability to see Lucinda as more than just an accessory.
4. Language. I love the way they speak and the words the author chooses to tell the story as if it were written as a contemporary in 1861.
5. Romance. It isn’t angsty or intense, even though Lucinda and David are both teens, but it’s perfect for the time.
Bottom Line A stunning coming of age story in a time long gone with amazing characters and beautiful storytelling.
Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author Samantha Hastings has degrees from Brigham Young University, the University of Reading (Berkshire, England), and the University of North Texas. She met her husband in a turkey sandwich line. They live in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she spends most of her time reading, eating popcorn, and chasing her kids. The Last Word is her debut novel.
Welcome to the blog tour for SHE’S A SPITFIRE, the second book in the adult romantic suspense series, Tough Love, by Chloe Liese. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
SHE’S A SPITFIRE (Tough Love #2) by Chloe Liese
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: SHE’S A SPITFIRE Series: Tough Love #2 Author: Chloe Liese Release Date: June 24, 2019 Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis One fiery-haired, sexy scientist finds her perfect complement in a dark and handsome soccer star. Opposites attract, and they’ve got chemistry that’s explosive—literally.
Physics calls it entropy. Philosophy calls it Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, eventually it will. Professionally and personally speaking, Zed’s familiar with the principle. After a decade of trying to alter the atomic makeup of the mafia from its nucleus, now he’s set on leaving The Life and pursuing his heart. Problem is, the sassy, hot-headed spitfire he can’t quit is meddling in his slow burn escape plan, and turning it into full-on combustion.
Not to mention, Nairne’s got a painful history she won’t talk about and more secrets than she has lab instruments—which is really saying something. In an ideal world, the bad boy footballer would follow the brainy beauty overseas and they’d live happily ever after. But Murphy’s Law is proven true, as Zed finds his world imploding and his escape plan foiled. These enemies turned lovers end up discovering how costly it can be to meet the right person at the wrong time.
A present he can’t escape.
A past she can’t forget.
A future they won’t stop fighting for.
They say all’s fair in love…and war.
Book Two in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, feisty heroines, globe-trotting action, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!
Excerpt #2 I sped to practice to burn off the last of the alcohol I’d drowned myself in. Being elected boss was my worst nightmare come true, and had required liquor-induced oblivion. I could hardly think about it without wanting to vomit. I’d done everything right, played my hand perfectly to support Nella as leader, and it had blown up in my face anyway. Electing me boss. It was goddamn unacceptable.
“Muffin!” Lucas shouted.
I lifted a hand in hello, jogged onto the field, and started my warm-up laps. Lucas was in goal, taking shots from one of the assistant coaches. He dove to the right for a pretty spectacular save, then chucked the ball he’d just caught straight at me as I rounded his net. Almost nailed me in the junk but my quick reflexes saved me.
“Not today, Lucas.” I shook my head and jogged off. Warm-ups were when I settled into mindlessness and tried to zone out of my circular thoughts. While my thoughts were circular at the moment, they were hardly mindless, as I tried to figure out what Nairne was messing in. And how I was going to dig myself out of this fresh level of hell I’d found myself. How I’d make my way to Nairne like the unapologetic lovesick man I’d turned into.
I doubled back to Nella. She obviously wanted to be boss. She’d been angry last night. She was as power hungry as it got, and it had been her right to step in Antonio’s place. If I could find some way to ensure she was leader, without drawing the capo’s anger in my direction, I might have a chance. But if Nella became boss, much of my work would unravel. My setup benefitted her, but she would never do it my way long term because she was greedy and much less scrupulous than I was. Within the window of time between passing her the power and the feds’ takedown, she couldn’t do too much damage. Still, it was a lot of conditions and a huge amount of risk.
Lucas’ long, sweaty arm hooked around my neck and yanked me against him. “Zeddy, you look awful.”
I ducked out of his forceful chokehold, and was sorely tempted to shove his lanky ass right into the water cooler. I restrained myself, though. His tactics might grate on my last nerve, but he was asking because he actually gave a shit about me.
He jogged alongside me, eyes on his feet as we took a lap. “Nope. Try again.”
I ran a hand through my hair and exhaled heavily. “My life’s an absolute fucking mess.”
“That’s the spirit.” Lucas glanced at me seriously. “Listen, Zed. I know we don’t talk about it, but I’m not an idiot. I know you’re tangled up in some terrible shit. Is this to do with that?”
“Without getting into specifics, yes, it’s got everything to do with that. I need to get out of it, sooner than I’d planned.”
Lucas turned to face me and jogged backward, keeping pace. “What’s made you move up your timetable?”
I laughed dryly as I did some high knees. “What you predicted last fall. I fell in love.”
About the Author Chloe’s always been a sucker for a suspenseful steamy romance, ever since she managed to find the one saucy mystery series hiding in her high school’s prim little library. Nothing drives her crazier than a story that cranks up the heat, then closes the door on the reader’s face, so don’t read her books if you don’t want to know what actually happens when the lights fade to black…
When she’s not writing, Chloe’s busy reading books of all genres, rereading Harry Potter (which she can’t help but make her characters similarly obsessed over), and playing catch-up with her bad@$$ little girls. She’s also been known to scramble around the pitch for a pick-up soccer match and run along the river while dreaming up her next book.
Welcome to the blog tour for JUSTIFIED, the first book in the adult contemporary cowboy romance series, Loveless, Texas, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jay Crownover. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis The New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series delivers a romance about a rugged Texas sheriff who must protect the woman who was once his sworn enemy…
Case Lawton comes from a family of criminals. So as the sheriff of Loveless, Texas, he’s determined to do everything by the book–until he’s called to Aspen Barlow’s office after a so-called break-in. The last thing he wants to do is help the woman who cost him custody of his son. But Aspen isn’t the heartless lawyer Case remembers, and he starts to question his long-held grudge…
Aspen is scared for her life, and Case is her last hope for protection. But to get him on her side, she’ll have to reveal the painful truth from all those years ago. Now, as they work together to track down a dangerous criminal, Case and Aspen learn to trust each other. And as the threats escalate, it becomes clear there’s a thin line between love and hate… because there’s nothing Case wouldn’t do to keep her safe.
Excerpt #1 This is a terrible idea. I can’t stay here.” I wished there was more force behind my voice, more sound, but all I could get out was a squeak of protest.
Between arguing with David, answering a million questions about the shooting, and even more from the hospital staff to determine whether my head had been damaged further, what little voice I had was shot. It had been a long, arduous morning. The shock from being shot at was still buzzing underneath my skin, but it was now secondary to the utter disbelief that the place Case believed I would be safest was under his roof.
When he told me he was placing me in protective police custody and taking me to a safe house, never in a million years would I have guessed he meant his house. I was wondering if maybe he was the one who hurt his head when he took me to the ground.
“What about Hayes? Someone shot at me today. You took a bullet for me this morning. You can’t put your son in the line of fire. I won’t allow it.” All of the things I wanted to do to emphasize my point, I couldn’t. There was no crossing my arms over my chest thanks to my jacked-up elbow. There was no stomping my foot in aggravation thanks to the soft splint holding my ankle in one position. There would be no yelling, since my voice could barely be heard, so all I was left with was a glare. Unfortunately, Case ignored my dirty look and continued to usher me inside the house.
His morning had been even longer than mine, and he looked as haggard as I felt. After making sure I was secured inside the hospital with an armed guard, he’d had to deal with the crime scene and the slew of reporters who showed up on the scene. Since a shooting in a high traffic and very public place like the hospital was bound to make national news, Case mentioned it was more than likely the Texas Rangers were going to get called in to help investigate. He didn’t sound thrilled at the prospect, he also didn’t seem too concerned by the fact he was shot. He still had a red stain and a hole in his tan uniform shirt from where the bullet, which was meant for me, skimmed his shoulder. The wound required ten stitches and now was dressed in a stark white bandage much like the one wrapped around my injured hand.
We were quite a pair.
Author Jay Crownover
About the Author Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.
Welcome to the blog tour for RIDGE, the first book in the new adult contemporary sports romance series, Frat House Confessions, by USA Today bestselling author, Bethany Lopez. See below for information on the book, buy links, the book’s trailer, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
RIDGE (Frat House Confessions #1) by Bethany Lopez
Synopsis She has a broken heart and revenge on her mind…
Last year Karrie was riding high. She had a boyfriend she loved, a softball scholarship, and the best roommate a girl could have. When it turned out her man was a lying, cheating ballsack, she may have gone off the rails a bit. Now, it’s a new year and Karrie’s ready to build herself back up and move on to bigger and better things. Still, a little revenge would go a long way in helping the healing process.
He’s got a plan for revenge that will suit them both…
Ridge is used to being the BMOC. Sergeant of Arms of his frat and the ability to land any chick within snapping distance has made life pretty easy for him. His home life is another story. He and his brothers are in the middle of a battle between his socialite mother and asshole father. Ridge is looking for a stand-in to placate his mother and her matchmaking ways, and he has a feeling he’s just met the girl he can perfectly mold.
This makeover has nothing to do with love and everything to do with Karrie and Ridge using each other to get what they want. What starts as a ruse soon becomes an attraction they cannot deny. When it’s all said and done, they’ll both have more to confess than a need for revenge.
Excerpt #1 Ridge
I was sitting there, chuckling and shaking my head, when I felt someone come up next to me and pat me on the arm.
I looked up and to my right to see Caitlyn, one of the Delta groupies, standing there with an armful of clothes and a smile.
“Hey, Ridge, how’s it going?” she asked.
My eyes flitted to the closed dressing room door, before coming back to rest on Caitlyn. We’d hooked up a couple times, but when she’d tried to move us toward a relationship, I’d quickly put a stop to it.
Not only did I not do relationships, but Caitlyn was almost as entitled as I was, and I needed someone who was a little more grounded. Who’d put me in my place and not let me walk all over them. Someone who’d call me on my shit and not get offended when I called them on theirs.
A mental picture of Karrie popped in my head, but I ignored it. Karrie and I would never work. First of all, she was hung up on her asshole ex, and second of all, she was simply a means to an end.
Not at all girlfriend material.
Guilt slammed through me at that stray thought, but I ignored it and answered the girl hovering over me.
“Can’t complain,” I answered, intentionally not continuing the conversation in hopes that she’d get the hint and leave me alone.
I looked back down at my phone.
“I heard Delta’s planning a rager for after Homecoming … something about making over girls into the perfect Delta groupies. Crush should have asked me to come be an example, not Bella. I’ve been hanging with Deltas for the last four years,” she continued with a pout.
I sighed and brought my gaze back up to her face.
“It was Crush’s deal, Caitlyn, I’m not involved in his shit.”
She smirked and replied, “That’s not what I heard. Word on the street is you picked a girl for a makeover, too. Drake’s girl.”
“Word on the street?” I scoffed, standing up and stretching, and shooting her a bored expression. “Your source is wrong. Karrie is more to me than a game Crush is playing with the rushes. And, she’s not Drake’s girl … She’s mine.”
Just then, the changing room door swung open, and Karrie walked out wearing a tight-fitting tube dress that showed off her curves, leaving little to the imagination. By the sweet grin on her face, and the way she crossed to me and put her arm around my waist, tucking into my side, I knew she’d heard everything Caitlyn and I had said.
“Hey, babe,” she cooed, pulling me tight. “I hope I’m not taking too long.”
I looked down at her upturned face and felt my heart accelerate.
“You’re worth the wait,” I said softly, my eyes falling to her lips as I remembered our kiss.
“Aww, you’re so sweet,” Karrie said, turning her attention to Caitlyn and repeating, “Isn’t he so sweet?”
“The sweetest,” Caitlyn replied, her tone implying I was anything but.
“And you are?” Karrie asked, one hand resting on my abs, causing me to flex.
“Hi, Caitlyn, I’m Karrie, Ridge’s girlfriend.”
I would have laughed at the shocked look on Caitlyn’s face, but I was too busy enjoying the feel of Karrie’s hand on me. I found myself wishing there was no barrier between that hand and my bare skin.
Caitlyn recovered and let out a disbelieving laugh.
“Ridge doesn’t date,” she said, like she knew the first fucking thing about me.
“Well, that’s obviously not true.”
Caitlyn looked to me, as if expecting me to prove her right and call Karrie a liar.
Instead I wrapped my arms around her and kissed the top of her head.
“I never saw a reason to date, then I met Karrie.”
Caitlyn’s eyes narrowed, and I knew she was pissed, like I’d just said she wasn’t good enough for me.
Which, honestly, was true.
Author Bethany Lopez
About the Author Bethany Lopez is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty books and has been published since 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre.
When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible.
Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!.
Synopsis I don’t know what it’s like to feel. To hurt.
The ability was stolen from me in my youth. I consider that theft a gift.
Feelings got in the way when you were building an empire.
I had the empire.
Everything that took over a decade to amass was snatched away in a second.
He killed for me.
But he didn’t save me.
That only meant I couldn’t lose.
Excerpt “Do you know what I have a lot of?” I said after the silence that was long enough to make him uncomfortable.
He shook his head, sweat beaded in droplets trailing down his overly tanned forehead.
“Money,” I answered for him, tapping my pen against the desk. “It’s rather crass to say, I admit, but it’s not exactly a secret is it?” I moved my eyes around the corner office boasting million-dollar views of Manhattan.
Another head shake.
“Money can buy a lot of things. Cars, jewelry, men…women.” I quirked my brow as roses blossomed at the sides of his cheeks. “Contrary to popular belief, happiness is also on that list, if you know where to shop.” I stopped tapping my pen. “Do you know what money can’t buy, perhaps the only thing other than health and talent?” my voice was flat.
Another head shake. Was he mute? Or was he a very lifelike robot having a computer glitch? Or simply a bully, that had a lot to say in the playground, but nothing to squeak in the principal’s office?
“Time,” I said simply. “Time is a luxury to no one. Everyone has it. Loses it, steals it and wastes it. Which is precisely what you’re doing now. Standing in my office, clutching your masculinity like it’s your prom date’s panties and dripping your perspiration over my favorite rug. I don’t like wasting something I can’t make, earn or control. So how about you listen to what you know I’m going to say without actually making me say it.” I paused and let my words sink in. He can’t have been dense enough not to know why he was here, everyone that worked for me was highly intelligent, and this was his third HR complaint, which was why it was being brought to me.
“You’re a smart man, considering your parents paid for an education that would’ve been more useful as a house deposit,” I continued. “You know why you’re here. And you know the only reason you won’t be leaving here with your potted plant and framed fraternity pictures of your glory days in a box, is that you just so happen to be good at your job. When you’re actually doing it and not living up to every stereotype one could think of from an upper middle class, entitled, and misogynistic white male.” I paused again, wishing I could fire him. No way did I tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace, or any other place, on either side of the gender divide.
“Do I need to say anything else?” I asked. “Or are you going to waste my time some more and make me forget you’re good at your job?”
There was a pause, one that had me quirking my brow in warning.
He left the room quickly. I think he might have sprinted if he wasn’t clutching the last shreds of his dignity.
I didn’t hold an ounce of guilt for that.
He was only simpering and weak in front of powerful women who held his paycheck in their hands. Others, he thought were beneath him. I would have fired him for that alone, but it was very hard to fire someone these days. I could have, I had lawyers on retainer for these very scenarios, but I was tired. Too tired to deal with that. So he got three more strikes than I usually gave. A glimmer of a fourth and he was out. And I’d make sure that he never worked in this city again.
My gaze, of its own volition, flickered past the door to the corner of the room where he stood.
I swallowed roughly as the energy flickered, turned so charged even the letter opener to the left of my trembling hand couldn’t cut it.
He no longer was the statuesque mute he’d been moments ago, and he traveled the distance of my office in long, unhurried steps.
I did nothing but sit and watch until he rounded my desk, yanked my chair around roughly and leaned his muscled arms on either side, boxing me in as he bent down.
“You missed one,” he murmured.
I blinked at him, drowning in his gaze. “One what?” I managed to choke the two words, the powerful CEO from moments before was now a puddle on the floor.
His mouth was so close to mine it brushed it when he spoke. “Passion. You can’t buy that shit.” He moved so his rough stubble scratched my skin and his mouth landed on my neck.
I clutched the arms of my chair as his teeth grazed my collarbone.
“You can buy a lot, Boots,” he continued, voice thick. “Fancy clothes.” His rough hands caught on the delicate silk of my blouse. “Sparkly shit.” They moved up the column of my neck to brush against the diamond studs in my ears before moving back to the arms of my chair. “But you can’t buy an orgasm that makes you fly from this earth the moment I sink my cock inside you.” Wolf eyes met mine. “You can’t buy me,” he growled. Then his mouth claimed mine with ferocity that had me spiraling in my own head, clutching for coherent thought and moaning in protest as his lips left mine. “You can’t buy me, but you fuckin’ own me already.”
Author Anne Malcom
About the Author Anne Malcom has been an avid reader since before she can remember, her mother responsible for her book addiction. It started with magical journeys into the world of Hogwarts and Middle Earth, then as she grew up her reading tastes grew with her. Her obsession with books and romance novels in particular gave Anne the opportunity to find another passion, writing. Finding writing about alpha males and happily ever afters more fun than reading about them, Anne is not about to stop any time soon.
Raised in small town New Zealand, Anne had a truly special childhood, growing up in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. She has backpacked across Europe, ridden camels in the Sahara, eaten her way through Italy, and had all sorts of crazy adventures. For now, she’s back at home in New Zealand and quite happy. But who knows when the travel bug will bite her again.