Welcome to the blog tour for ACCIDENTALLY FAMILY, the latest release in the adult contemporary romance series, Pecan Valley, by Sasha Summers. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
ACCIDENTALLY FAMILY (Pecan Valley Series) by Sasha Summers
Synopsis Welcome to Pecan Valley, where the town may be small but the townspeople will always lend a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. Where good times, good humor, and good people will always lead to happily ever after.
Life for Felicity, and her teen children, is finally back on track. After her divorce, she wasn’t sure if her sweet family would ever be the same. But things are good––right up until her ex’s spirited toddler lands on Felicity’s doorstep. If the universe is going to throw lemons at her, thank God she has her best friend, Graham, to help her make lemonade out of them. How did she never notice how kind and sexy he is?
Graham is still recovering from his wife’s death years ago and trying to help his teen daughter get her life together. Who is he kidding? His daughter hates him. Forget lemons––he’s got the entire lemon tree. So when Felicity suggests they join forces and help each other, he’s all in. And suddenly he can’t stop thinking about her as more than just a friend. Too bad their timing couldn’t be worse…
Because life rarely goes as planned. Luckily there are many different kinds of family to hold you together and lift you up…plus maybe even a little love between friends.
Publisher Weekly Review “… Readers will find it easy to root for their mutual care to blossom into love, but the pair’s children have a tougher time adjusting to their new relationship, providing some thorny obstacles for the budding couple. Graham and Felicity are great parents and they make great partners, and Summers does a good job of grounding all the drama of their lives in sweetness. Readers will be pleased.”
Excerpt #3 He scanned over her paperwork. Charity Otto was pregnant. And alone—two things that didn’t add up. Where was Felicity? Or Mrs. Otto for that matter? “Yes.” He glanced at her, then back at the chart.
“I’m pregnant,” she whispered. “I’m just as shocked as you are.”
He smiled his professional smile, ignoring the list of questions he was mentally assembling. She was here as his patient. As such, the only questions he should ask were pertinent to her and her baby’s health.
“You can’t tell anyone, right?” she asked, fingers pleating her examination gown. “I know you and Filly are getting chummy, but I’m wanting to wait a while on my baby bombshell. I think the family is dealing with enough at the moment, don’t you?” It was a sincere question—as if she wanted his opinion.
“You’re my patient. Unless you give us permission to share information, all of this remains here.” He studied her, noting how uneasy she was. She looked young. And scared. “You’re almost three months along?” he asked. “You won’t be able to keep it a secret for long. Pregnancy is emotional enough without keeping it a secret. You have a supportive family. You should tell them, Charity, so they can be here for you.”
“I’ll take that under advisement, Doctor.” The paper on the exam table crackled as she swung her legs back and forth.
He began a quick exam, listening to her heart and lungs before reading over her chart. “Your numbers are good. Blood work looks great. Are you taking prenatal vitamins?”
She shrugged. “If that means eating everything in sight, yes. I’m eating very well.”
He smiled. “No. That’s not what I meant. Focus on eating quality food—foods that will give your baby the vitamins to grow big and strong.”
Her skin paled as she nodded. “My baby. I can’t tell you how bizarre that sounds,” she whispered.
“Oh yeah.” A nervous giggle. High. Forced. “I met Sergio when I was working as a private tour guide in Florence. He sort of swept me off my feet. Seven weeks later, his wife comes knocking on our apartment door.” She shrugged. “Turns out his missus was someone important enough to get me fired. I hocked the diamond ring Sergio gave me after his faux proposal and made my way home.”
Graham had no idea what to say.
“I know. Crazy, right?” Her hands gripped the edge of the exam table so tightly her knuckles whitened.
Scared, alone, and hurting then. “I’m sorry.” He meant it.
She smiled even though her eyes filled with tears. “Graham, you’re the sweetest guy.” She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. “If I hadn’t already decided you and my sister are soul mates, I would so be crushing on you.”
Author Sasha Summers
About the Author Sasha Summers grew up surrounded by books. Her passions have always been storytelling, romance and travel–passions she uses when writing. Now a best-selling and award winning-author, Sasha continues to fall a little in love with each hero she writes. From easy-on-the-eyes cowboy, sexy alpha-male werewolves, to heroes of truly mythic proportions, she believes that everyone should have their happy ending–in fiction and real life.
Sasha lives in the suburbs of the Texas Hill country with her amazing and supportive family and her beloved grumpy cat, Gerard, The Feline Overlord. She looks forward to hearing from fans and hopes you’ll visit her online. Facebook: Sasha Summers Author, Twitter: @sashawrites, or her website: www.sashasummers.com
Welcome to the blog tour for THE BEGINNING OF THE END, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by R. Holmes. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Ambrey My last name was royalty in New Orleans, at least, I guess to those who mattered. But to me…my last name was a curse. High society. Expectations. Old money. Politics. Everything I despised. If only they could see what happened behind those high-society closed doors. The same doors my daddy paid a lot of money to keep closed.
Deceit. Destruction. Bribery. You name it, my family was guilty of it. My father’s throne was built on lies. Our family was the epitome of faux royalty. Then, I fell in love and oh what a fool I was. I was just a pawn in my father’s game. And to use the man who claimed to love me…
Five years ago, I walked away, and left my father to his riches. And that man who left me in broken, jagged pieces? Well, what goes around, comes around.
Grey Four years in a prison cell changes a man. I spent those five years fighting to survive. When I emerged, I was nothing like the man who had walked through those cell doors all those years ago. I overcame things that I never imagined I’d be faced with..
The one person who promised to never leave, did. The life I thought I knew, gone. The future I once thought I had, up in smoke. Like so many things in my life, my story and my future were stolen from me.
Sure, it’s made up of the usual parts…a beginning and an end. But just like every story, there’s a hero, there’s the villain…and then there’s me. And this is the beginning of the end.
Excerpt: “Then life changed again when I walked into your office and came face-to-face with you. All at once, all of those memories came flooding back. Not just the ones of the time we spent together, but prison and everything in between. I was shocked, and angry, and hurt all over again. Somewhere between now and then, I lost myself and I am just now figuring out the man I need to be. I became hard, cold, and jaded. Scared to ever let anyone get close to my heart again after it was destroyed. My daughter is the one who thaws this cold piece of flesh that’s barely beating inside me. She shows me every day that no matter what I feel inside, I am worthy of redemption. I am worthy of her love.”
Author R. Holmes
About the Author Holmes is from a small town in southern Louisiana where she lives on a farm, with her husband and two little boys. Whenever she’s not chasing around the goats and her boys on the farm, she spends her time watching ridiculous amounts of Netflix and is almost always stuck with her nose in a book. She thrives on horror films, sarcasm, and reruns of Harry Potter. A perpetual night owl, you’ll find her in her office locked away until the wee hours of the morning. She loves to meet her readers and discuss her latest favorite books and her upcoming projects!
Connect with her via Facebook, Instagram (@RHolmesAuthor) and twitter!
Welcome to the blog tour for ALL BECAUSE OF YOU, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Morgan’s Bay, by Theresa Paolo. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ALL BECAUSE OF YOU (Morgan’s Bay Series #1) by Theresa Paolo
Synopsis Sometimes you have to lose everything to find your happy ending.
Olivia Green had the picture-perfect life. Dating one of the most successful businessmen in New York City, living in a penthouse over Manhattan and a budding career, until one dreadful night when it was all ripped out from under her. If only she’d gone home like she was supposed to, she wouldn’t have known her future fiancé was a two-timing jerk. Now with no choice she is leaving the city to move back in with her parents in the small town of Morgan’s Bay.
Shane McConnell believed he had no family other than his mother, but on her death bed, she revealed the father who died before he was born, came from a large wealthy family. With nothing to lose he sets out to the east end of Long Island to spend a summer with his newly discovered family. What he doesn’t expect is the secrets and lies dating back to long before his father’s death. Nor could he predict the beautiful hot mess he met on the train would find a way into his closed off heart.
Both struggling with the realities of their new lives they unintentionally lean on each other. As their attraction builds and their undeniable chemistry explodes into passion, Shane holds onto his own secret that threatens his chance at love.
Excerpt #1 She glanced in his direction. He was good-looking; there was no denying that. Dark stubble lined his chiseled jawline, his nose made for a Grecian god, and his lips were perfectly plump on the bottom and bowed on top. He looked so peaceful with his eyes closed.
She wanted to drop her suitcase on his head.
Author Theresa Paolo
About the Author Theresa Paolo lives on Long Island, NY with her fiancé and their fish. She is the author of NA and Adult contemporary romances. Her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, released in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and the companion novel (ONCE) AGAIN released Summer 2014. Mad About Matt, the first book in her new Red Maple Falls series, released March 2017.
She loves to write heartfelt romances with a dash of fun and a side of spice. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, brewery hopping, daydreaming, wasting time on Pinterest, trying to get 10k steps on her FitBit or can be found chatting away on Twitter and Facebook. She also writes YA romance under Tessa Marie and has no idea how to smile for a picture.
Welcome to the blog tour for TROUBLE, the second book in the adult contemporary rockstar romance series, Darling Devils, by Gabrielle G. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
TROUBLE (Darling Devils Series #2) by Gabrielle G.
Synopsis There are three things I have to protect: My heart, my scars and my life. Even from my best friend.
Some secrets have the power to change lives. Or ruin them.
What I didn’t expect was for my best friend to walk away when I needed him most. I made the only decision I could. And I have no regrets–even if Lars Trouble can’t handle that.
Now I just have to convince my broken heart it’s better off without him.
I don’t do secrets, I hate deceivers and I’m not in love with my best friend.
Or so I thought.
As the man in the shadows, the drummer of the Darling Devils, the person I rely on most is my best friend. That is until I discover Naomi is a liar. If walking away from her was hard, learning she isn’t mine to love feels impossible. And just when I think it’s all finally coming back together, fate steps in and proves me wrong.
But when you love someone, you do the only thing you can. You fight for your love story to begin.
A friends-to-lovers romance to the beat of the Darling Devils – the legends of music.
This novel contains chapters with difficult scenes that might trigger some readers. Please reach out to me for specific details.
Excerpt #3 “Is that an erection poking the back of my head?” I ask Lars while trying to move without having my skull impaled by the boner my best friend is sporting.
“If you lay your head on my lap to watch TV, Na, that’s the risk you take when there is a naked lady on the screen,” he says, adjusting himself and adding a pillow between his dick and me.
“That’s ridiculous. You got laid last night. You’re such a horn dog.” I sit next to him, abandoning his comfortable lap.
“Did I? Shit, I should pay attention to what my dick does.” He chuckles while I roll my eyes.
“We were at that party, and you left with that girl…” I press pause on the show.
“So you think I got laid. Maybe I didn’t…”
“You didn’t?” I ask, surprised he would pass up such an opportunity.
If Lars Trouble isn’t a manwhore, he isn’t a monk either. If the opportunity presents itself in too tight clothing and an open vagina, he’ll take it.
“Well, we need to define ‘getting laid.’ Are we speaking dick and pussy entertainment or dick and mouth?” He smirks. I reach for the pillow behind my back and slap him with it.
“Ouch! Don’t be jealous! Just because you aren’t getting any doesn’t mean you have to hate me coming in a girl’s mouth!”
“I am getting some, and I’m mad because you ditched me to get sucked off! If only you had given her an orgasm, but nope, Mr. Selfish let her do all the work and gave her nothing in return.” I shove him with my foot, and he takes it in his hand. His fingers start to work their magic right away, and I have to suppress the moan I know will rile up in me from his enchanted touch.
“I told you to stop calling my dick Mr. Selfish! Also, I consider the girl from last night very lucky! I gave her the gift of a Devils’ cum. It was the fastest way to empty my balls and still spend the evening with you. Not my fault you bailed.”
His smug face annoys me.
The Darling Devils had a show in a small venue, something they still like to do for fun from time to time. Then an after-party where pussy was everywhere. There are never a lot of dicks around the Devils, except their roadies, and I’m not attracted to any of them.
Anna and Dan were sucking face.
Art was undoubtedly off somewhere pounding inside a pussy, and I was alone, surrounded by fans trying to get their attention.
So I bailed.
“Whatever. Is your dick limp again so I can resume my position, or should I skip the sex scene altogether?”
His eyes narrow on me. “My dick is never limp. Asleep maybe, but not limp.”
Author Gabrielle G.
About the Author Gabrielle G will do anything for a hot cup of tea, still celebrates her half birthdays and feels everyone has an inner temptuous voice.
Born in France and having lived in Switzerland, Gabrielle currently resides in Montreal with her husband, three devilish children and an extremely moody cat.
After spending years contemplating a career in writing, she finally jumped off the deep end and took the plunge into the literary world. Writing consumed her and she independently published her work.
Gabrielle’s style is fiercely raw and driven by pure emotion. Her love stories leave you out of breath, yearning for more, while at the same time wiping away tears.
Welcome to the blog tour for BEING ERASED, the ninth book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Alpha Girl, by USA Today bestselling author, Aileen Erin. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
BEING ERASED (Alpha Girl Series #9) by Aileen Erin
Synopsis Tessa—part witch, part werewolf, raised human and now the unofficial leader of a newly minted supernatural alliance—thinks nothing of her brother, Axel, texting her and Dastien to meet up. The location pin is in a weird spot, but maybe he found a magical anomaly? But when Tessa steps into the darkened warehouse, she doesn’t expect to see her brother laying in a pool of his own blood, smell the sulfuric scent of black magic, or feel the pain of her mate being shot full of silver.
Tessa has seconds to make a choice, but there’s only one thing she can do to save the two most important men in her life—sacrifice herself.
The last thing Dastien hears from Tessa is her plea—help Axel. Then their bond goes silent. He can’t hear her. He can’t feel her. And there’s no sign of the attackers who took her.
Dastien does everything he can to save Axel before calling his friends in a panic. It takes all of them to find Tessa, but when Dastien’s finally reunited with her, there’s no sign of recognition in her eyes.
No magic in her touch.
No wolf beneath the surface.
Everything that made Tessa who she was…has been erased.
Excerpt #1 Buzz. Buzz. Buz-buz-buz. Buzzzzz.
Shit. Axel called three times and texted once. I couldn’t ignore him again.
That wasn’t a drunk dial or him being excited about something. Three calls meant an emergency.
Dastien moved before I could say anything, disappearing back into the cabin. I raced after him.
“Hello?” Dastien said. “Axel?”
“I don’t want to die alone.” His voice was soft and thready with pain and terror, and I knew everything was about to change.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. And every inch of me was cold.
Die alone? He was hurt? More than hurt. He was dying?
Axel wasn’t just my brother. He’d been my best friend—my only friend—growing up. A moment ago, I wasn’t sure I could take one more thing—one more fight, one more discussion about the fey, one more cleansing against evil—but then I heard something in his voice I’d never heard before.
Despair and defeat and death.
They said that God didn’t give you more than you could handle, but in that brief, less-than-a-second moment, I wondered if I could handle losing my brother.
And the answer was no. I couldn’t. It would break something vital in me, and I wasn’t sure how I’d get over the loss.
But it wasn’t too late. Not yet.
I had to move. I had to do something. I had to fight. One more time tonight. I had to find it in me.
And then the power came. Rising up. Filling me. First, from Dastien, and then Lucas and Claudia. In the next breath, the power of twelve people answered a call I didn’t realize I’d sent out. I was filled with three types of supernatural magic, and I knew that I could do this.
“We’re coming.” Dastien’s words broke over me, spurring me into action.
Author Aileen Erin
About the Author AileenErin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.
Author C.A. Worley is unveiling the cover to SHADOW’S LYRIC, the first book in her adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Crossing Daggers, releasing June 1, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and details on her giveaway.
SHADOW’S LYRIC (Crossing Daggers Series #1) by C.A. Worley
When twenty-one-year-old Lyric is told by her father, Gabrian, she will be crossing into the Otherland as payment for a favor he owes the Shadow Lord, she thinks her life is over. In truth, it is just beginning. Years of training as a soldier and an uncanny ability to learn pretty much anything give Lyric the tools she needs to survive her new reality—and it totally helps that her new lord and master is sex incarnate.
Draven has long awaited Lyric’s arrival, and not just because he needs her to track a powerful weapon stolen by an unknown adversary. He believes he has everything firmly in hand, despite the subterfuge he foolishly agreed to some twenty years back. When Draven’s enemies and lies of omission both threaten the fragile bond he and Lyric are forming, he refuses to allow anything to stand in the way, not even the razor-sharp blade of Lyric’s favorite sword.
Author C.A. Worley
About the Author C.A. Worley is the alter-ego of Romance Author Cass Alexander. Where Cass tends to focus on humor in her publications, C.A. loves to write fantasy. She chose to write under the two different monikers so as to not confuse (or tick off) her readers.
C.A. currently resides in the Midwest, but was born and raised in the South. She spends her days working from home and her evenings are spent shuttling her kids to and fro. Her dinners are subpar, but she makes a mean dessert.
When she’s tired of living her sons’ travel sports schedules, C.A. enjoys a glass (or four) of wine. She needs the liquid courage to click the publish button for her fantasy romance novels.
Her motto is, “Be Brave,” and she tries to live it every day. It takes a healthy dose of courage to get through this thing we call life.
Welcome to the blog tour for GRAVE HUMOR, the tenth book in the adult paranormal romantic comedy series, Magical Romantic Comedies, by USA Today bestselling author, R.J. Blain. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
GRAVE HUMOR (Magical Romantic Comedies Series #10) by R.J. Blain
Synopsis Most days, Anwen regrets working at a funeral home despite the good pay. With the residents no longer inclined to stay in their coffins where they belong, she’s got her hands full making sure everyone follows the rules:
In the funeral home, there is no screaming, no murdering, no mutilation, no possessions, no kidnappings, no resurrections, and no cursing of any type. Be quiet and stay polite.
The day Old Man McGregor decides to take a walk and disturbs her peace, Anwen learns there’s a lot more to the basement in the funeral home than a vampire and a handsome gentleman on ice.
If she’s not careful, she’ll learn first-hand why ‘eternally yours’ is the most potent of threats.
Warning: this novel contains romance, humor, bodies, shenanigans, and mythological puppies. Proceed with caution.
Excerpt #3 Why the hell was mutilation of a corpse illegal? And since the corpse happened to be able to get up, walk, and talk, not only would I be hit with a count of mutilation of a corpse, I’d also get jailed for assault and whatever other charges someone got for ripping a dead guy’s remaining internal organs out through his nose.
I allowed my shoulders to slump, and I sighed again.
“That would be mean of me. All right, Anwen. I’ll give this hand to you. How do you get your groceries, and what does me going back to my coffin have to do with it?” The old, dead man sat across from me, squishing as he made himself comfortable. After the first dozen chatterbox corpses, I’d convinced the funeral home director to use thick pleather cushions, which were a breeze to clean. An hour with the right chemicals and some elbow grease, and no one would know Old Man McGregor had left his coffin and gone for a stroll.
“It’s simple. At your viewing—before and after, too—you don’t make anyone scream. You don’t scream. Nobody screams. Director Hammel hates when people scream in his funeral home. If no one screams or breaks any of the other rules, I get groceries. My current wage doesn’t pay for my bills and my groceries, so it’s really nice when a lively corpse behaves. If one behaves every month, I get my groceries. It works well for everyone.”
Once and only once, two corpses had felt sorry for me, and I’d gotten to have a nice steak to go with enough food to get by plus an entire pack of cigarettes.
Damn it, I could use a smoke, and I didn’t care if it landed me in my grave early. If someone brought me to my work for interment, I’d go out with a bang and work hard to break every damned rule on my way out. With the way my thoughts kept going, I had a ticket to hell, and damn it all, I meant to earn it.
I understood the skepticism in the old man’s voice. Director Hammel knew everybody in town, and the smart ones gave my boss a wide berth for good reason.
Old Man McGregor, while considered the town’s almost-lovable nuisance, wasn’t stupid.
Author by R.J. Blain
About the Author RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE PLUS ONE PROPOSAL, the third book in the adult contemporary romance series, Love Is…, by Cassie Cross. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
THE PLUS ONE PROPOSAL (Love Is… Series #3) by Cassie Cross
Synopsis Peyton Castillo’s life is nearly perfect. She has a job that makes her happy, the perfect apartment, friends who love her, and all the time in the world to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She’s single and loving it, but she has a handful of weddings she’s RSVPed to and no plus-one to go with. That’s where Adam Portman, her gorgeous-and-knows-it coworker comes in.
Peyton’s proposal is simple: she’ll complete a work assignment Adam’s been dreading if he agrees to be her date to one of the weddings.
The offer is tempting, but sparks fly when Adam counters with a proposal of his own. That work assignment isn’t the only thing he’s been dreading. His parents’ 30th anniversary celebration is coming up soon and his mother is determined to set him up with her best friend’s daughter, who will be at the party. Adam needs a date to play along and convince his mom he’s off the market, and Peyton is the perfect choice…
Excerpt “I’ve seen that look on your face before, and I don’t think I like it.”
“What look?” I ask innocently.
“That one you get when something’s brewing up there. Do I even want to know?”
I dig my heels into the industrial chair mat on the floor and pull myself closer. “I have a proposition for you.”
He doesn’t even pretend to not be interested. He leans forward, letting his elbows rest on the arms of his chair. He clasps his hands together, making his muscles flex and I lose my train of thought for just a second.
“Peyton,” he says, bringing me out of it.
The satisfied grin on his face indicates he knows exactly what those arms can do to me if I let them. And that’s why this is a horrible, terrible, no-good idea.
“How would you feel about a trade of sorts?”
His eyebrow arches. He’s interested, which is the first sign that I should back down before it’s too late.
I need a disclaimer. “The fact that I’m about to offer this should tell you how desperate I am, okay?”
“My friends Michelle and Tony are getting married this weekend. My friend Lexie is going with her boyfriend, and my other friend Corinna is going with hers. Adam, I just can’t deal with being a fifth wheel on a double date to a wedding. I can’t. So…my proposal is that you attend as my date to serve as a buffer between me and my loved-up friends, and I’ll do the quarterly report and have it to you to give to Ross first thing Monday morning.”
“The last time you did that report I found you in tears surrounded by a thousand candy wrappers.”
“It wasn’t a thousand. And I mentioned that I was desperate, didn’t I?”
Seemingly sensing that he has me over a barrel here, my dear friend Adam relaxes back and lets me sweat it out a little. “I hate weddings, I don’t know if this is a fair enough trade.”
“How can you hate weddings?” I ask, ignoring his completely insane claim that going to a wedding is somehow more torture than compiling that damned report.
“I guess it’s not weddings per se, just any event where I have to wear a suit and dance.”
“But you look so good in suits,” I let slip accidentally.
“My friend Lexie is making the cake.”
“The one who owns The Sweet Spot?”
I nod. “Yep.” That perks him up. “There’s also an open bar, so free drinks. And of course the best part of this bargain is that I’ll be your date.”
“I think the best part of the bargain is that you’ll be doing the quarterly for me,” he teases, and I really do flick my straw paper at him this time.
He thinks about it for an amount of time that has me seriously regretting asking him, but like a good negotiator, he reiterates the terms of the agreement.
“I go to this wedding with you, you do the quarterly and let me take credit?”
I nod. “Yes, those are the terms. I’m throwing in some excellent cake and free drinks to sweeten the deal.”
“Deal.” He reaches out his hand and I take it, ignoring the sharp zing of electricity that skitters down my spine when we touch.
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About the Author Cassie Cross is a Maryland native and a romantic at heart, who lives outside of Baltimore with her two dogs and a closet full of shoes. Cassie’s fondness for swoon-worthy men and strong women are the inspiration for most of her stories, and when she’s not busy writing a book, you’ll probably find her eating takeout and indulging in her love of 80’s sitcoms.
Synopsis Mai Senn knows Anthony Adams is no good for her – no matter how hard she might crush on him. She’s valedictorian; he’s a surf bum. She’s got plans, he’s got his art. Complete opposites in every way. Vinegar and baking soda, they once joked. A chemical reaction that bubbled.
Yeah, they bubbled. Maybe still do.
Good thing Anthony’s got the perfect plan: two weeks to prove just how not good they are together. Whoever can come up with the worst date—something the other will seriously hate, proving how incompatible they truly are—wins.
Like taking a snake-phobe to the Reptile House at the zoo (his idea).
Or a cooking class where they don’t even get to eat the food (her idea).
It’s all about the competition, and it’s meant to help them finally crush their crushes. But it wasn’t supposed to be so hot. Or so fun. And when Mai’s future becomes at stake, will she be able to do the right thing and quit Anthony forever?
My Review I love this book so much. I love the characters, the flirty banter, and just the whole story. It’s an enemies to “lovers” story with a little something extra. Mai is driven. And that’s an understatement. She has a plan for everything, knows what she will do with her life down to the most minute detail, and absolutely doesn’t take risks. There are reasons for this, reasons that make Mai so much more than a one-dimensional character. Anthony is the complete opposite. For his own reasons, he is an inherent risk taker, he has no plan for his future, and lives life in the moment, never knowing what tomorrow may bring. What these two do have in common is an inexplicable attraction to one another that is one part chemistry and one part something neither of them truly understands. With Mai leaving for college soon and Anthony heading out on a quest with no particular plans beyond this, these two need to get each other out of their systems. They agree to a two-week immersion to really prove to themselves and each other why they’re so wrong together. Each plans alternating dates they absolutely know the other will hate, resulting in truly hilarious moments. But instead of pushing them further away, it appears to have the opposite effect. These two couldn’t be more different, but you know what they say — opposites attract!
Plot The author does a great job of plotting the story so it never drags. The “hate” dates add comedy throughout and keep the story from even devolving into a sagging middle section. Instead, the pacing is spot on, and the character development and sprinkling of moments that help us understand the characters’ backstories is never tedious.
The Characters The characters are the best part, and that’s saying something. Mai was hard for me to really identify with it first, but it didn’t take long for me to really get her on a much deeper level. As the only adopted child in her family, she not only looks different than her parents and brother, she feels different. She knows she was chosen, but she also knows she was abandoned by her birth parents. Her need for roots is so understandable, I just wanted to reach out and hug her so many times. Anthony recently lost his father to a short battle with cancer, proving that nothing in life is permanent. He believes in never looking to the future when you can live in the now, because the future isn’t guaranteed. While I’m more like Anthony naturally, rather than through circumstance, I found myself really empathizing with Mai. I was rooting for these two so hard from nearly the first chapter.
Top Five Things I Loved About HOW TO QUIT YOUR CRUSH 1. Mai. She’s so uptight she’s practically a statue, and yet there is so much underlying all of that which makes her easy to love.
2. Anthony. He’s my “live in the moment” soul mate, and I was pulling for him to unwind Mai the whole time.
3. Hiking. I live in Southern California, so hiking is pretty much a way of life here, too, although not nearly as hot as in Phoenix! I loved the trail scenes the most.
4. Chemistry. Mai and Anthony have it in spades and it was raw and refreshing.
5. Witty banter. The dialogue was among the best I’ve read in a long time.
Bottom Line An adorable romance with amazing characters and many laugh-out-loud moments. One of my top reads of 2020 so far.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author Amy grew up loving to read and figured out at an early age that books were magical and necessary. She started submitting her own stories to be published when she was thirteen. Amy is now the award-winning author of nine books spanning young adult, middle grade, and picture books. Titles for Entangled include Announcing Trouble and the companion novel, How to Quit Your Crush. Amy lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and a puppy who is training them. Visit Amy online at www.amydominy.com or follow her on Instagram or Twitter at @amydominy..
Welcome to the blog tour for THE DARK IN-BETWEEN, a standalone young adult paranormal romance, by Elizabeth Hrib. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Action-packed and emotionally powerful like big- and small-screen hits such as The Sixth Sense and Supernatural, TheDarkIn–Betweenby Elizabeth Hrib is sure to stay with you long after the lights go out.
Something lurks inthe shadows between life and death.
A terrible accident brings sixteen-year-old Casey Everett’s life to a halt—literally. Pulled from the water, Casey is rushed to the hospital and miraculously revived. But her sudden return to the living is shadowed by the drowning of her best friend, Liddy.
Overcome with grief, Casey returns home for the summer only to find the memories of the accident won’t let her go. Shadow-drenched nightmares. Whispers inthe back of her mind. Her friend’s screams. Casey thinks she’s losing it… until she watches a boy fall from the sky.
Red—an angel fallen to earth to regain his wings—takes her to Limbo, a place that exists somewhere betweenthe living and the dead. Now, in order to save her best friend, Casey must learn to walk these mysterious and dangerous paths or else risk losing Liddy’s trapped soul to something worse than death.
Excerpt #2 I never should have let go.
In her head, that day is still a blur of shrieking metal and blinding ocean sp.ray. One moment she’d been searching the coming twilight for the first wink of stars and the next . . .
She didn’t remember in pictures exactly, because the images were blue and purple and black, like the bottom of the harbor. But she could remember the jump of her heart as the boat cap- sized against the rocks and the crush of surf that had rolled her over and over.
The tide had caught her limbs, surging up and down as it pushed the breath from her lungs. And against her hands, she could remember the rough scratch of underwater rock and the slick feel of algae as she tried to protect her head. There was something else, too. The silk of skin against hers. Liddy’s fingers tangled with her own, and then nothing but the frantic thought that raged against her temple. Get to the surface.
Had Liddy had that same terrifying thought? Had she had the same realization that she couldn’t tell up from down in the dark?
“It was an accident,” Evan says simply. “Nothing you did or didn’t do would change that outcome.”
“You weren’t there,” she says. “You don’t know that.”
“You guys wore life jackets. Liddy was just dragged under when the boat tipped. You know this.”
But did she? Casey can’t remember breaking the surface. She can’t remember the first rush of oxygen into her lungs. So, at what point had she been saved and Liddy lost?
Other flashes of that day rush back—Liddy’s easy grin, the excitement that bled into her laugh, the rev of the boat’s engine— and with it a wave of nausea.
“I have to use the bathroom,” Casey says, turning on her heel and rushing toward the back of the house. She takes the main set of stairs. They curve sharply, and she races onto the landing, past the photos of Liddy at equestrian training, vocal recitals, and family vacations. The entire house is a testament to the wonderful person Liddy had been and now serves as a stark reminder of everything her parents had lost—everything Casey had lost in a best friend.
Hands grappling for the right door, she takes refuge in the bathroom, only to find a framed photo of Liddy staring back at her from the shelf mounted beside the sink. It seems that with her passing, more and more pictures had appeared in the house.
And she was always wearing that impossibly bright smile. 20
Casey tips the photo facedown and barricades herself behind the bathroom door, pressing the lock with her thumb and run- ning her hand up the wall for the light switch. There’s a fuzzy edge to the silence in the dark. Almost like watching a snowy televi- sion screen. The sound of nothingness, of that blurry noiseless whisper, grows into a pulse she can feel beat beneath her skin as she slides down against the door.
If she squeezes her eyes tight enough, all she can see is black.
Shapes grow out of the darkness in her mind. Tall reaching tree limbs. A black wood, shrouded in shadow and stone, covered in mounds of turned earth.
Casey tries to blink the images away. It’s not the first time this has happened, these grief-induced daymares.
She freezes. The voice is new.
Author Elizabeth Hrib
About the Author Elizabeth Hrib was born and raised in London, Ontario where she studied nursing at Western University. She now calls the East Coast home, where she works as a nurse in Halifax. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found at the piano, planning her next Netflix binge, or attempting to keep her small, windowsill garden alive.
Welcome to the blog tour for KEEP FOREVER, a standalone adult historical romance/women’s fiction, by award-winning author, Alexa Kingaard. See below for information on the book, buy links, my exclusive interview with the author, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis “Unlike some war stories that focus on intense, harsh and graphic depictions of post-combat trauma, this tale unfolds gently, like an Edna Ferber novel, spread across many decades, detailing the impact this soldier’s illness has on an entire family, including children and grandchildren. KEEP FOREVER is a wonderful, emotionally satisfying read that I highly recommend. ” GARY SEIGEL, author of “Haskell Himself”
Paul O’Brien’s idyllic childhood in Southern California comes to a halt when his mother dies in the summer before his senior year of high school and a very different persona of his father emerges – isolating himself inside the house, turning to alcohol for comfort, and barely noticing his only child. Simultaneously, the war in Vietnam is sending shock waves around the world and young men from one coast to the other are being called upon to serve. Paul enlists in the Marines before receiving his draft notice.
Elizabeth Sutton is eager to gain some independence from her father’s old fashioned notions and looking forward to her first year in high school. At fifteen years old, tragedy strikes with the loss of both parents in an auto accident, turning her childhood into one of responsibility and worry overnight. The four siblings are scattered when her nine-year-old twin sisters are sent to live with their Aunt and Uncle on Nantucket Island, and Elizabeth is left behind in Boston with their grandmother. Her older brother, Sam, enlists in the Marines, eager to join the conflict a world away as opposed to dealing with the one unfolding at home.
A bond develops between Paul and Sam in Vietnam, and both are injured in a bloody battle that costs Sam his right hand and sets the stage for a lifetime of nightmares and sleepless nights for Paul. Matched by similar tragedies at a young age, Elizabeth and Paul’s first introduction by Sam upon their return from Vietnam is the beginning of friendship and love that survives five decades.
After marrying, welcoming their first child, and inheriting a small beach house, the couple adapts to their new surroundings, but distant memories of Vietnam continue to haunt Paul. In an era when veterans refuse to speak of their pain and the government denies that thousands of soldiers are coming home irreparably damaged, he is left to deal with the challenge of caring for his loved ones amidst his his erratic flashback episodes and moods. As their lives unravel from the lingering effects of PTSD, Elizabeth learns to accept the burden that Paul brought home, and together they make their own memories to keep forever.
Inspired By A True Story
Q: I see that KEEP FOREVER is inspired by a true story. Can you tell us a little more about that?
A: Anyone who was a teenager in the 60s’ and 70s’ has Vietnam firmly embedded in their history. It’s the story of my generation, and many of my girlfriends married veterans either right out of high school or when the men returned. Women were a part of this war, mostly as nurses and unsung heroines, but it was mostly a war fought by middle and lower class males, those who were not college bound or who were unable to get a deferment. As with every conflict, combat veterans bring home mental and physical burdens, but none were vilified like the young men and women who fought in Vietnam.
It stained their psyches, and many passed it down to their children – the second generation suffering the effects of this conflict. Wives were kept in the dark, the VA was not established until the late 80s’, and PTSD didn’t have a name. Aftercare was minimal, and many kept their unseen wounds bottled up for decades. I fell in love with a Vietnam veteran in 1969, nine months after he came home. This guy, and many like him, were just kids. Surfing and attending community college one day, picking up a machine gun and participating in a bloody fight for their lives the next. We married almost a decade later, had two children, and divorced after eleven years. But there was always that link that never faded, and a lot of guilt that I carried because I didn’t have the insight to deal with or understand PTSD at the time.
Q: What inspired you to tell this story now?
A: September 27, 2011, my veteran and I had become close again and spent almost all our free time together. His health was failing, he suffered from depression, but not lately, and on this day, he was on the top of his game. We were returning from a coffee date in the Village about a mile away from home. I was the driver – I always drove – and as I waited at the bottom of the hill to make a left turn a half a block away from the house, we were rear-ended by a large vehicle, twice as heavy as mine, going 50 miles an hour. Physically, we were not hurt. My car sustained $6,000 worth of damage, and the impact and collision triggered a PTSD episode in my veteran. Seventeen days later, October 13th, he committed suicide.
Q: What kind of research did you have to do to get all the historical details right?
A: I lived through most of it. People who know me recognize what is true, and what is embellished, but when I sat down to write, I didn’t have to think very hard. It was effortless, even though the first edition may not have been very polished. I was 68 years old and never published, never thought about writing a novel – ever. But shortly after my veteran died, I joined a Veteran’s Writing Group that welcomed me as the collateral damage that was never discussed. Most were Vietnam veterans, and I was a fly on the wall for five years. I was also a mess, but little by little, the story evolved in my head. Every month I listened to stories these men shared, never with their wives and families, and sometimes it felt like they forgot I was even there. Their memories were raw and gut-wrenching, fifty years after they returned. I was compelled, I had to tell this story. It is my mea culpa and tribute to my veteran, and every other service member who fought and was affected for a lifetime by this war.
Q: How do you think this story differs from one that would be told about PTSD today?
A: Thanks to the Vietnam veterans who fought for decades for better care, the younger veterans have a more stream-lined manner in which to apply for benefits. Even though they may need to wait 12-18 months for approval of an application, Vietnam veterans are literally falling apart, and are still getting denied in record numbers. I am grateful that as of five years ago, the Vietnam veteran now has their own day set aside for them, March 29th. But it took fifty years. Today, we also have wonderful non-profits, like the Gary Sinise Foundation, who have brought the struggles of our returning military into the light. But PTSD is the same in every war, just different settings and conflict. It is still a struggle for families and loved ones to watch and understand what their veteran is going through on a daily basis.
Q: What is the most important thing that you want readers to take away from KEEP FOREVER?
A: That the burden brought home is shared by everyone, from family members to government entities. Even if a veteran physically survives, it alters their entire life once they have seen combat. I can’t even imagine, even though I am closer than most to the reality that accompanies a veteran home.
Q: If you had to pick a theme song for the book, what would it be?
A: That was an easy one.. ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by Paul McCartney.
Q: What are you working on now? And what stage are you in?
A: I write a newsletter every month for my website subscribers, but throughout the quarantine, I have been keeping a journal. The situation and my thoughts change daily, sometimes hourly, and some of my friends suggested I share my unique experience with my readers. I tend to think that we are all in the middle of our own unique experiences, but I started to publish my thoughts every week, blog-style, on my website.
I have also written the first twelve chapters of my third novel, MIRACLE. Don’t hold me to the title, it could change. I’m not sure where these little nuggets of inspiration come from, but after KEEP FOREVER and MY NAME IS ROSE, I noticed that I like writing about nostalgia. I also write about characters that are normal and ordinary, faced with difficult and extraordinary circumstances. It’s the human condition that moves my stories forward.
Q: Switching gears, how are you coping with being quarantined? I see from your Instagram account that you are not riding it out at home. Has that impacted your ability to write?
A: Thank you for noticing! What had started as an extended visit to Oahu to assist my niece and her family with their relocation from the East Coast, has turned into lock-down situation from the first week. Schools were closed almost immediately, resorts and tourist attractions were shuttered, coffee shops and restaurants closed, and all the tourists were sent home. Flights in and out are being closing monitored and if an individual does not have a place to stay when they arrive, either with family or friends, perhaps an Air B&B, they are being given a free, one-way ticket back to where they came from. These strict measures are keeping the number of confirmed cases fairly manageable, but I have now been in total quarantine for over four weeks with my niece, her husband, their daughter , and a German Shepherd. Nothing but walks, but I can’t complain about the weather.
It’s not been easy keeping a kindergartener entertained, but overall, I think my family unit has risen to the occasion and we are doing our part to remain healthy. My stay has been extended to whenever, and I’m anxious to get home to Southern California, but my circumstances are far better than many. As far as writing, I’m more determined than ever to complete the first draft of MIRACLE, whether I decide to publish it or not. I can write almost anywhere, alone or in the midst of others – but I need to be productive. I need to have something tangible to show for my weeks of no excuses that I didn’t have enough time to write or be creative. I’m limping along on a refurbished iPad and my phone, sometimes long-hand, but I’m moving quickly. The whole story is in my head, just have to get it typed out on paper.
Q: Have you seen the meme about picking a house to live in during quarantine? A lot of them are going around, but I’m going to give you a unique one. Pick a house from the list below and tell us why you chose it.
House 1: JK Rowling Ruth Bader Ginsberg Kanye West Jon Stewart
House 2: Stephen King George W. Bush Britney Spears Samantha Bee
House 3: Janet Evanovich Michelle Obama Tom Cruise Jimmy Fallon
House 4: Paulo Coelho Colin Powell Miley Cyrus Ellen DeGeneres
Of course, there are one or two in every house that don’t make my short list of people to socialize with, but the most well-rounded one to me would be House #1. The wisdom of Ruth, the sharp and intelligent humor of Jon, and the persistent, never-give-up attitude of JK would make for an interesting household.
Author Alexa Kingaard
About the Author ALEXA KINGAARD, a California native, currently resides in Carlsbad and is the mother of a son and daughter who continue to be her biggest fans and cheerleaders.
October 13, 2011, was the day that changed her life forever when her ex-husband, a Vietnam veteran, took his life during a PTSD flashback episode. Inspired to share this tragedy that continues to rob husbands and wives of their spouses, children of their parents, mothers of their children, brothers and sisters of their siblings, and comrades of their friends, Kingaard relied on her own experiences to shed light on this crisis. The burden brought home is not partial to Vietnam, but is an insidious aftershock endured by combat veterans of all conflicts.
Kingaard continues to pursue her literary career, writing about nostalgia and the human condition, the common denominator of our lives.
Welcome to the blog tour for WANT ME ALWAYS, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Heron Harbor, by USA Today bestselling author, Lea Nolan. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
WANT ME ALWAYS (Heron Harbor Series #1) by Lea Nolan
Wren Donovan’s done with love. Betrayed and humiliated by her ex-fiancé, she retreats to her family’s beach house on Heron Harbor Island to lick her wounds and gorge herself on ice cream, spray cheese, and a box of glazed donuts. Wren vows to devote herself to her law career and swears off men forever, but she isn’t prepared for what being reunited with her oldest friend makes her feel…
His heart says yes, please…
Smith Connors can’t believe his eyes when Wren walks into his restaurant. He’s loved her since they were kids, when summertime found them inseparable best friends. As a boy, he’d never felt good enough for Wren. But now he’s a rising-star chef with a thriving business who knows what he wants—which means he’s not letting beautiful, brilliant Wren get away again.
Smith determines to show Wren how good they could be together, and soon neither of them can resist the heat growing between them. He’d do anything to earn her faith—and her heart, if only she could learn to trust again.
Excerpt #2 He was trying to tease her. And dammit, it was working.
It wasn’t fair. Wren had admitted her attraction and Smith was using it against her. It was time to turn the tables.
They put the finishing touches on the last wall, then turned to face each other.
“You’ve got a little paint.” Smith pointed to a small white dot on her T-shirt that she already knew was there.
“Well, you’ve got a lot of paint.” Wren swiped her still wet brush across his broad chest.
His eyelids stretched wide. “Did you really just do that?”
She nodded. “Uh huh. And guess what? I’m going to do it again.” Wren swung the brush in the opposite direction, drawing a giant white X across his black T-shirt.
Smith’s jaw dropped as he stared at his chest. “This is one of my favorite shirts.”
Oops. That might have been a mistake. Nervous laughter bubbled up her throat. “Sorry?”
He lifted his head to meet her gaze. “Oh, it’s on now.” With a devilish glint in his eyes, he bent and scooped a handful of paint from the tray, then hurled it at her. It splattered her T-shirt and leggings.
“Aaah!” Wren squealed, then ran across the tarp and ducked behind the covered furniture in the center of the room.
“You think you can hide from me?” Smith laughed as he stalked toward her.
“Um…maybe?” she giggled, crouched behind the dresser.
He loomed over her, his hand filled with another pool of white paint. “Uh uh. You started this war, you’ve got to fight in it.”
Wren stood, wearing her best sweet-and-innocent smile, the one she used when facing a particularly harsh judge in court.
“Truce?” she asked, her right hand tucked behind her back.
His lids narrowed. “Give me one reason why I shouldn’t dump this on your head?”
“Because it would be really hard to wash out.”
Smith exhaled. “That’s fair.” He slapped the paint on the tarp, then wiped his hand on the only dry spot left on his T-shirt.
Shaking her head, Wren clucked her tongue. “It isn’t smart to disarm yourself before your opponent does.” Rising on tiptoes, she pulled out the paintbrush she’d kept hidden behind her back and wiped it across his forehead.
Surprise flashed in his eyes. “You fight dirty.”
She shrugged. “I am a lawyer.”
“I’ll show you dirty.” In one smooth movement, Smith hoisted her up in his arms, and deposited her on the dresser top. Spreading her knees wide, he wedged himself between her legs and leaned in so far, she was nearly lying flat, propped on her elbows. A mischievous smile played on his lips. “That wasn’t very nice.”
“But it was funny.”
Smith’s eyes sparkled. “True, but you still deserve to be punished. What should your punishment be?” His hard length pressed against her. It was hot and hard and made her insides coil with need.
Wren swallowed. “It’s never a good idea to ask the accused to set their own punishment. They always go too light. I’ll leave it to you to decide.”
Kiss me. Hard and rough. Then rip off my clothes and do whatever you want.
“Hmm, what do you deserve?” His gaze bore into her.
Her breath raged as electric energy sparked between them.
Smith’s own fierce desire was written on his face. So what was he waiting for? All he had to do was dip his mouth to hers, then do all the things he’d promised last night.
Finally, his lips curled at the ends. “I’ve got it. But you’re not going to like it.”
Wren smirked. “Try me.”
Author Lea Nolan
About the Author Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author who writes smart, witty contemporary stories filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. She also pens books for young adults featuring bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history.
Born and raised on Long Island, New York she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three brilliant children, she resides in Maryland where she cracks crabs and bakes ugly birthday cakes.
Welcome to the blog tour for ATTRACTION, a stand-alone women’s fiction/suspense/psychological thriller by award-winning debut author, Ruby Porter. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis The present reckons with the past in Attraction, Ruby Porter’s atmospheric debut novel.
Three women are on a road trip, navigating the motorways of the North Island, their relationships with one another and New Zealand’s colonial history. Our narrator doesn’t know where she stands with Ilana, her not-quite girlfriend. She has a complex history with her best friend, Ashi. She’s haunted by the memory of her emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend. And her period’s now weeks late.
Attraction is a meditative novel of connection, inheritance and the stories we tell ourselves. In lyrical fragments, Porter explores what it means to be and to belong, to create and to destroy.
‘[Porter’s] writing has the intensity of Sally Rooney, the rawness of Andrew McGahan’s Praise and 1988 but is also distinctly original…[A]n utterly amazing debut.’ Jon Page
Excerpt #3 That kind of drowning feeling. The air is all around your face, if you could only breathe it. Ilana said, —The first breath you take again always hurts.
She is an experienced drowner and I am just starting out.
—This wave, she says. Yelling, —Come, no, here by me.
She gets it right. Knows exactly where to stand for the wave to pick her up and throw her. Carry her. She can surf some right back to the shallows. I keep getting hurled below. See the Gisborne sun rippling through all that green. And I’m not sure whether I’ve opened my eyes underwater, or if I never had a chance to shut them.
Ilana grabs my arm but I duck when the wave comes.
Then she tells me about the first time, when she was seven.
Her mum’s dinghy capsized and whenever she came up for breath she hit the hull instead. She says the sea was holding her down, not ready to let her go. And then it turned and it pushed her up, shot her face first, full of air. She’s the one who keeps pulling me up today.
When I look at her, I think: the ocean will never again be so in place. It shudders and slurps and turns—no two molecules will be together for long. No two molecules will find each other again. Or at least, it’s unlikely.
Then Ashi joins us.
Ashi doesn’t catch as many waves as Ilana, but she catches some. I keep surfacing to see them tumbling into the spray together. Sometimes, Ilana puts her hand on Ashi’s arm as they wade back out deep.
—What is it? Ilana says to me.
Water is furling itself on the horizon, creeping forward.
—Stay here, she says. —It’s a big one.
I’m sucked in before it’s even broken. This time I can hardly see. The ocean floor has been tossed into the wave—I blend with the sand and the seaweed and the dappled sun. Then I feel the break, and know I’m being pushed deeper.
For me it isn’t slowed down, like Ilana said, but sped up. A flash of light, greeny brown, something above the surface. The whir. The spin. The sea gasping, in and out, one giant lung that expands and compresses. When you’re beneath it, the ocean is the only thing that breathes.
Author Ruby Porter
About the Author Ruby Porter is a prose-writer, poet and artist. She tutors creative writing at universities and high schools. Ruby was the winner of the Wallace Foundation Short Fiction Award in 2017, and the inaugural winner of the Michael Gifkins Prize in 2018, with her debut novel Attraction. Attraction was written during her Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland under supervisor Paula Morris, and published in May by Melbourne-based Text Publishing. It is distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Welcome to the blog tour for ROYALLY FLUSHED, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Tech Billionaires, by Ainsley St Claire. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
ROYALLY FLUSHED (Tech Billionaires Series #2) by Ainsley St. Claire
They call him Billionaire, Environmentalist, and Playboy.
I call him Boss.
I try to keep it professional, I want to resist him, but the pull is too strong.
A bomb threat, a ransacked apartment, mysterious warnings, all telling me to leave him alone.
Yes, staying will be dangerous, but leaving him will destroy me.
Royally Flushed is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It’s second in Tech Billionaire Series. It takes place in the same world as the Billionaire Venture Capitalist and Clear Holiday and includes many of the favorite characters from the other books.
Excerpt #4 I stare out into the ocean. It’s just a solid blue form below us, with ripples and puffs of clouds. The day I’ve been dreading is here, and I can’t avoid the momentous wall I need to climb. It’s right in front of me. Everything hinges on the next few days. I can already tell I’m not thinking straight—I put my wallet in the wrong pocket of my bag and then panicked when I couldn’t find it. My hands spread like pale starfish around the ivory coffee cup in front of me. They’re cold and not absorbing the heat from my drink. The closer we get to San Francisco and our normal life, the fork in the road weighs more heavily on me, like a San Francisco fog.
By the time we arrive, it’s after five. I’m tired, but we have work to do.
“You look exhausted,” Jackson tells me. “I’m going to go into the office for a few hours, but why don’t I meet you back at the apartment? Go get some rest and we can have a late dinner.” He kisses me on the temple.
His phone rings, and he answers. “Jackson Graham.”
I grab his arm and whisper, “I’m probably going back to my apartment tonight.”
He nods and gets out of the car, talking on the phone. I turn to Brian. “My apartment on Lake Street, please.”
He turns and looks at me. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I have to return at some point.” I can’t look at him, and I watch Jackson disappear into the building.
“Does Mr. Graham know?”
I look at his eyes in the mirror. “I told him, and he didn’t seem to have a problem with it.”
Brian stares back at me. If he calls Jackson or Jim, they’ll probably veto it, but I pay rent for that apartment, and I should go home if it’s ready for me.
“Look, Brian, the long weekend was fantastic, but you know as well as I do, it’s impolite to stay too long at the party.”
“I don’t believe that for a minute,” he responds.
“I’m only trying to recognize this for what it is. We’ll still see each other at the office. You can’t get rid of me that easily.” I wink and smile to assure him I will be okay.
I’m trying to protect my heart, but I’ve already fallen for Jackson. And I don’t believe a zebra changes its stripes. Growing up with an alcoholic teaches you that—no matter how many promises they make.
About the Author AinsleyStClaire is a Romantic Suspense Author and Adventurer on a lifelong mission to craft sultry storylines and steamy love scenes that captivate her readers. To date, she is best known for her series Venture Capitalists.
An avid reader since the age of four, Ainsley’s love of books knew no genre. After reading, came her love of writing, fully immersing herself in the colorful, impassioned world of contemporary romance.
Ainsley’s passion immediately shifted to a vocation when during a night of terrible insomnia, her first book came to her. Ultimately, this is what inspired her to take that next big step. The moment she wrote her first story, the rest was history.
Currently, Ainsley is in the midst of writing a nine-book series called “Venture Capitalist.”
When she isn’t being a bookworm or typing away her next story on her computer, Ainsley enjoys spending quality family time with her loved ones. She is happily married to her amazing soulmate and is a proud mother of two rambunctious boys. She is also a scotch aficionada and lover of good food (especially melt-in-your-mouth, velvety chocolate). Outside of books, family, and food, Ainsley is a professional sports spectator and an equally as terrible golfer and tennis player..
Welcome to the book blitz for RICH, the fifth book in the adult romantic suspense/thriller series, Benson Security, by Janet Elizabeth Henderson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
RICH (Benson Security Series #5) by Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Synopsis Rachel Ford-Talbot has nothing to do with her family or their pharmaceutical business. And she likes it that way. As one of four partners who own an internationally renowned security business, Rachel prefers to leave her past, with all its secrets, deeply buried.
But when a series of thefts reveal that the family business is being targeted for industrial espionage, her father begs Rachel to investigate. His illness makes it hard for her to refuse, but Rachel wonders if he truly understands what he’s unleashing on his company. Because she isn’t the same bright-eyed graduate that walked through their doors years earlier. Now, she’s strong, powerful, and somewhat terrifying. A woman who doesn’t suffer fools lightly and who is afraid of nothing.
She also isn’t alone.
This time, she has the might and expertise of Benson Security at her back. And an ex-CIA agent at her side—because Michael “Harvard” Carter has appointed himself her bodyguard for the duration. Even though Rachel doesn’t need, or want, the annoyingly sexy man’s help. But while the world sees a first-class bitch when they look at her, Michael sees only someone who intrigues him. Which makes him the biggest threat of all.
***This is a standalone novel. You don’t have to have read any of my other books to enjoy it.***
Excerpt #1 Rachel hadn’t said more than ten words during the hour-long drive from central London to the heart of Surrey. You didn’t have to be a genius to know what was bothering her. They were on their way to dinner with her family, where he’d pose as her fiancé. To say Rachel wasn’t thrilled would be an understatement.
“You realize you’ve got a real-life spy in your James Bond car,” Harvard said into a silence that was so thick it made it hard to breathe.
If looks could kill, the glance she shot in his direction would have incinerated him. “You are no James Bond.”
Rachel’s hands tightened on the steering wheel of her Aston Martin, making the emerald cut diamond in her engagement ring catch the light and gleam. He’d spent days hunting down the perfect ring for her and had finally settled on a solitaire diamond in a platinum setting. Icy and elegant, just like Rachel, it was worth every cent he’d spent. Although well aware this was purely an undercover op, he hadn’t been able to resist the urge to see his ring on her finger. Of course, being Rachel, when he’d given it to her, she’d slipped it on without a word. But that alone had told him she liked it. If she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have worn it.
“I know, I’m no James Bond.” He relaxed back into the gray leather of the passenger seat and smiled at her. “He makes stupid decisions that would get him killed in real life. Plus, he’s a chauvinist asshole.”
She did that dramatic eye-roll thing that made his dick stand to attention. Damn, she was sexy as hell. All class and ice and keen intelligence. From her sleek mahogany hair falling against pale porcelain skin to her professionally manicured blood-red fingernails, she was perfection. Ever since he’d set eyes on her, he’d wanted to touch. But Rachel was resisting. He just wasn’t sure why—yet.
He’d seen the way she watched him when she thought he wasn’t looking. The woman practically drooled. And it wasn’t like she was a nun either. She’d dated in the time he’d been at Benson Security. One date per man. Which was the only reason Harvard had let them live—their lack of repeat access to Rachel.
“Why don’t you keep the flowers I send you?” The question popped out, even though an idiot could guess the answer.
“Maybe because I don’t want them.” She arched a perfectly groomed brow at him. “Or you.”
Oh, it was on the tip of his tongue to call her on her lies. On more than one occasion, he’d caught her touching the petals of the flowers he had delivered to her office every Monday. There had been a wistful softening in her face before she’d lifted the vase they’d come in and dumped it in the trash.
He hadn’t imagined it either. Elle Roberts, their resident computer genius, had alerted him to her behavior when she’d asked why Rachel didn’t keep the flowers she so obviously wanted. Like everything else about the woman who fascinated him, the answer was a mystery.
Unfortunately for Rachel, Harvard loved mysteries. He’d always been a sucker for a puzzle other people couldn’t solve. And for women who could kick his ass. Yeah, Rachel was his dream woman.
There was no denying he had issues.
“This is a complete waste of time.” She didn’t bother to signal before cutting someone off. “The only person at this dinner who doesn’t know our engagement is fake is my sister-in-law. Why do we have to pretend for Amelia? It isn’t like she’s involved in the family company. All she thinks about outside of Jonathan is her precious cello. She’s hardly likely to notice there’s anyone else in the room, let alone that you’re supposed to be my fiancé.”
“Your father seems to think this dinner will be good practice for convincing the rest of your family.”
“I honestly don’t see how.”
“Just go with it. There’s no point in letting it upset you.”
“Upset me?” She cast him a glance full of outrage. “This isn’t upsetting me. This is nothing but an irritation. I’m more annoyed that my weekend plans were ruined by your pathetic need for my assistance.”
Oh yeah, she could flay the skin off his balls with one sentence. And why the hell did that make him want her more? Harvard was beginning to think his closest friends were right: his taste in women was going to get him killed one day.
Author Janet Elizabeth Henderson
About the Author Janet is a Scot who moved to New Zealand fifteen years ago. Among other things, she’s been an artist, a teacher, a security guard at a castle, a magazine editor, and a cleaner in a drop in center for drug addicts (NOT the best job!). She now writes full-time and is working on her 19th book. Her books have won several awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for excellence in mystery and suspense. When she isn’t living in her head, she raises two kids, one husband, and several random animals. She survives on chocolate and caffeine.
Welcome to the blog tour for PRIDE AND PERSUASION, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Inspired, by Wrenn Montgomery. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
PRIDE AND PERSUASION (Inspired Series #2) by Wrenn Montgomery
Synopsis Elliott James is a control freak. After being told she was nothing special by her ex, Baker Williams, she’s spent the last eight years proving him wrong. She’s built a life she loves— prominent attorney, partner at her firm, a luxurious penthouse, and the best friends a girl could ask for. After a harrowing encounter last year, she’s determined to get her life back on track. She’s succeeding, until a case brings her face to face with the one man that’s ever made her want to lose control.
Baker Williams started with nothing but determination to make a better life for himself. He’s built an empire he’s proud of, by acquiring companies and working his way up. So when a rogue employee threatens to bring his kingdom tumbling down, he hires the best to defend his case. His only fault is not realizing that the best is Elliott James, and she’s ready to remind him of all the damage he did years ago.
Eight years ago, Elliott and Baker were matches and gasoline. Explosive and hot. Back then, they both walked away burned. When they’re forced to work together long after the flames have died down, they discover they’re just as combustible as ever. Now, they have to figure out how to save each other without their spark burning down everything they’ve worked so hard for in the process.
Excerpt #2: “You said we need to talk, so go on. Say what you need to say so you can leave and I can get on with my night,” she gets out between mouthfuls, and I stop myself from smirking at her. She’s the same old Elliott in this moment—monogrammed pajamas, fuzzy slippers, hair up in a messy bun, and stuffing her face as fast as she can but still talking shit.
I take a deep breath. I’m the worst fucking apologizer there is but I need to give this a go. “I said a lot of shit I didn’t mean, EJ.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“All right. Elliott.”
“Don’t call me that either,” she says.
“What the fuck am I supposed to call you?” I flinch at the anger in my own voice, but she doesn’t seem affected.
She just shrugs and takes a sip of her wine. She’s so incredibly frustrating when she’s defensive, but two can play that game.
“Okay. I said a lot of things I didn’t mean that night, Ms. James.”
I expect her to say she did too, that she’s sorry too. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
She shrugs again, taking another bite of food, and I wait for her to finish, trying to stop my leg from bouncing in my impatience. “I don’t know what you want from me, Baker.”
“I don’t know, maybe an apology for the shit you said? We can start there,” I offer.
“Did you apologize? I think I missed that,” she quips back.
I grit my teeth, knowing I’m losing my temper. “I’m sorry for the things I said, which I didn’t entirely mean.” I choke the words out, each one wounding my pride.
She nods, standing and taking her empty cartons of food to the kitchen.
I wait, expecting her to come back and sit down so we can finish duking this out, but she doesn’t.
“That’s nice,” she flings, walking down a hallway.
“Nice? Where the hell are you going?” I’m ready to pull my hair out. For her to just fucking apologize already so we can get this over with and I can leave, like she said.
“To bed. I’m not fighting with you. That’s what you want and I won’t give it to you. So, I’m going to bed now.” She pauses, seeming to wrestle with herself before setting her face back into its usual ‘I don’t give a fuck’ look. “You coming?”
Fuck yes, I am.
Author Wrenn Montgomery
About the Author Wrenn Montgomery resides in North Carolina with her husband and three daughters. She spends her time psychoanalyzing strangers and writing about them in steamy romances.
Kate Edison witnesses her father’s death and, in order to keep his memory alive, decides to follow in his footsteps by joining the CIA. She molds herself into becoming exactly what the CIA is looking for—and captures their interest, both personally and professionally. But before she can finish the CIA process, Kate is offered a position as an espionage agent in another highly secretive government agency, which she accepts.
While completing her agency training, Kate is catapulted into a shadowy world where wealth and power are the ultimate goal, and those in charge will stop at nothing to get it. While on the job, Kate uncovers secrets that, if revealed, would cost her life, but if kept, could bring down a nation. Isolated and unsure of who to trust, she brings in a fellow agent, but pulling him into the web of conspiracy and lies puts a target on both their backs – and it will take every skill they’ve ever learned as agents to stay alive long enough to stop the enemy no one else can see.
Excerpt #1 “Ms. Edison, this is Officer Lyon.”
This was it. All my hard work, all the hours of studying—all the sacrifice came down to this moment. This phone call.
“I appreciate the opportunity, Officer Lyon,” I said, nervousness swirling in my belly. The phone in my hand felt big and heavy. I was sitting on my old bed, in the room I’d grown up in. The call needed to be made over a landline, and the best option was at my mom’s house. Though, if my mom had known what call this really was, she would have kicked me out of her house and slammed the door.
The room hadn’t changed much. My desk, where I had spent so much time, was still across from my bed, my old and likely useless computer still perched on top. The maps that showed the origins of all the languages I had intended to learn—marked with different-colored pushpins—still covered the wall above my desk. The same funny-nerdy science posters still flanked the maps. One read, “YOU MATTER. Until you multiply yourself times the speed of light squared. THEN YOU ENERGY.” That one still made me smile. Remnants of the sticky-sweet perfume I had used in my youth, in quantities far too large, still hung in the air.
Officer Lyon was all business. “This will be your first official interview with the Central Intelligence Agency. I must advise you that this call will be recorded, as well as all future calls, interviews, and interactions with the CIA throughout your interview process with us, however long that may be. This will likely be our most casual interview, so relax and answer the questions naturally. Please state your full name.”
I cleared my throat. “Katherine Elaine Edison. But please, call me Kate.”
Right. I should have assumed formality would be important here. Mistake number one, check. That would be my last.
“I am curious to know if you have any notion as to why the CIA is interested in you.”
I didn’t mind talking about my accomplishments—I worked hard, after all—but I didn’t want to come off sounding self-important either. I thought through my words carefully. “Well, I speak several languages and graduated at the top of my class in both my undergrad and law school. I assume that has something to do with it.” I could have also mentioned that those schools were Ivy League, that my double major in international law and diplomacy and in journalism were both preferred programs at the CIA, and that I didn’t just graduate at the top of my class—I was the top of my class, as in the number-one student. But I assumed he already knew all of that and that it was how I had landed the interview in the first place.
If I came off sounding pompous, Officer Lyon didn’t react. “Those are all likely things that did add to your qualifications. What exactly do you think we do here in the CIA?”
Again, an answer I had to think about carefully. “I am aware that there are many different positions within the CIA: analytics, language, science, engineering, and technological positions, to name a few. Also, of course, directorate of operations.”
The last one—directorate of operations—was where I wanted to be. Where I was meant to be. Where my dad had been. The clandestine service of the CIA. This was my goal.
“Of course … the spies. I should tell you that if this is an area of interest for you, you will have to get in line,” Officer Lyon said. Derisiveness dripped from his words.
I wasn’t sure if he was trying to discourage me or motivate me with that comment. But I definitely felt the latter. I had worked hard for this opportunity. I kept myself out of trouble—not too hard a task when a person’s studies took up all of the daylight the sun had to offer and then some—and I was careful to only keep up friendships with people who also valued education and abiding by the law. I was always the girl who chose her studies over parties. When my friends were in need of a break from the monotony of school, they would go the beach for a weekend. While they were gone I cherished the quiet, taking the time to study harder. I never found school monotonous; I craved learning.
Officer Lyon asked questions for another thirty minutes. Then, before hanging up, he scheduled a face-to-face interview with me for the following week and recommended a book for me to read beforehand.
I smiled. I knew the book. I’d read it years ago.
Author L.A. Clayton
About the Author
L.A. Clayton has been an avid reader her entire life, devouring books at an alarming rate. Her husband often jokes that if she didn’t buy so many books they could retire. She went to bed one night a reader and woke up with a fresh memory of a dream she’d had the night before, sat down and became a writer.
L.A. Clayton lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband and their four young children. She makes time for writing in between wiping noses and packing lunches.
Synopsis Dallas August runs a dangerous business—an organization of elite spies for hire.
The secrets trade.
Nothing is off limits, and no price is too high.
When asked to uncover what recluse Gwen Marsh knows about a Mafia kingpin’s death, Dallas poses as a bodyguard to get close to his target, but the stubborn Asian beauty wants nothing to do with him. As the FBI and the Mafia close in, danger drives them together, but can he protect Gwen, or will Dallas be the one risking everything to discover what she is really hiding?
Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of the Secret Brokers.
Once you are in, there is no turning back.
Excerpt #1 JEREMY She’s fucking with me again and trying to make me squirm. She’s using confrontation as an intimidation mechanism, and I feel like she’s testing me to see if I’ll forcibly deny that I was checking her out or own up to my automatic masculine tendencies.
I feel like if I’m going to have any chance of getting her number—hell, even her name at this point—I should choose option B.
I look her square in the face and give her a good, confident smile. “Actually, I did.”
Looking at her eyes, I notice the sinister quality is fleeing and being replaced with slight surprise and a hint of satisfaction. “Hmm. A guy who admits he was checking out the goods. I like that.”
“Well, I didn’t figure you’d be wearing those jeans if you didn’t want people taking a peek.” I decide to go for a little teasing of my own. “And as long as I’m being honest, you know what else I checked out?”
She looks at me just like I thought she would. Like she knows I’m going to say her boobs. Or rack. Or tits. Or whatever other off-color term you could use to describe breasts. The smile leaves her face, and she gives me a look of disappointment. I admire that even though she is let down, she still locks eyes with me, awaiting my response. It makes me wonder if she’s had this exact same conversation countless times before. She gave me a little honesty, and she thinks I’m about to take advantage of that vulnerability.
How the fuck can I tell all of this about her just by looking at her face?
She leans into the bar and gets closer to my face. At the V of her shirt, the fabric loses connection with her skin, and if I were looking in that direction, I’d probably be able to get a great view of what was hidden underneath. But my eyes do not leave hers. “Yeah, what’s that, stud?” she says in a monotone but enunciates the d in the word stud, nearly making it its own syllable. She’s indicating that I need to choose my next words wisely.
I wait before I answer and stare at her for a few seconds. She looks so sad, like she wanted me to be different. There was a small glimmer of hope in her face before, and now it’s been extinguished.
I want to reignite it.
Here goes nothing.
“Your eyes,” I finally say. And, as I assumed, that takes her by surprise. But her reaction is hardly noticeable. I only see the minor adjustment of her face. Her eyes widen ever so slightly, and there is just the tiniest bit of a grin on the left side of her lips. But the best part is that I see the hope again.
Author Zeia Jameson
About the Author Zeia Jameson’s passion for writing compels her to get into the zone and type until her fingers go numb. When not submerged within her own stories, she enjoys curling up in her large reading chair, snuggling underneath a blanket, and feeding her addictions of coffee and reading. She is fond of humor and laughter and believes these are elements that keep the world sane and spinning.
Zeia lives in Georgia with her husband and daughter, where they spend most of their time exploring recipes, bingeing on Netflix, and traveling as much as possible.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE SECRET BROKERS, the first book in the adult romantic suspense/thriller series, Secret Brokers, by Alexandrea Weis. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SECRET BROKERS (Secret Brokers Series #1) by Alexandrea Weis
Synopsis Dallas August runs a dangerous business—an organization of elite spies for hire.
The secrets trade.
Nothing is off limits, and no price is too high.
When asked to uncover what recluse Gwen Marsh knows about a Mafia kingpin’s death, Dallas poses as a bodyguard to get close to his target, but the stubborn Asian beauty wants nothing to do with him. As the FBI and the Mafia close in, danger drives them together, but can he protect Gwen, or will Dallas be the one risking everything to discover what she is really hiding?
Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of the Secret Brokers.
Once you are in, there is no turning back.
Excerpt #3 “I bet you liked talking to your patients,” Dallas said. “You seem like someone who cares.”
Gwen swept the medical supplies into an empty drawer and softly smiled. “Yeah, I liked talking to my patients. Heard a hell of a lot of great stories.”
“What about secrets? Did any of your patients ever tell you things you wished they hadn’t?”
Gwen shut the drawer. “Yeah, some told me secrets, mostly people at death’s doorstep. There were things I wished they had never told me, but my job was to listen.”
Dallas stepped closer to the vanity. “That sounds dangerous.”
Her voice softened. “Listening to the last confessions of the dying isn’t dangerous.”
“It is when you learn things that others may want to know.”
She tilted her head and deepened the lines on her brow. “What kinds of things?”
“Did anyone you took care of ever tell you things that could hurt others?” Dallas blocked her way out of the room. “Information, perhaps. About their business, or something they knew about another person. Something that others would kill for.”
“And if they had, why would I tell you? You’re here as my protector; not my priest.”
She rushed past him. He reached out to stop her, wanting to push her harder, but all the lies and manipulation suddenly lost their appeal, and he let her go. He had to get what Carl wanted, but it didn’t feel right. Dallas believed he could step into the field and pick up where he’d left off, but he didn’t have the stomach for hurting people anymore.
The slam of the bedroom door twisted the knife of regret deeper into his belly.
When had he changed? He couldn’t pinpoint a time or place, all he knew was that he wasn’t the cold-blooded specialist he’d attempted to resurrect. That Dallas August was dead.
He still had days ahead locked away with Gwen in the enormous house. The prospect terrified him, but then he remembered her skin, her gentle kiss, her eyes, and the daunting task ebbed. Perhaps what had changed wasn’t so much Dallas, but how he felt about Gwen.
Enough of this bullshit. Do the job and walk away.
His frustration needed venting before he did something stupid.
Author Alexandrea Weis
About the Author Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
Welcome to the blog tour for ALL THAT’S HIDDEN, the second book in the adult contemporary romance series, Sugar Shack, by Susan Golden. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her Giveaway.
ALL THAT’S HIDDEN (Sugar Shack Series #2) by Susan Golden
Synopsis All That’s Hidden is a delightful story with intrigue, humor, and of course, romance. A perfect read for the beach or traveling on a plane. I fell in love with Sugar and Rupert! -Lorence, singer/songwriter
Pet sitter turned entrepreneur, Jennifer Albright thinks she has it all: an expanding business, a new, blissful marriage to a very sexy husband, a dog named Rupert that people frequently think is a bear, and a parrot named Sugar that Jennifer’s pretty sure is psychic. But her idyllic life begins to unravel when a series of creepy incidents threatens to sabotage the launch of her doggie day care center, and the discovery of a hidden treasure thrusts her into the world of federal agents and international thievery. The chaos soon spills over onto her home life and Jennifer reluctantly begins to suspect that her seemingly perfect, unbelievably supportive husband is hiding something from her. There’s just so much that doesn’t add up.
Tech-mogul Ryan has found the love of his life in his adorable new bride, Jennifer. But trouble seems to follow her like a basset hound. When one strange twist of events offers Ryan an opportunity he feels he can’t pass up, he unknowingly launches himself down the road of suspicion and mistrust. But he’s got this covered. She doesn’t suspect a thing.
Excerpt #3 Ryan reached down to Jennifer’s face. He ran his hand along her cheek and down her jaw bone. He brushed his thumb across those luscious lips and tipped her head up. He guided her face towards his and seized her lips. That earlier hot wave smacked him again, but this time he recognized it and pushed it to the back of his mind. When Jennifer pulled back from the kiss that he had struggled to keep gentle and loving, Ryan clasped her face in his two hands.
“Don’t ever lie to me again.”
Jennifer gaped at the statement and silently nodded her head. Ryan sat long enough to see her nod and then slid her off his lap and stepped out of the hot tub.
Well, we took a while to get to round two of the “you lied to me” discussion. It really hadn’t been a discussion, but I got the message. Ryan’s pronouncement and his abrupt departure had snapped me awake, but it was getting late and I had an early morning.
I self-consciously hopped out of the hot tub and slinked over to the cabinet by the pool where we kept towels. A half-hour later I was snuggled under the covers of our bed. Ryan had not made an appearance. I’d heard him shut the front door about twenty minutes earlier as he took Rupert for his nighttime walk. He hadn’t come back yet, but I was sleepy and had to be at the doggy daycare early for the tub delivery. So, I turned off the bedside lamp and went to sleep.
The next morning when my alarm went off, Ryan was beside me, his arm slung over me. Ryan usually got up before me, so it was somewhat unusual for my alarm to go off first.
“Mmm, you getting up now, babe? What time is it?” Ryan mumbled groggily.
“Six. I’ve got a tub delivery this morning.” I started to climb out of bed. Ryan reached for me and gently tugged me back.
“Come here.” The tone was silky. The words were the same as last night, but it was all old Ryan. My heart practically sang.
I leaned over to Ryan and he pulled me close, giving me a long and very amorous kiss. I knew that kiss and it wasn’t a “good morning” kiss. When I returned the kiss, Ryan slid his hand under my nightshirt and sought a breast, tweaking first one nipple, then the other.
“When’s that delivery?” he asked.
“What delivery?” I responded.
Author Susan Golden
About the Author Retired federal government employee turned accidental author.