Today is release day for THE SECRET THIEF, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Nina Lane. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis Behind his beautiful eyes Lay a thousand secrets and lies. But my own secrets are all laid bare The twisted reality of a disgraceful affair.
I once deciphered the mysteries hidden in art Then mistakes and desire tore me apart.
Now I’m shipwrecked at the end of the earth Desperate again to prove my worth.
The lighthouse keeper is a stranger to me Yet one night with him sets me free.
We find ourselves united by the stars above Both of us needing the salvation of love.
Until our secrets and shame continue to build And what was flourishing will soon be killed.
The minute Flynn opens the workroom door, my whole body zings with excitement and anticipation. Even with his dark frown, the remoteness surrounding him like an aura, the clipped tone of his voice, I react to him as if he were stroking my hair and whispering sweet nothings in my ear.
Jeremy hadn’t come close to eliciting anything even close to this…which is exactly the reason I’ll go out with him again, if he asks me. Jeremy is solid, grounded, honest. Everything about Flynn is a mystery and a fantasy. I’d gotten caught up in a fantasy with David—whose “mystery” had been a lie—and I’d paid the price.
“How was your weekend?” I set my satchel and lunch bag on the desk.
“Great.” I give him a once-over, looking for evidence of an encounter with a chick, but while he looks edible in his worn jeans and T-shirt, like a warm, rumpled bed I could nestle right into, his demeanor is as impassive as ever.
Does he ever smile? Every now and then I’ve caught a glimpse of amusement, a twitch of his mouth, but I’ve yet to see him fully smile.
“Any special instructions for today?” I turn on the laptop computer and open my notebook.
“Stay away from Jeremy King.”
Shock bolts down my spine. I jerk my head up to stare at him. He’s watching me with a narrowed gaze, his mouth set in a stern line.
“Um…what?” I can’t get another word out.
“Stay away from him,” Flynn repeats. “He’s not good for you.”
Irritation breaks past my shock. “How would you know who is or isn’t good for me? You’ve barely said twenty words to me the whole week I’ve been working here.”
“I don’t need to say anything to know the facts.” His tone hardens. “I don’t want you around him.”
“Well, you have no right to tell me that,” I retort. “How did you know I went on a date with him anyway?”
His jaw tightens. “You think people around here don’t take notice when their favorite son is out having dinner with the new girl in town?”
Christ. I experience a sudden longing for the cold anonymity of a big city.
“I know people are talking about me,” I snap. “But I refuse to let gossip dictate what I can and can’t do. And for your information, Jeremy knows about what happened to me, and it didn’t seem to bother him.”
“That’s not the point. You can’t work for me and see him.”
My shoulders tense. I focus on the computer, hitting the key to bring up the database software.
“My date with Jeremy has nothing to do with my work here,” I reply stiffly. “I didn’t, and won’t, tell him anything about the job or the fact that you’re my employer. You don’t need to worry about breach of contract.”
“This isn’t about the damned contract.” His voice is suddenly sharp.
He steps closer to me, his soapy, warm scent filling my nose. I hold my ground, not wanting him to see me weaken even though I’m melting inside at his nearness. Impassive though he is on the exterior, I can almost feel the energy coursing through him, his heavy strong heartbeat, the rush of his blood.
“I don’t want you around King,” he repeats.
“Does your animosity have something to do with him wanting to sell the lighthouse?”
“I’m not answering questions.” His gray eyes turn the color of metal. “I’m telling you to stay away from him.”
My pulse races. “You don’t have that right.”
“I’m your boss.”
“That doesn’t mean you can make that demand.” The words snap out of my mouth without thought. “And if you think you can threaten to fire me over this, then step back, mister, because I’ve been through the worst wrongful termination I can imagine. And even though my employer fucking won that battle, I still have plenty of fight left in me. I’ll put on my gloves and go another round with you, if I have to.”
Wow. Go, Eve.
I’m breathing fast, and my knees are quaking with sudden fear that he’ll make me prove my bold statement. I dig my fingernails into my palms. The air between us sparks with electricity. I force myself to hold my ground, to look directly at him and—
Admiration flashes in his eyes, like a silver comet streaking across the sky. His stern expression doesn’t change, but that brief glimpse of warmth eases the tension knotting my shoulders.
“I’m not going to fire you.” His voice is measured and controlled. “But I will not have you seeing King.”
“You don’t like him, so that means I have to stay away from him?” I ask. “Sorry, no. He’s one of the few people in this town who has been nice to me, and I enjoyed our date. I refuse to discount the possibility of Jeremy being my first real friend here.”
Flynn’s jaw clenches. “He wants to be more than your friend.”
“I know.” I put my hands on my hips and look him in the eye. “He even kissed me.”
Anger crashes over his features, and a vein throbs in his forehead. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was jealous.
But I do know better. He’s mad because I’m refusing to do something he wants me to do. Despite, or maybe because of, his isolated lifestyle, Flynn is clearly a man accustomed to getting what he wants.
“He kissed you.” The word grind out of his mouth like broken glass.
“Yes. And I kissed him back. Like our date, it was nice. Nice hasn’t been the norm in my life lately.”
“I could kiss you,” Flynn retorts, his hands fisting. “But it wouldn’t nice.”
“Oh yeah?” My heart kicks into gear, blood rushing through my veins. “What would it be, then?”
He pulls in a breath, his gaze settling on my mouth. “Hot.”
“Prove it.” Borne of my endless nighttime fantasies, the dare flies out of me without thought of the potential repercussions.
Before I can take another breath, he grabs my shoulders and pulls me against him. I freeze, stunned by the reality of a moment I’d imagined more times than I can count—the sensation of his body against mine. And God, he feels exactly the way I’d imagined, a solid wall of heat and muscle pulsing with life. Rock-hard arms that could wrap around me so tightly nothing would get past them.
He stares down at me, his steel-like gaze sparking with intent like iron striking stone. I can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t think.\
Then his mouth crashes down on mine, an onslaught, a possession, a claiming. Hunger bursts through me, a desire so sharp and intense it destroys all my defenses in one fell swoop. I moan, everything inside me weakening and aching for more. He slides a hand to my lower back, fitting our bodies together. I yield everywhere, my curves softening against him, any thought of resistance dissolving in a haze of disbelief and craving.
I part my lips tentatively, let him inside. My head spins with the taste of him—something decadent and forbidden. Our tongues touch, breath mingling. Arousal floods me, swift and hard, as if all the fantasies in which I’ve indulged have primed me for this moment. I bring my hands up to his face, his stubble coarse against my palms, slide them down to the sides of his neck where his pulse throbs heavily. He’s like the sea—mysterious, unpredictable, powerful. I could get lost in him, drown, let him sweep me away to a distant land where no one knows who I am and what I’ve done.
He lifts his head, breaking our kiss and stepping away from me at the same time. Heavy breaths saw from his chest, and his eyes are darkened to black. I bring a shaking hand to my mouth, suddenly unsure if the kiss just happened or if I’m like Alice in Wonderland, spinning downward, lost in my intricate imagination.
Author Nina Lane
About the Author New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.
USA Today bestselling author, J.A. Huss, is unveiling the cover to THE BOYFRIEND EXPERIENCE, the third stand-alone book in her adult contemporary romance series, Jordan’s Game, releasing May 30, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, and details on her giveaway.
THE BOYFRIEND EXPERIENCE (Jordan’s Game #3) by J.A. Huss
Synopsis From NYT Bestselling Author, JAHuss, comes a new sexy standalone in the Jordan’s Game series. Oaklee Ryan needs a boyfriend but not for any of the reasons you might think…
It’s a simple request. But the girl…
Well, she’s not so simple. Oaklee Ryan is a pragmatist. She lives in reality, she deals with facts, and she’s goal oriented. So when she paid a visit to Jordan Wells asking for a game, calling it, “The BoyfriendExperience”, he thought he knew what she was getting at.
Wining, dining, maybe a date to a wedding to appease her meddling mother…
No. That’s not quite what Oaklee had in mind.
Lawton Gabriel took this game as a favor to his friend. And it only took him five minutes to regret it. Because Oaklee Ryan is insane. She’s loud, she’s demanding, and she’s dead set on getting her way.
If she thinks he’s gonna turn into her version of a boyfriend…
Just. No. He’ll do anything it takes to get out of this crazy contract!
THE BOYFRIEND EXPERIENCE (Jordan’s Game #3) by J.A. Huss (Full Cover)
Author J.A. Huss
About the Author JAHuss is the New York Times bestselling author of 321 and has been on the USA Today bestseller’s list 21 times in the past four years. She writes characters with heart, plots with twists, and perfect endings.
Her books have sold millions of copies all over the world, the audio version of her semi-autobiographical book, Eighteen, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award and an Audie Award in 2016 and 2017 respectively, her audiobook, Mr. Perfect, was nominated for a Voice Arts Award in 2017, and her audiobook, Taking Turns, was nominated for an Audie Award in 2018.
She lives on a ranch in Central Colorado with her family.
Today is release day for THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND, the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, Bad Boyfriend, by award-winning author Erika Kelly. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE WORLD’S WORST BOYFRIEND (Bad Boyfriend #1) by Erika Kelly
Synopsis Six years ago Fin Bowie made a decision that cost him the love of his life. Now his ex is coming back to town for her brother’s wedding, and he can finally make things right. Except, right before the event, a text he sent goes viral. Overnight, he becomes an international meme. And it’s hard to win your woman back when the whole world’s calling you The World’s Worst Boyfriend.
The last thing on Calliope Bell’s mind is getting back with Fin. Not when her life’s just gone sideways, forcing her to spend the summer in Calamity, Wyoming. She can’t be away from the New York art world this long, so she comes up with the idea to turn the hottest pop culture event of the moment into a museum exhibition.
The two have every intention of avoiding each other–until the county judge sentences Fin to community service…helping her exploit the meme he’s trying to make go away.
Excerpt The sight of Fin Bowie standing in her foyer hit like opening the door to a surprise party. That disheveled hair and facial scruff, his big, muscular body and moody expression, made Callie’s heart flip over.
His black leather jacket hung open, exposing a white V-neck T-shirt. Faded jeans encased powerful thighs, the frayed hem bunching over black leather boots.
“Hey.” Did she have to sound so out of breath? Her heart pounded like she’d just been chased through the woods at night by a bear.
And it didn’t help that his gaze took a slow roll up her body, from her red-tipped toes to her bare legs—her upper thighs covered in ruffled cotton sleep shorts—to the pink long-sleeved T-shirt covering her chest. When he finally reached her eyes, his nostrils flared, and his expression turned carnal. A zing of awareness shot through her.
And then he smiled. And when Fin Bowie smiled it was like the finale of a fireworks display. “What’s up?” She hated the slight tremor in her voice. Worse, she hated the fuse he lit inside her.
“Let’s take a ride. I’ll wait for you in the truck.”
The last thing she wanted to do was get in that truck with him, but they were going to work together, so they had to get some things resolved. As she followed him out the door, she tried to reclaim her composure, but her paralyzed hands couldn’t grasp it and, as she climbed down the porch steps, the bridge of time collapsed, plunging her into freefall.
Images flew at her, immersing her in a tumult of sharp, vivid emotions.
The thrill of Fin unhinging the basement door she’d locked after he’d told her he couldn’t go to their junior prom because of his brother’s skiing competition. So much anger—no, outrage—expressed in a furious fight that had ended in desperate, raw sex.
The naughty pleasure of riding him in his truck, her fingers clutching the back of his seat, her hips slamming down and grinding. That wild imperative to get closer, deeper, to meld with him.
The boundless joy as they’d leapt off the cliff together, hands joined, her smile stretching so wide it felt stupid. Plummeting into ice cold water. And the indescribable happiness when they’d popped up and reached for each other—her legs wrapped around his waist, his arms cinching her tightly. She’d never felt anything like it since.
And the pure relief of slamming into the wall of Fin’s chest in the hallway after she’d found out Piglet, her little runt of a mutt, had been struck and killed by a minivan. The deep satisfaction, when she’d collapsed into his arms, of knowing her soul had a harbor, and it was Fin Bowie.
He’d been there for her more times than not, but the times he’d let her down stuck in her joints like burrs, reminding her with sharp twinges every time she so much as rolled over in bed.
Blocking out the good memories had been easy…until she’d come home. Here, they were everywhere. She breathed them in at night in her childhood bed, and she ate them for breakfast at the kitchen table.
Fortunately, when she closed the front door behind her, the cool mountain air rushed over her skin and snapped her back to the moment. The hints of sage from the surrounding meadow and smoke from the town’s nightly bonfire woke up her senses.
It was okay to remember. Important, actually, because she’d never resolved anything. She’d just thrown herself into work, into survival mode. Finals, projects, hurrying to the diner, the bar, racing to get errands done in stolen moments…all of it had kept her on the run.
She never would’ve stopped, would she? If Julian hadn’t dumped her, forcing her to live at home for the summer, she’d still be on the lam from a past that demanded reconciliation.
She’d take this ride with Fin, confront the memories, and then she could finally let them go. Let him go.
She’d finally be free.
Author Erika Kelly
About the Author Award-winning author ErikaKelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life–she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author.
Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.
Welcome to the blog tour for THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE, the first book in the adult science fiction romance series, Keepers of Xereill, Hente Cycle, by USA Today bestselling author, Alix Nichols. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE (Keepers of Xereill Hente Cycle #1) by Alix Nichols
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: THE TRAITOR’S BRIDE Series: Keepers of Xereill, Hente Cycle #1 Author: Alix Nichols Release Date: March 26, 2018 Genre: Adult Science Fiction Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis On her untamed gift hinges the future of a planet—and her lover’s life…
A month ago, ex-army Major Areg Sebi was thrown into prison. Now he’s on the scaffold, laying his head on the block. No public trial for the disgraced war hero. No cyborgs from the League of Realms to whisk him away. No help. No escape.
A priestess chants a prayer for the major’s soul, even as a judge cries out, “Death to the traitor!”
In the crowd below, laundry maid Etana Tidryn stares into Areg’s eyes. His lips were hot against hers last night. His hands roamed her body, worshipped her, pleasured her.
She’s falling for him, hard and fast. She’s still hoping, even if he’s given up…
Can Etana transcend everything she knows—transcend life itself—to save him?
Can she rise to meet her destiny?
Excerpt #2 She put her glass down. “Remember what you said about noble blood?”
Areg furrowed his brow.
“You said it didn’t mean much to you.” Etana gave him a sidelong look. “Is that true?”
His face brightened. “Absolutely. I’d say more—it shouldn’t mean much to anyone.”
“Two weeks ago, you found a loophole in Eia’s laws that none of my noble-born, learned friends had seen.”
She blushed, ridiculously pleased with his praise.
“And then a week later,” he continued, “you showed how strong the Ra was in your blood by transfixing thousands of people.”
The heat in Etana’s cheeks reached her ears, setting them on fire.
“And my blood?” Areg shrugged. “For all I know the Sebis are noble because one of our forefathers knew how to please Queen Glendra III.”
Etana giggled. “Why Queen Glendra III in particular?”
“Because she was… erm, voracious.” He gave her a wink. “She rewarded her most talented lovers by giving them titles and lands.”
Her eyes crinkled with mirth. “Are you saying that the first Lord Sebi was a very talented lover?”
He gave her a lopsided smile that made her want to remove all her clothes right there. It struck Etana that Areg was feeling as elated as she was. Gone was the constant crease between his eyebrows and the sadness that tinted his eyes. He looked carefree, happy to be alive, happy to be with her.
He was flirting with her, for Aheya’s sake.
Etana squinted at him. “Um… Are you saying the lovemaking talent runs in the Sebi blood?”
“As we just established, I don’t believe the Sebi blood is special,” Areg said. “So no, I’m not saying that.”
“Right.” She was unable to hide the disappointment in her voice.
“My talents are mine and mine alone. I don’t owe them to my ancestors. I owe them to years of training and arduous practice.”
“Training?” She bunched her brows, confused. “Arduous practice?”
“I was referring to my marksmanship.”
His lips twitched as he struggled not to laugh. “Why? What were you imagining, Dame Tidryn?”
Author Alix Nichols
About the Author Alix Nichols is an unapologetic caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation.
She is a USA Today bestselling (April and June 2017) and Kindle Scout winning (December 2015) author of sexy romance novels that readers describe as yummylicious. According to Romantic Times, her books “will keep you hanging off the edge of your seat”. Kirkus Reviews claims they “deliver pure pleasure”.
At the age of six, Alix released her first romance. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper.
Decades later, she still writes. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have topped the Amazon charts around the world. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SWEET LIFE, a stand-alone adult contemporary/cowboy romance, by Dakota Star. See below for information the book, buy links, a post from the author on main character’s bucket list,and details on her giveaway.
THE SWEET LIFE by Dakota Star
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: THE SWEET LIFE Author: Dakota Star Publisher: Limitless Publishing Release Date: April 3, 2018 Genre: Adult Contemporary/Cowboy Romance Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Alexis takes her job very seriously. As one of the younger account executives, proving herself in the workplace is much more important than having a love life. And now that she’s been assigned a dude ranch account, she’s more determined than ever to show her doubters that she has what it takes.
Unfortunately there’s a tall, hot-tempered, brown-eyed cowboy who manages to distract Alexis from her goal by grabbing her attention…in a non-professional kind of way.
Mitch is the cowboy of her dreams—and also a distraction her career can’t afford.
And the real doozy? He also happens to be the ranch owner’s son, and this little fact alone has the potential to ruin everything for this city girl.
Mitch Johnson’s Bucket List (In a totally random order)
Go to Australia
Mitch is always up for adventure, and where can you find more adventure than Australia. Exploring the Great Barrier Reef, seeing how a working cattle station differs from a dude ranch, and watching for cassowaries and crocodiles in the rainforest are high on his list of great vacation activities.
Mitch believes in conquering challenges big and small. He’s already fallen head over heels for a feisty red head, why not fall from the sky.
Make Alexis Happy
He met the woman of his dreams and fell in love. He wants nothing more than to prove it to Alexis every day. Hey, if she’s not up for Australia, he’ll even change his vacation plans.
Own a Working Texas Ranch
Mitch grew up in Texas and would someday love to return. He never wants to give up the country life. A home on the range with Alexis at his side sounds like a great option.
Horseback Ride across the United States for Charity
Mitch knows he’s been blessed, and now Alexis has made his life even better. One day he would like to pay it forward a little bit. Horseback riding across the United States would be an amazing adventure, but since few California to Connecticut horseback rides exist, hell settle for a shorter cross-country jaunt as long as he doesn’t have to ride in a dressage saddle.
Author Dakota Star
About the Author Dakota Star likes worn-in cowboy boots, a well-trained horse, a cold beverage, and trails to ride in the woods.
She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters. Both her daughters have finished college and moved away so her dogs, cats, and retired horse now keep her busy. When not outside hiking or horseback riding, she loves to read and travel.
She has worked as an editor, a freelance writer for local newspapers, and an educator at local environmental non-profits like aquariums and The National Audubon Society.
Welcome to the book blitz for FIERCE, the first book in the adult contemporary MMA sports romance series, Whatever It Takes, by L.G. Kelso. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Three years ago, Tori beat the wrong man. Her MMA training partner, nursing a bruised ego, snapped—shattering her trust and confidence.
Now, she’s putting herself through college, avoiding all things fight related, and keeping her fists to herself. That is, until her uncle’s failing health draws her back to his gym and her old pounding grounds. With her demons still haunting the cage, she’s determined to keep up the wall she’s so carefully constructed between the past and present.
Until pro-fighter Max Estrada saunters into her life.
The temptation to go glove-to-glove with the sexy Columbian is too much, drawing her back into the world of MMA—a world where her ex-partner reigns as current Middleweight Champion. The secret they share is a liability to his career, and he’ll do anything to keep her quiet. If she wants her old life back, and a future with the fighter she’s fallen for, she’ll have to do more than just survive. With her life on the ropes, she’ll have to face her past and fight like she’s never fought before.
Excerpt #3 I cleared his knee to the outside, and found my stance as usual. I did something stupid, and looked beyond the triangle of his chin and at all of him. Shiny skin under the lights, damp hair. Chest expanding and recoiling faster than usual, even for our sparring. We had only done one round.
I went from wanting to punch him to wanting to kiss him in a matter of a second. Another kind of heat spread under my skin as my stomach started to flutter.
Max’s hands had lowered so I could see his face. He was breathing fast, too fast. A cloudy film covered his dark eyes. His stare left almost tangible marks on my skin. First my face, then my arms, my stomach, my legs.
That only made my nerves sizzle more.
I took the opportunity to rush him.
And I caught Max, the Lobo, off guard. I landed more punches on him than I cared to count before he managed to slip and block me. Our bodies pushed against each other again, my left arm blocking my face and pressed against the warm skin of his arm. He moved to the side, stance wide, but in the midst of his slipping my hook, his chest somehow touched my bare stomach.
We stood there, looking at each other, our stances matched and so close that the inside of my left hip touched the inside of his.
He dropped his front knee to the ground between my legs. His ear pressed against the inside of my hip bone, and his hands settled behind my knees. His fingers against my leg made my mind go blank. He was going to take me down, and I was going to let him.
Author L.G. Kelso
About the Author L.G. Kelso writes authentic sports fiction about characters falling in love with combat sports and also each other. She’s a fan of anything that bashes gender stereotypes, and she can be found in her MMA gym when not writing.
Visit her website at http://www.lgkelso.com for more information about her and upcoming projects, including another book in the Whatever It Takes universe.
Today is release day for THE BIRTHDAY LIST, a stand-alone adult contemporary romance, by USA Today bestselling author Devney Perry. See below for information on the book, buy links, and an exclusive excerpt.
Synopsis Happily married to her college sweetheart, Poppy lived a blessed life with the husband of her dreams. Then everything changed. She is no longer a wife. She is no longer the envy of her single friends. Now, people look at her with pity as they whisper a single word behind her back.
Years after her husband’s tragic death, years of pain and sorrow and wishing for the life she’ll never get back, Poppy decides to finish Jamie’s birthday list. She’ll do the things he wanted to most. Because maybe, just maybe, if she can complete his list, she can start to live again.
Poppy expects going through the birthday list will be hard. She expects it to hurt. But what she doesn’t expect is Cole. Could the man who delivered the news of her husband’s death and shattered her heart be the one to help her put it back together again?
Excerpt “I hear you’re saying yes to everything today?” I chased a bite of macaroni with some water.
She nodded, smiling again as she chewed.
“A guy could take advantage of that.”
Her chewing stopped and her blue eyes snapped to mine.
“Me, for example. I could use this to get exactly what I want.”
I didn’t miss the way her eyes flared, and damn, it was sexy. If things were farther along—if this were a year from now and we were in a different place—I could have used this game to have her moaning yes all night long. But we weren’t there, and I wasn’t a complete asshole.
But I did love to tease.
“Poppy,” I whispered, leaning closer.
Her breaths were shallow as she waited.
“Will you bring me both the mixed berry and the apple pie?”
She blinked twice, then a hand flew over her mouth—still full of salad—covering it as she laughed. “Yes.”
I grinned, sitting back in my chair and digging into my food. “Maybe you can tell me more about this list too? It seems like every time I see you you’re on to something new.”
Her hand fell. “You really want to know?”
“I really want to know.”
Author Devney Perry
About the Author Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers!.
Synopsis Seventeen-year-old travel blogger CC is stuck on a never-ending road trip with her wanderlust-addicted father. When her dad lands the job of his dreams in SugarLump—wedding capital of the world—CC finally finds a place to call home. Complete with two quirky best friends and a quixotic guy to crush on, SugarLump is more shades of perfect than she can possibly count.
But when CC accidentally overhears the mayor complaining that she has to “take out” a rogue employee for not fulfilling the terms of his contract, the idyllic town’s facade crumbles. Devastated by the possibility of having to move yet again, CC discovers everyone has been keeping a massive secret from her—including her own father.
My Review CC, a successful teenage travel blogger with a desire to put down roots, is delighted when her father, a renowned pastry chef, takes a job in Sugar Lump, the self-appointed wedding capital of the world. Everything about this magical midwestern town feels like a fairytale, right down to the gingerbread trim on the homes, lushly manicured lawns, and perfect marriage record. No one living in Sugar Lump gets a divorce. Since CC’s mom left them before CC’s first memory set like frosting on a cake, Sugar Lump seems the perfect place to settle down and never leave. So she doesn’t understand why her normally wanderlust father is determined to live in Sugar Lump the rest of his life, while trying to convince CC to go away to college when she graduates at the end of the school year.
The town’s perfection extends beyond the buildings and marital status of its residents. The other “bakery kids” welcome CC with open arms, making her one of their posse from the moment they meet. While CC has experiences to rival almost anyone her age, what she hasn’t had are a group of good friends. Because they move so frequently, she found it difficult to establish close relationships with anyone; never knowing when they’d be moving yet again. And not only are the locals welcoming and kind, but magazine-cover attractive, including super-hot Thorn, who dyes the tips of his jet-black hair grey, just to annoy his mother, who also happens to be the town’s mayor.
But the more time CC spends in Sugar Lump, the more she realizes things aren’t necessarily as they seem. When she overhears something she shouldn’t, she’s determined to get at the truth, no matter the price.
Plot This was such a great story. The unique plot was fun and fresh, and moved at a perfect pace. The author throws in several twists that send the story racing in a new direction. More than once she caught me off guard, surprising me in the best possible ways, making this one of my favorite books of 2018.
The Characters CC is delightful as the traveling teen with her heart set on finding a place to call home. Her father is just mysterious enough to keep us guessing, but it’s CC’s friends who steal the show. From the enigmatic Thorn, to gender-fluid best friend Henry, and the picture-perfect Luna, the people CC meets in Sugar Lump are as beautiful and perplexing as the town they inhabit.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About SUGAR LUMP 1. Premise. The concept of a perfect town, even if it might not be as perfect as first believed, is a nice change from all the dystopian I’ve read over the years.
2. CC. Her eternal optimism is such a refreshing quality that I’d like to find more of in young adult protagonists.
3. Sugar Lump. Everything about this town makes me wish it were real so I could visit.
4. Thorn. Jaded with a streak of vulnerability, Thorn is a quintessential teen love interest, but his quirky nature gives him that little bit of extra that sets him apart.
5. Twists. Excellent plotting and unexpected twists, kept this story from being anything but typical.
Bottom Line One of my favorite young adult books of 2018 and easily my favorite new author discovery.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
He moved a little closer, his jeans gliding easily over the leather, and put his right arm on the back of the seat too. Despite looking like he rolled out of a dumpster, he didn’t smell like it. He smelled like Irish Spring soap.
“When did you move to town?”He wasn’t looking at me, or anything in particular for that matter, but I could only assume the question was for me.
“Will you be at school Monday?”
“Yeah.” I wasn’t playing his game. If he wanted to have a conversation with me, he was going to have to look in my eyes and address me like a human being.
“Are you a senior?”
“Junior.” I flashed him a fake smile he didn’t see.
Thorn raked his hands through his thick, gray-tipped hair, then clasped them behind his head. That position only lasted for a few seconds then he lurched forward, resting his elbows on his knees. I couldn’t tell if he didn’t want to be near me or if he just couldn’t keep still. I slid away from him either way.
“Is she always like this? Really, Henry. I know you haven’t known her long but she can speak in sentences, right?”
“Clearly CC has good taste and knows not to even bother talking to you.” Luna’s dislike for him made me think my snap judgement was sound. He was probably some kind of hot, crazy-haired womanizer.
The easy balance of our trio had turned into a volatile quartet. I pulled a curl though my fingers to keep my hands busy.
“Thorn, don’t. Be nice.” Henry said it in a genial way, but Thorn seemed to take it as law. He sat back, flung his knee up, rested his left elbow on the back of the seat, and unleashed the full force of his wide-set, honey-brown eyes on me. They were so clear and so deep it made me wonder if he hadn’t been looking at me on purpose to save me from how cosmic they were.
“CC, it’s nice to meet you. I’m sorry if I scared you or made a bad first impression, but as I’m sure you could sense, my situation was dire. My situation is dire.” His tone changed from confident and clipped to languid and loose, but I couldn’t tell if it was sincere.
About the Author MeganGaudino works in a high school library by day and on her own books by night. She’s made up of a mixture of black clothing, iced coffee, and a desire to go adventuring. Those things sort of come together naturally to form a writer. She lives in Pittsburgh where you can find her reading, writing, and Instagraming.
Vesuvian Books and author Mary Ting are unveiling the cover to JACLYN AND THE BEANSTALK, a young fantasy, releasing September 4, 2018. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
JACLYN AND THE BEANSTALK by Mary Ting
About the Book
Title: JACLYN AND THE BEANSTALK Author: Mary Ting Publisher: Vesuvian Books Release Date: September 4, 2018 Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Links: Goodreads
Synopsis What Fate Awaits A Girl Who Hears Monsters At Night…
Sixteen-year-old Jaclyn looks up to her father. An honest man who once fought for the king, he now teaches Jaclyn how to use her wits—and her sword. But he has a secret. And his secret may have a connection to the one thing Jaclyn is hiding from him.
Upon hearing “monsters” are terrorizing the small villages around Black Mountain, Jaclyn’s father and his friends head out to hunt them … but they don’t return.
Armed only with her sword and three magic beans—a gift from a mysterious old woman—Jaclyn sets out for Black Mountain to save her father. On her climb, one bean drops and grows into a beanstalk, catching her when she falls.
She isn’t the only one that takes the ride. Jack, her childhood friend and secret crush, is following her.
Together, Jaclyn and Jack must battle to save not only their fathers, but the townspeople the beasts plan to lay waste to before it’s too late.
Author Mary Ting
About the Author International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Welcome to the book blitz for ABANDONED LOVE, the second book in the adult BWWM contemporary sports romance series, Love Sick, by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ABANDONED LOVE (Love Sick #2) by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited Title: ABANDONED LOVE Series: Love Sick #2 Author: Sydney Aaliyah Michelle Genre: Adult BWWM Contemporary Sports Romance Release Date: March 26, 2018 Links:Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Another sexy tangled BWWM sports romance by Sydney Aaliyah Michelle!
He has a dream, and she has a plan, but will they abandoned them both for love?
Cody Travis has proved the doubters wrong all his life. He’s used to getting what he wants. And what he wants more than anything is an NFL contract. His sexy new trainer disrupts his focus. While building up his body, she distracting his mind, but he can’t afford to drop the ball when he’s so close to his dream.
Briann Hobbs has a bit of a bad reputation around town. There’s more truth to the rumors than she cares to admit. However, the young personal trainer refuses to compromise on what she wants for her future. Until the hot NFL prospect swaggers into her life and intercepts her heart.
Will they abandon their dreams for love? Or can Cody’s lifelong goal fit into Briann’s life plan and give them the happily ever after they both desire?
If you like a sexy country boy with manners, a hero who helps his heroine save herself, and a story you can’t ABANDON until the HEA, you’ll love Sydney Aaliyah Michelle’s latest BWWM romance.
Pick up Abandoned Love and follow Cody and Briann’s as they pursue their dreams and each other today!
Abandoned Love contains explicit scenes of a sexual nature and is not suitable for readers under 18 years of age.
Excerpt #2 I sat in the same spot, stunned, shocked.
Guilty as fuck.
I should of said something. Instead I sat there like a pussy. I should have gone after her and made sure she was okay. I froze after seeing the devastation in her normally bright brown eyes.
Twenty minutes later, I hadn’t moved.
Author Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
About the Author Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader, tattoo lover, and movie fanatic who hails from Texas.
After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.
She identifies the sci-fiction flick “The Matrix” as the best representation of her life in the past. She is now blessed to be awake and doing what she loves. She can recite the entire script from the 80’s teen comedy/drama “The Breakfast Club”and loves any and everything associated with the Avengers Movie, especially Tony Stark.
When it come to books, Sydney reads different genres, but some of her favorite writers are Stephen King, J.A. Huss, M. Never, Dan Brown, Annika Martin,CD Reiss, & Emily Bronte. The Games Duet, The Great Gatsby, & Wuthering Heights are her favorite books.
Welcome to the book blitz for DON’T LOOK AT ME, a stand-alone new adult romantic suspense, by J.P. Grider. See below for information on the book, buy links, and exclusive excerpt, a couple of teasers, and details on her giveaway.
DON’T LOOK AT ME by J.P. Grider
About the Book
Title: DON’T LOOK AT ME Author: J.P. Grider Publisher: Fated Hearts Publishing Release Date: March 29, 2018 Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
A diligent hand carved this hole in my face. It stole my confidence, my identity, and ended my short-lived career as a broadcast journalist. I am now unemployed. Alone. Ugly.
And expected to get over it and move on. Go on living life as usual—as if the world doesn’t judge the grotesquely unattractive.
Quest: It’s been three years since I was kicked out of the Army for nearly killing the opposition’s militia commander with my bare hands. I am now unemployed. Alone. Angry.
And expected to forget the nightmares that hold me hostage and move on. Go on living life as usual—as if the world doesn’t judge a dishonorably discharged ex-soldier.
Don’tLook at Me is a modern-day Beauty and the Beast tale—reversed and twisted. Because even the ugly need a good story, and even the beautiful are ugly deep down.
Excerpt #2 When I moved to Jersey from California, I had no idea that days would go by where I wouldn’t think of the incident that led to my being other-than-honorably discharged. For me, the events of that night have been branded into my brain—the consistent nightmares the hot iron that won’t let the scars heal. But since finding out about Haven’s attack, I find myself thinking about her more and more—why was she walking alone in the middle of the night? What was going through her mind when she was so viciously attacked? What is going through her mind now? Was she raped? It isn’t part of the slasher’s modus operandi to sexually assault his attackers, but he also doesn’t carve out whole sections of skin in the faces of his victims. According to reports I’ve read over and over online since learning of Haven’s attack, his approach is to leave two parallel slash marks down the right side of his victims’ cheek. From what I could see in the dark, the heft of Haven’s lacerations are on the left side of her face. It doesn’t make sense. The Stratford Slasher has only attacked each of his victims once, but if Haven’s wounds weren’t inflicted by this same man, could the one that did hurt her return to finish the job? I wish she’d take me up on my offer to help me in the store. Then I could keep an eye on her and make sure that doesn’t happen. But she barely stays on the phone with me for two minutes when I call her to ask. Andthe only time she’s ever called me was to thank me for the supplies she very much needed during the storm two weeks ago. I know she has a lot to work through since her attack, but I wish she’d let me help her to get through this transition from on-air personality to whatever she needs to do next. Because I know all too well that transitions are difficult. Especially when that transition requires living an entirely different life than before.
With Haven at the forefront of my mind, I can’t help but blurt out a question during one of our group sessions. “How can I help a friend who doesn’t seem to want my help?”
“You don’t,” Warren says at the same time Mary asks, “What kind of help does your friend need?”
“She needs help getting her life back. It was pretty much taken from her when some loser used her face as a canvas to do with as he pleased.”
“Poor girl,” Mary says while the others mumble something similar.
“And now she won’t go out in public. She has her food delivered to her. She only goes out in the middle of the night, wearing a getup she thinks hides her face.”
“Does she trust you to help her, Quest?” Mary leans forward, crossing her hands over her lap. Mary’s name suits her. She’s kind, soft-spoken, and nurturing. The Virgin Mary, my mother would say. The Mother of all mothers.
I answer honestly. “She hasn’t known me long enough.”
“Until she can trust you, I don’t think she’s going to accept your help. Is she getting counseling?”
“I don’t think so.”
“It sounds like she could use some professional counseling, but would she be open-minded about giving this group a chance? To get her headed in the right direction?”
My eyes go to the fluorescent lights on the ceiling. “I doubt it.”
“Then, just be her friend. Don’t try to help her overcome this, just be there for her until she finds her way.”
So, that’s what I resolve to do. Be her friend.
Author J.P. Grider
About the Author J.P. Grider is a New Adult/Young Adult author who is a sucker for a good love story—whether it’s reading one or writing one. And when she’s not reading or writing a fairy tale, she’s living one with her husband, four children, and her little Auggie Doggie.
Welcome to the blog tour for EVERYTHING I LOVE, the fourth book in the adult contemporary sports romance series, Everything, by A.K. Evans. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
EVERYTHING I LOVE ( Everything #4) by A.K. Evans
About the Book Title: EVERYTHING I LOVE Series: Everything #4 Author: A.K. Evans Release Date: March 27, 2018
Genre: Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Nikki Drake was just nine years old when she experienced her first heartbreak. Sixteen years and many betrayals later, she’s learned that life is what you make of it. Needing to leave the poison behind, Nikki joins her best friends and moves from the warm, sunny beaches of California to the cold, snowy mountains of Wyoming. She’s a loving and faithful friend who’s built a successful career despite the disappointments shes’ experienced. While her past hasn’t stopped her from working hard and becoming a genuine and confident woman, it has affected one small part of her. Nikki refuses to give her heart to anyone ever again.
Luke Townsend is a man most women dream about. Underneath his tall, handsome exterior he’s charming, compassionate, sensitive and loyal. A dedicated snowboarder, Luke knows what it means to work hard for what he wants. And what Luke wants is Nikki.
When Luke tells Nikki he’s fallen in love with her, she’s devastated to think she’s going to hurt him the same way others have hurt her. Having resolved to live a life without romantic love, Nikki rejects Luke. Luke can sense that she needs some time so he walks away, vowing to find a way to her heart.
Three months after she pushed him away, Nikki decides to take a chance on Luke. He is patient and understanding while she struggles to allow herself to be vulnerable with him and to find the courage to trust he won’t hurt her. But when Nikki finally hands her heart of to him, Luke shatters her world with the truth.
Excerpt #2 I was pulling into the garage at my house. Nikki’s car was still there. It was crazy. Seeing her car there, knowing she would be inside when I walked through the door, made me feel like a teenage boy all over again.
I parked my truck, grabbed my gear, and walked into the house. Once inside, I smelled something awful and poked my head around the wall to make sure nothing was on fire. I saw Nikki sitting at the island with her head down on the countertop.
Something was wrong.
I set my gear down just inside the door and asked, “Nikki, what’s wrong?”
She lifted her head to look at me and all I saw was frustration in her face.
“I suck,” she blurted.
“I’m sorry. What?”
She shook her head and explained, “I should have gone to work today. I’m not domesticated. I thought since I was here and had gotten everything ready that we’re taking with us to the party tonight, I’d try my hand at making you lunch for when you got back. I suck. I’m the worst cook on the face of the planet.”
“Is that what that smell is?” I asked.
Her face changed from frustrated to sad. “I really tried. I have no idea what I’m doing.”
I walked over to her, turned her body on the stool to face mine, and wrapped her up in a hug. Her hands went to my hips as her forehead dropped to the middle of my chest.
“It’s ok, babe.”
“But, Luke, I made your house smell and I don’t have a single thing made that’s edible. Now’s your chance to get out of this. Don’t try your hardest to make me fall in love with you and then leave me because you suddenly realize that I’ll never be able to prepare you the kind of meal you deserve to have after a long day of training.”
“Look at me,” I demanded.
With her hands still on my hips, she lifted her head and looked up at me.
“I fell in love with you knowing you can’t cook for shit. I don’t care that you can’t either; I’m not leaving you. If you fall in love with me, I won’t care if we have to eat toast for the rest of our lives.”
About the Author A.K. Evans is a married mother of two boys residing in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lafayette College in 2004 with two degrees (one in English and one in Economics & Business), she pursued a career in the insurance and financial services industry. Not long after, Evans realized the career was not for her. She went on to manage her husband’s performance automotive business and drive the shop race cars for the next thirteen years. While the business afforded her freedoms she wouldn’t necessarily have had in a typical 9-5 job, after eleven years she was no longer receiving personal fulfillment from her chosen career path. Following many discussions, lots of thought, and tons of encouragement, Andrea decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.
Between her day job, writing, and homeschooling her two boys, Evans is left with very little free time. When she finds scraps of spare time, she enjoys reading, doing yoga, watching NY Rangers hockey, dancing, and vacationing with her family. Andrea, her husband, and her children are currently working on taking road trips to visit all 50 states (though, Alaska and Hawaii might require flights).