New Release – Tulsa by S.L. Scott

 

Title: Tulsa
Author: S.L. Scott
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
~FREE in Kindle Unlimited~

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From New York Times Bestselling Author, S.L. Scott, comes a hot new rock star romance that will sweep you off your feet and leave you with a smile.

The rumors are true. At least where I’m concerned.

Drummers hit it harder and do it better.

Women love me and I love them. But I like to think of myself as a sensitive soul trapped in a lady-killer’s body. Not so surprisingly, I’ve been called cocky a time or two. What can I say? We can’t all be boy scouts.

Nikki Faris has thrown off my rhythm. With her red lips, smart aleck mouth, short skirts, long legs, and blue-sky eyes, the beautiful lead singer has become a complete distraction on this tour.

She loves to give me a hard time when all I want to do is give her the pleasure of my hard—time right back.

Tulsa Crow can save his pick up lines, great eight-pack abs, and cute dimples to use on someone else. My band earned their spot on The Resistance’s tour just like The Crow Brothers. I’m not going to blow it getting sidetracked by a cocky rock star that wants to sleep his way through the states. I’ve been called a name or two, but easy isn’t one of them.

But the best intentions with him turn into a walk of shame for me. Only, I don’t feel shame. Instead, I’m doing the very thing I said I wouldn’t—falling for a playboy.

We make sinful music when we’re on the road, but what happens to our melody when the tour ends?

 

Title: Tulsa

Author: S.L. Scott

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 3, 2018

Cover Design: RBA Designs

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/TulsaGR

BFF K’s Review Coming Soon!

 

Excerpt

Nikki Faris is amazing.

Not only is she gorgeous, she’s also smart and strong. She says what she thinks, not worried about sharing her opinions or anyone judging her for them. She can defend the craziest ideas and has theories on everything from what she thinks jackfruit tastes like to why the stars always shine on the darkest nights.

Nikki Faris is mesmerizing.

Her lips.

Her eyes.

The way her head tilts back when she laughs at her own jokes. She’s adorably funny. Even the way she rolls her eyes is growing on me.

Nikki Faris is the sexiest woman I’ve ever spent time with, and I haven’t even slept with her.

Yet.

Her denim skirt rides up really fucking high when she’s sitting. I don’t know whether I should cover her or encourage her to wiggle more. Every time she moves around on that barstool, my eyes dash between her blues and those bare legs. I’m so tempted to run my hand over the smooth skin of her thigh, but I resist because I’m just starting to earn her trust.

But then she leans over, resting her hand on my leg, the tips of her fingers dipping toward my cock, waking it up, and whispers, “I think you got me drunk, Crow.”

Chuckling, I reply, “You got yourself drunk, Faris.”

Suddenly, her free hand wanders into my hair. “Your hair is soft. No gel.” She drags the bridge of her nose along my neck, causing my dick to harden. “You smell so good. So manly. What cologne do you wear?”

“Soap and sweat, sweetheart.”

“Tulsa. Tulsa. Tulsa.” Leaning back to look me in the eyes, she confesses, “It shouldn’t, but that really turns me on.”

I laugh again and stop her hand from wandering higher on my leg. “You’re a horny drunk.”

“I am,” she replies, resting her head on my shoulder. “Have you ever heard the phrase sleeping with the enemy?”

“I have.” I touch her, not able to stop myself as I tuck those wild strands of hair behind her ear.

The bartender sets the tab down in front of me. Nikki reaches for it, but I grab it first. “My treat.”

“I have a feeling I’m going to be swearing your name in the morning.”

I do a double take. “You mean because of the alcohol, right?” While waiting for her to answer a question I already know the answer to, images of her swearing my name for other reasons cross my mind.

She doesn’t answer, which is probably best.

 

About the Author

Living in the capital of Texas with her family, Scott loves traveling and avocados, beaches, and cooking with her kids. She’s obsessed with epic romances and loves a good plot twist. Her favorite color is blue, but she likens it more toward the sky than the emotion. Her home is filled with the welcoming symbol of the pineapple and finds surfing a challenge though she likes to think she’s a pro.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.slscottauthor.com/
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slscottpage
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S.L. Scott FB Reader Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/slscottbooks
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Review – Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

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Marriage of Inconvenience, an all new romantic comedy standalone in the USA Today bestselling, Knitting in the City Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!

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There are three things you need to know about Kat Tanner (aka Kathleen Tyson. . . and yes, she is *that* Kathleen Tyson): 1) She’s determined to make good decisions, 2) She must get married ASAP, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Being a billionaire heiress isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, it sucks. Determined to live a quiet life, Kat Tanner changed her identity years ago and eschewed her family’s legacy. But now, Kat’s silver spoon past has finally caught up with her, and so have her youthful mistakes. To avoid imminent disaster, she must marry immediately; it is essential that the person she chooses have no romantic feelings for her whatsoever and be completely trustworthy.

Fortunately, she knows exactly who to ask. Dan O’Malley checks all the boxes: single, romantically indifferent to her, completely trustworthy. Sure, she might have a wee little crush on Dan the Security Man, but with clear rules, expectations, and a legally binding contract, Kat is certain she can make it through this debacle with her sanity-and heart-all in one piece.

Except, what happens when Dan O’Malley isn’t as indifferent-or as trustworthy-as she thought?

 

Review of Marriage of Inconvenience

I’m not sure what to say about another immensely satisfying story, delivered by one of my favorite authors, centering around some of my most anticipated characters….How about: delightful, engaging, sweet, sentimental, heart-felt, smart, challenging, wicked funny, everything-I-hoped-for, and MORE!

I have been looking forward to Dan and Kat’s story since I read the very first Knitting in the City Series book. It’s been such a long and wonderful wait and it was worth every minute! Dan and Kat are perfect for one another, they’re hot for each other and they’re both delightfully awkward. After learning that a misunderstanding has kept them apart for years, and that Kat is desperate for a husband, the two find themselves in a marriage of convenience that is actually quite inconvenient. The story is just everything….(see the above list!)

There aren’t enough adjectives in my vocabulary to tell you how wonderful this book is, how much I adore these characters and how sad I am that this book-journey is coming to an end. I will always have a special place in my heart (and my library) for Janie, Sandra, Elizabeth, Ashley, Fiona, Marie and Kat and all of their incredible loves. While individually these books are about strong, smart, quirky heroines who find their own unique loves. Collectively this series is about a group of friends/soulmates who find love, strength, support and acceptance from one another.

I will continue to read every single book written by Penny Reid, but there will never be another group like the Knitters or a way to express my love and gratitude for these characters and this series.

An advance copy of this book was received. The reviewer purchased the audiobook copy. Receipt of the advance copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

Staring at his chin, because I couldn’t quite lift my eyes any higher, I cleared my throat. “Should we get ready for bed?”

“Sure,” he said, his voice a rumble. Dan’s eyes were on me, I felt the weight of them.

My hands came to the hem of my skirt and I hesitated, feeling winded for some reason. Sneaking a glance at him, I immediately wished I hadn’t. His gaze was watchful, but it was also unmistakably hot in a way that seemed at once both avaricious and accusatory. The vice tightened around my lungs.

Kiss him! Just freaking kiss him! You want numbered steps? Fine. You kiss him- check. He kisses you back- check. Then you make out- check. Check the boxes.

I licked my lips, balling my hands into fists at my sides again, preparing to follow my hasty list.

But then he said, “Undress me.”

My breath caught. On instinct, my eyes lifted and collided with his in much the same way our bodies had collided at the top of the stairs just moments ago. Jarring. Startling. Thrilling. This time I couldn’t look away because this time I was falling. He made no move to catch me.

“What? What did you say?”

His eyes narrowed, which served only to increase the intensity of his gaze from smolder to inferno. “Take my clothes off.”

I stared at him, licking my lips again, and shaking my head. That wasn’t one of my steps.

Lifting my chin, I moved to kiss him. He leaned to the side, evading me even as his eyes dropped to my mouth.

“Take off my shirt and I’ll give you a kiss.” He’d used his naughty-secret voice.

An explosion of heat erupted in my belly, and now I was hot all over. I couldn’t figure out if the heat was embarrassment or arousal or both.

He didn’t give me a chance to figure it out. His hands lifted and he undid his cuffs; then they moved to the top button of his shirt.

“You better take over,” he said darkly, “or else you’re not getting that kiss.”

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About the Author

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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Connect with Penny:

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www.pennyreid.ninja

 

 

New Release – Spark by S.L. Scott

Title: Spark
Author: S.L. Scott
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

~FREE in Kindle Unlimited~

One break is all The Crow Brothers need and we’re about to get it.

Johnny Outlaw, rock legend and lead singer of The Resistance, is here to watch us play. But he’s not the only familiar face in the crowd-killer little body, heart-shaped face, and drop-dead gorgeous.

Hannah Nichols sitting at the bar makes it hard to concentrate, sparks already reigniting. The beauty was never a groupie and tonight she’s not here to catch our show. She came to drop a bomb. “You have a son.”

She underestimated me. I’ll prove to my son, and her, that I can be the dad he needs.

What is it about musicians? Why are they so damn sexy?

My heart was Jet Crow’s the moment he opened his sexy mouth and sang that first song. One stolen night with that man would never be enough, but I’m not here to fall into his bed. Again. I’m here to fight for custody of a son he’s never known.

There’s just one problem. Those sparks between us have become flames. If we’re not careful we’re both going to get burned.

 

 

 

 

Title: Spark
Author: S.L. Scott
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2018
Cover Design: RBA Designs

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SparkGR

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from Spark

Prologue

Jet Crow

Subtle scents of cinnamon mix with the taste of whiskey on her skin. I lick her from collarbone to the back of her ear, her moans enticing me to take more than a gentle share of what I want.

I’m well past hooking up with groupies, but something drew me to the beautiful brunette. Under the bright spotlight of that stage, my eyes found hers as I sang about finding the missing piece of me. Maybe it was the way she pretended to not care, catching my eyes and then turning away as if she was too shy to come speak to me, but too good to be bothered. It didn’t matter. I was already caught up in her as much as she was caught up in me.

The set ended and I made my way over to the mystery woman, the one who hid in the dark of the bar just as two shots were served. I took the shot of Fireball and then took her home shortly after.

Fuck. She feels good.

Hard little body, but soft in all the right places. Tits that fill my large hands and legs that spread enough for me to squeeze between her thighs. I bet she wouldn’t reach my shoulders in heels. Speaking of, “Keep them on.”

I like the feel of the leather against my lower back, the hard heel scraping across my skin when she tries to power play me by tightening around my waist and pulling me closer. I didn’t ask her to my bedroom. I didn’t have a chance. What started out as laughing while we shared a two a.m. snack of Cheetos, hummus, and whiskey turned into me eating her as a snack on top of my kitchen counter. I don’t ever do that with a one-nighter, but damn if she didn’t make me want to break more rules with her.

She kisses me like a woman in need of water, taking as much as she wants while pressing her heels into my ass. The heat between us emanates until I’m dragging my shirt off to try to cool down.

I knew she was different the moment she opened her mouth back at the bar. “You sing rock with so much soul. Who hurt you?”

“No one gets close enough to do me any harm.”

“That’s a pity.”

“It’s a pity I’ve never been hurt?”

“No, it’s a pity you’ve never loved anyone enough to get hurt.”

My heart started beating for what felt like the first time as I looked into her sultry eyes. I could blame the booze, but I can’t lie to myself. She had me thinking twice on things I never considered once before.

Who was this woman?

Even with our stomachs full, we weren’t satisfied. She dragged me by the belt down the hall to my bedroom. Her clothes were off and mine quickly followed before we tumbled into bed.

Fast. I want to fuck her fast and hard, but every time our eyes connect there’s such sadness found in her grays that I slow down. Wanting her to hold contact, I cup her cheek. “Hannah?”

Her eyes slowly open, the long lashes framing the lust I find between them. “What?” she asks between heavy breaths.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m good.”

“Just making sure.”

She runs her hands up my neck and into the back of my hair. “I’m sure.” Pulling me down to her, our mouths are just a few inches apart when she whispers, “I want you. I want to do this.”

Shy isn’t something I’d call her considering we were in my bed two hours after meeting. I like a woman who knows what she wants. Hannah knows. And fuck if it isn’t a turn on that she wants me.

 

About The Author

 

Living in the capital of Texas with her family, Scott loves traveling and avocados, beaches, and cooking with her kids. She’s obsessed with epic romances and loves a good plot twist. Her favorite color is blue, but she likens it more toward the sky than the emotion. Her home is filled with the welcoming symbol of the pineapple and finds surfing a challenge though she likes to think she’s a pro.

 

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.slscottauthor.com/
The Scott Scoop: http://bit.ly/2TheScoop
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slscottpage
Twitter: https://twitter.com/slscottauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.l.scott/
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/slscott1
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/SLBookbub
Amazon: http://bit.ly/SLScottAm
Book + Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/slscott
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Slscottauthor
Huffington Post Contributor Page: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sl-scott/
S.L. Scott FB Reader Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/slscottbooks
S.L. Scott GR Reader Group: http://bit.ly/SLScottGRGroup

 

 

 

Excerpt – Icing on the Cake by Ann Marie Walker

Icing on the Cake

by Ann Marie Walker
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

Notting Hill meets The Prince & Me in Icing on the Cake, the second standalone laugh-out-loud romance in Ann Marie Walker’s Wild Wedding series

Cassandra Miller doesn’t have time for men. She’s far too busy trying to open a cupcake shop with her silent partner and best friend, not to mention catering her brother’s wedding. And let’s face it, it’s not like Prince Charming is going to stroll into the bakery and sweep her off her feet.

Henry has been a prince his entire life but for one wild wedding he wants to be nothing more than an “Average Joe”, or in this instance, “Average Hank”. However, when a case of mistaken identity and a batch of burned cupcakes ends in a night of passion, Cassie and Hank must decide if theirs is a recipe for disaster or the makings of true romance.

Visit the BFF Book Blog Facebook Page to enter to win an Amazon Kindle Copy of Icing on the Cake by Ann Marie Walker!

Read BFF K’s 5-Rated Review for Icing on the Cake!

(Spoiler Alert – she LOVES this book!)

 

Excerpt

He lifted his head and when his gaze met hers, he smiled. Shy and sexy all at once, Cassie knew without question it was the sort of smile that meant nothing but trouble. The kind that got him whatever he wanted. The kind that was absolutely irresistible.

And as if that wasn’t enough, he had the whole sexy accent thing going for him.

The stranger leaned closer, close enough for her to smell the faint scent of his soap. It was clean and yet a little spicy and made her want to lick his neck. Because yeah, that was something a perfectly sane woman would do.

The energy between them crackled with anticipation. Then again, maybe it was all in her head. Maybe she’d finally read one too many romance novels and her brain was permanently rewired to think every handsome stranger had the potential to be Mr. Right. Or at the very least, Mr. Right Now.

A beat of silence ticked between them offering her the perfect opportunity to play it safe, to explain what she actually meant and end the whole matter with an awkward laugh. But this handsome stranger had awakened something deep inside her and for once in her life Cassandra Miller didn’t feel like playing it safe. Instead she felt wild and reckless, and the last thing she wanted was to end the moment in any way at all. In fact, she wanted to prolong it, to suspend it in time like something from The Matrix. Then maybe she could even step back and watch from all angles because holy hell, this gorgeous stranger was going to kiss her. Right there. In the shop. With her hair up in a messy bun and flour and dough all over her hands. And what’s more, she was going to let him. So instead of playing it safe, Cassie lifted her chin just as he dipped his head and then . . . .

About Ann Marie Walker

Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She’s a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it’s December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.

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Enter to win a Royal Romance Pack + $25 Amazon Gift Card!

 

 

New Release – Combust by K Bromberg

Combust, an all new sexy and emotional standalone by K. Bromberg is Available NOW!

 

From New York Times Bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes the second standalone book in the Everyday Heroes series. Just how hot will firefighter Grady Malone turn up the heat?

Songwriter Dylan McCoy has been burned.

By her boyfriend she found in her bed . . . with someone else.

By the contract she signed that obligates her to work with him until the songs for his new album are complete.

By her agent when she asked Dylan to keep their breakup on the down-low.

When she finds herself in Sunnyville, she refuses to let her new roommate burn her too. Still . . . a rebound has never looked so good.

That’s her first thought when she sees firefighter Grady Malone.
Sexy. Charismatic. Unapologetic. He’s a man who carries his own scars—the ones on his back, the survivor’s guilt on his soul, and the fear in his heart.

When an unexpected visitor puts their roommate status to the test, will their undeniable attraction burn out, or will they both take a chance and play with fire?

 

Purchase your copy today!

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2DUI1Hc

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2FlPDQk

Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/2BzsBTE

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Kobo – http://bit.ly/2CzIyhT

Amazon Paperback – http://amzn.to/2lRSKY2

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kQ9z8P

 

 

EXCERPT from Combust

Preoccupied with a text on my phone from my agent, I walk into the kitchen and suck in a breath when I come face to back with Grady. He’s standing with his hand on the refrigerator door, head leaned inside, and his back fully exposed to me. It’s broad and strong and scarred immeasurably.

I stare.

I can’t help it. The marks are a dizzying array of dark and light and ridged and smooth. And they’re undeniably burns. Goosebumps chase over my skin as I imagine the pain he must have endured when he got those. I think of his habit of wearing unbuttoned shirts but never going shirtless and the hint of scars just visible above his collar that I never could have imagined led to this roadmap to hell on his back.

A part of me instinctively wants to reach out to touch them, bring some kind of comfort. It sounds ridiculous, even to me, but that doesn’t abate the urge.

“Not pretty, huh? Get a good look while you can.” His voice is gruff as his spine stiffens and body stills, emotion woven through the words.

“Thank God not all of you is pretty. I was beginning to feel majorly insecure having to live with perfection like you,” I say off the cuff, trying to make this situation less awkward. My attempt to settle the sudden tension sparking in the air around us.

“Perfection?” he asks as he turns to face me with a smile that masks the emotion swirling in his eyes.

“Yeah. You have scars. I have mermaid thighs.”

“Mermaid thighs?” He laughs. “What in the world are you talking about?”

“Thighs that touch from the top all the way to my knees.” I shrug as if it doesn’t bug me, as if I’m not highlighting one of the insults Tara threw at me. It’s a whole lot easier to make fun of myself so long as it puts him at ease.

“Do you ever give yourself a break?”

Do you?” I ask the question, sparking a silent battle of wills as we stare at each other and wonder what to say next about the other’s insecurities. Coming up empty, I shift gears. “I think there is some type of rule about how many abs are fair for a guy to have when the rest of us are just struggling to find one of them.”

His smile rings more genuine as he steps toward me, and I step back, my hips leaning against the counter now.

“Is that so?” His voice lowers as his eyes flick to my lips and then back up. “I’m sure you have some under your shirt there.”

Why does the simple action make it seem so hard to swallow?

He takes another step.

“What are you building outside?”

“A playroom.”

A nervous chuckle falls from my lips as I think of all of the versions of playrooms I’ve read about in my romance books. My cheeks stain red as I imagine Grady with a flogger in one hand standing beside a St. Andrew’s Cross.

“A playroom?”

“Yeah.” He takes a step closer so we’re breathing the same air, his voice husky enough to cause every part of my body to grow alert. “A playroom. You know . . . a pool table. Foosball. A real man cave.”

I exhale a shaky sigh, suddenly more than aware that he’s so close, shirtless, sweaty, and smelling like sun and soap mixed together. But it’s his eyes that make my thoughts falter. There’s an intensity to them I don’t expect from the perpetually cheerful Grady Malone.

“Ah, that kind of playroom . . .” But my words trail off as he steps even closer and braces his hands on the counter on either side of me. I can hear his intake of breath. The music floating in from outside. The pound of my pulse in my ears.

“Hey, Dyl?”

“Yes?” Our eyes hold, my lips fall lax.

“I need you to open up.”

What?” I question as his hand brushes against my hip and his fingers pull on the drawer handle I’m standing in front of.

“I need the bottle opener. You’re standing in front of the drawer it’s in.” His lips spread into a full-fledged grin as I scramble away from the counter and, of course, run smack dab into the hardness, all six foot plus of him.

And then I rebound off him again in a flustered state that has him laughing and me stuttering. “Sorry. I wasn’t—I didn’t . . .” His arms hold on to my biceps to steady me, which prompts me to look up and meet his eyes.

“We need to stop meeting like this,” he murmurs, the heat of his breath hitting my lips.

“We do.” Brilliant, Dylan. Freaking brilliant response. “I’ve gotta . . . I’ve gotta get back to . . . to writing.”

About the Author

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, Kristy has sold over one million copies of her books across sixteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by Passionflix with the first movie slated to release in the summer of 2018.

She is currently working on her Everyday Heroes trilogy. This series consists of three complete standalone novels—Cuffed, Combust, and Cockpit (late spring 2018)—and is about three brothers who are emergency responders, the jobs that call to them, and the women who challenge them.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales: http://bit.ly/254MWtI

 

Connect with K. Bromberg

Website: http://www.kbromberg.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKBromberg

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KBrombergDriven

Instagram: https://instagram.com/kbromberg13/

Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/204Qnfz

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/1koZIkL

Join her Reader Group: http://bit.ly/1PMUoG3

Sign up for her Newsletter: http://bit.ly/254MWtI

Excerpt – Chapter 1 – Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting Pre-Order Today!

 

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.
They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

 

Read Chapter 1 of Hooking Up

One

Wedding Unbliss

Amie

This is the happiest day of my life. I allow that thought to roll around in my head, trying to figure out why it doesn’t seem to resonate the way it should. This should be the happiest day of my life. So I’m not exactly certain why the uneasy feeling I associate with cold feet is getting worse rather than dissipating. I’ve already done the hard part; walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

My husband excused himself to go to the bathroom several minutes ago and, based on Armstrong’s itinerary for the day, speeches are supposed to begin promptly at eight-thirty. According to my phone, that’s less than two minutes from now, and he’s not here. The emcee for the evening is awaiting Armstrong’s return before he begins. And then the real party can start. The one where we get to celebrate our commitment to each other as partners for life. As in the rest of my breathing days. Dear God, why does that make my stomach twist?

I sip my white wine. Armstrong pointed out that red is not a good idea with my dress, even though it’s my preference. Besides, I don’t want it to stain my teeth. That would make for bad pictures.

I glance around the hall and see my parents, who are probably celebrating the fact that I didn’t walk down the aisle with a convicted felon. And frankly, so am I. My dating history pre-Armstrong wasn’t fabulous.

The sheer number of people in attendance spikes my anxiety. Speaking in front of all of these people makes me want to drink more, which is a bad idea. Tipsy speeches could lead to saying the wrong thing. I check my phone under the table again. It’s after eight-thirty. The longer Armstrong takes to return, the further behind we’ll get. The music playlist, devised by Armstrong with painstaking efficiency, leaves no room for tardiness. If we don’t start on time I’ll have to take out a song, or possibly two, to compensate for his delay and he’s selected the order in such a way as to make that difficult and that will annoy him. I just want today to be perfect. I want it to be reflective of my decision to marry Armstrong. That I, Amalie Whitfield, can make good choices and am not a disgrace to my family.

“Where the hell is he?” I scan the room and take another small sip of my wine. I should switch to water soon so I don’t end up drunk, especially later, when all of this is over and we can celebrate our lifelong commitment to each other without clothes on. I’m hopeful it will last more than five minutes.

Ruby, my maid of honor and best friend for the past decade, puts a hand on my shoulder. “Would you like Bancroft to find Armstrong?”

Bancroft, or Bane for short, is Ruby’s boyfriend who she’s been living with for several months. Recently I find myself getting a little jealous of how affectionate they still are with each other, even after all this time. Cohabitation hasn’t slowed them down on the sex or their PDA. I have hope that Armstrong and I will be more like Bane and Ruby now that we’ll be sharing the same bed every night.

I’m about to tell Ruby to give him another minute when a low buzz suddenly fills the hall. It sounds like a school PA system. I start to panic—they can’t start the speeches without Armstrong at my side. What’s the point of speeches if the groom isn’t present?

I’m halfway out of my seat, ready to tell the deejay, or whoever is behind the mic, he needs to wait, when a very loud moan echoes through the room. The acoustics are phenomenal in here, it’s why we chose this venue.

I glance at Ruby to make sure I’m not hearing things. Her eyes are wide. The kind of wide associated with shock. The same shock I’m feeling.

Another moan reverberates through the sound system, followed by the words, “Oh, fuuuck.”

A collective gasp ripples through the now-silent crowd. While the words themselves are scandalous among these guests, it’s the voice groaning them that makes me sit up straighter, and simultaneously consider hiding under the table.

“Fuck yeah. Ah, suck it. That’s it. Deep throat it like a good little slut. Fuuuuuccckkkkk.”

My mouth drops and I look to Ruby to ensure I have not completely lost my mind. “Is that—” I don’t finish the sentence. I already know the answer to the question, so it’s pointless to ask. Besides, I’m cut off by yet another loud groan. I clap a hand over my mouth because I’m not sure I’m able to close it, my disbelief is as vast as the ocean.

Ruby’s expression mirrors mine, except hers is incredibly animated since she’s an actress. “Oh my God. Is that Armstrong?” Her words are no more than a whisper, but they sound very much like a scream. Oh no, wait, that’s just Armstrong on the verge of an orgasm. But these sounds are nothing like the ones he makes when he’s in the throes of passion with me.

I clutch Ruby’s hand. The next sound that comes from him is a hybrid between a hyena laugh and a wolf baying at the moon. And every guest at our wedding is hearing the same thing I am. Our wedding. Someone other than me is blowing my husband at my own wedding. My mortification knows no end.

I grab the closest bottle of wine and dump the contents into my glass. Some of it sloshes over the edge and onto the crisp white tablecloth. It doesn’t matter. There’s plenty more where it came from. I chug the glass, then grab Ruby’s.

People lean in and whisper to each other, eyes lift to the speakers. A few people, the ones who are probably just here for the social-ladder-climbing potential, question who it is.

“Is the deejay watching porn?” That comment comes from a table full of mostly drunk singles in their early twenties.

Several eyes shift my way as I carelessly down Ruby’s wine and someone asks where the groom has disappeared to.

The grunts and groans grow terrifyingly louder. This is nothing like what I’m used to in bed with Armstrong. The dirty words aren’t something he ever uses with me, mostly it’s just noises and sometimes a “Right there” or “I’m close,” but that’s about it. He’s never talked to me like he is to the woman currently providing oral pleasure. And I’m very adept at oral. Although with Armstrong it’s very polite, neat oral, with no sounds other than the occasional hum. Slurping is uncivilized and a definite no-no.

I reach past Ruby for the bottle of red since I don’t really give a flying fuck about purple teeth right now. As I sink low in my seat I pour another glass of wine, surveying the people in the ballroom from behind the cover of the centerpiece. The centerpieces are huge and excessive and I don’t like them at all, but at least provides a protective barrier between the guests and my disgust, which I’m certain they must share. He sounds like a wild animal rutting. It is entirely unsexy. I have no idea who he’s getting intimate with, but I’m suddenly very glad it’s not me.

And doesn’t that tell me more about our relationship than it should.

It’s only been about thirty seconds—the most humiliating thirty seconds of my life—before Armstrong comes. How do I know this? Because he says, very clearly, “Keep sucking, baby, I’m coming.”

And “baby,” whoever she is, makes these horrific gurgling noises. It sounds like some form of alien communication. It’s way over the top, and apparently Armstrong is loving it, based on the string of vile profanity that spews from his asshole mouth.

“Holy crap. Is this for real? That was really fast,” Ruby mutters.

I guzzle my glass of wine. Then decide the glass is unnecessary and take a long swig from the bottle before Ruby snatches it away. Wine dribbles down my chin and onto my chest, staining the white satin purple. My dress is ruined. I should be freaking out. But I really don’t care.

“Come on,” Ruby tugs on my hand. “We need to get you out of here while people are still distracted.”

My older brother Pierce and the emcee are standing in the middle of the hall, gesturing wildly to the speakers above us. My other brother, Lawson, is on his way toward the podium in an attempt to do something. I don’t think there’s anything he can do to stop this train wreck from there.

Ruby tugs again, but I’m frozen, still trying to figure out what exactly just happened. Well, I know what’s happened. I just can’t believe it.

The sound of a zipper and the rustle of clothes follows. “Thanks for that, now I’ll be able to last later tonight,” Armstrong says.

“What about me?” A female asks. Her voice is nasally and whiny.

“What about you?”

“Well I helped you, aren’t you going to help me?”

“Didn’t you come with a date?”

“Well, yes, but—” God her voice is familiar. I just can’t figure out where I know it from.

“My cousin, right? He loves my sloppy seconds. Speeches are starting. I gotta get back to my ball and chain.”

Gasps of horror ripple through the room, followed by a few giggles. These people really are assholes.

I think I’m going to throw up. I can’t believe he’s going to come out here and pretend nothing just happened. Like some other woman didn’t just have her lips around his cock. His distinctly average cock. Maybe even slightly below average in length, if I’m being one hundred percent honest.

A door opens and closes.

Lawson turns on the mic behind the podium and taps it, sending screeching feedback through the room, making people cringe. Too bad no one did that a minute ago.

Murmuring grows louder and glances flicker to the head table and then away as Brittany Thorton, a seriously skanky debutante, comes strutting through the doors, using a compact to check her lipstick. She’s made it her mission to attempt to get into the pants of half the eligible men in this room. She’s followed, not five seconds later, by a very smug-looking Armstrong.

“I’m going to kill him.” I grab the closest steak knife, but it appears my hasty, and possibly felonious, plan is unnecessary. My brothers leave their respective posts and stalk toward him. Across the room my mother is gripping my father’s arm, whispering furiously in his ear. Great. Just what I need, additional family drama.

“Oh shit,” Ruby gasps.

I follow her gaze to find Bane converging on Armstrong with my brothers. Bancroft is a tank and he used to play professional rugby. I’ve seen him with his shirt off, he’s built like a superhero and he’ll probably crush Armstrong, or at least break something. Possibly multiple somethings.

For a second I consider that Ruby should probably stop Bane from destroying Armstrong’s pretty, regal face, but then I realize I don’t actually care. In fact, the possibility that he might break Armstrong’s perfectly straight nose fills me with glee. Armstrong’s wellbeing is no longer my concern, it’s more about Bane ending up in prison for murder.

“I hope Armstrong has a good plastic surgeon, he’s going to need it once Bane is done with him.” Ruby echoes my internal hopes and her chair tips as she jumps up. “Come on, let’s get you out of here.” She nods to the right.

I notice my mother and father engaged in a heated discussion with Armstrong’s parents. I really don’t need this right now. Not the drama. Not the humiliation. All I wanted was a nice wedding. Instead I end up with a husband who gets a blow job during our reception—and it’s broadcast to everyone attending.

Ruby urges me into action. “Don’t worry about them. Get your stuff and we’ll get you the hell out of here. I’ll have the limo meet you by the entrance near your bridal suite as soon as I can.”

I nod and stumble unsteadily to my feet, thanks to having consumed the better part of a bottle of wine in the last minute and a half. It’s amazing how ninety seconds can change a person’s entire life.

All hell breaks loose as more men jump in to either pummel or extract Armstrong from the pummeling. I grab my clutch and phone from the table, gather up my stupid, too puffy gown, and head for the bridal suite, where I had prepared for what was supposed to be the most amazing day of my life. And now it’s likely the worst, at least I hope the mortification level I’m experiencing can’t exceed this. I feel like the foulest version of Cinderella ever.

I rush down the empty hall and grab the doorknob as I fumble around in my clutch for the key. I’m surprised when it turns. I thought I’d locked it before we left for the ceremony. Regardless, I need to get away from everyone before I either lose it or commit a felony. Maybe both. Murder in the first. Armstrong will be my victim. And maybe that horrible skank, Brittany.

I thrust the door open and slam it closed behind me, locking it from the inside. Tears threaten to spill over and ruin my makeup. Not that it matters since there’s no way I’m going out there again. I can’t believe my forever lasted less than twelve hours. I can’t believe the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life loving couldn’t be faithful to me for even one day. What the hell is wrong with me? With him? I’m as devastated as I am angry and embarrassed. Once I annul this farce of a marriage I’ll become a spinster. I should probably go ahead and adopt six or seven cats tonight.

“I need to get out of this dress,” I say to myself. I reach behind me and pull the bow at the base of my spine. Instead of unfurling, it knots and I only succeed in pulling it tighter. Of course my dress has to be difficult. I growl my annoyance and rush over to my dressing table where my makeup and perfume are scattered from earlier today. Half a mimosa sits unconsumed beside the vase of red roses Armstrong had delivered.

The card read: I can’t wait to spend forever loving you.

What a load of bullshit. I drain the contents of the champagne flute, not caring that the drink is warm and flat. Then I throw the glass, because it feels good and the sound of shattering crystal is satisfying. Next I heave the vase of roses, which explodes impressively against the wall, splattering water and shards of glass across the floor.

I yank out a couple of the drawers and find a pair of scissors. They actually look more like gardening shears and seem rather out of place, but I don’t question it. Instead I reach behind me with my back to the mirror and awkwardly try to cut myself free. It’s not easy with the way I have to crane my neck.

“Goddammit! I need to get out of this stupid dress!” I yell at my reflection. I think I might actually be losing it just a touch now. I stop messing around with the laces in the back and shove the scissors down the front. I nearly nick myself with the blade—they’re a lot sharper than I realized—but that doesn’t slow me down. I start hacking my way through the bodice; layers of satin, lace, and intricate beading sliced apart with every vicious snip.

I just want out of this nightmare.

 

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About the Author

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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New Release – Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes the next sexy, standalone novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series… Don’t miss the amazing excerpt and giveaway below, and grab your copy today!

 

 

Meet cute…

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry…

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself… just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spencer immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

…and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime

 

 

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Excerpt

At the unexpected sight of Spence, Colbie startled hard. How was it that he was the one who needed glasses and yet she’d not seen him standing against the window? “No, I don’t kill a lot of people,” she said cautiously because she was wearing only a towel in front of a strange man. “But I’m happy to make an exception.”

He laughed, a rough rumble that was more than a little contagious but she controlled herself because, hello, she was once again dripping wet before the man who seemed to make her knees forget to hold her up.

“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said and pushed off the wall to come close.

She froze, but he held up his hands like, I come in peace, and crouched at her feet to scoop up the clothes she hadn’t realized she’d dropped.

Leggings, a long forgiving tee, and the peach silk bra-and-panty set that hadn’t gotten so much as a blink from the TSA guy.

But it got one out of Spence. He also swallowed hard as she snatched them back from him.

“Hold on,” he said and caught her arm, pulling it toward him to look at her bleeding elbow.

“Sit,” he said and gently pushed her down to a weight bench. He vanished into the bathroom and came back out with a first aid kit.

It took him less than two minutes to clean and bandage the scrape. Then, easily balanced at her side on the balls of his feet, he did the same for both her knees, which she hadn’t noticed were also scraped up.

“You must’ve hit the brick coping as you fell in the fountain,” he said and let his thumb slide over the skin just above one bandaged knee.

She shivered, and not from the cold either. “Not going to kiss it better?” she heard herself ask before biting her tongue for running away with her good sense.

She’d raised her younger twin brothers. Scrappy, roughhouse wild animals, the both of them so there’d been plenty of injuries she’d kissed over the years.

But no one had ever kissed hers. Not surprising, since most of her injuries tended to be on the inside, where they didn’t show. Still, she was horrified she’d said anything at all. “I didn’t mean—” She broke off, frozen like a deer in the headlights as Spence slowly lowered his head, brushing his lips over the Band-Aid on her elbow, then her knees.

When he lifted his head, he pushed his glasses higher on his nose, those whiskey eyes warm and amused behind his lenses. “Better?”

 

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And don’t miss the previous books in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, now available! Grab your copies HERE!

 

About the Author

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

 

 

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Excerpt & New Release – The Corner of Forever & Always by Lia Riley

Title: THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS

Author: Lia Riley

Series: Everland, Georgia #2

On Sale: September 26, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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Fairy tales aren’t ever what they seem . . .

Tuesday Knight’s dream of Broadway stardom has flopped, leaving her unemployed and brokenhearted. Ready to quit kissing frogs and make her own happily-ever-after, she takes a job as a princess in Everland, Georgia’s historical amusement park.

Mayor Beau Marino lives an unenchanted existence-all work, no play-which is fine by him. After his marriage ended in disaster, the last thing he wants in his life is more drama. But Everland’s new free spirit has a talent for getting under his starched collar.

When the town’s beloved but bankrupt park might be shut down, Tuesday and Beau face a choice. Can they join forces, save the day-and each other? Or will their fierce battle of wills destroy any chance of a fairy-tale ending?

In the tradition of New York Times bestselling authors Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Marina Adair, comes the second book in Lia Riley’s Everland, Georgia series about two city sisters finding love in a small town.

 

 

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BFF K’s Review Coming SOON!

 

 

Excerpt

“I’m nervous.” The tightness in his tone backed up the muscles bunching near the hinge in his jaw. And the simple, honest admission did something to her that no amount of flirtatious back-and-forth ever would.

“So am I.” She began buttering the dish. “Who taught you how to cook?”

He stirred the chocolate in the double boiler, hands clenching the spoon. “Mama used to say that a man needed to know three things: how to fix a dessert, iron his own shirt and sew a button. That some day future women would thank her.”

  “Smart lady.” Tuesday laughed, grateful for a moment to recalibrate, to slow her racing heart. “I suck at ironing by the way.”

                  Beau gave her a resolute stare. “I make my own starch.”

                  “Stop.” She nearly dropped the dishtowel. “No, you don’t.”

                  “One tablespoon of cornstarch in two cups of water.”

                  Her gaze fixed on the rare smile tugging the corner of his mouth. The revelation was oddly endearing. “I’m not sure whether to be impressed or terrified.”

                  “Your mama didn’t teach you these things?”

                  Tuesday thought. “We grew up in small town Maine.”

                  “Sounds cold.”

                  “So, so cold. So much snow. So much cold. Beautiful though.”

                  “I’d like to check it out, in summer.”

                  “Yeah, good idea. My dad ran a maple sugarbush farm, made homemade maple syrup. Mom was his opposite. He loved being outdoors. She liked being inside. I guess they were opposites,  must have attracted at some point but over time they repelled each other. Pushed one another further and further away. She left when I was in high school. Moved down to New Hampshire where she was from and met a banker. They live in the suburbs. She has a housekeeper now.”

                  “She abandoned your family?”

                  “I. . .you know, I don’t know. My sister thinks so. I was the baby. My mom used to love to style my hair. She could do so many intricate braids. We didn’t have much money but she’d shop at thrift stores and garage sales and find me cute dresses. Sometimes I’d find her sad and I’d try to cheer her up. I’d ask her to brush my hair and she would,  even though sometimes I could hear her sniffling and I knew if I turned around I’d see her crying.”

                  Tears sprang to her eyes and she ground her fists into them. “Wow. Hello! Where’d these come from.” God, way to keep things light. Her inconvenient emotions would probably sink the night.

                  “I’m sorry that happened.”

                  “Me too.” She took a breath. Then another.

“Can we return to the regularly scheduled programming? Chocolate is always the cure.”

                  Beau looked like he might press forward but changed his mind at the last moment. “My mama taught me how to separate yolks from whites. Can I show you?”

                  “I won’t pretend that I have skills. Instruct away.”

                  “Okay, pick an egg, any egg.”

                  She selected a brown one and he stepped behind her, her back heating against his  chest. His arms slid over hers. “Now what you do is give it a tap to open the shell. No! Not so big, just a little one.” His hand engulfed hers, guiding the movement. “Good. That’s real good. Now let the yolk settle in one side. That’s it. Now you start to transfer the egg back and forth and back and forth, let the white run out like that until voila! All you have left is the yolk.”

                  Tuesday gawked at the golden yolk in the shell. “Martha Stewart eat your heart out.”

                  He checked the chocolate and milk, it had melted down into a decadent pool.

                  “Can we eat that as is? I’m sure the souffle is amazing and all but hey, a bowl of melted warm chocolate is going to do me fine.”

                  His laugh was just as decadently rich. “Haven’t you ever heard that good things come to those who wait?”

                  “Sure, by people waiting,” she quipped. “They need something to tell themselves.”

                  That really got him going, his deep laugh rich as sun-warmed molasses. “Let me make you a deal.”

                  “I’m not agreeing until I hear the terms.”

                  “Smart woman. When you have this dessert, you are going to say it’s better than the best sex you’ve ever had.”

                  She set her hands on her hips. “You have a low opinion of my sex life.”

                  “Nah.” He winked. “Just a very high opinion on my soufflé.”

                  She arched a brow. “You’re on.”

                  Standing behind her he continued to help guide her effortlessly through measurements and pouring, mixing and stirring. He didn’t grind on her or get perverted, not that she’d have minded. Chocolate was meant to be an aphrodisiac and she’d never experienced anything so sexily mundane as chatting over nothings in the kitchen with a man who didn’t try to cop a feel. He appreciated and and even savored her for who she was and what she offered which right now was fully dressed fairly polite company.

                  In fifteen minutes he opened the oven and slid the soufflé in.

“And now?”

                  “We wait,” he answered. “Until it’s puffed on top and jiggly in the center.”

                  “You have a way of making cooking sexy.”

                  “Do I? I guess that helps even the field.”

                  “How so?”

                  “You make breathing look sexy.” His gaze lingered on hers for a few beats before he turned and began to wash the dishes.

She stared at the back of his head, his broad shoulders, his narrow hips, blinking in surprise. He seemed wholly unaware that he’d broken her heart and put it back together, refashioned into something new, stronger and brighter.

 

 

Read the Rest of the Everland, Georgia Series

IT HAPPENED ON LOVE STREET, #1

THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS, #2

Series Page on Goodreads

 

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About the Author

 

Lia Riley is a contemporary romance author. USA Today describes her as “refreshing” and RT Book Reviews calls her books “sizzling and heartfelt.” She loves her husband, three kids, wandering redwood forests and a perfect pour over coffee. She is 25% sarcastic, 54% optimistic, and 122% bad at math (good thing she writes happy endings for a living). She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

 

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Review – One Night by Aleatha Romig

 

 

A sweet, fun, and sexy stand-alone romance from New York Times bestselling author Aleatha Romig.

One night to remember

Is that too much to desire?

One night for fun, passion, and a chance to remember what it’s like to be a woman.
I’m not looking for love.
There’s a man in my life who loves me with all his heart. He has beautiful blue eyes, is three feet tall, and calls me mommy.
He’s my whole world and I’m his. Fate stole his daddy way too soon.
What would happen if I allowed fate another chance, just for one night?

One night to help a friend

Why did I agree to this?
Blind dates are disasters. If I weren’t helping the friend of a friend, I wouldn’t go.
I’m not looking for romance, love, or even a one-night stand.
After all, the man my friend knew is gone. I’m no longer the hockey star known for his “pep” on the ice and in the sack. I have a new life, and a new career—a new passion. I’m not looking for more.
When the blind date is a bust, could fate change everything?

One night doesn’t end with a kiss—it begins with one.

Be ready to laugh, cry, and fall head over heels as you meet Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha in this new sweet and sexy stand-alone romance, ONE NIGHT.

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BFF K’s Review of One Night

 

Amanda had a wonderful life. She was married to her childhood sweetheart, her brother’s best friend. Until he was killed on a military deployment leaving her a young widow and single mom. Amanda has virtually put her own life on hold and is going through the motions of living day today until she meets Malcolm.

Malcolm is more or less starting a brand new life. New city. New career. New leaf. Gone are the nameless faceless puck bunny hook ups of his past. But with so many new things happening in his life, he’s not looking for any kind of relationship.

But what happens in a sweet and endearing love story when two characters are least looking for love? That’s right, they find each other! What follows is a fast and fabulous, whirlwind, life-changing romance that will leave you grinning and cheering for the inevitable HEA!

I enjoyed Amanda’s cautious approach to this new love. And, Malcolm is lovely, patient and kind. And did I mention patient? This sweet romance can be finished in no time at all and is a perfect pallet cleanser before or after your next dark and intense or angst-filled read!

 

 

 

 

An advance copy of this book was received. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

 

 

Excerpt

Mandy

When we finally pull apart, before I can speak or even contemplate what happened, Malcolm’s blue eyes shine down on me, taking me in and reading me.

His voice rumbles through the background commotion of the bar. “You taste like sweet wine and smell like perfume and desire.”

Warmth fills my cheeks. “You taste like good beer.”

“Good? You’re a beer connoisseur?”

I shrug. “Mostly, I know cheap beer.”

He lifts my chin, bringing his indigo eyes into focus. The room disappears, making those blue orbs all I can see.

“I’m a connoisseur,” he says as his thumb gently rubs over my bruised lips. “And you, beautiful Mandy, if you were a beer, would never be a cheap one. No, you’re a rich custom craft brew. I see it in your eyes, feel it in your touch, and smell it in the air. Kissing a stranger isn’t something you do, is it?”

I try to move my eyes away, but Malcolm’s grip of my chin is unrelenting. Meeting his gaze, I reply, “No. I won’t even bore you with how long it’s been since I’ve kissed a real man.”

His eyes sparkle. “You kiss fake men?”

“Boys. Well, only one actually.”

“You kiss boys…” And then, as if the reality of his statement hits home, he asks, “You have a son?”

My heart flutters, its speed increasing by the second. “I do, but I don’t want to talk about him. Not because he isn’t important for he is—he’s my world—but because tonight isn’t about him. It’s about me.” I can’t gauge Malcolm’s reaction. I can only guess that he’s assuming that I’m some needy woman trying to get a man to take on the responsibility of a kid who isn’t his.

I reach out and splay my fingers over his chest. His heart is beating to match mine. “I don’t want to talk about him,” I continue, “because he’ll never know about you—I’ll never tell him and never introduce you. Don’t worry. I’m not after a man to rescue me. I’m perfectly content with my life as a mother. I just wanted to remember what it felt like to be a woman…for just one night.”

“I’m not anti-children—”

I shake my head. “Stop. That doesn’t matter.” It’s then that I notice the filled glasses on the table and laugh. “When did the waitress come?”

Malcolm bows his head until our noses touch. He inhales deeply, his eyes closing as his hand falls to my lap. “I’d say just after you.”

More heat floods my cheeks. “I-I didn’t…”

“Then we need to do something about that.” He looks again at the full glasses. “I think the drinks came while my tongue was busy getting to know your sweet mouth.” His hand splays over my thigh.

My breathing hitches. “Malcolm?”

“You said you want one night. One night doesn’t end with a kiss. It begins with one.”

 

About the Author

aleatharomig1Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

2017 brings Aleatha’s first “Leatha, the lighter side of Aleatha” with PLUS ONE, a fun, sexy romantic comedy.

Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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Excerpt – Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

 

Christmas will be here before we know it, let’s get in the spirit!

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes the next sexy, standalone novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series… Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below, and preorder your copy today!

 

 

 

Meet cute…

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry…

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself… just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spencer immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

…and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime

 

 

Pre-Order CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE in ebook or paperback, releasing 9/26/17

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo| Barnes & Noble

 

 

Add to your Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt from Chasing Christmas Eve

#Motherforker

The elevator doors opened onto the fifth floor, Spence’s private floor. He guided Colbie off the elevator into a lobby with four doors. One led to the stairwell—which Elle came out of with Daisy Duke in tow, perfectly behaved now, of course.

Two more doors led to Spence’s private penthouse apartment and office. The last one opened directly into his gym. They went through that door, and while Elle flicked on lights and hit the alarm pad to enter his code, Spence heard Colbie gasp. He turned back quickly to find her staring in awe out the windows at the sun setting over the bay.

“Wow,” she breathed, still shaking but taking the time to eye the 180-degree vista of the city as she hugged herself in his jacket. He knew that from where she stood, she could see the rest of Cow Hollow, and past that, Fort Mason Park, the Marina Green, and the bay.

And he thought it was pretty wow too. He loved this view. It was one of the many reasons he’d bought the building in the first place.

I wouldn’t be able to work out to this view,” she said.

“Never gets old for me either.” Spence pulled out his phone to crank up the heat from his app before remembering he hadn’t dried the phone out yet. He had to actually use the control panel on the wall before going to her at the window. When he was stuck in his own head and unable to get anywhere with his work, he liked to stare out at the city that was more home to him than anywhere else had ever been.

“I love it,” she breathed. “I feel like from right here I can see all the way to the ends of the Earth.”

He knew what she meant. Out beyond the bay stretched the Pacific Ocean in all its deep-blue majesticness, clear to the gently curved horizon.

“I could so write to this view,” she went on in a hushed, amazed voice and turned to Elle, who was working out her thumbs—on her phone. “This is such a great building. I saw the pub downstairs. And the coffee shop and that cute reclaimed-wood furniture place. What else is there?”

“More shops and businesses,” Elle said, her thumbs still going, Daisy Duke at her side falling asleep standing up. “An eclectic mix on the first and second floors. Residential apartments on three and four.”

“I don’t suppose you have any apartments available for a short-term rental?” Colbie asked hopefully. “I’m only going to be here until Christmas Eve but would happily pay for the whole month to stay here.”

“Sorry,” Elle said. “But no.”

Spence met Elle’s gaze. She was the mother figure he didn’t need, the bossy-as-hell sister he’d never asked for, and his favorite and most important employee, but she was also a colossal pain in his ass. “What Elle means,” he said, “is that she doesn’t know of anything offhand but I’m sure she could check it out for you.”

“Hmm,” Elle said and nudged a trembling Colbie toward the shower area. “The restroom’s through that door. Fresh towels under the sink. Go get warmed up.”

Colbie, apparently too cold to further argue, nodded. She shut the door behind herself and they heard the lock click into place.

Cute, sexy, and smart.

“Are you kidding me?” Elle asked him, keeping her voice low.

“What?”

“Don’t ‘what’ me. You know what. You’re in the middle of saving the world right now for Clarissa, remember? So please tell me what the hell you think you’re doing.”

They heard the shower come on from inside the bathroom. “Look,” he said, trying to not picture Colbie stripping out of her clothes. “I got her into this mess. This is the least I can do.”

“No,” she said. “The least you could do is give her a hundred bucks for her trouble and send her on her way.”

“Cold, Elle, even for you.”

“Did you even get a last name on her? Or what she does for a living? Did you vet her in any way?”

“For what?” he asked. “I’m the one who ruined her day, not the other way around.”

“And how about the way she reacted to you even thinking about touching her phone? Did you notice that little red flag?”

“Of course. And I wouldn’t have let a stranger touch my phone either,” he said. “Hell, I barely let you touch it.”

“You know what I’m getting at,” she said. “Maybe she has something to hide, Spence.”

Or maybe she was in trouble. She’d denied that but he couldn’t help but think of her sweet eyes and the haunted depths he’d seen in them. “She needs a place to stay. Give her the empty furnished apartment I’m holding on the third floor.”

“We don’t do short-term rentals here. By your own decree.”

“We do today.”

There was a beat of silence. Since Elle was never silent, it had to be shock.

“You hold that open for a reason,” she finally said.

“Yeah, and so far Eddie’s refused to come in off the streets, hasn’t he?” Yet another problem he hadn’t been able to solve, which tightened the ever-present knot in his chest. “Make the rent cheap because she’s a struggling writer—she probably doesn’t have much money.”

Elle’s mouth fell open. “She’s a writer? Are you kidding me?”

“Not a reporter,” he said. “A fiction writer.”

Elle just continued to stare at him. “Are you even listening to yourself?”

“Look, I got her knocked into the fountain and it’s butt-ass cold out there, and she rolled with it.” He remembered Colbie’s throaty laugh and it made him smile even now. “She’d been a really good sport about it.”

“Maybe she had a good reason,” Elle said. “Maybe she was trying to get close to you. Hell, maybe she is a reporter and the whole thing’s a setup.”

“Come on,” he said. “She couldn’t have known Daisy Duke would send her sprawling into the fountain. This happened on my property—I’m making it right, end of story.”

“Fine.” Elle pulled out her phone, which had gone off four thousand times in the past four minutes. “But I’d like to remind your stubborn ass that you’ve not been yourself since this whole media thing. You need to be more cautious about connecting with a stranger who appeared basically out of nowhere.”

“She’s not running a con on me.”

“I’m not saying she is, but we both know you’ve been screwed over, twice if we’re counting, and you haven’t come to terms with the betrayal yet. So just be careful, okay? That’s all I’m saying.” She pointed at him. “And remember, you’re the smartest person in this building and probably the smartest person I’ll ever meet. Use your powers for good.”

He had to laugh. “Ditto.”

She blew out a sigh, gave him a quick hug, and then she and Daisy Duke were gone.

Spence let his smile slip as he walked across the room to check the thermostat again. He’d heard what Elle had to say, and he got it. He was still stinging, and he wasn’t himself. Added to that was the project for Clarissa. The unfinished project. It was critical work, more important than anything he’d ever done, and it was kicking his ass. He was on a deadline and could feel it breathing down his neck every single day that passed. He could afford no break in his concentration and efforts.

A problem now that 99 percent of his brain had short-circuited over the thought of Colbie naked in his shower…

He heard the water go off and he pictured her wrapping herself in his towel. Dripping wet… Shoving his hands in his pickets, he moved to the window and looked out at the view that had so impressed her. Once upon a time he couldn’t have imagined living in a place like this, much less owning it. But he’d conquered the shitty hand that life had dealt him.

And he’d do it again if he had to.

The bathroom door opened, and even better than h is fantasy, Colbie emerged from a cloud of steam, her willowy body wrapped in one of his towels, her exposed skin gleaming and dewy damp. Her hair had been piled on top of her head, but wavy strands had escaped, clinging to her neck and shoulders.

He couldn’t tear his gaze off of her. There was just something so uncalculated about her, so…natural and easy. She was like a beacon to him, which was both crazy and more than a little terrifying.

Clearly not seeing him against the wall, she moved with an effortless grace to the suitcase she’d left at the door. Bending low enough to give him a near heart attack, she rifled through her things, mumbling to herself that she should’ve researched more about how to be a normal person instead of how to kill someone with an everyday object.

“Do you kill a lot of people, then?” Spence asked.

“Motherforker!” she said with a startled squeak of surprise, whirling to face him, almost losing her grip on the towel.

Five days a week, Spence worked out hard in this gym. Mostly to outrun his demons, but the upside was he could run miles without losing his breath. But he lost his breath now.

And that wasn’t his body’s only reaction.

 

 

 

 

 

And don’t miss the previous books in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, ONE SNOWY NIGHT and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, now available! Grab your copies HERE!

 

About the Author

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

 

 

 

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