Review – Salvaged by Jay Crownover

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series with the next thrilling standalone, SALVAGED! Don’t miss this amazing new novel and grab your copy today!

 

 

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Salvaged

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Sometimes you come upon a series that you just want to live inside. You fall in love with the characters and the setting and their stories. You dream about their lives and their families and you desperately hope that they all find happily ever afters. Jay Crownover has delivered that experience and more with the Marked Men and Saints of Denver Series. And Salvaged is the PERFECT end to this ride!

Poppy has been damaged and abused at the hands of the people in her life who are supposed to love her. She lives her life skirting the edges. She hides away from most of the world, both the good and the bad. But, at her core, Poppy is a nurturer and a fighter. Wheeler sees it all. He sees her scars and her fears but he also sees her bravery and her hopes. Wheeler is book boyfriend perfection. He’s a strong, independent, nurturing, patient, loving, caring man that fights for the woman he loves and deserves to be her partner.

I’m kind of heartbroken that this is the final chapter in this series and I will miss all of the characters so much, but none more so than Poppy and Wheeler. They’re the couple that feels so familiar you will think about them in weeks and months to come and wonder how they are before you remember that they’re not real and it breaks your heart all over again. You would not need to read the rest of the series to enjoy Salvaged, but you absolutely should.

I think everyone needs to read Salvaged and welcome Poppy and Wheeler onto your bookshelf and into your heart. Their love and their HEA are perfection. You’ll want a Wheeler of your own before the book is done. Make sure to one-click Salvaged today. In a few weeks when you’re still thinking about Poppy, Wheeler, and the gang, you can message me and we’ll commiserate together!

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

dual point of view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

I didn’t want her to be scared of anything ever again.

Things at home had been rocky, rougher than class-five rapids in winter, but I was paddling for my life and prepared to ride it out. I couldn’t let go. I wouldn’t let go. I saw Poppy the day she walked through my shop and I started to feel how sore my hands and my heart were from holding on.

Her head was down, focused on the tips of her shoes. Her shoulders were hunched over and her long hair hid her face. She was skinny, so skinny, nothing but skin and bones. She was nothing that I should have noticed, not because she was clearly doing everything in her power to be invisible, but because I was supposed to have my eyes locked on my future and doing whatever I could do to salvage it. But I did notice her and I couldn’t look away once I did.

She was obviously terrified, clearly out of her element and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t her unease that called to me…it was her loneliness. I could feel it filling up the space that separated us. Stretching, growing, expanding until it was all I was breathing in and exhaling back out. It was bitter on my tongue and heavy across my skin because I knew the feeling well. I lived with it pressing me down and pushing me forward every minute of every day. The reason I was so set on the way things had to be, the reason I was singlemindedly set on settling down and building a life with the girl that was slipping through my fingers was because I never again wanted to be as alone as this girl was. I didn’t want to be left and forgotten. I’d barely survived it the first time.

I did my best to sell her a car that was as beautiful as she was…a classic with clean lines and a flawless finish. She picked something practical and boring but that was ultimately safe and reliable. I understood her choice but it grated and annoyed me long after she left the shop. When she wasn’t standing in front of me, she should have been easy to forget; after all, everything in front of me, everything I had been working for and toward, was falling down in front of my eyes. My world was collapsing in on itself and everything I thought I was so goddamn sure about turned out to be nothing more than lies and illusions. In the middle of all of it, I couldn’t forget her sad eyes and shivering, shaking form. Her loneliness clung to me, unshakable and unforgettable. I didn’t think I would see her again and against my better judgment I often found myself wondering how she was doing and if she had gotten a handle on all the things that seemed to be crushing her under their inescapable weight.

I was wrong about seeing her again, just like I was wrong about thinking that doing everything in my life differently from how my mother had lived hers would ensure my happiness and a future built on an unshakeable foundation. I was wrong about hard work and sacrifice being enough. I was wrong about holding on when what I was holding on to desperately wanted me to let go. All I was left with was bleeding palms, rope burns around my heart and scars on my soul.

The next time I saw Poppy Cruz it was my loneliness that was filling up the space, suffocating me, choking me, making me forget to handle her with care. I was nothing more than a vast, open wound. One that was raw, aching, throbbing, and leaking my heart and shattered emotions out everywhere. I felt like I’d lost everything, like my entire life had been nothing but a waste of time, nothing more than building blocks knocked over with the swipe of a careless hand. The girl I loved didn’t love me back, my future was ultimately nothing more than a fuzzy, fractured blur. I couldn’t see anything clearly other than waste and ruin.

But I saw her. And I saw that I scared her.

It was the last thing I wanted to do but my loneliness was just as big and just as consuming as hers was. It spread out, hungry and angry, looking to consume anyone that might try and challenge its reign.

I tried to pull myself together, apologized because I knew our paths would cross again now that she lived next door to my best friend. I didn’t want to be another man that she was terrified of. I locked the loneliness down, wrestled it into submission, and tried to quiet down the wild inside of me that was howling, screaming at the loss of its mate. I wanted to be nothing more than gnashing teeth and tearing claws but I swallowed those instincts and allowed myself to be like a kicked puppy that just wanted to whimper and cry.

Poppy had been through more than I could imagine. She was the one I couldn’t look away from, but even then, she managed to slip past me and disappear. She looked like honey but she moved like a ghost. I memorized everything about her even though she hardly let me see her face.

I wasn’t supposed to be looking at anything other than how to salvage the mess my life was in, but she was all I could see.

 

 

 

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 About the Author

 

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her dogs.

 

 

 

 

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Cover Reveal – Martinis and Moonlight by Andrea Johnston

Today the BFF’s have the cover reveal for Martinis & Moonlight by Andrea Johnston! Check it out and be sure to preorder your copy today! BFF K has read this book and it’s the best in the series (so far!)

 

Title: Martinis & Moonlight

Author: Andrea Johnston

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 28th

 

Minnesota “Minnie” Walker has worked hard for the life she has – a close knit family, successful career, and long-term relationship. When a tragedy strikes, Minnie sacrifices everything to be there for her family. Never expecting a move to the small town of Lexington would change the course of her future, Minnie finds herself wondering if what she always thought was perfect is really what’s best for her … and her heart.

Owen Butler has lived in the town of Lexington his entire life. After years of feeling second best and wasting his time vying for the attention of his father, Owen has settled into an uncomplicated life. Not one to believe in happily ever after, he never expected the new woman in town to have him questioning everything he thought he wanted in life.

Together, under the rays of the moonlight, Owen and Minnie find themselves wondering what the future holds and if facing it together is worth the risk.

 

 

Martinis & Moonlight:

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Whiskey & Honey (A Country Road Novel Book 1)

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Tequila & Tailgates (A Country Road Novel Book 2):

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Excerpt

She stands and walks to a file cabinet against the wall, tugging on the drawer with no luck in opening it. I can see from my seat that the drawer is slightly crooked. It’s going to take two people to get it back on its tracks. I stand and walk over to where she’s unsuccessfully pushing the drawer.

“It’s off the tracks. I’ll pull on this side, you push on that. We’ll get it on the tracks.”

Together, we push and pull making little progress until suddenly, the drawer jerks open. I step aside and allow Minnie to thumb through the files until she finds one she wants and snags it from the drawer. I reach out to close the cabinet as she does the same. Only, I’m not fast enough and my fingers pay the price when the drawer slams closed.

“Mother fuck…” Sonofabitch that hurt. I begin shaking my hand as if the movement will somehow stop the throbbing in my fingers. Tears prick at my eyes, the pain is so intense.

“Oh, my God! Owen! Oh shit, I’m so sorry! Let me see.” I watch as she tosses the file in her hands toward a shelf before she takes my hand in hers. She begins examining my fingers closely and ever so gently, assessing my injury. I throw my head back and breathe in and out through my nose, trying to regulate my breathing and avoid speaking the long list of cuss words on the tip of my tongue. That hurt almost as bad as the time I smacked myself with the hammer.

Minnie takes my fingers between her hands and adds a little pressure while massaging them. “Is that helping? I’m so sorry. I should get some ice.”

“It’s fine,” I say gruffly. I don’t attempt to pull my hand from hers, but instead allow her to keep rubbing my hand, gently blowing on my fingers. “Why are you blowing on it? It’s not hot.”

Minnie mumbles something under her breath but doesn’t stop touching me. Now her movements have slowed a little, though she still hasn’t let me go.

“What was that, Minnesota?”

“I said, ‘you are.’ Ugh, this is so embarrassing,” she sighs, letting go of my hand. Instead of letting her get away with that, I grab her hand. The shock on her face is evident as she looks at me, wide-eyed. I like this look on her. The element of surprise shows a little more of who Minnie is deep down.

“You think I’m hot?” Like I can’t help myself, my tone teases and my brows wiggle.

“Oh, shut up.” She attempts to pull away from me but I don’t let her. “You know you’re hot. All of you.” The hand not held by mine waves around expressively. “It’s really unfair to the women of this town. And flirtatious, the whole bunch of you. I mean, is that something they taught you in high school?” She looks up at me, her eyes bright and a smile on her face. “Is it? Something like How to give smoldering looks across a room 101? Who taught it? Mr. Casanova?”

She does this weird eye twitch, an attempt to dramatically roll her eyes, I assume. It’s a fair attempt, but unsuccessful. Her embarrassment shows and I note that this woman – beautiful, sometimes shy, and sarcastic – is one that must render every grown man she encounters speechless by just being in their presence.

“Nah, we didn’t need a class. I think we were all born with it. Something in the Lexington water.” We both laugh and I look down and realize I’m still holding her hand. I rub my thumb across her knuckles. A move she was just making herself, but mine has a completely different undertone.

 

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About the Author

Andrea Johnston spent her childhood with her nose in a book and a pen to paper. An avid people watcher, her mind is full of stories that yearn to be told.  A fan of angsty romance with a happy ending, super sexy erotica and a good mystery, Andrea can always be found with her Kindle nearby fully charged.

Andrea lives in Idaho with her family and two dogs.  When she isn’t spending time with her partner in crime aka her husband, she can be found binge watching all things Bravo and enjoying a cocktail. Nothing makes her happier than the laughter of her children, a good book, her feet in the water, and cocktail in hand all at the same time.

 

 

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New Release – Easy Fortune by Kristen Proby

From New York Times Bestselling author Kristen Proby, comes a passionate new romance—EASY FORTUNE! A Boudreaux Series novella, this standalone second chance romance features Mallory’s best friend Lena! Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below and grab your copy of EASY FORTUNE today!

 

About EASY FORTUNE (A Boudreaux Series Novella):

The Boudreaux Series—Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.

Sometimes the past is better left behind you…

Lena Turner has spent her life as the outsider. Thanks to her extraordinary gifts, she’s learned to be independent—especially when it comes to men. She’s content to live her life in New Orleans as a schoolteacher, dating casually and dedicated to her small family. Long term is not part of her plan.

Sometimes the past catches up with you…

Leaving Lena behind to pursue his career was the most difficult thing Mason Coulter ever did. He told himself that it was for the best, had even convinced himself that he had only Lena’s best interests in mind. But now, after six long years, he’s back in New Orleans to settle his late eccentric aunt’s estate. All he has to do is get in and out of the city without submitting to the need to see Lena. But to Mason’s dismay, his aunt made other plans.

And sometimes the future and the past collide…

Having Mason walk back into her life is something Lena never saw coming. She could refuse to help him, but she’s never been good at telling Mason no. So she’ll do what she can to get the estate settled and Mason out of her life for good.

At least, that’s the plan. But Mason has plans of his own…

 

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Excerpt from Easy Fortune

I wipe the back of my hand over my forehead and glance at my notes when suddenly, the air in the room shifts.

It’s subtle, but I feel it. The hair stands up on my neck. I haven’t felt this in six years.

“You can get back in your Ferrari and go away,” I say casually without looking over at the doorway and do my best to ignore the damn zoo that’s come awake in my stomach.

“I don’t have a Ferrari,” he replies. His voice hasn’t changed at all. It’s thick like melted milk chocolate, and he still has his southern accent. I don’t know why that surprises me.

“Well, whatever horse you rode in on? Ride back out on it.”

I hear him sigh, but I refuse to look at him. Because just one look will suck me in, and I’ve vowed never to be sucked in by Mason Coulter ever again.

“It’s good to see you, Lena.”

“Mm hmm.” I pretend to study my notes, but I don’t actually see the words anymore. “Good to see you, too.”

“You haven’t even looked over here.”

I can hear the smile in his voice. It makes me cringe.

“What do you want?”

“I want you to look at me,” he replies.

“Well, we don’t always get what we want.” Yes, I’m being a bitch, and no, I’m not sorry. Mason was the one. The one that I fell head over heels for, the one that charmed the pants off of me, literally, and then he just left. He disappeared, and I was left here, wondering what in the hell happened. Wondering what I did wrong because I was twenty-two and naïve and so heartsick for him I thought I wouldn’t survive it.

But I did.

“So, you’re still mad?”

I blink rapidly for a second, and then I can’t help it. I turn and take him in, from the top of his gorgeous, dark head to the tip of his designer shoes, and my body immediately comes to life. Panties are singed. And if I thought it was hot in here ten minutes ago, it’s an inferno now.

Damn him. He just had to stay hot, didn’t he? I mean, couldn’t he have lost all of his hair? Gained a whole bunch of weight? Something?

“You could say I’m still mad,” I reply, proud of myself for sounding calm and indifferent to him, when I’m anything but indifferent. “So unless you came in here to tell me you have a terminal illness, you can just turn around and go. I’m not interested in chit chat.”

“You were always good at chit chat,” he says and flashes that perfect smile at me. But there’s something there, in his smile that tells me something isn’t quite right.

And I’m just a sucker because I’m about to ask him what it is. I should stay firm and ask him to go.

But first, I need to settle an old score.

“You know,” I begin and put the cap on the blue marker. I set it down and turn to fully face him. “The last time I saw you, you said you’d be right back.”

“I said I’d see you soon,” he says, the smile fully leaving his face now.

“And then you just bailed.”

He sighs and leans against the doorjamb. He crosses his arms over his chest and glances down at his shoes, then back up at me. “I owe you an apology for that.”

“Yeah. You do.”

“I’m sorry.” His grey eyes are holding my own, and I can see the sincerity there, hear it in his voice. “I am truly sorry, Lena.”

I nod and turn away. “Thanks.”

“And I need your help.”

Of course he does.

This couldn’t be a quick, I want to stop in to see how you are, apologize, and go on my merry way.

No, it has to be complicated.

“My Aunt Claudia passed away last week.”

“Oh, Mason.” I turn quickly, blinking rapidly. I’m so sorry. I liked her very much.”

He nods. “Thank you.”

Mason and his Aunt Claudia were very close. I believe that we all have that one special family member that we bond with, who is important in our lives, and for him, it was his aunt. He spent summers with her here in New Orleans when he was young.

“I hadn’t heard that she’d passed.” That must be what I see behind his eyes. I don’t have the psychic abilities that my best friend, Mallory, has. But I can sense things. I want to hug him, to comfort him, but I stay planted where I am because I know what his touch will do to me.

“I’d planned to come to town and quickly take care of her estate, but it seems Aunt Claudia had other plans.” He laughs humorlessly and shakes his head, looking at the ceiling. “The attorney informed me that she was very clear that you were to come with me to the reading of the will.”

“Me?” I frown. “Why? I only met her a couple of times.”

He shrugs and pushes his hand through his hair, in the say way he did six years ago. But now the muscles under his black T-shirt are more defined, tanner from all of the hours he spends outside digging around for old things.

Mason is a well-known and important archeologist.

“You know that she was a bit… eccentric.” He smiles. “It’s one of the reasons I loved her so much. She did what she wanted, and she wanted this.”

“I see.” I swallow and stare out of the windows at the trees. There’s a slight breeze today. I walk over and open the window, wiggle my fingers and feel the breeze blow in my room. “And if I refuse?”

“If you refuse, her estate will be donated to the city of New Orleans.” My head whips around to stare at him again. “I know, it’s a lot of pressure. I don’t need her money, Lena. Archeology has been good to me. But I loved her, and I’d like to do right by her.”

I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. So, he’s not here because he wanted to see me. He’s here because his aunt didn’t give him a choice. He’s right, it is a lot of pressure.

“You can think about it,” he says. He pulls a business card from his pocket and sets it on the desk closest to him. “That’s my cell number. I need to be at the attorney’s office on Friday at 2:00 in the afternoon. If you decide you’re willing to go with me, I wrote the address on the back.”

I nod, staring at the small square of white paper.

“Lena?”

“Yeah?” My gaze finds his again and he smiles, as if remembering something especially sweet.

“You look fantastic. You’ve hardly changed at all.”

“Oh, I’ve changed.”

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The Boudreaux Series!

EASY LOVE-FREE for a limited time only
EASY CHARM-$.99 for a limited time only
EASY MELODY-$1.99 for a limited time only
EASY KISSES
EASY FOR KEEPS: A Boudreaux Novella
EASY MAGIC

EASY NIGHTS-Coming June 27th! Preorder Now!

 

About the Author

 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

 

Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

 

 

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Review – Black Tie Optional by Ann Marie Walker

 

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker’s new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional, which New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst calls, “a fun, sexy romp that will keep every reader entertained!”

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips – on the surface he’s pure perfection.

Too bad he’s an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.

Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober. Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.

Buy Black Tie Optional TODAY!

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BFF K’s Review of Black Tie Optional

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Black Tie Optional is an absolute delight! Ann Marie Walker has delivered a laugh out loud page turner with fun and quirky characters that will have you ready for more the minute you turn the final page!

Olivia and Cole are total opposites. She’s an activist vegetarian, trying to save the world one species at a time. He’s a hard-nosed billionaire out to prove to the world that his success is his own. They couldn’t be more different. And those differences are the spark that lights a fuse. Throughout the book they go from enemies to frenemies to frenemies with benies and more. Their personal progressions and the development of their relationship is such a fun ride!

Black Tie Optional will have you giggling at the thoughts in Olivia’s head and her crazy antics (hello Vegas!) And, you’ll love Cole’s straight-talking, no nonsense approach to everything. The two of them together are so much fun! Black Tie Optional is a great escape and everything you look for in a Rom Com! I can’t wait for more in the Wild Wedding Series!

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

Excerpt

Chapter One

          Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago’s morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.

            A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle’s interior. Two leather captain’s chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar.  Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his back seat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn’t keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn’t the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?

            Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the back seat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips – everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you’ve-screamed-so-loud-you-can’t-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.

            “Mr. Grant,” she began.

            The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. “Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise,” he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.

            He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. “You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant.”     

            “I’ve tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full.”

            “Pity,” he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. “Please, after you.” 

            Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous. As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole’s gaze raked her from head to toe, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.

            She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn’t just the laser like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn’t looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.

            “Suit yourself,” he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk. 

            Not so fast. She took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter.  “Mr. Grant, as I’m sure you’re aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”

            “Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?” He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand.  “Ah, it seems I spoke too soon.”

            “This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what—”

            “Those really are the most vile creatures,” Grant interrupted. “Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?”

            “There aren’t any manatees in Lake Michigan.”

            “Precisely.” He smirked. “Perhaps you could move? I’m sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention.” He raised his left hand and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. “You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do.”

            Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.

            She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she’d never ordered a “skinny” anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn’t say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn’t find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.

            He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car.  “Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey.”

            With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.

            “Asshole,” Olivia muttered under her breath. “Gorgeous asshole, but still.” She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She’d just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it began to vibrate in her hand.

            “Are you bringing your swimsuit?” her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.

            “To the desert? You’re joking, right?”

            “I wasn’t sure.”

            “Cassie, I know you’ve had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years but surely you can remember how a vacation works…lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys.”

            “I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that’s sexist by the way.”

            “Cabana person?” Olivia laughed at her own joke. “I’m playing. But you’ve got to lighten up a bit. We’re headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that.”

            “You sound like a tourism ad.”

            “All I’m saying is you better be ready to party Hangover style.”

            Cassie snorted. “Yeah, cause that worked out so well for them.”

            “I promise I won’t leave you stranded on a hotel roof.”

            “This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job.”

            “You’re the sister of the groom. You can’t very well ditch out on the bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my ‘Harass Coleman Grant’ streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest.”

            “How’s that going by the way?”

            Olivia groaned. “New day, same story. ”

            “Maybe it’s time to—”

            “Move on? No way.” While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. “I’ll just have to double my efforts.”

            Cassie laughed. “I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.”

            “Don’t be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre.”

            “Sounds like someone has wet panties.”

            “Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet.”

            “Don’t change the subject. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”

            “Hardly. He’s eye candy all right, but he’s also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who think it’s his way or the highway. Not this time though.” Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn’t know it yet.

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About the Author

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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Cover Reveal – The Last Guy by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

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The Last Guy, an all-new steamy standalone from Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise is coming June 12th!

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THE LAST GUY

By Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise

Publication Date: June 12th

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

Cover Designer: Shanoff Formats

Photographer: Wander Aguiar Photography
Model: David Wills

The first rule of office romance is don’t do it—especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired.

But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things.

Sex in his office…

Sex in the on-set kitchen…

Sex in the supply closet…

She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets—except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge… ego.

He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with.

Cade Hill draws a thick professional line on office romance—until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives.

It’s just a hook-up, she says.

When can we do it again? he says.

With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her he’s the last guy she’ll ever want.

THE LAST GUY is the first white-hot CONTEMPORARY ROMANTIC COMEDY from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise. It features Fireball-fueled hookups, Doritos Locos Tacos, attack monkeys, toddlers in tiaras, and one fabulous drag queen. Prepare for frantic clicking (or page flipping!) and smoking-hot sexytimes all the way to the out-of-this-world happily-ever-after.

 

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Get a Text Alert as soon as it’s live! Text “TiaLouise” to 64600 Now.*

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About the Authors

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and the “Queen of Hot Romance” Tia Louise are not a secret duo, but simply themselves.

Great friends, former English teachers, and southern gals in real life, they’ve teamed up to bring you laugh-out-loud naughty romances with strong leading ladies and sexy alpha males who know how to please their women… and who sometimes you just want to slap.

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New Release – Dating-Ish by Penny Reid

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Dating-ish, an all new standalone from the USA Today bestselling Knitting in the City romantic comedy series by Penny Reid is now LIVE!

 

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‘Dating-ish’ can be read as a standalone, is a full length 100k word novel, and is book #6 in the Knitting in the City Series.

There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit.

After the most bizarre and irritating first date in the history of humankind, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities:

Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services?

But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different–and crazier–solution to her dilemma . . .

As everyone knows (or will soon come to realize), traditional relations between humans are a thing of the past. Robots are our future. And if robots are our future, then why do we need other people at all?

 

 

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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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Review – Quiet Love by Helena Rac

In Helena Rac’s second novel, best friends become roommates and discover through sloppy towel tucks, stargazing adventures, and a very sexy photo shoot that sometimes love can be found in the most unlikely place: right in front of you. Fans of Christina Lauren’s Dark Wild Night won’t want to miss this exciting new release published by Tryst Books!

Daniel has been best friends with Rose since they were born. He’s been in love with her for years. The only problem? She has no idea, and he’s not about to tell her and ruin their friendship. The solution? Leave Chicago to travel the world, pursue his dream of becoming a photojournalist, and try to forget the red lips that he could kiss for hours. If only she’d let him…

Rose knows true love is out there somewhere; she just has to try hard enough to find it. That’s become more complicated, though, since her best friend Daniel has moved in with her after being away for two years. Somehow thoughts of him keep getting in the way, making her morning showers a little too hot for comfort. If only he’d see…

In Helena Rac’s second novel, best friends become roommates and discover through sloppy towel tucks, stargazing adventures, and a very sexy photo shoot that sometimes true love can be found in the most unlikely place: right in front of you.

Add to your “Want to Read” shelf:  Goodreads

Available at: Amazon

BFF K’s Review of Quiet Love

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Friends to lovers is one of my favorite of the classic romance tropes and Quiet Love does it so well! If you enjoy these storylines, you’ll love following Daniel and Rose as they discover the romance that’s been floating under the surface of their friendship for years.

Daniel has known for a long time that he loves Rose. When he decides that he can’t stand by and watch her fall in love with someone else, he embarks on a two year journey to find himself. Daniel comes back ready to face Rose, but completely unprepared to be bombarded with all of the old feelings even stronger than before. They’re back together as friends and roommates and soon Rose is finding her feelings drifting beyond the friend zone too!

Daniel is a sweet and wonderful book boyfriend and you’ll love reading his thoughts, feelings and utter devotion to Rose. Rose is fun and hardworking and completely shocked to find that she’s attracted to her BFF. Their relationship develops naturally and sweetly. It really is a Quiet Love! But, I want to loudly shout about how terrific this book is! If you like a sweet and wonderful friends to lovers story, you need to add this to your TBR list!

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

dual point of view

Excerpt

The night is nothing short of perfect. The air is warm, there’s barely any wind, and the moon is young, so the sky is dark, laced with thousands of stars. We find our spot along the beach, well away from the other stargazers, and set down our sleeping bags, a couple of blankets, and our cooler.

Our eighties playlist is playing softly in the background while we enjoy the night. Daniel takes photos, and every so often he shows me an image he’s caught on camera. I’m in awe. He really is amazing. The way he sees the world is so different from how most of us do – angles and frames and visions that capture the beauty of everything that surrounds us, including the stars. Even in the dark, I can see a twinkle in his eyes, that same look he has when he picks up his camera. Confident. In charge. Sexy.

I squeeze in between Daniel and the telescope and lean into the eyepiece. I’m instantly fascinated by what I see. The star flickers like it’s dancing in the sky. There are hues of red and orange and gold, and it sparkles like a gem.

I’m equally distracted because Daniel is standing right behind me. He hasn’t moved an inch. His chest presses against my back, and I tense for a moment, unsure of his intent. His scent makes its way to me, and my eyes flutter closed for an instant. I inhale and savor the way he makes me feel. My initial tense reaction gives way to a new one – one that confuses me and excites me all at the same time. Goosebumps cover my arms, and my breath hitches in my throat. I can’t help but shiver from the sparks that travel through my body.

His response is not what I expect. Yet, even though I’m afraid to admit it to myself, it’s quite possibly what I hoped for. He wraps his arms around me so they criss-cross just above my waist. He starts to rub my arms, warming my skin and melting the goosebumps – and my whole body. My mind is screaming, Do not cross the friendship boundary! No good can come of it. Thank goodness for my sensible brain. Too bad I don’t always listen to it.

On that thought, I can’t help but relax into him. His strong, lean frame envelops me, and I’m aware of the contours of his body and the heat that radiates between us. I nestle into his shoulder and look up at the stars above us. He buries his nose in my hair and inhales deeply. Here, away from the city lights, it seems as though it’s just Daniel and me and our newfound closeness.

“Hey, there’s a shooting star.” I point to where it’s trailing across the sky. “Did you see it?”

“Hope you made a wish,” he whispers in my ear, and I swear his lips graze my skin. I shiver again, unable to control my reaction.

 

Copyright © Quiet Love 2017 by Helena Rac

 

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Enjoy Sweet Bliss

From debut author Helena Rac, a sassy, sexy comic tale of second-chance romance and the many uses of icing. Tessa loves cupcakes. They’re tasty and comforting, and they’ve made her bakery a success. Men, on the other hand, are unreliable jerks who are bound to break her heart. Even if they’re hot enough to melt her frosting. Tessa is smitten with Luke after a less than graceful encounter on the streets of Chicago, and fate keeps reuniting them. She’s certain he’d be delicious in bed, but there’s just one problem: Tessa’s sworn off long-distance romances, and Luke lives in London. Besides, he’s proven himself to be bad news. Although Tessa’s sexy stranger swears to set aside his player ways after she carries out sweet revenge, she’s far too smart to believe in happily-ever-afters. Luke will need to use every weapon in his arsenal – including a spatula or two – to convince Tessa they’re meant to be together.

 

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About the Author

Life is sweeter with romance novels. That’s why Helena Rac writes contemporary romances about sassy, everyday heroines and swoon-worthy heroes – stories that warm your heart, put a smile on your face, and make you fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Helena loves spending time with her two lovely girls and her incredibly supportive husband. She plays adult by day; enjoys cooking, traveling, and exploring the outdoors; and reads way past her bedtime.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

 

 

 

Pre-Release Blitz – I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne

A feisty beauty must choose between
winning back Mr. Right 
or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
Oxford Series #4
Lauren Layne
Releasing June 13, 2017
Loveswept

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

 

BFF K’s Reviews of The Oxford Series

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About the Author

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
 
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
 
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 

 

 

 

 

New Release – It Happened on Love Street by Lia Riley

Title: IT HAPPENED ON LOVE STREET

Author: Lia Riley

Series: Everland, Georgia

On Sale: April 25, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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In the tradition of New York Times bestselling authors Kristan Higgins, Jill Shalvis, and Marina Adair, comes the first in a new series by Lia Riley about two city sisters finding love in a small town.

The most romantic place she never wanted to be . . .

Pepper Knight moved to Everland, Georgia, as step one in her plan for a successful legal career. But after this big-city gal’s plans go awry, going home with her tail between her legs isn’t an option. So when the town vet—

and her sexy new neighbor—offers Pepper a temporary dog-walking job, she jumps at the chance. No one needs to know that man’s best friend is her worst nightmare . . . or that Everland’s hot animal whisperer leaves her panting.

The last thing Rhett Valentine wants is to be the center of small-town gossip. After his first love left him at the altar, he’s been there, done that. These days, life is simple, just the way he likes it. But sultry southern nights get complicated once sparks fly between him and the knockout next door. When she proposes a sexy, secret fling—all the deliciousness and none of the prying neighbors-it seems too good to be true. And it is. Because Pepper’s determined to leave Love Street, and when she goes, she just might take his heart with her . . .

 

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BFF K’s Review Coming Soon!

Plans for THE EVERLAND, GEORGIA SERIES

IT HAPPENED ON LOVE STREET, #1

THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS, #2

Series Page on Goodreads

Excerpt from It Happened on Love Street

“Here’s an idea.” He nudged his finger on hers. “Say we—and this is purely hypothetically—enjoyed the . . . ahem . . .pleasure of each other’s company in the privacy of ourhomes.”

“Hypothetically, kept it casual and under the radar?”

She nudged back. “When I leave, there’s no heartbreak, no drama, and no one is the wiser.”

“Interesting theory?” He reached out, his hand splaying her knee. “Or recipe for disaster?”

Tingles shot up her thigh. His skin was warm, those fingers very big and very male. “I have enough to worry about with my future. If you don’t need me for more than a little here and now? I might be persuaded. Hypothetically.”

He moved his hand from her knee to the back of her neck. The touch melted her faster than an ice cube in the July sun.

“What are you thinking?” she murmured.

His deep blue gaze locked on hers and there it came again, that curious sensation of floating and drowning. “That I’d like to hypothetically kiss you.”

There was a sudden roaring in her ears, a whoosh of blood. “Well, there’s only one way to test a hypothesis.”

Slowly, oh so slowly, he dipped forward. His lips didn’t settle on hers like she expected. Instead, he kissed the center of her forehead, softly, experimentally. A tremble rocked through him.

The evening air was sultry, no a hint of chill. The idea that she shook this steadfast man sent a shiver of need through the join of her thighs, a throbbing shudder that swelled to an ache as he peppered a light trail of kisses down her temple, and then moved lower. He took his sweet time on her cheeks, treating her as something to savor, a delicious dessert you didn’t want to wolf in one bite. Tension spread through her body, pulling tighter and tighter, her belly doing a fluttery dips and dives.

When he finally reached her lips, it seemed reasonable to expect that the kiss would be as soft as the others. Silly. Because Rhett was full of surprises. He didn’t hold back, his tongue was greedy, insistent, and hungry. Their teeth banged together. A chair tipped over. They crashed against a table leg, sent it screeching across the floor.

“In theory, you’re a good kisser,” she gasped, tracing her lower lip with her tongue. The skin was puffy, aching.

“Let me experiment a bit more. The initial results are promising.”

 

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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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Cover Reveal – Stand by A.L. Jackson

 STAND

A Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel

Coming May 22nd

Photographer: Wander Aguiar
Models: Tyler Halligan & Madelyn DeSantis
From NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson comes the next seductive, unforgettable Bleeding Stars Stand-Alone Novel…
Zachary Kennedy has never been known as a fighter, but he’ll never regret fighting for her…
I’m Zee Kennedy.
Quiet. Reserved. Predictable.
When my brother died, everyone thought I was just the good guy who stepped up to take his place in the band.
No one knew what I was hiding. The one thing I’ve been fighting for.
For six years, I’ve never lost focus.
Not until one chance encounter with Alexis Kensington.
Now she’s become my greatest temptation.
I knew better than to touch her, but now that I’ve had a taste, I can’t get enough.
Her kiss becomes my air. Her body my salvation.
She needed a savior and somehow she became mine.
Taking her was a betrayal. But keeping her means risking everything.
One look at Alexis Kensington, and I know she’s worth the fight.
Will my past continue to keep me down or will I finally find the strength to pull myself up and Stand…

Excerpt

His voice was low. The word might have been a question had it not glided across my skin like familiarity and warmth. “Alexis.”

I barely nodded, my response a whisper as my heart fluttered and sped. “Alexis.”

His gaze dipped for a moment, tracing me head to toe. As if he needed reassurance I was here. Something about it felt so intimate and private, as if maybe when he’d chipped away that piece of my soul he somehow knew he held it, too.

“I hope it’s okay I’m here,” he said, forcing my attention back to his eyes.  

A lump grew heavy in my throat and I swallowed around it, nodding as I tried to find my voice. “Of course it’s okay.”

Maybe I should have been hearing warning bells. A thousand caution flags tossed in the air and raining down around me. Because there was something about this brilliant boy that screamed trouble and mayhem. Undoubtedly, this man wore his own beautiful brand of destruction.

And I was the fool who always seemed to run straight for it. Diving right into the middle of it without having the first clue what was waiting for me.

“I’m Zachary Kennedy. Friends call me Zee,” he said, shifting on his feet as if he were wondering what he was doing here.

I could feel the pull of the soft smile at the side of my mouth. “I know who you are.”

“Is that so?” he asked. Something about it rang with a tease.

I nodded.

Of course I did. He was the drummer for one of the biggest rock bands in the world.

And I realized that probably put both of us at a disadvantage. No doubt he had women throwing themselves at him any time he walked off a stage or into a room. Wanting a taste of fame or maybe a name to drop, salivating over this boy simply for who he was.

It didn’t help he had to be the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen.

But this was different. The staggering need I felt to know him more. Not the boy pinned to Pinterest boards labeling him a sexy, tattooed bad boy. Not the boy splashed across the tabloids with their speculations and judgement.

The real man.

This man made up of flesh and bone. The man who rushed into an alley in the middle of the night to defend a complete stranger. The man who’d tenderly rocked me in his arms while I’d felt the controlled rage radiating from his body.

The one who now stood in my doorway, spinning my mind with how he could both look so powerful and vulnerable.

My insides shook, and I took a step back and widened my door. “Would you like to come in?”

A smile crept to his mouth that would be my complete undoing, this tug of full, soft lips framed by his beard. He tilted his head to the side. “You’re awful brave to be inviting a complete stranger into your house.”

I lifted my chin and met his gaze. “A complete stranger who put his life on the line. A stranger who stood between me and a gun. You could have died, and I very well might have if it wasn’t for you. Trust comes in a lot of forms, and I’m pretty sure you’ve already earned mine.”

Giveaway

Grand Prize: Bleeding Stars Signed Book Bundle

(includes first 5 books in Bleeding Stars Series)

Second Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

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About the Author

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.
Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017.
If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.
Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

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