Cover Reveal – Show Me The Way by A.L. Jackson

 

Show Me the Way

The first stand-alone novel in A.L. Jackson’s brand-new Fight for Me series…

Coming October 2nd

Cover: RBA Designs
The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .
Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful.
The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times. His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take. The only woman he’ll let into his heart is his little girl.
Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.
She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return. Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.
When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he’s in trouble.
She’s gorgeous and sweet and everything he can’t trust.
Until she becomes the one thing he can’t resist.
One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.
But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide. Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.
Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .

 Giveaway

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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, and BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for A.L. Jackson’s upcoming novel, SHOW ME THE WAY, the first stand-alone novel in her brand-new FIGHT FOR ME SERIES.
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.

Connect with A.L.

Facebook: http://smarturl.it/ALJacksonPage
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Twitter: @aljacksonauthor
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Snapchat: @aljacksonauthor

Cover Reveal – My Dear Hamilton by Dray & Kamoie

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

We’re celebrating Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today and you get the gift! Don’t miss the beautiful cover below and a special giveaway, and don’t forget to pre-order your copy today!

 

 

About My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Coming 4.3.2018):

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest to Form a More Perfect Union

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife…

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

 

 

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To celebrate Eliza Schuyler Hamilton’s Birthday today, we have a surprise for you! Share the cover of MY DEAR HAMILTON and fill out the Rafflecopter below to receive an Exclusive Excerpt!

 

Giveaway

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About the Authors

New York Times bestselling author, Stephanie Dray is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into eight different languages and won NJRW’s Golden Leaf. As Stephanie Draven, she is a national bestselling author of genre fiction and American-set historical women’s fiction. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital. Before she became a novelist, she was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the stories of women in history to inspire the young women of today.

 

 

 

Stephanie’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

 

 

New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kamoie has always been fascinated by the people, stories, and physical presence of the past, which led her to a lifetime of historical and archaeological study and training. She holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. Her New York Times bestselling debut historical novel, America’s First Daughter, co-authored with Stephanie Dray, allowed her the exciting opportunity to combine her love of history with her passion for storytelling. Laura lives among the colonial charm of Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

 

 

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New Release – Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

SURPRISE! #AWKAP is LIVE!!! Who’s ready for Yara and David?

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.

She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse.

A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he’s found what he’s been looking for.

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:

A broken heart.

David’s religion is love.

Yara’s religion is heartache.

Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.

Available NOW on

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | iTunes | B&N

Amazon Paperback

 

 

Yara’s Yesterday Spotify List:

https://open.spotify.com/user/1226318453/playlist/6h5mCg008D4VxjkWuudzQ7

 

 

Book Trailer for Atheists Who Kneel and Pray

 

 

Excerpt from Atheists Who Kneel and Pray

Dear Yara,

The bands in London, November 12th. Want to catch up?

David

So casual. So nonchalant. You’d think we were only acquaintances, that we’d once sipped a couple of beers together instead of tattooing love on our skin and reciting marriage vows. I read the e-mail again and analyze the shit out of it. How can I not? I count out the words: thirteen. The punctuation: four. His name, my name. A flippant, casual turn of phrase: catch up. In the end, there’s only so much psychoanalyzing you can do to a thirteen-word e-mail. I move on with my life, feeling rather pathetic. But not before I e-mail him back. And okay, sure, I don’t move on with my life. What does that even entail? Forgetting? Forgiving? Being happy? Besides, I know what he wants to talk about. I know why he’s coming.

Hi David,

Yeah, sounds good. Let me know when and where.

Yara

My e-mail is a word shorter.

I’m that petty.

 

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About the Author

Tarryn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She immigrated to America with her parents when she was thirteen, and spent the next eighteen years in South Florida where she earned her degree in Psychology, wrote her first novel, and had two children. In 2012, on a whim, she moved her family to Seattle, Washington where she currently makes her home safely away from the sun. Tarryn is the founder of Guise of the Villain, a fashion blog, and has written eleven published novels. Tarryn is a Slytherin.

 

Website:

www.tarrynfisher.com

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/authortarrynfisher

Instagram:

https://instagram.com/tarrynfisher/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Tarryn__Fisher

 

 

 

 

Review – Mister Hockey by Lia Riley

 

MISTER HOCKEY
Hellion’s Angels #1
Lia Riley
Releasing July 11, 2017
Avon Impulse

 

Her biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .

Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions—and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?

Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.

So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?

AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO

BFF K’s Review of Mister Hockey

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I loved this book! Mister Hockey by Lia Riley is a fun and flirty, super sweet rom-com! It reads like a Hallmark movie and I loved every second of it. This is a really quick read. I skated through the pages and adored every silly and sassy minute!

Jed West, God’s gift to hockey, walks out of Breezy Angel’s dreams and right into her library. Soon, he’s in her house and in her bed. They are crashing family picnics and revealing all their secrets. The connection they share is powerful, fast, and quickly burning up the sheets.

I told a friend tonight that Mister Hockey is a perfect palate cleanser. If you need a quick, light-hearted enjoyable story to reset your reading mojo, give Mister Hockey a tryout. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the release of Head Coach, the next book in this Hellions Angels 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.

 

Excerpt

Jed West’s stomach curdled faster than overheated hollandaise sauce as he squinted at the menu for Zachary’s, Denver’s most popular all-day breakfast hangout. Ghost-like shadows haunted the specials list, blurring the descriptions for peanut butter French toast, country fried steak benedict and sweet potato pancakes.  Ah, shit. Not fucking now. There went the prices too–the dollar signs and numbers blurring until barely legible.

No point blinking. He knew the drill. Jaw tight, he reached for his orange juice, took a swig and waited. Short bouts of double vision had dogged him ever since Game Seven, the pattern the same. After a minute or two, his focus would snap back to normal as if nothing had happened. Until then, he needed to follow one of coach’s favorite axioms: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Who cared about the damn menu anyway? He pushed it to one side, having already ordered the “Manwich”, chorizo and eggs smashed between a jalapeno cheddar biscuit–the kind of breakfast that wanted to kill you in the best kind of ways–and crunched ice. Too bad the cubes didn’t pass on their chill, because this. . .situation for lack of a better word, was getting under his skin and it shouldn’t.

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

Unexplained double vision wasn’t a walk in the park, but facts were facts. And the ugly truth was that if he didn’t quit batting his lashes like Scarlett O’Hara with a fly in her skirt, The Post’s toughest sports columnist would glance up from across the table, mistake his tic for a cheesedick wink, and go Lord of the Flies on his nut sack.

At least for the moment, Neve Angel was occupied. She hunched over her digital voice recorder, dark bangs obscuring her sharp gaze as she fiddled with the control settings. Her lips moved to the upbeat Buddy Holly song piping over the sound system while she plucked a mic from her messenger bag. His vision came back online in time for him to read the orange button pinned to the front.

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

Slamming his knees together, he forced a grin, the one that had potential endorsements lined up around the block, eager for him to shill everything from vitamin infused coconut water to shaving cream. He unwrapped the paper napkin from around the fork and knife, and began tearing the corner into neat strips.

No doubt the eye thing was fatigue-related, an inevitable toll from the grueling NHL season and subsequent hard-fought playoffs. Everything would be all right in the end. If it wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end.

“You plan on telling me what’s up with Mount Napkin Shreds?” Neve leaned her elbows on the recycled wood tabletop, a signal they were shifting into interview mode. Her brows arched beneath her thick-cut bangs. “Nervous about being in the hot seat, princess?”

“Yeah, terrified,” he answered laconically, not missing a beat. Hiding his true feelings behind a mask of confidence was a reflex; it came with the territory of having the “C” stitched on the front of his jersey. A good captain never showed fear to an opponent. “A jackal’s bark is worse then it’s bite.”

“Jackal? Don’t tell me you’re using Gunnarisms now.” She rolled her eyes. “And I’d so wanted to enjoy my bagel without gagging.”

The Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar, had a reputation for dismissing the press as “jackals.” He fostered a tense relationship with journalists, in particular, the tiny woman sitting opposite. Neve had run a piece on his divorce a few years ago. He retaliated by refusing to call on her during press conferences. Neve hit back with increasingly critical op-eds. Their mutual enmity had devolved to the stuff of local legend.

 

Giveaway

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About the Author

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

 

New Release – Easy Nights by Kristen Proby

 

From New York Times Bestselling author Kristen Proby, comes a steamy and passionate friends-to-lovers romance—EASY NIGHTS! The sixth standalone title in the Boudreaux Series, Savannah and Ben’s highly anticipated story is now available on all retailers! Grab your copy today!

 

About EASY NIGHTS (Boudreaux Series #6):

The Boudreaux Series—Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.

No one said change was easy…

Savannah Boudreaux knows what it is to hurt. To bleed. To be afraid that the man she’s promised to be true to until “death do us part” might in fact separate them far sooner than anyone had ever anticipated. But Van also knows what it is to survive. To move on. To live life to the fullest. With five brothers and sisters and a loving mother as her constant source of strength during the pain and the healing, Van realizes there is little else she needs.

But some things never change…

Benjamin Preston sat on the sidelines of the Boudreaux family for years, in love with a woman he couldn’t have. As the best friend of the Boudreaux brothers since childhood, Ben has seen both tragedies and joys in the family. And as a former MMA fighter and KravMaga expert, Ben’s used to fighting for what he wants—and winning. His hands were tied when Savannah married her high school sweetheart not long after graduation, but now two years have passed since Ben found Savannah broken in her own home.

Sometimes what you need most has been right in front of you the whole time…

Van’s convinced that happiness isn’t in the cards for her, no matter how right it feels to be in Ben’s strong arms—and his bed. Ben is determined to win her heart and fight for her trust. He’s promised to protect her, to be her friend. But more than anything, he wants to finally make her his, and this is one fight he’s not willing to lose.

 

 

Pick up your copy of EASY NIGHTS today!

 

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Excerpt

We turn a corner and there it is, my favorite tree. It’s at least four hundred years old, with branches so big and heavy that they rest on the ground.

And under it is a portable swing with a red blanket spread in front of it.

“Oh, my.”

He smiles down at me and leads me to the swing. I sit and kick my flip flops off, and Ben sets the basket in the middle of the blanket and joins me on the swing.

“This is lovely.”

“It’s a good day for it,” he says and rests his arm on the back of the swing, behind my shoulders. His fingertips brush the bare skin on my shoulder. I scoot closer to him and rest my head on his shoulder.

“We spent countless summers out here,” he says quietly, as if speaking too loud will disrupt the perfect spring day.

“We did.”

“And as a teenager, I would see you sitting out here, under this tree, with a book. Your knees pulled up to your chest, and your bare feet dirty as can be. You took my breath away even then.”

I glance up at him in surprise.

“I can’t tell you how often I’d watch you—not in a creepy way, I might add—I’d watch you reading and enjoying this tree, and I wanted so badly to sit with you and kiss you senseless.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“Of course you didn’t,” he says with a gentle smile. “But now you do.”

He nudges my chin up with his fingers and lowers his lips to mine, covering them softly. I cup his face in my hand and let myself simply soak in the moment, in my favorite place, with this man.

He slowly takes the kiss from sweet to hot, and to my delight, drags his hand from my hip to my breast, his thumb dancing over my already tight nipple.

Good God, he’s like a drug that I’ll never get tired of.

After what seems like an hour, he pulls back and rests his forehead against mine.

“I have been waiting for that for a very long time,” he whispers.

“I think this was probably way better than anything you might have done as a teenager.”

He chuckles. “True. So, it’s a win-win.”

I let my fingertips glide down his cheeks to his neck.

“Savannah.”

“Yes?”

“I want you,” he says and closes his eyes tightly. “I don’t say that to rush you into anything, and this isn’t the time or place anyway, but I need you to know that I want you.”

I cover his lips with mine, watching his eyes. “I want you too, Ben.”

He inhales and kisses me again, moving straight into hot as fuck.

Finally, he pulls back, clears his throat, and smiles at me.

“Are you hungry?”

I laugh and push my hair off my face. “So hungry.”

“I think Gabby made fried chicken.”

“That sounds good too.”

 

 

 

 

And don’t miss the first standalone titles in 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!

 

 

 

 Giveaway

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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 – Martinis & Moonlight by Andrea Johnston

Today the BFF’s have the release day blitz for Martinis & Moonlight by Andrea Johnston! Check out the release day festivities and be sure to grab your copy today!

 

Title: Martinis & Moonlight

Author: Andrea Johnston

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

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:

Amazon US | Amazon.AU | Amazon.CA | Amazon.UK | Kobo | iBooks | B&N | Goodreads

BFF K’s Review of Martinis & Moonlight

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I must begin by confessing that I am a Beta reader for Andrea Johnston. I had a chance to read Minnie and Owen way before the rest of you get that pleasure! Believe me, this is not a book that romance lovers want to miss out on.
Minnie has stepped up to the plate! She has stepped in to fill a critical role in her family at her own personal expense. She is temporarily taking care of her two nieces. When she takes a job working for Jamison and his construction company she’s immediately welcomed into the Country Road gang and gets to know the whole crew. She and Owen are particularly drawn to each other and begin to spend time getting to know each other. They each like the other more than they should and the tension begins to pull them apart and push them together. You’ll soon come to love Minnie. She is kind and loyal, dedicated to her family, selfless, sweet, and incredibly endearing.
Owen is kind of an ass. He’s focused on his job and trying to build a satisfying and fulfilling life even though he’s carrying enough family baggage to hold anyone down. But, when he comes into Minnie’s orbit, he wants to shed the baggage and be the kind of man she needs and wants.
Their love story is fun and flirtatious, sweet and steamy and everything you want in a heart-felt, character-driven, small town romance. I can’t recommend Martinis and Moonlight enough and I firmly believe this is Andrea Johnston’s best work yet! You should definitely one-click this book today!

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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

 

 

Check out the rest of the series!

Whiskey & Honey (A Country Road Novel Book 1)

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Kobo | iBooks | B&N

Tequila & Tailgates (A Country Road Novel Book 2)

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Nook

 

 

Excerpt

This week has been particularly quiet in the office, and as much as I hate to admit it, I’d even take an encounter with Owen at this point. Yep, be careful what you wish for.

The door to the office opens and I sense him before I hear him. Maybe it’s that I smell him. Not smell in a gross way, but a way that is like some weird mating call. I’m sure there’s a name for that but I can’t think of it because there he is, walking toward me in a pair of khaki cargo shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt that, thanks to the sweat on his body, is clinging to his torso and chiseled chest, and a pair of sunglasses sitting atop his head. That smile I mentioned taking over his face as he gets closer to my desk has me quickly looking away in embarrassment. I know he can tell that he affects me. I know my tell-tale giveaway to embarrassment has completely taken over my arms, neck, and cheeks in a glorious shade of strawberry.

“Well, Miss Walker, fancy meeting you here.”

“Oh, hey.” I don’t take my eyes from my screen and very diligently read the same line over and over. Why does he make me nervous? I don’t get nervous.

“Here are some invoices for you and I signed off on the time cards for my crew.”

I finally lift my eyes from my screen to see Owen sitting in the chair in front of my desk, leaning back so he is rocking on the back two legs of the chair, with his arms crossed, and a smirk on his face. The same smirk he usually offers me before not so subtlety suggesting something flirtatious.

“Thanks. Checks will be ready Monday as usual. Was there anything else?”

“What’re your plans this weekend? Date with your boyfriend? Painting your nails with the squirt?”

Clicking the save icon on the spreadsheet I’m working on, I sit back in my seat, crossing my feet at the ankle while folding my arms, and contemplating how to answer this. He’s trying to get to know me and I promised myself I’d be open to new friendships. Owen Butler is a lot of things, and while I’m not sure he’s completely harmless, I doubt he’s much more than talk.

“No boyfriend,” I casually respond before whispering under my breath, “anymore.”

“What? Some schmuck let you go? What a loser.”

I snort out a laugh; I guess my whisper was louder than I thought. The more I’ve thought about my relationship with Kent, the more appropriate a word like “schmuck” is a perfect way to describe him. Boring, self-absorbed, career driven, and missionary style are also other ways.

“Well anyway, I’m actually going to just hang out this weekend. The girls are going with my parents and it’ll be the first time in weeks I’ve had time to myself. How about you? Got a date?”

Owen chokes on what I think was supposed to be a laugh, startling me a little while simultaneously sending a little shiver down my spine to my lady bits. His voice is deep and gravelly, as is his attempt to laugh, almost like he doesn’t do it very often and his vocal cords don’t know how to respond.

“Yeah, I don’t date. Hook up maybe, but dating indicates I’m interested in a relationship and that’s not the case.”

“I hear ya. A relationship is the last thing on my mind these days.”

We sit in silence for a few ticks before Owen clears his throat and rests his chair on all four feet. I follow suit by sitting up more in my chair and grabbing my mouse. A few clicks and Owen stands and then taps the top of my monitor.

“You should call the girls.”

I look up at him, slightly confused, but not before acknowledging the sweat has dried from his torso while his shirt still clings to his skin. He must notice my gaze has lingered a little longer than necessary because he offers me that smirk again.

“Sorry, the girls – Piper and Ashton. Me and the guys are heading to the lake for a little fishing so I’m sure they’re around.”

“Oh.” The realization of how much my life has changed in the last few months struck me; when he said “the girls,” I thought of my nieces. “Yeah, uh, maybe.”

“Well, all right then. Have a good weekend, Minnesota. See ya next week.”

I don’t bother asking Owen to not call me by my full name. I know he knows it’s not my preference. And honestly, for whatever reason, it doesn’t bother me when he says it. I would never tell him that, but it’s true.

 

Andrea’s Giveaway

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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.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

 

 

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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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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