Excerpt Reveal – The Rivals by Vi Keeland

 

Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release,
The Rivals? Check out this SNEAK PEEK

 

Title: The Rivals
Author: Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 13, 2020

 

Blurb

The feud between Weston Lockwood and me started at the altar.

Only neither of us attended the wedding, and the nuptials happened decades before either of us was born.

Our grandfathers had been best friends and business partners, at least up until my grandfather’s wedding day—when his bride-to-be blurted out she couldn’t marry him because she was also in love with Weston‘s grandfather.

The two men spent years fighting over Grace Copeland, who also happened to be their third business partner.  But in the end, neither man could steal half of her heart away from the other.

Eventually, they all went their separate ways.  Our grandfathers married other women, and the two men became one of the biggest business rivals in history.

Our fathers continued the family tradition of feuding.  And then Weston and I did, too.

For the most part, we kept as much distance as possible.

Until the day the woman who started the feud died—and unexpectedly left one of the most valuable hotels in the world to our grandfathers to share.

Now I’m stuck in a hotel with the man I was born to hate, trying to unravel the mess our families inherited.

As usual, it didn’t take long for us to be at each other’s throats.

Weston Lockwood was everything I hated: tall, smart, cocky, and too gorgeous for his own good.  We were fire and ice.

But that shouldn’t be an issue. Our families were used to being at war. There was just one minor problem, though.   Every time Weston and I fought, we somehow wound up in bed.

 

BFF K’s 6 Rated Review is coming soon! I LOVED this story! It’s enthralling, emotional and super steamy. The banter is witty and spot on and the characters are so endearing. You should absolutely pre-order this book and be ready to devour it in a day! ❤️
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Excerpt

Sophia

“What the hell?” I pressed the button on the elevator panel a second time. It illuminated, yet the car continued to sit there. So I jabbed my finger at it a third time. Finally, the doors started to glide closed. Just as they were about to shut completely, a shoe blocked them from closing. 

A wingtip shoe. 

Weston’s smiling face was there to greet me when the doors bounced open. 

My blood was near boiling. “So help me, Lockwood, if you try to get in this car, I can’t be responsible for what happens to you. I’m not in the mood anymore.” 

He entered the elevator anyway. “Come on, Fifi. What’s wrong? I’m just playing around. You’re taking things way too seriously.” 

I counted to ten in my head, but it didn’t help. Fuck it. He wanted to get a rise out of me? He was going to get one. The doors slid shut again, and I turned and backed him into a corner. Seeing my face, he at least had the decency to look a little nervous. 

“You wanna know what’s wrong? I’ll tell you what’s wrong! My father thinks I’m inept because I don’t have an appendage dangling between my legs. The man I spent the last eighteen months with was cheating on me with one of my cousins. Again. I hate New York City. I despise the Lockwood family. And you think you can get away with anything you want just because you have a big dick.” I jabbed my finger into his chest and punctuated each staccato word with another stab.  

“I’m  

Tired.  

Of.  

Men.  

My father.  

Liam.  

You. 

Every single fucking one of you. So leave me the hell alone!” 

Frazzled, I turned back around and waited for the door to open, only to realize we hadn’t started to move yet. Great. Just fucking great. I jabbed the button a few more times, closed my eyes, and took deep, cleansing breaths as we started to move. Halfway through breath three, I felt the heat of Weston’s body behind me. He had to have moved closer. I continued to try to ignore him.  

But the fucker still smelled good.  

How the hell could that be? Whose cologne lasted for—what had it been now?—twelve hours? After the gauntlet run he’d sent me on across town this morning, I probably smelled like BO. It pissed me off that the asshole smelled…fucking delicious.  

He moved closer, and I felt his breath tickle my neck.  

“So,” he whispered in a gravelly voice. “You think my dick’s big.” 

I turned and scowled at him. While this morning he’d been clean-shaven, he now had a five o’clock shadow all along his chiseled jaw. It gave him a sinister look. The suit that hugged his broad shoulders probably cost more than Liam’s entire sweater wardrobe. Weston Lockwood was everything I hated in a man—wealthy, good looking, cocky, arrogant, and fearless. Liam would hate him. My father already hated him. And at the moment, those were actually Weston’s strong points.  

While I struggled with my body reacting to his scent and how much I liked the stubble on his face, Weston slowly reached out and put a hand on my hip. At first, I assumed he thought he needed to steady me, as he had when I’d wobbled in the bar. Had I wobbled again? I didn’t think I had. But I must’ve. 

Though when his hand glided from my hip around to my ass, there was no misunderstanding his intention. He was not trying to help me stay on my feet. In my head, my immediate reaction was to scream at him, but somehow my throat felt too clogged to speak.  

I made the mistake of looking up from his jaw into his blue eyes. Heat flickered, turning them almost gray, and his eyes dropped to my lips.  

No.  

Just no. 

This was not happening.  

Not again. 

My heart thundered in my chest, and the blood in my ears roared so loudly I almost didn’t hear the ding of the elevator announcing that we’d arrived at my floor. Thankfully it snapped me out of whatever moment of insanity I’d slipped into.  

“I…I need to go.” 

It took all of my focus to put one foot in front of the other, but I managed to walk down the hall and make it to my room.  

Though… 

I wasn’t alone. 

 

Author Bio

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
Author Links

 

 

Review – American Royals by Katharine McGee

New York Times Best Seller

What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha. Crazy Rich Asians meets The Crown.

Perfect for fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue and The Royal We!

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either…except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince…but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

The duty. The intrigue. The Crown.

New York Times best-selling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded – and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.

“The lives of the American royal family will hook you in the very first pages and never let go. Relatable, believable, fantastical, aspirational, and completely addictive.” (Sara Shepard, number one New York Times best-selling author of the Pretty Little Liars and Perfectionists series)

ORDER Audible, Kindle, Paperback or Hardback from Amazon

 

BFF K’s Review of American Royals

I just finished this amazing book, it’s Independence Day and Hamilton released on Disney+. I’ve been thinking about America and how different things could have been.

American Royals is one of the most interesting, inventive and enthralling books that I’ve read in a long time! It mixes multiple POV’s in a story that centers around the premise that America is ruled by a monarchy. It’s fun and fascinating. There are intrigues, scandals, heroes, heroines, and secrets. So many secrets. This is a YA book, so it’s full of butterfly-inducing romance, but it’s all fade to black.

For me, the mark of a really good book is just how obsessed I become with it. And, I’m officially obsessed with American Royals! I immediately went searching for information about the next book in the series. I can’t stop thinking about these characters and this story line! The last chapter of this book is stunning and so vividly written I dreamed about it last night. OBSESSED I tell you!

I listened to the audiobook on Audible and the narration is spot-on in tone and timing! Be prepared to expend a fair amount of mental energy just thinking about this book and these characters. American Royals is your perfect summer read!

Pre-Order Majesty on Amazon

Releases September 1, 2020

 

About the Author

Cover Reveal – Waiting for My Queen by Georgia Cates

🔥🔥 HOT COVER REVEAL 🔥🔥
Check out Georgia Cates’s hot cover! Waiting for my Queen is releasing on March 3rd!

 

 

Emilia—

All I’ve ever wanted was to marry for love.

But girls like me don’t have that luxury.

We are used as pawns in a game we can’t control.

The game? It’s called Mafia.

I was foolish enough to try to change the rules… and I lost.

 

Luca—

She was promised to me years ago.

And he dared to take her from me.

Dared to touch what was mine.

I put an end to that.

I hope he’s enjoying the view from his dirt room.

 

Emilia—

My beloved’s killer placed a ruby ring on my finger and called me his queen.

But that red gem symbolizes something different for me.

It represents the blood shed by those I love most.

Hell was empty the day we wed.

Because the devil was standing before me and said “I do.”

 

Luca—

I saw her as a possession.

A shiny toy I didn’t want other boys to play with.

But she’s so much more.

Beautiful and brave and strong and broken all at once.

She tastes like everything I’ve ever wanted.

 

Emilia—

Hidden and patient.

I wait for the perfect time to seek my revenge.

But slowly, I feel him possessing me.

His heart is full of darkness… and I still want every inch of him.

Hard as I try, I can’t escape loving this beautiful monster.

 

Luca—

I’m waiting patiently because I already know that she’s mine.

Mine in a way that no one will ever understand.

Even if she hasn’t yet realized it.

For love, I’d do anything.

For her, I’d do everything.

 

Add Waiting for My Queen to your Goodreads TBR: http://bit.ly/2QOCCWM

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Amazon: https://amzn.to/37aEGzA

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2NWxfEG

Nook: http://bit.ly/2r8hYHG

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2qe0xpn

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2qrhah9

 

 

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate Waiting for my Queen’s cover reveal, Georgia Cates is giving away two $50 gift cards! Head to her Facebook Author and Instagram pages to enter!

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorgeorgiacates/

 

TEASER

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her music and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire

 

AUTHOR LINKS

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

Facebook Author Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GeorgiasGems

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GeorgiaCates

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorgeorgiacates/

Tumblr: http://authorgeorgiacates.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5228869.Georgia_Cates

Website: http://georgiacates.com/

Amazon: http://bit.ly/GeorgiaCatesAmazonPage

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/georgia-cates

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/georgiacates1/

Cover Reveal – Outmatched by Samantha Young and Kristen Callihan

Outmatched - CR banner.jpg

Outmatched by Kristen Callihan and Samantha Young

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publishing date: November 19, 2019

Cover Designer: Hang Le

OUTMATCHED-PRINT-FOR-WEB-3.jpg

What happens when a boxer finds chemistry with a geek?

Parker Brown can’t believe she needs to hire a fake boyfriend. When she landed her dream job in renewable energy, she thought she’d be entering a world at the forefront of progressive thinking. But the head boss prefers to promote employees who are “settled.” Thankfully, she’s found the perfect candidate, a fellow intellectual looking for some quick cash. What Parker gets is his protective big brother—Rhys Morgan. The tall, muscled ex-boxer with a foul mouth shows up just as her boss does, and now she’s stuck with the manipulative jerk.

Responsibility weighs heavily on Rhys. Now permanently out of the ring, he’s trying to hold together his late father’s gym and keep his younger brother, Dean, on the straight and narrow. To save Dean from himself, Rhys takes his place, ready to give this society girl a piece of his mind. Instead, he finds an opportunity. Even though they can hardly stand each other, posing as Parker’s boyfriend is a win-win deal. She gets to keep her job, and he’ll charm her star-struck boss into sponsoring his gym.

Problem is, they can barely keep their hands off each other. And what started as an easy deal isn’t so easy anymore. Because what future can a rough ex-boxer, afraid to open his heart, and a polished society geek, who has sworn off real relationships, possibly have?

They say opposites attract. These opposites are about to combust on impact.

Copy of Outmatched Cover .jpg

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon     Amazon Worldwide     Kobo     Apple Books

Nook: coming soon

Add to Goodreads

Outmatched - CR.jpg

About the Authors

About Kristen:

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KristenCallihan/

Twitter – Kris10Callihan

Website – http://www.kristencallihan.com/

Amazon – https://amzn.to/2zrf3Lo

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/Kristen_Callihan

About Samantha:

Samantha Young is a New York Times and #1 International bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. On Dublin Street was Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in thirty countries. She has since published over thirteen romance titles including the New York Times Bestsellers Into the Deep, Hero, and her most recent contemporary romance Play On. When writing Adult Paranormal romance she writes under the pen name S. Young.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSamanthaYoung/

Website – http://authorsamanthayoung.com

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/authorsamanthayoung/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorSamYoung

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/samyoungauthor/

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2H47kEP

Goodreads – http://bit.ly/2FWgYdn

Bookbub – http://bit.ly/2D241eO

 

 

Cover Reveal – Wylde Fire by Sarah Robinson

Today we have the cover reveal for Sarah Robinson’s WYLDE FIRE! Check it out and be sure to pre-order your copy today!

Title: Wylde Fire

Author: Sarah Robinson

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Day: September 17th

About Wylde Fire:

Sam Wylde is ready to prove he’s more than just the privileged son of a wealthy Southern dynasty.

Wyldefire Whiskey is poised to take Nashville by storm—and with any luck, overshadow the scandal of his cheating ex-girlfriend marrying his brother. The only problem? This gruff country boy has no idea how to throw a launch party that will get people talking.

The answer to everything might just be Holly Glen.
A party wrapped up in one tiny woman, Holly is tattooed, tempting, and exactly the event planner Sam needs to liven up his brand—and his life. He can give her what she needs, too.

All it will take is a ring on her finger.

Falling in real love with his fake wife was not part of the plan—but one shot of Holly isn’t going to be enough.

PREORDER TODAY
Amazon US | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

 

 

Excerpt from Wylde Fire

“You cannot do this to me, Cassie,” Sam Wylde argued over the speakerphone attached to his truck’s dashboard. He cringed as his Southern drawl came out a little thicker than usual. Frustration did that to him, and right now it was taking everything in him to not start cussing.

With a deft twist of his wrist, he steered his truck into the parking lot next to Town Hall, cutting off another car with a halfhearted wave of acknowledgement. He needed to pick up several permits before the city offices closed, leaving no room for pleasantries.

Damn, for a Saturday, the lot sure is packed.

He sighed and forced his attention back to the phone call. “We’ve got a few months until the launch of the entire brand. Everything I’ve done the last two years is riding on this.”

“I’m really sorry,” Cassie, his event planner, said from the other end of the phone. Or former event planner, apparently. “But I can’t be in two places at once, and neither can my influencers and vendors. We’re booked for that day now.”

Teetering on the brink of exploding, Sam breathed in slowly. “But. You. Signed. With. Us. First.” He ground the words out slow and steady.

“Technically, I haven’t signed an actual contract. I was helping you out as a favor to Noah,” Cassie informed him. “And where I go…so do my connections.”

Read the First Three Chapters!

 

About the Author

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in criminal psychology. She works as a counselor by day and romance novelist by night. She owns a small zoo of furry pets and is actively involved in volunteering in her community.

 

Subscribe to her newsletter at www.subscribepage.com/sarahrobinsonnewsletter

 

Connect with Sarah:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram

 

 

Chapter Reveal – Handle With Care by Helena Hunting

 

New York Times bestselling author of SHACKING UP and I FLIPPING LOVE YOU Helena Hunting mixes humor and heart in this scandal-filled romantic comedy.

HE WANTS TO LOSE CONTROL.
Between his parents’ messed up marriage and his narcissistic younger brother, Lincoln Moorehead has spent the majority of his life avoiding his family. After the death of his father, Lincoln finds himself in the middle of the drama. To top it all off, he’s been named CEO of Moorehead Media, much to his brother’s chagrin. But Lincoln’s bad attitude softens when he meets the no-nonsense, gorgeous woman who has been given the task of transforming him from the gruff, wilderness guy to a suave businessman

SHE’S TRYING TO HOLD IT TOGETHER.
Wren Sterling has been working double time to keep the indiscretions at Moorehead Media at bay, so when she’s presented with a new contract, with new responsibilities and additional incentives, she agrees. Working with the reclusive oldest son of a ridiculously entitled family is worth the hassle if it means she’s that much closer to pursuing her own dreams. What Wren doesn’t expect is to find herself attracted to him, or for it to be mutual. And she certainly doesn’t expect to fall for Lincoln. But when a shocking new Moorehead scandal comes to light, she’s forced to choose between her own family and the broody, cynical CEO.

 

Order Your Copy Today

 

Click on the link below for Chapter 1 of Handle with Care

Handle With Care Chapter 1 Reveal

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

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

Social Media Links:

 

 

Cover Reveal – Never Fall in Love with a Rockstar by Rachel Higginson

My name is Clover Calloway and I’ve lived two separate lives.

The first, I like to call “my past.” I never talk about it. I try not to think about it. My rockstar days of playing in one of the hottest bands on the planet are over. Along with the most volatile, beautiful, tragic love story of all time.

Over the past five years, I’ve settled into my second life. My “normal life.” The one where I work a normal job, hang out with normal people and fall in love with a normal, but wonderful guy. The life where I’m admittedly a little bored, but also safe.

My past wasn’t boring. But my past broke my heart into a million, unfixable pieces. So, I’m determined to keep it where it belongs—behind me.

And the man responsible for the shattering of me? Malachi Porter, lead singer and mastermind of Bright Tragedy, should stay there too. Far away from me and this idyllic life I’ve carved out for myself.

But what happens when my two lives collide?

When Malachi comes crashing into my perfectly normal world, he threatens to destroy it, promises to annihilate everything I’ve replaced him with.

He upends everything I thought I wanted and forces me to question the reasons I left Bright Tragedy all those years ago.

But I didn’t walk away five years ago, I ran. As fast as I could go. And while my heart is whispering that it’s different this time—that he’s different—my brain is screaming for me to run again.

Malachi Porter isn’t a normal guy. And he doesn’t belong in my “normal life.” But, nevertheless, he’s bound and determined to make a place for himself here.

I just hope my heart can survive him, that we don’t burn into another bright tragedy.

 

Pre-Order Never Fall in Love with a Rockstar Today

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Sneak Peek – Chapter 1 – Never Fall in Love with a Rockstar

Chapter One

My fingers flew over the keys. Up and down. Black and white. Sharp and natural and sharp, sharp, sharp. The damper pedal lifted with my momentum. I pressed down again, elongating the notes, pulling the best of the melody out of the song and letting it hang in the air, notes dancing and twirling and singing in the emotional symphony. Beethoven had never sounded so good.

I took a breath. Closing my eyes at the final, heart-stopping crescendo, I lifted my fingers and let the last notes resonate through the vaulted ceilings in perfect harmony.

When the sound died and the song drifted from the building, I couldn’t help but wait for applause. It was ingrained in my nature. My entire life I’d played to crowds much bigger than this one. And so, I sat there, my breath trapped inside my chest, my eyes closed in anticipation and… nothing.

There was no eruption of cheering and wild clapping. There was no demand for an encore. There was no stadium filled with rabid fans, blissed out at the end of the best show of their lives.

Only one person was clapping for this performance and it was Maya from the MAC makeup counter. And she only did it because she knew it made me happy. I grinned at her over my shoulder. She clapped louder, jumping up and down in a pure attempt to feed my ego.

A cluster of teenage girls moved between us, laughing and chatting, eyes glued on all the pretty things around them. I quickly turned away, ducking my head and focusing on the gorgeous grand piano that filled the center of the glistening lobby.

Nobody recognized me these days, but better safe than sorry.

When the shoppers had moved on, I gathered my music and slipped it inside a folder. Maya was still slow clapping by the time I reached the counter that was covered with tubes of lipstick.

“Woman, you were on fire today,” she cheered. “I was seriously moved by that last piece. Tears, Clover. Actual tears.” She pointed at the corner of her eye where her electric blue eyeliner was smudged.

“Moonlight Sonata.” I took a steadying breath, banishing the lingering emotions that clung to the edges of me. Beethoven’s masterful piece was one of my favorites too. And I rarely played it. But today I’d been in the mood for melancholy and memories. And that song, above all others, despite what the tabloids and bloggers said about me once upon a time, weighed the heaviest with my past. “It’s a good one.”

She leaned forward on her elbows. “You’re stupid good, you know that?”

I tilted my head, letting my long, fiery red curls fall over my shoulder and partially hide my face. “What you really mean is I’m good for Macy’s standards, right?” I looked behind me as Walter arrived and started to set up for his three-hour block. Macy’s hired us for elegant entertainment. We were the background music for the high-end department stores evening and weekend shoppers. There was a rotating total of six pianists and each of us were happy for the work. It was a relatively easy way to make a hundred bucks.

This was all part of my new normal. Trying to live and eat and sleep off the grind of regular employment.

Once upon a time, my piano-playing skills made me lots and lots of money. Not that I put in fewer hours. But it seemed easier to make money as a headline band dropping platinum albums.

It seemed easier, I realized. But it hadn’t been.

I breathed deeply of this normal life I lived now and smiled at the simplicity of it. Sorrow and heartache tugged at the corners of my thoughts, desperate to get my attention and claim some space in this adjusted life of mine, but I refused to give them room.

They were banished, along with everything else that used to be.

“Girl, I mean you’re good period. Stop playin’.”

“You’re really sweet. Thank you.”

She winked at me. “You’re welcome.”

“What is all this?” I asked, picking up a random tube of lipstick and turning it over. Russian Red. “Wow, this is bright.”

“Restocking,” she sighed. “It’s a pain in the ass. But also, better than giving tweens makeovers all day.”

“What about former tweens? Do you have time for one of those?”

She laughed her deep, throaty laugh that always made me smile. Maya and I had gotten to know each other slowly over the last few years after I’d first started playing at Macy’s. She’d been one of my most favorite parts of slowing down and finding normal.

She was a real friend. And a real person. There was nothing shallow about her. She jumped right into a deep friendship and demanded raw honesty. There were still parts of my life I kept a secret from her, but that wasn’t because I didn’t want to tell her the whole sordid history of how I’d ended up in Kansas City, Missouri. It was for her safety. And mine. And to honor all those pesky nondisclosures I’d signed.

Her big brown eyes widened. “Oh, my gosh, is tonight the night? The big night?”

I nibbled my bottom lip and nodded. “Yes.” My stomach flipped with anticipation for the surprise that waited for me just hours from now.

She leaned forward, bouncing on her toes with shared excitement. “What do you think it is? Oh, my gosh, what if he proposes?”

I lifted a shoulder and felt my stomach drop to my toes. Equal parts dread and hope spiraled through me, chasing each other, racing to see which emotion would win. “I have no idea what it is. He’s so excited though. He can barely contain himself. Yesterday, he had outfits spread out on his bed like he was deciding which one to wear.”

“Oh my god, Clover! This has to be it.”

I shrugged again. “It could honestly be anything, but a proposal, Maya? For real, that would be crazy.”

“Would you say yes?”

I took too long to think about my answer. Maya wanted an easy, breezy yes. She wanted to know that my relationship with Adam Shepherd was a whirlwind romance that had totally and completely swept me off my feet. She wanted a real-life romantic comedy and epic love story wrapped in one. She wanted me to be happy. And it was so sweet of her. But it was also unrealistic.

I’d already had all of that. And it had ended in the worst kind of tragedy.

Her question was supposed to have an easy answer. Even if I wasn’t ready for the proposal now, I was supposed to want it sometime, right?

Meet a normal guy. Fall in love with a normal guy. Marry a normal guy. Live a very normal happily ever after.

Every girl’s dream. Except mine.

“We’ve only been dating for six months,” I told her, laughing, playing it off, shining light on her absolutely ridiculous idea. “He hasn’t even told me he loves me yet.” A sick feeling rolled through my stomach, my body wholly rejecting the idea of saying those words to anyone.

She blinked, her fake lashes fanning over high cheekbones. “Oh.” Maya was a romantic to her bones. She wanted everyone to fall in love. If a man so much as knelt to tie his shoe in front of the makeup counter, she assumed it was some elaborate proposal stunt. “Well, maybe tonight’s the night for I love yous!”

My heart thrummed with the idea, bossing my nerves back in line. This was an easier question to answer, although she hadn’t asked it. Would I tell Adam I loved him if he said the words first? Yes. Yes, I would.

At least, I hoped I would.

Sometimes my mouth had a mind of its own.

I bat my lashes at her. “Better make me look pretty just in case.”

She grinned and grabbed the tube of Russian Red. “The good news is, if he doesn’t love you yet, he will after I’m done with you!”

Jumping up onto one of the high back stools, I set my messenger bag full of sheet music at my feet and waited patiently for Maya to make me gorgeous. The woman was a magician when it came to makeup. Seriously, she could make anything look beautiful.

Not that she had to try very hard. She was truly one of the most stunning women I had ever seen. Her dark skin was absolute perfection. Her natural hair, wild and curly and edgy, so perfectly fitting to her larger than life personality. And her curves the kind that every woman wanted, dreamed of, spent hours in the gym to get. She was one of MAC’s bestsellers consistently because everybody wanted to look like her.

Hell, most women wanted to be her.

Also, because she could transform anyone from blah to banging with a few mystical strokes of her brushes.

Thirty minutes later, I barely recognized myself in the small circular mirror on the counter. She’d given me smoky eyes, highlighted cheekbones, and dang that Russian Red if it didn’t look amazing on my lips next to my natural red hair.

“No way,” I whispered as she grinned over my shoulder. She’d highlight the dusting of freckles over my nose and under my eyes and given me perfectly porcelain skin that seemed to have no blemishes. Although, I knew that to be a lie. I looked better than I ever had.

I looked even better than when I’d had an actual makeup team.

“You’re going home with this lipstick,” she ordered. “You need to own it and wear it every damn day.”

“It makes my hair look so red.” I groaned. My hair and I had been at odds since I could remember. There was a time I did anything to hide the crimson curls. I straightened, I tied it back and hid it under stocking caps and finally, when the PR team got involved, I colored it in crazy vibrant colors like neon pink or bold purple. I loved the fun shades, even if I looked like a Barbie.

But, I’d given all that up five years ago and went back to my natural shade. The curls were more manageable than trying to straighten this mess every day. Eventually, my new hair stylist had found the perfect red to match my roots. I didn’t even get it dyed anymore. This was just me. Clover Callaway, completely natural. Completely anonymous.

Nobody expected the red curls. They were my new signature. And I was slowly learning to love them.

Like I was slowly learning to love this life.

“You’re welcome,” Maya repeated, laughing. “Tell you what. If I had your hair, I would rock the shit out of it.”

Now that I believed. “M, if I had your hair, I would never worry about my hair again.”

She bugged her eyes out at me. “You think this is easy? You have no idea how long this takes me every day.”

“Same,” I sighed.

Shaking her head, she murmured, “I guess the grass is always greener.”

“Now isn’t that the truth.”

An older woman and a thirty-something younger version of her stepped up to the counter, pointing out eye shadows. “That’s my cue,” Maya whispered, totaling up the lipstick with her employee discount.

I gave her my credit card. Honestly, whenever she picked out makeup for me, I gave her my money. Maya knew best. “Thanks for this.”

She grinned at me. “Good luck! I want all the details tomorrow.”

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything as grand as I love yous. Adam and I had met at one of my other jobs—local photographer. He had been a groomsman at a wedding I helped shoot. We’d hit it off when he’d gotten socked in the face with a wayward basketball.

The groomsmen and groom, while waiting for the bride and her attendants to get ready, had been messing around in the church’s gym. My photographer friend, River, and I had been shooting fun photos of the pickup game in their tuxes when Adam had gotten distracted and taken a ball to the face. Blood had gushed everywhere, spurting out his swollen nose all over his tux.

His excuse? He’d been staring at me and hadn’t seen it coming. I’d rushed to his aid and helped nurse his poor nose back to semi-normal, so he wouldn’t look like a cartoon for the wedding pictures.

He’d asked me out before the night was over, and now we were dating.

Adam was one of those guys that always made things easy. He was laid-back, responsible, and adorable. The last six months had been a surprising whirlwind of romantic dates and constant butterflies. And tonight, he’d planned something epic for our six-month anniversary.

I had never celebrated relationship anniversaries with anyone before, so my expectations were low. But I was also ridiculously excited. It made me feel special. I loved the idea of celebrating small milestones with this simmering anticipation for more to come.

And it just fit Adam in every way. Of course, he would make a sweet thing out of our six-month. Of course, he would make me feel cherished. Of course, he would make this about us. And not about himself.

I left Macy’s in my cool blue Mini Cooper, my favorite of all the cars in the world, and drove directly to his house. We lived across town from each other, so I didn’t have time to go all the way home after my shift before I was supposed to be at Adam’s house in Kansas City suburbia.

He was thirty-one with a stable job as an IT guy at a tech company, which seemed redundant to me. But he assured me even tech companies have tech problems.

His house was bigger than what he needed as a single guy. It seemed huge for him alone. When he’d first moved in, he’d shared it with three roommates. They’d all gotten married in the meantime and moved out. Over the last two years, he’d been slowly remodeling and updating. Making it his.

I didn’t know why I found that attractive, but I did. It showed me how stable he was. How reliable. How invested he was in his life.

And for those reasons, I loved his house. It was this symbol of responsible adulthood and trustworthiness.

It was an older one and a half story home with the master bedroom on the main floor and three bedrooms and an adorable terrace that looked out over his sprawling backyard. He’d let me plant a flower garden on the terrace last spring complete with pallet planters he’d built for me and hanging pots. It was my favorite place in the entire world.

The hot summer air stuck to my skin as I got out of my car and hurried toward his front door. I didn’t want to start sweating and ruin all of Maya’s hard work.

Pushing through the open door, I stepped inside, feeling a little extra ownership in Adam’s place. Six months was a milestone.

Six months meant something special.

“Hello?” I called out, feeling brave that I hadn’t even texted to let him know I was on my way.

I’d earned the right to show up unannounced, right?

He stepped out of his bedroom, tugging a t-shirt down at his waist. My eyes lingered on the smooth, stretch of skin across his midsection and I felt a burst of warmth bloom through me. This was going to be a fun night. It had to be.

“Hey,” he grinned at me. “You’re here.”

He was so happy to see me. It was written all over his handsome face. My heart swelled in my chest as I realized this was what a normal, healthy relationship felt like. This was what it felt like to be happy.

“Hey,” I repeated. “I’m here.”

We moved together across the living room, sidestepping furniture and the big, clunky coffee table he’d built himself on his first try at furniture making. Our arms wrapped around each other and he dipped me into a long, satisfying kiss. Butterflies buzzed beneath my skin at the sensation of his tongue tangling with mine. The scruff of his jaw wasn’t typical, and I shivered at the sensation.

Maybe we didn’t have plans tonight. Maybe we were going to hang out here instead and find other ways to celebrate six months.

“Are you ready for this?” he asked when he’d pulled away.

“Depends,” I laughed. “Are you ready to tell me what we’re doing?”

He took a step back, barely able to contain his excitement. No offense to my bedroom skills, but any hopes of staying in tonight were dashed in that one uncharacteristic skip in his step.

Reaching into his back pocket, he pulled out printer paper with barcodes in black ink. “I have tickets to Bright Tragedy! They’re playing at the Uptown Theater tonight.”

His words were a bullet to my good mood, killing whatever happiness and anticipation had been inside me. My heart dropped like a stone to my stomach, calcifying and fossilizing and drying up all at once. “The Uptown Theater is too small for them,” I heard myself say, my brain relying on logistics to make this not true. To change what he’d said into something different, something that didn’t make me want to run away from his house, from this city… from this country.

“It’s a more intimate show,” he explained, his grin ticking wider. “This tour they’re doing is all about small shows and private meet and greets. I missed the tickets for the meet and greet, but I managed to grab the main event tonight.”

His grin stayed in place, waiting for my reaction. I did breathe a small sigh of relief that he’d missed the intimate photo op. God, I couldn’t even imagine the shit show that would have been.

You wouldn’t have gone, my brain whispered honestly. And it was true. If Adam had tried to drag me to a private event where I would have been forced to interact with the members of his and the entire world’s favorite rock band and take pictures with them and shake their hands… I would have run screaming from his house. That was the worst-case scenario for me.

But a concert was a different story. Not because I had any interest in watching Bright Tragedy live or seeing them in person ever again. But because I wanted to preserve what I had with Adam.

I refused to let Bright Tragedy steal any more of my happiness. I refused to let them take anything more from me than they already had.

But this wasn’t a celebration for me. This was one of the hardest things I would ever have to do.

And the worst part… I couldn’t even tell Adam why.

He didn’t need to know that I used to be a member of his favorite band. Or that I had grown up with the guys. Or that the lead singer, Malachi Porter, had been my first boyfriend. My first everything. My only everything until Adam. I had loved him with all that I had in me. I had thought we would get married. That our entire lives would be each other and our band.

And that Malachi, or Kai as his adoring fans knew him, had hurt me in the worst way possible—that he had let our love burn into the brightest tragedy and left me ashes and dust and wisps of nothing.

He’d left me barely breathing.

He’d left me hurting more than I knew was humanly possible.

With no other choice, I’d fled. I’d disappeared. I’d carved out my normal, safe, happy existence without him. And without the world-famous band I’d helped build.

But now, my wonderfully normal boyfriend was asking me to go back to that dark place and I didn’t know how to tell him no without exposing all my shadowy secrets. Secrets he would never forgive me for.

Secrets I could hardly explain fully or reconcile with the girl I was now.

“Are you okay?” he asked, concern drawing his eyebrows together. His strong hands landed on my shoulders, rubbing soothingly. “Do you not want to go?”

I tried to smile, but it wobbled. And then it died completely. “I’m sorry, I just don’t love their music like you do.” Panic seized hold of my heart, squeezing it in an iron fist.

His face fell, crumbling with disappointment. The grip on my heart tightened. “Oh, but it could still be fun? We’re in the balcony. We’ll get drinks…”

I couldn’t stomach the way he was looking at me. I couldn’t be responsible for ruining this for him. I knew I had to face this. I knew I had to go. It was the only way to save my past from totally screwing up my future.

If I told Adam the whole truth, he would never look at me the same. He would never treat me the same. He would never…  want me the same.

I would become an idol. And my past would become a badge of honor. And his feelings for me would become plastic.

But the band… if they saw me. If Malachi saw me…

They wouldn’t, I decided. They won’t. They can’t. How many fans did I recognize at any of our concerts? Zero. The stage lights were too bright. The crush of the crowd was too big. The adrenaline of the performance was too intense.

And besides, Malachi wouldn’t be in the right state of mind anyway. He wouldn’t even notice me.

I ignored the despair that colored everything inside me black. Death seeped inside my new life, turning everything cold and corpse-like. My bones grew stiff and my muscles weakened. My heartbeat slowed to a crawl. My lungs shook with the effort to draw breath.

“It’s fine,” I heard myself say, desperation to save this easy new life of mine setting in. I wanted to shake my limbs loose of the rigor mortis. “It will be fun.”

He squinted at me, trying to make sense of the hollow sound of my voice. “I promise, you’re going to love it. Love them,” he said, overly enthusiastic. “You’ll see why I think they’re amazing. You’ll be a super fan by the end of the night.”

I smiled, it was paper thin and fake, but it held. He was wrong. I had already been a super fan. I had been their biggest fan. I had wanted them to have the most success. To be the greatest thing that had ever graced the stage.

Now I knew better. I had loved a broken thing because I wanted to fix it. Instead, it had broken me too.

“Maybe,” I told Adam, knowing the truth would be the opposite.

His answering smile restored some of my faith in life. I wasn’t the same girl I was five years ago. I wasn’t a part of Bright Tragedy. And I wasn’t in love with Malachi Porter.

But I did like Adam. And I could support him this one night. I would slip inside the theater, be a good girlfriend and hang out on the balcony. And then we would leave at the end of the night and life would go on.

Malachi and the guys would move on to the next city.

And I would move on with my new normal.

Easy.

 

About the Author

Rachel Higginson is the best-selling author of The Opposite of You, The Five Stages of Falling in Love, Every Wrong Reason, Bet on Us and The Star-Crossed Series.

She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days writing stories and raising five amazing kids.

 

 

 

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Review – Motion Part 1 – Laws of Physics by Penny Reid

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Motion, the first in the all-new Laws of Physics Trilogy from Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author Penny Reid, is available now!

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One week.

Home alone.

Girl genius.

Unrepentant slacker.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Mona is a smart girl and had everything figured out a long time ago. She had to. She didn’t have a choice. When your parents are uber-celebrities and you graduate from high school at thirteen, finish college at seventeen, and start your PhD program at eighteen, you don’t have time for distractions outside of your foci. Even fun is scheduled.

Which is why Abram, her brother’s best friend, is such an irritant.

Abram is a talented guy, a supremely gifted musician, and has absolutely nothing figured out, nor does he seem to care. He does what he feels, when he feels, and—in Mona’s opinion—he makes her feel entirely too much.

Laws of Physics is the second trilogy in the Hypothesis series; Laws of Physics parts 1 (MOTION) & 2 (SPACE) end with a cliffhanger.

 

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Review of Motion

 

I want more! Now! Mona and Abram are incredible and I am aching to know how their story ends.

Mona is determined to help her sister out and then return to her orderly life of science and physics jokes. Abram is confused about why he’s suddenly drawn to Lisa and didn’t know this version of her. He doesn’t know that this is Mona’s impersonation of Lisa.

As Mona pretends to be her sister and finds a version of herself she didn’t know existed. Abram is everything she didn’t know that she wanted or needed and he makes Mona feel everything.

But stories that start out this way can’t possibly end well, can they? That’s what we need Parts 2 & 3 to find out! I can’t wait for the next part of this incredible story!

 

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

 

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Pre-order the rest of the Laws of Physics series today!

Space

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Time

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About the Author

Penny Reid is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers, Knitting in the City, Rugby, and Hypothesis series. She used to spend her days writing federal grant proposals as a biomedical researcher, but now she just writes books. 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 – The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks by Max Monroe

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Everyone calls me Lucky, but when it comes to love, I’m anything but.

The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks, the first in the fun and flirty Jerk Duet from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe is LIVE!

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I have a long history of dating the wrong men.

You know the ones I’m talking about.

The beautiful, charming guys who are quite literally too good to be true.

The ones who are impulsive in love and prefer short flings over long-term relationships.

I’m talking about the jerks.

The guys who taste so good, but are so very bad.

After going through the most ridiculous breakup in the history of breakups, I thought I’d learned my lesson. I officially put myself into jerk rehab and committed to changing my ways.

But, let’s be real here, love is never that easy.

Especially when an arrogant, charming, he-devil of a sexy alpha man gets involved.

Aussie accent.

Tanned skin.

Muscular, surfer bod.

Gorgeous brown eyes.

And the kind of sexy smile that brings women to their knees.

Oh, did I mention that he’s also my best friend’s brother?

Yeah. This story, my story, it’s a real doozy you guys.

The day I stopped falling for jerks, I met Oliver Arsen—the biggest jerk of all.

 

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BFF K’s Review for The Day I Stopped Falling for Jerks

 

I have listened to a TON of Max Monroe books this year and I love this writing duo’s great characters and clever stories. They’re usually super swoony and lol-funny. I was excited about the premise of this duet. And for the most part, I really liked the story and the characters.

Lucky is plucky. (Sorry, I didn’t mean to rhyme.) She’s hard-working and determined. But, unlucky in love. She takes a work trip that really begins to look a little like an early mid-life crisis/exploration of self-discovery. I think I really like Ollie as a character, but the one-sided delivery of the story only from Lucky’s point of view makes it hard to know for sure.

Here’s my issue and the things I didn’t like. The book is set up to be delivered like a podcast. And, honestly, I don’t know why. I was so distracted by the fact that the way a great author builds scenes is by adding details, but those details are very seldom things that you would actually say out loud. So, it just seemed awkward to think of this as a podcast. And, don’t even get me started on the sex scene. They tried to address it head on, but I was bothered by an explicit description of intimate sex by one of the participants in a pod cast. It just didn’t seem to fit with the story or Lucky’s character.

Lucky writes a series of Dear Ex-Boyfriend letters that really move the plot along and help with her character development. I love them and I feel like they would have been plot device enough without the podcast. Combine those two issues with the exotic travel and there was just a little too much going on.

Even with the things that bothered me about the story, I’m still invested in the characters. I want to know what happens next and I will definitely be buying book #2 in this duet. I’m hoping for a little more humor and a little less angst from Ollie’s perspective when it releases tomorrow. And, I will be one-clicking it now so it arrives soon!

I’m anxious to know how the story ends and I think that’s the highest praise I can give to a two-part story! Bring on the hunky Aussie bloke!

 

 

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

 

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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About the Author

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.

Connect with Max Monroe

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Cover Reveal – Royally Yours by Emma Chase

 

 

 

 

 

Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook had an unusual childhood. She was raised to be a Queen—the first Queen of Wessco.

It’s a big deal.

When she’s crowned at just nineteen, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. She’s charming, clever, confident and cunning.

What she isn’t…is married.

It’s her advising council’s first priority. It’s what Parliament is demanding, and what her people want.

Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man—particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.

Even Queens. Especially them.

**

Years ago, Edward Langdon Richard Dorian Rourke, walked away from his title and country. Now he’s an adventurer—climbing mountains, exploring jungles, going wherever he wants, when he wants—until family devotion brings him home.

And a sacred promise keeps him there.

To Edward, the haughty, guarded little Queen is intriguing, infuriating…and utterly captivating. Wanting her just might drive him mad—or become his greatest adventure.

**

Within the cold, stone walls of the royal palace—mistrust threatens, wills clash, and an undeniable, passionate love will change the future of the monarchy forever.

Every dynasty has a beginning. Every legend starts with a story.

This is theirs.

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ROYALLY YOURS will be available on October 30th

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About the Author

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

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