Review – Blind Kiss by Renée Carlino

 

From the national bestselling author of Before We Were Strangers, Swear on this Life, and Wish You Were Here comes a powerful story of two people who spend years denying their scientifically-proven chemistry.

Penny spends her afternoons sitting outside a sandwich shop, surrounded by ghosts. Fourteen years ago, this shop was her childhood dance studio—and she was a dancer on the rise. Now she’s a suburban housewife, dreading the moment her son departs for MIT, leaving her with an impeccably-decorated McMansion and a failing marriage. She had her chance at wild, stars-in-her-eyes happiness, but that was a lifetime ago. After The Kiss. Before The Decision.

The Kiss was soulful. Magical. Earth-shattering, And it was all for a free gift card. Asked to participate in a psych study that posed the question, “Can you have sexual chemistry without knowing what the other person looks like?” Penny agreed to be blindfolded, make polite conversation with a total stranger, and kiss him. She never expected The Kiss to change her life forever and introduce her to Gavin: tattooed, gorgeous, and spontaneous enough to ask her out seconds after the blindfolds came off.

For a year, they danced between friendship and romance—until Penny made The Decision that forced them to settle for friendship. Now, fourteen years later, both of their lives are about to radically change—and it’s his turn to decide what will become of their once-in-a-lifetime connection.

 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and the bestselling author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, Before We Were Strangers, Swear on This Life, and Wish You Were Here. She grew up in Southern California and lives in the San Diego area with her husband and two sons. To learn more, visit ReneeCarlino.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Blind Kiss

Several years ago I remember seeing an article online about people doing a blind kiss study and I was so intrigued. It was a fascinating experiment to judge raw chemistry. So when I saw the premise of Renee Carlino’s new book, I knew I wanted to read it. Perhaps I should have read the synopsis more objectively.

Let me be really honest. There is a reason I stick primarily to romantic comedies. I am an emotional reader. And the angst and sadness is just too overwhelming for me most of the time. Reading rom-com helps to keep my head and my mood in a much happier place. But, every once in a while a book that makes you feel and breaks your heart just a little bit is a reminder of the power of great stories.
Penny is a beautiful, talented and dedicated dancer when she meets Gavin in college during the Blind Kiss experiment. Their chemistry is instantaneous and explosive. Their youth and other issues keep them apart romantically but they determine to be best friends. That relationship proves distressing for many other people in their lives and themselves.
Penny is complicated. But, she is also passionate, creative, nurturing and fiercely loyal. Gavin is a lost soul and Penny is the center of his world that keeps him grounded. Their convoluted and intricate relationship is fascinating. Together they weather some of the most difficult of life’s circumstances, depend on and love one another in ways they love no one else.
Again, I am an emotional reader and it has been quite some time since I have read a heartbreaking book. I cried through more than half of this book. While it is a romance and the ending brought satisfaction and closure, it wasn’t enough. I needed more positive to heal the negative and I’m not sure the good was sufficient enough to make up for the bad.
If you are a fan of angst and heartache, this is a book for you! The storyline is unique and captivating and you will care deeply about the characters. The book is exceptionally well written. But be fully and completely prepared that this emotional story will take its toll on your heart and your tear ducts.
An advance copy of this book was received via Net Galley. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

It was really this bad….

 

Excerpt from Blind Kiss

WE SAT AT the bar of the pub as I continued to stare at him, a mixture of curiosity and fear boiling in my gut. He ordered a beer, and I ordered Chardonnay with beer-cheese pretzels.

“That’s different for you.”

I usually stuck to salads, an old habit from my dancing days, but I had lost a lot of weight in the past few weeks. “Don’t think you can distract me so easily. Tell me what’s going on. Did you break up with Briel?”

He took a long pull from his beer and stared straight ahead. “Don’t be mad, okay?”

I stared at him, wordlessly, the fear fully boiling over. And then he dropped the bomb on me.

The next few minutes were hazy as Gavin, the bar, and my glass of Chardonnay swam together before my eyes. I tried to reach for the glass but found it suddenly empty. That’s weird. It was full a minute ago. I motioned to the bartender for another, then poured it down my throat in a steady stream.

I was breathing fast when I slammed the glass on the bar, shattering my fugue state—and bringing Gavin into sharp relief. I was reeling.

“Shit, Penny! Be careful. You almost shattered your glass!” He practically yelled.

“You’re moving to fucking France?!” I yelled back.

The bartender jerked his head toward the door, and within minutes Gavin was forcibly dragging me out of the bar by the arm. I slipped out of his grip and stood in the middle of the parking lot, seething, very much drunk, and fully freaking out. “So, do you love her?”

“Briel? What kind of question is that?”

“Just answer me.”

“Fuck, Penny. That’s not what this is about. I don’t really have a choice here, though, do I?”

“You always have a choice.”

He glared at me. “That’s fucking rich, coming from you.”

I shook my head vigorously. “Totally different situation.”

“Like hell it was.”

“When do you leave?”

“In two days.”

“WHAT?!”

He ran up and shook me by the shoulders. “Jesus, if I knew you were gonna take it like this, I wouldn’t have told you in public. Pull yourself together.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs and then made a guttural sound as I hunched over and held my stomach.

“First Milo, now you?”

“Don’t you put that on me. I’m not the reason why you’re about to be alone and unhappy.”

“Fuck you, Gavin!”

“Fuck you, Penny!”

He didn’t turn around—he just stormed off in typical Gavin fashion: petulant, recalcitrant, and a total shithead. People in the parking lot were gawking, appalled, covering their children’s ears. But no one made a move to leave. When Gavin and I got like this, we were like a car wreck by the side of the road, impossible to look away from.

Gavin slid into his ’67 Chevelle and fired up the engine. I hated that car because he loved it so much. It had a black leather interior, a flawless paint job, and tinted windows, like it belonged to some kind of celebrity—which Gavin definitely wasn’t. It was his only possession worth a dime, besides his garage, a few guitars, and a Zippo lighter he swore River Phoenix had given to him at the Viper Room the night of his death.

I ran to the exit and stood in the middle of the lane, daring him to run me over as he ripped out of his parking spot and raced around the corner toward the exit. “We’re not done talking, you coward!”

He slowed but let the car idle while he revved the engine. “I dare you!” I yelled.

He stuck his head out the window, leaned his tattooed arm against the door, and actually grinned at me.

So smug. What a dick.

“You look ridiculous standing there. Get out of the way!”

I walked toward his window and noticed that his demeanor had completely softened. There was even humor in his expression. He wanted me to block him, and he knew I would.

“Can’t you have a proper fight without running away?”

“You were lecturing me, yet again. I have a mother, thank you. You have a child you can order around . . . and a husband you can control. I don’t need your shit, okay? Don’t you realize that I’m freaking out, too? I’m going through the hardest time of my life, and you’re making this all about you.”

“You’ve been going through the hardest time of your life for the whole fourteen years I’ve known you.”

“And as my friend, do you think you’re helping my situation right now?” he spat back, his mood shifting once again. “Don’t even. Don’t you dare act like I haven’t been a good friend to you. You’ve put me in the most awkward situations, you’ve bolted on me, you’ve stopped speaking to me for weeks at a time, but still . . . I make myself available to you. I’ve been here for you, always. And now you’re moving thousands of miles away when I need you most?”

He shook his head slowly. “That’s right, Penny. You have been here. You’ve been right by my side, lecturing me, rolling your eyes at me, pressuring me to get serious about Briel, all so I could go and fuck up my life even more while you sit in your nice house, with your KitchenAid mixer, your Oracle espresso machine, and your fucking yellow Lab.”

“Don’t talk about Buckley that way! He’s a good dog. And you love our espresso machine.”

Gavin’s lips turned up at the corners. “You’re so messed up, Penny. You definitely have a chemical imbalance.”

I pointed to my chest, shocked. “Me? Look who’s talking? Please, pull into a parking space. I don’t want to stand here anymore, making a spectacle of myself. Some parent from Milo’s school is probably watching this whole thing. There’ll be whispers at the next PTA meeting. Is that what

you want for me?”

“Don’t pretend like you go to PTA meetings. And look around; everyone’s gone. It’s just us.”

He was right. The parking lot had cleared out. Gavin was sitting in his idling car while I was standing outside his window like a moron.

“I resent you for saying I pushed Briel on you. And yes, for your information, I do go to PTA meetings.”

“You encouraged me to go out with her, then you needled me about it until I finally did.”

“You were horribly depressed! I thought you were gonna jump off a bridge. I told you to go out with her and to have some fun. She’s a nice girl. I didn’t say turn your life upside down, pack up, and run away with a foreigner! You’re thirty-six-years old, Gavin. I think it’s time you grew up.” I shook my head. “God, I can’t believe you.”

He jerked his head back and squinted. “Great band but not totally PC to call someone a foreigner, Penny.” His voice was low.

“Are you going to become a French citizen now, too? You better brush up on your French.”

“Everyone speaks English there.”

“No, they don’t! People always say that, but you’ll see. They might be able to communicate to a degree, but it’s not conversational English.”

Why am I still standing here, screaming about French people?

I needed to tie this conversation up in a pretty little bow. I needed closure. I couldn’t say good-bye to my best friend without it. He was leaving, going to France to chase a girlfriend

I knew he didn’t love. I was losing him. And it was my fault. We couldn’t leave each other angry.

“I’ll figure it out,” he said. “Try not to make me feel worse about my situation, though I know that’s hard for you.” “Your situation? It’s always your situation. What about my situation?” He just stared at me. He was hurting; I could tell. But I was hurting, too. “Listen—”

“What?”

“Don’t interrupt me.” I cleared my throat. “Gavin . . . it’s just . . . I’m going to fucking miss you, okay? I’m having a hard time right now, and life is about to get a whole lot harder the second you leave.” I started to cry.

He hated it when I cried, but he didn’t ask me, “Why are you crying?” He never had to ask. He took a deep breath in through his nose, then released it forcefully in a burst of frustration. A second later his car stalled. He put it in gear, got out, and swooped me up in a bear hug. “Penny, Penny, Penny . . . my crazy girl,” he said as he rubbed my back. I was wiping my snot-covered nose on his black T-shirt and he didn’t care one bit.

He held me for a long time. When he started to release me, I said, “It’s not enough.”

He picked me up again and squeezed me harder. Tucking his face into my neck, he said, “It’ll never be enough.”

“Why?” I said, fully bawling against his shoulder. He brushed a strand of my hair, damp with tears, behind my ear. “I have to go, and so do you. You need to be with your family now.”

I felt the lump in my throat growing. “You don’t have to constantly remind me that I have a family. I love my family. But you’re a part of it, too, and that’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m fucking crying in the parking lot in front of Bank of America.”

He pulled away and we stood there, two feet apart, staring at each other, as if we were committing each other to memory. Allowing one another to really look at and take the other person in, stripped down to our bones, without scrutiny.

“Is this it?” I asked.

“This is it, P.”

I shook my head, leaned up on my toes, and wrapped my arms around him. We hugged again for a long time before he got into his car. I tried to hold on to the feeling of having him in my arms, or maybe I was trying to hold on to the feeling of being held in his.

He started the engine as I stood there, waiting for him to leave.

“We’ll talk on the phone or email or something, okay?”

“Okay,” I told him.

He swallowed nervously. Looking up at me from the car window, he said, “I wish it were you, Penny.”

That was my bow. He knew I needed it, good or bad—no matter what feelings it shook loose from our long and complicated history together.

 

 

About the Author

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

 

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Review – It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time by Kylie Scott

 

 

“Addictive like all Kylie Scott books, you’ll swoon, laugh, ache, put your life on hold, and compulsively read until the wee hours of the night—only to reread the whole thing the next morning. Perfection!” – Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author

Returning home for her father’s wedding was never going to be easy for Adele. If being sent away at eighteen hadn’t been bad enough, the mess she left behind when she made a pass at her dad’s business partner sure was.

Fifteen years older than her, Pete had been her crush for as long as she could remember. But she’d misread the situation—confusing friendliness for undying love. Awkward. Add her father to the misunderstanding, and Pete was left with a broken nose and a business on the edge of ruin. The man had to be just as glad as everyone else when she left town.

Seven years later, things are different. Adele is no longer a kid, but a fully grown adult more than capable of getting through the wedding and being polite. But all it takes is seeing him again to bring back those old feelings.

Sometimes first loves are the truest.

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | iBooks | B&N | KOBO

 

BFF K’s Review – It Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time

 

I have been in a slump! You know those times when you pick up five different books, but just can’t finish one of them? But, this was the home run that finally scored a finish for me, and it was so good!

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time is an emotional story with just the right amount of tension and conflict, but overall enjoyable, deep characters that you can connect with and care about, particularly Adele. She’s sweet and kind and a little quirky. As a young girl, she had an unrequited crush on an older man who worked for her father. She’s been away for years and finally come back to find that her lust burns just as hotly as it did when she was 18. But, it might not be as one-sided as it used to be!

Pete is a strong, alpha male character who finally sees what he couldn’t/wouldn’t see just seven year’s ago. What started as a meaningful friendship threatens to become so much more. Though there were a couple of times when I wanted to seriously smack him across the head, he finally gets his act together in pretty spectacular fashion!

I really loved this story! It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time has all the sass, snark, witty banter and clever insight that I crave from a Kylie Scott book. It was just the right book at just the right time. I know you will fall in love with these stories and characters too. Buying this book is definitely a good idea all the time! ❤️

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

It was meant to be a soft kiss. A chaste one, even.

The minute my lips touched his, however, everything changed. Callused hands grabbed the sides of my face and my mouth opened on a gasp. His tongue swept inside, taking me over. Holy hell. Shoes and purse hit the floor, forgotten. Nothing about this kiss was slow or easy. The man devoured me. Every ounce of emotion poured into that kiss, all of the anger and frustration between us. His tongue was teasing and tasting, driving me wild. Then he drew back to suck and nip at my bottom lip. One hand slid around the back of my neck, the other over my hip to grab at my ass. His hold was firm, a little rough even. He treated my body like it belonged to him and I wasn’t gentle either.

Apparently experience mattered. Because all I could do was try and keep up.

I held on tight to his open shirt, straining against him, trying to get closer. I’d have crawled inside the man if I could. Turned out that under certain circumstances, the taste of scotch worked for me in a big way. Against my hip, his cock hardened, digging into me. And oh my God, I’d done that to him. Me. How amazing! Meanwhile, my body felt liquid, core aching and empty. I needed him inside of me and it seemed like I’d already been waiting forever.

“Pete. Please.”

“Fuck,” he muttered, breath hot against my ear.

I fumbled at the remaining buttons on his shirt. My damn fingers didn’t seem to be working. Easier to just push the whole thing upward. Luckily, the man decided to help, tearing the shirt off over his head. More skin was good. And he was so hot and smooth, a thrill to the touch. The solid flesh of his pecs and the flat plane of his stomach.

He tore at the zipper on the back of my dress, dragging fabric down over my shoulders. A growl came from the back of his throat, a noise of frustration, impatience. I’m reasonably certain I heard the silk rip. I didn’t care. His hands and mouth seemed to cover every bit of skin revealed, touching and tasting me everywhere. The dress got stuck on my hips. Out of the way enough for now.

He didn’t even bother undoing my bra, simply peeling down one of the lace cups to free my flesh. My breast filled his hot palm as it took the weight. Fingers plumped me, his thumb flicking over my hard nipple. The sting of pain followed by the heat of his kiss made my head spin and my body ache. There was no room for thought as he fed me deep, wet kisses. Slowly, he took us to the floor. No time for anything else. Just the urgent need to have him inside me.

The hardness of the polished wood was cool against my back. My legs were spread, his body between them. And with his broad chest above me, his weight taken on one arm, he was all I could see. I swear even the insides of my thighs were wet, I was so ready. It would have been embarrassing with anybody else. But this man, he had to know, he had to understand. It had always been him.

“Pete, I need—”

“I know,” he said, voice harsh and low.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

 

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | FACEBOOK FAN GROUP | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

Release Blitz – It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

 

 

 

“Addictive like all Kylie Scott books, you’ll swoon, laugh, ache, put your life on hold, and compulsively read until the wee hours of the night—only to reread the whole thing the next morning. Perfection!” – Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author

Returning home for her father’s wedding was never going to be easy for Adele. If being sent away at eighteen hadn’t been bad enough, the mess she left behind when she made a pass at her dad’s business partner sure was.

Fifteen years older than her, Pete had been her crush for as long as she could remember. But she’d misread the situation—confusing friendliness for undying love. Awkward. Add her father to the misunderstanding, and Pete was left with a broken nose and a business on the edge of ruin. The man had to be just as glad as everyone else when she left town.

Seven years later, things are different. Adele is no longer a kid, but a fully grown adult more than capable of getting through the wedding and being polite. But all it takes is seeing him again to bring back those old feelings.

Sometimes first loves are the truest.

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | iBooks | B&N | KOBO

 

 

 

Excerpt from It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

“Did you enjoy the wedding?” he asked.

“W-what?”

The man stood much closer than necessary. “The wedding. It was nice, right?”

“Sure.”

Faint strains of music carried from across the road. It seemed worlds away. He downed a mouthful of scotch, gaze never leaving my face. All I could smell was the single malt, his cologne, and the slight scent of salt on his skin. After all, it’d been a hot night and he’d been dancing in the suit. He wasn’t happy; I knew the signs well enough. The tension in his jawline and the look in his eyes. All heated and intense.

“So you’ve been sitting in the dark, drinking and brooding, huh?” I asked. “That sounds constructive.”

“What did Leona have to say?”

I laughed. “Oh, hell no. I’m not getting caught in the middle of you two again. Why don’t you try settling your issues like normal people and actually talk to one another?”

“You have such a clever mouth, Adele.” He cocked his head. “Always got an answer, don’t you?”

“Enjoy your scotch, Pete.” I turned away. “I’m going to bed.”

“What’s the rush?” Strong fingers wrapped around my arm, not gripping me hard, just enough to hold me in place.

“I’ve spent enough time tonight in the company of a drunken asshole, thank you.” I smiled.

His return smile was lopsided. “You’re angry.”

“I’m tired.”

“You’re angry and tired. Me too,” he said. “Less so on the tired, though. Actually, I’m wide the fuck awake.”

“Good for you.”

He finished off his drink, then reached past me, setting the empty glass on the kitchen counter. “Keep me company.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Why not?” he asked, expression full of false interest. “Thought you’d love the chance to tell me off some more.”

I looked away. “We’re done here.”

“No, we’re not.”

“Yes, we are.” I pulled my arm out of his grasp. “We’re finished, Pete. Our friendship or whatever the hell it is these days . . . It’s over, kaput, the end. Took me seven years, but tonight I finally wised up.”

“That so?”

“Yep,” I said. “I refuse to keep feeling this way about you. It’s such a stupid waste.”

His gaze narrowed.

“You know, I even have a plan.”

“What might that be?”

“In the morning, I’m going to go home and fuck every available man I meet until one of them does it for me.” My smile felt jagged and horrible. It couldn’t have been pretty so see. “And then I won’t think about you anymore.”

His fingers curled into tight fists. Nice to know I wasn’t the only one affected. I put my hand on his chest, getting up in his face. Two could play the invading-personal-space game, for fun and intimidation. As if I would back down.

 

 

 

About the Author

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

 

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | FACEBOOK FAN GROUP | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

 

New Release – Rivers by S.L. Scott

Title: RIVERS

Author: S.L. Scott

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Kindle Unlimited

RIVERS on Amazon

This Standalone Second Chance Rock Star Romance by New York Times Bestselling Author, S.L. Scott, will have you falling in love with Rivers Crow while introducing you to his Sexy as Sin brothers and band mates—Jet, Tulsa, and Ridge.

Rivers Crow has everything he could ever need—a rock star life, more money than the devil himself, and worldwide fame. Except he’s still missing the one thing he wants—the girl he left behind.

Stella Fellowes has a life she doesn’t want—an unfulfilling job, debt without a ceiling, and lonely nights she spends pretending not to miss the one thing she needs—the boy who broke her heart.

Five years later, the guitarist she once loved is back with a hit record, millions of fans, and that look in his eye that still makes her weak in the knees. Only she’s not the same girl he once knew.

When these two star-crossed lovers come together, time starts to heal old wounds. Although she’s compelled to look past his sins, will he be able to look past hers?

Rivers Goodreads: http://bit.ly/RiversGR

THE CROW BROTHERS SERIES

Spark Amazon

Tulsa Amazon

Rivers Amazon

Ridge Coming: September 2018

Spark on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/SparkGR

Tulsa on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/TulsaGR

Rivers Goodreads: http://bit.ly/RiversGR

Ridge on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/RidgeGR

**Series Cover Designs: RBA Designs**

 

 

Excerpt

Stella Lilith used to have an adventurous side, but I think it’s been a while since she broke a few rules. “Will you climb out first?”

There’s my girl. “Yep.” I press down on the sink, hoping it doesn’t fall off the wall. It looks old, so I’m not sure it can hold my weight. But it’s getting louder in the hall, so I climb up, grabbing an exposed pipe above the window, and maneuver my legs through the opening. Good thing we’re on the ground level. Pushing off, I land on my feet in the alley and turn around. “Stella?”

She peeks out and by the way her lips are twisted and her eyes are looking at the cement, she’s nervous. “I don’t want to fall.”

“I’d never let you. Not to the ground anyhow.”

For a second, she looks confused, but her brow relaxes and a small smile appears. “You’ll catch me?”

“Every time.”

She disappears, and I can hear her climbing onto the sink. Her legs slide out the window until her ass rests on the metal sill. “Ready for me, Rivers?”

“All my life.”

“For real,” she says, her nerves causing a slight shake to her tone. “You’re going to catch me, right?”

“Always.” I take her by the ass, and say, “Put your legs over my shoulders.”

“What? No.”

“Yes. I’ve got you. Then all I have to do is back up as you slip out.”

“I’m not as light as I used to be. Are you sure you can handle me?”

I work my way under her so her legs are over my shoulders. “Don’t worry about me, baby. I can handle you all right.”

Her thighs squeeze my neck. I like to think it was the name I slipped in there, but it’s probably because she’s anxious to do this. She slips out a little more, and our eyes meet. “You’re sure you’re ready?”

“All you have to do is let go. I have you.”

Releasing the pipe, she ducks her head to the side while I support her back with my hands, holding her until she clears the glass. Helping her upright, my face is against the jeans that cover her vagina and she’s squeezing my head with her legs so tight I don’t know if I’m going to live. What a sweet fucking way to die.

 

 

About the Author

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

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.slscottauthor.com/Ridge

Amazon: http://bit.ly/SLScottAm

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2TheScoop

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.l.scott/

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

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Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/Slscottauthor

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/SLBookbub

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/slscott1

S.L. Scott’s Facebook Reader Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/slscottbooks

S.L. Scott Goodreads Reader Group: http://bit.ly/SLScottGRGroup

 

 

New Release – The Problem with Him by Rachel Higginson

I’m over men. I’m done with them.

Or at least the ones that work in my kitchen. Fine, one man in particular. Wyatt Shaw is cocky and condescending and so far out of his element that he doesn’t know which way is up. Or how to run his brand new kitchen all by himself.

That’s where I come in. Sous chef extraordinaire. Second in command. Bane of his existence. I am the reason Wyatt’s doing so well as the new executive chef of one of our city’s most prestigious restaurants. He has me to thank for his glowing accolades and five-star write-ups. Only if you were to ask him, he’d say I’m his biggest problem.

Despite his discouragement and bullish behavior, I’ve set two goals for myself.

The first? I’m going to fight my way to the top of this male-dominated industry and claim my own award-winning kitchen.

The second? I’m going to do whatever it takes to ignore Wyatt and his rare smiles and the thickening tension that’s started to simmer between us.

Wyatt Shaw might be Durham’s new shining star. He might be up for a James Beard Award. He might be my new boss and key to my future success, but he’s also in my way.

So he can keep his smoldering looks and secret kisses. And he can be the one that figures out how to make it through service without getting distracted by me.

I’m not the problem. The problem is him.

 

Buy The Problem With Him today!

The Problem with Him

Read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited

 

BFF K’s Review Coming Soon!

 

Check out the other books in the Opposites Attract Series – they’re all amazing!

The Opposite of You

The Difference Between Us

 

Excerpt

There was this defiant witch inside of me that had to know more. I wanted this too. And maybe, if I was honest with myself, I could admit that I’d wanted it for way longer. But I couldn’t let him get away with… getting his way. I was too used to fighting him to give him what he wanted without at least a small argument. “But how long will you wait?”

He didn’t seem amused by my question. He leaned forward, forcing me to tip back on my elbows. His chest brushed mine. His tattoos winked at me, inviting me to touch them, taste them… suck on them until I’d left my mark. “A lot longer than you’ll make me.”

My mouth dropped open. “What does that mean?”

He grinned. No half smile or wicked smirk. This was a full on, blinding, both-sides-of-his mouth smile. “It means, we can play this game till the end of time and two things will remain true. One, you want me. You’ve wanted me for a long time. You want this to happen. And I’m very willing to oblige you. And two? I want you. I’ve wanted you for a very long time. I’ve wanted you for so long, you’re the only thing I can remember wanting. I want you and I’m willing to wait as long as it takes to have you. You get me? We can do this cat and mouse thing for however long you need to do it, but I know both of us are ready to play a different kind of game.”

His head dropped so he could kiss and suck his way over my collarbone. I closed my eyes and tried to catch the spinning thoughts in my head, to make sense of them.

“Kaya,” Wyatt taunted, his voice low and growly. “Yes or no?”

“Yes,” I whispered without thinking. No more fighting. He was right. We both wanted this.

 

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.

You can visit Rachel:
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facebook.com/rachelhigginsonauthor
Twitter @mywritesdntbite

 

 

New Release – Tulsa by S.L. Scott

 

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

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

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

Drummers hit it harder and do it better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Title: Tulsa

Author: S.L. Scott

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 3, 2018

Cover Design: RBA Designs

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/TulsaGR

BFF K’s Review Coming Soon!

 

Excerpt

Nikki Faris is amazing.

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

Nikki Faris is mesmerizing.

Her lips.

Her eyes.

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

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

Yet.

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

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

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

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

“Soap and sweat, sweetheart.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She doesn’t answer, which is probably best.

 

About the Author

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

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.slscottauthor.com/
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Book + Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/slscott
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S.L. Scott FB Reader Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/slscottbooks
S.L. Scott GR Reader Group: http://bit.ly/SLScottGRGroup

 

 

Excerpt – Chapter 1 – Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

Hooking Up by Helena Hunting Pre-Order Today!

 

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

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

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

 

Read Chapter 1 of Hooking Up

One

Wedding Unbliss

Amie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What about you?”

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

“Didn’t you come with a date?”

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

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

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

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

A door opens and closes.

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

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

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

“Oh shit,” Ruby gasps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just want out of this nightmare.

 

Pre-Order Hooking Up Today!

 

Read BFF K’s Review of Shaking Up

 

About the Author

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

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New Release – Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

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

 

 

Meet cute…

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

Make merry…

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

…and hope for a miracle.

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

 

 

Order CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE in ebook or paperback, now available!

 

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Add to your Goodreads

 

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Giveaway

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

 

About the Author

 

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

 

 

 

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

Title: THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS

Author: Lia Riley

Series: Everland, Georgia #2

On Sale: September 26, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

Add to Goodreads

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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BFF K’s Review Coming SOON!

 

 

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  “Sounds cold.”

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

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

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

                  “She abandoned your family?”

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

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

                  “I’m sorry that happened.”

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

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

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

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

                  “Okay, pick an egg, any egg.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And now?”

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

                  “You have a way of making cooking sexy.”

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

                  “How so?”

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

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

 

 

Read the Rest of the Everland, Georgia Series

IT HAPPENED ON LOVE STREET, #1

THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS, #2

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About the Author

 

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

 

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Excerpt – Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

 

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

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

 

 

 

Meet cute…

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

Make merry…

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

…and hope for a miracle.

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

 

 

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

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Excerpt from Chasing Christmas Eve

#Motherforker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sorry,” Elle said. “But no.”

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

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

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

Cute, sexy, and smart.

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

“What?”

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

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

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

“Cold, Elle, even for you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We do today.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“She’s not running a con on me.”

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

He had to laugh. “Ditto.”

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

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

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

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

And he’d do it again if he had to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

About the Author

 

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

 

 

 

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