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

Title: THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS

Author: Lia Riley

Series: Everland, Georgia #2

On Sale: September 26, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $5.99 USD

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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BFF K’s Review Coming SOON!

 

 

Excerpt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  “Sounds cold.”

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

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

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

                  “She abandoned your family?”

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

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

                  “I’m sorry that happened.”

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

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

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

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

                  “Okay, pick an egg, any egg.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“And now?”

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

                  “You have a way of making cooking sexy.”

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

                  “How so?”

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

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

 

 

Read the Rest of the Everland, Georgia Series

IT HAPPENED ON LOVE STREET, #1

THE CORNER OF FOREVER AND ALWAYS, #2

Series Page on Goodreads

 

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About the Author

 

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

 

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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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Review – Keeper by Amy Daws

 

 

They were best friends until they became roommates.

 

KEEPER is NOW LIVE & Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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They were best friends until they became roommates.

Booker Harris has spent the last several years pushing himself to become the best goalkeeper in the Championship League. Tired of living in the shadows of his headline-splashing brothers, he has finally carved a path of his own.

As a child, Poppy McAdams was content in her own little make-believe world, until the boy next door with dimples and pained eyes came barreling into her makeshift fort demanding all her attention.

Best friends for most of their lives, everything changes when Poppy abruptly leaves London for University.

Now she is back, and gone is the awkward girl from Booker’s youth. She has been replaced by a stunning woman with secrets. Secrets that Booker is desperate to know.

Sharing a bedroom wall with your best friend from childhood quickly turns to anything but sweet and innocent.

 

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BFF K’s Review of Keeper

 

I was so excited to dive into Keeper and the book lived up to my every expectation! The Harris Brothers Series is full of smart, funny, sexy boys and the women who meet them stride for stride. Booker and Poppy are no exception. Their story is filled with witty banter, emotional discoveries and lots of romance.

Booker is the baby of the Harris clan. He’s stretching his wings and exerting his independence. But, he’s reluctant to reach too far beyond his comfort zone. He’s thrilled when his childhood BFF returns to London. Though Booker’s still in the dark about her abrupt and semi-secretive exit from his life, he’s thrilled to have her back. And he’s ecstatic to offer up a room in his new flat. When Poppy blows into the new digs looking smoking hot and all grown up, his feelings are suddenly way beyond BFF!

Poppy is conflicted. On one hand, she’s thrilled to be back in London and back in the orbit of her bestie, Booker. On the other hand, there’s an attraction that she fears is one-sided and uncontrollable. The story unfolds with the stress and tension of this back and forth dilemma!

Keeper can turn a Sports Romance rookie into a full-fledged fanatic. And, if you already cheer for a great Sports Romance, Keeper will solidify a top spot on your list of fan favorites!

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

 

 

Excerpt from Keeper

Locking secret eyes with Belle, I quickly unwrap my purple ice treat and pop it in my mouth. I lean across the counter so I’m only a foot away from Booker, who’s now watching my lips. “So, Booker”—I suck hard and then take a nibble, my tongue swiping out to catch the syrupy liquid on my lips—“Do you know anyone who might be good for me?”

“Good for you for what?” Booker asks, his face devoid of any humour as he stares at my mouth with heat in his eyes.

“For a date. I thought maybe a teammate of yours might be good because they are familiar with Tower Park. They could show me around the stadium after the wedding. Give me a tour.” I wink.

His face turns red. “You’re not taking one of my fucking teammates to my brother’s wedding.”

“Why not?” I ask innocently and then plunge the lolly back in my mouth, going deeper this time.

He frowns as he watches my lips. “Because if you want a bloody tour of Tower Park, I can give you one.”

Rolling my eyes, I reply, “Fine, he doesn’t have to give me a tour. But I’m out of touch with people since I left, and you have a gaggle of teammates, Book. Surely you know someone who wouldn’t hate to spend the evening with me.”

“Roan DeWalt would be fun for her!” Vi interjects, snapping everyone’s attention to her as she whisks something in a bowl.

Tanner pipes up next. “Over my dead body he’s coming to my wedding. I’ve finally stopped wishing dismemberment on the prat.”

“It was only a suggestion!” Vi peals, looking perplexed. “It’s just that I set him up with our cousin Alice and she loved him! Roan is a South African dreamboat.” She waggles her eyebrows at me and I can’t help but smile. 

Suddenly, Booker stands, his stool screeching on the marble floor as he pushes it away. “Not Roan. Not any Bethnal players. None of them would work. You’re not their type.”

I hear Vi suck in a breath of air, and my cheeks heat with embarrassment. “Why not?” My jaw is tight with anger as my ice lolly drips, forgotten between my two fingers.

His fists clench on the counter. “Because I know you, Poppy. You’re not the kind of girl they’d go for.”

The way he’s acting gets right up my nose. I wanted to make him jealous, but that’s not what’s happening. He’s insinuating I’m not good enough for his mates, as if they’d never go for anyone like me. He doesn’t even know me as an adult. He’s pigeonholing me into the Poppy he thought he used to know. It’s complete and utter shit! “If you actually think I’m not good enough for your team—”

“They’re not good enough for you!” he shouts, interrupting me as he leans over the counter to get in my face. Booker eyes me hard, clearly not amused by my request. “No teammates, Pop. Not Roan. Not anyone. Got it?” His shoulders rise and fall as he pins me with the most aggressive face I’ve ever seen on him.

I can tell the moment he snaps out of it because his neck turns red and he looks around at his family, who are all staring at us with their mouths open. He shoves two hands through his hair as he turns on his heel and strides out the back door and into the garden.

It’s quiet in the kitchen as everyone sits there gobsmacked. 

“Wrong button,” Tanner quips and Belle elbows him in the ribs. I turn my red face to look at her and she nods with reassurance.

“I hope you girls know what you’re doing,” Vi says. Then she wipes her hands off and tosses the tea towel in front of me as she scurries out after Booker.

Meet the other Harris Brothers!

 

Meet the Harris TWINS  in Challenge & Endurance

NOW AVAILABLE & Free on Kindle Unlimited (Standalone)

Challenge

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Endurance

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About the Author

 

 

Amy Daws is a lover of all things British and her London-based love stories bring the incredible city to life on every page. Read all about hot British men, hilarious heroines, and unforgettable and original ensemble casts that pull out all the feels. For more of Amy’s work, visit www.amydawsauthor.com

 

 

 

 

 

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New Release – Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely

 

 

From #1 NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes the swoony and oh-so-romantic title…MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY.

In MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, the NFL starting quarterback Cooper Armstrong needs his best friend’s sister to pretend to be his girlfriend. Violet is willing, but neither one expects their boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage to turn into a full-contact sport so quickly. Find out if their fake play will become the real deal or if they can turn back the clock to when they were just friends in this sexy new standalone sports romance!

Now available on all retailers! Get your copy delivered now!

 

 

✮✮✮ MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is here! Grab your copy today! ✮✮✮

Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns.

Don’t let the fact that I’m the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I’m only a player on the field. I’ve kept my pants zipped all season long — and it has been long — because nothing’s more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner’s recently-widowed and handsy-as-hell sister who’s dead set on winning more than a date with me.

Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary.

She’s my best friend’s sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash. After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don’t even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd and then announce that she’s my girlfriend. Which would be fine except my agent tells me we have to keep up the act while he’s negotiating my contract.

Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is — I’ve been riding the bench for years.

How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she’s most valuable to his heart?

MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY is a brand new standalone sports romance written in the guy’s POV!

 

 

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10% of the proceeds from the release day sales along with a portion of pre-orders across all retailers of MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY will be given to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Houston Humane Society to help those in need from the natural disaster.

 

 

 

 


✦The audiobook is narrated by Zachary Webber! Grab your copy today! http://adbl.co/2gbiHT2


 

Excerpt from Most Valuable Playboy

Always a bridesmaid.

No Action Armstrong.

Ball Cap Boy.

Mr. Clean.

The Unused Insurance Plan.

Oh wait. Here’s one more, a personal fave.

Best Butt in the NFL.

Those are just some of the nicknames I’ve been given in the last few years. They don’t bug me. Not one bit. They’ve all been true, especially that last one. You should see my ass. You can bounce a quarter off my cheeks.

Here’s the thing—when you spend the first three years of your career warming the bench for the best player in the league, you can’t get a chip on your shoulder. You have to stay sharp and be ready for that moment when you swap out a ball cap for a helmet and get your pants dirty.

My time has finally come this season, and so far, we’re winning.

But tonight isn’t about what happens between the opening kickoff and the end of the fourth quarter.

Tonight is about the one game I’ve always dominated.

For the last few years, I’ve been the highest ticket item in the players’ annual charity auction, and I can’t help enjoying that. Because the guy I’ve backed up has been called a lot of things—a legend, the greatest ever, a titan of the game—but the one I most enjoy is “second-best-looking quarterback on the Renegades.”

Hey, I didn’t give him that name. The media did, deciding the dude who play second-string—me—had a prettier face. Before this season, I’d seen a grand total of 120 minutes of playing time in my first three years, but I’ve taken home the top honors in the charity auction, where some of the loveliest ladies come to bid on the players they want to take out for a night on the town.

Ah, the memories of those dates have warmed my heart, and other parts, on the sidelines when the games were dull. Evenings in limos, testing the strength of the leather backseat, nights in hotels that lasted way past dawn, mutually and blissfully ignoring the no physical contact between the winner and the player rule.

Yeah, I’ve enjoyed the fuck out of being paraded on stage in front of hundreds of women, their slender arms lifted in the air, raising their bids higher on me than all the other guys. It’s been my one chance to shine, even to stand out.

Those days are behind me, though, now that I’m finally leading the team down the field every single Sunday. I still expect to rake in top dollar for the charity I gladly support, but this time, I won’t be living it up and letting loose after hours. I have a reputation to protect, and a season on the line.

The trouble is, the woman who has her eyes on me at the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction wants my full enchilada, and it’s not on the menu anymore.

Guess that means it’s time to call an audible on the line of scrimmage.

 

 

 

 

 

“Lauren Blakely is a master at writing sexy, engaging stories that draw you in and make you fall in love with her characters. A definite go-to author for me!”
NYT Bestselling Author Melanie Moreland

 

 

“Lauren Blakely never ceases to amaze me with her sense of humor, her talent to write fabulous heroes and heroines and to pull an A game with a male POV. Most Valuable Playboy is a real treasure.
Becca at Little Read Reading Hood

 

 

 

 

“The slow burn, the teasing, the kisses, OH THE KISSES!!! MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY exceeded all of my expectations. Lauren Blakely has a knack for making a reader fall for her characters.”
Jess at Jo and Isa Love Books Blog

 

Add it to Goodreads here!

 

 

 

Giveaway

✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY GIVEAWAY! ✮✮✮

Lauren’s Most Valuable Playboy Team Spirit Prize Package Giveaway! This bundle is valued at $450 and includes a Coach Handbag ($300 value) and $150 Stub Hub Gift Card to use for tickets to the game, your favorite concert, or theater performance.

http://laurenblakely.com/valuable-playboy-giveaway/

 

About the Author

A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she’s sold more than 2 million books. In September she’ll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter

 

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Excerpt – Shift by Staci Hart

Shift by Staci Hart

Publishing Date: August 24th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Even the gods cannot betray the will of the stars.

It’s been a hundred years since she’s warmed my bed, a hundred years spent waiting for her. Now we’ll compete again in a game that matters little to me. But my prize is far greater than a token to be paid for a favor — I want her.

And for the first time in a very long time, I have the chance to keep her.

Because now the ground has shifted, tilted in my favor, and with her footing unsteady, she will fall.

I will catch her.

This time, I won’t let go.

 

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Excerpt

ARES

The city stretched up like quartz against the fading sunlight, the colors of the sky deepening with every second that slipped by. Ares’s eyes were on the horizon, slashed with the darkening skyscrapers at the southern tip of Manhattan, but his mind was a thousand years behind him, and her face filled the space in between.

They were Mars and Venus. Man and woman. Ares and Aphrodite. The bond between them was unbreakable, undeniable, no matter how she had tried to reject it, tried to stay away. She’d never quite succeeded. She never would.

Even the gods could not betray the will of the stars.

It had been a hundred years since she warmed his bed, a hundred years of waiting for her. Now they would compete again in a game that mattered little to him. His prize was far greater than a token to be paid for a favor — he wanted her. And for the first time in a very long time, he had a chance to keep her.

Adonis had been in the way far too long — even murdering the human hadn’t removed him from the equation — but now the ground had shifted, tilted in Ares’s favor, and with Aphrodite’s footing unsteady, she would fall.

He would catch her.

This time, he wouldn’t let go.

Ares had already chosen his human player, and soon he would make his way down to the throng of gods who waited for the game to begin. She would be there. She would make her choice, and the fire between them would ignite as it always did — first with a spark, then a flicker. Then, she would be consumed, and so would he.

It would be the same as it ever was, and he was so starved for her, his body tensed from head to heart to heel in anticipation of what was to come.

From a hundred years down to a few days, the distance traveled worth every second of longing, and with every moment that passed, the stars moved closer to alignment and to his favor. And there was nothing she could do to fight it.

He’d see to that.

About the Author

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

 

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New Release – Ready to Run by Lauren Layne

Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon and iBooks 
READY TO RUN
I Do, I Don’t #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 22, 2017
Loveswept

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.


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Excerpt from Ready to Run

Damn. Charlie hadn’t been lying about the hot blonde.

The woman walking straight toward him was all tight jeans, high heels, and confidence. And hot. Very, very hot.

Charlie muttered something admiring under his breath, and Luke’s gaze flicked to the man beside the woman. Tried to place him. Couldn’t.

Not too many guys around here who wore light-purple shirts and white pants with the same easy comfort that Lucky Hollow residents wore jeans and flannel.

No doubt about it—neither was from around here. Not by a long shot.

The man was a half step behind the woman, and Luke assessed that the woman was calling the shots.

His eyes narrowed as he realized that she hadn’t once wavered in her approach.

She knew what she was after:

Him.

She got closer and Luke saw that the face matched the body. Wide blue eyes, full lips, sassy shoulder-length blond hair that was just tousled enough to make a man wonder how it had gotten that way—to want to be the one to muss it.

Her gaze flicked over him, and Charlie whistled and muttered under his breath. “She just checked you out, man.”

She had indeed, but Luke was far from flattered. It hadn’t been the assessment of a woman checking out a man so much as a predator evaluating its prey.

As though she was evaluating him for . . . something.

Blondie stopped in front of him, and the second her blue eyes locked on his, Luke felt a little jolt of awareness and was irrationally annoyed. It had been a long time since he’d been quite so aware of a woman.

Once, he’d enjoyed the feeling—sexual chemistry was almost the perfect combination of pain and pleasure. A subtle punch in the gut that you wanted to experience again and again.

These days, though, he was having a hard time getting past the pain part. The shitty parts had outweighed the good parts just one time too many. Now he mostly settled for casual hookups with a divorcée a few towns over who was even less interested in com-mitment than Luke was.

He had zero use for attraction to a pretty, bold woman in high heels.

Luke noticed that for a sheer moment she had a slightly off-balance look, as though she too had felt the annoying zip of arousal when their eyes met, but she recovered quick-ly.

Pasting a sunny, generic smile on her face, she stuck out her right hand. “Luke Elliott. I’m Jordan Carpenter. This is my colleague, Simon Nash.”

Good manners had him setting down his equipment and extending his own right hand toward hers even as his brain caught on her name. Familiar, and . . .

Shit. Shit!

He managed to stop from jerking his hand back, but just barely. Instead, he gritted his teeth, gave her hand a perfunctory shake, and then fixed her with a glare. “You’re wasting your time, Ms. Carpenter. And mine.”

Blue eyes narrowed. “Aha. So you did get my emails.”

Those. The voicemails. The letters.

“Sure,” he said with a nod, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Just like I suspect you got the message that I didn’t want to be a part of your show.”

Charlie looked from the woman to Luke and back again. “Show?”

Ryan ambled over, his shit-eating grin telling Luke that this damn woman had already spilled the beans on why she was here. “Luke’s gonna be a national heartthrob.”

“International,” said the blond guy in the purple shirt.

Jordan Carpenter didn’t look at her companion, but all three firefighters did.

The other man gave the sort of easy smile that probably had him making friends easily. Luke didn’t want a new friend.

Especially not one who wanted to use his shitty romantic past for the sake of TV ratings.

 

Series Pre-Order Links

Series Pre-Order Links

RUNAWAY GROOM (Book 2)

JUST RUN WITH IT (Book 3)

 

Giveaway

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About the Author

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband.

 

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
 

 

 

Excerpt – Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

 

 

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Look up Landon Roderick, that boy from childhood whom I’d never been able to forget—even though he so easily forgot about me—and call him.

Then again, anything sounds like a good idea when you’ve had a little too much wine before bed, right? It was supposed to be just a quick, meaningless, prank call. Instead, I went off on him—unloading thirteen years of pent-up emotions.

I didn’t think he’d call me back.

I certainly could never have anticipated the weeks of sexually tense phone conversations that followed as I got to know the man he’d become.

Turned out, Landon had never really forgotten me, either. That special connection we had was still there. I opened up to him, but there were also things about me he didn’t know. And he had his own secrets.

Over the countless hours we talked on the phone, I wondered what would happen if we actually saw each other. One night, I did something impulsive again. Only this time, I went to the airport and booked a ticket to California. We were about to find out if one phone call could bring two lost souls together or if my drunk dial really was all just a big mistake.

A complete STANDALONE.

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Excerpt from Drunk Dial

Copyright © 2017

By Penelope Ward

After that evening, I hadn’t heard back from him for a few days.

Then, one night, a text came in from the same phone number I recognized as Landon’s. It was the first time he’d texted me.

I looked down to find he’d sent a photo.

I gasped.

It was a heavily tatted man set against the backdrop of the ocean at sunset. Oh, my. It was him—a selfie.

Fuck. Me. He was beautiful.

I wouldn’t have even known it was Landon were it not for the blue eyes I recognized instantly. The shaggy, caramel hair I remembered from the past was now a darker shade of brown and shorter, cropped closer to his head. His arms and his chest were inked, his body so perfect that if I squinted, it almost resembled carved stone.

I couldn’t stop looking at him. My eyes wanted nothing more than to explore the ridges and valleys of his stunning body.

Was this a cruel joke?

This was not Landon!

But, it was.

With my thumb and middle finger, I kept zooming in and out, examining the details of the ink across his chest and on his arms. There was really nothing sexier than a guy with perfect arms and a full sleeve tattoo.

Even though his lips seemed fuller than I recalled, they still curved into a familiar grin that oozed confidence. The eyes and that smile were the only traces of the boy I remembered. I wished I could’ve leapt through the screen to smell him, touch him.

“Hi, Landon,” I whispered, for a brief moment talking to the boy inside, not the man in front of me.

This Landon was the polar opposite of the Ivy League yuppie image previously in my head. The only thing the man pictured might have majored in was badassery. He looked like a rockstar, a rule breaker, displaying a sense of arousing danger—someone who must have had women from all walks of life drooling over him for the sheer fact that either they couldn’t have him or shouldn’t have him. It suddenly became clear why, as he’d alluded to, a woman might have been begging him for sex. That made me wonder if he had any secret tattoos in spots I wasn’t allowed to see.

God.

A fire was burning inside of me, and I knew it was my crush exploding into a full-blown obsession.

A self-conscious feeling came over me. If I was scared to show him a picture of myself before, now I was really hesitant.

The message that went along with the photo simply read:

Now show me you.

 

About the Author

 

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of thirteen novels. With over a million books sold, her titles have placed on the New York Times Bestseller list sixteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband, and kids reside in Rhode Island.

 

Connect with Penelope Ward

Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram

 

Standalones from Penelope Ward:

Mack Daddy
Amazon     iTunes     B&N     Kobo

Sins of Sevin
Amazon     iTunes     B&N     Kobo

Neighbor Dearest

Amazon iBooks Nook Kobo

RoomHate

Amazon US Amazon UK iBooks Kobo Nook

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon B&N iTunes kobo

Gemini

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Jake Undone (Jake #1)

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My Skylar

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Jake Understood (Jake #2)

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Other books from Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Playboy Pilot

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Amazon Paperback     iBooks     Nook     Kobo     Google Play

Cocky Bastard

Amazon US Amazon UK iBooks Kobo B&N

Stuck-Up Suit

Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon Paperback iBooks B&N Kobo

 

New Release – I Don’t Regret You by Jodie Larson

 

Regrets.

We all have them.

Like the Aqua Net hairstyles back in the 80’s, the 90’s grunge fad, or the person you lost your virginity to as a teen because you were “totally in love”.

I have a few of my own. Specifically, marrying my rebound guy but staying married because I was too weak to fight for my own happiness.

He took me down and kept me there for far too long.

I’m done. Done living with regrets and done not pursuing what makes me happy.

Then you came along and showed me that I was worth more than who I had become.

You are not my regret.

 

Get your copy today!

AMAZON

 

 

Excerpt

Before I have the chance to turn, Henry reaches down and places his hands on my shoulders. I don’t jump, which surprises me. Maybe the wine loosened me up more than I thought.

“You must be in nerd heaven.” He trails his fingers across my upper back as he rounds the couch to sit next to me. Without thinking, I lean my head against his shoulder and turn my nose toward his neck. There’s that smell I adore; crisp and masculine. Like an autumn breeze. I need to figure out what cologne he uses since I still owe him a Christmas present. Is it too forward to buy a guy cologne if you’re not sure what your relationship status is?

“I’m having a lot of WTF moments. And somehow, I’ve forgotten the first few seasons, so I decided to start from the beginning.”

He sits forward and tilts my head so I can see him better. “When did you eat last?”

Good question. “What time is it?”

Henry raises a brow. “Um, just after ten.”

I start to laugh. “About twelve hours ago.” Not sure why that’s funny. I think the wine is making me loopy. It would explain so much, though.

My laughter earns me an eye roll as he picks up a bag I didn’t see him set down and disappears into the kitchen. Do I stay in here and watch the slaughter or go into the kitchen and watch the chef work his magic?

These are tough choices.

I empty the bottle into my glass, which only fills it halfway.

Hmm, looks like I was thirstier than I thought.

I try standing from the couch, only to fall back again. Well, there’s my answer.

By the time the mad slaughter is finished, Henry rounds the couch again, holding two plates heaped with the most delicious smelling pasta.

“How’d you know?” I eagerly take a plate from him, along with the offered fork, and dive into the cheesy goodness. Creamy yet hearty, especially with the giant chunks of bacon. My stomach grumbles again, this time in appreciation.

“Know what? That you wanted pasta?” I nod my head as I slurp a noodle past my lips. “Call it intuition.”

“Your ESPN is working wonderfully.” He laughs and I can feel it all the way through my chest.

“Don’t you mean ESP?”

“Isn’t that what I said?”

Henry takes his thumb and runs it over my mouth, grabbing a dribble of sauce collected in the corner. All thoughts leave as he drags it over my lips, letting me taste the combined saltiness of the sauce and his skin.

It’s hot and feels almost sinful. I let my tongue run along the pad of his thumb before wrapping my lips around it. Henry’s eyes dilate, turning darker, more primal. When he licks his lips, I almost drop my plate to devour him instead.

I’m navigating foreign ground. I don’t know if I’ve ever had this sort of a connection with another man before. Henry knows what I want without asking. And he’s such a great listener. He never gives that bored look I seem to find on most guys when I’m telling a story or venting my frustrations. Probably how he knew I wanted pasta tonight. He knew I was stressed and it’s my favorite dish in moments like these.

“Thank you for tonight.” I break our spell and focus on my fork as I push the food around.

“We haven’t done anything yet.” Yet. I turn to find him smiling at me. “Dinner was the beginning. Tonight is about getting you used to this new normal. Whatever you need, I’m here for you.”

He’s not real. No way. Must be a figment of my imagination.

“How have you stayed single all this time?” The words slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them.

Bless his heart, he doesn’t laugh at my obvious word vomit. Only tucks some hair behind my ear while giving me one of those special smiles.

“I was waiting for the right woman to come along.”

 

 

About the Author

Jodie Larson is a wife and mother to four beautiful girls, making their home in northern Minnesota along the shore of Lake Superior. When she isn’t running around to various activities or working her regular job, you can find her sitting in her favorite spot reading her new favorite book or camped out somewhere quiet trying to write her next manuscript. She’s addicted to reading (just ask her kids or husband) and loves talking books even more so with her friends. She’s also a lover of all things romance and happily ever afters, whether in movies or in books, as show in her extensive collection of both.

CONNECT WITH JODIE!

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

 

 

 

 

New Release – Savior by S.L. Scott

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RELEASE BLITZ

Title: Savior

Series: The Kingwood Duet, book 2

Author: S.L. Scott

Genre: Mystery, Romantic Suspense

Release Date: August 13, 2017

 

New York Times Bestselling Author’s new ROMANTIC SUSPENSE duet has readers consumed by the BREATHTAKING love and mysteries that lie between the pages.

 

Everything is not as it seems.

Alexander IV has succeeded to the throne of the billion-dollar Kingwood Empire, but the people he thought he could trust aren’t allies.

They’re enemies.

Everyone he cares about is at risk.

Decisions–SACRIFICES–must be made.

What will he do to protect the people he loves? Will Sara Jane live or die?

Find out NOW in this EPIC conclusion to the bestselling The Kingwood Duet. Savage, book 1 in the series, should be read first and is LIVE on Amazon.

 

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON US     AMAZON UK     AMAZON CA     AMAZON AU

~ Free in Kindle Unlimited ~

 

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Excerpt

I sit outside on a bench, looking at the scuffs on the tips of my black leather shoes. The bottoms are worn from wearing them while riding my bike. It was the only sign that set me apart from the other rich kids where I grew up. Other than Cruise, no one rode motorcycles or had dealt with anything worse than getting a warning after getting busted for smoking, skipping school, sneaking out, smoking weed, getting drunk, or driving over the speed limit. The list could go on.

     I have a car. I just don’t drive it much, preferring the freedom I feel on my bike. It wasn’t just my clothes or the bike that set me apart. None of them had lived, breathed, existed simply because their soul mate did. Not even now.

     From the moment I saw her, I knew Sara Jane was it for me, an angel in a Catholic school uniform, eating a candy bar. She couldn’t have been more innocent. Except she was. The girl had barely been kissed. It’s like she had been waiting to meet me, as if she had saved herself for me. How a girl who looked that good and smelled even sweeter remained untouched for so long was beyond me.

     I would have loved her no matter what. She could have been a prostitute, and I would have only seen her halo. I was a ship navigating a stormy sea, but she called me to her lighthouse, a beacon shining in the dark. It was never about her innocence, or the sins I had inherited. The day I met Sara Jane was about two lives that weren’t meant for only one lifetime, but destined to be together forever.

     Maybe that’s what had given me the confidence to break away from the kids I grew up with. I knew I was meant for something bigger than a life of partying and getting high socially.

     I was meant for Sara Jane, and she for me.

 

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ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE KINGWOOD DUET

SAVAGE

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~FREE in Kindle Unlimited~

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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.

  

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

 

 

 

 

Review – Beneath The Truth by Meghan March

 

 

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes the final sexy standalone set in the Beneath world of New Orleans.

I used to believe there were lines in life you don’t cross.
Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t steal.
Until I learned people don’t always practice what they preach.
I turned in my badge and gun and walked away from everything.
Then I got the call no one wants, and I’m back in New Orleans.
What I don’t expect is for her to be here too.
Another line you don’t cross?
Don’t touch your best friend’s little sister.
She’s always been off-limits.
Too bad I don’t follow the rules anymore.

 

 | iBooks  | BN | Kobo 

 

BFF K’s Review of Beneath The Truth

 

I’ve shed a few tears today. There were sad tears to mark the end of one of my most favorite series in the last few years. There were happy tears for the way each of the storylines was completed. There were also some really big smiles, because you can’t ask for more than that from one of your favorite authors.

The Beneath Series has followed a somewhat-mismatched group of New Orleans residents. Their lives crisscrossed and soon became intertwined with one another. They have helped each other, fought with each other, fought for each other and saved each other countless times throughout the seven book series. Beneath The Truth was the perfect conclusion to the series.

Each of the books in the Beneath Series builds on the other as the characters mix it up together. However, the books can be read out of order or as standalones and they will deliver equal enjoyment. One of my favorite things about this series is the incredible audio narration. The entire series is narrated by my all-time favorite duo of Andi Arndt and Sebastian York. They bring the characters and the settings to life and make these fantastic books even better!

Detective turned civilian, Rhett Hennessy FINALLY gets the answers to questions that have plagued him throughout the series. To top it off, he gets the girl! And the fans of this series are the real winners. The Beneath Series is on my most recommended list and you absolutely need to add it to your TBR/TBL lists today!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from Beneath The Truth

Wham. My heart slammed against my ribs as it sped up about twenty beats per minute.

The heat and delicious woodsy citrus scent radiating from his body did good things to me. Things that made me want to do very bad things to him. I wasn’t a seventeen-year-old virgin anymore. I knew my way around a man, but I had to admit, the hipsters in Cali had nothing on a homegrown Louisiana man like Rhett.

When he spoke, he leaned in so close that I could feel his breath on my ear. “You missed that shot on purpose.”

My gaze jumped from the sexy five o’clock shadow shading his jaw to his piercing green eyes.

“Wha-what are you talking about?” I smacked myself mentally when my old stammer kicked in. Of course he would cause it.

“That shot. You missed on purpose. I saw you adjust at the last minute. Why?”

I swallowed the saliva pooling in my mouth and decided to take the safest exit from this situation. Lying.

“Cue slipped.”

His eyes narrowed on me. “You’re lying and you’re terrible at it, just like you’ve always been.” He reached up and pressed his thumb to my left eyebrow. “You get a twitch right here.”

Oh my God. Rhett Hennessy is touching me. And what’s more . . . he knows my tell. He noticed me!

The fifteen-year-old inside me did a terrible cartwheel at the realization. Okay, more of a round-off. With a tumble in the grass to finish. Whatever.

But outwardly, I was trapped in that green gaze until he decided to let me go—or until I came to my senses.

I cleared my throat and sidestepped him. “Whatever you say, hotshot. I need another drink.”

Focusing on putting one four-inch heel in front of the other without biting it, I escaped to the table and reached for the whiskey glass I’d left behind, interrupting my brother and the waitress. They both stared at me as I chugged the contents.

I’d always wondered what it would feel like to have Rhett’s attention, and now I knew. In a word, it was . . . unnerving.

“How’s the game going?” my brother asked.

“Fine.” Keeping my answer short meant he couldn’t tell that I was lying. Heath wasn’t nearly as observant as Rhett.

“You winning?”

Thanking the Lord that Heath obviously hadn’t been watching, I shrugged. “I guess.”

He glanced toward Rhett and then back to me. “The sister I know and love doesn’t lose at pool. Ever. Even to Rhett Hennessy.”

I lowered the glass to the table and straightened my shoulders. “Like they say, things change.”

He nodded slowly. “That may be true about most things, Flounder. But you’re a pool shark and we both know it.”

Before I could respond, Heath’s attention jumped back to the waitress. I took another ten seconds to gather myself, also known as drinking offensively in my mind, before I crossed the floor to face off against my former obsession.

“You all right, Red?” Rhett asked.

“Don’t call me that. And I’ve never been better.”

His gaze dipped to my feet and dragged up my body. “I can agree with that statement.”

Whoa. Who is this guy with the innuendo? A glance at his empty whiskey glass told me he was drinking heavily as well. Was this the booze talking? Or was Rhett Hennessy not just noticing me, but noticing me?

Either way, I had to play it cool. Or at least pretend to play it cool, since it seemed I might fall short.

“Your turn, hotshot. Better not miss, because I’ll clear the table next time,” I said, but my cocky attitude backfired.

Rhett didn’t miss. He sank his balls and then the eight, ending the game almost as quickly as it started. He returned his cue to the rack and turned to face me, all traces of the earlier heat banked, his expression shuttered.

“Game over.”

What the hell just happened?

 

 

 

About the Author

meghanmarchpic

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at meghanmarchbooks@gmail.com.

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