Release Blast- Shameless!

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Title: Shameless ( Playboys in Love #1)

Author: Gina L. Maxwell

Release Date: May 30th, 2016

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People say I’m shameless. They’re right.

I like my work dirty and my sex even dirtier. It takes a hell of a lot to tilt my moral compass, and dancing as a private stripper for horny suburbanites doesn’t even register. Neither does hooking up with them afterward whenever the mood strikes—it’s one of the bennies of the job—but it’s always a one-and- done. I don’t do repeat performances. Ever.

Until I meet the one girl in all of Chicago not interested in dry humping my junk. She’s all I can think about, and that’s a problem, because I made sure she wants nothing to do with me. But I’ve seen her deepest secrets, her darkest fantasies, and they match mine to a fucking T.

I want her. Bad.

Now I need to show her how good it can feel…to be shameless.

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Chapter One

Jane

If such a thing as a Landlords of Chicago Convention existed, and said convention had an
award for Worst Landlord of a Multi-Unit Building, mine would win by a landslide. A freaking landlord landslide.

Cursing his name for the umpteenth time in the last half hour, I wrap a Band-Aid around the cut in my thumb I’d acquired trying to unclog the pipes under my bathroom sink. God forbid Walter would actually do his job and call a plumber for me.

Since I’d moved into my small apartment in the South Shore area, my hot water heater, oven, and window A/C unit had all taken a crap at one point or another—just a few of the perks of living in a building so old that it predates the invention of the elevator—and each time it had taken Walter weeks to get them fixed.

But I’m nothing if not independent and self-reliant—traits born of being the child of workaholic parents. I’d managed to repair my garbage disposal and replace the tank assembly in my toilet by browsing the almighty Google and ignoring all my girly squeamishness at the ick factor of both. Neither instance had been pretty, but it wasn’t anything a hot shower and the satisfaction of a job well done couldn’t wash away.

Unfortunately, my stupid bathroom sink pipes aren’t going to be added to that list of
accomplishments anytime soon. I don’t know if the slip nuts (thank you, Google Images) had been screwed on by the Incredible Hulk or fused in place by the lesser known supervillain Rust Man. Either way, those suckers aren’t budging for a mortal female with minimal experience handling a pipe wrench. (Feel free to insert dirty joke here.)

I glare at the standing water in the sink, hands on my hips, willing it to magically go down. I’m so focused on trying to Jedi-mind- trick the bastard into submission that I jump when my phone rings. Jogging into the living room, I snatch up the cell and answer as I plop onto the couch.

“Hey, you,” I say, greeting my best friend Addison Paige. “Aren’t you supposed to be burning the midnight oil?”

“It’s only seven p.m., but I’m sure I’ll still be here when midnight rolls around,” Addison says wryly. “You writing your paper?”

I laugh. Calling my masters thesis on social work a paper was like calling the Taj Mahal a
chapel. I’ve been working on it for two years, and I’m almost—almost—done. Turning it in is the last step in getting my dual degree. Then I can finally get a job in my field and start making some real money instead of the piddly-ass wages I make as an intern and part-time waitress. (And then move.)

“Surprisingly, no,” I say. “I’m still trying to fix the clog in my bathroom sink, but all I’ve managed to do is pinch my thumb. Luckily, I managed to staunch the flow before I bled out all over the floor.”

“Damn good thing, because if you die before I get my fun friend back, I’ll kill you myself.”

“You know what I love about you?” I ask, laying the sarcasm on thick. “It’s that you make
complete sense when you threaten me. I think it’s what makes you the best lawyer ever.”

“And I love that you love that about me. And also that you repeatedly tell me I’m the best lawyer ever instead of acknowledging my pathetic peon status. This boys club of a law firm isn’t going to give me my own cases anytime soon.”

“Nonsense. It’s only a matter of time before they see your brilliance and make you a partner,” I say with confidence. “Wait—since when am I not your ‘fun’ friend? I’m fun.”

“Seriously? When was the last time you went out? For fun. Not for school or work or any other life-sucking activity. Like, to a dance club or a bar or a fucking baseball game? I don’t
know…anything.”

I open my mouth to respond with a list of all the things I’d done recently that qualified—because surely there is a list—but came up with nothing. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’d gone out to be social. I’ve hung out with Addison, but that was more lunch dates and Netflix than clubbing and cavorting.

“Um…”

“Exactly,” Addison crows.

Okay, so she’s not wrong. It’s been a while since I’ve had a social life and an even longer while since I’ve had a sex life, which makes me grateful she didn’t bring that particular nugget up. My recent hermit status may have slipped my notice, but I’m painfully aware of how long it’s been (for-freaking- ever) since I’ve been satisfied by someone other than myself.

Completing my masters coursework in two years instead of three, and then replacing school hours with work hours, doesn’t leave me with any time to invest in a relationship. I’m all for casual flings or even one-night stands, but the handful of forays hadn’t been worth shaving, much less the Brazilians I’d splurged on. After my last underwhelming sexual rendezvous, I decided that I wouldn’t drop trou for anyone else unless I’m positive it’ll be worth the pain of getting my pubic hair ripped out by the roots by a sadistic woman armed with strips of hot wax. If you’ve ever subjected yourself to that particular brand of cosmetic torture, you know that’s setting the bar for sexual excellence pretty high.

So while I wait for Mr. Mind-Blowing- In-The- Sack, I bought a Hitachi Magic Wand—God bless the misguided man who thought he designed a great neck massager—and became a frequent purveyor of internet porn.

That’s right. I’m a closet porn addict.

Don’t judge me. It gets the job done. With the right video, I can be turned on in minutes. Then, depending on my mood, I’ll either watch several to build the anticipation, or simply dive right in and get myself off in what I call an “express O.” Bing, bam, boom, done.

But like I said, it’s not something I’m ready to share with the class. Not even with Addison. Not because I think she’ll judge me—that girl is all for owning your freak flag and letting it fly—but because I’d inevitably have to answer questions about how often do I watch it (several times a week), and what kind do I like (the rougher, the better), and do I have a favorite porn star (hands down, James Deen). I’d just rather not get into the gory details of how I take the edge off my sexual frustrations, thank you very much.

“What’s it called when the lawyer is being an obnoxious asshat?” I ask my best friend. “Is it contempt? I find you in contempt of court, and I object. Your argument is erroneous. I don’t need a good time right now, I just need someone to fix my pipes.”

“Yeah, your lady pipes,” she jokes. “Things are probably just as rusted shut down there as they are under your sink.”

Actually, since I don’t use a dildo of any kind, it’s highly likely. “Okay, that’s it,” I say, laughing in spite of myself, “I’m hanging up. You need to get back to work, and I need to do anything other than talk to you at the moment.”

Sighing dramatically, Addison acquiesces. “Fine, killjoy. Does this mean you don’t want the number of a handyman who came highly recommended to me?”

I sit up a little straighter, perking up at the words “highly recommended.” Growing up in the digital age as I have, you’d think that I would trust online reviews of products and services. But things on the internet can be bought or faked. I’d much rather take the word of someone I know, and I’m ready to cry “uncle” and be done with this whole situation. “Who recommended him?”

“Rebecca, one of our paralegals. She said he’s worth every cent and more. I believe her exact words were ‘the best ever.’”

That sounds promising, so I grab the pen and pad of paper from the side table. “Okay, what’s the number? I’ll give him a call tomorrow.”

“One sec, I’ve got another call coming in. Hang on.” And with a click the line went silent.

I lean back on the couch, staring at the spidery ceiling paint, following the bigger cracks and admiring how they fan out with reckless abandon. Of course, they probably knew what I knew: no way was I standing on a ladder and painting upside down to fix them. When Addison clicks back over, I tell her, “All right. I’m ready for the number of my miracle plumber.”

“No need,” she replies. “I just called and paid in advance. Consider it an early birthday present. He’ll be there in about an hour.”

“What? It’s too late for anyone to be making house calls on a Friday night.”

“Riiiiight. Because everyone’s shit only breaks between the hours of eight and five on
weekdays.” Addison is just as fond of sarcasm as I am. It’s one of the reasons we make such great friends.

“Point taken, but you still shouldn’t have called.” I hate it when she tries to pay for things. Peon or not, she makes a good living as a lawyer and likes to make up dumb reasons why I should let her pick up the tab on stuff. “My birthday’s not even for another six months.”

“So then it’s a half birthday present. Hasn’t anyone ever told you not to look a gift-friend in the mouth? Have some wine, read a book, tweeze your eyebrows. I don’t care, as long as you let the man do what he’s hired for when he gets there, okay?”

“Yes, Mother,” I say with the tone of an audible eye roll. But then I add a sincere, “Thanks, Addie.”

“You’re welcome, babe. Oh, and make sure you call me tomorrow and tell me all the juicy
details. Ciao!”

Before I can comment on the ridiculousness of anything involving a middle-aged man with plumber’s crack being “juicy,” she hangs up. Belatedly, I realize I never even got the name of the guy or his business. I almost call her back to ask, but figure it’s not a big deal. The odds of someone showing up coincidentally under false pretenses as a handyman in disguise are pretty much nil.

It’s been a long week, and that glass of wine Addison mentioned is suddenly calling my name. Blowing out a deep breath, I stand and head to the kitchen where I have an open bottle of red.

For once, I’m going to take my friend’s advice: enjoy a glass of wine and a book while I wait for the “best ever handyman” to arrive and do his thing. Now that I know help is on the way, I’m really looking forward to getting my pipes fixed.

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ATAs

Gina L. Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she’s been living her newfound dream ever since.

When she’s not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing at
Scrabble (and every other game) to her high school sweetheart, doing her best to hang out with their teenagers before they fly the coop, and dreaming about her move to sunny Florida once they do.

Find Gina On:

  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

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Saturday Spotlight- Good Girl

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Author: Lauren Layne

Release Date: May 17th, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Romance

Rating: 4 Stars

Heat Rating: 4 Stars

All The Feels Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

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Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

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Waiting On It Wednesday- Broken Prince

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Author: Erin Watt

Release Date: July 25th, 2016

Genre: YA Romance

Second book in The Royals Series. Check out Paper Princess first!

 

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These Royals will ruin you…

From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself.

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

She might be right.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.

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Saturday Spotlight- The Summer Games: Settling The Score

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Author: R.S. Grey

Release Date: May 2nd, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

Heat Rating: 4 Stars

All The Feels Rating: 4.5 Stars

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As an Olympic rookie, Andie Foster has spent far more time in her cleats than between the sheets. For 21 years, her Friday nights have consisted of blocking shots rather than taking them. But now that she’s landed in Rio, she’s ready to see for herself if the rumors about the Olympic Village are true:

• The athletes are all sex-crazed maniacs…
• The committee passes out condoms like candy…
• The games continue long after the medals have been handed out…

As Andie walks the line between rumor and reality, she’s forced into the path of Frederick Archibald, a decorated Olympic swimmer and owner of a sexy British accent–too bad he’s unavailable in a way that “it’s complicated” doesn’t even begin to explain.

In other words: off limits.

It doesn’t matter that he has abs that could bring peace to the Middle East and a smile that makes even the Queen blush; Andie fully intends on keeping her focus on the soccer field. But the Village is small. Suffocating. Everywhere Andie goes, Freddie happens to be there–shirtless, wet from the pool, and determined to show her a whole new meaning of the phrase “international affairs”.

Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

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Waiting On It Wednesday- Defending Taylor

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Author: Miranda Kenneally

Release Date: July 5th.

Genre: YA Romance

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Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

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Teaser Tuesday- Bittersweet

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I received an ARC of Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen today, and I can’t wait to jump in! Bittersweet is the first book in a new series, and will debut June 14th. Here is a little sneak peak!

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If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

 

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Saturday Spotlight- Paper Princess

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Author: Erin Watt (a collaboration between Elle Kennedy & Jen Frederick)

Release Date: April 4th

Genre: YA, Romance

Rating: 5 Stars

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From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees. 

**Ends with a Cliffhanger. Next book in the series, Broken Prince, will be out July 25th.**

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Her One And Only by Becky Wade

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Author: Becky Wade

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Romance , Romantic Suspense

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Heat Rating: 1

All the feels Rating: 4

Release Date: May 3rd

Copy kindly provided by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

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After ten years in the NFL, superstar Gray Fowler is accustomed to obsessive fans. But when Gray starts receiving death threats from a stalker, his team hires an executive protection agency to guard him until the culprit is caught. Dealing with bodyguards 24/7 is a headache, especially when one of them is a young, beautiful woman. How can a female half his size possibly protect him better than he can protect himself?

Dru Porter is a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt–none of which saved her from disaster on her last assignment. In order to rebuild her tarnished reputation, she’s determined to find Gray’s stalker and, since relationships between agents and clients are forbidden, avoid a romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past.

Yet every secret that leads Dru closer to the stalker also draws her closer to Gray. As the danger escalates, they’ll survive only if they can learn to trust their lives–and their hearts–to one another

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Gray Fowler, famous tight end for the Dallas Mustangs, is pretty surprised when he discovers one of his new (unwanted) body guards is an attractive female. Unfortunately, Dru Porter isn’t too surprised to see the reaction Gray has to her being a woman. As a former Marine and current executive protection agent, Dru is more than qualified, but knows she has to prove herself more than any man would. Since she loves what she does, she is willing to put up with her clients egos. Even Gray’s massive one, no matter how much he protests he doesn’t need her help.

They are quick to judge each other- Dru thinks of Gray as a stubborn womanizer, who doesn’t take anything seriously besides football. Gray thinks of Dru as a cold, uptight woman, who may be more stubborn than he is. But as Gray’s stalker becomes more and more aggressive, the two of them grow closer, and an unlikely friendship forms between them. A friendship that starts to feel like it could be more.

Her One And Only is touching, sweet, and filled with a splash of suspense. It’s a great enemies to lovers tale, that feels real and honest. It’s the kind of book that will make you smile as you read it, but also reflect on your own life.

I loved Dru. I thought Becky Wade did a perfect job with her. She is tough, independent, comfortable with her faith- basically the type of person you can’t help but root for. She also has some insecurities, like the rest of us, and at times is vulnerable behind her hard outer shell. Clearly she is selfless, since she puts herself on the line for another person for her career.

I also loved the character of Gray, even though at first he is almost the complete opposite of Dru. He is cocky, arrogant, doesn’t take anything besides football seriously, and is charming- using that fully to his advantage. However, Wade added more dept to him, giving him a rough back story, that makes you feel for the guy. Gray is actually a pretty good guy, a great friend, and even, dare I say, romantic at times? He defiantly grows on you. I love that he starts to accept his flaws, and works to change them. Not only for Dru, but for himself. To be a better man.

Becky Wade did a fabulous job with Her One And Only. Not everyone can create characters you connect with right away, but she manage to pull it off. Besides the romance of the book, I also liked the twists and turns with Gray’s stalker. It gave the book a little extra oomph. If you are looking for sweet romance, a book with a big heart, talk of faith, some sports talk and suspense, you need to check out Her One And Only. It is part of a series, though can be read as a standalone!

Purchance Her One And Only

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ATAs

During her childhood in California, Becky frequently produced homemade plays starring her sisters, friends, and cousins. These plays almost always featured a heroine, a prince, and a love story with a happy ending. She’s been a fan of all things romantic ever since.

Becky and her husband lived overseas in the Caribbean and Australia before settling in Dallas, Texas. It was during her years abroad that Becky’s passion for reading turned into a passion for writing. She published three historical romances with Avon Books, then put her career on hold for several years to care for her three kids, then recently returned to writing sheerly for the love of it. She felt led to move to the genre of contemporary Christian romance and couldn’t be more thrilled with it.

These days Becky can be found failing but trying to keep up with her housework, sweating at the gym, carting her kids around town, playing tennis, hunched over her computer, eating chocolate, or collapsed on the sofa watching TV with her husband.

Visit Becky’s Website!