Blog Tour: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

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Title: Birthday Girl

Author: Penelope Douglas

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 17, 2018

My Rating: 5+++ Stars

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Check out the Birthday Girl pinterest board!

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JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

 

PIKE

I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

 

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

 

 

excerpt

Pike and his son’s girlfriend are in the kitchen, chopping watermelon as a party rages by the pool outside.

 

PIKE

 

The remnants of the party run around the back yard, some kid catching a squealing girl who’s half-naked, and I drop my eyes again, feeling fucking stupid like this isn’t my house, and I’m some seventy-year-old pervert spying on teens gone wild running around my own damn yard.

I see Jordan glance through the window in front of us and then quickly to me, probably gauging my annoyance. There are topless women in my backyard, after all, and I freaked out over her wet T-shirt mowing the lawn the other day.

But instead, I resort to sarcasm this time. “Do you think Cramer next door is enjoying the view?”

She snorts, faltering in her chopping, and follows it with a laugh.

After a moment, though, I hear her taunting voice. “Are you?” she replies.

I widen my eyes a little, surprised, and look down at her. She casts me a cocky little smirk.

“You’re still young,” she points out, joking with me. “Still look energetic. Why don’t you go out more?”

Who says I don’t go out? My bar-hopping days are over, but I had friends over tonight, too. Granted that’s not ‘going out’, but I’m not a hermit.

“You’re not gay, are you?”

I shoot her a look. Excuse me? Didn’t we talk about my dating habits the other night?

But she shakes her head right away, clearing it. “Yeah, never mind. Didn’t think so.”

Jesus.

Granted, I don’t have as much of a social life as I could. I know that. I’m not even forty yet, and my downtime resembles my grandfather’s retirement.

I pause a moment, searching for the easiest words to explain it to her. “I like my boring life,” I tell her, my voice kind of sounding like an apology. “Most women don’t.”

“Maybe girls don’t,” she replies, a light humor in her voice that I appreciate. “I find you far from boring. You should go out more. There’s a shortage of men in this town. Too many boys.”

I smile to myself. She sees me as a man, not just someone’s father. I shouldn’t like that as much as I do.

And yes, there may be lots of boys, but there are also lots of women, and none of them are for me. Believe me, if my future wife lived in this town, I would’ve found her by now.

She slices one of her sections in half and turns it sideways to cut triangles in twos. I follow suit.

Outside, a young woman with a long brown ponytail scurries across the pool deck, her orange bikini making her tanned skin look darker.

I jerk my chin. “Should I go after her?”

Jordan glances up at the girl outside the window and drops her eyes again, continuing to slice the fruit. “She’s too hot for you.”

“You think I can’t keep up?” I joke, cutting off two more triangles. “I’ve been around the block, you know?”

“Several times by your age, I’m sure. Need a nap yet?”

Why, you little—

I slice through the fruit, and the knife comes down, its point jabbing me right on the inside of my middle finger on my left hand.

“Shit!” I drop the knife and bring my hand up, the ache sinking down to the bone. I suck in air through my teeth. Dammit.

“Oh,” Jordan gasps and drops her knife, too, wiping off her hands. “I’m sorry.” She offers a regretful little laugh. “Here, come here.”

I suck the blood off my finger, barely taking notice that she’s pushed me down onto a bar stool at the island as she retrieves bandages from the cabinet.

Did I put those there? I didn’t put those there.

Rushing over to me, she peels a package open, and I see it’s a wet wipe, probably “anti-bacterial” something or other.

“I can do it.” I hold out my hand.

But she moves in anyway, inspecting the pea-size drop of blood balling on my finger again. “I know,” she says, “I just feel bad. I didn’t mean to piss you off and distract you. I was just teasing.”

I hiss as whatever’s on the wipe hits my open wound. “You didn’t piss me off,” I tell her, but it comes out as a growl. “Well, you did, I guess. You always do, but it’s in a good way.”

“In a good way?” Her brows furrow.

Yeah, like, you know, fun. You’re fun. And kind of funny. And pretty interesting. I don’t know how she makes my temper rise so quickly, and over stupid, petty shit, and I can’t explain why, but I like it.

I don’t know how to tell her that, though. It sounds weird.

When I don’t answer the question, she continues, her voice quiet and serious. “You know,” she says, not looking at me. “If you are interested in her, I can bring her around more. If you want.”

The girl in the orange bikini?

“Bring her around?”

She nods, wiping my finger still. “A sleepover or something maybe? You won’t have to make a move. She’ll jump you.”

She won’t look at me, but I stare down at her nevertheless. She wants to get me laid?

I feel a warm, light sweat cover my spine as I become aware of the heat of her body standing between my legs. I watch as she blows hair out of her face only for it to fall back into the same spot again.

Orange Bikini isn’t the one I want jumping me.

Absently, I reach up and brush the hair out of her eye, grazing her forehead as I tuck it behind her ear for her. Her gaze rises, meeting mine as I let my hand fall down the strands of her smooth hair, and my heart skips a beat as we both stand there, locked.

I can almost feel her face in my hands. The urge is so strong to know what it’s like to hold just a part of her.

Jesus Christ. I drop my hand, looking down at the small wound on my middle finger.

“So do you want me to?” she broaches quietly, almost like she’s afraid of what I’m about to say.

I shake my head. “No,” I finally tell her. “She’s not bad, but she’s not what I like.”

She unwraps a Band-Aid and fastens it to my finger, slowing smoothening over the bandage again and again.

My fingers tingle where she holds them, and I watch her face, her focus still not leaving my hand.

And then suddenly, she nearly whispers, “Well, what do you like?”

I watch as she licks her lips, her breathing shallow, and there’s a jolt to my cock, making me feel damn near ready to tear something apart with my teeth.

What is she doing to me?

 

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ATAs

Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages and include The Fall Away Series, The Devil’s Night Series, and the standalones, Misconduct, Punk 57, and now Birthday Girl. Please look for Kill Switch (Devil’s Night #3), coming later this year, and the standalone, Motel, coming in 2019.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their daughter.

Find Penelope:

Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

 

 

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Excerpt Reveal: Only You by Melanie Harlow

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Title: Only You

Author: Melanie Harlow

Genre: contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 12th, 2018

Pre-Order on iBooks

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Nate Pearson is ridiculously handsome and wears the hell out of a suit and tie, but I’ve seen the parade of beautiful women leaving his apartment across the hall—a different one every time—and I want no part of it. When it comes to romance, I’m looking for something real, something that will last: the happily ever after.

As a divorce attorney, he loves to tell me there’s no such thing.

As a wedding planner, I choose to disagree.

We disagree on almost everything, in fact. Everything except James Bond. The only time we really get along is when we’re watching 007 flicks together, and I’ll admit—he has rescued me from a disaster or five. So when one of the baton twirlers from his parade leaves a baby girl at his door with a note that says “I’ll come back for her” and he begs me for help, I can’t turn him down.

But it’s a mistake.

Because watching him with his daughter, I start to see another side of Nate, a side that has my breath coming faster, my body craving his, my heart longing for him to change his mind about love and tell me there’s a chance for us.

I don’t want to be just another girl leaving his apartment in the morning.

I want to be the one he asks to stay.

 

excerpt

“You know, even an alpha male can have feelings occasionally.”

“Oh?”

She crossed her arms and leaned back against the counter, giving me the evil eye. “Yes. He doesn’t have to be hard as granite all the way through, all the time.”

Don’t think about being hard. Don’t think about being hard. Don’t think about being hard. I leaned back against the opposite counter and sort of held my glass in front of my crotch. “Why are you even concerned with alpha males? You’re never attracted to them.”

“What? Yes, I am!”

“No, you’re not.” I knew her type well. “You’re always saying how you don’t want to be rescued, you want someone willing to show affection and talk about feelings, you don’t like arrogant or competitive guys or guys who always have to win, you like guys who get along with everyone—”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing. But that’s not an alpha male.”

She chewed her bottom lip. “But look at Bond. Who is he so worried about protecting? Why is he so driven to kill the bad guys? There must be people he cares about more than himself to put himself in harm’s way so often.”

“Maybe he just likes the thrill of the chase.”

“Maybe he’s more selfless than you think.”

“In this case, I think we’re going to have to disagree.”

She sighed heavily, and I knew I had disappointed her by ending the argument in a draw instead of winning or losing it. Any other night, I might have kept it going, but there was something odd going on with me, something that had me wanting to close the distance between us, set her up on the counter, slip my hands beneath that fuzzy white sweater she had on, see what her legs felt like wrapped around my hips. But I knew better.

Get her out of here before you do something stupid.

“Hey, you got fortune cookies? I didn’t see those.” She reached for the little cellophane bag.

“I forgot about them.”

“Can I have one?”

“You can have them both.”

She took one out and cracked it open. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built.”

“Very deep.”

She ignored me and went on to the next one. “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” Her lips pursed. “Hm. I don’t want a dangerous ship or a broken heart.”

I laughed at the anguish in her tone and expression.

“It’s not funny,” she said, shoving pieces of cookie in her mouth. “It means I’m doomed to be unhappy. And then I’m going to die in a shipwreck.”

“It means you take things way too seriously.” I tipped back the last of the bourbon in my glass, and set it in the sink. “Well, I’ve got an early morning at the gym tomorrow.”

She popped the rest of one cookie in her mouth and brushed off her hands. “I’m going. What time is it anyway?”

I checked the digital clock on the microwave. “It’s 11:11.”

Her face lit up. “Ooh! Make a wish!”

“What?”

“It’s 11:11, you have to make a wish.” She closed her eyes for a couple seconds, her lips moving as if saying a silent prayer. Then she opened them. “Did you do it?”

I laughed. “No.”

“Nate! Hurry up! Make a wish.” She glanced at the clock and flapped her hands agitatedly.

“I don’t have a wish to make.”

“So make one for me, then. And do it fast, before it’s 11:12.”

This time it was my turn to roll my eyes, but secretly I wished that the next guy she fell in love with would love her back the way she deserved, and she’d be happy. But I didn’t close my eyes, and I didn’t move my lips, so she had no idea whether I’d made a wish or not.

“Did you do it?” She looked concerned.

“Yes.”

“For me?”

“Yes.”

Her mouth fell open for a second. “What was it? What did you wish for me?”

I started to laugh as I left the kitchen. “Nice try, Calamity. Even I know you don’t tell a wish if you want it to come true.” The credits were still rolling on the television, and I picked up the remote to turn everything off.

“Oh, now you believe in wishes?” She sat down on the couch and tugged on her fluffy boots.

No, I wanted to tell her. I don’t, because I learned a long time ago that wishes and prayers and hopes don’t mean anything. No one is listening. But I didn’t tell her that, not only because she was looking up at me with my favorite expression of hers, the one daring me to fight back, but because at that very moment, I heard a noise in the hall.

A strange and oddly terrifying noise.

I looked over my shoulder toward the door, thinking I must have imagined the sound.

Then I heard it again—the unmistakable, ball-shrinking, cringe-inducing sound of a baby’s wail.

Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Studly Period by Sarina Bowen

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A brand new serial delivered straight to your email inbox! Beginning on Tuesday, March 20th, you will get one chapter each week, straight to your email inbox! Anyone who signs up midstream will immediately receive links to previous chapters. No reader will be left behind!

SIGN UP!

 

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She’s a brilliant writing tutor. Too bad she’s tongue-tied every time he sits down in front of her…

There are 1016 people in the freshman class at Harkness College. I can’t be the only socially awkward nerd girl virgin among them. Right?

It’s time I learn to talk to guys without blushing and stammering. So I take a confidence-building job at the student tutoring center. Twelve bucks an hour, plus human interaction. What could go wrong?

A fun-loving French Canadian hockey hunk, that’s what.

When Pepe St. George sits down at my tutoring table, my brain shuts off and my mouth goes right into hyperdrive. Even the sound of my name on his lips—Josephine—gives me a mini orgasm.

I want to hand him my V-card. But all I manage to hand him is…my thesaurus. And my dignity. All seems lost, until I hatch a plan to get him alone…

 

 

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“Bonjour.” The deep voice—from right above me—startles me so badly that I jump. My phone goes clattering to the desktop as I whip my chin upward to see whomever snuck up on me.

Désolé!” he says. “I should come back later?”

“No,” I say, fumbling my phone back into my bag. “Please sit down.”

My heart is banging against my ribs, and not only because he startled me. If possible, I’m even more awkward with men than with women. It’s worse if they’re attractive.

And this guy? Very attractive. Wow. He has a wide, handsome face and coal-dark eyes ringed by impressively thick lashes, and a broad face. Broad shoulders.

Broad everything. Wow. He must eat a lot of protein. And now I’m staring as he arranges himself in the chair opposite me and draws out a folder. He’s really handsome. One of the BPs, for sure.

I can’t stop staring. There’s something rugged about him that’s hard to describe. There’s color in his cheeks—at least the part that’s not covered with dark scruff. And his biceps bulge from the sleeves of his T-shirt. He reminds me of a superhero going incognito, concealing his identity among the ordinary college students.

Though the muscles can probably be explained by the logo on his T-shirt—Harkness Hockey.

It’s always the jocks who need tutoring. I swear. Nadia I have a disagreement about this. She says that jocks are used to coaching, and thus accept tutoring help more readily than the general population.

“I think they’re just not as smart,” I always tell her.

She just shakes her head. “You say that, but you’re still intimidated by them. So which is it?”

Indeed.

“How can I help you,” I whisper up at this handsome giant.

He frowns, and then folds massive hands onto the desk between us. “Excusez-moi?”

People always tell me my voice is soft. That I’m hard to hear. He must agree, because he leans forward, those big, dark eyes blinking in close proximity. It doesn’t help the knee-knocking, teeth-rattling nerves that overtake me whenever a beautiful man looks at me.

Get a grip, Josie. “How can I help you today,” I ask carefully.

Bon. I have the paper due for English. And my English is not so excellent. So I hope you will help me find all the places I fuck it up. I bring it…” He opens a folder and rifles through some papers.

For a long moment I just blink at him. “Your English…” Did he just say that he didn’t speak the language?

“When I come to Harkness last year? I don’t speak much English at all,” he says, dropping a rough draft of an essay on the table between us. “Please help me find zhe places where I fuck up the grammar.”

His honesty has stunned me. The Harkness students I’ve met so far would never admit to any kind of weakness. In fact, they tell me that most students wait until their grades are in jeopardy to find the tutoring center at all.

And I don’t blame them. Struggling? That’s shameful. Harkness is a top-notch school where everyone worships at the alter of intellectual exceptionalism. With an admissions rate that hovered around nine percent, having a big brain is the only way to get in.

Or at least I thought it was. Every year, something like a thousand valedictorians get rejections from Harkness. Who would dream of implying that he isn’t as qualified as the next student?

This guy.

 

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Excerpt of Man Card and Q&A with Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby

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Ekk! I had the pleasure to ask Sarina Bowen and Tanya Eby some questions to celebrate the release of their newest novel, Man Card. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did! Also, make sure to scroll down to read an excerpt of Man Card!

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about writing with Sarina/Tanya? 

Tanya: I love that Sarina is so blasted smart that she forces me to think deeper. It makes for better characters and a more interesting story line. I kind of feel like my writing style is like a balloon drifting. She grabs hold of me and keeps me from floating away. She’s also got a great sense of humor and puts up with me, so that’s nice. 

Sarina: Tanya’s job is to run off with the balloon, and take me outside of my own head. She has such a wild sense of humor and it’s so refreshing! My job is to tame it and shape it into a romance plot line.

Q: How did you split up the writing process?

Sarina: We trade back and forth every 2,000 words or so. That way we both get to write both characters.

Q: Braht is quite a character. I don’t think I’ve experienced another hero quite like him. If you had to cast someone to bring him to life in a movie, who would you pick?

Tanya: I just watched Call Me By Your Name and Armie Hammer would make a terrific Braht! 

Q: I laughed out loud a handful of times while reading this book. Did any of the hilarious moments (crunchy kielbasa for example) come from real life experiences or just a great imagination? 

Tanya: That kielbasa scene is real! Only, you know, enhanced for reader enjoyment. The kielbasa my mother-in-law served us was really tasty. And there’s a salon scene where the pedicurist is quite terrifying. That was inspired by real life events. I’m lucky I survived it with all ten toes.

Q: If you had to pick between Tom or Braht to play your fake boyfriend, which one would you pick?

Tanya: I’d pick Tom. I’m really uncoordinated and I feel like he would be good to hold onto while walking across ice. It’s icy in Michigan.

Sarina: Okay, twist my arm. I’ll take Braht. We can get pedicures together.

Q: If you had to give each other a nickname, via Braht style, what would it be?

Tanya: I’m terrible at nicknames. Everyone in my family has a nickname and I’ve always just been Tanya. Huh. How about Pooh Bear for Sarina? Or Sassy Pants? Maybe just Miss Sarina. 

Sarina: I’m not sure we all need Braht-style nicknames. But I will say that Tanya posts the best cocktail photos on Instagram. So I’m dubbing her Ms. Margarita.

Q: In Man Card we learn that Ash’s family has a cabin that is very near and dear to her heart. If you could pick any location for a vacation home for you and your family/friends, where would it be?

Tanya: A cottage on the lake is my absolute dream. There are a lot of people in Michigan who are lucky enough to have one. I’m still not that lucky, but a girl can dream. 

Sarina: We’re skiers so I want a ridiculously posh home in Aspen. As long as I don’t have to pay for it. This is a fantasy, right?

Q: Can you spill any news on if Sadie will get a book!? (fingers crossed)

We sure hope so! We’re working on something soon!

 

 

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Nothing ventured, nothing banged…

Ash
I still don’t know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor–our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down…
It can never happen again. I don’t even like Braht. He’s too slick. He’s a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
So why can’t I get him out of my head?

Braht
There are two things I know without question. One: Ash and I are destined for each other. Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.
Ash is my missing my piece. She’s the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don’t call her the Ashkicker for nothing.
Eventually I’ll win her over…if my past doesn’t ruin everything first.

 

 

excerpt

Name your other favorite movies,” I challenge Braht.

All of them?” He chugs his margarita.

Hmm. Top ten? Top five?”

That’s totally easy,” he says. Somehow I’ve gotten closer to him on the floor. When he sits back, I actually snuggle in beside him. He’s wearing a ridiculously soft shirt that feels good against my skin. And I watch with fascination as he ticks off the names of films on his fingers. When Harry Met Sally. The Devil Wears Prada. Roman Holiday. Clueless. And Working Girl.”

I burst out laughing. I can’t help it. Those are all chick flicks. You should just hand over your man card right now.”

Not a chance.” Braht’s expression grows intense. In the first place, I gave you a very thorough demonstration of my man card last week. I don’t remember hearing any complaints.”

I swallow hard, because this is certainly true.

And secondly, you’re looking at this all backward.”

I…am?” And why can’t I look away? He has the most beautiful, intelligent eyes.

Yeah, you are,” he whispers. It’s the guy who has a firm grip on his man card that can hold your purse. He’s not afraid to be seen with that Tory Burch you like to carry—nice color, by the way. He’ll free up your hands because he likes your hands, and he remembers all the terrific things you can use them for.”

Oh,” I say slowly. Now my fingers itch to reach out for him. I have to make fists with both hands so I won’t do it.

Furthermore, he’s not afraid to quote Working Girl. Because Joan Cusack is a genius. And who wouldn’t want to say Melanie Griffith’s best line out loud?”

I can’t help saying it with him, and together we sound like the world’s horniest Greek chorus: I have a head for business and a body for sin.”

Sin sounds pretty good right now, actually. But Braht’s not done with his speech. Any man who tells you that chick flicks are for pussies can’t be any good in bed. Because that man does not speak the language of women. He doesn’t know that a little luxury can erase a shitty day of worrying about your ex…”

Braht takes my hand in his and begins to massage it. He has a great technique, applying gentle pressure between each joint. I relax just a little bit more against him.

“…That man doesn’t speak the language because he’s afraid of sounding like a girl. But fuck that noise, honey bear. If a man doesn’t have the vocabulary to describe a satin teddy with peekaboo lace and mother-of-pearl snaps at the crotch, he can’t buy it for you and then strategically ask you to wear it. He can’t plan ahead to blow your mind sometime by lifting your skirt somewhere semi-public and dangerous. And he can’t get down on his knees and kiss that lace and then pop open those snaps while you bite your own hand to keep from screaming when you climax.” Braht takes a deep breath and lets it out in one hot gust. Fuck. What was the point of this speech?”

“Um…” My voice is hoarse, and my face is suddenly very hot. Let’s not even mention my nipples. Man cards, I think.” But I’m not sure, because everything tingles.

Right,” he says with a sigh. Still got mine. Shall we watch Working Girl next?”

Okay,” I breathe, sinking a little further into his comforting embrace.

 

 

Find Man Card at

Goodreads | Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

 

 

rah

 

 

 

Excerpt Reveal: He Loves Me…KNOT by RC Boldt

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Title: He Loves Me… KNOT

Author: R.C. Boldt

Release Date: November 14th, 2017

Add on Goodreads!

 

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Sometimes love needs a second chance…

I never looked back after skipping out on my own wedding, even if it did leave me estranged from most of my family. Eight years later, I have the life I’ve always wanted. As an advertising account executive, my world is damn near perfect.

Until I come face-to-face with my past. With the man I once loved. The man who holds my future in his hands. The man who’s hell-bent on getting even with me for leaving him at the altar.

Even with all the unfinished business between us, I still love Knox Montgomery. The only problem?

He loves me…KNOT.

 

excerpt

PROLOGUE

EMMA JANE

“BLESS HER HEART.”

This—the quintessential Southern phrase “bless her heart”—is the ultimate kiss of death.

The irony isn’t lost on me since I just avoided my own kiss of death, figuratively speaking. Instead of walking down the aisle, I’m trudging along the Pensacola Beach boardwalk in my wedding dress.

Alone.

With tear-stained cheeks.

Two elderly women peer at me, blatant curiosity etched across their features, and one turns to the other to hiss, “I wonder if the groom left her.”

“Would you blame him?” the other woman responds, disdain dripping from her tone. “She’s got a”—she utters the next words much like they’re absolutely scandalous—“nose piercing.”

The dark glare I direct at them is concealed by my sunglasses, so with a dismissive huff, I continue plodding along, swiping a hand across my tear-streaked cheeks. Judging by the black smudges on my fingers, my waterproof mascara clearly lied.

Damn jackass mascara.

Damn jackass groom. I’m starting to see a trend here…

The longer I walk, the more stares I get. One little girl in a tutu bathing suit points to the top of my head and squeals with joy, “Look! A princess!”

Damn jackass tiara and veil my mother insisted I wear.

I march over to a large trash bin and—without any finesse whatsoever—begin tugging the pins holding this awful tiara-veil combo in place. As I’m attempting to remove it, agitation takes over due to my sad lack of progress. I bunch the veil in my fists and give it a firm tug from my elaborate up-do. Bobby pins shoot and ping in various directions, and I distractedly pray no one gets too close and loses an eye. Shoving the obscene length of fabric in the trash, I feel a bit lighter.

The June sun beats down on me as I stand on the stamped cement of the boardwalk, the heat radiating through the soles of my favorite flip-flops. My eyes flutter closed as I inhale a deep breath of the salty Gulf of Mexico air.

God, I love this beach. It’s always been one of my favorites, especially since it takes just under an hour to drive here from Mobile. The water is a gorgeous shade of blue-green, and the sand is perfectly white and free of pesky shells. Any other time, I’d be kicking off my flip-flops and running toward the surf. Now, though, I have different priorities: a stiff drink. Or ten.

Or twenty.

The challenge is finding a place where I might not draw attention—er, as much attention. I slowly survey the nearby choices of bars and restaurants lined up along the boardwalk; I scan and dismiss them one by one.

“No…no…no…n—”

Wait a minute.

One particular sign snags my eye. It has an outline of two men standing back to back, their forms filled with a swirl of rainbows and the name Be-Bob’s written in script-like font beneath it.

A gay bar.

Perfect.

With my key ring clipped to my small wristlet, I stalk over to the bar, doing my best to ignore the startled looks and gawking from other beachgoers. Tugging open the heavy door, I step over the threshold and into the brisk air conditioning.

Into a place where I might find slightly more acceptance.

I slide my sunglasses to rest atop my head and take a moment to allow my eyes to adjust to the dimmer light. There are only about eight people scattered about, chatting over drinks. When I don’t earn more than a brief glance before they return to their own conversations, I breathe my first sigh of relief. Most of the patrons are likely indulging in the great weather and enjoying a Saturday at the beach, not looking for refuge and hiding out like I am.

I scan the framed photos that adorn the walls featuring local drag queens and scantily clad male models before striding over to the bar. I hoist myself up onto a worn leather bar stool, and catch the eye of the only bartender behind the counter. He appears to be taking inventory of the liquor, if his clipboard is anything to go by.

When he turns around and gets the full visual of me, his expression is priceless, his eyebrows nearly hitting his hairline. I’d laugh if I had it in me, but I’m emotionally spent.

As he regards what’s visible to him from the top of the bar on up to my hair, his light brown eyes soften and the corners of his mouth tip up slightly. Without batting an eye, he reaches below the counter and produces a wet wipe. I gratefully accept it and he rests his forearms upon the lacquered surface, regarding me with interest as I rid my cheeks of the dark mascara streaks.

The bartender waits until I’m finished and then accepts the wipe from me before tossing it into the trash.

“Well, I can’t say I’ve ever served a runaway bride before.” My makeup-fail savior appears to gauge me, as if expecting me to burst into a river of tears.

Funny enough, the drive here has expended me of those and I’m firmly entrenched in the anger stage of my fiancé’s betrayal.

I prop an elbow on the bar, rest my chin on my palm, and offer what I know is the weakest excuse for a smile. “There’s a first time for everything, right?”

He doesn’t immediately answer, eyeing me curiously until his lips stretch into an easy smile. His eyes do that little crinkly thing at the corners and he has what I call “kind eyes.”

Then again, I remind myself, what the hell do I know?

I’m clearly not the best judge of people. That much has become all too evident.

The bartender reaches out a hand. “Casey.”

I grasp his hand, noting his impressive manicure. This guy’s cuticles are better than mine and I love the shade of metallic gray polish on his nails. “Nice to meet you, Casey. I’m Emma Jane.”

He reaches beneath the bar and I hear a clinking as he scoops ice, before he brings a cup into view. Then he works his magic, and pours in a bit of this and that from one bottle to the next. Finally, with flourish—and a maraschino cherry tossed in—he slides the plastic cup across the smooth surface.

“It’s my special, secret mix. I call it”—he leans in toward me and lowers his voice, his eyes dancing with mischief—“the Panty Dropper.”

One of my brows arches as I stare back at him with dismayed skepticism. “I hardly think I’m a prime panty-dropping candidate right now.”

Casey lifts a shoulder in a half shrug, his eyes flickering over my shoulder before returning to me. His smile grows wider. “You never can tell.”

With a tiny laugh, I shake my head and wrap my lips around the straw to take a sip of the concoction he’s made me. Just as I swallow the sweet drink, I both feel and smell a person sidle up next to me at the bar.

Hell. The reason I came here was because I thought for sure my chances of getting hit on would be slim to none. But, as I glance at him from the corner of my eye, I observe strong, muscled forearms, tanned and sprinkled with dark hair. The scent of him is appealing and masculine, a cologne that doesn’t overpower. Just the sight of those arms alone, however, makes me incredibly wary to see the rest of him.

Casey doesn’t address the newcomer, his focus still on me. “I’m all ears, Emma Jane. Been told I’m a great listener.”

Good Lord. Where do I even start?

Before I can answer, the man speaks up, his deep voice booming. “Are you cheating on me, Case?” He makes what sounds like a gasp of exaggerated indignation. “I can’t believe you’d betray me like this.”

I glance up to see Casey’s expression full of mirth, and he rolls his eyes. “You know better. I’m still waiting on you to switch over.”

A husky laugh greets my ears and it sounds far too male—far too appealing—which is why I refuse to turn and look at the man beside me.

“I might switch if you’d agree to root for my team.”

“Not gonna happen,” Casey scoffs before his gaze meets mine. “Isn’t that drink exactly what the doctor ordered?”

I muster up a smile because he seems like a sweet guy. “It is.” With a start, I realize I haven’t given him my card to pay or at least start a tab. I reach for my wristlet. “What do I owe you?”

He waves me off. “Honey, that one’s on me as long as you promise to dish before we get slammed in a few hours.”

A loud exhale spills past my lips. “It’s a pathetic story, really.”

“Let me guess.” Mr. Forearms’s husky voice is a deep timbre, amusement threaded in his tone. “You caught him with your maid of honor.”

I let out a harsh laugh and fiddle with my straw, using it to move around the ice cubes in my drink. “Nope.” If only it were that simple, I muse internally.

“Caught him with his best man?”

This time, his suggestion drags a lighter sounding laugh from me. “Not even.”

“Well, you know I can’t leave here without hearing the story. I’m intrigued.”

This guy is something else, that’s for sure. His voice is the epitome of sexy, and yet, even with all that’s transpired, I have zero interest.

Finally, I drag my attention from my drink and my eyes travel up those muscled forearms, over the bulging biceps stretching the short sleeves of a dark-blue polo shirt and up to the face that—

My breath catches in my throat as recognition floods me, my eyes widening as I take in the man beside me.

Becket Jones, the quarterback for the NFL team in Jacksonville, Florida. He’s a two-time Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida and had been the second overall draft pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Adding to that impressive resumé, he’s been recently voted MVP and is also a Lombardi Trophy recipient. His face is in commercials and on billboards everywhere. Living in Mobile, Alabama, and in a state without a pro football team, most of us either gravitate toward the Atlanta Falcons, the New Orleans Saints, or the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I don’t follow NFL as closely as college football, but I’d have to live under a rock to not recognize Becket and his pretty-boy face. Even beneath the brim of the ball cap, which curls under at the edges and draws shadows over his eyes, I’d recognize that wide charming smile of his anywhere. He’s slouching against the bar but I know he pushes well over six feet.

His features cloud as he observes my response, his large hand reaching up to tug his cap lower. “Please don’t tell me you’re going to sell some seedy story about seeing me in a gay bar to a stupid gossip rag.”

“Of course not. I’m just…” I falter for a moment, “surprised.”

His chin lifts, gesturing to a couple of guys standing nearby a jukebox, laughing and talking. One of them is wearing a shirt with bright pink flamingos printed on it, along with a yellow feather boa draped around his neck.

“I’m with my brother, Brantley—the one who insisted on that crazy getup—and his roommate, Vonn, whose birthday we’re celebrating.” His eyes flicker to them briefly, obvious affection in his gaze, before returning to me. “I drove in from Jacksonville late last night to join them.”

I nod politely, not sure what to say. “Well, I hope you guys have a great night.” I turn back to my drink and studiously take another sip of the dangerous concoction while acknowledging Casey and Becket’s attention is fixed on me with unfettered curiosity. This drink is deliciously sweet and I know it’s masking the copious amount of liquor Casey put in it. And I can’t get hammered. I should—and I really want to—but I can’t. I have bigger fish to fry.

Like figuring out my freaking life.

With a long sigh, I unzip my wristlet and withdraw my cell phone—whose ring had been silenced—to face the “music” I know is about to blare at me.

Let this be noted as mistake number one. Because I’m certain my phone is going to overheat from the number of text messages and missed calls I’ve received already. Mainly, the ones from my father.

Dad: You’d better get back here now, young lady.

I continue scrolling past all of his other messages until I get to the last one, time stamped from about five minutes ago.

Dad: Consider yourself disowned. Don’t even think of coming back to this house after the way you’ve embarrassed everyone.

Huh. Well, thank heavens I’d already thought of that and had made a quick stop at the house before driving here. I’d scooped up the items I’d need most, knowing my father’s reaction would be extreme. Maybe I was delusional, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t come to this.

Just as I’m about to place my phone back in my wristlet and avoid the remainder of the painful messages sure to come, another one comes in.

Dad: Forget your job at the magazine. It’s done. You’re done. You did this, Emma Jane.

My chest tightens and my stomach churns sickly. I knew it was coming but it doesn’t make it any less devastating. I’d worked my ass off for Southern Charm Lifestyle magazine at their new location in Mobile. I know I have the potential to rise up in the ranks.

But now it’s gone. Poof. All because of my father. The one and only Davis Haywood, city councilman, owner of the local newspaper and the city’s largest magazine, and commercial developer galore. He has the money and power to make things happen in Mobile.

I just never thought he’d use that money and power against his own daughter one day.

“So.” Becket startles me, so caught up in my own drama-filled thoughts. “You might not know this about me, but I was brought up to be a gentleman.”

I regard him warily, unsure where he’s going with this. “O-kay,” I drag out the word slowly.

“This means I can’t leave you sitting at this bar, staring down at your phone, looking like your puppy just died.”

I shoot him a hard glare that would normally cause people to rear back…but then I recall that this man faces the risk of being tackled by two-hundred-plus-pound men on any given game day.

So, as much as my dangerously narrowed eyes might flare with the “Don’t even go there” vibe, my glare does nothing.

He looks around first before slipping his ball cap around on his head, the brim now at the back. And honestly, on any other grown man, it would look juvenile. On Becket Jones, however, it actually looks cute.

Casey slides a bottle of water to him, which Becket uncaps before downing half of it. Resting his arms on the bar, he playfully nudges me with his shoulder.

“Go ahead. Spill.”

Exhaling loudly, I peer up at him skeptically. “You really want—”

“To hear all the sordid details?” He grins at me, nearly blinding me with his pearly white teeth. “Absolutely.”

Shaking my head at him, I take another sip of my drink and toy with my straw, making the ice cubes clink together within my cup. “Fine. But don’t you dare give me a bless your heart that’s chock-full of pity.”

“Deal.”

Letting a long sigh loose, I answer, my voice muted and laced with pain. And I hate the way it sounds.

“I’m running from a man who doesn’t really love me.”

 

HLMK-Teaser 1

 

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Review & Excerpt Tour- Stud Finder by Lauren Blakely

STUD FINDER - Tour banner

Title: Stud Finder

Author: Lauren Blakely

Genre: Contemporary Romance Novella

Release Date: September 26, 2017

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Watch the Trailer for Stud Finder!

 

blurb

Man seeking woman: Hot, rich, smart, witty, self-made multimillionaire Internet genius seeks classy, intelligent, sexy, fun-loving woman who’s interested in settling down and sharing all the good things.

There. Best. Ad. Ever.

I will absolutely find the woman of my dreams, someone who’ll love me for me. Even if my sister thinks I need help dating, I’m confident I can pull this off, courtesy of the great worldwide web.
Let me just hit the upload button right now…

* * *
No. Just no. As a woman and a professional matchmaker, I can’t let Dylan Parker run this ad. He’s the catch of all catches. That’s why his sister has asked me to help her ridiculously good-looking, insanely rich, but socially clueless brother find a woman. As a broker of happily ever afters, I’m known as the Stud Finder since I make a great living pairing wildly successful women with men who won’t fleece them but will adore them. After all, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t fall in love with Dylan?

I mean, besides me. It totally won’t be me.

 

excerpt

The problem solver in me comes out in full force. I must show him the beauty of a made bed. “Come with me.” I grab the basket of mostly-eaten chips, dump the rest, return the salsa tubs to the counter for cleaning, and reach into my wallet to leave a generous tip in the jar.

He clasps his hand over mine, shaking his head. “My treat,” he says, his voice a soft, sexy whisper. I want to protest, to tell him I insist, but he curls his hand tighter, and I’m speechless.

His hand on mine sparks a wave of goosebumps on my arms, my body telling me I like his hands on me. I want more of his touch. I imagine how I’d feel if he ran his hand up my arm, to my shoulder, through my hair. A shudder races through me, and I do my best to tamp down my reaction to a suddenly overactive imagination.

“Thank you,” I say, my voice like a feather.

“You’re welcome.” His eyes never stray from mine, and for a sliver of time he holds my gaze by the counter at Mama une’s.

Then I wrestle my attention back to my plan. We leave, and fifteen minutes later, I stroll through the front doors of the Luxe Hotel. My friend Nate Harper is the CEO, and I’ve texted him for a quick favor. The concierge greets me and hands me a room key card. Dylan and I walk past the chichi sushi restaurant in the lobby, head to the elevator, and soon arrive at room 521. I slide the card in the door.

Dylan sets a hand on my arm. “Are you trying to seduce me?”

“No,” I say quickly. Too quickly. I’m not trying to seduce him at all.

I open the door, and a perfectly modulated blast of cool air greets us. We stroll across the navy carpet to a king-size bed perfectly appointed with a gorgeous white duvet and mountains of blue velvet pillows. I gesture to it, as if I’m a saleswoman, showing it off. “Tell me. Doesn’t this bed make you want to do everything on it?”

Then, to demonstrate my point, I fall back onto it, like a snow angel.

I prop myself on my elbows and meet his eyes. His green irises darken, and his lips part. He stares at me, and something shifts. The look in his eyes is no longer challenging. He’s not asking me to prove a point. His eyes are hungry. He stares as if he’s considering my question seriously, and I realize that maybe it does sound as if I’m trying to seduce him. I’ve pushed the limits here. I’m in a hotel room, trying to prove a point to a client, and in reality, my skirt is riding up my thighs, and I’m sprawled on a pristine, inviting bed.

He makes her feel like a princess

 

Find Stud Finder on Amazon!

 

 

ATAs

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 October she’ll release HARD WOOD, a sexy, standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!  laurenblakely.com/newsletter

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

 

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Sneak Peak- BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE by Vi Keeland

BeautifulMistake_FrontCover

Title: Beautiful Mistake

Author: Vi Keeland

Release Date: July 17th, 2017

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blurb

The first time I met Caine West was in a bar.

He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out.When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight—telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass.

You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend–smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married.

He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done. Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant. Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy.

Oops.  My mistake.  

Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology.  I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right?

That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning.

Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant.

I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking.

Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing—working under Professor West.

This was going to be interesting…

 

excerpt

The class was completely empty. I wasn’t even sure he knew I was still in my seat. If he did, he was good at ignoring me as he packed up his laptop.

“Contrary to the rumors you’ve probably heard, I don’t bite.”

I jumped when he spoke. Now that the lecture hall was no longer filled with students, the acoustics of the large space bounced his deep voice all over the walls.

I stood and began my walk of shame down to the front of the classroom. There was no doubt I owed the man an apology, even if he wasn’t a professor—a professor who would be my new boss for at least the next fifteen weeks. I wanted to kick myself in the ass for not apologizing last night before I left the bar. Now it would seem like I was only doing it because of the situation I was in.

Which was true, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want it to seem that way.

I took a deep breath. “I’m so sorry about last night.”

His face was unreadable. “I figured you might be, right about now.”

“I obviously thought you were someone else.”

“So I assumed. You thought I was the asshole. The one with the big dick, was it?”

I shut my eyes. For the last ninety minutes, I’d replayed the entire exchange from last night over and over in my head. I thought I’d remembered everything I said, but apparently I hadn’t. When I reopened my eyes, Professor West was still watching me. His stare was pretty damn intense.

I started to babble. “My friend Ava went out with this guy Owen for a month or so. He was full of shit from day one, but she didn’t see it. Actually walked up to her when she was leaving work one night and said, ‘Do you mind if I walk you home? My mother always told me to follow my dreams.’ She fell for it, the entire act, from the first day. Then one Saturday, he was supposedly out of town on business, and she was across town running errands for her mother. She took a shortcut through Madison Square Park on her way back from the grocery store and ran into him. He was with his wife and kids.”

“And you thought I was him, apparently?”

I nodded. “She came in during my shift and started drinking Long Island iced teas. When Owen walked in, she pointed to where he was standing and said he was the one in the blue shirt.”

“And we were both wearing blue shirts, I take it?”

I couldn’t help but smile, thinking of Ava last night. “Actually, no. Ava’s not much of a drinker. Turned out she was more sloshed than I thought. Owen’s shirt was brown—not even black that could be mistaken as navy or something.”

I saw Professor West’s lip twitch.

“Anyway, I’m really sorry. I barely gave you a chance to speak, and then when I realized what had happened, I was so mortified I didn’t even stop to apologize.”

“I accept your apology for last night. Even though you shouldn’t be approaching a man in the hallway to tell him off alone, your intentions were admirable.”

I should have shut up and been grateful he’d accepted my apology. Should have. “Why can’t I approach a man in the hallway?”

He leveled me with a stare. “Because you’re five foot nothing in a loud bar, and no one would have heard you if I’d dragged you into the men’s room and locked the door.”

I folded my arms over my chest. “I can take care of myself.”

“I didn’t say you couldn’t. I said you shouldn’t put yourself in those situations.”

“But you insinuated that I couldn’t by making that statement.”

He zipped his leather bag closed. “Ms. Martin, I just accepted your apology for calling me an asshole last night. Would you like me to retract that acceptance?”

God, I really was an idiot. Being around this man seemed to turn me into a psychopath. “No. I’m sorry. I acted like a jerk, and I’d like to start over, if that’s possible.”

He nodded. “Everything prior to this morning is forgotten.”

“Thank you.”

“But this morning is not. I won’t accept lateness. Don’t let it happen again.”

I swallowed. “It won’t.”

He lifted his worn, brown leather laptop bag over one shoulder. “Meet me here at five tomorrow. We’ll go over the syllabus and the classes you’ll teach, as well as my grading rubric.”

That was smack in the middle of my shift, but I’d figure something out. “Okay.”

“Are you done for the day?”

“I am. I actually have to get to work. I’m covering Ava’s shift because she isn’t feeling too well after last night. We both work at O’Leary’s.”

“You waitress there?”

“Waitress, bartend, occasionally tell off patrons.”

That earned me a full smile from Professor West. God, he should do that more often. No, forget that. He definitely shouldn’t.

“I’ll walk out with you.”

We walked through the halls together and out to the parking lot. When we arrived at my car, I stopped. “This is me. So…five o’clock tomorrow?”

Professor West looked at my beat-up old Subaru. “You’re parked in a spot reserved for the Provost. You got a parking ticket.” He squinted. “Actually, it looks like you have two parking tickets. Was your inspection expired or something?”

Crap. “Umm…no. I keep an extra ticket in the glove compartment and stick it on my windshield when I’m forced to park illegally.”

His brows shot up. “Inventive.”

“Obviously it doesn’t always work.”

“Obviously.”

“They need more parking. When you’re late, it’s impossible to find a spot.”

He studied me. “Lateness is a frequent occurrence for you, I take it?”

“Unfortunately, it is.”

“Then I should clarify something I said earlier.”

“Oh, no, that’s not necessary. I won’t be late for your class.”

He took a step closer and leaned in. “I’m glad to hear that, Ms. Martin. But that’s not what needs clarification.”

I swallowed. God, he smells good.

“Earlier I told you I didn’t bite students.” He smiled, and I felt the wickedness from it shoot down to some interesting places. “I don’t. But I make no promises about not biting feisty TAs.”

 

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Excerpt Reveal: STRONG ENOUGH by Melanie Harlow and David Romanov

MHDRStrongEnoughBookCover5x8_HIGH

Title: Strong Enough

Authors: Melanie Harlow & David Romanov

Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Release Date: June 19, 2017

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blurb

I wasn’t looking for Derek Wolfe.

I wasn’t looking for anybody. All I wanted was to start a new life in America. But when I found myself stranded here with no place to go, he came to my rescue, offering me a place to stay.

He’s smart, successful, and sexy as hell—I can barely sleep knowing he’s right down the hall. And when the chemistry between us explodes one night with fierce, fiery passion, it’s hard to deny there’s something real between us.

But he does.

He says he was drunk. He says it was a one-time thing. He says he’s not into guys and what we did meant nothing.

He’s lying. Because it happened again, and again, and again. And it’s better every time.

I know we could be good together, and I want the chance to try, but I’m done hiding. If he’s not strong enough to admit the truth, I’ll have to be strong enough to walk away.

 

excerpt

Figuring I’d had enough booze to blunt his effect on me, I rolled up the sleeves of my black button-down shirt and moved next to him. “I’ll help you.”

“Okay.”

I caught him trying to not to look at my wrists and forearms, and it made me smile. How does it feel to want someone and have to hide it? “You wash, I’ll dry?”

“Sounds good.”

We worked in silence, shoulder to shoulder, and I found myself increasingly—and disturbingly—pleased at the thought of him being attracted to me and being forced to conceal it. It was fucking horrible of me to take pleasure in his discomfort, but I liked being secretly wanted. Being illicitly desired. Being the object of his covert glances and maybe even his darkest, dirtiest thoughts. I let our arms touch more than necessary, as thrilled by the physical contact as I was by the thought of what it might be doing to him.

For there is no man who does not sin.

My dick started to get hard, clearly unbothered by the whiskey that was breaking down my inhibitions, pushing past all my defenses, and letting my imagination run wild.

What’s in that gorgeous head of yours, Maxim? What’s behind those cobalt eyes? What would you do to me, if I let you? What would you let me do to you?

“Carolyn is so nice,” he said, handing me the last serving dish left to be dried.

What? He was thinking about Carolyn right now? He wasn’t supposed to be thinking about Carolyn—I was, goddammit!

But I wasn’t. “Yeah.”

He turned off the water. Rested his wet hands on the edge of the sink. “I didn’t realize you had a girlfriend.”

And I heard it in his voice—the slightest edge of jealousy, so faint I might never have noticed it had I not been so hyperaware of everything about him right now. I fucking loved it.

“She’s not my girlfriend.”

“Oh.” Now there was confusion. “I guess I misunderstood.”

“She wants to be my girlfriend.”

Silence.

Of course there was silence. Maxim would never ask what the problem was. But I wanted to tell him. I wanted him to know. I wanted to share the impossible longing I felt with one person who might understand it.

“The problem is me.”

He was completely still. Before I could stop myself, I covered his right hand with my left. “Sometimes I don’t know what I want.”

He yanked his hand from beneath mine and we faced each other.

For the first time tonight, I looked him right in the eye. Nothing around us existed for me anymore. I heard only his breath. Smelled only his skin. Saw only his guarded expression.

I had to have him.

 

 

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Excerpt Reveal: The Last Guy by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

the last guy cover

Title: The Last Guy

Authors: Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louise

Release Date: June 12th, 2017

Genre: Sports Romance

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blurb

The first rule of office romance is don’t do it—especially if your dream is to hold the anchor spot on the nightly news and your boss is trying to get you fired.

But one look at Cade Hill, the sexy new sports director, and uptight reporter Rebecca Fieldstone is daydreaming about other things.

Sex in his office…

Sex in the on-set kitchen…

Sex in the supply closet…

She can’t stop thinking about the former NFL quarterback and how perfect he’d look between her sheets—except he’s an arrogant jerk with a huge…ego.

He’s the last guy she’d ever have a one-night stand with.

Cade Hill draws a thick professional line on office romance—until it comes to the hyper-focused Rebecca. He wants her, and he gets his wish when a chance encounter has them having the hottest sex of their lives.

It’s just a hook-up, she says.

When can we do it again? he says.

With Rebecca determined to keep Cade in the friend zone, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Cade to convince her he’s the last guy she’ll ever want.

 

excerpt

~ Rebecca ~

He kicks the door shut and without even turning on the light, he tosses me on my back on the bed. I prop up on my elbows. My dress is up around my waist, my bra is wet from Cade’s mouth, and my nipples are pointing right at him.

“Damn,” he rasps, and I watch, mesmerized as he reaches behind his neck to pull his shirt over his head, leaving his hair a sexy mess.

The light of the full moon blasting through my window covers him in a silvery glow. My stomach clenches when I see the lines of his muscles deepened by the shadowy light. My God, he’s gorgeous. He looks otherworldly.

“We really shouldn’t do this…” My voice is breathless.

“Agreed.”

He strides toward the bed, his eyes never leaving mine. He’s focused, determined, and I watch long fingers unfasten his belt, the top of his jeans, his zipper.

“This is a terrible idea.”

“Yes,” he murmurs as he cups my face. I sigh and lean into his palm, letting the sizzle between us electrify me. If I do this…if I go through with boning him…it’s going to be the best sex of my life, judging by the tiny raised hairs all over my body.

I scoot to the foot of the bed so I’m right in front of him and my head is level with his waist. Looking up, I slide my palms to his sides, pushing his jeans lower.

He’s standing in front of me in black boxer briefs. I slide my palms up and down against the hot planes of his pelvis, teasing him, tracing my fingers around the straining bulge of his erection. “We’re gonna regret this.”

A long shudder comes from him, and his eyes are heavy-lidded as he watches me. “I don’t think so, Stone. Not in a million fucking years.” He leans down and his lips capture mine, his tongue sweeping inside my mouth, exploring, owning me.

 

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Blurb Reveal- STAY by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

stay-bn-kobo

Title: STAY

Authors: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Series Wags #2 (Can be read as a standalone)

Genre: Sports Romance

Release Date: June 20th, 2017

blurb

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch–an anonymous virtual assistant service–is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting…until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth–that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

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