Jul 202021
 

The Varsity Dad Dilemma by Lex Martin

Release Date: July 20, 2021

A sexy, small town sports romance from USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin!

What’s worse than having Rider Kingston, the star quarterback, give you the big brushoff because he doesn’t want to get serious? You’d probably think living across the street from him where you get a first-hand view of his hookups, right?
That’s what I thought. Until someone drops off a baby with a note pinned to her blanket that says one of those jocks—either Rider or one of his roommates—is the father. The problem? Baby mama doesn’t mention which of these numbskulls is the sperm donor.
I wouldn’t care about their paternity problems—not the slightest bit—except my brother lives there too. Which means that adorable squawking bundle might be my niece, and there’s no way I’m leaving her unattended with those bumbling football players.
They need my help, even if they don’t know it yet. Once we solve this dilemma and figure out who’s the daddy, I’m out.
I’ll just ignore Rider and those soul-searing looks he gives me every time I reach for the baby. He broke my heart three years ago. He doesn’t get a second chance.

Excerpt The Varsity Dad Dilemma by Lex Martin

As I walk Sienna to her car, she squeals. “Holy crap, is that Rider Kingston?”
Without my permission, my gaze slides across the street to the oversized man-child, who has the gall to be moving furniture shirtless while flexing his stupid abs. Judging by the other sweaty minions pouring out of the two story, Rider’s getting new roommates too.
My eye twitches again, and my focus snaps back to Sienna. “I thought you said you weren’t a fan of football.”
“Oh, I’m not. I can’t sit through an entire game. But I am a fan of football players.” Her gaze turns ravenous as she scans my neighbor’s front lawn. Or, likely, the glistening eight-pack Rider’s put on display. “All that testosterone. Those bulging muscles. That deep, masculine grunting. Oh yeah. Get me one of those!”
She cackles, and Rider hears it.
Of course he does.
Shockingly, he deigns to speak to me.
“Hey, Gabby,” he shouts. “How was your summer?”
I’m not sure when he decided to stop ignoring me, but that’s better than pretending we’re friends, which we’ll never be.
I close my eyes because I don’t need any reminders of his masculine beauty. And I definitely don’t need to see that sexy smirk, the one more powerful than his cannon that took the team to the playoffs last year.
No, I’m not interested in the star quarterback. Not anymore.
Turning on my heel, I wave my middle finger and march back to my house.
Laughter is all I hear as I slam the front door shut behind me.

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Jul 152021
 

Merciless Union (Blood and Thorns Duet #2) by Faith Summers & Khardine Gray

Skeletons fall out of the closet as I get my memories back.

Everything changed overnight.

Truth became my enemy, and the sting of betrayal dragged me into a web of lies.

I’m damned if I fight to live and damned if I die.

The dark secrets I remember might tear my marriage apart.

Love is a myth we shouldn’t have explored.

My husband was always my enemy.

Love just made me forget and blinded me.

The cruel hand of death is the only answer when doom takes over.

I don’t know if I’ll survive.

Or if death will bury me along with the sins of my father.

Merciless Union is a dark mafia arranged marriage romance. It contains dubious situations, mature content, and graphic violence some readers might find offensive and/or triggering.

This is the last part of a duet and is not standalone.

Excerpt Merciless Union by Faith Summers

I can’t stop moving. Lucca was shot. My heart tumbles in my chest with panic and desperation with every hurried step I take.
“It’s not what you think,” someone who sounds like Jon, Lucca’s best friend, answers. “I’m so sorry, Lucca. You were like a brother to me, but you dug too deep.”
Marylin and I stop short when we see Lucca lying on the ground with blood pouring from his stomach. That’s bad enough. However, the sight of Jon standing over him with his gun aimed at him in one hand and a metal bar in the other makes my blood boil. That answers the question of how the men got on the grounds.
“Lucca!” I scream, and my eyes lock with his silver ones.
In that split second, as I look at him, memory hits me as clear as the image of him lying before me.
I remember the day I first met him. It was at music class. I heard him playing the piano. I was seven, and he was ten. He was playing that song that unlocked my heart.
Clair de Lune.
He offered to help me with my piano lessons so my mother would allow me to play the violin.
That was the moment we began. That was the beginning of our unexpected journey and an unexpected friendship that has lasted my whole life, even though he might not have always been with me. My accident might have robbed me of memories of the magic we shared, but I feel it.
That’s the first memory I’ve had of my childhood that wasn’t locked in a dream.
As the horror hits me that I’m watching him die, I try to get to him. Marylin holds me back, but I try to get away so I can save him.
“No, Aria, we have to get out,” Marylin urges.
“Lucca!” I wail.
“Go!” Lucca shouts to me, and his eyes roll back in his head.

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Jul 152021
 

Heart Stopper (Rebels of Rushmore Book 1) by Michelle Hercules

Troy Alexander is sex on a stick and every girl’s dream at John Rushmore University. He’s also the bane of my existence.

Our meet-cute wasn’t exactly cute. He called me a nerd, and I accused him of slacking off on the field. Now, we have to live together.

I’m supposed to try to play nice to keep a roof over my head. Not in my nature. Our arrangement could be a living hell, but slowly, I realize the worst thing he ever did wasn’t calling me names. It was making me see there’s more to him under the surface. And now, I’m screwed.

*Heart Stopper is an enemies-to-lovers college sports standalone romance filled with banter, pranks, and off the charts chemistry that will make you swoon.

Excerpt Heart Stopper by Michelle Hercules

Chapter 1

Charlie

I’m already on my second cup of coffee and still no sign of Troy Alexander, the star of the Rushmore Rebels football team, who I have to interview for the school newspaper. I almost strangled Blake when he gave me the last-minute assignment. It was only his promise to be my bitch in next week’s LARP event that convinced me to step in for Ludwig, the dude who usually covers the sports section of the paper.
Football and jocks are not in my orbit, so I spent the last twenty minutes learning as much as I could about the Rushmore Rebels’ quarterback. People seem to regard him like a god, and honestly, no one deserves to be treated as such. He has an okay average, winning more games than losing them. This year is different though. He’s a senior, and most of the time, that’s when the players really try to give their all. But Troy seems to have lost his steam, not really going the extra mile when he should. That’s according to the notes I got from Ludwig, of course. I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference if I watched a game, which I haven’t.
Since the jerkface is late, I snoop his social media profiles. I can’t gather much from Facebook unless I’m friends with him, and there’s no chance I’ll send a request, not when his Instagram feed has plenty of photos that paint a picture of who Troy Alexander is. It’s clear the guy has acquired a taste for high-adrenaline sports, from skydiving to mountain climbing. Some are quite intense and dangerous, such as extreme snowboarding. I wonder what his coach has to say about his quarterback’s new hobby.
I swallow the last drops of my coffee, already debating if I should go for a third cup, but when I can’t stop bouncing my legs up and down, I have my answer. I’m already jittery as hell; inhaling more caffeine is definitely a bad idea.
The coffee shop’s doorbell chimes, earning my attention. But it’s not Troy coming in, only a couple of sorority girls wearing their matching pink hoodies with their house’s emblem embroidered on them.
Clenching my teeth, I check the time. Fuck. He’s forty minutes late. It’s safe to assume he stood me up. I lost track of time, or I wouldn’t have waited so long. Great.
I’m busy texting Blake, telling him he owes me big time, when someone drops onto the chair opposite mine. It’s Troy, looking hotter than Hades in casual jeans and a T-shirt. Golden hair, golden skin, and a face that belongs on the cover of a magazine. He’s sex on a stick, something I wasn’t prepared for. His Instagram pictures don’t really do him justice.
“Hi, you must be Ludwig’s replacement. Have you been waiting long?” He smiles as if he didn’t already know the answer to that.
I pick my jaw up from the floor, hoping he didn’t catch me drooling, and frown. “How did you know who I was?”
“You look like the type who works for the paper.” He shrugs, then eyes the two girls who entered the coffee shop earlier, giving them a wolfish grin. They were already ogling him, but Troy’s attention sends them into a fit of giggles.
Really?
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snap.
Troy faces me again, sporting an innocent expression. “Are you that unaware of the vibe you give off?”
I lean back, crossing my arms over my chest. “Enlighten me.”
His lips curl into a smirk while his eyes dance with glee. “Your T-shirt with the paper’s logo. That’s how I knew.”
Heat rushes to my cheeks. I had completely forgotten I was wearing it.
“But you also have the nerd look about you,” he continues, renewing my irritation with him.
“Nerd look, huh? Could it be my glasses?” I push the frames back up my nose using my middle finger.
Troy quirks an eyebrow. “Probably. Can we please make this a quickie? I have places to be.”
I scoff. “You have some nerve. You’re the one who was forty minutes late!”
He flinches as if my outburst surprised him. “Gee, I’m sorry, okay? I had to deal with a situation. I’m here now, so fire away.”
Flaring my nostrils, I grab my phone. “Is it okay if I record this?”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
“So, Troy, when did you decide not to give a fuck about football anymore?”
He doesn’t answer for a couple of beats, narrowing his eyes. “Excuse me?”
“I mean, your performance in the last game was half-assed at best, and you only won because the other team was awful.”
A humorless laugh escapes his lips. “So, this is how it’s going to be, huh? I’m late a few minutes, and you’re going to pull the heinous bitch card.”
I try not to wince at his name-calling, but if I’m going to succeed in this profession, I can’t let assholes get under my skin. “Oh, sweetie. It’s cute that you think I’m asking tough questions because I’m mad at you. But we both know the truth. You messed up royally in the previous game. What was your excuse? Did you also have to deal with a situation then?”
Troy’s face turns ashen, and his jaw clenches tight as he shoots daggers from his eyes. I notice his balled fists on the table and how his breathing is shallow now. Boy, I got to him good. I feel kind of guilty. You never know what issues people are dealing with.
He stands up suddenly, almost toppling his chair over. “We’re done.”
Shit. Maybe I went too far.

***

Troy

Fuck. I knew today was going to be hell. I can always count on everything going wrong whenever I have to meet my mother. Sometimes I suspect she’s a witch because she sure as shit can hex my life. We had our monthly lunch at an upscale private club, during which she spent the hour downing martinis and picking on my sister, Jane, and me. Well, she mostly enjoys criticizing Jane. It’s her feeble attempt to act motherly.
I can handle Mommy Dearest’s harsh words, but poor Jane takes everything to heart. The more Mom talks, the more my sister shrinks into herself. It pisses me off. I was late for my interview with that shrew from the paper because I’d had to undo all the damage Mom had done to Jane.
I can’t believe I let that Lois Lane wannabe get under my skin. To be fair, I had already been on edge. I should have just rescheduled the damn meeting. What I shouldn’t have done is storm out of the coffee shop like a coward. No wonder my blood is still boiling.
Who does she think she is to judge me like that? I doubt she knows anything about football or even attended the last game. She’d have been with Ludwig, and I’d have remembered a face like hers. Too fucking pretty and doesn’t even know it. Damn it. She had to go and be a bitch.
Coach Clarkson already gave me a tongue-lashing for sucking last Saturday. I had fucked up. My head wasn’t in the game, but explaining why wasn’t an option. Sure, if the coach knew the truth, he wouldn’t have given me such a hard time. Only I’d rather people believe I slacked off for no good reason than them know it was the anniversary of Robbie’s death. No one knows, not even my closest friends. What would they think if they knew I’d let my brother die?
I can’t go back to the mausoleum I call home in this state. I don’t want to be alone right now, and I have too much pent-up aggression that needs to go somewhere, so I shoot a quick text to Andreas, telling him I’m headed to the gym. He’s always game for a workout. The guy has an infinite supply of energy. He’s like the Energizer Bunny, a comparison that suits him well in more ways than one. The fucker is a damn Casanova and has probably banged his way to New Zealand and back.
When I park in front of the upscale warehouse-style gym, my anger has decreased by half. I spot Andreas’s Bronco two spots to my left. No surprise he’s already here. He, unlike me, lives right on campus in a shared apartment with Danny Hudson, a freshman who will probably take my place as the new QB next year.
I grab my duffel bag from the trunk and head inside the building. It’s the middle of the afternoon, and the place is pretty packed. It annoys me to work out in a full house, but beggars can’t be choosers.
I quickly change and then head to the gym’s main room. Andreas is spotting Danny at the bench press when I find them.
“Dude, who stole your cookie?” he asks.
I roll my eyes. Everything out of the guy’s mouth is related to food or girls. “It’s one of those days. I had lunch with my mother and Jane earlier. You know how those events usually go.”
“Like eating sawdust?” Danny chimes in.
“Pretty much.”
“How is Jane doing? I haven’t seen her in months,” Andreas asks casually, not even glancing in my direction.
He knows he’s not allowed to get near my sister or entertain any ideas about her. She’s still in high school, for starters. Also, she doesn’t need to get her heart broken by the most notorious manwhore on campus.
“Jane is fine,” I reply through clenched teeth.
“Whoa. You don’t need to bite my head off. I was just asking.”
“You look pissed,” Danny pipes up. “Are you still sour about your talk with the coach?”
“Nah. I’m over that,” I lie. I hate that I screwed up, but wallowing in it won’t help either. “He had the right to chew my ass. My current mood is in part to blame on a fucking nosy reporter from the school paper.”
“Wait. I thought Ludwig was a buddy of yours.” Andreas arches his eyebrows.
“He couldn’t make it, and his replacement was a fucking bitch. She dared to ask when I stopped giving a fuck about football.”
“Wow. That’s savage.” Danny chuckles. “Your charming skills didn’t work on her?”
“I wasn’t myself.”
“Please tell me you put the bitch back in her place,” Andreas retorts angrily.
I take Danny’s spot on the bench. “That’s what I should have done. Instead, I left.”
Andreas whistles. “Troy Alexander avoiding a confrontation. That’s new. Are you sure you didn’t sleep with her and forget to call the next day?”
“Unlike yours, my bedroom doesn’t have a revolving door. I remember my hookups.”
He shrugs. “If you say so.”
“Can we drop the subject? I didn’t come here to gossip like a fucking sorority girl.”
A wicked grin appears on Andreas’s face. “Speaking of sorority girls….”
He proceeds to tell us about his latest sexual escapade, not sparing us any details, but I tune him out. No matter how much I want to forget what happened in the coffee shop, I can’t get the Lois Lane wannabe out of my head.
Damn it.

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Jul 152021
 

Brazen by Jaci Burton

A country girl embarks on a brazen pursuit of love in this bold romance from New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton.

Ranch owner Jolene Mcmasters has always worked hard–and played hard. She’s used to going after what she wants until she gets it. And what she wants is ranch foreman Walker Morgan. The only problem is Walker can’t afford to lose his job by getting too familiar with his boss. And getting intimate with Jolene is the last thing on his mind–or maybe it’s all that’s been on his mind lately, which could be a career ender for him.

But Jolene wears Walker down and soon the two of them are having hot interludes on the ranch and are together all the time–but only in private. Jolene wants more–she wants Walker to be by her side in all ways. But Walker holds a secret that could end his relationship with Jolene for good. Can Jolene trust in her love for Walker, or will this secret break her heart?

Excerpt Brazen by Jaci Burton – read Chapter 1 here.

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Jul 152021
 

Branded by Jaci Burton

Love is in the air in this sizzling romance from New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton.

Brea McMasters has always been shy around men, living out her fantasies in all her favorite books. But sexy horse wrangler Gage Reilly is making her want to turn all those fantasies into reality. With a little help and encouragement from her two sisters, Brea finally gains enough confidence to go for it with the sexy cowboy, and Gage is more than happy to teach her all there is to know about pleasure.

Now they’re both spending steamy nights together under clear moonlit skies. But can Brea and Gage find the courage to commit, once intimacy turns to love?

Branded by Jaci Burtonread Chapter 1 here.

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Jul 152021
 

Bound by Jaci Burton

Love is bound to be a wild ride in this sexy romance from New York Times bestselling author Jaci Burton.

Valerie and her two sisters are reunited at their family’s Oklahoma ranch for the first time in two years. When Valerie left for the big city to become a doctor years ago, she kissed her foreman husband goodbye–along with the best sex she’d ever had. Now, seeing him brings back sizzling memories. As Valerie gets back in touch with her ranching roots, she starts to question why she left the ranch in the first place, and struggles to resist the walking temptation that is her ex-husband. As the citizens of her hometown beg her to become the town doctor, Valerie must choose between big-city life and country life—and the man she left behind.

Excerpt Bound by Jaci Burton – read Chapter 1 here.

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Jul 152021
 

Dashing Mr. Snow by Jaci Burton

Christmas isn’t Claire Asher’s favorite season. But she endures it for her teenage daughter. When Sullivan Snow moves in next door with his teen daughter, all holiday breaks loose. Suddenly there are twinkling lights and blow up decorations littering the yard, and when the two girls become friends, all kinds of nauseating jolly ensues thanks to her annoying but oh-so-good-looking new neighbor. It isn’t long before Sullivan is dragging her along tree shopping, gift buying, and making her feel things she hasn’t felt in a very long time.

Sullivan doesn’t get why anyone wouldn’t love Christmas. Claire is as grumpy as a Grinch, but also smart and beautiful and funny. He intends to show her what the season is all about—with some holiday spirit, warm nights in front of the fire, a lot of steamy cuddling, and the magic of falling in love.

Excerpt Dashing Mr. Snow by Jaci Burton – read Chapter 1 here.

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Jul 132021
 

Down to Fall (A Love Happens Novel #5) by Jodi Watters

A lust story. Only meant to be temporary.
A love story. Always meant to be permanent.
A hate story. Never meant to be.
This… is all three.

Nicole
It started in an elevator in California. Our lust story.
You know, the kind you know going in is a bad idea, but… the nagging desire and all. A few drinks in the hotel bar across from our workplace. A few nights in a luxury suite twenty floors above. What could it hurt?
Innocent fun would be had by all, and I’d walk away a well-satisfied woman. Ready to continue my life of brokenhearted loneliness.

Grady
It started on a ridge in Afghanistan. Our love story. You know, the kind you felt in your soul at first sight, but… the tragic circumstances and all. Intentionally casual conversation over Irish whiskey. Intentionally casual sex over the course of two weeks. How could I refuse?
Guilt-ridden bonds would be built, and I’d confess my darkest sin. Beg for forgiveness five years overdue and clean my conscience along with it.

It started with the cold hard truth. Our hate story.
You know, the kind that could end a surprisingly beautiful beginning.

All books in the LOVE HAPPENS SERIES are standalones. They can be read on their own, or as a companion to the other books in the series:
Next to Me (Sam)
Wrong then Right (Beckett)
True to You (Asher)
Have a Heart (Jason)
Down to Fall (Grady)

Excerpt Down to Fall by Jodi Watters

Ten minutes after he agreed, Nicole found herself standing inside a deluxe suite at the Hyatt, their tryst beginning in the lap of luxury.
It would end here too, but only after she’d had her fill of him and/or thirteen days had passed, whichever came first. Based on the way that gray t-shirt stretched across his broad shoulders, and if there were tattoos and tan lines under it, she’d run out of time before she ran out of desire.
Backing her up against the hotel room door, Grady leaned in but didn’t touch her, only locking the deadbolt and flipping the security bar, the sound loud in the hushed darkness of the room.
“You sure about this?” His masculinity surrounded her, warm and wicked. His height dwarfed her, tall and tantalizing.
“Yes,” she whispered. “Are you?”
“No,” he choked out, his voice gravelly. “No, I’m not sure. But there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
They’d never been this close before, but if she’d known his strength was so powerful, his scent so heady, his size so commanding, she’d have cornered him weeks ago. Probably humped his camo-panted leg like a dog in heat.
Well, he’d better be ready. She was about to be unleashed. Which was to say, he’d be on the receiving end of her largely limited—and significantly rusty—sexual repertoire.
Comparing herself to the animalistic dynamo that was a female canine in heat was her ego talking. Oh, she could get the job done, no doubt about it, but Grady might not be so impressed he’d hire her again, if you caught her drift.
Thirteen days might turn into a one-and-done situation.
But luckily, she’d made that quick drugstore run during her lunch break yesterday, so she was fully prepared. Condoms, a Lady Bic razor and shaving gel, and a king-sized Kit Kat bar completed her purchase. The condoms were a necessity—safety first, ’cause that’s how ole Nicole rolled. The razor because, between the two of them, he should be the only one with stubble. The chocolate was simply because she hadn’t had sex in a longer timespan than your average bad-credit car loan, and that fact would make any girl self-medicate.
Thankfully she’d had the foresight to buy a half dozen candy bars and wasn’t ashamed to admit she’d powered one down just prior to stalking him via the elevator tonight.
Chocolate might give her cellulite, but it also gave her courage. Courage she desperately needed, because right about now, she was feeling like a born-again virgin.
Unsure. Unsteady. And unprepared for the sight he was about to bestow upon her.
Bare, muscled skin.
Their suite was several stories high, the only glow in the room from the small lamp on the nightstand and that of a thousand twinkling lights from the surrounding downtown buildings. The panoramic floor to ceiling windows offered an amazing view, day or night, and though the drapes were drawn open to the outside world, they were cocooned inside by the soft radiance of a single bulb.
The only people on earth.
Moving deeper into the room, his eyes barely left hers as he tugged his t-shirt off, lazily dropping it to the floor.
My god.
There were tattoos. Plural. And in nearly the exact location of her fantasies.
The letter F was inked over his left pec muscle, a single initial monogrammed in an Old English decorative script. F for Foster. Underneath that same glorious pec muscle was a short verse, in a cleaner, simpler font, that wrapped horizontally around his torso toward his back.
It was too dark in the room for her to read the words, but that task was now on the tippy top of her To-Do list.
What she could read was the larger quote tattooed along the right side of his collar bone. De oppresso liber. To liberate the oppressed. The motto of the United States Army Special Forces.
Don’t ask her how she knew that. It wasn’t a fun tale to tell.
“What’s going through that pretty head of yours?”
Swallowing, she regained the use of language. “That I wanna lick your tattoos.”
A smartass grin graced his beautifully sculpted mouth. “Damn. Should’ve tattooed my dick.”
The button on his pants popped, the slide of his zipper letting loose a hoard of butterflies in her stomach when he opened the placket. Dark shadows hid his best asset, his intention only to relieve the pressure, not release the beast.
He needn’t worry. She wanted to lick that too.

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Jul 122021
 

Fourth Down (The Portland Pioneers: A Beaumont Series Next Generation Spin-off #1) by Heidi McLaughlin

From the New York Times bestselling author of Forever My Girl: The Motion Picture, Heidi McLaughlin delivers a contemporary romance that will leave you dancing in the end zone!

Autumn LaRosa has been playing defense since the moment she met Julius Cunningham. After accepting a position as a meteorologist in Portland, she strives to make a good first impression. Then she meets the arrogant wide receiver who belittles her in front of her new friends. She could have walked off the sting of his bitter words, but he keeps showing up in her social circle.

Now, she is determined to meet him at the line of scrimmage and prove she’s not one to back down.

Julius Cunningham is well aware there’s a flag on the play after his harsh words to Autumn. The more he sees of Portland’s new weather girl, the clearer it becomes his judgments of her were unfounded.

But how can he call a timeout on the animosity he created?

When Autumn attends a charity event with the Pioneer players, she sees an opportunity too tempting to resist. Julius looks miserable being a part of the date auction, making it even more fun for Autumn to bid. Will she use the opportunity for some good old-fashioned payback? Or will this be their fresh start at the twenty-yard line?

Get ready for the snap and sprint for the end zone because Autumn and Julius are headed for either a tackle or a touchdown!

Excerpt Fourth Down by Heidi McLaughlin

Everything in the room is white. The couch. The rug. The walls. Even the television has a white border around it. The mantel over the fireplace—white. Same with the picture frames. Everywhere I look, it’s all I see. The living room is supposed to be inviting, welcoming, and yet it feels stressful. I’ve never been the type of person who asks their friends to take off their shoes when they come into their home. I find it rude, but I also respect it if my friends ask me. When you come into my house—well, my soon to be former home—your shoes must be off. Not only off but left outside.
I sit on the couch, with its white pillows, and rest my ankle on my knee. My shoes are on because I’m bitter and angry at the world, the situation I’m in, and my wife. Mostly her, which probably isn’t fair, but her actions have put us in this position.
Elena comes into the room and sighs heavily. I know why and I don’t care. I continue to stare out the window at the blue sky. Elena and I met in college. I was on a full scholarship at the University of Alabama, playing wide receiver, and she worked for my favorite clothing store. I wish I could say it was love at first sight, but it was fear that brought us together. I had been in her store when a tornado warning sounded. Everyone in the store took shelter, except Elena. She stood in the middle of the room with nothing but sheer panic on her face. Her co-workers tried to coax her into the back room, but she was frozen. I went to her, scooped her up, and carried her to the back. She clung to me until the warning was over. The entire time I just talked to her about my life, football, my hopes, and dreams. She told me she moved to Alabama to go to school, but her financial aid fell through, and she was too embarrassed to go home and ask her parents for money. They didn’t want her moving south to begin with, and told her she was making a mistake. She needed to prove them wrong.
After that day, we started hanging out. She’d come to the dorm, help me with my homework, and I’d invite her to games. Our friendship turned romantic a few months later, and after a couple of years of dating, I asked her to marry me. I thought I had found my soulmate. It turns out I was just her meal ticket to stardom.
It’s funny when you’re in a life and death situation. You say a lot of things to the people around you. For me, I’ve always dreamed of playing professional football. I worked my ass off in college to achieve my dream. Elena’s dream was to work in marketing or advertising. That was until we started dating seriously, and her social media skyrocketed. Then, her dream was to become an influencer and eventually a model. I supported each change in her career wholeheartedly because I wanted her to be happy, and I was in love with her. I thought she was in love with me. She told me we had to have a house in Orange County even though we lived in Portland, Oregon. At first, I didn’t understand why but still gave her what she wanted. Everything became clear when some reality TV show about wives announced she was joining the cast. The show was a hit. Her fame grew. And suddenly, she wanted to be an actress. By now, through all of this, we have two children and are splitting our time between Portland, Huntington Beach, her parents in Delaware, and mine in Michigan. An endless cycle of traveling. I tried to talk to her about it. I tried telling her something had to give. At first, she was defensive, telling me I was trying to stifle her creativity. Then she said if I really loved her and the kids, I’d ask for a trade to one of the teams in California. When I told her no, she uttered the word I never thought I’d hear—divorce.
My world was rocked.

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Jul 082021
 

The Destruction You Desire (Maddison Kings University #5) by Tracy Lorraine

After six years of living in denial, Luca is finally faced with the truth. A brutal discovery he refused to accept when I needed him most.

Now the vengeance he so desperately craves isn’t directed at me, but the monster responsible for destroying all our lives.

That might put us on the same side this time, but that doesn’t mean I can forgive him for not believing me. Or for hating me when I loved him.

Just when I think the darkness couldn’t drag us down any further, it threatens to swallow me whole.

Only this time Luca is right there beside me, reminding me how things used to be… fighting for me. Begging for my forgiveness.

Something I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give him.

Until he proves that the boy I fell for still exists, underneath the one who broke my heart.

And I begin to wonder if there ever was a question about our future.

Dear Reader,
The Destruction You Desire is the fifth book in my Maddison Kings University series and the second book in a duet for Peyton and Luca. It’s a dark bully romance that contains mature content and demanding alphaholes that some readers may find disturbing. You have been warned.

Excerpt The Destruction You Desire by Tracy Lorraine

Slamming the door behind me, I cut off the complaints of the others who are waiting and I flip the lock.

I take a step toward her and she takes a hesitant one back.

“W-what do you want, Luc?”

I consider her question for a few seconds.

“Honestly. I have no fucking clue.”

She gasps when she runs out of space behind her and bumps up against the wall.

“I-I’m sorry you found out like that. That wasn’t—” Her words are cut off when my hand flies out and pins her against the wall by her throat.

She swallows nervously, her body trembling as tears pool in her eyes.

“Stop,” I boom. “Just stop.”

My chest heaves as I stare at her almost cowering away from me.

I hold her wide eyes for a beat before I drop mine to her pink lips. They’re so full and I already know just how sweet they taste. Then I drop lower to her dress. It’s the first time I really get to look at her and fuck.

“You look…” Beautiful. I swallow down the word as the confusion I’ve battled with all day only gets stronger.

Hurt her.

Take her.

Punish her.

Make her yours.

“Tell me he didn’t touch you. Tell me he didn’t take what’s mine.”

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 8 July 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Jul 062021
 

The Grumpy Player Next Door (Copper Valley Fireballs #3) by Pippa Grant

I, Tillie Jean Rock, am not in love with my brother’s teammate. Sure, he might have those biceps and that “I am the grouchiest of grouchy bears” smolder, and he might shovel snow off his driveway next door wearing nothing but boxer shorts and rubber boots, and he might be running a side business feeding all the stray goats in town, but studliness is only skin-deep.

And I might flirt with him every chance I get, but I swear it’s only to annoy my brother.

And him.

Because Max Cole?

Under all of those glorious muscles and chiseled cheekbones and searing glares beats the heart of a heartless devil.
I could no sooner fall in love with a guy who treats me like a kid, and judges me at every opportunity, and sets an army of garden gnomes loose on my yard, than I could fall in love with my grandfather’s pet parrot.

But I can definitely annoy him. I can one hundred percent get on board with annoying him.

That’s what you do when you don’t like your neighbor, right?

But you know what they say about love and hate…

It’s a very thin line.

Especially when the real reason I’m not in love with Max Cole—that he’s incapable of love—might not be true at all.

The Grumpy Player Next door is a fun-filled enemies-to-lovers romcom featuring a ray of sunshine on a mission, an athlete who’s only grouchy around her, and an epic prank gone wrong. It stands alone and comes complete with small-town shenanigans, a goat who’s not nearly as wise as his name suggests, and proof that sometimes, love is the best kind of vengeance.

Excerpt The Grumpy Player Next Door by Pippa Grant

There’s a fine art to revenge, and today, I am arting the hell out of it. I’m talking cackles of glee, evil cartoon overlord-style, rubbing my hands together while bouncing on my toes. Reminding myself to shut up because my brother will be home from his morning workout any minute now, and I don’t want to tip my hand when he doesn’t know I’m waiting for him here in his house up on the mountainside.
You would think he would’ve learned to engage his security system more often by now.
But he hasn’t, which means I’m here, armed and dangerous and ready, and I’m cackling with glee all over again.
I know, I know. Is this really how you want to pay him back for having a box labeled “dildos” delivered to you at your parents’ house in the midst of all the pre-wedding activities for your other brother last week?
Yes, actually.
Yes, it is.
It’s payback time.
Also?
I have zero doubt Cooper will have mad respect that I’m doing this.
Sort of like while I was pissed when he replaced my coffee beans with roasted goat poop before he left for spring training nine months ago, I very much respected that he pulled it off, even if I wasn’t pleased at having to admit that that was the prank that took him over the top to win in our annual off-season prank war.
But this winter?
This winter, my brother Cooper “Stinky Booty” Rock is going down.
The universe told me so. Why else would it have hand-delivered that video into my social media stream to inspire me right after I finished figuring out where to donate an unopened box of dildos?
I cackle again.
And then I slap my hand over my mouth.
He’s home.
There’s his dark head, bent toward the knob, beyond the tempered glass panel beside his front door. He’s dressed in Fireballs red, which is more orange than it is red, and he’s probably worn out from lifting at the gym.
Yesterday was cardio day.
I know, because he ran past Crusty Nut, our dad’s restaurant where I’m the manager five days a week, at least two dozen times without stopping in once to say hi.
I haven’t seen him since the wedding several days ago, which either means he’s avoiding me and the revenge he knows I owe him, or he has a stick up his butt and has forgotten the little people.
Or, possibly, he’s distracted, in which case, he needs this.
I squat into position at the top of the stairs, as hidden as I can be while still seeing my target, Nerf blaster locked and loaded, waiting while he fumbles with his keys.
For the record?
It’s not easy to hide at the top of a curved staircase. I’m on my belly now, half-angled behind the wall of the hallway to his guest bedrooms, peering between the slats of the banister, hoping all my target practice pays off.
Steady, TJ. This is what you trained for.
The lock clicks.
I flatten myself lower and take aim.
The door swings open.
Dark hair in the foyer. Go go go.
I squeeze the trigger, sending a rapid blast of modified foam darts at the six balloons floating in the space above the door.
The needle sticking out barely an eighth of an inch in the tip of the first dart connects. One helium balloon pops. Then two more, followed by the fourth and fifth. The sixth shifts after getting hit, like it’s a tough guy balloon. It’s the ninja of balloons, and it doesn’t want to participate in my dastardly plans today, but that’s okay. The other balloons are bursting in a sparkly, shiny, beautiful pink glitter spray that’s splattering on the walls, exploding from its nylon shell and raining down like a spring shower, coating the walls, making the air sparkle, and dusting all that dark hair as Cooper’s lifting his head. “What the—”
And in the span of a heartbeat, before he can finish that sentence, I realize my mistake.
My terrible, horrible, very bad miscalculation.
If I were a superhero, I’d be sucking all that glitter into my lungs and redirecting it into my brother’s bedroom, which is likely what I should’ve done in the first place—hindsight, right?—but I didn’t. This was so much more dramatic and didn’t risk me having to find out which local he’s screwing around with in his spare time, as she’d be coated in glitter too after rolling around in his sheets, except my prank has failed.
It has failed spectacularly.
“Oh my god,” I gasp.
That’s not Cooper.
That is so not Cooper.

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Jul 062021
 

War and Roses by Kat Baxter

He’s coming home to claim her…

Jacob

I’ve been on active duty since I was eighteen. My intentions were to be a soldier for life. Then her letters showed up. Now, everything has changed.

I fell in love with her through her words and I know she feels the same. So I’m taking my shot. I’m going to walk right into her flower shop and tell her she’s mine.

Bethany

I was born with a broken heart and I’ve got the thick, jagged scar to prove it. I’ve seen the way people stare, the way men look away.

I’ve always known that I’m not the kind of girl a man would pick for his forever. So what do I do when the man of my dreams storms into my life insisting I’m his one? I can’t bear to see the look on his face when he sees my scars, but I also can’t seem to resist him.

Excerpt War and Roses by Kat Baxter

By the time closing comes around, I’ve nearly forgotten about Jacob showing up. Okay, that’s a complete lie; I haven’t forgotten at all. But I’ve just about convinced myself that he’ll email me later. He stopped by because he was in the neighborhood and that’ll be the end of it.
I go out the backdoor to my car and I’m halfway there when I hear my name.
“Bethany!”
“Yeah?” I spin around without thinking and shit, shit, shit! There he is. Leaning against the back of the building, one leg bent and his shoe against the wall. Looking like a damn model for something hot and sexy. He pushes off and strides towards me and I swear I think I die right then.
I figured he’d be handsome. I mean, it wouldn’t matter to me because I’m already mostly in love with this man. But the hot-as-a-damn-movie-star man coming towards me…nothing could have prepared me for that. His short, cropped hair is a shade somewhere between blond and brown, and he’s tan He’s smiling widely with straight white teeth, and he’s got those little lines that fan out from the corners of his eyes. You know, like George Clooney has?
I’m sure I’m staring at him gape-mouthed, but I am frozen to my spot. I can’t run now.
When he’s close enough that I can see that his eyes are mossy brown, I take a step back and then again. My butt hits the side of my vehicle, and he closes the distance between us. He’s ridiculously tall.
Okay, it’s really me who is ridiculously short, but whatever. Two toned arms bracket my shoulders as he leans in and…wraps me in a hug.
Okay, so maybe he’s taken one look at me and has changed his mind about pursuing anything romantic with me now that he’s seen the size of my ass. Friends, I can do. I’ll still get my heart broken when he meets a pretty, thin woman who doesn’t have ugly scars. But I’m familiar with those feelings. So I hug him back.
“There she is,” he murmurs against my head. And then he kisses the top of my head, or maybe just presses his chin there. I don’t know which. He steps back from me.
I look away from his face because it’s like looking at the damn sun. Instead, I find myself cataloguing the veins and scars and tattoos that line his crazy hot forearms. It’s hot out here. I mean, of course it is, because it’s Texas and we’re almost always hot. But he’s hot and he’s making things around me hotter.
One finger tips my chin up so I have to look at his face.
He smiles at me.
“Why are you hiding from me?”
I open my mouth, then close it because what the hell do I say to that?
“Just because we’ve never seen each other before doesn’t mean we don’t know each other,” he says. “Tell me why you asked your boss to lie to me and say you weren’t there?”
I feel my eyes widen. “You saw me?”
He gives me a tiny grin. He’s still holding my chin, but instead of just that one finger, he’s got my face cradled in one of his palms. His thumb strokes my skin. And even that little bit of contact is enough to set my entire body on fire.
Desire pools deep in my core and my nipples harden.
But then he drops his hand and steps back.
“No, sweetheart, I didn’t see you. But I did see your boss’s watch light up with your text.”
Sweetheart. He’s used the term of endearment in a few of our emails, but I just figured it was a slip. I swallow past a lump.
“What are you doing here, Jacob?”
He gives me an easy smile. “Can a friend not come visit another friend?”
Friend. Even though I know I can’t have more, hearing the word–getting so blatantly friend-zoned–hurts.
I swallow past the knot in my throat that feels more like a blade. “Yes, of course.”
He bumps my elbow with his. “Any chance you know where we can go for some of that good Tex-Mex you’re always telling me about?”
I smile because I just can’t help it.
“Of course.”
What was I thinking wanting to hide from him? We can be easy together. I can lick my wounds when I’m alone, but for right now, while he’s in town, I can enjoy his company. And the view, because he’s so damn handsome it’s ridiculous.

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Jul 052021
 

Rainbow (Ruthless Kings MC: Baton Rouge #1) by K.L. Savage

The hotter the flame, the bigger the fire.

I’m a smokejumper.
I go where the flames take me.
And right now, it’s sending me from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.
Louisiana has called for a state of emergency because of a category five hurricane.
First responders from all over the country are coming to help.
It’s where I run into Ryan. A paramedic from Las Vegas.
He’s brave, smart, and gay.
I don’t have an issue with that.
And while I’m getting to know him, I start to battle a different kind of fire.
Our jobs are dangerous, and I don’t believe in waiting for the right time to get what I want.
I’ve never wanted a man.
But I want him.
There’s a problem. He has one rule.
He doesn’t do straight guys.
I’ll have to jump in the smoke and flames between us to show him I have no hesitation.
I’m a cowboy who loves the thrill of a wild ride.
But the storm? It’s far from over. Our lives are at stake.
I live my life to the fullest and I won’t die with regrets.
Ryan is the blaze I never want to fight.
If we go down, we will burn together.
Extinguishing us is not an option.
And my MC will have to get over it.

Excerpt Rainbow by K.L. Savage

How the hell do I get myself in these situations? Out of all the jobs as a paramedic, I find myself constantly in front of biker gangs more than regular patients. I mean, I leave Vegas and come to Baton Rouge to do a favor for my boss and end up in Ruthless Kings territory, again? Do they multiply when I blink or something?
Should have told my boss that I wouldn’t swing by his old stomping ground to help cover a staffing shortage his friend was experiencing. It seemed convenient. Stay in Baton Rouge until the storm passes, then head down to the coast where they’ll need me most.
Now I’m here, and I can’t tell if the biker looking at me wants to eat me, fuck me, or kill me.
“For a little guy, you sure know your way around bone,” Butcher grunts.
“For a guy named Butcher, you sure do complain a lot.” I press the fresh bandage against his thigh, maybe a little harder than necessary, and he growls at me.
I always liked riling up a guy bigger than me. I don’t know why. I know I don’t have a death wish, but it’s fun, and usually, bigger guys won’t pick on me. I’m sure my luck will run out soon, but until then, I’m going to poke every single bear.
And giggle as I run away.
“Okay. I’ll just say it was an accident and that no one got shot, or we’d have to report it to the police, and I don’t feel like staying here longer than necessary. Not that your hospitality isn’t… wonderful,” I add, only to sound more like a jerk.
The big guy, the one that wears the patch that says Prez, laughs as he strokes his chin with his fingers. “You’re welcome back anytime, Ryan. We appreciate your willingness to… cooperate.” He reaches into his cut pocket—I learned they weren’t vests after being corrected a few years ago—and pulls out a stack of money.
Here’s the thing about bricks of cash like this: it’s most likely illegal money. Maybe it’s drug money or blood money, but honestly? I don’t really care. I have student loan debt to pay.
I pluck the cash out of his hand and tuck it into my paramedic bag. “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.” I give them a mock salute and swallow down my nerves as I wade through the very large bodies covered in leather.
Now that I’m looking at them, I can’t help but wonder if they’re going to let me leave. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Perhaps they’ll want to take turns with my body and ravish me. I might be a smart man, but I’m still a man, and somehow these bikers get better looking with each state I end up in.
Ah, a man can dream, can’t he?
Lye, according to his patch on his vest—I mean, cut—opens the door for me.
Once I’m outside, I take a deep breath and don’t bother looking back. Of course, the quicker I get out of here, the better.
“Hey!”
A deep voice with a twangy edge has me freezing mid-step next to the rig, and I try not to panic. Did one of the guys see me check them out? I didn’t. I think I kept my eyes to myself. I thrust my shoulders back and open the doors to the rig to toss the medical bag inside. I close the left side and see the most handsome man I’ve seen in my entire life. I suck in a breath—no—he stole my ability to breathe, looking as good as he does.

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Jul 052021
 

Rotanev by Lexi C. Foss

Kailiani Mikos
My life is a mess.

One minute, I’m on my way to graduating, and the next, I find out my mother handed me over as collateral to a loan shark.

Now I’m standing inside a fancy hotel suite in a tiny little dress, auditioning to become an escort for Jasmine Black Incorporated.

That’s when I see him. God in a suit. Ocean-blue eyes. Dark, wavy hair. All sensual lines and hard masculinity.
Nero Rotanev.
He sets my blood on fire with a single glance. So when he asks if I will kneel for him, I eagerly agree.

Only something isn’t right here.
I feel as though I’ve known him for eternity.
Except that’s impossible, right?

Who are you really, Mister Rotanev?
And why have you chosen me?

Nero Rotanev
Mortals call me Poseidon. Neptune. God.

Kailiani was meant to call me her soul mate. Ah, but my darling little siren disappeared before I could claim her. And I’ve been hunting her ever since.

However, my scouts have finally found her in the Human Realm.
Hiding among the mortals.
How quaint.

That won’t stop me from destroying her. My sweet siren is going to crawl and beg for my mercy. Oh, but I can’t wait to watch her bleed.

Kailiani will pay for her sins.
And the wrath of the seas will drown her for eternity.

Prepare to kneel, little one.
For no one can outswim me.
Not even a sweet little siren created by the stars.

Author’s Note: Rotanev is a 34k word standalone paranormal romance featuring a furious Poseidon and his runaway siren. It’s a contemporary tale twisted with mythology and dark fantasy undertones, and it’s not related to any of Lexi’s ongoing series. This is just for fun. A hot little novella to heat up your eReader.

Excerpt Rotanev by Lexi C. Foss

This was not part of the plan.
Alas, Kailiani wanted to play. So, we’d play.
However, I didn’t believe this innocent act for a second.
No, she had something nefarious planned, just like the day she’d escaped me. And I couldn’t wait to beat her at her own game.
Because I would not lose again.
Even if it meant fucking the truth out of her, something I’d enjoy since her body and heart were both owed to me. A deal struck generations ago, destroyed by her defiance.
Well, I had her now. And punishment would be served.
“I can think of worse punishments than having to kneel for you.”
Mmm, that sassy little comment had hardened my cock instantly. Fuck, just being near her again aroused me more than anyone or anything else had in the last millennium of my existence.
Which, of course, only made me hate her more.
That didn’t mean I wouldn’t take her first. It was my due, after all, and the dilation of her pupils said she wanted it, too.
Damn.
This was not how I’d anticipated our first reunion to go after all this time. I’d expected her to run, had even looked forward to the chase. Yet, she’d quite literally fallen at my feet, or had readily volunteered to.
Now it was time to see if she’d meant it.
With my palm against her exposed lower back, I guided her toward the two humans guarding the hallway of bedrooms. This whole new era of technology on Earth pleased me because it meant I didn’t have to degrade myself by speaking to these unworthy creatures. I merely held out my watch, one of them scanned it, and the other escorted us to a room.
Brilliant.
Kailiani shivered as the door closed behind me, her big brown eyes sliding to the ground in a beautiful display of submission. How far would she take the act? Would she go as far as to allow me to fuck her? Or would she break before I had the chance?
The notion of it fluttered over my skin, exciting my nerves.
Oh, I wanted to test these boundaries, find out how far I could push before she caved.
“Remove the dress,” I said, not bothering to waste any time. We only had ninety minutes, and I required all of them to win this little battle of wills.
Uncertainty lined her shoulders, confusing me. As a siren, nudity shouldn’t bother her in the slightest. She spent most of her life naked in the waves. Although, oddly, I couldn’t scent the ocean on her.
When was the last time you went for a swim? I wanted to ask. Most of her kind couldn’t stand to be on land for too long. They craved the sea, much as I did.
“Is there a problem?” I demanded.
“N-no. I’m just… Never mind.” The tinge of fear in her tone confused me even more.
I almost fell for the act, almost asked her to finish the original sentence, but her spine straightened as if she’d made some sort of decision.
She lifted her nimble fingers to the straps of her dress to drag them over her shoulders to her lightly toned arms and then downward to expose her beautiful breasts. I’d seen them once upon a time, in the waves of our home. But I’d never been given the opportunity to touch them.
That would change tonight.

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Jul 052021
 

Winter Bloom (Dating Season Book 4) by Laurelin Paige & Kayti McGee

Episode four of six in the laugh-out-loud Dating Season series.
Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 12, 2021

Excerpt Winter Bloom by Laurelin Paige

He pushes the button. “You ok?”

“Yeah.”

“Second thoughts?”

“Just the normal thoughts,” I admit. I’m always prone to spiraling. “But no, I’m good.”

The doors slide close, and as soon as we’re alone inside, Logan tugs me closer. “Let me see how wet I can make you in two minutes.”

It only takes a few seconds once his lips meet mine. I’m sure there are cameras getting a splendid view of me clinging to him as his tongue dips inside my mouth, but I don’t care. His kiss is intoxicating and makes me forget all about my previous Fun Affairs.

The elevator stops, and his hand slips inside my panties. “Soaked.”

He sucks his finger as the doors slide open, and then I become bolder by taking his hand and sliding the same finger into my mouth.

“Damn,” he murmurs.

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Jul 012021
 

Cursed (Enchanted Gods Book 1) by K.K. Allen

USA Today Bestselling Author, K.K. Allen, takes readers on a deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful adventure in a contemporary fantasy series based on a young woman learning the true nature of her bloodline and the enchanting world that awaits her.

Katrina Summer always knew she was different. Her fiery temper seems to perpetually land her in hot water, making her an outcast among her peers. When tragedy strikes and she’s sent to live with her only remaining family in the tiny coastal town of Apollo Beach, Katrina starts counting down the days until her eighteenth birthday.

Only then will she finally be free.

As Katrina learns the legends of her Ancient Greek ancestors, secrets from her heritage are exposed—secrets that her mother purposefully concealed. Her only solace is found in Alec Stone, the gorgeous guy next door. With his devastatingly charming smile, his persistent flirtation, and a love that sparks from the flames of friendship, he offers her a much-needed escape from the turmoil.

If only she wasn’t cursed.

As powerful forces threaten the lives in Apollo Beach, Katrina can’t escape the evocative world of mythological enchantment and evil prophecies that lurk around every corner.

CURSED is Book 1 in the all-new ENCHANTED GODS series. For fans of Twilight, Teen Witch, The Secret Circle, and Percy Jackson.

Excerpt Cursed by K.K. Allen

As the wind swirls, fueling the raging fire at my back, I now know her words to be true. What makes us most powerful can also kill us.
I’m Earth’s prisoner, sinking deeper into the sand and watching helplessly as a growing wave closes in on me until its massive form towers over the shore.
Fire, water, earth, and air. It was all supposed to be in my control. Something went terribly wrong.
They told me to stay away, that love was a dangerous game to play. I didn’t listen. And now I’m paying the ultimate price.
I take one final glance in his direction, my heart aching as I say a silent goodbye. It’s time to let fate take its natural course.
The wave folds over and crashes on me, the force of it releasing me from the sand’s grip then sweeping me off my feet. Its currents throw me like a rag doll, ripping me far from shore. With all my strength and remaining breath, I claw my way to the surface. I don’t know how far I need to rise, so I just keep fighting while my throat burns from lack of oxygen. The current is as resilient as an anchor.
I’ve lost all air, and I can feel myself grow weaker until all I see is black. Unable to hold on to my power any longer, I release my will and float free within the quieting water, slowly overcome by an eerie peace.
Not even my magic can save me now.

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Jun 282021
 

The River In Spring (Lyon Family Series Book 2) by Leslie Pike

Falling out of a tree at the feet of a naked woman is not Nobel Lyon’s usual MO.He’s more the Invisible Man type. A name given to him in childhood. The observer. The logical thinker. A man who loves solitude.When he sees the sexy mountain woman fishing on his property, other impulses take over. The ones that want a better look. What can it hurt?There are people who live every moment to the fullest and Dove Solomon is one of them. She can hook a line, gut a fish, and pitch a tent. She also sings like a fallen angel.The handsome man that just dropped into her life intrigues her in a way no one else has. He’s an introvert, she’s an extrovert. But there’s no denying how drawn they are to each other. Two people destined by fate to be together, no matter how different they are. The one thing they can agree on? Opposites attract.

Excerpt The River In Spring by Leslie Pike
Chapter One
Nobel

Can you be called a Peeping Tom if you’re on your own property? Either way I have no intention of looking away. Arrest seems a small price to pay. Besides, the stranger has to take some of the blame. Yesterday, even from a distance, I could see the woman’s part in my undoing as a lifelong introvert. What made her guilty couldn’t have been more obvious.
It was the honey colored skin-tone, forcing me to come up with descriptions like honey colored. The blonde hair, escaping from under the wide-brimmed hat as she fished. One long wavy strand, and how it made this man’s imagination swell. I become bold in my dreams. In bed last night I thought about the sun-kissed curl. How I would wrap it around my finger and give it a tuck under the brim. Yes, I’d like to tuck her.
That is why I’m heading back to the high spot at the edge of the spread, binoculars around my neck. That detail alone would prove premeditation. At times being an attorney is a buzzkill. Feigning ignorance no defense. There is no hiding from the fact behaving like a stalker is wrong. As easy as it was to reach that ironclad conclusion, I am just as sure to ignore the inconvenient truth. In this case I will do what I want. Nobody will ever know.

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Jun 182021
 

Say Yes by Kandi Steiner

Two strangers.
Two words.
One unforgettable summer…

When you’re an artist, everything has to be perfect.

Or so I thought, until my professor told me my perfection was boring and unoriginal. Studying abroad in Florence has taught me one thing: I know nothing when it comes to what makes art truly beautiful.

So, with my professor’s words in my ear, I step outside one evening and decide to say yes to any and everything I’m faced with until the sun rises.

Of course, I didn’t expect him to show up.

Liam Benson, the broody, sexy, tortured artist from my class who I can’t stand. He’s got a sour outlook on the world and an ego so big no one could properly stroke it to his satisfaction.

When he finds out what I’m doing, he hijacks my “yes” night.
And after just twelve hours with him, I’m desperate for more.

But Liam is running from more than I could ever understand, and with his heart guarded and mind made up about life, I don’t stand a chance.

I convince myself that we can keep it casual.
But walking away from him at the end of the summer is as impossible as painting outside the lines.

I used to think when you’re an artist, everything has to be perfect.

Turns out everything has to be painful, and messy, and fleeting.

If only I’d known that before I fell under Liam Benson’s spell.

Excerpt Say Yes by Kandi Steiner

So many emotions swirled inside me staring at that painting. Each new breath came shallower and shallower. My heart raced in my chest. My lips parted. My eyelids became heavy.
Before I could think to stop myself, I reached for the painting with the thumb of my right hand. I couldn’t explain it, but I was desperate to touch the oil, to feel the painting as if it were alive and breathing right alongside me.
“Like what you see?”
I nearly jumped out of my skin at the sound of a deep voice barreling from the classroom door, stumbling backward and barely catching myself before I toppled over the mess of barstools.
When I looked at the intruder, I found a smirking Liam Benson.
“Careful,” he said, shoving his hands in his pockets and leaning against the doorframe. “Paint’s not quite dry yet.”
I zipped my lips together, standing straight and smoothing my left hand over my overalls while the other slid quietly into my pocket. “I wasn’t going to touch it.”
Liam arched a brow. “Weren’t you? Because it sure looked like—”
“I wasn’t,” I insisted, tucking my hair behind my ear. “I was just… there was a fly, and I was waving it away.”
“Ah,” he answered.
An uncomfortable silence fell between us, and I felt the weight of his eyes on me like they were strong hands pinning me to the very spot where I stood.
I cleared my throat, making my way across the room to grab my purse. “I was just leaving, so you can have the place to yourself.”
“I liked your piece.”
I stopped mid-step at that, frowning when I met his gaze.
“I’ve never seen someone capture light with oil like that — not in this century, anyway. And the detail of the buildings, the people in the streets… even the tiny lemons and oranges at the fruit stand had exquisite detail.”
My heart thumped hard in my chest, so loud and furious I heard it reverberate in my ears. “Are you making fun of me?”
“What?” he asked incredulously, pushing off where he was leaning against the doorframe. “Of course not.”
Liam watched me like I had three heads, his brows bent in concentration. I didn’t know him, and yet my annoyance for him was palpable. It shouldn’t have mattered to me that he showed up last minute and created something I never would have even thought of, but jealousy flickered like a candle in my gut, anyway.
“I mean, look, do I understand why Professor B wasn’t impressed?” he continued after a second, tilting his head this way and that. “Yeah. He sees your talent, though. He knows you’ve got something. He’s just challenging you to do more with it.”
“What, like paint pornography the way you did?”
He smirked. “Pornography, huh? Is that what you see when you look at it?”
“It’s what you painted.”
“Are you offended by female bodies?”
“No,” I scoffed. “I just… I don’t see how it relates to the assignment. He said to paint our first week in Florence. He said—”
All the blood drained from my face when it dawned on me that all those supple breasts and lush bottoms and thick thighs were exactly what filled his first week in Italy.
When my eyes flicked to his, he wore an amused smile, but didn’t offer any assistance in helping me put the pieces together.
“We just approached the assignment differently, that’s all,” he said after a moment with a shrug. “But no, I’m not making fun of you. What you painted is beautiful.”
I shook my head, adjusting my purse on my shoulder before I started for the door. “It’s nothing compared to yours,” I mumbled under my breath.
But before I could snake past him and retreat out the door, that stupid boy hooked his hand gently in the crook of my elbow, pulling me to a stop.
My breath caught, chest squeezing, and I could feel the warmth of his hand on my arm, could smell the peppermint on the wave of his breath where it swept over me.
If I turned my head just a quarter inch, I could see the scruff on his jaw up close, I could note the true color of his eyes, I could commit every shape of his face to memory and paint it later.
But I didn’t dare.
“I didn’t realize we were in competition,” he said, his voice low and melty like a stick of butter in a hot skillet.
I swallowed, but still didn’t lift my gaze to his. Instead, I shrugged him off and shoved through the door, back out into the warm summer evening.
This time, I went home.
But sleep never found me.

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 18 June 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 172021
 

Wild War (Dirty Wild Book 2) by Laurelin Paige

As soon as I saw him, it was war.

I thought at first it would be between me and him.
Cade was cold and hard and didn’t want anything to do with the headmaster’s daughter. I was off-limits.
He didn’t need that kind of trouble.

I didn’t need that kind of trouble, either. And since I did my best to avoid any kind of trouble, that should have been the end of it.

But when I saw him, he also saw me.
All of me.
The lonely parts. The dark parts.
The secret parts.

He became my ally.
I lost the battle with myself and fell in love despite the risk.

But the war isn’t over for either of us.
Not as long as my father is alive.

Book two of three in the final trilogy in the Dirty Universe.

Excerpt Wild War by Laurelin Paige

She’d moved closer during my rant. Too close. And when she opened her mouth, I was sure she was about to deliver some consoling platitude or insist that I was wrong when it was so very obvious that I wasn’t.

But instead, she stood on her tiptoes and leaned forward, and I was so stunned, that her mouth was already brushing against mine when I had the sense to step back. “What the fuck are you doing?”

Her heels came back to the ground, but she didn’t move. She kept staring at me, barely blinking, and I noticed for the first time that there were green flecks in her blue eyes, and that she had a sweet scent I couldn’t place, and that I wished that I was dumb enough to lean in instead of away.

No.

This was trouble. She was trouble. Being anywhere near her would get us both in too much trouble.

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 17 June 2021  Posted by  Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »
Jun 102021
 

Small Town Pretender (Havenbrook Book 5) by Brighton Walsh

Asher McCoy can win over a sold-out crowd with a husky note and a strum of his guitar, but proving to a judge he’s responsible enough to gain custody of his niece and nephew? Not so easy. His big idea—a fake marriage. And who better to play his doting bride than his longtime best friend? He just needs to get her home first…

Natalie Haven couldn’t get away from her suffocating hometown fast enough. For years, she’s fluttered around the globe as a freelance photographer. And if that unconventional job pisses off her daddy? Well, all the better. But when her best friend sends out an S.O.S., she heads back to the one place she swore she’d never land.

Except a fake marriage means a not-so-fake living arrangement, including only one bed. Nat’s witnessed enough women fall for Asher’s charms, but she refuses to be one of them. Because permanence isn’t in her blood. Not even for him.

Excerpt Small Town Pretender by Brighton Walsh

While she obviously wasn’t oblivious to the fact that both of her closest friends were smoking hot dudes, she’d also never really seen them as sexual beings—not to her, anyway.
Or she hadn’t.
She didn’t know if it was because she’d spent the past six nights sharing a bed with Asher—and waking up pretzeled around him like he was her personal stuffed animal—or if it was the whole maybe-marriage thing that had sparked that part of her brain, but now she couldn’t not see it.
She could honestly say now she definitely understood the whole mysterious, broody musician vibe girls went crazy for.
“How long are you gonna stand there starin’ at me like a stalker?” he murmured without opening his eyes.
“Oh, I’m the stalker, but somehow you knew I was standin’ here, even with your eyes closed.”
“You might be small enough that I could fold you up and put you in my pocket, but you walk like you’ve got cement blocks tied around your ankles.”
With a laugh, she strode toward him and dropped down on the cushion at his side, shoving her elbow into his stomach and delighting in his grunt of surprise. “You deserved that. I walk just like I do everything else.”
“Yeah, like you don’t give a single fuck what anyone thinks.”
Daintily, Ash. I do all things daintily. But, please, tell me more about this favor you need from me…”
He chuckled and wrapped an arm around her, tugging her into his side. She snuggled in, notching herself perfectly under his arm, like that very space had a Nat-shaped cutout made just for her.
“My compliments aren’t winnin’ me any favors?” he said. “Is that what you’re sayin’?”
“What I’m sayin’ is that if you want something, you’d be better off gettin’ it with some chocolate and maybe a little wine instead of your smart mouth.”
He chuckled. “You love my smart mouth.”
“Not today I don’t.”
“Unconditional love—isn’t that what you promised me?”
“I didn’t promise you shit. I’m not your wi—“ Nat nearly choked on the word, remembering too late exactly the size and shape of the elephant in the room. The one they’d been avoiding all day. “Speakin’ of, we should probably talk about that.“
“Yeah… Look, Nattie, I know I’m askin’ a lot. This would be…” He blew out a breath, the move ruffling her hair. “You know I wouldn’t have asked if I had any other options.”
“So I’m your last resort then? Good to know.”
“You’re my every resort,” he said without hesitation, earnestness in his tone.

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