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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Excerpt Reveal: Stealing Home by Nicole Williams

 

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STEALING HOME

by

NICOLE WILLIAMS

 

Coming July 10th

 

Pre-order exclusively on iBooks HERE

 

Add to your Goodreads shelf now.

 

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– SYNOPSIS –

 

Stealing Home-5.jpgBeing the only woman working for a professional baseball team isn’t easy. As the San Diego Shock’s newest athletic trainer, Allie knows all about long hours, endless travel, and warding off players’ advances. Given she’s already the subject of a handful of rumors about how “lucky” she was to have earned such a coveted position, she can’t so much as flutter an eyelash a player’s way if she wants to be taken seriously.

But number eleven is doing more than fluttering eyelashes Allie’s way. Far more. Luke Archer is at the top of his game and doesn’t let the fear of striking out keep him from swinging. This is a motto he applies both on and off the field, but Allie appears immune, seeming to view Luke as nothing more than caution tape on legs.

He’s a player, and in Allie’s experience, they’re all the same. She won’t risk her job or her heart to another one, no matter how different this one claims to be. But as Allie gets to know him, she discovers the number eleven the public thinks they know is very different from the real Luke Archer. He seems too good to be true.

And maybe he is.

Allie will have to confront the stories attached to a player of Luke Archer’s stature and decide who she’ll put her faith in—The man she’s falling for? Or the rumors?

 

– EXCERPT –

 

CHAPTER ONE

Working for a professional baseball team was going to be the end of my love life. The past two years confirmed that theory, as had the last text I’d received from my latest ex-boyfriend.

           Half of the year on the road added to another half of the year working grueling hours that rivaled a doctor’s first year of residency equaled a whole lot of no free time to fill with a social agenda. Since being hired on by the San Diego Shock this season and the San Francisco Kings the year before that, the longest relationship I’d maintained spanned eight weeks.

           This last one had barely cleared the four-week mark.

My lifestyle was costly, but it was worth it. Baseball was in my blood, and sports medicine was in my heart.

           I’d grown up in a small Midwest town where people still got together for potlucks and everyone from the town hermit to the mayor attended a funeral. Where the only place you were expected to be after church on a Sunday was stretched out on the bleachers around the baseball field. It didn’t matter if it was a T-ball game or the high school championships—the bleachers were always packed.

Baseball was a religion where I grew up—it was stitched into the fibers of my life—so it was no surprise when I ended up with a baseball player. No, the surprise came after I’d followed him to college and found him in bed with someone else.

           It had taken the wind right out of me, along with my tendency to trust first and doubt after. Ben had been sleeping around for a while by the time I found out—friends had known and said nothing—and that was the day I made a promise to myself to never let another guy hurt me as he had, to never be made a fool of like that.

After changing schools mid-year, I started studying sports medicine and never looked back. Or at least not often. I only looked back when I found myself feeling something similar to what I’d felt for Ben. The relationship never lasted long after that.

           As evidenced by my newest failed relationship.

           “Whose ass do I need to kick, Doc?”

           Dropping my phone into my lap, I looked across the aisle to see who was sliding into the row across from me.

Luke Archer.

Known to fans as the best hitter on the Shock, if not in all of pro baseball. Known to women for his good looks and up-to-no-good smile. Known to Cosmo magazine as being voted the Finest Ass in professional baseball. And known by the athletic training staff as a well-rounded pain in our asses.

           Not because he thought he knew better or was yet another prima donna—which the sport had no shortage of—but because he held to the old-school code of taking care of an injury by “walking it off.” If that didn’t work, then we could usually convince him to pop one or two pain relievers after the game, and sometimes, if he was feeling especially accommodating, he’d accept a bag of ice.

           Luke Archer was the real man of steel, and no one to date had managed to convince him he was also made of those injury-prone materials known as flesh and blood.

           “Doc?” Archer’s voice broke through my haze of thoughts. “Just give me his name and I’ll take care of it.”

The rest of the team and staff were shuffling down the aisle between us to find their seats on the team jet, but his stare aimed my way felt unyielding.

           “What makes you think anyone’s ass deserves a kicking?” I asked.

I returned a high-five as Reynolds passed by. He’d twisted his ankle in the game earlier today, and I’d been the first on the field to get him taken care of. I’d been the last one out of the locker room to finish getting him taken care of too. As a noob, I had to work twice as hard. As a woman, I had to work ten times as hard.

           “I have three younger sisters. I have more experience than most with guys deserving ass kickings.”

           The last of the guys wandered by us. Without the break of their bodies coming between us, Archer’s stare became too intense. His eyes seemed capable of pinning me to the back of the seat.

           The head athletic trainer, Dax Shepherd, attended to the “money” players—the ones like Archer, who brought fans to the stadium and were a large part of the Shock’s impressive win-to-loss ratio. Up until this very moment, I didn’t know Luke Archer was aware of my existence on this team or the planet.

           “You really have three younger sisters?” I asked.

Unlike most of the female populace, I didn’t know every last fact about Luke Archer. The news about his parents had made headlines a few years back, and that was all I knew about his personal life.

           “I really do. And I talk to or text all of them every day.”

           “Plus you kick asses for them.”

           Archer’s hazel eyes lightened. “Plus that.” He twisted in his seat so he was almost facing me, his eyes dropping to the phone in my lap. “So? No one messes with my sisters. And no one messes with my team.”

           My forehead creased. “I’m not one of your teammates.”

           “You’re a part of my team. Just because you don’t play the field or swing a bat doesn’t mean you’re not. You keep us healthy and strong out there.” When I cocked an eyebrow, he added, “And when we get injured, you make sure we get fixed up quickly so we can get back to doing what we love. You’re every bit as vital to this team as . . .” He glanced up and down the aisle like he was looking for someone to fill in the blank with.

           “As Luke Archer?” I completed for him.

           His answer to that was a lifting of his eyes. “I’m one man who can swing one bat.”

           “One bat really, really hard. And very, very exactly,” I interjected.

           He continued, “You make sure twenty-five men can keep swinging their own bats.”

           “Well, there’s me, the two other athletic trainers, the physical therapist, the personal trainers, and the actual doctor who help out with that too. I can’t take all of the credit.”

           “Come on. You work twice as hard as any of them, so you should at least take most of the credit.” When his phone started chiming in his slacks’ pocket, he pulled it out, turned it off, and hid it back in his pocket.

           “And since the closest Shepherd and Coach Beckett have let me get to you is handing out a water bottle, how would you know that?”

           He pointed at his eyes. “I’ve got two of these and use them for observation on occasion.”

           “When they’re not searching for your next conquest?” I gave an internal groan the moment after I’d voiced something that should have stayed unsaid.

           My relationships with the players had always been professional and rarely, if ever, delved into the realm of personal information. If it didn’t have to do with preventing or tending to injuries, I didn’t bring it up.

           Until now. When I’d just suggested that Luke Archer had a reputation in every city the Shock had visited, every hotel they’d stayed in. Perfect way for my first real conversation with the star player of the team, and the whole of professional baseball, to go.

           Archer stayed quiet, studying me with that tipped smile he was famous for.

           “You know my opinion on rumors?” he said a minute later.

           I was capable of nothing more than shaking my head.

           “That they’re started by haters. Spread by fools. And accepted by idiots.”

           My head tipped. “Are you calling me an idiot?”

           His eyes flashed. “Are you calling me a manwhore?”

           I studied him lounging in his seat with his legs kicked out in front of him, his wide chest stretching beneath his suit jacket, his long arms resting on the armrests.. His body was enough to weaken the resolve of someone as jaded to player players as I was, but his face didn’t play second-string.

           Brown hair lightened by the sun, smooth skin darkened by it, a strong jaw, and hazel eyes that trended more toward the green end of the spectrum; Luke Archer was quite possibly the most attractive man I’d ever laid eyes on. According to Sports Anonymous’s random poll of five thousand women, he was the best-looking guy in professional sports today. The other few billion women on the planet would have agreed with that title, I assumed.

           “Do you always take so long to answer a question?” Archer motioned at me, waiting.

           “No,” I said, recalling the last question he’d asked me. Snap out of it. “I don’t think that you’re a  . . . manwhore,” I whispered the last part.

I’d had enough experience with the rumor mill to be a sympathetic party to the target of so many. Being one of the first and only female athletic trainers in professional sports had opened me up to a hundred rumors when I’d been hired. All versions of them had to do with me fucking my way into the position.

           “Good.” Archer nodded, seeming satisfied. “Because you certainly don’t seem like an idiot.”

           “Thanks?”

           He nodded again. “Welcome.”

           That was when the pilot’s voice echoed through the team jet, running through his usual spiel. We were leaving Tampa and heading up to Chicago. Now that the season was in full swing, I lost track of the cities we were leaving and the ones we were heading toward. All of my attention was focused on the players and getting them through the season as injury-free as possible.

           “I’m still waiting for that name, Doc.” Archer clicked his seat belt into place when one of the attendants stopped beside him, looking ready to strap it into place for him.

          When she saw mine unfastened, all I got was a lifted brow and a pointed finger before she moved on to the next aisle.

           “Oh, it’s okay. He’s not worth it.” I lifted my phone toward him before dropping it in the duffel bag I kept on hand at all times. Bandages, tape, painkillers, and a small cooler of ice packs were always at the ready whenever I was with the team. “Any guy who breaks up with someone via text message isn’t worth much.”

           “Really? Over text?” Archer’s eyes narrowed. “That’s the reason the ass-kicking was invented. For those types of guys.”

           I shrugged as the plane started to taxi down the runway, the interior lights dimming. “We haven’t even been together a month. Truthfully, it lasted longer than I thought it would. This kind of lifestyle”—I twirled my finger around the airplane—“makes it difficult to sustain a long-term relationship.”

           “That’s why I’m not a fan of them.”

           “Long-term relationships?”

           “Any kind of relationship,” he said.

           I nodded my understanding. The players had it worse than the team staff. At least in terms of having to question if a person was into them for who they were or because of their job, and the fame and money that came with it.

   “I’m either practicing for a game, playing a game, recovering from a game, or fueling up and resting for a game. There’s not time for much else,” he said.

           Leaning into my armrest, I realized how strange it was to be having such an easy conversation with Luke Archer. It felt natural, not forced. Most of the players would take a moment to chat with me about something game-related, but I was still the new kid on the block. I felt like I had to pass some test before they’d accept me as a member of the team.

           Archer didn’t seem to be of the same mind though.

           “Yeah, I know. It’s like you need to find someone who can just travel with you wherever you go, right?” I said, thinking how much easier it would to be in a relationship with someone I got to see on a daily basis without two computer screens.

           “Exactly. Someone who understands the lifestyle. Appreciates the sacrifices you have to make.”

My head fell back into the headrest from the inertia of takeoff, but I could still feel Archer’s eyes on me. “Someone who understands that the job comes first. Someone who doesn’t get insecure or jealous or bent out of shape that they get the few precious minutes in between the job.”

           When my head turned toward him again, I found Luke Archer staring at me with a kind of intensity I hadn’t seen aimed my way in a long time. My breath caught, and even though the strength of his stare threatened to overwhelm me, I held his gaze.         

  “Someone who understands the game. The commitment. The time. The sacrifice. Someone who’s as committed to it as you are.” One corner of his mouth twitched, carving a dimple into his cheek. “It’s not like you could ever expect to find a person like that sitting in the row across the aisle from you, right?”

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

NICOLE WILLIAMS

 

Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

Website   Facebook  Twitter  

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Excerpt Reveal: The Matchmaker’s Replacement by Rachel Van Dyken

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THE MATCHMAKER’S REPLACEMENT

by

RACHEL VAN DYKEN

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

VanDyken-TheMatchmakersReplacement-CV-FL-vC6-RGBWingman rule number two: never reveal how much you want them.

Lex hates Gabi. Gabi hates Lex. But, hey, at least the hate is mutual, right? All Lex has to do is survive the next few weeks training Gabi in all the ways of Wingmen Inc. and then he can be done with her. But now that they have to work together, the sexual tension and fighting is off the charts. He isn’t sure if he wants to strangle her or throw her against the nearest sturdy table and have his way with her.

But Gabi has a secret, something she’s keeping from not just her best friend but her nemesis too. Lines are blurred as Lex becomes less the villain she’s always painted him to be…and starts turning into something more. Gabi has always hated the way she’s been just a little bit attracted to him—no computer-science major should have that nice of a body or look that good in glasses—but “Lex Luthor” is an evil womanizer. He’s dangerous. Gabi should stay far, far away.

Then again, she’s always wanted a little danger.

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon AU

 

– EXCERPT –

 

I hated him.

HATED him.

Hate, hate, hate. I chanted the words to myself that very next morning as I stomped toward his ridiculously expensive house, next to the ridiculously nice lake, with his ridiculously loud red Mercedes parked out front. Jackass.

I’d be doing society a favor if I set it on fire.

Seriously.

The thing was probably filled with so much bodily fluid and disease that if he got in a car accident he’d infect the entire freeway and start a citywide epidemic.

I shuddered.

I compartmentalized Lex into two boxes.

The first box was Childhood Lex, the friend who used to hang out with Ian and me before he moved across town, never to be seen again. He used to ride with me to school, and when I was sick he gave me my own box of Kleenex—never mind that he stole it from his teacher’s desk. The point is, Childhood Lex was a keeper.

Box number two?

Asshole Lex, also known as the version I was walking toward. The Lex I met when I was eighteen, who momentarily stunned me speechless with his godlike beauty, had been a figment of my overactive, sad, hormone-riddled imagination.

On the outside? The perfect man.

With a brooding and sultry smile.

Biceps the size of my head.

Who gave me the distinct feeling that if I ran my hands over his buzzed hair I’d orgasm before he even touched me.

Whatever. I was over it. So over it.

A lot of people had stupid crushes when they were eighteen, right?

Now all I saw when I looked into his stormy blue eyes was syph or the clap, and that was being generous. The dude was a walking STD and seriously tried every nerve I had. He was an ass. Plain and simple, no sugar coating. He was the type of guy who’d tell a chick that she looked fat in a dress or who refused to share the communal breadbasket. See! He couldn’t even adhere to typical manners during mealtime! Just thinking about him had me tied up in knots.

Last year, when I went shopping and stupidly invited Ian along—which of course meant Lex had to come—I was told in no uncertain terms that if I would just stop drinking chocolate milk in the morning I’d be able to fit into a smaller size.

He’d smiled.

His dimples had deepened.

He’d even crossed his arms as if to say, Look, I did you a favor, pat me on the back.

Instead I had kicked him in the balls and tried to give him a black eye, clocking Ian in the face.

My point? Lex. Was. The. Devil.

I made a point of only hanging out with Lex when absolutely necessary, and even then I almost always had Ian as a buffer. But now that he was playing love nest with my ex-roomie, Blake? Well, I was on my own.

Lex opened the door after my third aggressive knock. Black sweatpants hung low on his hips, a vintage Mariners shirt fell open around his neck, and he was wearing black-framed glasses that made his eyes more appealing than should be legal.

“Sunshine,” he said, his smirk deepening as he crossed his burly arms over his chest.

“Dickhead.” I smiled sweetly. “New glasses? They look thicker than last time.”

“Better to see you with.” He leaned forward, his eyes narrowing into tiny slits. “There they are.” He reached for one of my boobs.

I slapped his hand away so hard my palm stung.

“Probably not the best way to treat your new male clients.” He shook his hand and turned towards the living room leaving the door wide open. Manners were completely lost on him.

Gritting my teeth, I slammed the door behind me and took off my shoes because I knew if I didn’t he’d give me hell.

He was a freak like that.

For as much ass as he got, it was shocking how much Lysol he used around the house. His clothes were never wrinkled; everything was pristine.

Even his breath.

Damn him.

He drank coffee like a Starbucks employee but never had coffee breath.

It was almost painful, staring him in the face, knowing that everything on the outside appeared perfect—but didn’t match the inside at all, not even close!

Beauty like Lex’s was dangerous and wickedly tempting, like something out of a paranormal romance novel. Sometimes, at night, when I dreamed of Lex getting hit by a car, I imagined him as a vampire roaming the streets in his favorite black sweats, shirtless, shimmering under the streetlights, just waiting for whores to line up so he could take a few bites.

A pencil flew by my head.

“Yo.” Lex’s eyebrows shot up. “We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to get you ready for the next two clients. Daydream about chicks on your own time.”

“I’m not a lesbian.”

He bit on his bottom lip, sinking back in his chair as his eyes slowly roamed from my mismatched socks all the way up to my head. “Okay, whatever you say, Gabs.”

I will not commit homicide. I will not commit homicide. “You know,” I said as I tossed my purse onto the table, “it’s offensive that you assume all lesbians dress like crap.” So what? I was wearing a ratty white T-shirt and ripped jeans, and I was pretty sure I still had mascara on from the night before. It was my Lex repellant. He hated sloppiness.

“Offensive.” He nodded. “Also true . . .” He used the spare pencil from behind his ear to slide my purse over to the farthest side of the table. “It wouldn’t kill you to wear something other than jeans and T-shirts, Gabs.” He sighed. “Say it with me: dresssss—”

I grabbed the pencil from his hand, broke it into two pieces, and handed them back to him. “I wear dresses, just not for you. Dresses are your kryptonite, especially short black ones. I refuse to be a part of your ‘shower time.’”

He snorted. “You wish.”

“Yes. Every night when I go to sleep I pray for Lex to dream of me while he jerks off because yet another girl refused to follow his instructions in bed : ‘Damn it, use the manual!’” I said, using my best imitation of Lex’s voice. I’d only heard him shout instructions to a girl once, and it had scarred me for life. What the hell are you doing? Do I look like I’m satisfied? There’s a diagram! Ugh.

Lex rolled his eyes. “Very funny, and the manual is there for a reason. Do you even know how many chicks get confused when I call out sexual positions? It’s like, get there faster, you know?”

My feelings were torn between fascination and disgust. “So,” I changed the subject. “Let’s train, because I have about ten years worth of Organic Chem homework.”

Lex sighed and held out his hand.

“No.” I crossed my arms. “I don’t need help.”

Okay, I needed help, desperately needed help, and Lex wasn’t just passably smart but a certified genius, at least when he applied himself. I refused to ask him to go over my homework just because Organic Chem was, to me, like reading a foreign language.

He cleared his throat.

I didn’t move.

Finally, he stood, slowly walked over to the end of the table, and fished the chem book from my oversized purse. “What chapter?”

“Lex—”

“If I’m teaching you Organic Chem, at least say Professor Lex.”

“Listen very closely, Lex.” I went over and jerked my book out of his hands. “I didn’t need your help last year when I almost failed biology, and I sure as hell don’t need your help now. Let’s just get this training done so I can go home and suffer in silence, alright?”

“Fine.” He dropped my book against the table and then, without warning, grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against the counter that bordered the kitchen. My butt hit the cupboard . “Up until now we’ve been helping people find their perfect match. Basically acting like a wingman so that the idiots of this world see the girl who’s been standing in front of them all along .”

Why was he standing so close? Did we have to be touching? I told my body not to respond to his proximity, but Lex was magnetic, even if every part of him was evil. My brain was having trouble functioning while his large palms were pressed into the tops of my shoulders.

“Okay.” I swallowed. “And now that you’re allowing guys to become clients of Wingmen Inc., I basically do the same thing. Give them confidence, help them capture the one girl who’s always seen them as the friend—or worse, who they’ve been invisible to.”

“What’s that like, I wonder?” Lex still didn’t release me. “Being invisible . . . Maybe next time a dude ignores you, take notes.”

And another insult.

“Lex.” I huffed out a breath. “Just get on with it.”

“Right.” His eyes momentarily locked on mine before he rubbed the bridge of his nose where his glasses were perched. It was not sexy. It wasn’t. Really. That. Sexy. “So whenever we take on a new client, we give them a list of questions, meet them in a public place, and then use the power of human emotions like jealousy and curiosity to get the other person interested. That’s where you come in. If another girl sees our client as desirable, he becomes desirable.”

“That easy?”

“Sort of.” Lex leaned forward. “But you can’t suck.”

“Suck?”

“At anything.” His lips hovered near my mouth. He was starting to freak me out. I wanted to run away, but I was pinned.

“Lex, if you kiss me I will bite your tongue off. I swear.”

“If I was actually kissing you”—Lex released one of my shoulders and placed a finger against my mouth—“you’d know it. This, my frumpy friend, is training.”

His lips descended.

They pressed against mine, then pulled back. “Yeah.” He shook his head. “Gabs, you’re going to need to open your mouth a bit more. Guys are stupid. They always assume that more tongue means better kissing, when the opposite is true, but you still need to have your lips parted, not locked down like Fort Knox.”

“What’s happening?” I tried to push away from him.

Lex rolled his eyes. “Gabs, believe me, this is all business. You can even keep your hand on my junk the whole time.”

“What!” I roared.

“So you know without a doubt that nothing about you turns me on.” He grinned menacingly. “Seriously, I don’t mind.”

“I do!”

“Hey!” He chuckled. “I was just trying to help.”

“Grabbing your penis is not the answer, Lex!”

“Weird, because it so often is.”

“I hate today.”

“Is it the rain?” He frowned.

“It’s not—”

“It is.”

“Stop that!” I shoved him. “Hurry up and grade my kissing skills so I can go home and study.”

“Kissing, hand holding, hugging, cuddling, laughing, winking—just a few things you need to master.” He was firing off so many horrible, body-numbing words.

“Just hurry up,” I grumbled in a defeated voice as I tried to block out the fact that he was a good-looking ass who offended me with every single breath he took.

“Ah . . .” Lex held up his hand. “One never hurries a kiss.”

“What about a passionate kiss?”

“A passionate kiss isn’t hurried, it’s frenzied. Damn, don’t you know anything?”

Heat swamped my cheeks.

“How many guys have you kissed, Gabs?”

“Plenty!” Five. I’d kissed five.

“You blush down your neck when you lie.” Lex cupped my chin and then brought his lips down against mine again. “Part.”

Sighing against his mouth, I relaxed my lips while his slid across.

He pulled back, wearing a frown of irritation. “A bit more, Gabs. Guys want access.”

I kept my eyes open.

So did he.

I didn’t want him assuming I was into it, which was probably his exact line of thinking. Only keeping my eyes open was an entirely raw experience, watching him watch me while I felt him.

I shivered.

“Cold?” That stupid smirk was back.

“Frigid.” I glared, putting myself down before he had a chance to.

“You read my mind.” He nodded seriously. “Now stop being a bitch, and let me teach you how to kiss.”

“I know how to kiss!” I don’t know what came over me—maybe it was the need to prove myself, or possibly it was just stress over the entire situation. Needing to stay in school and hating that he was the answer, I wrapped my arms around his neck and jumped, my hips colliding with his as I mauled his mouth with as much passion as I could conjure up, this time closing my eyes and putting everything I had into it.

With a growl, Lex pushed me back against the countertop. As my butt collided with the edge, his tongue plunged into my mouth and his hands dug into my hair, pulling it free from its ponytail while he changed positions his lips demanding a punishing kiss from a different angle as his he gave my hair a harder tug back.

I grasped at his T-shirt, pulling him closer and nearly falling backward into the sink.

And then, just when I was in danger of losing myself to the kiss that would probably be the best kiss of my life, I bit down on his bottom lip.

That move didn’t work out the way I’d planned, not at all. In my head it was smart. I’d piss him off, get him to pull back and leave me alone.

It did nothing of the sort.

Nothing of the sort at] all.

With a hiss he pulled back, fire blazing in his eyes. For a split second that seemed to go on for an eternity, he hovered and I waited, both of us on the edge of something. He wet his lips, I mimicked the movement, and then, like a snake, he struck. His mouth fused to mine in a punishing kiss, one that bruised my mouth while imprinting its essence on my soul.

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

RACHEL VAN DYKEN

 

rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken  or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

 

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Release Day Launch: 1001 Dark Nights Presents: Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye

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We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Laura Kaye’s HARD TO SERVE! Brought to you by 1001 Dark NightsHARD TO SERVE is a standalone novella in her Hard Ink Series that also introduces her upcoming Blasphemy Series. Check out the note and excerpt from Laura below and grab your copy of this steamy novella today!

 

HARD TO SERVE

by

LAURA KAYE

 

Domineering lover kisses his sexy submissive in loft interior

A Note from Laura Kaye —

 So many readers asked for more stories in my bestselling Hard Ink series, and I’m so excited to be able to give you just that in my new, super sexy HARD TO SERVE! HARD TO SERVE is an edgy stand-alone love story about a Baltimore police detective whose red-hot BDSM relationship with a new submissive seems like the perfect distraction from a trumped-up investigation against him until he learns that the woman is his boss’s daughter. Talk about sparks flying! I had so much fun writing this book, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! And if you enjoy it, you might like to check out the whole Hard Ink series, now complete! Happy reading!

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

HARD TO SERVE - coverTo protect and serve is all Detective Kyler Vance ever wanted to do, so when Internal Affairs investigates him as part of the new police commissioner’s bid to oust corruption, everything is on the line. Which makes meeting a smart, gorgeous submissive at an exclusive play club the perfect distraction…

The director of the city’s hottest art gallery, Mia Breslin’s career is golden. Now if only she could find a man to dominate her nights and set her body—and her heart—on fire. When a scorching scene with a hard-bodied, brooding Dom at Blasphemy promises just that, Mia is lured to serve Kyler again and again.

As their relationship burns hotter, Kyler runs into Mia at work and learns that he’s been dominating the daughter of the hard-ass boss who has it in for him. Now Kyler must choose between life-long duty and forbidden desire before Mia finds another who’s not so hard to serve.

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Mia found herself alone with a kinda pissed-off looking Master Kyler. He wore angry well. As in, the harshness of the set of his jaw and the tight press of his lips and the narrow cut of his eyes—they were all hot, especially coming from a Dom. But she didn’t understand it.

“Um. Hello, Sir,” she finally said when he didn’t say anything.

“Mia,” he said, his gaze raking over her. “You look absolutely stunning tonight.” His voice was like gravel, rough and strained.

“Thank you. Are you okay, Sir?” she asked.

He shook his head. “I don’t…I don’t know.”

“Do you want to sit and talk?” Mia asked, concern for him flooding her.

Suddenly, Kyler pinned her to the cool wall. He braced his hands on either side of her head, and he was erect against her belly. She wanted to drop into a crouch and take him into her mouth. “Do you want vulgar honesty or watered-down politeness?” he asked.

The promise of those words made her core clench with need. “Vulgar honesty.”

He nailed her with a blue-eyed stare. “I don’t want to sit and talk. I want to fuck. Hard. I want to be aggressive. Maybe I even want to be a little mean.”

Mia’s heart was suddenly a runaway train in her chest. Because, sign her up! She let out a shaky breath. “That sounds…like someone’s going to have a good night,” she managed.

Kyler dropped his head to her shoulder on a groan. He knocked his forehead against the bone there once, twice.

“Did I say the wrong thing?” she asked. Because he was totally confusing her.

“That’s the thing, Mia. I don’t know.” He lifted his gaze to hers again.

“How can I help?” she asked.

For a moment, he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, and when he opened them, it was like he’d centered himself and made some kind of resolution. “Are you game for what I just described?” He fingered the chunky silver-and-gold choker she wore around her neck.

Heat swept over her, her body already answering, already preparing. “Yes, Sir. I am.”

He gave a tight nod and backed up a step. “Let me show you the room I have in mind.” Taking her hand, he led her down the long hallway that shot off the side of the nave. She wasn’t sure if this was still part of the church building or something else, but she didn’t have long to wonder before Kyler stopped at a door and keyed in a code.

Lights came on as the door opened, and Kyler guided her inside with his hand at the small of her back.

Just the room’s theme turned Mia on. Concrete floor. Cinder-block walls with peeling paint. Light thrown from bare light bulbs surrounded by little cages. An iron cot bed with only a white fitted sheet. Rusted metal cabinet at the side that undoubtedly held a variety of toys and supplies. It looked like a basement or a warehouse—a place where a woman in a beautiful cocktail dress had no business being. A role started taking shape in her mind.

“Do you see where my head is tonight, Mia?” Master Kyler asked, his body almost rigid with tension.

God, she was going to enjoy helping him work out whatever had him so wound up. “Yes, Sir.”

 

 

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Announcing a New Erotic Romance Series from Laura Kaye…

BLASPHEMY – the club first introduced in Hard to Serve

From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy

Bound to Submit is coming September 13, 2016

 

PRE-ORDER BOUND TO SUBMIT

Amazon | Barnes & Noble (Coming Soon) | iBooks  | Kobo 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

LAURA KAYE

 

Laura Kaye - author picLaura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Newsletter SignUp | HARD TO SERVE on Goodreads

 

 

Hard To Serve - Available Now

 

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Teaser Reveal: Dirty Stolen Forever by Nazarea Andrews

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Today we are releasing some sexy teasers from DIRTY STOLEN FOREVER by Nazarea Andrews. DIRTY STOLEN FOREVER is an adult contemporary romance, standalone novel, that is the second book in the Green County series. The book is up for pre-order right now for just $2.99.

 

 

DIRTY STOLEN FOREVER

by

NAZAREA ANDREWS

 

 

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PRE-ORDER NOW ON AMAZON

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00060]Colt Rayburn loved Aiden Delvin, once. A lifetime ago. Before duty and the Marines took him a world away, chewed him up and spit him out.

Aiden would have waited forever for Colt to come back. But Colt didn’t want that, and he’s rebuilt his life. Without the man he loves.

When Colt comes home from a deployment that went wrong, Aiden is there. Inexplicably back in Green County and impossible to resist. He swore he’d never go back to that place, never destroy Aiden the way he had when he walked away the first time.

But Aiden grew up and changed too, while Colt played war hero.

Both of them know what they want. After all this time. But can a love story that destroyed them once be rebuilt, when life and duty still hangs over them both…

The second in a sexy new series about Green County, and the people who serve there.

 

 

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– PREVIOUS BOOK IN THE SERIES –

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Amazon | B&N | Kobo

 

 

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– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

NAZAREA ANDREWS

 

NazareaAndrews

Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.

 

 – AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Sign Up For Nazarea’s Newsletter

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Release Day: Sweet Alibi by Adriane Leigh


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SWEET ALIBI

by

ADRAINE LEIGH

 

From USA Today Bestselling author Adriane Leigh comes a passionate contemporary romance about giving in to desire so sharp and sweet it threatens to consume…

 

Sweet Alibi Adriane Leigh Ecover.jpgGeorgia Montgomery is desperate for an escape from the life she’s been leading. The perfect job, the perfect apartment, the perfect boyfriend—all are on the cusp of driving her over the edge. On a whim, she buys a beach house on the North Carolina coast, eager to spend a summer with her college friends. She thinks she’s found the perfect balance, until one pleasure-seeking playboy turns her world on its axis. Georgia tries to ignore the tornado of emotion that sweeps through her system whenever Tristan Howell is near, but just like an addiction, one look, one taste, one touch is never enough.

The chemistry is scorching and it isn’t long before the slow burn ignites into a full-blown wildfire that threatens to consume anything in its path. But Georgia and Tristan can’t shelter their love from the outside world, and the moments of exquisite passion they share aren’t enough to sustain the relationship. When scars from the past resurface–will their hearts meld together as one? Or will outside forces tear them apart, leaving an empty shell where love and passion once thrived?

Note: The characters in Sweet Alibi are real and flawed–they make bad decisions and learn hard lessons. It contains a love triangle, a sweet alpha-male with a broken heart, and a leading lady that doesn’t always know what she wants. If you love a character-driven romance with a hard-fought happily-ever-after, Sweet Alibi is for you. (Formerly published as The Morning After and Light in Morning duet, now with more than 10,000 words of never-before-published BONUS content!

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Gavin tossed my heavy duffel bag and I caught it just before it slammed into my chest.

    “Shithead,” I grumbled as he led the way up the beach house stairs. He hustled, taking the steps two at a time. I knew he was anxious to see Drew. A few days was the longest they’d been apart in their short relationship and from the way he talked you’d think his dick was about to fall off from lack of use. I only hoped their room was out of earshot of mine.

    Gavin knocked on the door and then stepped in. I heard footsteps pounding on wooden floors and then was blindsided when the petite form of Drew launched into Gavin. An oomph escaped his lungs before their lips connected and I heard wet tongues and small moans.

    “Seriously?” I said with a grunt. Gavin’s hands were already firmly gripping her ass and Drew’s were tugging and twisting in his hair.

    Please, dear God let their room be across the house from mine. If I had to listen to them all summer I would be spending a lot of time on my boat.

    I watched them all but hump each other in front of me before I sensed someone else enter the room. My eyes dragged across the open kitchen to land on a pair of deep brown ones watching the couple in front of me. My mind registered someone standing next to her but I couldn’t be bothered to look. All I saw was long, brown hair thrown back in a messy ponytail, stray tendrils dusting her cheekbones and curling around her neck. Her full lips were curved in a frown as she watched the couple making out in the middle of the room.

    I grinned because I knew already this summer was going to be interesting to say the least.

    Not only would I have to contend with the Gavin-Drew fuck fest that was sure to commence as of today, but I’d be living under the same roof as this beautiful creature all summer. Somehow it had escaped me that the girl who owned the beach house was a knockout. No wonder Gavin had given me the rundown on steering clear of her before we arrived. No man in his fucking mind could stay away from this girl.

    Fuck him.

    Fuck me.

    Why had he said she was hands off this summer?

    I could see right now this girl was anything but average. I knew with one glance she wasn’t the type that wore her dresses a few inches too short and fuck-me heels that begged to be wrapped around my neck.

     There was something about her. Something that said she was…more. More everything. She had more depth. More sensuality. An unassuming beauty. She was stunning and she didn’t even know it.

“I’m Georgia,” she introduced herself with a handshake.

     The grin grew wide on my face. I offered her my name and then addressed the couple dry humping beside me. We exchanged a few words and then she laughed, the tone low, an amused smile lifting her lips. The beautiful lips that I wanted to run the pad of my thumb along right before I pressed mine to hers. Fuck she was beautiful and I was getting hard just thinking of all the things we could do together without our clothes on.

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA

 iBooks  iBooks UK  iBooks AU  Nook  

 

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– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

ADRIANE LEIGH

 

Adriane Leigh was born and raised in a snowbank in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and now lives among the sand dunes of the Lake Michigan lakeshore.

She graduated with a Literature degree but never particularly enjoyed reading Shakespeare or Chaucer.

She is married to a tall, dark, and handsome guy, and plays mama to two sweet baby girls. She is a voracious reader and wishes she had more time to knit scarves to keep her warm during the arctic Michigan winters.

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Twitter  Facebook  Web  Goodreads  

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Release Week Blitz: Melissa Foster’s Bad Boys After Dark: Mick

It’s release week for Bad Boys After Dark: Mick by Melissa Foster, the first in a new sexy series! I am so excited to share this new contemporary romance with you!! Grab your copy today, and check out the exclusive excerpt Melissa is sharing it!

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BAD BOYS AFTER DARK: MICK

by

MELISSA FOSTER

 

Indulge your inner vixen…

You asked for naughtier lovers, with the same fierce loyalty as The Bradens – Meet the Bad Boys… Four sinfully sexy, uber alpha brothers, about to fall head over heels for their leading ladies.

Fashion portrait of beautiful young loversEverything’s naughtier after dark…

Amanda Jenner is done being a boring-man magnet and has finally taken control of her love life. As any smart paralegal would, she’s researched the hell out of how to seduce a man. She’s waxed, primped, and ready to put her newfound skills into action–and a masquerade bar crawl is the perfect venue for her solo coming-out party.

Entertainment attorney Mick Bad lives by two hard and fast rules. He never mixes business with pleasure, and he doesn’t do relationships, which makes the anonymity of a masquerade bar crawl the perfect place for a onetime hookup.

Amanda thinks she’s hit the jackpot when she bags a tall, dark, and sinfully delicious masked man–until she discovers the man she’s made out with is her off-limits boss. Mick’s already crossed a line he can never uncross, and one taste of sweet and sexy Amanda has only whet his appetite. When Mick offers to give Amanda a lesson in seduction–no strings, no regrets, and for goodness’ sake, come Monday, no quitting–the tables turn, and Mick’s totally unprepared for the lessons this sweet temptress provides.

 

 

BAD BOYS AFTER DARK:

Mick

Dylan (coming soon)

Carson (coming soon)

Brett (coming soon)

 

More After Dark:

WILD BOYS AFTER DARK (Available Now!)

Logan

Heath

Jackson

Cooper

 

The AFTER DARK series are part of the LOVE IN BLOOM big family romance collection. Each book may be read as a stand-alone novel, or as part of the series.

 

– PURCHASE LINKS –

 

Kindle | Kobo | iBooks | Paperback 

 Nook | GPlay | Smashwords

 

Bad Boys After Dark Teaser

 

– EXCERPT –

 

LURED BY THE pulse of sex and anonymity, Amanda Jenner moved through the dusky bar, brushing against silk, satin, cotton, and flesh, each graze feeding the adrenaline coursing through her veins. Blue lights misted over sweaty strangers lost in the seductive bump and grind of foreplay and hoping for a night of erotic pleasure. If Amanda tried hard enough, she could smell tomorrow’s scent du jour—regret. Tonight she had no room for the confidence-crushing worry of what tomorrow would bring. She scanned the crowd, as she had in the previous three bars, immediately dismissing anyone who wasn’t in costume. Her world was full of boring men who excelled at wining, dining, and boring her to sleep. Ten years of romance novels and movies had led her astray, looking for the elusive needle in a haystack. She’d led herself astray, always the careful thinker, careful dresser. Or as her younger sister, Ally, would say, Careful kisser, careful lover. Ally, however, had taken charge of her sex life—and she’d found the perfect man.

Now it’s my turn.

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

MELISSA FOSTER 

 

melissa fosterMelissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

 

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– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER 

 WEBSITE | STREET TEAM

 

 

RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

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Review and Excerpt: Easy Kisses by Kristen Proby

Easy Kisses - Available now

Kristen Proby does it again with EASY KISSES, the sexiest new addition to her Boudreaux SeriesEASY KISSES is a Contemporary Erotic Romance novel and is the 4th book in Kristen’s New York Times bestselling The Boudreaux Series. This book is available now so be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 -ABOUT EASY KISSES –

 

The Boudreaux Series. Sexy. Intriguing. Easy.

Easy Kisses - coverSimon Danbury, an internationally sought after motivational speaker, helps women from all walks of life with love, self-esteem, dating and career building skills. Handsome, witty and wealthy, Simon seemingly has everything a man could want.

But appearances can be deceiving.

While Simon may have the answers for millions of women all over the world, when it comes to his own love life, he’s a giant, sexy mess. Divorced, and convinced that he’ll never love again, the very last thing he expects is one Charly Boudreaux.

Charly doesn’t want to be at this seminar in the middle of nowhere, but her sister made her go. She’s the one who has her life together. Great career, amazing family, nice home, and loyal friends. So what if she doesn’t have a man? She doesn’t need one. If she’s learned anything in her almost thirty years, it’s that men are more trouble than they’re worth.

And they have a nasty habit of breaking your heart into a million tiny pieces.

So she’ll sit through all of Simon’s touchy feely crap and go home and get on with her life. Except Simon isn’t really spouting crap, and when he smiles at her, the butterflies are ridiculous.

Never mixing business with pleasure, Simon finds Charly, a bright spot in a universe that’s been dark for too long. But will he be able to resist her?

And why would he want to?

– EXCERPT –

 

“Tired?” Simon asks with a knowing smile.

“A bit,” I reply with a nod. “And the view is incredible.”

“No kidding,” Shelly says with an annoying giggle, and I realize she thinks I’m talking about Simon.

For fuck sake.

“Actually, I was talking about the mountains,” I add, stifling a laugh when Heidi knocks her knee against mine. “The views here are unreal. When I saw that the conference was to be held in Montana, I just figured we’d be in the boonies, on a dude ranch or something with no wifi and hunting and gathering our food ourselves. I had no idea that this existed.”

“It’s one of my favorite places in the world,” Simon replies with one of his insane Easy Kisses - RDL Teaser 1smiles. Seriously, he smiles and the room lights up. He’s changed into a casual blue T-shirt that hugs his shoulders and reveals the sleeve of tattoos down his left arm. In all of his public appearances, he wears long sleeves, covering the ink. It’s sexy as hell, not to mention the lean muscle there. His dark hair is disheveled from pushing his fingers through it all day, and his eyes look a bit tired, too. “Where are you from, Charly? Is that the South I hear in your voice?”

I grin. “Louisiana,” I confirm. “I’m from New Orleans.”

“Another of my favorite places,” he replies with a wink.

“Oh, I love it there too,” Shelly says. “What do you do there?”

“I own a shoe store.” I grin at the waitress as she fills my water glass.

“Well, that wouldn’t suck,” Heidi says and glances down at my feet. “I admired your shoes all day.”

“Thank you.”

Easy Kisses - RDL Teaser 2“How long have you done that?” Simon asks, listening intently.

“Six years,” I reply. “But I’ve lived there all my life.”

He nods, and I can see in his eyes that he has more questions, but he shifts the focus to someone else, to my relief.

“And where are you from, Heidi?”

“Arizona,” she replies and begins telling us about her business raising assistance dogs. She pulls her phone out to show us photos, and I melt.

“Aww, what a sweet baby,” I croon when she shows me the yellow lab puppy she’s working with now. “Puppies are the best.”

“I think so too,” Heidi agrees. Dinner is surprisingly fun. We spend the next hour chatting about our homes, what we do, and things that interest us. Simon is funny and charming, easily deflecting Shelly’s blatant flirtations.

He’s professional. I assume he comes down and has dinner with a different group of women from the retreat each night. It’s a nice touch.

I wonder how many he sleeps with.

 

– REVIEW –

 

Simon Danbury is a Henry Cavill look alike who is a world-renown self-help expert on relationships.  His work takes him around the globe, and he’s a regular face in the media giving out advice to those in need. One of Simon’s specialties is a two-week empowerment seminar for women called “Lift”. It is at a Lift seminar in Montana that he meets one of his attendees, Charlotte “Charly” Boudreaux.

Charly has been egged into attending this seminar by her siblings. She’s a workaholic and she hasn’t had a vacation in years. As owner of the popular Head Over Heels shoe store located in the French quarter of New Orleans, Charly has been leading a mundane life. She has a ten-year, ongoing FWB relationship with her friend, Ryan. Prior to her departure for the seminar, Charly discovers that Ryan’s been neither exclusive about their relationship nor honest about his feelings towards her. She calls off the relationship and leaves for Montana.  Charly, nearing thirty, has some serious thinking to do about the direction of her life.

When Simon spots Charly, the attraction is instant, but he’s bound by the ethics of the situation — he’s supposed help women discover their own power, not chase after them for sex.  Charly feels the attraction, too — the chemistry is definitely percolating between the two of them. Simon has to have Charly, and violates his own code by approaching her. Burned by Ryan, Charly takes Simon up on his offer of an affair for the duration of the weekend. But what happens after they part ways?

Simon can’t get Charly out of his mind, and eventually heads to NOLA. Both recognized what happened between the two of them in Montana wasn’t just a fling.  But life is never this cut and dried.  Both of these people have issues with betrayal, and as they fall into deeper emotions with one another, those issues make themselves known.

Easy Kisses is the fourth installment in author Kristen Proby’s Boudreaux Series, and is a stand alone novel. It’s always a pleasure to be around the Boudreaux family, and that is true of this story as well. Charly is a sweet, caring soul, still mourning the death of her father. As a Boudreaux, she’s fiercely loyal to her family and friends, generous and respectful with all other people. Her character was well written and likeable.

As for Simon — eh — this reader had some issues with him. His behavior, at times, seemed to be inconsistent with that of a professional life coach. Even taking into account his strong feelings for Charly, his initial interactions felt slightly predatory (not to mention unethical). (Note: Simon is not written as an Alpha male, insta loving character.) After a few serious bumps, and with the aid of the Boudreaux gang, Simon redeems himself.

The plot moves along pretty well, and the energetic and passionate sex scenes between Charly and Simon reinforces their story line. The secondary characters are all well written, some familiar and always a pleasure to encounter.

Author Proby’s writing is consistent, and her story (as have some others in the past) is embedded with wisdom and advice for her readers:

“I want you to remember that no matter what, your physical and mental health are the most important thing. That is not being selfish; that is protecting yourself, so you can participate in healthy relationships. Cutting Toxic people from your life is necessary for your own personal health and growth.”

Simon Danbury

Easy Kisses

Kindle Loc. 2812 of 4314

Sage words to be heeded not only by her characters, but by all of us.

A generous and entering author, Kristen Proby’s Easy Kisses is easily worth the read.

 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

– BUY THE BOOK –

 

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

 

And don’t forget to grab the first three books in the Boudreaux Series on sale for a limited time only!

 

Easy Love - cover

EASY LOVE

 

Easy Charm - cover

EASY CHARM

 

Easy Melody - cover

EASY MELODY

 

 

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

KRISTEN PROBY

 

Author Pic - Kristen ProbyNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves.

Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

 

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

Website  Facebook  Twitter 

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Chapter Reveal: The Secret Language of Stones by M. J. Rose

MJ TSLOS Collage with magic quote

 

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES is a stunning historical gothic romantic suspense published by Atria, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, being released on July 19th. This is the second title in M.J. Rose’s The Daughters of La Lune Series and absolutely not to be missed! Check out the first chapter below then pre-order your copy today!

 

 

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF STONES

by

M. J. ROSE

 

 

As World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

The Secret Language of StonesNestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

 

– PRE-ORDER NOW –

 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Chapter 1

July 19, 1918

“Are you Opaline?” the woman asked before she even stepped all the way into the workshop. From the anxious and distraught tone of her voice, I guessed she hadn’t come to talk about commissioning a bracelet for her aunt or having her daughter’s pearls restrung.

Though not a soldier, this woman was one of the Great War’s wounded, here to engage in the dark arts in the hopes of finding solace. Was it her son or her brother, husband, or lover’s fate that drove her to seek me out?

France had lost more than one million men, and there were battles yet to be fought. We’d suffered the second largest loss of any country in any war in history. No one in Paris remained untouched by tragedy.

What a terrible four years we’d endured. The Germans had placed La Grosse Bertha, a huge cannon, on the border between Picardy and Champagne. More powerful than any weapon ever built, she proved able to send shells 120 kilometers and reach us in Paris.

Since the war began, Bertha had shot more than 325 shells into our city. By the summer of 1918, two hundred civilians had died, and almost a thousand more were hurt. We lived in a state of anticipation and readiness. We were on the front too, as much at risk as our soldiers.

The last four months had been devastating. On March 11, the Vincennes Cemetery in the eastern inner suburbs was hit and hundreds of families lost their dead all over again when marble tombs and granite gravestones shattered. Bombs continued falling into the night. Buildings all over the city were demolished; craters appeared in the streets.

Three weeks later, more devastation. The worst Paris had suffered yet. On Good Friday, during a mass at the Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais Church, a shell hit and the whole roof collapsed on the congregation. Eighty-eight people were killed; another sixtyeight were wounded. And all over Paris many, many more suffered psychological damage. We became more worried, ever more afraid. What was next? When would it happen? We couldn’t know. All we could do was wait.

In April there were more shellings. And again in May. One hit a hotel in the 13th arrondissement, and because Bertha’s visits were silent, without warning, sleeping guests were killed in their beds.

By the middle of July, there was still no end in sight.

That warm afternoon, while the rain drizzled down, I steeled myself for the expression of grief to match what I’d heard in the customer’s voice. I shut off my soldering machine and put my work aside before I looked up.

Turning soldiers’ wristwatches into trench watches is how I have been contributing to the war effort since arriving in Paris three years ago. History repeats itself, they say, and in my case it’s true. In 1894, my mother ran away from her first husband in New York City and came to Paris. And twenty-one years later, I ran away from my mother in Cannes and came to Paris.

In trying to protect me from the encroaching war and to distract me from the malaise I’d been suffering since my closest friend had been killed, my parents decided to send me to America. No amount of protest, tantrums, bargaining, or begging would change their minds. They were shipping me off to live with family in Boston and to study at Radcliffe, where my uncle taught history.

At ten AM on Wednesday, February 11, 1915 my parents and I arrived at the dock in Cherbourg. French ocean liners had all been acquisitioned for the war, so I was booked on the USMS New York to travel across the sea. A frenetic scene greeted me. Most of the travelers were leaving France out of fear, and the atmosphere was thick with sadness and worry. Faces were drawn, eyes red with crying, as we prepared to board the big hulking ship waiting to transport us away from the terrible war that claimed more and more lives every day.

While my father arranged for a porter to carry my trunk, my mother handed me a last-minute gift, a book from the feel of it, then took me in her arms to kiss me good-bye. I breathed in her familiar scent, knowing it might be a long time until I smelled that particular mixture of L’Etoile’sRouge perfume and the Roger et Gallet poudre de riz she always used to dust her face and décolletage. As she held me and pressed her crimson-stained lips to my cheek, I reached up behind her and carefully unhooked one of the half dozen ropes of cabochon ruby beads slung around her neck.

I let the necklace slip inside my glove, the stones warm as they slid down and settled into my cupped palm.

My mother often told me the story about how, in Paris in 1894, soon after she’d arrived and they’d met, my father helped her secretly pawn some of her grandmother’s treasures to buy art supplies so she could attend École des Beaux-Arts.

Knowing I too might need extra money, I decided to avail myself of some insurance. My mother owned so many strands of those blood-red beads, certainly my transgression would go unnoticed for a long time.

Disentangling herself, my mother dabbed at her eyes with a black handkerchief trimmed in red lace. Like the rubies she always wore, her handkerchiefs were one of her trademarks. Her many eccentricities exacerbated the legends swirling around “La Belle Lune,” as the press called her.

Mon chou, I will miss you. Write often and don’t get into trouble. It’s one thing to break my rules, but listen to your aunt Laura. All right?”

When my father’s turn came, he took me in his arms and exacted another kind of promise. “You will stay safe, yes?” He let go, but only for a moment before pulling me back to plant another kiss on the top of my head and add a coda to his good-bye. “Stay safe,” he repeated, “and please, forgive yourself for what happened with Timur. You couldn’t know what the future would bring. Enjoy your adventure, chérie.”

I nodded as tears tickled my eyes. Always sensitive to me, my father knew how much my guilt weighed on me. My charming and handsome papa always found just the right words to say to me to make me feel special. I didn’t care that I was about to deceive my mother, but I hated that I was going to disappoint my father.

During the winters of 1913 and 1914, my parents’ friends’ son TimurOrloff lived with us in Cannes. He ran a small boutique inside the Carlton Hotel, where, in high season, the hotel rented out space to a select few high-end retailers in order to cater to the celebrities, royalty, and nobility who flocked to the Riviera.

Our families first met when Anna Orloff bought one of my mother’s paintings, and Monsieur Orloff hired my father to design his jewelry store in Paris. A friendship developed that eventually led to my parents offering to house Timur. We quickly became the best of friends, sharing a passion for art and a love of design.

Creating jewelry had been my obsession ever since I’d found my first piece of emerald sea glass at the beach and tried to use string and glue to fashion it into a ring. My father declared jewelry design the perfect profession for the child of a painter and an architect—an ideal way to marry the sense of color and light I’d inherited from my mother and the ability to visualize and design in three dimensions that I’d inherited from him.

My mother was disappointed I wasn’t following in her footsteps and studying painting but agreed jewelry design offered a fine alternative. I knew my choice appealed to the rebel in her. The field hadn’t yet welcomed women, and my mother, who had broken down quite a few barriers as a female artist and eschewed convention as much as plain white handkerchiefs, was pleased that, like her, I would be challenging the status quo.

When I’d graduated lycée, I convinced my parents to let me apprentice with a local jeweler, and Timur often stopped by Roucher’s shop at the end of the day to collect me and walk me home.

Given our ages, his twenty to my seventeen, it wasn’t surprising our closeness turned physical, and we spent many hours hiding in the shadows of the rocks on the beach as twilight deepened, kissing and exploring each other’s body. The heady intimacy was exciting. The passion, transforming. My sense of taste became exaggerated. My sense of smell became more attenuated. The stones I worked with in the shop began to shimmer with a deeper intensity, and my ability to hear their music became fine-tuned.

The changes were as frightening as they were exhilarating. As the passions increased my powers, I worried I was becoming like my mother. And yet my fear didn’t make me turn from Timur. The pleasure was too great. My attraction was fueled by curiosity rather than love. Not so for him. And even though I knew Timur was a romantic, I never guessed at the depths of what he felt.

War broke out during the summer of 1914, and in October, Timur wrote he was leaving for the front to fight for France. Just two weeks after he’d left, I received a poetic letter filled with longing.

Dearest Opaline,

We never talked about what we mean to each other before I left and I find myself in this miserable place, with so little comfort and so much uncertainty. Not the least of which is how you feel about me. I close my eyes and you are there. I think of the past two years and all my important memories include you. I imagine tomorrow’s memories and want to share those with you as well. Here where it’s bleak and barren, thoughts of you keep my heart warm. Do you love me the way I love you? No, I don’t think so, not yet . . . but might you? All I ask is please, don’t fall in love with anyone else while I am gone. Tell me you will wait for me, at least just to give me a chance?

I’d been made uncomfortable by his admission. Handsome and talented, he’d treated me as if I were one of the fine gems he sold. I’d enjoyed his attention and affection, but I didn’t think I was in love. Not the way I imagined love.

And so I wrote a flippant response. Teasing him the way I always did, I accused him of allowing the war to turn him into even more of a romantic. I shouldn’t have. Instead, I should have given him the promise he asked for. Once he came back, I could have set him straight. Then at least, while he remained away, he would have had hope.

Instead, he’d died with only my mockery ringing in his head.

My father was right: I couldn’t have known the future. But I still couldn’t excuse myself for my thoughtless past.

The USMS New York’s sonorous horn blasted three times, and all around us people said their last good-byes. Reluctantly, my father let go of me.

“I’d like you to leave once I’m on board,” I told my parents. “Otherwise, I’ll stand there watching you and I’ll start to cry.”

“Agreed,” my father said. “It would be too hard for us as well.”

Once I’d walked up the gangplank and joined the other passengers at the railing, I searched the crowd, found my parents, and waved.

My mother fluttered her handkerchief. My father blew me a kiss. Then, as promised, they turned and began to walk away. The moment their backs were to me, I ran from the railing, found a porter, pressed some francs into his hand, and asked him to take my luggage from the hold and see me to a taxi.

I would not be sailing to America. I was traveling on a train to Paris. Once ensconced in the cab, I told the driver to transport me to the station. After maneuvering out of the parking space, he joined the crush of cars leaving the port. Moving at a snail’s pace, we drove right past my parents, who were strolling back to the hotel where we’d stayed the night before.

Sliding down in my seat, I hoped they wouldn’t see me, but I’d underestimated my mother’s keen eye.

“Opaline? Opaline?”

Hearing her shout, I rose and peeked out the window. For a moment, they just stood frozen, shocked expressions on their faces. Then my father broke into a run.

“Hurry!” I called out to the driver. “Please.”

At first I thought my father might catch up to the car, but the traffic cleared and my driver accelerated. As we sped away, I saw my father come to a stop and just stand in the road, cars zigzagging all around him as he tried to catch his breath and make sense of what he’d just seen.

Just as we turned the corner, my mother reached his side. He took her arm. I saw an expression of resignation settle on his face. Anger animated hers. I think she knew exactly where I was going. Not because she was clairvoyant, which she was, of course, but because we were alike in so many ways, and if history was about to repeat itself, she wanted me to learn about my powers from her.

I’d been ambivalent about exploring my ability to receive messages that were inaudible and invisible to others—messages that came to me through stones—but I knew if the day came that I was ready, I’d need someone other than her to guide me.

Years ago, when she was closer to my age, my mother’s journey to Paris had begun with her meeting La Lune, a spirit who’d kept herself alive for almost three centuries while waiting for a descendant strong enough to host her. My mother embraced La Lune’s spirit and allowed the witch to take over. But because Sandrine was my mother, I hadn’t been given an option. I’d been born with the witch’s powers running through my veins.

Once my mother made her choice to let La Lune in, she never questioned how she used her abilities. She justified her actions as long as they were for good. Or what she believed was good. But I’d seen her make decisions I thought were morally wrong. So when I was ready to learn about my own talents, I knew it had to be without my mother’s influence. My journey needed to be my own.

“I’m sorry, but I plan to stay in Paris and work for the war effort,” I told my mother when I telephoned home the following day to tell my parents I’d arrived at my great-grandmother’s house.

When my mother first moved to Paris, my great-grandmother tried but failed to hide the La Lune heritage from her. Once my mother discovered it, Grand-mère tried to convince my mother that learning the dark arts would be her undoing. My mother rejected her advice. When Grand-mère’s horror at Sandrine’s possession by La Lune was mistaken for madness, she was put in a sanatorium. Eventually my mother used magick to help restore Grand-mère to health. Part of her healing spell slowed down my great-grandmother’s aging process so in 1918, more than two decades later, she looked and acted like a woman in her sixties, not one approaching ninety.

Grand-mère was one of Paris’s great courtesans. A leftover from the Belle Époque, she remained ensconced in her splendid mansion, still entertaining, still running her salon. Only now she employed women younger than herself to provide the services she once had performed.

“But I don’t want you in Paris,” my mother argued. “Of all places, Opaline, Paris is the most dangerous for you to be on your own and . . .”

The rest of her sentence was swallowed by a burst of crackling. In 1905, we’d been one of the first families to have a telephone. A decade later almost all businesses and half the households in France had one, but transmission could still be spotty.

“What did you say?” I asked.

“It’s too dangerous for you in Paris.”

I didn’t ask what she meant, assuming she referred to how often the Germans were bombarding Paris. But now I know she wasn’t thinking of the war at all but rather of my untrained talents and the temptations and dangers awaiting me in the city where she’d faced her own demons.

I didn’t listen to her entreaties. No, out of a combination of guilt over Timur’s death and patriotism, my mind was set. I was committed to living in Paris and working for the war effort. Only cowards went to America.

I’d known I couldn’t drive ambulances like other girls; I was disastrous behind the wheel. And from having three younger siblings, I knew nursing wasn’t a possibility—I couldn’t abide the sight of blood whenever Delphine, Sebastian, or Jadine got a cut.

Two months after Timur died, his mother, Anna Orloff, who had been like an aunt to me since I’d turned thirteen, wrote to say that, like so many French businesses, her husband’s jewelry shop had lost most of its jewelers to the army. With her stepson, Grigori, and her youngest son, Leo, fighting for France, she and Monsieur needed help in the shop.

Later, Anna told me she’d sensed I needed to be with her in Paris. She had always known things about me no one else had. Like my mother, Anna was involved in the occult, one reason she had been attracted to my mother’s artwork in the first place. For that alone, I should have eschewed her interest in me. After all, my mother’s use of magick to cure or cause ills, attract or repel people, as well as read minds and sometimes change them, still disturbed me. Too often I’d seen her blur the line between dark and light, pure and corrupt, with ease and without regret. That her choices disturbed me angered her.

Between her paintings, which took her away from my brother and sisters and me, and her involvement with the dark arts, I’d developed two minds about living in the occult world my mother inhabited with such ease.

Yet I was drawn to Anna for her warmth and sensitive nature— so different from my mother’s elaborate and eccentric one. Because I’d seen Anna be so patient with her sons’ and my siblings’ fears, I thought she’d be just as patient with mine. I imagined she could be the lamp to shine a light on the darkness I’d inherited and teach me control so I wouldn’t accidentally traverse the lines my mother crossed so boldly.

Undaunted, I’d fled from the dock in Cherbourg to Paris, and for more than three years I’d been ensconced in Orloff’s gem of a store, learning from a master jeweler.

To teach me his craft, Monsieur had me work on a variety of pieces, but my main job involved soldering thin bars of gold or silver to create cages that would guard the glass on soldiers’ watch faces.

To some, what I did might have seemed a paltry effort, but in the field, at the front, men didn’t have the luxury of stopping to pull out a pocket watch, open it, and study the hour or the minute. They needed immediate information and had to wear watches on their wrists. And war isn’t kind to wristwatches. A sliver of shrapnel can crack the crystal. A whack on a rock as you crawl through a dugout can shatter the face. Soldiers required timepieces they could count on to be efficient and sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of combat.

Monsieur Orloff taught me how to execute the open crosshatched grates that fit over the watch crystal through which the soldiers could read the hour and the minute. While I worked, I liked to think I projected time for them. But the thought did little to lift my spirits. It was their lives that needed protecting. France had lost so many, and still the war dragged on. So as I fused the cages, I attempted to imbue the metal with an armor of protective magick. Something helpful to do with my inheritance. Something I should have known how to do. After all, I am one of the Daughters of La Lune.

But as I discovered, the magick seemed to only make its way into the lockets I designed for the wives and mothers, sisters and lovers of soldiers already killed in battle. The very word “locket” contains everything one needs to know about my pieces. It stems from old French “loquet,” which means “miniature lock.” Since the 1670s, “locket” has been used to describe a keepsake charm or brooch with a personal memento, such as a portrait or a curl of hair, sealed inside, sometimes concealed by a false front.

My lockets always contained secrets. They were made of crystal, engraved with phrases and numbers, and filled with objects that had once belonged to the deceased soldiers. Encased in gold, these talismans hung on chains or leather. Of all the work I did, I found that it wasn’t the watches but the solace my lockets gave that proved to be my greatest gift to the war effort.

 

old letters, french post cards and empty open book. nostalgic vintage background

 

Early reviews of The Secret Magic of Stones

A dazzling mix of history, mystery and mystical arts . . . Rose’s paranormal historical bewitches from start to finish. Her amazing ability to make her story line believable and her extraordinary protagonist relatable result in an unforgettable psychic thriller.” (Library Journal (Starred review))

“An exciting mix of adventure, intrigue, and romance in this thrilling historical tale.” (Booklist)

“Haunting, spellbinding, captivating; Rose’s story of the power of love and redemption is masterful. More than a romance or ghost story, this is a tale of a young woman learning to embrace her unique qualities…So carefully crafted and beautifully written, readers will believe in the magical possibilities of love transcending time.”  (RT Magazine (Top Pick))

“Rose follows up The Witch of Painted Sorrows (2015) with Sandrine’s daughter’s story, set against the tragic yet exquisite canvases of Paris, the Great War, and the Russian Revolution, and offers fascinating historical tidbits in the midst of bright, imaginative storytelling and complex, supernatural worldbuilding. A compelling, heart-wrenching, creative, and intricate read.”  (Kirkus Reviews)

 

– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –

 

M. J. ROSE

 

MJ Rose - HeadshotNew York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

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Excerpt Reveal: Cleat Catcher by Celia Aaron and Sloane Howell

 

Cleat Catcher Excerpt Reveal

 

 

CLEAT CATCHER

by

CELIA AARON and SLOANE HOWELL

 

 

Coming June 30th

Add to your Goodreads shelf now.

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– SYNOPSIS –

 

Catcher.pngWhat happens when an unrepentant Cleat Chaser meets the player of her dreams?

Nikki Graves has a history of going through the baseball roster with an eye for talent–the kind of talent that keeps things spicy between the sheets. But, once she meets Braden Bradford, catcher for the Ravens, her talent scout days are done. He’s the one.

Braden has never met a woman like Nikki, and he can’t get enough of her smart mouth and big heart. But life isn’t always as direct and certain as the connection between Braden and Nikki. When family objections and career trajectories begin to crowd the plate, will Braden be able to keep his catch of a lifetime?

 

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Kasey frowned, but then her expression lightened. “Say, Nik, you never gave me all the details from the lez experience you had in college. This game is boring as fuck. Entertain me with it.”

“It wasn’t really an experience. I just kissed a girl a little bit when I was drunk.” I shrugged as the first Ravens batter, Ramirez, strode to the plate.

“Not bad.” Kasey crossed her long, tan legs at the knee.

The guy sitting next to her gave her an appreciative up and down look, but her head was turned towards me so she didn’t see it.

“How much tongue are we talking?”

I closed my eyes and tried to remember the fall of my sophomore year, but it was hazy at best. I had way too much fun in school. “I think there was tongue, and she definitely felt me up over my shirt. I can’t remember if she ever went under, but I doubt it.”

“Nice.” Kasey set her beer down. “I think I need a reenactment. You know, to test you. Make sure you’re not running a game on Braden, pretending to be straight.”

I rolled my eyes as Ramirez swung and missed, strike one. “Not a chance. Besides, everyone knows I’m a Penis Flytrap.”

“Come on, just a little kiss.” She leaned closer as Kyrie snickered on my other side.

“No way.” I shook my head. “Braden would kill me.”

“I think Braden would be all about it. Just a couple of girls. One, his girlfriend, the other, like a sister to him. No harm in the two of us being friendly. Right, Kyrie?”

“Don’t drag me into this. I’m an innocent bystander.” She grabbed some more popcorn as Kasey’s confident grin surfaced.

I tried to ignore the hot blond trying to get into my panties. The next pitch was high and outside. Ball.

“Just a little experiment. That’s all.” Kasey’s tone turned wheedling. “It won’t count.”

“How many girls have you tricked into opening their legs for you like this?” I stared at her, not even close to falling under her spell.

She frowned. “Tons. What gives with you?”

“I love Braden.”

“Me too.” She moved closer, her big, pretty eyes open wide like the wolf’s in Red Riding Hood. “So how about you give me a little tit action as a sign of our love for him.”

Kyrie snorted.

“A little help here?” I turned to her.

“Nope.” She shook her head, a giggle falling from her lips. “I don’t get between Kasey and her prey.”

“Come on.” Kasey wrapped a lock of my hair around her finger.

I tried to keep the amused smile off my lips. “I’m trying to watch the game.”

Ramirez finally made contact, hitting a line drive and trucking it to first base.

Kasey didn’t even look. She kept her gaze on me.

I sighed. “Oh my God. If I say yes, will you leave me alone?”

She squealed. “Yes, I promise.”

“Fine, you can have a tit grope.” I’d taken many a tit grope from Kyrie, so this was nothing special.

She reached for the hem of my tank top.

“Hey!” I smacked her hand away. “Over my shirt and for no more than five seconds.”

“That’s it?” she pouted.

I tossed my hair behind my shoulder. “It’s that or nothing, you goddamn sexual predator.”

She smiled and licked her lips before focusing on my chest. “Fine.”

“Get to it.” I leaned back and dropped my elbows to the armrest, giving her maximum chest exposure.

She rubbed her hands together like she was Mr. Miyagi readying to fix Daniel-San’s leg. The guy sitting on her other side couldn’t take his eyes off us. I wondered if he was going to cream in his jeans.

“Here we go.” She hovered her hands over my chest as Kyrie shook with laughter next to me. “Luscious Nikki tits in three, two, one.”

“Hey!” Braden’s voice cut through the air.

I looked up and Kasey and I were on the kiss cam for the entire stadium to see.

“Kase!” I leaned forward, but that only pressed her palms to my tits.

The crowd went silent, and Kasey took the opportunity to give me a good squeeze. I smacked her hands away as the crowd went from silent to roaring with approval. I hid my scarlet face in my hands.

“Goddammit Kasey!” Braden was at the net yelling. “I’m going to kick your ass!”

I peeked through my fingers as a grinning Easton strode up behind him. “Come on, man. They’re just dicking around.”

“Kasey is a woman-stealer. She’s the devil!” He pointed a finger through the netting at Kasey, who was doubled over with laughter.

“I’m sorry.” I shook my head, my hands still covering my face.

“It’s not your fault. It’s the blond Satan sitting next to you!” The corner of his mouth twitched. He was holding back a smile.

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– ABOUT THE AUTHORS –

 

CELIA AARON

 

Celia Aaron is the self-publishing pseudonym of a published romance and erotica author. She loves to write stories with hot heroes and heroines that are twisty and often dark. Thanks for reading.

– AUTHOR LINKS –

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SLOANE HOWELL

 

Sloane Howell lives in the Midwest United States and writes dirty stories. When not reading or writing he enjoys hanging out with his family, watching sports, playing with the dogs, traveling, and engaging his readers on social media. You can almost always catch him on Twitter posting something goofy.

Visit his web page http://www.sloanehowell.com to sign up for his mailing list to get updates on new releases, promos, and giveaways. Thanks for reading.

 

– AUTHOR LINKS –

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Cover Reveal: A Moment of Truth by Q. T. Ruby

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A  MOMENT OF TRUTH

by

Q. T. RUBY

 

 

Coming soon. Add to your Goodreads shelf now.

 

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Catch up with A Matter of Trust (Book #1)

 

Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA

 

 

– SYNOPSIS –

 

She’s out of her rut, out of her sweatpants, and out on the town.

Claire Parelli has been liberated!

Back to living it up in the Big Apple with her best friends, Claire embarks upon her dream career during the day, and steams up her nights with Daniel Chase, a.k.a. Mr. Beautiful, Hollywood’s hottest leading man. Life is simply perfect.

But for how long?

Claire knows all too well that fairy tales just don’t exist, even if she does have Fairy Slutmothers on her side. Real-life comes with real problems that don’t simply vanish with a quick flick of the wand. So this time around Claire discovers that it isn’t just a matter of trust—it’ll be a moment of truth.

 

TruthFullReveal.jpg

 

 

– EXCERPT –

 

Dan woke me in the middle of the night, which he hilariously called “dawn,” dragged me out of bed and drove us to our ledge to watch the sun rise on our last day together. He fluffed out a soft blanket and situated us, cocooned together side by side, inside another warm blanket. We’ve been sitting here for a bit now, simply being quiet together. There’s a peaceful rush of waves and the still of the morning, and I smile, relishing in this very moment.

And then . . . “Dan?”

“Yeah?”

“I love that you brought us here, but . . . we’re never going to see the sun rise.”

He turns to look at me. “What? Of course we will.”

I smile. “No. This ledge faces west, and the sun rises in the east.”

He stares at me a moment, and we break into laughter.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Q. T. RUBY

 

Ruby’s thoughts are everywhere. To harness the madness, she gave her loudest characters a playground to frolic in. Q.T. Ruby invites you to come play too!

– AUTHOR LINKS –

 

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