New Release Review and Giveaway! DISORDERLY CONDUCT by Tessa Bailey (The Academy #1)

Disorderly Conduct
by Tessa Bailey
Series: The Academy
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Romance
Publication Date: August 29, 2017

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…

Police academy cadet Charlie Burns can’t believe his luck when the gorgeous blonde he meets in a bar murmurs those magic words: “Nothing serious, ’kay?” Mind-blowing, no-strings sex with Ever Carmichael—it’s the holy grail of hookups for a guy who’s too busy following in his law enforcement family’s footsteps to think about getting serious. Charlie’s all about casual…that is, until Ever calls it quits and his world tilts on its axis.

Ever knows that when you control the relationship game, you can’t get played. But for the first time, she wants more than short-term satisfaction. Step one: end her fling with commitment-phobic Charlie. Step two: sacrifice herself to the ruthless NYC dating scene. Yet everywhere she turns, there’s Charlie, being his ridiculously charming self. No online match or blind date compares to the criminally hot cop-in-training, but they’re over. Aren’t they?

If love is a four-letter-word, why does the idea of Ever seeing someone else tie Charlie up in knots?  Now he’s desperate to win her back…and a little date sabotage never hurt anyone, right?


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Review:

Well.

I liked Charlie and Ever together–their chemistry is amazing–and really liked the secondary characters–Jack, Danika, Nina, and Greer–and am hoping that all of them will get HEAs in future books (Jack’s is next, and Danika/Greer are strongly hinted at; leaving Nina, who’s not at the Academy, the only real question mark. Fingers crossed!) The steamy scenes are, as is to be expected, steamy with a capital S here.

All good things.

But…

I did have some issues with Charlie and Ever’s motivation here. Their reasons for not wanting relationships–stemming from family issues/histories were somewhat believable, but only to a point. Ever turned hers around pretty quick after a single visit with her mother (whom she calls “Mother”–this just felt weird without family pearls and fortunes and memberships in the DAR involved) and her new issue becomes I’m not worthy of a real relationship with Charlie instead (WTH?). Charlie’s comes from his childhood and his misperception of an event, and it too is resolved with a single incident. And don’t get me started on his sabotage of Ever’s attempted dates, which is so beyond not cool it’s not funny.

Fortunately, he does do a good grovel (though I do question the use of taxpayer-funded resources in his final effort, the one that came before was awesome) and they really are fantastic together, which helps to make up for the shortcomings here. Jack’s (and Danika/Greer’s and hopefully Nina’s) are still to come, and I have high hopes for them, so…

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About Tessa Bailey:

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans, and laptop, and drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend, and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER by Michelle Major (Crimson, Colorado #8)

In a Colorado mountain town, a good girl kindergarten teacher propositions a sexy bad boy uncle of one of her students…It’s all part of ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER by Michelle Major

About ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER:  

Dedicated kindergarten teacher Erin MacDonald isn’t the type to make the first move on a man—especially gorgeous David McCay, her secret crush. But when a crisis involving one of her pupils offers a chance to help the pro baseballer turned local brewery owner, Erin goes way out of her comfort zone. So way out she makes a shocking suggestion!

David moved to the Colorado mountain town to look after his sister and her son. Now he’s a stand-in parent to his nephew, trying to fight his attraction to Erin…who just propositioned him. David is nobody’s hero. So why can’t he convince the sweet, kindhearted beauty that she deserves better than him? Is it because they’re the perfect imperfect match?

On Sale in Print: August 22, 2017

On Sale in Digital: September 1, 2017

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 Add ROMANCING THE WALLFLOWER to your TBR pile on Goodreads!

Excerpt:

“Stop staring at the hottie brewmaster’s butt.”

Erin MacDonald choked on the gulp of strawberry daiquiri she’d just swallowed. “I’m not staring at anyone’s butt,” she said as she grabbed a wad of napkins and dabbed at her chin and shirtfront. “And don’t talk so loud.”

Melody Cross, one of the second-grade teachers at Crimson Elementary, snorted. “It’s a crowded bar on a busy Thursday night. No one can hear me.”

But Melody had the kind of booming voice that could quiet a room full of squirming eight-year-olds the afternoon before summer break. The tall table they stood at was a good five feet from the bar, but Erin swore she saw the man’s broad shoulders stiffen.

“Want me to take a picture of him?” Suzie Vitale, her fellow kindergarten teacher, offered with a tipsy smile. “It lasts longer.”

Before Erin could stop her, the curvy blonde aimed her phone at the backside of the gorgeous guy who not only worked the bar but also owned Elevation Brewery. The brewpub had opened a little over a year ago and had become a popular hangout for both locals and tourists in the quaint mountain town of Crimson, Colorado.

Erin had noticed David McCay, the brewery’s owner, the first time she’d stepped into the nouveau rustic—and very on-trend for Colorado—space. He was tall and lean, with dark blond hair that curled around the collars of the flannel shirts he favored. David McCay was as handsome as a movie star and built like he spent endless hours tossing huge sacks of barley—or whatever it was beer brewers did.

Erin, who was built like she spent her days sitting cross-legged on a reading rug, had surreptitiously watched him each time she came into the bar with friends or coworkers for a random happy hour or birthday celebration. He was often tending bar or sometimes she’d spot him coming out from the back, wearing the heavy rubber boots and backward ball cap that she’d quickly learned were his uniform when actually brewing beer.

Colorado was known for its craft brews, and the fact that Elevation had made a name for itself so quickly was a testament to his hard work and talent at running a business.

At least that’s what Erin wanted to believe. Her mother liked to remind Erin that she too often assumed the best about people, which allowed them to regularly take advantage of her.

But David McCay hadn’t taken advantage of her, even though it was the stuff of her fantasies. Even though his nephew, Rhett, was now in her kindergarten class and David had been with the boy and his mother for back-to-school night. Erin had barely been able to put a sentence together with David towering over the other adults in the back of her classroom, but he hadn’t bothered to acknowledge her. Heck, it was doubtful he even knew she existed.

Except when she blinked and looked up, he was staring straight at her. Sparks of awareness flamed through her body, setting every inch of her skin on fire. He lifted one thick brow as if he could read her thoughts. Which might be impossible since it felt like all of her brain cells had spontaneously combusted under the weight of his stare.

She heard Melody giggle behind her, and Suzie gave her a little shove forward. David now stood at the edge of the bar, only a short distance from her, with movement all around him. Customers in groups laughed and talked. A waitress set her tray on the rich wood bar top. A group of women at near the edge of the bar vied for his attention. But his focus remained on Erin.

Then something—someone—suddenly blocked her vision. Cole Bennett, Crimson’s recently elected sheriff, was talking to David. Cole was also tall and broad, and to use one of her mom’s favorite expressions, made a better door than a window.

Erin shifted to the right as she overheard Cole mention Rhett, David’s nephew. David’s gaze hardened and his jaw clenched. Unable to stop herself, she moved forward, sidestepping a couple heading toward the back of the bar and a group of twentysomething guys who looked like they’d just come off a hiking trail, until she stood directly behind the sheriff.

She was five feet four inches tall in the clogs she favored for work, so both men towered over her and were completely unaware she was listening to their conversation. Invisibility was Erin’s unintentional superpower. She knew much more than she should about her coworkers and neighbors, simply because people didn’t notice she was there.

“Rhett is safe,” Cole told David. “But they can’t get him to come out.”

“What the hell was Jenna thinking?” David asked, then scrubbed a hand over his jaw. “No, don’t answer that.”

“She’s in trouble, David. The crowd she’s running with—”

“I’ll handle it.” He pulled a set of keys out of one of the pockets in his tan cargo pants. “I just need to tell Tracie I’m leaving for the night. I’ll be over for Rhett.”

“I have to call Social Services,” Cole said softly, and Erin felt the tension ratchet up a notch.

“Give me some time with him first, okay?”

“Can you—”

“I’ll handle it,” David repeated. He moved behind the bar and spoke to the woman filling two pint glasses from the tap.

The sheriff walked out of the bar, patrons instinctively clearing a path for him although he wasn’t in uniform tonight.

When she looked up, David McCay stood toe-to-toe with her. She realized she’d moved forward to block his path from behind the bar.

In her daydreams, she’d compared his eyes to the brilliant summer sky above the ragged peak of Crimson Mountain or the iridescent cobalt of a tropical lagoon. But now his frosty stare was more like the ice blue of a glacier, so cold a shiver passed through her.

“I don’t have time for this, sweetheart. You and your friends are going to have to play your liquid courage bar games with someone else.”

“It’s not a game,” Erin said.

“Darlin’, you ordered a froofy drink in my bar. It’s either a game or a joke.”

This close to David, the heat and frustration radiating off him made her feel different from the woman she knew herself to be. She was aware of her body in a way that was new and exhilarating. She wanted more. She wanted…something she couldn’t name. Still, the promise of it made her weak with longing.

Also braver than she’d ever been. Or maybe crazy was a better word, because when he moved to step around her, she placed a hand on his arm.

“I can help with your nephew.”

 

Review:

Romancing the Wallflower is a sweet romance with some very amusing moments (love what Erin has David listed as in her phone, LOL) alongside some very touching ones. The kids in this book…OMG, they just about ripped my heart out. So cute!

Both Erin and David had super-negative views of themselves–Erin as an undesirable, “invisible” person and David as a guy who’s been letting those he loves down his whole life–which was understandable to a point (I get the invisibility, I do–I set my bangs on fire in a classroom of kids with not one, but two teachers in it, and NO ONE NOTICED except by lab partner…I know invisible), though it did feel like it all went on too long. Still, they managed to come around in the end and pull out all the stops for a super cute ending.

Plus, did I mention the kids? 😉

Romancing is the eighth book in the Crimson, Coloradoseries, but it worked just fine as a standalone.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

Author Bio:

Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in Journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at www.michellemajor.com.

Connect with Michelle: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

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Mary Wine, Author of HIGLAND FLAME, Share 3 Historical Facts You Need to Know (plus a giveaway!)

Historical facts you should know when reading Highland Flame:

  1. A reverence was the proper greeting for this era, sometimes called courtesy. You stepped back with one foot, bent at the knee, keeping your back straight and ‘lowered’. If you were the higher ranking person, you would do the same and it was called ‘offering courtesy’, meaning it was a polite way of greeting one another. Even Queen Elizabeth Tudor lowered herself before the archbishop of Canterbury.
  2. Every house had a buttery….it was where the butts of ale were stored.
  3. A butler was the man who kept the keys to the buttery. In this period, he was huge and someone who could defend those keys with his brawn because ale was essential to survival in winter.

 

About the author:

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

 

Title: Highland Flame
Author: Mary Wine
Pub Date: September 5, 2017
ISBN: 9781492602538

 

NEWLY MINTED LAIRD SEEKS WIFE, PREFERABLY RICH

Laird Diocail Gordon has just inherited his uncle’s run down castle and rag-tag clan. He knows the sorry sight of the castle would send any woman running, but is determined to find a wife to help return his home to its former glory.

Widowed lady Jane Stanley is determined to return to England, even if she has to tromp through the Scottish Highlands on foot to get there. Her travels lead her straight into the midst of a troop of dangerous Highland warriors. The mysterious, brawny laird forbids his men to harm her, and the spark between them is immediate. The only way Diocail can keep her safe is to take her home with him, but will the miserable state of his clan douse her newly ignited Highland flame?

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EXCERPT:

They both fell silent again as they consumed more of the food and faced a topic neither of them had any experience with. Not many a man did. It was why men wed, and women too, because together a man and woman might combine their knowledge to make a successful home. He’d been taught the logistics of defense and negotiation needed to foster relationships with other lairds.

But how much fare to put on the tables?

He had no idea or even how to go about making sure there were ample hands to prepare the food. Diocail felt his brain throbbing as he contemplated all the things needed to run a kitchen, and those were only what he knew about. What truly nauseated him was that he knew damned well how lacking his knowledge was. He knew how many men to ride out with, how many horses, and his education continued on to include how many blacksmiths it took to make sure those horses were shoed, how many stable lads it took to make certain those animals were fit to ride, how much feed and what sort was needed to maintain a horse’s strength.

A hundred details, and a kitchen was no different. No wise man made the mistake of thinking it an easy thing to keep running smoothly. Their current circumstances were proof of that surely enough.

“Ye need a wife, one raised with the education to see this place set right. No’ that any decent girl would have this house as it is,” Muir added. “Try to contract one, and she’ll run home to her father the moment she sees the condition this castle is in. But ye need one. A wife, that is.”

“I hoped to have a bit of time before getting down to that part of being laird,” Diocail groused.

“Best set yer secretary to sorting through the offers in Colum’s study.” Muir didn’t offer him any respite.

“Do nae hold out any hope,” Diocail replied. “There is a decade of letters sitting there. Any offers are long past their time of opportunity.”

His new lairdship was proving to be far more challenging than he’d ever thought it might be. Somehow, in all the times his mother had spoken to him of the day he’d take over the Gordon clan as laird, she had never mentioned just how complicated the duty was. There was building to consider, horses, men, training—and the list went on. All things he’d been taught as a man.

Now there was the kitchen, and God only knew what else went along with running one

smoothly.

Well, not God.

He let out a grunt. Here was something he knew less about than the Lord above.

Women.

And, more precisely, a lady and the duties she would have been trained to do.

There were reasons a laird wed a woman from a highborn family, and one was that she would come with an education as diverse as any given to a laird’s son. Running a kitchen was more than turning bread; it was knowing how much bread to set out to rise in the morning so that the supper table was full and how much grain was needed to make it through the winter and how many hands were needed to produce it all. His head began to ache. He didn’t know what went into bread, much less how much was needed to see an entire castle through a day, but as laird, his duty was to make certain the tables were laid with fare.

Nor did he know anything at all about helping a lady settle into the place he hoped she’d make into a home.

Muir was correct; she would run back to her father before sunup.

Diocail took another swig of the whisky, wishing it would dull his senses.

But all it did was warm him enough to make him conscious of the draft coming through the holes in the roof. He tipped his head back and discovered stars peeking at him where tiles were missing, likely from the winter storms. Colum was a bastard for leaving his people to such circumstances.

Laird of the Gordons. Diocail’s mother’s dream.

And his nightmare, it would seem.

 

GIVEAWAY!

Two bundles of Mary Wine’s Highland Weddings series

 

 

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New Release and Giveaway! OH, HENRY by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (OhHellNo #2)

Oh Henry
Ohellno Series
by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Publication Date: August 25, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy

SHE’S GOT ME BY THE FOOTBALLS…

My name is Henry Walton, and though I’ve been called many things throughout my life–tree trunk, moose, walrus–I am now six foot five, solid muscle, and the hottest defensive end in the NFL college draft. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for: fame, women, and glory.

Just one problem: I’m suddenly in a bad slump. And it started the moment I got dumped by Elle, the nerdy goddess with thick glasses, a smokin’ hot body, and a genius IQ.

So what gives? We only dated for a few weeks, and it’s not like I’ve missed her. (Much.) Regardless, all the facts point to one conclusion. Elle is my lucky nerd-charm.

Call me superstitious, but I have to get her back before I lose everything. Even if she’s the last girl I should want and she now hates my guts.

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Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

HENRY

Austin, Texas. Alpha Phi Frat House.

“Sorry, Henry, but I don’t owe you an explanation. It’s over, and that’s all there is to it.” Elle’s big brown eyes show zero emotion, so I put on my game face. I’ve never been chucked like this. Never. Because I’m fucking Henry Walton, one of four heirs to the Walton oil fortune, famously handsome, and the most anticipated NFL college draft pick since that asshole who got signed with the Steelers.

Elle’s giant brain must be broken.

Standing in the doorway of our two-story, Southern-charmer of a frat house, I step outside in my Pirates PJs bottoms onto the porch. I carefully close the door so the guys inside, who are fellow Pirates, don’t overhear. They’d never let this go. Football players live to fuck with each other.

“You—you’re rejecting me?” I point to my bare chest, snarling down at her little round face. Sure, she’s got a genius IQ and is the likeliest person to build a tele-transporter or some geeky Star Trek shit like that, but I’m what the ladies call a bona fide catch. Six-five, two hundred and eighty pounds of pure muscle pleasure, orgasm philanthropist, future football Hall of Famer, and—fucking bonus point—I’m an all-around fun guy. Elle can’t deny it. My ability to turn her frowns into smiles is irrefutable. It’s the reason she bought that raffle ticket, the prize being a date with me, during our fraternity fundraiser. It’s the reason she said she wanted me to show her a good time after she won. Which I did. Several “good times” in one night and about fifty more “Oh, Henrys!” since then.

So why is she dumping me? Not that we were official. But, dammit all to hell, I like her. I really fucking like her. Normally, I don’t go nerd, but Elle suckered me with her cute little gap-toothed smile and spunky personality. Okay, and she’s a blonde, which I like, and she has nice jugs.

I swallow down a tangled mess in my throat. “Fine. Plenty of fish in the sea. I’m cool with that.”

“Errr…you don’t look cool. Do you need to sit?”

“Just a hangover,” I lie. “Big party last night.” Actually, I can’t remember what I did. I can’t think straight.

Elle touches my arm, pity written all over her face. “Henry, we were never really going to work out. Even you had to know that.”

I slowly remove her hand. “Never gave it much thought.” Too busy living the dream and all that.

She shoves her petite hands into her pink overalls. “Well, I need more than a hot guy with big muscles. I need…” She blows out a long breath. “I need a man. One who will be there when things get difficult. One who’s had to deal with the real world. You only know screwing and football, and I respect that. I might even be jealous. But there is no universe in which your interests and mine could coalesce into a symbiotic relationship outside the bedroom.”

“Who says you even symbiotified me there?” No. That’s not a real word. And we both know I could fuck Elle all day long and never get tired of her. There’s this little squeaking thing that she does right before she’s about to come. Adorable.

Wait. No. Fuck that. It’s annoying. Just like her shrill laugh, obsession with spy novels, and stupid nerd jokes about black holes—“Two protons walk into a black hole, blah, blah, stupid science punch line, blah, blah.”

Good riddance.

But as I think those words, something deep inside sets off like a grenade. Boom. I’m pissed. I just can’t fuckin’ believe that she’s kicking my awesome ass to the curb and won’t even tell me why. Not the real truth anyway. Because even a guy like me with only above average intelligence can see that Elle’s little line about needing “a man” is bullshit. Men just don’t come any manlier than me.

Elle laughs, followed by a little squeak. My eyes zero in on that gap between her teeth. How had I thought that was hot? She looks nothing like a young Madonna.

Yeah, she looks more like Urkel. Only pale as shit with blonde pigtails and tape in the middle of her glasses. I’m the one who actually broke them, though. I sat on them after we screwed. She kind of got mad, and I offered to replace them ten times, but she just shrugged it off. “No biggie. What’s a nerd without a little tape? I’ll fix ’em later,” she said.

Elle finishes honking out a final laugh. I can’t believe I’m into her.

Was into her.

“Symbiotified. Oh, Henry. I’m going to miss your humor.” She grabs my arm and gives it a squeeze. “It was nice knowing you.”

I jerk my head. “Been nice knowing you, too. Good luck with your…math ’n shit.”

Fuck. That sounded lame.

Elle crinkles her nose. “Yeah. I’ll cross my fingers and hope those big scary numbers finally make sense.” She turns away and heads toward campus, shaking her tight little ass in her overalls.

Jesus, what was I even doing with her? I can get tens—ten cheerleaders, ten models, or ten of the hottest women at any party.

I snarl at the back of her head and clench my fists. “Stupid geek!”

Without slowing her pace or turning around, she throws up a middle finger. “Dumb jock!”

I can’t help but laugh. She may look like a helpless, lost little nerd begging for social ridicule, but I’ve yet to meet anyone with bigger balls. Male or female.

Stop it, Henry. It’s over. I gush out a breath of frustration. Fuck her. I don’t need anything but football.

 

Also in the series:

Smart Tass
Ohellno Series
by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy

From New York Times Bestseller Mimi Jean Pamfiloff comes SMART TASS, a new Romantic Comedy.

He’s the hot quarterback all the girls want.

She’s the smart girl he loves to pick on.

And now that they’re all grown up, things are about to get geekin’ ugly…

My name is Tass. I’m smart, I’m driven, and I am determined not to let prankster Hunter Johnson continue raining on my parade. When we were little, he’d pull my hair and call me names. When we were teenagers, he’d throw food and tease me for being a flat-chested virgin.

But now that we’ve ended up at the same college, he’s out of his hot head if he thinks he can keep messing with my life. It’s like he’s fixated on me or something. Well, guess what, Mr. Amazefootball? I’m not that geeky little girl anymore and you do not screw with a smart woman.

So what’s my plan?
It’s definitely wild, and he’s about to find out…

Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

 

About Mimi Jean Pamfiloff:

Mimi Jean Pamfiloff is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of Paranormal and Contemporary Romance. Both traditionally and independently published, Mimi has sold over 800,000 books since publishing her 1st title in 2012, and she plans to spontaneously combust once she hits the one-million mark. Although she obtained her international MBA and worked for over 15 years in the corporate world, she believes that it’s never too late to come out of the romance-closet and follow your dreams.

When not screaming at her works in progress, Mimi spends time with her two pirates in training, her loco-for-the-chili-pepper hubby, and rat terriers, Mini & DJ Princess Snowflake, in Arizona.

She continues to hope that her books will inspire a leather pants comeback (for men) and that she might make you laugh when you need it most.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Newsletter | YouTube

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New Release! LOVE WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER by Tracey Livesay

Love Will Always Remember
by Tracey Livesay
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: Avon Impulse

 

About the Book:

An accident changed Leighton Clarke’s life forever.

When she awakens from a coma, her childhood memories are intact but she possesses no memories of the past six years of her life. Terrified, anxious and disoriented, she’s only calmed by the presence of the gorgeous celebrity chef with compassionate brown eyes, the man who turns out to be her fiancée, Jonathan.

Jonathan Moran is tormented over his part in the deception that he’s Leighton’s fiancé. In truth, she’s engaged to his brother! Any day now, her memory is destined to return and she’ll remember it’s his fault she was injured. Meanwhile, the more time they spend together, the closer they become until Jonathan begins to wish the pretense of them being a couple was real.

And then Leighton’s memories come flooding back…

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Excerpt:

“What can I get for you?”

An elegant brow lifted. “You’re going to serve me?”

“I do it all.” He reached beneath the bar for a towel and slung it over his shoulder.

“I bet you do,” she murmured.

He stiffened. Had she actually said that or had his fantasy life taken over for a brief moment? He glanced at her, but her cool expression gave nothing away.

“Special service from a James Beard Award–winning chef. I’ll try to contain myself.”

“I’m sure my brother didn’t waste his breath extolling my achievements, so you’ve been checking up on me?”

He braced his arms against the bar and her eyes followed the motion, lingering. He could barely breathe. He had to force the oxygen into his body. No other woman had ever affected him in this way. Why her? He didn’t understand it.

She averted her gaze. “I check on everyone who comes into my life.”

He frowned. “I was just joking.”

“I wasn’t.” She placed her purse on the bar stool next to her.

Interesting. That type of vigilance made for a very lonely existence. And it wasn’t natural. Something had happened to make her believe such action was necessary. However, he didn’t get the feeling she would be amenable to sharing that information with him.

He straightened. “Now, about that drink . . . a cosmo, apple-tini, strawberry daiquiri?”

She exhaled and her lips quirked. “I appreciate you offering me some of your personal favorites, but I’ll take a Macallan 21 on the rocks.”

He hesitated. “You drink whiskey?”

It was rare, but he did know a few women who enjoyed the smooth spirit. He suspected his disbelief would annoy her.

He was right.

“Sexist, much?”

“Maybe, but it’s borne out by my fifteen years in the restaurant business.”

“Isn’t it wonderful to still be able to discover something new after all that time? An old dog can still learn . . . something.” Her sweet smile had him struggling to contain his grin.

He grabbed a lowball glass off the stack, added a couple of ice cubes and poured the drink. “M’lady.”

She took a sip. Her lashes fluttered and her jaw moved laterally as she coated her tongue with the flavors. The blood rushed straight to his dick again—it must have an E-Z pass—leaving him momentarily light-headed. Thank God he was standing behind the bar.

She set the glass down on the black cocktail napkin he’d provided. “What do you drink besides your beloved apple-tinis?”

She had jokes. One corner of his mouth tipped upward. That’s all he’d allow her. “Macallan’s good, but I prefer bourbon. Jefferson’s Presidential Select.”

“I’ve heard good things about Jefferson but I’ve never had the opportunity to try some,” Leighton said. “The stock is limited, right?”

“Yes, but I tracked down a case of the Seventeen.” He smiled, recalling the night he’d shared a bottle with Adam and Mike last year. “I’d be willing to part with a little bit.”

Silence met his offer. Then— “Maybe I can get Thomas to try it. He tends to stick to craft beers.”

His brother.

Her fiancé.

Right.

Big guilt keep on churning . . .

He turned to put the bottle he’d used on the back bar shelf where it belonged. “Yeah, well, my brother’s taste has always left a lot to desired.”

Only after the words were out did he realize how they sounded. He turned back in time to see the hurt on her face morph to anger. “I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant.”

Her expression cut into him like an extremely sharp gyuto knife. She held up a hand as if to halt his words. “Then it’s a good thing your opinion makes no difference to our life at all.”

“No seriously. Leighton.” He rushed around the bar and reached for the hand that had fallen to her lap. He didn’t question his need for her to understand his words weren’t aimed at her. He dipped his head until he forced her to meet his eyes. “I swear, I wasn’t talking about you. My brother should be on his knees kissing someone’s ass every day, thanking his lucky stars that you’ve agreed to marry him.”

She stared at him, stone faced, and he feared he may have ruined whatever accord they’d managed to form.

Which was probably for the best.

But when her features began to soften and forgiveness seemed to follow, relief made him giddy and he couldn’t have stopped what he did next even if his very survival depended on it.

One taste. That’s all he needed.

He touched his lips to hers.

Time stopped.

He’d been wrong. He’d need much, much more.

He deepened the kiss, tasting, nibbling then moaning when her lips parted and she let him in. Her soft tongue glided against his and desire roared through him.

Her arms snaked around his waist and clutched his ass. She scooted forward on the stool, spreading her thighs and pulling him between them. His fingers skimmed along her jaw and slid through her hair, like air moving against silk.

His heart was pounding so loudly it drowned out any protests his rational mind tried to put forth. He didn’t care who she was, who he was, or why this could never be. He’d never experienced this kind of raw passion with anyone and in that moment, his only concern was giving her as much pleasure as she was giving him.

“Chef, do you want us to leave you—” Gib’s voice acted as fingers on a chalkboard, jarring and cringeworthy.

Leighton’s eyes flew open, and fear and disgust contorted her features. She pushed against his chest, catching him off guard, and he fell back into a neighboring bar stool.

Before he could process what was happening, she’d jumped from the stool and was running—quite a feat in her heels—to the front door.

He hurried after her. “Leighton!”

She pushed out into the night and paused looking left and right.

He saw the metal scaffolding falling and a roaring filled his ears.

Oh no! No! GODDAMMIT!!

He started to run. “Leighton, wait!”

He was too late.

About Tracey Livesay:

A former criminal defense attorney, Tracey Livesay finds crafting believable happily ever afters slightly more challenging than protecting our constitutional rights, but she’s never regretted following her heart instead of her law degree. She lives in Virginia with her husband—who she met on the very first day of law school—and their three children.

Tracey’s Links:

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New Release Review and Giveaway! MY NEXT BREATH by Shannon McKenna (Obsidian Files #2)

Title: My Next  Breath
Author: Shannon McKenna
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-0-99779-413-7

 

Zade Ryan. Rebel supersoldier. Nearly superhuman. On a desperate quest to rescue his missing brother Luke by any means possible. To do it, he must seduce the elusive Simone Brightman, inventor of the ingenious and deadly tech used to capture Luke and hold him prisoner, location unknown. Zade will do whatever it takes to get close to Simone. Her mysterious beauty and highly sexual allure have him at a disadvantage, but time is running out . . .

Simone is fighting battles of her own, on her own. Until Zade—six foot four of sinewy muscle and lethal combat skills—rescues her from street thugs and leaves her breathless. His smoldering black eyes and overpowering sensuality—and his seductive invitation to spend one wild, unforgettable night with him—prove too tempting to resist. Their passionate encounter unleashes scorching desire that neither can control—leaving them vulnerable to their enemies who watch from the shadows and wait. And when they are lured into a trap by a monstrous killer hellbent on their destruction, they must fight with every weapon they have to save Luke, and each other.

Because one night together could never be enough—and they might not live to have another . . .

Add to your TBR pile: Goodreads

Available at: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iBooks  |  Kobo  

Review:

Phew, this book was intense.

I haven’t read book one yet ( Right Through Me ) and have to admit I felt like I was trying to play catchup for a lot of the book when it came to the Obsidian group and their plot–Zane explained some of it to Simone at around 50% and more of it about a quarter of the book or so later, which definitely helped, but I’d definitely recommend reading the books in order if you can.

Even without having read book one, though, this one was a heck of a read. Zane and Simone are sympathetic characters, and their chemistry is scorch-the-pages hot. The action scenes are intense, and even if I didn’t always understand 100% of the background for what was happening and why, it was still a heck of a ride. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from this series and finding out what’s in store for all of the Midlanders!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

About Shannon McKenna:

Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of sixteen action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series and the brand new paranormal series, The Obsidian Files. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she’d ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers.

Connect with Shannon:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

 

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New Release and Giveaway! SUNSETS AT SEASIDE by Addison Cole (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #4)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Sunsets at Seaside
(Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #4)
by Addison Cole
Sweet Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 308 pages
August 23rd 2017

Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers features a group of fun, flirty, and emotional friends who gather each summer at their Cape Cod cottages. They’re sassy, flawed, and so easy to relate to, you’ll be begging to enter their circle of friends!

Sunsets at Seaside by Addison Cole is the sweet edition of New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster’s steamy romance novel Seaside SunsetsThe stories and characters remain the same, and convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

In SUNSETS at SEASIDE…

Jessica Ayers has lived a sheltered life with little more than cello lessons and practices taking up her day. Now a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, she escapes the prim and proper symphony to vacation in the Seaside community in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, to determine if she is living life to the fullest or missing it altogether.

For the first time since developing the second largest search engine in the world, billionaire Jamie Reed is taking the summer off. He plans to work from the Cape and spend time with his elderly grandmother—and falling in love is not in his plans.

From the moment Jamie and Jessica meet, the attraction is white-hot. Once-overly-focused Jamie can think of little else than sweet, smart, and alluring Jessica, and Jessica discovers a side of herself she never knew existed. But when Jamie’s business encounters trouble and his attorney and best friend intervenes, he proves that the brown-haired beauty is too distracting for Jamie. To make matters worse, it appears that Jessica might not be who she says she is, turning Jamie’s life—and his heart—upside down. In a world where personal information is always one click away, Jamie must decide if he should trust his heart or watch the woman he loves walk away.

Excerpt:

“Guess it’s just you and me.”

Jamie’s rich voice slid over her, bringing goose bumps to her arms and heating her up even more. How the heck did he manage to pull off laid-back and sensual at the same time? And why was it such a turn-on? She looked down at her hand, still on his thigh, and felt his muscles flex. The fire was nearly out, just a few embers glowing in the darkness. She should probably go home. It was already far later than she was used to staying up, and she had a big day tomorrow. Didn’t she? Didn’t she always? She had to practice and…No. That wasn’t right. She wasn’t practicing. She was vacationing. She had all the time in the world.

She realized that she hadn’t responded to Jamie’s remark. Instead of answering him, she tilted her head and looked at him. Really looked at him. He was too beautiful, and she was pretty sure it wasn’t just the tequila that made her think so. His hazel eyes were seductively dark and narrow. His tanned skin blended handsomely with the sexy scruff on his jaw, and his full lips were barely parted. She wanted to run her finger along his lips and feel their softness.

“What?” he asked quietly.

“I’m just…” Thinking about touching your scruff. And maybe your lips. And that crease by your mouth when you smile. There it is. Oh, I love that crease. Oh, and your hands. I’m dying to know what your hands feel like. “Thinking…” It was the only word she could manage without making a fool of herself.

“Thinking about throwing your phone at me again?”

Other Books in the Series:

And coming October 2017…

About the Author:

SIGN UP for ADDISON’S Sweet with Heat newsletter. Fun, flirty romance with a dash of heat.

Addison Cole is the sweet alter ego of New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Melissa Foster. She writes humorous and emotional sweet contemporary romance. Her books do not include explicit sex scenes or harsh language. Addison spends her summers on Cape Cod, where she dreams up wonderful love stories in her house overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Addison enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Addison’s books are available in paperback, digital, and audio formats.

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Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon.com gift card or Paypal Cash (winners choice)

Open internationally
Ends September 10th

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Tour Schedule:

August 23rd: Launch
August 24th: It’s All About the Romance
August 25th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
August 27th: Book Lover in Florida
August 28th: Wishful Endings
August 29th: A Baker’s Perspective
August 30th: The Bookworm Chronicles & Singing Librarian Books

August 31st: Becky on Books & Kindle and Me
September 1st: Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang! & My Devotional Thoughts
September 3rd: Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
September 5th: underneath the covers & Getting Your Read On
September 6th: Grand Finale

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New Release Review and Giveaway! SO IN LOVE by Darcy Burke (Ribbon Ridge: Love on the Vine #3)

 

About the Book:

After a hot hook-up on New Year’s Eve, Crystal Donovan plans to avoid Jamie Westcott, which could be difficult, given the size of Ribbon Ridge. But she’s only there a few days doing research on the town’s history then it’s back to her glam life in LA. When his family holds the key to unraveling a century-old mystery she has to seek him out—and the sparks are still flying.

Jamie Westcott works his ass off to repay his college loans, which doesn’t leave much time for other commitments. Crystal’s a perfect fling: she’s fun and sexy and, best of all, they have little in common and she lives somewhere else. Only, the more time they spend together the closer they get, despite their intent to keep things casual.

When everyone learns Crystal sold a screenplay exposing the dark secrets of Ribbon Ridge—and Jamie’s family—she becomes the town pariah. Jamie won’t leave and Crystal can’t stay—can love show them another way?

Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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Review:
So in Love had a really strong start–I loved the cutthroat pool game with the cursed cue (or is it???), the flirtiness, and their New Year’s Eve hookup. Jamie and Crystal were cute together, her fears about their age difference (she’s 5 years older) aside. From there, though, the story felt like it floundered a bit–much of the drama (relationship and otherwise) felt a bit contrived and overblown–would a mature, adult woman really literally run from a social event just because a few people there become confrontational? And then immediately grab a flight out of state, days earlier than she had planned on leaving? I’m not entirely convinced. Still, everything came together nicely at the end, and the epilogue was very sweet.

If you’ve read the others in the trilogy, you’ll undoubtedly want to read this one as well; if you’re new to the series there are some mild spoilers here to the historical mystery the heroines are trying to solve together. It’s a secondary plot, but if continuity is important to you, you’ll probably want to read the books in order ( So Good first, then So Right , and then this one). Final verdict: a cute story, but not on the same level as Ms. Burke’s The Untouchables (historical romance) series.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / B-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Check out the other books in the Love on the Vine series:

 

Meet the Author:

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and three Bengal cats. Visit Darcy online at www.darcyburke.com and sign up for her newsletter, follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/darcyburke, or like her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DarcyBurkeFans.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

  • $40 Amazon Gift Card

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New Release and Giveaway! TOXIC by Nicole Blanchard

Toxic
by Nicole Blanchard
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Dark Romance

“John Doe” was just another patient. A criminal.

As a prison nurse, I knew the rules: do my job, don’t get involved, and never let a prisoner get under my skin.

I broke all three.

My passion, my obsession, my addiction. I risked my entire life so we could be together.

I thought helping him escape from prison would be the hard part.

It turns out when you fall in love with a villain, you also turn into one.

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

Excerpt:

My hands flex on his skin, but he’s so intent on my response he either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. Beneath my touch, he turns to granite and a part of me wants to take back my question, but I can’t.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, and I hope it deflects from this line of conversation. “Did I hurt you?”

He breaks eye contact and looks down to where my hands are touching his skin. The moment his eyes land on where our bodies connect, it makes me want to drop my hand. How close he always manages to get to me whenever I let curiosity—or stupidity—get the better of me is astounding.

“Would take more than that to hurt me, little mouse.”

I feel his words like dark secrets. They unfurl inside me, a molten mixture of pleasure and shame, a heady combination that invites me to ask for more. He’s a craving I can’t quite shake. A disease slowly spreading through me. My head tells me I should walk away, but my greedy heart begs for more of his illicit attention.

“Little mouse?” I keep my focus on my fingers. Otherwise, they’ll betray my nerves. I swipe antibacterial cream over his skin and realize resistance is practically impossible. Not when I can feel his muscles flexing underneath my hands, the heat coming off him in waves, and my body’s answering thrum.

It has been so long since I’ve felt anything other than violence and fear. The two have become so tightly intertwined that I was certain until now I’d never feel this again. Never feel warmth pooling low in my belly and radiating through my core or the answering wetness slicking between my legs.

Horror accompanies the rush of pleasure, and I want to fling myself backward, but I know I can’t let this dangerous man see my reaction. I can’t let him know the effect he has on me. Can’t let him have that kind of power over me.

“Yes,” he finally says. “Because you always look like you want to scurry away into a corner and hide.”

His words make me want to do exactly that. My eyes dance to the door and then back to my hand as I swipe away another smear of blood from his skin. It would be so easy to escape him and his all-too-knowing stare. The reaction I can’t deny. The yearning. Ten steps would bring me right back to my dreary life where I can drown in the day-to-day misery and the pain that blots out my unfortunate reality.

They are ten steps I don’t take. I refuse to let King get the better of me again and return to doctoring his wounds, trading the wipes for clean, white bandages. Unlike Vic, when this man pressures me, tests my boundaries, I find myself wanting to fight back, wanting to go at him with teeth bared and fists balled.

He lays a big, scratched-up hand over mine, pinning it to the heated flesh of his well-muscled chest. I peer up through my lashes and find the corner of his mouth tipped up in a half smile that would look pleasant on any other man.

On King, it’s a warning.

Or a threat.

My heart thumps in my chest, a rabbit trying to escape the pursuit of a predator. I take deep breaths to try to calm its frenetic pace, but it’s futile while in his presence. I finish the bandage on his chest without taking the bait. Despite how alive he makes me feel, or maybe because of it, I won’t encourage him. I won’t go down that road. I did it once before, and it cost me everything.

I’m waiting for him to throw out another challenge as I finish with his chest and arms, dump the trash into a bag, and set it by the door.

“Can you stand for me?” I gesture with a roll of gauze I grabbed from my bag of supplies. “I need to wrap your ribs until they can get you in for an X-ray.”

He obliges, reminding me of a half-tame animal submitting to human attention only to turn around and rip the person’s throat out seconds later. His abdomen ripples, and the low hum of desire that I’ve steadily been trying to ignore roars back to life made sharper by the edge of danger.

Like fucking in public.

It’s wrong and dirty and you sort of hate yourself for enjoying it so much, but you come harder than you ever have in your life. It makes my breathing grow ragged, and I’m afraid he can hear me but can’t find the willpower to back away.

I have to lean close to wrap the bandage around his chest, which doesn’t help. His scent fills my nose like a drug. My fingers brush against his stomach, and I’d give anything for five minutes to explore the line of muscles that disappears into his waistband.

The fact that I manage to finish binding his ribs is a small miracle. He doesn’t make a move to touch me the entire time, even though I spend it wishing he would. When I’m done, I can feel his eyes on me, patient and predatory as I pack up the rest of my supplies.

“Stop doing that!” I bite out, revealing just how badly he has my nerves frayed.

He gives me that half-grin again. “Doing what?”

“Staring at me like that. Are you trying to piss me off? Do you want me to have you reassigned?”

As though daring me, he takes a step forward. “You won’t do that,” he challenges.

“No?” I retort though I can hear the flimsy note to my voice.

His grin widens. “No.”

I shake my head and feel my body drift closer to his. “I don’t know what you want from me, I don’t know what you think we’re doing here, but we shouldn’t. Let’s just get that clear right now. Also, I appreciate your concern for my safety, but there isn’t anything you can do to help me, and this sort of attention is only going to make my situation worse.”

He shifts, and my whole body stiffens as he brings his lips to my cheek where the memory of the bruise throbs.

“Don’t,” I protest, but it comes out sounding more breathy than firm.

“I’ll make you a deal,” he says as he closes a bit more of the distance between us. I nearly whimper from frustration, fear, and need. “One kiss. One kiss and I won’t bother you again. No one will have to know.”

“You can’t be serious,” I whisper, but I know from the determined look in his eyes he’s serious. “Why?”

His lips return to my cheek, surprising me with his gentleness, and I’m almost ashamed that my initial instinct is to flinch away from him. He seems to recognize it, and he sighs, pausing long enough to meet my eyes. We wait . . . watching each other. But when he doesn’t follow through with a slap or a biting comment, my traitorous body relaxes.

My body is clearly an idiot.

“C’mon,” he coaxes as his lips grow bolder. “Let me give you this. One kiss. I promise you’ll enjoy it. Let me show you a little something sweet to take away from the sour. One kiss, and if you want me to walk away after I will.”

He’s the devil incarnate, the snake that tempted Eve. Though, I’m sure as hell not in paradise. I hate myself for even considering it. Loathe the way my body shouts at me to say yes.

“You won’t bother me again?” The responding triumphant gleam in his eyes screams that I’ve taken a step off a precipice. There will be no going back after this.

“Scouts honor.” I snort, causing him to grin. “So, is that a yes?”

“You asked me earlier if I wanted to know your name.”

He nods, but it’s a quick, jerky movement. For the first time, he’s the one caught off guard.

“I think I’d like that.” It’ll be like saying goodbye, or at least that’s what I tell myself. Goodbye to the rush of desire, the feeling of being alive. It was fun while it lasted but this level of craziness leads nowhere good.

For a moment, I think my ears are tricking me, but no. King makes a deep, satisfied groan in the back of his throat. I’m so distracted I don’t notice he’s been slowly moving closer until his body is pressed fully against mine. My hands go to his shoulders, and I’m grateful for the bandages separating us. Too much contact with his skin and my brain would surely short circuit.

“Gracin,” he says, his lips so close they graze the shell of my ear. “My name is Gracin.”

Then his mouth covers mine.

 

About Nicole Blanchard:
Nicole

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Nicole Blanchard lives in Mississippi with her family and their menagerie of animals. She chooses each day to chase her own fairy tale even if they contain their fair share of dragons. She is married to her best friend and owns her own business.

Nicole survives on a diet of too many books and substantial amounts of root beer and slim jims. When not reading, she’s lavishing attention on her family or inhaling every episode of The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory.

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Newsletter | Reader Group | Amazon | Bookbub

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Excerpt Tour! SIGHT UNSEEN Anthology, Week 4

Have you picked up the SIGHT UNSEEN anthology? It features five intriguing, sexy, and surprising stories from five incredible authors – but you don’t know who wrote which story – YET. The reveal is coming soon, but in the mean time, we’re sharing the opening of each of the five stories, one per week! Check it out below and pick up your copy now!

About SIGHT UNSEEN:

What stories would you tell if you could? Where would your mind take you, if you let it? Five of the top voices in romance dare you to explore the most distant corners of their imaginations as they test the limits of storytelling and break the boundaries of what even they thought possible, teasing and tormenting you shamelessly as they go.

But there’s a twist—the author of each story is a secret at the time of release. They’re each plumbing the depths of the human heart and mind in ways they’ve never attempted before. Taking you high, bringing you low, until you will be hardpressed to guess who wrote what. Can you tell? Want us to?

Too bad our lips are sealed . . . for now.

 

Lost That Feeling

Alma knew who she was, once—that is, before she erased her memory with a spell. Some, like the guards at the prison in which she’s held, say that she was a thief, a murderer.

Others say she was a hero. Like Driss, the man who rescues her. He claims to be a friend. He’s certainly handsome. And charming. And brave. In a word: perfect.

That’s the problem. If he’s perfect and she’s a hero, how did she end up in prison with a seven-year hole in her memory to begin with?

 

A Clear View of You

As a child, Kate had one dream: to escape her mother’s deluded hippie commune and live in the real world, where mature adults know that magic isn’t real. But the real world also has its downsides—like rent, student loans, and a cutthroat job market.

Happily, Kate is uniquely qualified for one in-demand position: psychic. Of course, she’s as fake as the rest of them, but nobody plays a fortune-teller as convincingly as a girl raised by a would-be witch. If only Kate’s newest client weren’t so perceptive . . . and attractive. If only crystal balls didn’t have the habit of lighting up in his presence.

Magic isn’t real, right? Kate is about to find out otherwise . . .

 

Free

Brad White would be an ordinary accountant with an unrequited crush except for two things: he works for a criminal motorcycle club, and he’s in love with the club president’s daughter. When she discovers the truth about the family business, Brad has to move beyond ordinary and put his life on the line to keep her safe.

Wren Masters, unlike everyone else in her graduating class, chose to stay in Fallow, Montana because, also unlike everyone else, she loves it. But when she finds out her father’s club is running drugs, her family and world crumble. She and Brad risk everything to uncover the truth . . . and begin a scorching affair.

As the conspiracy—and their feelings—deepen, Brad and Wren must choose between family and justice. And neither seems to include a future for them.

 

Chariot of Desire

CJ Crespo, drummer for the once wildly popular rock band Donjon, has always had a thing for frontman Donny Times. They spent the seventies getting high together, making music together, self-destructing together. But her qualms about ruining a creative partnership with sex kept them from ever hooking up. Now, Donny’s conversion to a bizarre fringe religion that won’t allow him to engage in—or even sing about—sex, drugs, or other “sins” threatens to tear Donjon apart.

As the band struggles to embrace a new decade and a new Donny, CJ must decide where she belongs: by Donny’s side, even if he can’t ever love her? Or out there making her own music, away from a man who gives and takes in equal measures?

 

The Heart is a Universe

On the remote planet of Pax Cara lies the greatest secret of the universe. Once every generation, the inhabitants must offer up an exceptional young person—the Chosen One—who sacrifices his or her own life for the sake of that secret, and the planet itself.

However, Vitalis, the current Chosen One, is desperate to free herself from the yoke of destiny. An unexpected invitation to an aristocratic summit seems to be the perfect opportunity for escape. But almost as soon as she arrives, the most eligible prince in existence proposes marriage.

Sparks fly, but Vitalis is wary. Eleian of Terra Illustrata can have any woman he wants. Why has he set his sight on Vitalis, who, unless she manages to flee, will die in sixteen days? Is he hiding an ulterior motive, one that could put everything in jeopardy—her plans, her life, and her heart?

Get your hands on SIGHT UNSEEN:

 

Open Ink Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Read the opening of THE HEART IS A UNIVERSE:

The story began long ago, before the birth of the universe.

Before the births and deaths of many older, greater universes.

This is not, however, a narrative of the births and deaths of universes—though it might be that too. In the main it is about a man and a woman, their lives and circumstances.

They met at a ball, an opulent affair held on a luxury liner. He was making his way to her and she was pretending that she hadn’t noticed, when his every move was eagerly followed by the entire gathering.

The beau of the ball, if there was such a thing, the one who shook hearts as easily as a spring storm laid waste to the tender blossoms of May.

She was not a tender blossom. She thought of herself as one of those twisted trees that grew on sheer cliff faces, a stubborn, lonely thing, not beautiful but splendid, because her entire existence hung on the edge of a precipice.

Or rather, she had thought so, when she had believed wholeheartedly in her destiny as the Chosen One.

Her existence on the edge had since become an exercise in desperation: each and every moment she felt as if she clung to a fraying rope, swamp beasts gathering in the ravine below, devouring one another while they waited for her to fall.

Her panic did not show. She had long ago learned to keep her face smooth and her stance relaxed—no tight jaw or white knuckles to betray the inner tension. And her choice of attire further contributed to the image of the young heroine of Pax Cara: she was the only woman at the ball not in a fantastic concoction of silk and film, but in her dress uniform, a crisp, slim, short black tunic over equally crisp, slim black trousers, the enameled thornrose of her office pinned prominently above her breast.

As she’d intended, the guests were agog at the sight of her. Yes, she played it well indeed, the role of the simple, serene martyr, giving up her life and all its brilliant promises to save her people from annihilation.

Once, she’d basked in such attention. Now she broiled in it. This had been the part of the Task she’d loved the most—that was, before she’d come to hate the Task itself. She still got shivers, even at this late stage, from the way some people looked at her, in sincere, head-shaking admiration.

And then there were others who watched her because she was the freak, a dead woman walking.

Sixteen days—before she marched to her doom.

 

About the Authors:

Emma Barry

Emma Barry is a novelist, full-time mama, and recovering academic. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves hugs from her twins, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, her dog’s tail, and Earl Grey tea. You can find her on the web at www.authoremmabarry.com.

 

Meredith Duran

Meredith Duran is the author of eleven novels, all published by Pocket Books. Her debut, The Duke of Shadows, has been translated into thirteen languages and together with her sophomore book, Bound by Your Touch, was ranked among the top 100 romances of all time in the 2010 All About Romance poll. Her other books include RITA award winner Fool Me Twice; Wicked Becomes You, which was included on Woman’s World list of Best Beach Reads for Summer 2010; and her February 2017 release, A Lady’s Code of Misconduct, which both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly called “flawlessly executed” in their starred reviews.

Meredith blames Anne Boleyn for sparking her lifelong obsession with British history, and for convincing her that princely love is no prize if it doesn’t come with a happily-ever-after. When not writing, Meredith enjoys collecting old etiquette manuals, guidebooks to nineteenth century London, and travelogues by intrepid Victorian women.

Connect with Meredith at MeredithDuran.com.

 

J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website: www.jarockauthor.com

Blog: http://jarockauthor.blogspot.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jarockauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ja.rock.39

 

Erin Satie

Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series, historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her upcoming series, Sweetness & Light, which should be just as elegant but not quite so dark.

Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.

Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.

Website: www.erinsatie.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/erinsatie/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/erinsatie

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/2DiAf

 

Sherry Thomas

USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas loves intricate plots, explosive action, and combustible love stories. She has written romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times and National Public Radio. She is also a two-time winner of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award.

And by the way, English is her second language.

You can find out more about Sherry’s books at SherryThomas.com.