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.

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

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 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 and Giveaway! HIGHLAND DRAGON WARRIOR by Isabel Cooper (Dawn of the Highland Dragon #1)

 

About the book:

The war may be over, but so long as English magic controls the Highlands, not even a dragon laird can keep his clan safe. What Cathal MacAlasdair needs is a warrior fierce enough to risk everything, yet gifted enough to outwit an enemy more monster than man.

What he needs is Sophia.

Alchemist Sophia Metzger traveled to Loch Arach in search of knowledge. She never dreamed she’d learn to do battle, ride through the stars on the back of a dragon, or catch the eye of a Highland laird. But as her quest turns to sizzling chemistry and inescapable danger, she’ll soon discover the thrill of being caught in a dragon’s claws..

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x48gEO
B&N: http://bit.ly/2x3Q7Hj
iBooks: http://apple.co/2x3TrlI

Excerpt:

Carrying a passenger was a new experience for Cathal, made doubly tense by the urgency of their errand and triply so because it was Sophia astride his back. He climbed above the clouds as smoothly as he could, and as quickly, since hesitation wouldn’t be useful. When he leveled out and felt Sophia’s weight still securely in place, with her breathing steady next to him, relief ran through him like strong drink.

Navigating by the stars, he flew slowly toward the south and Valerius’s lands, avoiding when he could any winds that would make him rise or fall too steeply or angle too sharply. It was not the most exciting bit of flying he’d ever done, but he wasn’t eager for it to end. Having Sophia close, even when he wasn’t in human shape, with the stars arcing overhead and the whole wide sky spread out before him… He could have stayed for far longer.

In time, reluctantly and more gently than he’d ascended, he dove back under the clouds to look for landmarks. He noted the small flecks of light from manors and stayed as far away as he could. Cottages were only lumps in the darkness, far harder to avoid, but they mattered less. Any peasant could claim to have seen a dragon, but it would take far longer for the story to reach anyone who knew its significance, and by that time, God willing, they’d be gone and Valerius dead.

For a while he could hear owls and bats, the few among his fellow creatures of the air who went abroad at night. Like most animals, they stayed well away from him, but he knew their cries as part of a familiar chorus.

As they approached Valerius’s lands, that chorus faded. They didn’t travel in silence as they’d done above the clouds, but the night birds’ calls were few, and many sounded weaker. Odd: he’d have expected more bats and owls near the sorcerer’s domain. Most said they were creatures of the devil.

Granted, most said that about dragons too.

Near the same time, the air changed. Cathal didn’t think anyone human would have noticed the faint staleness to it, or the slight suggestion of rot, but both were there, and got stronger the closer he flew. The colors of the land below him were muted too, even for early spring, and about them there was a hint of grayish-red, like a wound gone bad.

The land is poisoned, Lady Bellecote had said.

No wonder the birds sounded unhealthy; no wonder the crops never did very well. Even the edge of Valerius’s domain was wrong, though wrong in a way few humans could have pinpointed or even spoken about. Cathal didn’t think he needed to view the place through magical sight. For certes, he desired no such thing.

With everything in him, he wished to turn back. The thought of setting foot on the corrupted land was repugnant, and the idea of sending Sophia alone into it was worse. He felt his lips pull back into a snarl, exposing his teeth as if he could threaten Valerius from this distance—or rip his throat out—and he knew both impulses to be futile.

Only one course of action stood a chance of helping.

Near the border was a small stand of trees, far enough from any cottages that Cathal doubted anyone would come here until high summer, if that. He circled slowly down to a landing, wincing at the first contact with the earth.

It didn’t hurt, precisely. But it felt more yielding and more clinging than snowmelt or rain would explain, and he thought of how Sophia had described the earth in her dreams.

He could have no doubts about whose land they’d found.

Holding still, he felt Sophia extracting herself from the harness, then watched as she slid to the ground. Their surroundings didn’t seem to disgust her. She smiled brilliantly up at him. “That was wonderful. Amazing. I-I would write a book, would anyone believe me, and did it not expose you and yours too greatly. I… Well, I thank you.”

On the last, she ducked her head, her dark lashes long against her cheeks, and then began to undo the harness until Cathal shook his head at her.

“Oh? Very well,” she said and stepped back.

He changed. The world became bigger and higher; as always, it took a moment or two before he felt as though he moved right. He was standing in the middle of the harness, within a loop quite large enough for his body. Sophia comprehended, and laughed quietly.

“I believe I can get it back on when I return,” she said. “I hope, at least.”

“It won’t matter so much then. We’ll likely not have to hide on our way out, so I’ll not need to go so high so fast.”

“Oh,” Sophia said, and smiled again, equally brilliantly. “It’s almost a disappointment, truly. But then, if it’s in the day, it might be just as interesting to see the world from on high—and I suppose I shouldn’t be anticipating anything just yet,” she added, the smile dying.

Cathal wished he had the words to bring her smile back, or that it would be just to do so. All he could do was nod. “Seven days?”

“I should think that time enough, or as much time as we can afford. It’s not a large place.” They’d planned all this at the castle. Now they confirmed it, as much because a plan was reassuring as to keep the details fresh in their minds. “Should I need to stay longer, I’ll do my best to come back here and give you that message. And if I’m not back in seven days, you will go back to the castle.”

It was not a request, nor even a recommendation. “You’ve been speaking with Douglas.”

“He told me nothing I couldn’t have reasoned out for myself. If I… If the worst happens,” she said, and smoothed her hands over her skirt, “you’ll need to get word back, and it’ll do no good to have you come in breathing fire from above, most likely. If you go back then, you and your family can perhaps send men in, or come yourselves, or…or try the sorts of magic you know.”

There was no gap in her reasoning, no hole that Cathal could find to justify any argument. He would’ve given years of his life for one, but there was nobody to take him up on that offer, and so he could only nod. Where Sophia was going, he’d be more hindrance than help. Again he had to wait, and hope, and know himself to be useless.

Just so, it came to him, how the women in the camps must have felt before battles. His mother too, mayhap. Real war had been more distant in Cathal’s youth; his mother had been a sorceress who could aid her husband from a distance; and even in age, Artair was harder to kill than the rocks around them, but there were always threats.

If they endured, so could he. It was no new thing, sending one’s—

Before Cathal’s mind could supply the word and shock him further, Sophia spoke again. “I believe I’m well supplied enough for the journey. If you think you’ll need food, waiting, I can leave some.”

Cathal shook his head. “I’ll hunt. Should I get desperate, I’ll take a sheep and leave the coin for it later. And I’ve gone a fair few days without food before.”

“If you’re in danger,” she said, “if we were wrong and he can track your presence even here, if you have to leave, you should. Leave me a sign if you can, but if I return and you’re not here, I’ll wait a night, then try to make my way back to your lands.”

“My father’s.”

Sophia waved a hand, not understanding why the distinction was important. In truth, Cathal wasn’t sure why he’d felt the need to make it just then, but it had been irresistible. “I’m only human, and there’s nothing exceptional about me. And I have coin and skills. I’ll be all right.”

“Don’t,” he said. It was almost a growl, but she didn’t flinch.

“Very well. I have as good a chance as anyone of being all right. Better than many people would have. It…” He saw the whites of her wide eyes, the swell of her breasts as she gulped air, and the swift motion with which she pushed back a stray lock of hair, as if she could tuck away fear as quickly and completely. “It shall suffice, yes?”

“It must,” said Cathal.

He wanted to tell her again that she didn’t need to do this. She could turn away from the path before her and the blighted place to which it led. She’d done enough. But that would be insulting, he knew, and besides, it was no longer the truth. The journey into Valerius’s domain was the best hope that any of them had. Sophia was the best person to make it now.

And so there was nothing more he could do.

“We will come for you,” he said. “If you’re captured. I’ll pluck Agnes out of her tower if I need to and get her to weave spells for us, or I’ll drag my father home from his treaties. Or I’ll manage what’s needed myself. I can, given time.”

Unexpectedly, she smiled again, and in her smile was an echo of those hours flying beneath the stars, with only the two of them and no need for words. Even Cathal didn’t see her move when she stepped forward. She flowed toward him, reached up, and cupped the side of his face in one hand. “I would never doubt it,” Sophia said.

“You’re wrong,” he said thickly, and clasped her shoulders in his hands. She looked up at him, startled, about to argue the point. “Not about rescue. Earlier.”

“Wha—”

“Everything about you is exceptional,” he said, and kissed her before she could reply.

Rather, she didn’t reply in words. Her response was as desperate as his embrace. Sophia didn’t melt into his arms so much as throw hers around him, grasping him with the urgent strength he remembered from the flight, now colored and transformed by sensuality. As her mouth opened before his, her hands roamed his back, short nails almost scoring his skin even through his clothing.

He kissed her as if by sheer force he could make them both forget what waited, as though with his lips and tongue and his hands on her breasts he could himself cast a spell to banish Valerius to whatever hell would claim him in the end. He drank Sophia’s little gasps of desire like the strongest wine and wanted nothing more than to hear those sounds, to feel her fingers twined in his hair, to think of nothing else, to think nothing at all.

 

About the author:

During the day, ISABEL COOPER maintains her guise as a mild-mannered project manager in legal publishing. In her spare time, she enjoys video games, ballroom dancing, various geeky hobbies, and figuring out what wine goes best with leftover egg rolls. Cooper lives with two thriving houseplants in Boston, Massachusetts.

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New Release Excerpt and Giveaway! CHASING RED by Isabelle Ronin

THEY SAID SHE WAS GOING TO BE MY RUIN…

THEN LET HER RUIN ME.

He had everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until one chance encounter changed everything.

The moment Caleb Lockhart spotted the mysterious woman in her siren red dress, he couldn’t tear his eyes away.

For the first time in his life, he wanted something. Something he knew he could never have.

The unforgettable stranger he dubs RED.

Excerpt:

It was late when I arrived at Caleb’s apartment. I was exhausted, but I couldn’t help the grin that spread across my face. I might not have gotten a job offer, but I’d gotten my résumé into as many hands as possible. It had been a very productive day.

Opening the fridge, I wondered how fast I could make Caleb’s dinner so I could slip into my bedroom before he returned home—but the fridge was as empty as my bank account.

I groaned in defeat when I heard the front door open. But when I heard heavy footsteps coming from the living room, I reached for my pocketknife in case it wasn’t Caleb. I’d already made one mistake, but still—better safe than sorry.

“Red?”

I let out a sigh of relief when I heard Caleb’s voice. He was sprawled on the couch, remote control in hand as he turned on the TV. His black leather shoes and dinner jacket decorated the floor. Discarding his clothes there seemed to be a habit.

I stood behind him, admiring the way the bronze in his hair glinted in the light.

“What’s for dinner?” he asked, propping his feet on the coffee table.

“I just got back. I’ll make you something now if you want.”

He looked over his shoulder at me. If my heart tripped—which it totally didn’t—it was a normal and healthy reaction to seeing a gorgeous face. It didn’t mean anything.

“Are you trying to butt out of our bargain already?” he asked, turning back to the TV.

Insulted, I put my hands on my hips, glaring at him. “Unless you want orange juice soup with Pop-Tart croutons, you need to go to the store. We don’t have any groceries.”

He rested his head on the couch headrest and arched up and over so that he was looking at me upside down. “You’re giving me a neck injury. Why don’t you come around so we can talk like normal human beings?”

I narrowed my eyes at him.

He sighed. In a smooth move, he straightened, turned, then climbed to sit on top of the couch. He playfully studied me. “I’m bored,” he stated.

I raised my eyebrows. Did he expect me to entertain him? “And?”

“You owe me dinner.”

“I told you—”

A grin stretched across his face as he loosened his red tie. “You can pay me another way.”

My jaw fell open.

He laughed. “Why is your mind always in the gutter?”

I blinked once. Twice. My mind was always in the gutter?

He pushed off the couch, put his shoes back on, grabbed his keys and helmet from the coffee table, and walked past me. I thought he was going to leave when I felt his hand circle around my wrist, dragging me out the door with him.

“Oh for God’s sake, where are you taking me?”

God, he was tall. For every step he took, I had to take two to keep up.

He pressed the elevator button. “For a ride.”

“A ride?”

He started laughing as he pulled me inside the elevator, pressed the Down button, and watched the door close. “I’ve never met a girl who twisted my words as much as you do. You have a filthy mind, Red. Filthy.”

“What the… A filthy mind!” I sputtered.

When the elevator door opened, he dragged me into the basement parking garage.

“A ride.” He clucked his tongue. “On my bike.”

I pulled my wrist from his hold, rubbing my hand against my jeans. His skin was hot and made me feel strange things.

He stopped and glanced back at me. “Problem?”

“It’s Sunday night. Don’t you have class tomorrow?”

“So?” He shrugged a shoulder. “I’m in college, not high school. I can skip class if I want.”

“Of course you can. You’re rich. You don’t have to work for anything.”

His eyes darkened, and he shoved his hands in his pockets, giving me a long look. “Do you like to be judged for being poor? You think having money saves me from pain?”

Chastised, I fell silent. When I opened my mouth to apologize, he cut me off. “You coming or not?”

I nodded, feeling guilty, and followed behind.

When he stopped in front of a sleek black machine, I stared at him in disbelief. It looked like it ate kids for breakfast.

“Ever ride a bike before?” he asked, tossing his black helmet from hand to hand like a basketball.

I took a step back. “I’m not riding that monster.”

His laugh was low and sexy. He grabbed my wrist again and pulled me close—closer than was necessary.

“I don’t know,” he whispered, his thumb stroking my palm in lazy circles. “I have a feeling you’re going to like it.”

My breath hitched, and he chuckled when I pulled away.

“N-no. I’d like to keep my limbs intact, thank you very much.”

His eyes danced at me playfully. “Yeah? Where’s the fun in that? Rule number one,” he said, gently placing the helmet on my head, “safety first.” He fastened the straps tightly under my chin.

“Rule number two,” he continued, flipping the visor down. I felt slightly claustrophobic so I flipped it back up. “When I’m making a turn, lean your body toward the turn. Never the opposite way. Got it?”

“Sure.”

He smiled down at me, staring for a moment. I wanted to bottle the color of his vibrant green eyes. Realizing I was staring, I shook the thought from my mind and snapped, “What?”

He shrugged, then swung his long leg to straddle his bike. “Hop on.”

When I didn’t, he turned his head, eyebrows raised and eyes glinting with challenge. At that moment, he looked like a gorgeous devil who’d take my soul to hell—and enjoy every minute of it. “You scared?”

My skin prickled with irritation. It would take more than a pretty boy on a big-ass motorcycle to scare me. I’d prove him wrong. I huffed and climbed on the bike, grabbing the sides of my seat.

“Where’s your helmet?” I demanded.

“Only have one,” he replied. He was so close—close enough for me to catch his masculine scent. “Nobody rides this bike but me. You’re the first passenger.”

He turned the engine on, revving it a few times. The bike vibrated angrily.

“Forgot to tell you the last rule,” he said conversationally, looking over his shoulder. I could hear the mischief in his tone.

“I’m sure you’re going to tell me.”

He grinned. “Hold on to me. Really, really tight.”

“No, thanks.”

“Suit yourself.”

I cried out as the bike zoomed forward, and my arms automatically went around him. I could feel his shoulders and hard stomach shaking with laughter.

He so did that on purpose! Fine, he won this round.

I vowed the next one would be mine, as we exited the garage with a roar.

I didn’t like the bike. It was noisy and dangerous. But as we streaked down the road, and the wind whipped cool and damp on my skin, I felt…

Freedom.

Chasing Red Duology:

Chasing Red (Book 1)

Always Red (Book 2)

 

http://books.sourcebooks.com/chasingred/

 

 

 

Millions of Wattpad readers love Caleb and Red’s epic story:

“I love this book to the core.”

“I was so addicted… So in love that I couldn’t stop reading.”

“The characters are just so real and possess such pure, raw emotions and passion.”

“This book took me through an emotional roller coaster! I love everything about it!”

http://books.sourcebooks.com/chasingred/

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New Release and Giveaway! NEVER DARE A DRAGON by Ashlyn Chase (Boston Dragons #3)

Third in Ashlyn Chase’s light paranormal romance series featuring hot dragon shifters. No one would believe that lovely Lt. Kristine Scott of the NY Fire Department is aactual dragon, but there’s no denying the flames that ignite when she meets firefighting phoenix shifter Jayce Fierro.

One Boston Phoenix + One New York Dragon = Scorching Heat

You think it’s tough being a dragon? It’s a piece of cake compared to being a phoenix shifter. Dragon shifters just have to worry about accidentally setting their stuff (or a loved one) on fire. A phoenix can rise from the ashes, but then they have to start over…as if growing up once wasn’t tough enough..

Meet Lt. Jayce Fierro of the Boston Fire Department, and Kristine Scott of the FDNY. A long distance relationship could never work—especially not with the secrets they’re keeping. But when Kristine lands herself in a blaze of trouble, she’s in no position to turn down Jayce’s help. Even if it means letting down their guards…and giving in to their sizzling attraction.

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Excerpt:

The rest of the dinner went well. In fact, Kristine was surprised by how well it was going. She hadn’t dated a guy like Jayce in a long time. Their connection seemed to be almost instantaneous. It was just too bad he was a firefighter—and lived three hours away as the Acela train flies. Actually, a quick plane ride would reduce the commute to only an hour and a half, but the hassle and time it took to go through security would make the trip even longer.

Walking down the wide sidewalks of Times Square, hand in hand, sure made her feel as if the trip might be worth the hassle. His hand was warm and rough. For once she wasn’t concerned that hers were the same way. No hand cream could stand up to a firefighters’ routine. Wet gloves, rough weather, unbearable heat… All of that detracted from the soft, supple skin she longed for.

They had decided over dinner to visit the top of the Empire State Building. Jayce had never been there before, and Kristine had only visited with friends—never a date. It was supposed to be romantic. She’d never understood why. Probably because her cynical ex-boyfriend thought it was hokey. As she glanced over at Jayce, he glanced back, and they smiled. One thing she wasn’t seeing in him was a city dweller’s pessimism. Its absence was a refreshing change.

Eventually, they arrived at their destination, and as luck—or the stars aligning at the right moment—would have it, they stepped into an elevator with no one right behind them. The doors whooshed closed while they were still alone.

She spun toward Jayce with a hand over her mouth. “I guess that wasn’t very nice of me. I probably should have waited.”

He stepped right into her space. “I’m glad you didn’t.”

As the elevator began to ascend, he leaned in and captured her mouth with his firm lips. She looped her arms around his neck, and he pulled her close. She immediately opened her mouth, and their tongues found each other and swirled together. Kristine wasn’t at all sure her light-headed feeling was due to the elevator traveling so fast. Unfortunately, she felt as if she were falling instead.

Don’t think about it. Whatever happens happens… She seemed to have found a new mantra. She heard the ding of the elevator doors opening, and they were greeted by chuckles and a wolf whistle.

“Yeah, yeah…” Jayce said, but he was grinning and holding Kristine’s hand as they made their way off the elevator.

When they spotted a space at the building’s edge that was fairly deserted, they walked over to it with no hesitation.

“You’re not afraid of heights, I guess…” Jayce said to her.

She laughed. “I’d be in deep trouble if I were.” Not only was she a firefighter in a company that specialized in high-rises, but she was a full-fledged, fire-breathing, wing-soaring dragon. She could hover at this height and enjoy the view.

Speaking of enjoying the view…

Jayce turned his back on the dazzling city lights and kissed her knuckles as he stared into her eyes. She felt as if her insides were melting. A deep shimmer in his eyes must have been reflecting the lights. Or not. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment, and then he quickly turned back toward the city.

She took her first good look at the city lights as well. Dear Lord. At last she realized why people thought this place was romantic. At night, so many lights against the velvet black sky were more beautiful than Christmas. Some even seemed to twinkle like stars. Below, white headlights and red taillights trailed through the landscape, but the sounds of the city were far away.

A chilly breeze ruffled her hair. Jayce enveloped her in a side hug. If she felt a chill, it was forgotten in favor of his warm, strong body alongside hers. Everywhere they touched, merging heat radiated through her. Wow. How she’d missed this! Or had she ever had this feeling?

Good Lord, Kristine… Get ahold of yourself!

“So, Jayce… What do you think of the view from up here?”

He turned her toward him and said, “I think the view right in front of me is as beautiful as it gets.” Leaning in, he delivered another toe-curling kiss, and she realized she was a goner.

 

Boston Dragons:
I Dream of Dragons (Book 1)
My Wild Irish Dragon (Book 2)
Never Dare a Dragon (Book 3)

 

About the author:

Ashlyn Chase has been a registered nurse for 20 years. During those years, she wrote articles for professional journals and a thesis, but eventually, thank goodness, discovered the joy and freedom of writing fiction.

Ashlyn considers herself lucky. Her degree in behavioral sciences is a combination of psychology and sociology, so she has worked with and studied people most of her life. She never has to write out exhaustive character sketches to understand her characters or predict how they will behave. That doesn’t mean they don’t surprise her. Sometimes they take her on grand unexpected journeys. For her, it gives “character driven novels” a whole new meaning.

Ashlyn has learned to go with the flow. To enjoy the journey is not only one of her writing goals, but also a challenge in life so she tries to follow where the story takes her. As such, she has lived in 17 different places over the years. At last, she’s all settled down and comfy in New England.

Is there a grand design or do we decide our own fates? Perhaps if the powers-that-be have a plot, then they also give us the right to revise it. Ashlyn has certainly made detours on her path, but she thinks she’s better for it. She’s having fun at any rate and hopes that if she enjoys the journey, so will those around her—including her readers.

 

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New Release! SAVING MR. PERFECT by Tamara Morgan (Penelope Blue #2)

“A sexy, fun, cat-and-mouse chase that hooked me from page one!”

JENNIFER PROBSTNew York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author of The Marriage Bargain

Synopsis:

I’m a wanted jewel thief.
He’s FBI.
What’s that saying? Keep your friends close…and your husband closer.

Being a retired jewel thief certainly has its perks.

1. Oh, wait.
2. No it doesn’t.

Without the thrill of the chase, life’s been pretty dull. I garden, I drive my gorgeous husband up the wall, and I watch as my old world slowly slips away. But what’s that old saying? When one thief closes the door…a copycat jimmies open a window.

And now all fingers at the FBI are pointed at me.

Set up to take the fall for thefts worth millions, I have no choice but to strap on my heels and help my FBI agent husband track the thief. Grant might not think he needs a partner, but this is one case only a true professional can solve. Besides, I’ve got to know who’s been taking my bad name in vain.

Let’s just hope curiosity doesn’t kill the cat burglar.

Buy Links:

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Excerpt:

There’s an apology gift waiting on the kitchen counter when I wake up the next morning. It’s not a bouquet of flowers (which I have little use for), and it’s not jewelry (which, oddly enough, is something I don’t wear much of). The cobbler’s children don’t have any shoes, and the jewel thief sticks to simple, understated pieces. That’s how I prefer it.

Grant knows this about me, which is why I’m delighted to find a pink bakery box with my name scrawled across the top instead. Doughnuts are a universal peace offering, and they’re one I gladly—and voraciously—accept. There’s nothing like criminal intrigue to get a girl’s appetite going.

Going too well, apparently. I’m holding a half-empty box and considering how to arrange the remaining pastries to make it look like I only ate a dainty few when Grant sneaks up behind me.

“Hello, wife,” he murmurs into my neck. It’s a smooth move rendered even smoother when he tightens his grip to catch my spasm of surprise. I seriously need to put a bell on that man one of these days. “Have I ever told you how much I enjoy waking up to your beautiful face?”

“Jesus, Grant. Were you hiding in a corner this whole time?”

His chuckle is a warm flutter of breath against my skin. “Do you mean did I witness you inhale those three maple bars? No. I was in the bedroom.”

I bump him with my ass in mock annoyance, but his hands slide down to my hips and hold me there. It’s the perfect position to have me pinned between a rock and a hard place—namely, him and the kitchen counter. Most of the rocks and hard places in my life include Grant in some form or another, but at least this one comes with a kiss that takes my breath away.

He starts, as he so often does, with my neck. I’ll never know what it is about that part of a woman’s anatomy that interests him so, but from the way he plants a line of soft kisses along the slope of my shoulder and up to my jawline, it’s clear he intends to take his time—and enjoy himself in the process.

He’s not the only one. Most of Grant’s body is a solid wall of sinew and bone, difficult to break and hard to deny, but his lips have always been incredibly soft. They’re also as insistent as the rest of him, growing increasingly demanding the further north he goes. By the time he reaches my lips, he’s tilting my face to meet his mouth with my own.

“Mmm,” he groans as his tongue sweeps against mine. “You taste like maple and sugar. I should get you breakfast more often.”

More arousing words have never been spoken, and I couldn’t move now even if I wanted to. One of his hands holds me in place, grinding me against the counter. The other grips my chin so he can continue his assault unabated. His mouth is hot and demanding, his tongue stroking until I’m grateful that he’s holding me up.

I might dissolve otherwise.

If this man ever learned how much power he has over me, I might be in real trouble. He breaks me down and holds me up at the same time. He makes it impossible for me to live with or without him.

I swear I’d hate him if his kisses didn’t feel so damn good.

 

About the Author:

Tamara Morgan is a contemporary comedy romance author. Ninety-nine percent of her information comes from television, movies, books, and all other pop culture activities that limit the amount of time she has to spend in polite company.

Her long-lived affinity for romance novels survived a B.A. degree in English Literature, after which time she discovered it was much more fun to create stories than analyze the life out of them. She lives with her husband and daughter in the Inland Northwest, where the summers are hot, the winters are cold, and coffee is available on every street corner.

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New Release and Giveaway! BRANDED AS TROUBLE by Delores Fossen (A Wrangler’s Creek novel)

Every town needs a bad boy, and Wrangler’s Creek’s has been gone far too long…

Getting his high school girlfriend pregnant was just one square in Roman Granger’s checkered past, but it changed him forever. When his son’s mother skipped town after the birth, Roman decided to do the same, baby Tate in tow, hoping for a fresh start.

Now Roman fears his teenage son is following in his wayward footsteps, so he returns home to Wrangler’s Creek, aiming to set him straight. It’s there he encounters Tate’s aunt, Mila Banchini, the good-girl opposite of Roman who’s had a crush on him since childhood. The old spark between them undeniably never died, though Roman worries it’ll only lead to heartache. But if falling for Mila is such a bad idea, why does everything about holding her feel so right?

Purchase Links

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Excerpt:

Mila Banchini knew there were few advantages to being a virgin over the age of thirty. Especially not in a small ranching town like Wrangler’s Creek.

One of those nonadvantages was waiting for her when she stepped outside her bookstore to close up for the day.

Ian Busby.

He was in his early twenties, as skinny as a zipper, and his pinched, flushed face reminded her of a rooster. He also had horny written all over him. Literally. Well, it was printed on his T-shirt, anyway.

Me So Horny was emblazoned above a picture of a rhino.

She doubted the shirt was a bad gift from a friend. Or that he’d lost a bet and been forced to wear it. No, he’d probably picked it out himself and was proud of not only the sentiment but also the butchered grammar.

Mila didn’t acknowledge he was there. She locked up and started walking home. Normally, she drove the quarter of a mile or so to her house, but the spring weather had been so nice that morning that she’d de­cided to walk. Bad idea. Because now she had to walk back, and with each step Ian was trailing along be­side her.

“Did you give any more thought to going out with me?” Ian asked.

“No. Because I told you when you asked that it wasn’t going to happen.” She didn’t try to sound even remotely pleasant because Mila had learned the hard way that pleasantness only encouraged Ian and the rest of his brothers. Of course, ignoring them seemed to en­courage them, as well. Her breathing did, too.

The Busby boys, and apparently every other eligible male in town, were on some kind of quest to rid her of her virginal condition. Maybe because they thought that since she was thirty-one she was desperate. And that she had therefore lowered her standards to rock bottom.

She hadn’t.

Just the opposite. It was those high standards that had left her in this condition in the first place, and if she were to loosen those standards, it wouldn’t be with somebody like Ian.

“But I really like you,” he went on. “And you’re one of the prettiest women in town.”

If that was true, which it wasn’t, then she could have pointed out then that her beauty gave her far better op­tions than his gene pool. The Busby brothers’ claims to fame were cow-tipping, peeing on electric fences and wearing T-shirts with horny written on them.

“I won’t go out with you,” Mila stated, and kept walking. She couldn’t get home fast enough. Then she could change into yoga pants and watch one of her fa­vorite movies. She was in a Titanic sort of mood, but she only watched the romantic parts.

Ah, Jack.

Now, why hadn’t he survived, moved to Wrangler’s Creek and frozen time so she could meet him?

Of course, time had frozen in a different kind of way. Not just because it was taking forever for her to get home, but because she was walking down Main Street, which looked almost identical to the way it had over three decades ago when Mila was born. No big-box stores here. In fact, no chain stores of any kind. This was the mom-and-pop business model where everybody knew everybody and bought local as much as pos­sible. That was good for her bookstore, but there were times when Mila dreamed about ditching everything and starting fresh.

 

About the author:

Want to know more about me? Well, here it is in a nutshell:

I’m a USA Today bestselling author, and I’ve sold over 100 novels. Yes, 100! Needless to say, I write a lot. I’ve had the honor of receiving the Booksellers’ Best Award for romantic suspense, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and I was a finalist for the prestigious Rita. My books have been featured in Vogue, Woman’s Day and Woman’s World. I’ve also had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines. I love hearing from readers, and you can contact me through my webpage at: www.deloresfossen.com.

Connect with Delores:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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New Release and Giveaway! HOME TO STAY by Kate James (San Diego K-9 Unit #4)


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Home to Stay
by Kate James
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 312 pages
July 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She’s bringing his son home

A missing little boy triggers San Diego K-9 officer Shannon Clemens and her canine search-and-rescue partner into instant action. For the rookie cop haunted by a childhood tragedy, bringing Sawyer Evans’s son safely home is more than a job. It’s a mission she can’t fail… But forging a friendship with the father is a tactical error that could compromise her first solo assignment. Yet the deepening bond between them is almost impossible to resist…

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Excerpt:

There were no answers. None that made sense.

When Sawyer finished his beer, he went inside for another. This time he brought Rufus out with him. Rufus must’ve been well aware of his mood, since he was reluctant to go with him at first. A large Milk-Bone provided the needed incentive, but the dog still kept a reasonable distance between himself and Sawyer, curling up in the far corner of the deck to feast on his treat.

And now he was scaring their dog.

Sawyer rose and sat down next to Rufus. “It’s okay, big guy. My mood’s got nothing to do with you.” He leaned back against the wall, handed the dog another treat and scratched behind his ear.

With his free hand, Sawyer reached for the bottle again. He wasn’t someone who overindulged. The only times he’d been drunk in his life were at a frat party in university and the day after Jeannette had disappeared.

Tonight? Well, tonight might be the third time. How much worse could things get? Sawyer pushed off the deck and stalked to the edge of the patio, then back to the table. He lifted the silver frame he’d placed there earlier.

Jeannette was beautiful. She always had been. He’d remembered thinking she was the prettiest girl in school. But it was her heart, her compassion and decency that had truly captured him.

In the picture, she was wearing a sleek, white gown, with a lace overlay and a long flowing veil. She was gazing up at him and laughing. He remembered that heady summer day six years ago as if it was yesterday.

But looking at her picture now…he no longer felt that all-consuming love.

What if she was alive?

As he tried to picture marriage with Jeannette—past or future—he couldn’t seem to.

Shannon kept intruding on his thoughts.

And remorse seared through him.

When the doorbell rang, Rufus gave out a machine-gunfire series of barks, and the frame slipped out of Sawyer’s hand, smashing on the deck. “Great. Just great,” he mumbled.

Rufus barked again, and the instant Sawyer slid the patio door open, he raced to the front hall. Sawyer followed him. Opening the door and seeing Meghan standing there, he looked around anxiously.

“Hey, Rufus! How’s he doing?” his sister asked Sawyer, bending over to lavish the dog with attention.

“Can we talk about the dog later? Where’s Dylan?” Sawyer asked, panic threatening to paralyze him.

“He’s fine. I left him in my car for a moment,” she said, quick to reassure him. “Nice to see you, too,” she added and planted a kiss on his cheek.

“What are you doing here?” Sawyer demanded.

“Shannon called me.”

“What? Why?”

“She thought you shouldn’t be alone right now. But she didn’t say why. Let me bring Dylan in. We’ll get him settled in his room and then you can explain.”

Sawyer went to get Dylan from Meg’s car. Together, they got him ready for bed and left him in his room watching a show on Sawyer’s iPad, Rufus by his side. Sawyer closed his son’s bedroom door and trailed his sister down the hall. She knew her way around his kitchen and wasted no time pouring herself a glass of wine. She held the bottle toward him.

“No, thanks. I’ve got a beer going outside.” He followed Meg again as she headed to the patio.

“So, what’s got Shannon worried enough to look up my number and call me?” she asked, as she stood at the edge of the deck and leaned against the railing.

“Nothing.” Everything. But he didn’t think he had it in him to talk about it right then.

“Yeah?” she asked with a meaningful glance at the picture frame and shattered glass on the wooden planks.

Sawyer bent down, picked up the frame and shook off the shards of glass. He stared at the picture again. There was a long scratch down the center. How poetic that a piece of broken glass had scored the picture—directly between him and Jeannette. With a short, bitter laugh, he put it down on the table, slumped in a chair and finished off his beer.

Meg took a sip of her wine and set the glass on the table. She went back in and reemerged with a broom and dustpan. Without a word, she swept up the glass and emptied the dustpan into a garbage can in the corner of the deck.

She sat in a chair next to Sawyer and took another sip. “Now, do you want to try to convince me again that there’s nothing wrong?”

 

Other Books in the Series:

About the Author:

Kate spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word.

Kate’s goal is to entertain her readers with engaging stories featuring strong, likable characters. Kate has been honored with numerous awards for her writing. She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors, with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.

Kate would love to hear from you! You can connect with her by email, through her website, her Facebook pageTwitter, or mail at PO Box 446, Schomberg, ON, L0G 1T0, Canada.

Tour Giveaway

Prize Pack:
· A gorgeous aqua cross-body bag;
· “Dreamer Extraordinaire” charm bookmark;
· signed copy of When Love Matters Most, the second book in the San Diego K-9 Unit series);
· signed copy of When I Found You, the third book in the San Diego K-9 Unit series;
· an assortment of bookmarks and bookplates; and
· a $20 Amazon gift card.
· (US/CAN – if winner lives elsewhere, will receive ebooks & gift card instead)

Signed Books:
· Six winners who comment on any of the blog posts, will receive a signed book (US/CAN) of their choice from the first three books in the San Diego K-9 Unit series, When the Right One Comes Along, When Love Matters Most, or When I Found You.

Ends July 18th

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Tour Schedule:

July 8th: Launch
July 9th:
Heidi Reads…
Becky on Books
Thoughts of a Blonde
deal sharing aunt
With Love for Books
July 10th:
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Hearts & Scribbles
Slice of Life
It’s All About the Romance
Mel’s Shelves
July 11th:
Rockin’ Book Reviews
underneath the covers
Getting Your Read On
Nicole’s Book Musings
Cafinated Reads
Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford
July 12th:
A Baker’s Perspective
Paulette’s Papers
Christy’s Cozy Corners
The Bookworm Chronicles
Remembrancy
Janice’s Book Reviews
July 13th:
Singing Librarian Books
I Am A Reader
Reading Is My SuperPower
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
Book Lover in Florida
Wishful Endings
July 14: Grand Finale

 

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New Release and Giveaway! JUST THE THING by Marie Harte (The Donnigans #2)

A FLING MIGHT BE JUST THE THING…

Gavin Donnigan left the Marine Corps a shell of a man, hounded by guilt for deaths he couldn’t prevent. But teaching a self-defense class at the local gym brings some stability to his life—along with a gorgeous leggy woman who won’t give him the time of day.

Zoe York lost her twin sister to a freak car accident a few months ago. She’s been struggling to bury her grief, but it isn’t until she signs up for a self-defense class with its distractingly hot instructor that she begins to come out of her shell again. With the memory of her sister telling her to live a little, Zoe decides a fling with buns-of-steel Gavin Donnigan might be just the thing.

Soon they’re sparring both in and out of the gym. And for the first time in a long time, each is looking forward to tomorrow.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2t3kTkI
B&N: http://bit.ly/2t3Ay3J
iBooks: http://apple.co/2t3uhoK

 

Excerpt:

Thursday evening, Zoe gaped at the address Gavin had sent her to. She’d been lucky enough to dodge her mother’s phone calls, had missed Cleo stopping by earlier this evening, and had ignored Piper’s texts. Otherwise, she would have shared news of a date she wanted to keep to herself.

Now she had to get through said date without jumping the poor man. Every time she thought about how long she’d sat on him in the gym—knowing exactly what he felt like in those thin shorts, every inch of him excited to be with her—her world turned upside down. Not a prude by any means, she’d still never ground over an aroused man in a public place when she barely knew more than his name.

Well, she’d wanted to do a one-eighty from her normal routine. Cleo and Piper would be pleased. Or at least, they might be if Zoe decided to confide details about this date. Then again, depending on how tonight went, she might never speak to Gavin again. She sure the hell wouldn’t be sleeping with him on their first night out together.

So sad she had to keep reminding herself of that. No one-night stands.

Ever?

Ignoring temptation, she shut her fantasies down tight. No, never.

After parking in the stone driveway of a huge old Victorian house on a nice piece of property in Magnolia,—a pricey area of Seattle that boasted quiet streets, lots of greenery, and amazing views of Puget Sound,—she cautiously left the car. She stared at the house with suspicion, wondering just what Gavin had in store.

He opened the door to greet her. Wearing a pair of well-worn jeans and a faded blue sweatshirt, he looked at home and way too handsome for her peace of mind.

She’d dressed down in jeans and a sweater over a thin T-shirt. With the cool spring evenings, she normally dressed heavier for comfort. A smart idea, considering she had no idea if they’d be indoors or outside tonight.

“This is your place?” she asked, not believing for a second he lived in such a grand, landscaped home. It just seemed all wrong for him.

He chuckled. “Nah. It belongs to a friend of my sister’s. Hope’s house-sitting, but she’s letting me borrow it tonight.”

Zoe followed him into the huge house. It had rich mahogany furnishings, a few sculptures that looked like they cost in the thousands, and the feel of a professional interior designer. No dust, no mess, and everything had its place.

Following him through the entrance and down the hallway, past the stairs to the kitchen, she stopped and gawked. The kitchen had to be as large as her living room, dining room, and pantry combined. It had an island, marble countertops, two sinks, stainless-steel appliances, and a Viking stove—the same high-end one Piper had in her kitchen. A large vase of flowers sat on the island, while the glossy oak table off to the back looked over an expansive patio, which in turn overlooked the ocean.

“Holy crap. This is amazing.”

“I know, right?” Gavin nodded. “Go on, check it out. But keep your sweater on. The fun’s outside.”

“Not sure what that means, but give me a minute. I need some time to take this in.” She walked around the kitchen some more, while he went out to the patio and down some steps to the backyard.

After sadly affirming that she’d never have a kitchen this grand, she made mental notes to share with Cleo, a fellow HGTV addict who would go gaga over this house.

A few moments later, Zoe stepped outside on the patio, looking for Gavin. She still had no idea why he’d brought her to someone else’s home, but it had been worth the drive just to see that kitchen.

“Gavin?” The stone deck ran the entire length of the back of the house and had plenty of room for a table and chair, potted flowers and plants, and a snazzy fire pit embedded in the ground. It was surrounded by rock that had been built up, no doubt to provide a measure of safety.

A glance beyond the deck showed the Sound in all its glory. The sun was setting, and an indigo sky surrounded a blanket of clouds trying to block out the rising moon—and failing. The wind picked up, bringing a chill to the air. But the crisp scent of salt water cleaned everything around her.

Zoe breathed in and out, knowing a sense of serenity she’d been missing of late.

“Over here,” Gavin called.

She gave up her view of the water and found him on the side of house, in a corner of the lot with trees on one side and the patio on the other. Talk about a nice amount of privacy. The clearing had several boxes filled with green and growing things. And there, in the distance, a small greenhouse.

She blinked, feeling as if she’d stepped into her version of heaven.

“Well? Don’t just stand there.” Gavin nodded at a small assortment of gardening tools on the ground beside him. A trowel, a weeder, a spade, and a shovel. “The gloves are for you.”

They looked brand new. She picked up the pink set, tugged off the tags, and put them on. “Pink?”

He smiled. “You like ’em? Maybe you can wear them with your yoga pants at the gym sometime.”

“You’re obsessed with those pants, aren’t you?”

He chuckled. “Come on. We need to weed.” He crouched down and reached a hand out to some overflowing green. “But I’m not sure if that’s a plant or—”

“Stop. That’s not a weed.” She gently nudged him out of the way before he could kill the coreopsis and garden phlox around some limp tulips. He handed her the snips, and she clipped the spent tulip blooms, then did a bit more pruning and pulled a few real weeds. She showed him the difference, then answered his questions about what to plant when and how to separate a few daylily bulbs that really should have been split before now. So lost in the gardening, it took Zoe a good half an hour before she realized this was to be the extent of her date.

Peering over her shoulder, she frowned at Gavin and turned to face him, standing so that they could look eye to eye. Or rather, eye to throat. She had to glance up to see his gaze. “This is our date?” Gardening?

The pleasure seemed to leach out of him as he looked down at her. “Uh, yeah. Why? You don’t like it? We don’t have to play around all night in the dirt or anything.”

“You thought I’d like weeding someone else’s garden for hours?”

He sighed. “Stupid idea, right?”

“No, not at all.” She stared at him. “How did you know I’m into plants?” Fascinating. He’d chosen one of her favorite things to do, and he seemed to be interested in her explanations about planting and zones and soil type.

“I overheard you at the gym. You and Loretta talk about gardens as if they’re the second coming. I wanted to do something different with you, and I thought you might like this.” He smiled. “You did say sex was off the table.”

She nodded absently, disconcerted that he’d read her so well. “I like this. Do you?”

He flexed his dirty fingers, because he apparently hadn’t bought himself any gloves. “Surprisingly, yeah. It feels…good.” He looked bewildered. “It’s just dirt and flowers. But I like putting it all together, maybe seeing it grow.” He stared at her as if she had the answers.

“That’s what I like about it too. I have a small garden in my backyard. I spend a lot of time caring for my flowers and veggies. It’s fun for me, and I like knowing my hard work will pay off in tomatoes or green beans, maybe even cucumbers.”

“Fresh is best,” he agreed.

She smiled with him. The moon darted behind clouds, then broke out over them both once more. She shivered when the wind made another pass.

“Wait here,” Gavin ordered. “I mean, don’t stop digging and stuff. I’ll be back.”

He left, and she assumed a new spot by another bed, where lilies and clusters of out-of-control lavender congregated. He returned with a tray of cocoa and marshmallows, all served on some fancy-looking crockery. “Wasn’t sure if you liked coffee or tea, but thought I couldn’t go wrong with cocoa.”

“Yes.” Chocolate, one of her major weaknesses. She tried to eat healthy, but the heaven known as liquid milk chocolate constantly called to her. As did those mini marshmallows.

He handed her a mug and watched her with intense eyes.

After a few decadent sips, she frowned. “Do I have marshmallow on my lip or something?” Then she licked her lips just to be sure they were clean.

“Did you have to do that? I’ve been so good, behaving myself.” He took the mug from her and set it on the wooden border of the flowerbed, then moved into her personal space.

She refused to back up, so they stood so close that she nearly bumped his chin when she tilted her face up to see him better.

“You’re so pretty. Even when you’re not wearing pink,” he teased, his voice soft on the cool wind.

The moment seemed like a freeze frame from the most romantic scene ever. She still tasted chocolate. The moon overhead lit everything with a preternatural glow. The scents of earth and lavender and Gavin filled her head, until she could focus on nothing but him.

“Gavin?” She didn’t know what she was asking him for, but the promise of safety in his eyes drew her closer.

“I’m gonna kiss you now,” he said, his voice low, warm.

She nodded.

He leaned closer at the same time she did.

Their coming together felt amazing. Perfect. Right. The kiss shook her. Deep, sensual, yet not as close as she wanted. His tongue swept her mouth, caressing while he took charge of the embrace. But not once did he overwhelm her. Instead, she followed him, sip for sip, and let the rush of her heartbeat pull her into a tide of longing she couldn’t suppress. Not now, surrounded by all her favorite things.

“Gavin,” she murmured when he kissed his way from her mouth down her cheek to her throat.

He pulled her to him, but their clothes kept them too far apart. Gentle bites down her throat ended in a soft kiss that caused a full-body shiver.

“Cold?” he whispered as he straightened.

She shook her head, unable to speak, and blinked into his shuttered gaze. Then he made everything worse. He tucked her head under his chin and hugged her with affection. No way she could chalk this up as a gambit to get her to bed, not when he had the gall to make her feel.

With a sigh, he ended the embrace and pulled back. “Now show me which ones I can pull and which ones I can’t.” He nodded at the third flower bed they hadn’t gotten to yet, not winded or affected by their kiss, apparently. Hell. Zoe couldn’t feel his heartbeat through their clothes, but hers raced like a thoroughbred intent on taking the Triple Crown.

The bastard had the nerve to wipe a clean thumb over her lower lip, causing that thoroughbred to run past the finish line with no signs of stopping.

“I have the urge to flip you again, right here,” she rasped. For starting something he wouldn’t finish. And for making her want to finish it, regardless of their newness.

He smirked, as if reading her mind. “I know. I can’t stop thinking about us in the gym either.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

He wiggled his brows. “I think it is. Next time I’m flat on my back, I’ll be thinking only of you, Mistress.”

“You’re such a pain.”

“I know. It’s a gift.”

She wanted to smack him, so she did. When his laughter ended, she pulled him close and planted a kiss on him that had him panting and grabbing for her—but this time she had the presence of mind to disentangle herself. “Now,” she said, her voice hoarse, “grab that trowel and let’s get back to work.”

He kept staring at her mouth. “Trowel?”

She groaned, because she wanted to get back to that kiss as well. “Why me?”

About the author:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte has over 100 books published with more constantly on the way. She’s a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. Visit http://marieharte.com and fall in love.

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New Release and Giveaway! THE CHARM OFFENSIVE by Cari Lynn Webb


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

The Charm Offensive
by Cari Lynn Webb
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
July 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Winning her over means winning everything

Sophie Callahan is PI Brad Harrington’s best lead to tracking down the man he’s been hired to bring to justice: Sophie’s own thieving father. But when Brad arrives at The Pampered Pooch, just behind a litter of stray kittens, the pet-store owner is the big surprise. This scrappy, huge-hearted woman with charm to spare gets to Brad in a way no one has ever been able to before. She spends her life finding—and making—homes for others: abandoned pets, her young niece. He’ll have to tell her why he’s really here. Which means he’ll have to choose between his sail-away dreams and the chance to build a forever home—with her.

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Excerpt:

“I lied.” His voice was low, as if dredged through the darkness. “I do want something from you.”

Sophie watched him and waited. The attic closed in as if embracing them, but a shiver shifted through the air, rippling across her skin. “What?”

Brad tugged her against him. “This.”

The attic sighed; the walls closed in on them as his lips fell against hers. He never let her lock herself back down. Every obstacle she threw up, he destroyed. First with his words. Now with his touch. He teased, he pried and he learned. And he offered—temptation, tenderness and safety.

Sophie stopped fighting, stopped running and stopped hiding. There was so much she couldn’t be. Couldn’t have. But this moment, she’d take this.

Sophie pulled away before she took too much. Before she fell too far. Before she discovered too much of the heart she refused to recognize. “I better check on Ella. It’s a school night.” She spun and raced down the stairs, hoping to outrun her budding feelings for Brad.

 

About the Author:

Cari Lynn Webb lives in South Carolina with her husband, daughters and assorted four-legged family members. She’s been blessed to see the power of true love in her grandparent’s 70 year marriage and her parent’s marriage of over 50 years. She knows love isn’t always sweet and perfect, it can be challenging, complicated and risky. But she believes happily-ever-afters are worth fighting for. She loves to connect with readers. Visit her at her website.

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Tour Giveaway

 1 winner will receive a Baubelle Expandable, Inspirational Charm Bracelet and signed copy of Make Me a Match (US only)
 1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card and ebook of Make Me a Match (open internationally)
– Ends July 14th

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Tour Schedule:

July 2nd: Launch
July 3rd:
It’s All About the Romance
With Love for Books
Brooke Blogs
Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford
Deal Sharing Aunt
July 5th:
Hearts & Scribbles
A Baker’s Perspective
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Becky on Books
July 6th:
Paulette’s Papers
Thoughts of a Blonde
Mel’s Shelves
Harlie’s Books
July 7th:
Bookworm Lisa
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Christy’s Cozy Corners
July 9th:
Reading Is My SuperPower
Heidi Reads…
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
Book Lover in Florida
July 10th: Grand Finale

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