Excerpt Reveal and Giveaway! WALK OF SHAME by Lauren Layne (A Love Unexpectedly novel)

The City’s HOTTEST Cold War!

WALK OF SHAME
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Loveswept

Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.
 
Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office.
Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.
Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it.
But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

 

 

Georgie

Tuesday morning

Let’s talk about five a.m. for a second.

Also known as the worst hour of the day, am I right?

Here’s why:

If you’re awake to see five in the freaking morning, it means one of a few things, all of them heinous.

Scenario one: You’re on your way to the airport for an early morning flight. Heinous.

Scenario two: You’ve been out all night, and now your vodka buzz is fading, and you’re just sober enough to realize that the rest of your day will likely involve Excedrin, carbs, and indoor voices. Heinous.

Scenario three: You’ve got a crap-ton on your mind, and you’re lying awake in bed, staring at the ceiling, hating your life. Maybe hating yourself a little bit, I dunno, who am I to judge? Heinous.

Now brace yourself, because scenario four is the most heinous of them all: You’re awake at five a.m. because you’re an uptight prick whose schedule is even more rigid than your posture, and your life is an endless string of working out, the corner office, repeat. You’re also likely the type of person who subsists on protein shakes and kale smoothies, and you have been known to utter the phrase the body is a temple, thus solidifying what we already knew about you.

You have no friends.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

See, it’s five a.m., and I, Georgie Watkins, am . . . kind of excited about it.

I know. I know. Four months ago I’d have bet my favorite vintage Chanel bag that there was exactly zero chance I’d actually look forward to the ghoulish hour of five in the morning.

And yet here we are.

I guess you could say there’s a scenario five on reasons to be up this early.

“Good morning, Ramon,” I sing, pushing through the revolving doors of the luxury high-rise on 56th and Park, the place I call home.

The concierge/security guard/all-around good guy glances up and gives me a friendly smile. “Ms. Watkins. Good morning.”

Usually the massive front desk is a bustling, busy affair. Starting at around seven, an army of well-dressed concierges will be smoothly facilitating the needs of impatient residents, as tiny dogs let out sharp, high-pitched barks of greeting from their Louis Vuitton carriers.

But that’s later.

Right now, the luxurious lobby is mostly silent, with just the lone overnight guy working the front desk, holding down the fort until the day guys arrive to handle the morning crush.

My new Tory Burch clutch tucked into my armpit, I hold up the box in my hands and waggle my eyebrows. “Brought you something.”

Ramon’s smile grows wider, brown eyes lighting. “My wife says you’re going to make me fat.”

“Tell Marta that the dad bod is totally in style right now,” I say, setting the box of donuts on the counter and lifting the lid. “Unless, of course, you don’t want a maple bacon donut?”

Ramon is already reaching inside the box, shaking his head in reverence as he lifts the sugary treat. “Still warm.”

“Well, technically the shop doesn’t open until five, but I’m such a loyal customer, they let me in a bit early,” I say, surveying the array of donuts and trying to decide if I’m in a chocolate kind of mood or if I want to risk the powdered sugar one.

Since my Alexander McQueen minidress is black (the archnemesis of powdered sugar), I reach for the chocolate as I set my clutch on the counter and fish out my phone: 4:58 a.m.

Two more minutes.

“How’s Marta dealing with the pregnancy of baby number three?” I ask, taking a bite of the donut and shifting attention back to Ramon, who’s already polished off his donut and is contemplating a second. I nudge the box toward him.

“She’s good,” he says. “Excited that we’re finally having a girl.”

“A girl!” I say, reaching across the counter and squeezing his massive forearm. “Congratulations, I hadn’t heard!”

“Just found out yesterday,” he says with a happy smile, apparently deciding that the occasion calls for another donut.

“Oh my gosh, I have the perfect baby gift,” I say, nibbling at a piece of my donut. “I saw this adorable Burberry onesie in Bergdorf’s the other day, with this precious little red bow—”

“Yes, because that’s what every infant needs,” a low voice interrupts. “A four-hundred-dollar piece of fabric that needs to be dry-cleaned. Don’t be ridiculous, Georgiana.”

I don’t have to look at my clock to know what time it is.

Five o’clock.

On the dot.

Not even bothering to turn around, I roll my eyes as my red nails tear off another piece of donut and pop it into my mouth. “Ramon, do you think you could talk to maintenance about adjusting the temp? It just got a little cold in here.”

Ramon’s been working here long enough to know my request isn’t for real. He’s not even paying attention to me. He’s already set his donut aside and has straightened up, practically saluting the newcomer.

“Mr. Mulroney. Good morning, sir.”

“Mr. Ramirez.” The voice is low and serious, a touch impatient, although not quite rude.

You know that adage that you catch more flies with honey? I’m not so sure it’s true. I bring donuts to the front desk guys just about every morning, and they adore me. I know they do.

But they respect him.

Giving in to the inevitable, I finally let my eyes flick to the side, my gaze colliding with a stern brown scowl.

I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy.

As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes.

“Good morning, Andrew,” I say sweetly.

“Georgiana.”

I resist the urge to roll my eyes. Only my late grandmother has ever called me that, and I’m pretty sure that’s because I was her namesake. Everyone else calls me Georgie. Well, okay, not everyone. Ramon and the other guys still insist on calling me Ms. Watkins, but I’m working on it. See: daily donuts.

I smile wider and push the box in Andrew’s direction. “Donut?”

His lip curls. In case you haven’t already gotten a read on this guy, he’s the type that sneers at donuts.

He lifts a boring black travel mug. “Already have my breakfast.”

“Blended-up quinoa sprinkled with a few bits of spinach and pretension?” I ask.

“Whey powder protein shake.”

“Sounds immensely satisfying.”

He takes a sip of the nastiness and watches me with cold brown eyes. “The body is a temple, Georgiana.”

There it is.

Full circle to my above commentary about what sort of people are up and about at five a.m.


Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York
City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
 
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In
LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 

 

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Release Day and Giveaway! LOVE STORY by Lauren Layne (a Love Unexpectedly novel)

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.
 
LOVE STORY
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing February 14th, 2017
Loveswept

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.


“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and I spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
 
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 

 

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Release Day and Giveaway! SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Lauren Layne (Oxford #3)

A man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
Oxford #3
Lauren Layne
Releasing Dec 6th, 2016
Loveswept
Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
 
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.
 
After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.


Advance praise for Someone Like You

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland

tastytoursexcerpt

“Lincoln, you know that I love you like a brother, but if you make a move on my sister, I will end you.”

Lincoln Mathis took a slow sip of his cocktail as he studied the fierce bride-to-be. “I hope Cassidy knows how lucky he is. You’re so delicate and gentle.”

Emma Sinclair, soon to be Emma Cassidy as of this time tomorrow, lifted one elegantly manicured fingernail and flicked his chest. “Promise, Lincoln. No hitting on Daisy.”

“I don’t hit on women.”

Emma gave him a look.

He held up his free hand in surrender. “I don’t. They come to me. I’m like the stamen.”

Emma stared at him with wide, slightly accusatory brown eyes. “The what?”

“The stamen. The pollen-producing part of a flower, Sinclair. Don’t you watch the Discovery Channel? Animal Planet? I just saw a fascinating documentary on bees. See, when the bees land on a flower, their little feet pick up pollen from the stamen— “

“Mathis. Are you talking to my fiancée about semen?” Alex Cassidy asked, coming up beside Emma and setting a possessive hand on her waist.

“Stamen,” Lincoln clarified. “Not semen. Honestly, is sex all you people think about?”

“Yes.” This came from Riley Compton, a brunette bombshell whose status as New York’s foremost “sexpert” meant she had zero qualms about discussing sex at her best friend’s rehearsal dinner. “And you know, actually, the stamen is rather sexual. I saw that bee documentary too, because these are the sort of things you do when you’re nursing a never-satisfied baby, by the way, and the stamen is a flower’s male reproductive organ. Sexy, right?”

Emma inserted the arm not holding her champagne flute between the two of them. “Guys, it’s my wedding weekend. Can we not talk about flower boners?”

“Fair enough, Bride,” Lincoln said. “What do you want to talk about? Cassidy’s boner?”

Alex Cassidy choked into his champagne.

“There will be no boner discussion,” Emma said. “Lincoln and I were just having a chat about how Lincoln will be maintaining his distance from my sister.”

“Speaking of flowers, where is Daisy?” Riley asked, scanning the room.

“Running late. Knowing my sister, her dress had a slight crease from the suitcase, and she won’t make an appearance until every wrinkle’s banished, every hair’s in place, and there’s not a speck of lint anywhere.”

“Gosh, however will I keep my hands to myself?” Lincoln muttered.

“Lincoln, I swear to God—”

“He’s messing with you, Em,” Cassidy said, carefully tugging his fiancée away from Lincoln. “Don’t let him press your buttons. And Lincoln, man, what is with that drink?”

Lincoln glanced down. “It’s called a Jasmine. Gin, lemon, some Campari—”

“It’s pink,” Cassidy observed.

“Right? You want one?”

Cassidy rolled his eyes. “I’ll stick with wine, thanks. Ah shit, there’s my grandma waving us over. Emma, you up for talk about the state of your uterus?”

Emma groaned. “Oh no. I thought she’d agreed to wait until after the wedding to talk about my eggs.”

“I’ll go with you,” Riley said. “As the only one in our little group of friends who’s ever pushed a human skull out my—”

“Okay, I’m going to expand my taboo list,” Emma said. “No talking about boners, flowers, or vaginas.”

“Fine,” Riley said, as she entwined her arm in Emma’s and started leading her toward Cassidy’s grandma. “But if Grams starts talking about fertility, just follow my lead . . . ”

Lincoln smiled as he watched his friends walk away. He could follow, certainly, help run interference, but new mom Riley was a far better choice for this particular bridal-party duty.

Besides, as best man, Lincoln had enough to worry about. The ring, reconfirming transportation to the church tomorrow, the speech that he was going to slay tomorrow, the—

Lincoln’s best man to-do list scattered as his eyes landed on a woman standing in the doorway to the private event room. He did a double take. When had Emma found time to change? Generally speaking, he didn’t consider himself particularly in tune with his friends’ clothes. Especially the women, because, well . . .  he didn’t really give a crap. But he was pretty damn sure Emma had been wearing a white dress just ten seconds ago.

Now she was wearing a short yellow dress, with fussy, flowy sleeves, high-necked and a bit demure—

No, not demure, Lincoln amended as she turned. Hot. The dress was backless, showing a smooth expanse of lightly tanned skin from the small of her back all the way up to long dark blond hair.

. . . Blond hair.

Emma had shoulder-length brown hair. A wardrobe swap, he might be able to buy, but the hair?

You idiot.

He was looking at none other than Daisy Sinclair, the forbidden fruit, in the flesh.

He’d forgotten that Daisy wasn’t just Emma’s sister—she was Emma’s identical twin.

Other than the fact that she was, apparently, not to be hit on, Lincoln didn’t know much about her.

Well, he supposed  he now knew that she dyed her hair blond.

Or maybe Emma dyed hers brown?

Whatever. Girl stuff he didn’t care about one way or the other.

And yet he didn’t look away, captivated somehow. He racked his brain for everything he’d heard about Daisy Sinclair.

He knew that she and Emma had grown up in North Carolina. But Emma left for New York City shortly after college, and Daisy had stayed. He thought he remembered talk of a recent divorce, although he didn’t recall the details.

Didn’t need to, really. Lincoln knew better than anyone that not all relationships had happy endings.

Lincoln watched as Daisy hesitated just inside the doorway, unnoticed yet by the rest of the bridal party and out-of-town guests.

Making people comfortable was a particular skill of his. Normally he’d be over there in a heartbeat with a glass of wine and some of his best banter until her shoulders relaxed and he’d coaxed a smile from her pretty face.

But he wasn’t entirely convinced Emma wouldn’t make good on her castration threats, so instead Lincoln merely studied Daisy. The woman was beautiful. No surprise there, since Emma was gorgeous. Yet, though their features were identical, they were attractive in entirely different ways.

Emma was all polished confidence, stunning in an untouchable sort of way.

Daisy was softer somehow. Gentler. She seemed . . . touchable.

Lincoln’s cocktail froze on its way to his mouth as the forbidden rocked him back on his heels. Daisy Sinclair was not for him to touch for reasons that had nothing to do with Emma’s threats.

As though sensing a man’s brooding thoughts on her, Daisy turned slightly, her eyes locking on his. Eyes that he’d known would be dark brown like Emma’s, and yet eye contact with Emma had never felt like this.

Lincoln felt something akin to panic, because for a heart-stopping moment, it felt like Daisy Sinclair was seeing him. Not seeing the Lincoln he wanted everyone to see.

The real him.

He gave himself a little mental shake. Get it together, Mathis. The woman doesn’t even know you.

None of them did.

Not really.

He saw the moment of answering shock in her own gaze, sensed that for a split second, she considered turning and running. From him, from the party, all of it.

Then he saw something else. Something familiar, because he’d done it a thousand times himself. She squared her shoulders, and he watched as a mask slid into place.

He knew even before she approached that Daisy was exactly like him—good at being around people only because she chose to be. Knew that perhaps once it had been second nature, and now it was nothing but a deliberate attempt to make sure everyone thought she was okay.

Daisy began making her way toward him, and he tensed for reasons he couldn’t identify before ordering himself to chill out.

It was just his friend’s sister. The maid of honor to his best man.

She stopped in front of him, and he caught just the faintest whiff of her perfume, a surprisingly elegant scent for someone named Daisy, before she extended her hand.

“You must be Lincoln Mathis, The Manwhore of Whom I Should Beware?”

Her voice was a surprise. It had the same low huskiness as her sister’s, but years in New York had all but erased the Southern from Emma’s whiskey-raspy voice. Daisy’s drawl was very much intact—a mint julep on a hot day.

He grinned and took her smaller hand in his. “Which would make you Daisy Sinclair, Delicate Flower to Whom I’m Not to Speak.”

She grinned. “Nailed it.”



Lauren Layne
is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would
carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

 

 

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99-cent Sale Blitz! IRRESISTIBLY YOURS by Lauren Lane (Oxford #1)

IRRESISTIBLY YOURS
Oxford #1
Lauren Layne
Released Oct 6th, 2015
Loveswept

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

Excerpt-Banner

“First game?” he asked.

Brown eyes flicked to him, barely. “What?”

“First baseball game?”

That got her attention. For the first time, she seemed to really look at him. Her eyes drifted over him slowly, before returning to his, her tone just slightly annoyed. “No. Not my first game.”

“Ah,” he said, already mentally maneuvering into a backpedal. “Bad assumption of me. You were just so into the game . . .”

“So you figured I must be trying to figure out how it all worked?” she asked. “That I must be trying to understand why some of the field is green and some is brown, and whatever could those white squares on the dirt be, and why-oh-why are those men running toward the white squares, but only sometimes . . .”

“All right,” Cole said with a laugh. “I’m an ass. You know baseball.”

Her smile was quick and easy, and he was relieved to see that she wasn’t one of those snippy, hold-it-against-him-forever types. “I know baseball.”

Is that what’s in your notebook? Baseball stuff?

She took a huge bite of her hot dog, completely unabashed at her bulging cheeks, and Cole hid a smile, pretending instead to be fixated on the game.

Hell. When had he ever had to pretend to be fixated on the Yankees?

“You were partially right,” she admitted, after swallowing.

He glanced at her. “Oh yeah?”

She grinned. “This is my first Yankees game.”

“I knew it,” he said, matching her grin full on. “I knew there was something virgin about you. But tell me, how come a baseball fan like you never made it to Yankee Stadium until now?”

“Well . . .” She licked a spot of mustard off her finger, but not in the slow, deliberate way that most women he knew would have done it. “It’s a long way from Chicago . . .”

Cole tore his eyes away from the way her lips closed around her thumb, sucking off that mustard. “You’re from Chicago?”

“From there, yes,” she said. “But let’s just say that as of two weeks ago, I’ll be spending a lot more time here than at Wrigley.”

“Ah. You’re new to New York.”

“Quite.”

“How do you like it?”

She hesitated. “It’s . . . intense.”

“Meaning . . . we New Yorkers are scary as hell?”

She smiled. “Well, it’s not as hostile as I’d been warned, but yeah. We Chicagoans are a bit more openly friendly than you New Yorkers.”

“I’m friendly,” he countered.

Tiny Brunette laughed. “No. You’re just incredibly charming. And a smidgen good-looking.”

He gave her his best bedroom look. “Am I?”

She smiled. “You know you are.”

Their eyes held for a moment, and Cole was startled to realize it was the most relaxed—the most himself—he’d felt around a woman in . . . hell . . . he didn’t know.

Mostly he was used to throwing out a couple of witty lines, a few slow smiles, and watching women counter with moves of their own.

There were no moves with this woman. She merely was.

Cole realized he didn’t even know her name.

“So tell me, as a Chicago baseball fan, are you Team Cubs or Team White Sox, Ms. . . .”

“Pope,” she said. “Penelope Pope. And both.”

Cole’s subconscious acknowledged that Penelope Pope was somehow exactly what this woman’s name should be. Perky and alliterative. His consciousness, however, latched on to another fact. “Both?”

It was not a typical answer. Most people had one baseball team, even if you were from a city with two teams, as Penelope was.

She shrugged. “Baseball’s not about who wins. It’s not even about who’s playing. It’s about the game. The consistent flow of it, the smack of the ball against the glove when you’re lucky enough to be sitting along one of the baselines, instead of stuck up here in this stuffy box—”

He stared at her. The words so closely echoed his own thoughts from just moments before that he wanted to kiss her.

She might just be his dream woman.

“That explains the hot dog,” he said.

“What?”

He nodded his chin at the last bite of hot dog, ignored in her left hand. “The hot dog. You’re in a luxury suite in Yankee Stadium with a whole buffet of gourmet foods, and yet you went and fetched the most basic hot dog you could find.”

She grinned. “Guilty.”

Cole turned his body all the way toward her now. “Tell me, Penelope Pope, what brings a Cubs and White Sox fan all the way to New York where you’ll face a whole new dilemma of choosing between the Yankees and the Mets . . .”

Tiny Brunette never got to answer.

The shadow of someone coming up behind their seats caused them both to turn. It was Alex Cassidy, Oxford’s editor in chief, looking down at them with a half-amused, half-worried expression.

“Cassidy,” Cole said. He lifted an eyebrow and silently added, Nice of you to show up.

“Sorry I’m late,” Cassidy said, not really sounding sorry at all. “I got held up.”

Automatically, Cole’s eyes scanned the luxury suite until he found the pretty woman he knew was likely to be somewhere around here . . .

Yup, there she was.

Emma Sinclair, Cassidy’s long-ago runaway bride, with whom he’d recently reconciled, was surreptitiously wiping smudged lipstick from the corner of her mouth.

His eyes returned to his boss, this time looking closer . . .

“Third button, dude,” Cole said wearily.

The always polished Cassidy glanced down, and without so much as wincing, fixed the misaligned buttons of his shirt.

Cole should have known. A naked Emma Sinclair was the only thing that could throw Alex Cassidy off his rigid timetable.

But Emma and Cassidy’s sex life was where the predictable part of the evening ended, because Cole was absolutely not prepared for Cassidy to reach out a hand to Tiny Brunette, a polite smile on his usually impassive face.

“Alex Cassidy. I’m so sorry I’m late, Ms. Pope.”

Cole glanced between the two of them. They knew each other?

“Not a problem,” she said, turning an easy smile on Cassidy. It was the exact same friendly smile she’d given Cole, and it very much made Cole want to punch his friend in the mouth.

“It’s refreshing to see you two playing so nicely,” Cassidy said with a droll look at Cole.

He narrowed his eyes at his boss, not sure what he was missing, but certain that he was missing something.

Cassidy answered Cole’s silent question with his usual professional businessman smile. “Cole, this is Penelope Pope.”

“We’ve met,” Cole said slowly.

“Excellent. So then you know that Penelope is our late-stage applicant for the sports editor role at Oxford?”

Very slowly, Cole turned toward Tiny Brunette. Took in her friendly smile even as he took in the sorry-not-sorry glint in her eyes.

This was his competition. This was the person standing between Cole and the job he so desperately wanted.

“I suppose I should have been more thorough when I introduced myself,” she said sweetly. “Penelope Pope. Sports editor.”

Plus side? At least now Cole knew what was in her damn notebook.

The downside? Everything else.

 

 

Only $0.99 for a Limited Time
 

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.

Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).

 
Pre-Order I WISH YOU WERE MINE, 
Book Two in the Oxford Series 
Don’t miss the Sex, Love & Stiletto Series 
where the Men of Oxford first appeared!
AFTER THE
KISS (Book One) 
KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO
 
LOVE THE
ONE YOU’RE WITH (Book Two)  
KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO
 
JUST ONE
NIGHT (Book Three)  
KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO
 
THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE (Book Four)
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SEX, LOVE & STILETTO Boxed Set
 

New Release and Giveaway! BLURRED LINES by Lauren Layne

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Blurred Lines
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing August 25, 2015
Loveswept

Blurb:

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Abbi Glines and Jessica Sorensen, USA Todaybestselling author Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

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Excerpt:

Most of the time, having a girl for a best friend is awesome.

Among the highlights:

(1) My color-blind self never has to worry about going out the door looking like a sad clown.

(2) The Brita water filter is always replaced on time.

(3) Parker actually likes doing laundry for fun, and she only complains when I sneak my stuff in with hers about 30 percent of the time.

Oh, and as this morning’s adventure displayed, she’s an excellent excuse when a person needs to rid himself of clingy one-night stands.

But then there are the not-so-great parts. Like when she’s spent thirty-five minutes looking at lamps.

“Just get that one,” I say, lifting my arm to point at a random floor lamp as the noisy, child-filled scariness that is IKEA threatens to choke me.

She barely glances at the one I’ve selected. “It looks like a uterus.”

“What the fuck does a uterus look like?”

“Like that lamp. And honestly, for as much time as you spend rummaging around in women’s panties, you really should get familiar with their parts.”

“Isn’t the uterus the—” I break off, looking for the right word to describe the random memories from eighth-grade sex-ed class.

Parker lifts her eyebrows. “The baby cave?”

Like any normal guy would, I wince. “Christ. Why would I need to know about that? I use a condom.”

“Several of them, judging from the state of your bedroom,” she says, tilting her head to study the lime green lamp shade in her hands. “Do you think this would clash with my bedspread?”

“You’re asking the color-blind guy? Like I have any clue what color your bedspread is.”

“Seriously? Don’t act like you’ve never seen it. Two nights ago you flopped onto my bed in your sweaty gym clothes and it took me two washes to remove the man stank.”

I shake my head. “Poor Lance. Do you make him wear a plastic bag when you guys hook up so he doesn’t get his man stank on your sheets?”

“Lance doesn’t have man stank.”

I frown. “Hold up. If I have man stank, Lance has man stank.”

“No.”

I open my mouth to argue, but instead I shrug. That’s another thing you learn having a girl best friend. You pick your battles.

“You have two more minutes to pick your lamp,” I say. “I’m starving.”

Parker adjusts her purse strap on her shoulder. “Oh, I’m not buying a lamp. I was just browsing.”

I inhale deeply to rein in my women suck rampage when I catch her smirk.

“Oh, I get it,” I say as we move toward the end of the store where we’ll pick up my dresser. “This is payback. You’re mad because I made up that story about you having a creepy doll collection.”

“Actually, it was more punishment for destroying the house rules. I’m totally laminating them next time.”

“Or you could just create an online version and keep them in the cloud like normal people born after 1980.”

I see a little lightbulb go on in her head and almost regret giving her the idea. Not that it matters much. I’ve never really followed her fussy rules anyway, although for the most part I try to not be too much of a dick. The towel incident this morning notwithstanding, it’s like I said, Parker loves laundry. I knew she had extra clean ones stashed away.

“Seriously, don’t get that color finish,” she says, shaking her head at the dresser box I’m about to pull off the shelf.

“Wood is wood,” I say with a shrug, starting to maneuver the huge box onto our flat cart.

“No, there’s old-man wood and there’s modern wood.”

I raise my eyebrows. “Old-man wood, huh? You and your kinky fetishes. Do you make the dolls watch?”

She ignores me, and uses her hip to push the box I’d started to move back onto its shelf. “That one.” She points.

“Espresso?” I ask, reading the label.

But Parker is now typing away on her phone. I shrug, pushing her out of the way so I can get at the box she indicated.

“How about tacos?” she asks, glancing up briefly from her phone.

“I just had Mexican last night,” I say through a grunt as I move the box into position.

“You said I could pick.” She gives me a challenging look, her goldish brown eyes practically daring me to argue with her.

“If it was a unilateral decision, why’d you even ask?”

“Unilateral. Good word. And it was a test. You passed,” she says, trotting to catch up with me as she replaces her phone in her purse. “So how did you and Airhead meet? The Beta Phi party last night? She looked like she was eighteen.”

“Airhead?” I ask.

“It was written on her pants. Literally.”

“Oh, right. Those weren’t her pants. Lindsay left them last week.”

She makes a disgusted face as she pulls her long dark hair into a messy bun. I don’t notice most things about Parker as a girl, because, ya know, it’s just Parker, but she does have some damn good hair. It’s all Victoria’s Secret model–-like, long and dark with lightish streaks running through it.

The rest of her is kind of Victoria’s Secret-ish, too, but other than an initial moment of whoa when we first met, there’s never really been anything between us. I guess you could say I like her too much.

That and she’s dating Lance, and I like the guy. I mean, we’re not best friends or anything, but it’s impossible to live with Parker and not have some sort of friendship with her significant other.

Lance and I stop short of braiding each other’s hair, but we watch games together on occasion. I’d never make a move on his girl—even if I wanted Parker.

Which I don’t.

“So let me get this straight,” she says, as I swipe my credit card through the self-checkout machine. “One of your booty calls leaves her pants, which is weird, by the way, and then a week later, an underclassman sorority girl willingly puts them on?”

I shrug and give her a look out of the corner of my eye. “What’s wrong with that?”

Parker closes her eyes and sort of scratches at her eyebrow. “You don’t tell your mother any of this, do you?”

“Sure, we actually have a family blog, and I list my sexual activity for the week every Sunday. Is that weird?”

She ignores me, pulling out her phone again.

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 Link to Follow Tour

Goodreads Link

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes Kobo

 

Author Info:Lauren

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway :

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Ebook copies of:

  • JUST A LITTLE CRUSH by Renita Pizzitola
  • CRUSHED by Lauren Layne
  • AGAINST THE CAGE by Sidney Halston
  • POSSESS by Laura Marie Altom
  • AFTER MIDNIGHT by Kathy Clark
  • MAKE YOU BURN by Megan Crane
  • MY HIGHLAND LOVER by Maeve Greyson
  • BREAKING NOAH by Missy Johnson and Ashley Suzanne

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

99-cent Sales Blitz! THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE by Lauren Layne (Sex, Love, and Stilletto #4)

 

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The Trouble with Love
Sex, Love and Stiletto #4

By: Lauren Layne

Released March 3, 2015

Loveswept

 

Blurb:

As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.

As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

Teaser #2

Link to Follow Blitz

Goodreads Link

Goodreads Series Link

 The Trouble With Love_Layne

Buy Links   KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO

Series Buy Links

AFTER THE KISS (Book One) KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO

LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH (Book Two)  KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO

JUST ONE NIGHT (Book Three)  KINDLE | NOOK | IBOOKS | KOBO

Teaser #1

Excerpt:

The elevator doors had just started to close when a male hand stuck between them, activating their sensors so that the doors reopened.

Great. Really freaking fantastic.

A lesser woman would have groaned in dismay at the sight of the man in front of her.

Emma merely straightened her shoulders, ignoring Julie’s softly uttered “Oh, dear.”

It was him.

The man was gorgeous in the sort of way that made women stop and stare. The tall and lean athlete’s body was as impeccably dressed as ever in a trim, perfectly tailored black suit. No sign of a tie today, although there often was one.

His dark hair was perfectly styled, the clean-shaven face showing off a strong jaw and symmetrical lips.

And the eyes . . . green today, although they often could burn blue.

But Emma didn’t have to look at the man to know all of this.

She knew it all from her memories. Bad memories.

He didn’t falter at the sight of Emma and her low-cut cocktail dress and ugly wet bun.

In fact, he didn’t look at her at all.

Nothing—not surprise, not even acknowledgment—fluttered across his features at her presence.

The man was in control.

Always.

Julie shifted to the corner of the elevator to make room for him, and he nodded briefly at her before turning so that he and Emma were standing shoulder to shoulder.

The doors closed, and Emma lifted her eyes to the little screen that indicated the floor number.

He mimicked her posture, his eyes also focused on the spot where the L became 1, then 2 as they ascended.

“Emma,” he said politely, not looking at her.

“Cassidy.”

“You’re looking well.”

“And you,” she said, her tone smooth. Monotone.

“You didn’t get dressed up on my account, I hope.” His voice never lost its casual politeness.

She didn’t so much as glance at him. “Oh, do you not like it? I’ve been so hoping a fancy dress is all it would take for you to ask for my number.”

The elevator stopped on the seventh floor, and Emma and Cassidy stepped to the side so the man in the back corner could exit. In sync, they moved immediately back into their previous positions as the door closed.

They still had not looked at each other.

“You know, it’s a little bright for my taste,” he mused, as though they’d never been interrupted. “I like more subdued colors on a woman. Say . . . white. I always like to see a woman in a white dress. Do you own one?”

Julie cleared her throat, although Emma couldn’t tell if it was a warning or a laugh.

The elevator stopped at 12. Emma’s stop. Finally.

“Excuse me,” she murmured to Cassidy as she stepped off, her voice sugary sweet.

Julie followed her.

And much to Emma’s dismay, so did Cassidy.

“Wrong floor, Cassidy,” Julie said sweetly, with a pretty smile for the wretched man.

Traitor.

“Not today it’s not,” he replied.

“Ah,” Julie said. “Got a meeting with Camille?”

“I do.”

Camille Bishop was the editor in chief of Stiletto magazine, and Julie and Emma’s boss. Since Cassidy was the editor in chief of Oxford magazine, Stiletto’s brother publication, it wasn’t strange that he occasionally stopped by the twelfth floor.

Didn’t mean Emma had to like it.

“See you ladies around,” Cassidy said with a smile for Julie. Emma barely warranted a glance. “Oh, and Emma, just a friendly reminder that winter’s right around the corner. Careful you don’t catch a cold with that wet head.”

He moved away before Emma had a chance to respond. Or give him the finger. Not that she would have bothered.

 

 

Author Info:Lauren

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

 

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

New Release and Giveaway: Fifty First Times–A New Adult Anthology from 19 Hot Authors!

Remember your first time? Nineteen authors give you their (fictional) versions….

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Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology 
Published by: Avon Impulse
Publication date: February 25th 2014
Genres: New Adult
Synopsis:

You always remember your first time…

Whether it’s the couple who decides not to go through with it, the two boys who finally aren’t ashamed, the newlyweds whose wedding night could very well be their last night together, the deaf pair who have no choice but to take body language to a new level–or, of course, the two young lovers fumbling and laughing, getting everything wrong. These are the memories that will never fade.
Join nineteen fantastic authors as they pull back the curtain and give you a peek inside that one intense moment in their characters’ lives when everything changes and nothing will ever be the same again.
Featuring stories from some of the hottest names in New Adult, Young Adult, and Romance including New York Times Bestselling authors J.Lynn/Jennifer Armentrout, Molly McAdams, Sophie Jordan, and Carrie Ryan.
NOTE: These stories are works of fiction. If you want to know about our first times, you’ll have to buy us a pet monkey first.

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Excerpts:

“I twist the ring around my left finger. It’s foreign to my body, but in the same way a new pet is foreign to a person’s home. It represents work and responsibility, but somehow you know that it will eventually become a part of you. Jack’s already a part of me. It’s just the ring that’s new.”DAYLIGHT by Julie Cross

The friendzone wasn’t such a bad place to be. I saw how Allen treated the people he slept with. They were as disposable as red Solo cups. “I’m an equal opportunity lover,” he once told me, “but you can call me a slut.”—BUNGA BUNGA by Andrew Shaffer

“’No, if I were brave I would have—’ but I’m not even brave enough to say the words. Instead I take another swallow wine while I finish the sentence in my head. Would have let you make a move on me. Would have touched you.Would have kissed you.”—LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR by Carrie Ryan

Purchase:
AUTHORS:
Julie Cross (creator)
J. Lynn
Molly McAdams
Sophie Jordan
Roni Loren
Tracy Wolff
Lauren Layne
Andrew Shaffer
Cole Gibson
Myra McEntire
Carrie Ryan
Mark Perini
Gennifer Albin
Lisa Desrochers
Hannah Moskowitz
Lyla Payne
Alessandra Thomas
Melissa Landers
Melissa West

GIVEAWAY

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Books on Sale! Book Depository’s 50 Books, 25 Hours Event and 99-cent LoveSwept eBooks

 

The first one is for actual, hold-in-your-hand print books, and I can’t give you a preview of titles because it changes every 30 minutes, but…it’s one heck of a sale!

The Book Depository (click above to go to their website, click on the “view offers” button once there to see what’s on sale currently) is offering 50 sale books from now until November 8. Every half hour, the book changes and the quantities are limited, so if you think you want the current offer, hurry up and make your purchase! I had my eye on this sale last year–the sale books are a really eclectic mix. There truly is something for everyone–when I first checked today it was a Curious George travel book (which sold out before my eyes) and the next one was about the history of capitalism (also sold out, in about ten minutes). The company is located in the UK, but they ship free all over the world. A former student who somehow found out that I like reading (I can’t imagine how…) told me about this site a few years ago. It’s pretty neat. I especially love watching their “watch people shop” widget–but then, I am easily amused, especially when it comes to books and shopping….

The second sale is also for a limited time, but this one is all ebooks: four LoveSwept titles are currently on sale for 99 cents. I don’t know how long it will last, so if you’re interested, make sure you pick them quick too!

 

After the Kiss

By Lauren Layne

In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything… except fall in love.

On sale for a limited time:

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore
Google Play • Kobo


Empty Net

By Toni Aleo

In Toni Aleo’s third novel in her hot Assassins series, the chiseled men of this Nashville hockey team can make anything happen when they go all out for the women they want—even turn a one-night stand into a happily ever after.

On sale for a limited time:

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore
Google Play • Kobo


Full Exposure

By Tracy Wolff

In Tracy Wolff’s sizzling novel of erotic tension—perfect for fans of Sylvia Day, E. L. James, and J. Kenner—sex and suspense steam up the sultry bayou.

On sale for a limited time:

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore
Google Play • Kobo


Slow Summer Burn

By Elisabeth Barrett

As the sizzling Star Harbor series concludes, the fourth sexy Grayson brother, a dedicated DEA agent, shows a high-society beauty the true meaning of love.

On sale for a limited time:

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBookstore
Google Play • Kobo

I’ve read the first two in the Star Harbor series already, and am definitely picking up Grayson’s story at that price! I already purchased Lauren Layne’s too, just because it sounded good…and Toni Aleo writes romances about hockey players, so…heck, who am I kidding? They’re 99 cents. I’m totally buying them all.

That’s all I’ve got for now–my novel is calling me. What are you reading (or writing!) right now?

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