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Bounce Down
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Getting Tackled
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#700pages ready to be added to your

Summer Reading list!!!

**Release Tour: Vicious by LJ Shen**


Title: Vicious
Series: Sinners of Saint #1
Author: L.J. Shen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date:  January 1, 2017
On Sale $0.99 through January 13, 2017

Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true. 
The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. 
He is a brilliant lawyer. 
A skilled criminal. 
A beautiful liar. 
A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover. 
Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him. 

Vicious

She is a starving artist. 
Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. 
Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. 
She paid the price. 
Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. 
That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. 
So she hates me. Big fucking deal. 
She better get used to me.

“If you’re looking for a book that’s a little bit dark, a little bit twisted, with a character driven story that leaves you panting more than once, Vicious is it.” – 5 Obsessed Stars  – Reader Review

“Absolutely amazing book! You will never find another guy like Vicious and you will never find another book like this ever.”– Tongan Book Lover 5 Stars

“Christ. Just Christ. The naughty bits are hot and steamy, the love story is unique for sure, and the writing is fucking epic because LJ Shen.” – Mells View 5 Stars


 

Private – Send LJ Shen a message on Facebook for your invite today
“You’re pissing me off,” she said quietly, her eyes still searching my face.


“And that’s turning me on,” I retorted, my voice flat. “So you might wanna tone down the hate glares if you don’t wanna find yourself being fucked on this desk with the blinds still open.” 

 


I was still staring at my screen, working on the merger deal I was eager to get signed before Christmas, but I could see from my peripheral that she had paled. I liked how—once again—I’d gotten under her skin. Quickly.

 


“You’re disgusting,” she muttered, still staring at me—but not in a way that suggested she was appalled. 


I cracked my neck, opening my browser and checking the stocks on the screen, skimming through the greens and the reds. “That may well be, but I’m balls deep in your fucking head, Help, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

 


Her eyes glittered with rage, and fuck, I was so hard, and fuck, she was so beautiful. This was so on. I was going to fuck Dean’s ex-girlfriend, use her for my personal needs, and toss her away when I was done.

 


And after choosing the wrong guy, there was no doubt in my mind, she deserved it too. 


“You just gave Floyd a lecture about the inter-office fraternization policy. No mixing business and pleasure.” She leaned forward. Her elbow touched my finger accidentally, and she jerked it away. 


I met her halfway, erasing the space between us across the desk. “Correction—guys like Floyd won’t give you pleasure. Men like me would. Besides, the man likes Arrow,” I drawled, as if this alone was a reason to fire him. 

 


To me, it was.


“You know what your problem is, Vicious? You still haven’t decided if you hate me or like me. That’s why you act like this every time I’m around other men.” There wasn’t a trace of embarrassment in her voice. She owned up to this. 


What she didn’t know was that I knew exactly how I felt about her.


I hated her, but was attracted to her. It was really that simple.


“You know what I feel right now, Ms. LeBlanc? I feel like you need to pack a fucking bag and start making the necessary arrangements. You’re coming with me to California, whether you like it or not.”

 

L.J. Shen resides in sunny California with her husband, son, chubby cat and wild, wild dreams.

Her passion is to write badass stories, sushi, UFC and her awesome family and friends (not in this order, though. Obviously, sushi comes before writing. Oh, and also the family part.)


She spend the first half of her twenties traveling the world and is now paying all the fun with extra shifts in front of her MacBook. Feel free to contact her on her Facebook page. She loves to hear from her readers.




Head over to LJ’s Facebook Page for multiple giveaway

HOSTED BY:

My 4 **** Review!

A love – hate romance on steroids! The bad boy tries to deny his feelings for the good girl and ends up bitter and unsatisfied. But oh when Vicious or Baron Spencer finally realizes you always want what you can’t have its a struggle to right the wrongs that’s been done.

I’m so pleased with Emilia, such a strong female character, I loved her, she never backed down, stood up for herself and others. She fought tooth and nail for her future, her family and continued to rise up above and beyond her atrocious bitter past.

L.J. Shen certainly can write her heros and heroines, but lets not forgot her secondary characters were just as quirky, mean, sexy, sleazy and flat out delicious!

Thank you so much my dark queen! xx

Rising Ashes * Excerpt Reveal * Annie Anderson

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✦ ✦ ✦ Available for PreOrder ✦ ✦ ✦

 

RISING ASHES
by Annie Anderson
Ashes to Ashes; Book 3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: August 18, 2016
Cover Design by: MadHat Books

 

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Synopsis:
West Carmichael is not my real name.

 

It is the name I pulled from thin air over five hundred years ago. I don’t come from royalty—I come from the dregs of the ethereal. As the King’s assassin, I have more blood on my hands than most. I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve anyone.
But I will keep her safe.
Even if I die trying.

 

Evangeline Black.

 

My name sounds like the heroine of a historical romance novel – not that I read those or anything. My life so far: Dead parents? Check. Broken heart? Check. Evil mistress of darkness, hell-bent on power and thirsty for my death? Big. Honking. Check. But this mess won’t get cleaned up by itself.
I’ve got a job to do.

 

As these two reluctant hearts fight their pull, they must decide if they want to fall apart in the midst of the chaos swarming around them or yield to their hearts…
and rise.

 

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Goodreads

 

Pre-Order Rising Ashes
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK
iBooks : Kobo

 

Excerpt:

 

EVAN – 1928 – Los Angeles, CA
The first time I met West Carmichael, I was singing at a speakeasy in Los Angeles. My parents didn’t know where I was, and for the first time in a long time, neither did Aurelia. Hiding from a Seer is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but a special cloaking amulet from a witch friend seemed to have worked wonders.
It was pretty. A sapphire the size of my thumbnail set in a silver filigree setting hanging from a thin chain that rests just below my collarbone. It wasn’t the nicest piece of jewelry I owned, but it was my favorite.
Maybe because it granted my freedom.
Or maybe because it matched my royal blue silk charmeuse gown to perfection. I used to hate dressing up, but this dress made me feel like a woman. It was an off the shoulder number with a daring sweetheart neckline – far ahead of its time. It fit like a second skin until it hit my thighs and then flared out like a calla lily into a delicate but short train. It may not have been the most comfortable dress I owned, but it made me feel like a sexy siren. Something that with my diminutive height, I rarely felt.
I was alone – finally alone even in this sea of people– after so much time with the ones I loved breathing down my neck. It was like a vacation. I needed something of my own. A secret, a life, something to break away from my family. Something that didn’t say princess or royalty.
Something that let me just be me. Singing was it for me.
I was ending my five-song set with a favorite of mine, an old Jane Greene song when I saw him. I’d seen him around town a few times, when I was shopping by myself or when I watched a boxing match at the Olympic Auditorium, a scandalous activity for an unchaperoned young lady.
But we’d never met.
He was handsome. I even daresay beautiful, if you can call a man like that beautiful. He was tall – taller than anyone in the room by nearly a whole head –and built so powerfully he made the other men look like pitiful adolescents dressed up in their daddy’s clothes. It was difficult to tell if his hair was as dark as it seemed in the low light of the secret club, but it appeared black in the dim. Dressed to the nines in a brilliant black suit, he moved with grace through the crowd until he found his seat at the only open table in the joint, folding his huge frame into the chair with the grace of a jaguar.
Papa had taken me to Brazil when I was just a little girl, and we saw the big cats roam the rainforests. He moved just like those jungle cats, scanning the room for prey and threats, watching everything with disinterest, as if he could take or leave the sights and sounds and people. As if he were bored in this raucous party that seemed to never end.
© Copyright 2016 Annie Anderson

 

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Also Available in the Ashes to Ashes Series

 

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SCATTERED ASHES (Ashes to Ashes, #1)
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK  

 

FALLING ASHES (Ashes to Ashes, #2)
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK  
**Available on Kindle Unlimited

 

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About the Author:
 
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad.
 
As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, and old man of a dog.
 
 
Connect with Annie:
Website : Facebook : Twitter : Pinterest : Google+ : Amazon Author Page : Goodreads Author Page
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💓Fangirl Fav Cover Love

Fans show their Cover Love on the

Reading, Writing, and Book Reviews 

Facebook Page 7/22/16

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~Trouble Walks In * Excerpt Reveal * Author Sara Humphreys~

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Trouble Walks In (The McGuire Brothers, #2)
Trouble Walks In by Sara Humphreys
McGuire Brothers Series; Book 2
Pages
Published August 2, 2016
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca

 

Blurb:
Big city K-9 cop Ronan McGuire loves women, loves his dog, loves his job – but when old flame Maddy Morgan moves into his jurisdiction, he can’t think about anyone else.
Ronan knows she’s way out of his league, but he’s determined to help Maddy live life to the fullest.

 

Maddy has immersed herself in work and swiftly made a name for herself in the hot New York City real estate market. She’s looking for safety, not love, but Ronan McGuire is as persistent as he is sexy, and his crooked smile is hard to resist. But all other concerns are wiped away when Maddy goes missing and Ronan and his bloodhound K-9 partner are tasked with finding her and bringing her home.

 

Goodreads

 

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Pre-Order Links:
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK  
Barnes & Noble : Books-A-Million : iTunes  

 

 

Excerpt:

 

PROLOGUE

 

The boy had been missing for twelve hours, and Ronan McGuire knew better than anyone that if they didn’t find the kid soon, the search could end in the worst possible way. It had been an unusually cold November, and when little David Newhart wandered away from his parents this morning in the park, he hadn’t been wearing a coat. The sun had gone down hours ago, and the temperature was close to freezing.
Ronan’s partner grew increasingly agitated as they climbed the steep incline of the hill near Turtle Pond, and hope fired brightly in Ronan’s chest. He knew the dog’s signals and could read him better than he could most people.
The boy was close.
Bowser whined loudly and tugged harder on the long leash, and Ronan swore under his breath. The enormous bloodhound had the best nose in the tristate area. Once he detected a scent, he rarely—if ever—failed to find what he was looking for. He tilted his snout to the air before spearing it back to the ground and turning left. Bowser’s lanky brown-and-black-furred body quivered with excitement, the way it did whenever the trail grew stronger.
The scent article they’d given Bowser, the missing boy’s hat, had given him a solid lead to follow, but this was more an art than a science. David had been missing for hours, and the gusty winds of late November had been blowing hard, making the search-and-rescue job that much more difficult. Well, for Ronan, it was a job. For Bowser, it was more like playing a big game of hide-and-seek. And there was nothing his dog loved more than finding what he was looking for.
Bowser kept his nose to the ground and trotted to the left toward a long stone wall. He followed the scent through the brush and dried leaves in an almost sideways direction along a wooded section of Central Park. Bowser was one of the most talented bloodhounds on the force and could detect scents up to a week old if he had to.
Tension settled in Ronan’s shoulders, and his muscles bunched as he wrapped the leather lead tighter around his hand. He scanned the area ahead, and a tickle of panic glimmered in his chest as it sometimes did when he was searching for a missing kid. Faint memories from years ago bubbled to the surface. He knew exactly how this little boy was feeling. Alone. Terrified. Cold.
“David?” Ronan shouted. “I’m Officer Ronan McGuire with the NYPD. Your mom and dad are worried about you. David, can you hear me?”
The wind whistling by his ears was the only answer. The glimmer of hope began to fade right before Bowser whimpered and made a sudden turn to the right, his long, sword-like tail bouncing wildly as he picked up the pace. A bitter gust of wind whisked through the woods, sending a chill up Ronan’s spine. Shit. Please let the kid be okay. Bowser dodged around a massive elm tree, and Ronan ran around behind him.
“David!”
That was when he spotted a dark lump…and it moved. Ronan’s heart thundered in his chest. He shone his flashlight over the area, and the breath rushed from his lungs. Got him. David was curled up in a ball in a pile of leaves at the base of the tree. Bowser barked and went right over, sniffing and licking at the boy before sitting down beside him protectively.
“I wanna go home,” David whimpered as he placed one quivering hand onto Bowser’s paw. “I want my mommy.”
“I gotcha, David.” Ronan squatted down and took off his coat before quickly wrapping it around the kid. “Bowser and I are gonna get you back to your mom and dad. They’re worried sick about you.”
“I’m cold.”
“I know, pal, but you’re safe now. Everything’s gonna be okay.”
He started rubbing the boy’s arms, but Bowser moved in and lay down right next to the kid, practically on top of him. David giggled through his sniffles and swiped at his eyes before snuggling up to the dog. Bowser was panting heavily, his long, pink tongue dangling from the side of his open mouth. The damn dog looked like he was smiling.
“Good boy.” Ronan repeated the phrase a few times, scratched Bowser’s ears, and gave him the praise he expected. “Nice job, buddy.”
Bowser licked his hand quickly, as though returning the kudos. Ronan crouched next to his panting K-9 and radioed for the other officers in the area.
Ronan loved his job, especially when it had a happy ending.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

“I told you that I’d be there, and I meant it.” Maddy Morgan pressed the iPhone harder against her ear. She was attempting to block out the sounds beyond her office door while her best friend pestered her to within an inch of her life. “I’m your maid of honor, for heaven’s sake. What? You think I’m gonna bail after everything you and Gavin have been through? Hell no!”
“Okay, well, you can’t blame me for double-checking, can you?” Jordan hesitated, her voice concerned. “We’ve hardly spoken. I mean, you haven’t been home since… It’s been over a year and…”
Maddy stared out the window that overlooked the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and sucked in a deep breath, her friend’s unfinished thought hanging in the air. She nibbled her lower lip and fought the sudden, unexpected swell of emotion. It had been fifteen months since Rick died and a full year since she had been back to the town she’d always called home.
At least, she had until recently.
“I know,” Maddy said quietly.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and refused to cry. She’d cried enough at Rick’s funeral and during the weeks following. No more tears. If Rick were here, he would tell her to put on her big girl panties and get on with life.
“I’m not missing your wedding,” she said firmly. “Jeez, Jordan. You and Gavin have waited sixteen years to finally get hitched. Hell, you two would have gotten married last Christmas if it weren’t for me.”
“That’s not true,” Jordan said firmly.
“Bull.” Maddy laughed.
“Okay, well, it wasn’t the only reason.” Jordan replied. “Gavin’s parents wanted to throw us a huge Christmas wedding, and four months wouldn’t have been enough time to pull it all together. Deciding to wait a year has been a win-win. My future mother-in-law had plenty of time to do her thing, and we all had time to properly grieve for Rick. But I’m still worried about you…”
“I’m fine, Jordan, and I promise… I’m gonna be there to witness your dream coming true.”
“Okay, but—”
“No buts.”
“Yo, Maddy.” The increasingly irritating voice of Chris Drummond shot into the room as he barged in. “That blond, the Brenda chick—are you gonna to take her out to an open house this weekend, or should I? And what about those newlyweds? I know you’ve been slammed. I could take them out to see the new listings, if you want.”
“Hang on, Jordan,” Maddy said tightly.
She covered the phone with her hand and leveled an irritated gaze at her colleague. She knew that Terrence, the owner of the realty agency, had hired Drummond because he had an amazing reputation for selling and one of the best portfolios in the business, but he was a letch. A letch that thought anyone with boobs wanted him. Maddy had learned a long time ago that big talent usually meant even bigger egos.
Unfortunately, this talent was also turning out to be an asshole. She had already reported him once to Terrence for inappropriate advances on the young women in the office. Big talent or not, he was making her tired of him and his misogynistic bullshit. And lately, there had been attempts to steal her clients.
“Did you happen to notice that my door was closed?”
“Yeah.” He leaned in the doorway with his usual casual arrogance. Tall, slim, well dressed, and always perfectly coiffed, he was considered good-looking by most. But the air of entitlement he wore like a cloak was a turnoff as far as Maddy was concerned. Besides, she would never date a colleague.
“I’m on a call.”
“Right.” He jutted his thumb over his shoulder. “Anyway, should I take that Brenda chick out and, uh, show her the ropes? We could take the newlyweds, the, uh…”
“The Bartholomews,” Maddy finished for him. “No, I can handle my client list. Thank you.”
“Fine, then let me take Brenda out.”
The smarmy smile on his face gave Maddy pause. He’d been hitting on the assistants, who were savvy New Yorkers and more than capable of handling themselves, but now he was moving on to the young real estate agent. Brenda was a recent college grad from the Midwest. She was pretty, smart, and naive.
A prime target for a guy like Drummond.
“No,” Maddy said firmly. “Terrence asked me to handle her training. Thank you, and please close the door on your way out.”
His smile faded, and a hard, cold look settled in his eyes. Maddy had moved up the ranks quickly since joining Cosmopolitan Realty House, and her rise hadn’t gone unnoticed by Drummond. He hated not being number one, but she suspected that being second to a woman was a bigger insult.
“Sure thing,” he murmured.
Drummond left but neglected to shut the door. Maddy crossed the room, pausing only to tell Sharon, her assistant, to hold her other calls before she closed her door once more.
“Sorry about that, Jordan.” She caught a glimpse of her reflection in the window and grimaced before running one hand through her unruly brown curls. “I’m coming into town a week before the wedding so I can help you with whatever you need. Y’know, all that bridesmaid stuff. I mean, I’m not a real girlie girl, but it’ll be fun to hang out. And tell Gavin he better not try to horn in on our girls’ night out. It might only be the two of us, but there’s a no-boys-allowed rule in effect for that event.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Jordan said through a chuckle. “All four of his brothers are coming in early as well. From what I hear, Ronan has quite the bachelor party planned. Speaking of Ronan, why don’t you two ride back to Old Brookfield together? I mean, you’re both in the city, and he is the best man.”
“Yeah, that’s not gonna happen. I’ll take my own car, thank you very much. I’m staying at the Old Brookfield Inn, and Ronan will be at his parents’ house, obviously.” Maddy’s eyes narrowed, and the smile on her face grew. “Your matchmaking scheme hasn’t worked, Jordan. But I’ll give you and Gavin an A for effort.”
“What are you talking about?” Jordan asked with feigned innocence. “When you moved to the city last year, Gavin merely suggested that Ronan should look out for you. He’s been a cop there for over a decade. Besides, I heard through the McGuire brother grapevine that you two have been going running on the weekends, so Ronan can’t be all bad.”
Nope. –That was half the problem. He was exactly the right kind of bad.
They had gone jogging in Central Park almost every weekend for the past several months, but Maddy had made it clear from the start: she wasn’t interested in dating. Not him, nor anyone else. Friends? Sure. Romance? No way.
Her heart couldn’t take another turn through the shredder. Dating a cop, just because he also happened to be one of the sexiest men God ever put on this earth, would not be a smart move.
Besides, Ronan had a reputation as a total ladies’ man.
Not that she could blame any woman for taking a ride on that handsome train. When he flashed that lopsided grin and his bluish-green eyes crinkled at the corners, it took superwoman strength for Maddy not to drop her panties. He was a combination of mischievous little boy and irresistible alpha male—a deadly pairing.
Ronan McGuire was wickedly sexy. The worst part was that he knew it.
“Well, yeah,” Maddy said quickly. She sat at her desk and spun the chair to face the window so she could see the rest of the world. Living and working in this city made her feel like a rat in a cage sometimes. “Running around, getting sweaty, and panting in the cold is not exactly dating, Jordan.”
“Sweaty and panting sounds promising,” Jordan teased.
Maddy’s face flushed. “That’s not what I meant.” She quickly added, “I was talking about Bowser.”
“Sure,” her friend said slowly. “Sure you were.”
“You know Ronan doesn’t go anywhere without that dog. Speaking of which, are you prepared to have a drooling animal at your wedding?”
“Oh fine, change the subject.” Jordan sighed. “Any chance I can talk you into coming for Thanksgiving?”
“Sorry, babe. I’m slammed.”
“Then how about staying for Christmas? The wedding is on the twenty-third. Come on. Please? The girls would love it,” she said, referring to her two adorable daughters. “You’re going to be here for a week, so what’s a couple more days? You said they were closing your office between Christmas and New Year’s anyway.”
Maddy had never been part of big family holidays, and that had been fine with her, but the pleading tone in Jordan’s voice was starting to make her rethink her decision.
“You know the holidays were never a big deal for me, Jordan. My mom hated celebrating them after my dad died, and then once she was gone, I didn’t really want to. And besides,” she added quickly, “Rick and I never even got a tree or anything. He was always working, and so was I.”
“I know, but I hate to think of you alone in that big city on Christmas. Again. It’s bad enough you wouldn’t come last year. Please think about it?”
“I’m hosting a huge New Year’s Eve party for my clients—it’s at my apartment.”
“You could leave on the twenty-sixth and still be back in plenty of time to be party ready,” Jordan persisted. “I’m sorry, but I’ll have to call bullshit on that excuse. You and I both know your assistant already has the whole shindig tied up and ready to go.”
Jordan was right. The party was a lame reason not to spend the holiday with them. Besides, it was all being catered, and the invitations had been sent. What did Maddy really have to do other than show up and schmooze? And what was here for her on Christmas? She didn’t even have a cat or a fish to feed.
Ugh. She felt more pathetic by the second.
“Okay,” Maddy said with a dramatic sigh. “I’ll think about it. Jeez, when did you become such a nudge?”
“Since I had two children and learned that being a nudge can sometimes be quite effective.”
A knock on Maddy’s door sent a flicker of irritation up her back. But when she spun around, Sharon’s tearstained face stopped her cold.
“Girl, I have to go.” A knot of dread curled in her gut. “I’ll see you in a few weeks. Give Gracie and Lilly a kiss from Aunt Maddy.”
Maddy hit End and set the phone on her desk. Her legs felt like Jell-O as she rose to her feet. Sharon was still weeping while she closed the door behind her, and before it shut, Maddy saw two of the other agents in the office crying.
“Sharon, what is it?”
“Th-they found her.”
“Who?” Maddy asked shakily, her fingertips pressing into the mahogany desk. But she knew the answer before Sharon said it.
“Lucille Bowman.” The young woman swiped at her eyes and let out a shuddering sob. “She’s dead.”

 

***

 

A haunting rendition of “Amazing Grace” spilled from the organ filling the small church, and Maddy wiped the tears from her eyes. The last time she’d heard this song had been at Rick’s funeral. A new surge of sadness and grief welled up inside as the pallbearers carried Lucille’s casket silently toward the open double doors.
The sounds of the city spilled in, buzzing beneath the mournful melody—a bitter reminder of how cruel life was. The world outside went on as though nothing had happened. While Lucille’s death had barely been noted on the evening news, it was far more personal for Maddy and her coworkers. According to police, the last call Lucille had made was to her husband, saying she was going to meet a client at an open house. The client had called the office later that day to say Lucille had never arrived.
Lucille’s husband kept his vacant gaze fixed to the ground. He lumbered silently behind his late wife’s casket, seemingly unaware of anyone or anything around him. Grief and shock clung to him like an invisible shroud. Maddy knew that feeling all too well.
He and Lucille didn’t have any children and, according to a few of the other realtors, had been married only a couple of years. People said that as though it would somehow make his loss less horrible. Did the amount of time he and Lucille had been together even matter? One year or ten, a loss was a loss.
The remaining mourners filed out, all of them in various states of grief, but Maddy remained quietly in the back row. She had spoken with Lucille only a few times, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to pay her respects—but without overstepping her bounds. The little church in Old Brookfield had been full for Rick’s funeral. Even though she couldn’t possibly have said who was there and who wasn’t, the presence of every individual was a comfort to her. The least she could do was offer the same to Lucille’s husband.
After everyone had left, Maddy rose to her feet and slipped out of the pew. She could still go to the burial and reception afterward. The invitation had been extended to everyone at the end of the service. But those events felt like they were for close friends and family, and Maddy didn’t qualify for either role. No, it was probably best if she dragged her butt back to work. After all, it wasn’t like she had anyone waiting for her back at her apartment.
Maddy tugged her black wool coat closed and tied the sash, bracing herself for the brisk air that awaited her outside. As she passed, she gave a polite smile and nod to one of the ministers rearranging some pamphlets in the vestibule.
Life went on, it would seem, even for the clergy.
When Maddy pushed open the heavy wooden door, a gust of brisk November wind rushed over her, making her suck in a sharp breath. Why did this city seem cruel and cold at every turn? The stubborn wind had pulled several strands of her curly hair free from her lame attempt at an updo. She pushed her unruly locks from her eyes and started down the stone steps, prepared to go back to her desk and stare at the computer. She had cleared her calendar today, but returning to an empty apartment was simply too depressing an option. At least at the office, she’d have the illusion of not being alone.
Maddy had made up her mind to hail a cab by the time she reached the sidewalk, but when she saw who was waiting for her, she stopped short.
Not much surprised her in Manhattan anymore—she’d seen just about everything in her year living here, including a woman walking a ferret on a leash, a naked homeless guy streaking down Park Avenue, and an old man strolling through Central Park with a squawking parrot on his shoulder.
But she never expected to find this.
Standing beside a lamppost, brimming with confidence and with his K-9 partner by his side, was Ronan McGuire. Dressed in his dark-blue NYPD uniform, he looked every bit the ruggedly handsome hero that he was. His cap obscured her view of his thick ebony hair, but those pale bluish-green eyes peered at her from beneath a furrowed brow. His tall, broad-shouldered frame was covered from head to toe against the bitter air, and the bulletproof vest he wore only served to accentuate his size.
How did Ronan manage to look devastatingly gorgeous in a standard-issue uniform? She’d seen plenty of other cops in this city, but not one of them hummed with masculine sexuality the way Ronan did. He reeked of calm control and steely strength. On the surface, he was cool and steady, but beneath was a distinctly powerful energy. She knew, without a doubt, that he could burst into action in a split second.
The guys brushing past her on Park Avenue, the ones dressed in thousand-dollar suits, didn’t look half as sexy as Ronan did in his uniform.
I bet he looks pretty good out of it too.
Bowser, an enormous bloodhound who seemed to delight in startling Maddy whenever possible, barked loudly. She flinched as Ronan’s constant companion interrupted her naughty train of thought, and her face heated. How long had she been standing there staring at him? Based on the slight smirk curving Ronan’s lips, it was longer than she’d like to admit.
“Hey,” Maddy said, trying to collect herself. She crossed the sidewalk to greet Ronan but kept a healthy distance from the two of them. “What are you doing here? Did you just happen to be in the neighborhood? Because if I’m not mistaken, this isn’t your usual haunting ground.”
“This is most definitely not my neighborhood. Too rich for my blood,” Ronan scoffed. He gathered Bowser’s leash, wrapping it around his hand, before he pushed himself off the post and inched closer. “Our shift starts in a couple of hours. We came to check on you.”
Her gaze flicked briefly to Bowser. He was staring at her as usual. She had never met an animal as tuned in to people as he was. But then, he was a search-and-rescue K-9, so tuning in was part of his job.
“Me?” Maddy stilled. “I’m fine, really,” she said in a shakier voice than she expected.
Even she didn’t believe it. Nope. Not okay.
“Your friend was murdered, and you just attended her funeral.” Ronan leaned in and lowered his voice. “Don’t give me that. There’s not a damn fine thing about this whole crappy situation.”
Something in Maddy’s chest crumbled a little at the tenderness in his voice. How long had it been since someone had expressed concern for her well-being? It felt like forever. Still, she suspected there was more to it than that.
“You’ve seen things like this before,” Maddy whispered. “Does it ever get any easier?”
“No,” he said quietly. Bowser whined and licked Ronan’s hand in a sweet, almost reassuring gesture. “Sucks every time. Nothing easy about it.”
Ronan and Bowser had been part of searches that ended badly. He’d obviously been affected by those experiences, and knowing that he’d remained unjaded by the cruelty of his job somehow made him even more attractive.
Bowser, who was sitting dutifully at Ronan’s feet, let out a low whine and snuffled loudly. Sometimes Maddy was convinced that dog was more human than half the people in this city.
“No…I don’t imagine there would be.” Maddy adjusted the purse slung over her shoulder, trying to squash a fresh swell of emotion. She pulled her leather gloves from her pocket and tugged them on while avoiding Ronan’s inquisitive stare. “I mean, it’s sad. It’s beyond sad, the whole situation is horrible, but—”
“What are you doing now?” he asked abruptly. “Everyone else is gone. Since you’re still here, I’m figuring that you opted not to go on to the burial. And knowing you, that means you’re going back to work.”
Maddy opened her mouth to argue with him but snapped it shut. He’d hit the nail on the head. Ronan’s lopsided grin widened.
“I-I have work to do,” she sputtered.
“Really?” He tilted his head and narrowed those beautiful eyes. They looked more blue today than green.
“Yes, really.”
“Because if I had to guess, I’d say you were gonna go back to that fancy office of yours and stare at your computer or surf the Internet. Maybe play some solitaire or ?”
Why, oh why, does he have to be so damn observant?
Maddy wasn’t sure if it was comforting or irritating to have someone see her so clearly. Maybe it was both? She had started to get used to the anonymity of this city, the sense of disconnection from other people. She’d left Old Brookfield to give herself distance from Rick’s memory and the well-meaning but meddlesome members of her small community.
No one here knew her past, or even cared enough to ask. Her life in Manhattan was strictly business, which made her feel safely cocooned, sheltered from painful memories. She remained insulated from having to dig past surface pleasantries. Ronan wasn’t like that. He was a cop, and his desire to find the truth was evident in everything he did.
“Well, smarty-pants.” Maddy folded her arms over her breasts, suddenly feeling exposed. “For your information, I don’t play Candy Crush.”
“Farm Heroes ?” he asked playfully.
“No,” Maddy said through a bubble of laughter. She swatted him on the arm and tried not to smile while avoiding his gaze. “I don’t do any of that stuff.”
“How about coffee?” He offered his arm and jutted his head toward the corner. “You do that, don’t you?”
“Yes,” Maddy said slowly. She flicked her gaze to his elbow and sighed dramatically. “You aren’t gonna quit until I agree to go, are you?”
“Nope.” His grin widened. “After all these years, you should know how persistent we McGuire boys are. Carolyn and Charles didn’t raise any quitters.”
“I can see that.”
“C’mon, and I won’t even try to pretend it’s a date,” Ronan prodded. He wobbled his elbow at her. “Don’t make me look bad in front of Bowser.”
“Well, I certainly wouldn’t want to be responsible for that,” she said dramatically. “Coffee it is.”
Maddy slipped her arm through his and shivered, the warmth of his body seeping through the layers of wool. Her gut reaction was to snuggle deeper against him and his rock-hard body, but she resisted, straightening her back. She couldn’t afford to dip beneath the surface and touch the raw emotions lingering there. That would get her nowhere, and she refused to be reduced to a weepy woman in the middle of the street. If Ronan noticed her subtle shift away from him, he didn’t comment on it.
They walked in silence, arm in arm, with the bloodhound trotting dutifully at Ronan’s side. They approached a Starbucks, but instead of crossing Fifty-Sixth Street, Ronan led her straight toward one of the street vendors.
“It’ll have to be coffee and a walk.” He jutted a thumb at his partner. “Starbucks isn’t big on having dogs in their establishments. Besides, our squad car is parked around the corner. How about coffee and a ride home?”
“That’s fine by me.” Maddy sucked in a deep breath of cold air. “Sitting in a crowded coffee shop with half the population on their laptops doesn’t sound appealing. But a walk sounds great.”
“I thought you’d say that.” He nudged her gently and smirked. “But don’t worry, I know you’re not a cheap date.”
“It’s not a date. It’s coffee.” Maddy kept her tone light. “We’ve already been through this, McGuire. I’m not dating anyone, so don’t take it personally.”
“Can’t blame a guy for trying.”
They stopped at the truck, and she slipped her arm from his before quickly shoving her hands in the pockets of her coat. The cold air slithered under her clothes with surprising speed as the warmth of his body against hers became a memory. Ronan made quick work of ordering their coffee and, to her surprise, knew exactly how she took it.
“I know it’s not that fancy French stuff you like, but it’ll do in a pinch.”
“Impressive,” Maddy said, taking the steaming cup from his hand. “You nailed it.”
“I pay attention.” Ronan slid a sidelong glance at her while he handed money to the guy in the truck. “We’ve been going for a run followed by coffee almost every week for months. What kind of a cop would I be if I couldn’t even remember how you take your coffee?”
“You love being right, don’t you?” She tilted her chin, daring him to deny it.
“Yes.” Ronan inched closer, cradling his cup in one hand and holding Bowser’s leash in the other. Confident and in total control as always. “But especially when it comes to you.”
She was about to ask him what exactly he meant by that, but Bowser started walking toward the corner. They strolled side by side, but she kept her eyes on the pedestrians ahead of them. If she looked at Ronan, he might get a peek at the conflicting swirl of emotions currently running through her.
“Okay, explain, please.” Maddy shivered again, but not from the cold. “Why do you want to be right when it comes to me?”
“Because you’re this big, bad businesswoman who acts like she’s got it all under control.”
“And I don’t?” She let out a short laugh. “Gee, thanks.”
“That’s not what I said, and definitely not what I meant.”
They stopped at the corner. Maddy was about to cross, but Ronan grabbed her arm, pulling her back just as a car blew through the light. If it hadn’t been for him, she would have gotten hit.
“Shit,” Maddy hissed. “Damn taxi drivers.”
She turned her eyes to his, and his grip on her tightened, almost imperceptibly. Maddy’s heart thundered in her chest. Was it from the near miss with the cab, or the feel of Ronan’s fingers curled around her bicep?
“I like surprising you,” he said quietly. Bowser made a snuffling sound and sat between them, but Ronan didn’t take his eyes off hers. “How am I doing so far?”
“Today?” Maddy asked quietly. “Well, to be honest, you shocked the hell out of me by showing up at the church. Why did you come?”
“Are you serious?” His brows furrowed. “I thought that would be obvious.”
“Not to me.” Maddy shook her head slowly and studied him, clutching the cardboard coffee cup with both hands.
“I figured it would be a tough day for you.” His mouth set in a tight line before he completed the thought she could practically see floating over his head. “Going to the funeral couldn’t have been easy, and I thought you could use a friend. I didn’t think you’d want to be alone.”
“I didn’t,” she whispered. “Thank you.”
The wind blew over them, sending her hair flying into her eyes. It was perfect timing, making the tears that welled up easy enough to explain away. Maddy tugged the strands of hair aside and nodded before turning her attention to the passing cars.
“See, Bowser?” Ronan scratched the bloodhound’s head, which elicited a loud bark from the dog. “Right again.”
Maddy burst out laughing in spite of the surge of emotion and wiped discreetly at her eyes. “No one likes a know-it-all, McGuire.”
“Maybe not,” he said with a wide grin. “But I still surprised you. Come on, the light changed. Let’s cross before another taxi tries to run you over.”
As they made their way to the safety of the other side, Maddy had a feeling that there would be more surprises where Ronan was concerned.
That was the part that frightened her.

 

~~ Other Books in this Series ~~

 

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Goodreads

 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US : AU : CA : UK
Barnes & Noble : Books-A-Million : Google Play : iBooks

 

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~Meet Sara Humphreys~

 

Sara Humphreys is the award-winning author of the Amoveo Legend series. The third book in the series, UNTAMED, won two PRISM awards–Dark Paranormal and Best of the Best. The first two novels from her Dead in the City series have been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award. Sara was also a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns and Rescue Me.

 

She loves writing hot heroes and heroines with moxie but above all, Sara adores a satisfying happily-ever-after. She lives in New York with Mr. H., their four amazing sons, and two adorable pups. When she’s not writing or hanging out with the men in her life, she can be found working out with Shaun T in her living room or chatting with readers on Facebook. 

 

For a full list of Sara’s books and reading order, please visit her website.  www.sarahumphreys.com

 

~ Connect with Sara ~
Facebook : Goodreads Author Page : Instagram : Pinterest : Twitter : YouTube : Amazon Author Page

 

 

~~ Giveaway ~~

 

 

Pre-order TROUBLE WALKS IN by 8/2/16 and you can get a FREE ebook of YOUR choice!

 

PLUS you’ll be entered to win the GRAND PRIZE – Signed copies of my entire backlist PLUS signed copies of EVERY book I publish for the rest of my life. YES. A LIFETIME OF SIGNED BOOKS!

 

1. Go pre-order your copy of TROUBLE WALKS IN
2. Enter your info in this GOOGLE DOC to redeem! > http://bit.ly/29MA4UV
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~~ Release Blast ~~ PURSUIT by Fiona Davenport!

Pursuit

Mafia Ties

#4

Fiona Davenport

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

*This is part 4 in a series, but

these books standalone from books 1-3*

 

     

Available on Kindle Unlimited

PURCHASE LINKS:

BLURB:

Brandon DeLuca’s relentless

pursuit of Carly O’Reilly after she flees New York isn’t really due to the

orders of his mafia boss cousin. The feisty redhead is his, and he’s done trying

to pretend otherwise. Now that he’s admitted the truth to himself, he just

needs to convince her to put her life in his hands—and her body in his bed.

Please note: Brandon &

Carly’s romance is a three-part story, but there are no relationship cliffhangers.

    

REVIEW

(Review here, if reviewing)

EXCERPT

I sat in my car and stared at the quiet, unassuming house

across the little residential street. It was dark, the inhabitants out for the

night or already in bed. I happened to know it was the latter. After a couple

of months of searching, I’d finally caught up to my target and I wasn’t about

to let her get away again.

Still, I continued to sit there and watch, taking no action.

I told myself I was simply being cautious; I didn’t need any more trouble. But,

Nic had asked me to keep her safe. I was obligated. It was my job. It was

complete and utter bullshit, that’s what it was.

The phone I was holding up to my ear began ringing, and I

waited until the recipient picked up.

“Brandon?” Nic answered, his question implied.

“I found her.”

“Great. I’ll send—”

“No!” I snapped, cutting him off and shocking the fuck out

of myself. “She’s mine.”

 

OTHER BOOKS BY FIONA DAVENPORT

**All books available on Kindle Unlimited**

Fiona’s Steamy Starts (only 99 CENTS for a limited time!)

Penalty Clause, Baby, You’re Mine, &

Deception

Amazon US → http://amzn.to/29alet8

Amazon UK → http://amzn.to/2912sQi

Risqué Contracts Series Box Set

Penalty Clause, Contingency Plan & Fraternization Rule

 

Yeah, Baby Series Box Set

Baby, You’re Mine, Baby Steps & Baby, Don’t Go

Until

Death Do We Part

A

Sex & Vows Novel

Amazon

US → http://amzn.to/29amiNY

Amazon

UK → http://amzn.to/1TNGUZe

Mafia

Ties Books 1-3

Deception

Amazon

US → http://amzn.to/296dAOw

Amazon

UK → http://amzn.to/ 1TewiFY

Danger

Amazon

US → http://amzn.to/296dFBL

Amazon

UK → http://amzn.to/1TewoND

Devotion

Amazon

US → http://amzn.to/291yhMH

Amazon

UK → http://amzn.to/1U2yDRe

 

ABOUT FIONA DAVENPORT

    

Hello! My name is Fiona

Davenport and I’m a smutoholic. I’ve been reading raunchy romance novels

since… well, forever and a day ago it seems. And now I get to write sexy

stories and share them with others who are like me and enjoy their books on the

steamier side. Fiona Davenport is my super-secret alias, which is kind of

awesome since I’ve always wanted one.

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

     

 

**Release Blitz – Lex’s Melody: Belfast Bound #1 – Leigh Stone**

 

 

 

Release Day – Lex’s Melody: Belfast Bound #1 – Leigh Stone¨

Book – Lex’s Melody

Author – Leigh Stone

Release Day Blitz – 28th June

Hosted by Hooked on books & Cherry0Blossoms Promotions

 

 

 

 

Lex’s Melody – Belfast Bound #1

 

 

 

By day Alex Matthews as an architect. He gives life to

bricks and mortar and his meticulous attention to detail is legendary. By

night, Alex demands submission and control. He dominates and in doing so gives

life to women willing to submit.

Melody Anderson is uninspired with everything in her life, that is until she

meets Alex.

Alex and Melody find themselves in a bond of submission and dominance so tight

it will either make them or break them. Alex needs control, Melody threatens

that whilst promising so much more.

Can Alex breathe life into Melody? Or will it be her who breathes life into

him?

Submission never tasted this sweet.

Melodic Minor new synopsis

They say the course of true love never runs smooth. Alex and

Mel know that first hand. Fear drove them away from each other. Tragedy almost

tore them apart forever.

What does fortune now hold for the lovers? Can they settle down and have the

future together that they both deserve, or will old fears be renewed and

threaten to shatter their fragile happiness?

A twist of fate can change everything.

Pulled Apart new synopsis

Broken. Abused. Pulled apart.

For twenty five years Juliet Monroe has experienced just how cruel life can

be.

Abandoned as a child. Abused as a teen. She’s seen more than her fair share of

demons.

Can she ever recover? Can she find the strength to make it back?

Sometimes friendship can be a lifeline.

 

 

Contains graphic sexual scenes including those with BDSM overtones. Also

contains graphic language, and therefore is not suitable for under 18’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titanic Signing Belfast, 2018 – March 24th.

Held in the iconic Titanic Belfast museum – Saturday March 24th 2018, this international book signing will be an event that will not be forgotten! Afterwards we head on to the Europa Hotel for ‘A Night to Remember’ with a Gala Dinner and partying on into the wee hours.

Hooked on book’s & Cherry0Blossoms Promotions

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEB

 

I’m Leigh Stone, I live in Northern Ireland, just outside the capital city of Belfast, in a house I share with my teenage daughter, and our personal zoo (1 Labrador mix, 3 cats, and 2 rabbits!).

 

I’m first and foremost a reader, and a fast reader at that, often devouring books in a single sitting over a period of hours. I have always had aspirations to write and become a published author, but as a teenager I was encouraged to look for a different profession, as being an author “wouldn’t pay the bills.”

 

It was that reading that lead a friend of mine to suggest that I had read so many of those books that I could probably write my own! It seemed like a good idea, and I thought that I would give it a try 🙂 a few months later Lex’s Melody was well underway, and the rest as they say is history!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

** Release Day Blitz – Sweet Alibi by Adriane Leigh **

 

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Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA

 iBooks  iBooks UK  iBooks AU  Nook  

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Fuck him.

    Fuck me.

    Why had he said she was hands off this summer?

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Author Links

Twitter  Facebook  Web  Goodreads  Amazon author page Instagram

 

 

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Release Day Blitz – The Billionaire and His Castaway (Alexa Riley Promises #3)

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Amazon US  Amazon UK  Amazon CA  Amazon AU

 

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Welcome to Alexa Riley Promises. This series is dedicated to old romances. It’s tropes galore, with all of our usual over-the-top alphas and sweet cheesy goodness.

 

These short books will focus on traditional and classic tropes while sticking to the Alexa Riley code: no cheating and always with an HEA. That’s our Promise to you.

 

The Billionaire and His Castaway

 

Kenton Monroe has wanted her for far too long. But Madeline Caldwell isn’t giving him the time of day.

 

Madeline is looking to break out of her innocent shell, but Kenton definitely isn’t the guy to experiment with. She needs a nice guy, not one who makes her lady business glitter like diamonds.

 

Kenton has been patient for months, but she won’t bend. Getting her alone on a deserted island is the only way. Keeping her stranded and all to himself will make her see reason. Right?

 

Warning: If you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…then maybe this dirty summer read is just for you. If you like making love at midnight, put this book down and wake your partner up!

 

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1

Madeline

 

“Is it always this dead around here?” I ask the bartender, glancing at the empty restaurant as I take another sip of my bubbly strawberry drink. Maybe I should’ve gone to the Italian place instead, but this one is supposed to be the best restaurant at the resort. Looking around at all the empty chairs, it makes me think maybe the website lied.

“Just a slow week,” he says, drawing my eyes back to him. Just like everyone else around here he has an incredible tan, making his bright blue eyes seem even brighter in the dimly lit restaurant.

I guess working on an island would give anyone a tan. I had lain by the pool half the day and just turned red, but luckily it faded fast and I wasn’t burnt. I never tan. I go from pale white to cherry red and then back to pale again.

“I noticed the pool was empty, too,” I tell him. In fact, everything has been kind of dead. I’d only got in this morning, but there doesn’t really seem to be anyone around except for people who work here. Maybe that’s why they’re giving out free trips to anyone who would participate in a free survey that had taken me twenty minutes to fill out. It had the silliest and most ridiculous questions, but I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. The resort might be deserted, but it’s beautiful.

“No one to keep you company?” he teases, leaning over the bar and shooting me a crooked smile.

A little pink hits my cheeks when I realize he’s flirting with me.

“Unless you count my book or the poolside server, then no.” I smile back.

I’m not used to being flirted with. I’d gone to an all-girls liberal arts college in New York, graduating only three months ago. Afterwards, my brothers forced me back home. The four of them own a private security firm together, and men aren’t allowed within ten feet of me. Normally it’s not a problem because my brothers look kind of scary unless you know them. All of them have been in some form of service at one time or another. They’re probably losing their shit right now after finding out I’m not tucked away at home. I can’t help but giggle internally as I think about how I gave them the slip. Finally a point for the little sister.

“Well I’m off tomorrow so if you”

“She’s busy,” I hear an all-too-familiar voice say from behind me, making my heart skip a beat. Turning my head slowly, I see the man who stars in my dreams every night. He’s been there for the last three months, since I first met his arrogant handsome self at a fundraiser. It was a charity event one of my brothers had taken me to. They had an extra ticket since their firm was covering the security.

The event’s honorary guest was none other than Kenton Monroe, one of the richest men in New York. No, scratch that, one of the richest men in the world. I’d only known that because of my brothers. I don’t pay much attention to people of wealth or the society pages in New York. It isn’t my scene, but in all fairness, I don’t really have a scene. And now that I’ve graduated, I feel even more adrift.

It didn’t take much to realize how powerful he was.

Everyone in the room seemed to notice him. Then his eyes had trained on me with a look of distaste and his jaw had hardened. His eyes narrowed exactly like the look he’s giving me right now. Only this time, his eyes are on the bartender.

“Mr. Monroe. I’m sorry, sir, I didn’t know she was one of yours.”

One of his? How many does the man have? Probably a lot with how many women fell all over him the night of the fundraiser. Those women looked nothing like me. They actually looked like they belonged there and hadn’t pulled a discount dress out of the back of their closet. Worse, they didn’t get the look that I’d gotten.

“I’m not his,” I finally protest, catching my bearings. I’m so far from his. I would never be his, no matter what my body wants, regardless of that fact that my brain keeps pulling him to the surface every time I close my eyes.

“Keep telling yourself that, sweets,” Kenton says smoothly as he finally pulls his dark blue eyes to mine. I freeze as he leans in and kisses my bare shoulder. I move away slightly, pretending I don’t like it, even though my body wants to lean into the soft touch.

“Stop calling me that,” I grit out as he slides onto the bar stool next to mine, casually throwing one of his arms along the back of my seat. His other arm rests on the bar in front of me. It’s as if he’s trying to cage me in. If anyone walked into this area of the restaurant, I don’t think they’d even be able to see me. His size and his position block me from view.

“I’ll eat whatever she’s having, and I’ll take my normal drink,” he tells the bartender, ignoring what I just said.

I hate that stupid name. It makes me feel young, and that’s not why I came here. I came to have a little adventure and to maybe finally lose my virginity. I don’t want to be sweet. I want to be sexy. Maybe even sinful. Or any other “S” word that makes me feel more like a woman. Not just the Caldwell brothers’ sweet little sister.

“What are you doing here? Did my brothers send you? What did they say?” I fire off the questions in agitation. They can’t make me leave. “I can’t believe them. I’m 22-years old, for God’s sake. Oh, just wait until I get back. I’m getting my own place. See how much they like that,” I huff out.

A slow smile starts to spread across Kenton’s face, making him look even more stupidly handsome. A man should not get to look that good, and look good he does. From his short black hair, dark blue eyes, and his large, muscular frame, he looks like Adonis come to life. Isn’t he supposed to be, like, sitting behind a desk, not lifting weights or whatever men do to look like that? Oh God, I bet he doesn’t even have to try. He’s just built like that.

“I actually own the place,” he says with a little laugh, as if he finds my little tantrum funny.

I roll my eyes at that. Or course he owns the place. I would be surprised, but he’s so rich, it’s easy to believe he owns just about everything he touches. He leans in a little more, and I try to pretend I don’t notice his closeness. I pick up my drink and take a few big gulps. The bubbles burn the back of my throat.

“Of course you do.” I try to look anywhere but at him as I put my glass back down on the bar with a hard click.

“I knew that wouldn’t impress you. Not even in the least.” His words are lazy, and I can tell he’s saying them with a smile, but I keep my eyes on the bartender as he makes his way back over with Kenton’s drink. He sets it down and tells us our food will be out shortly.

“Stop looking at him,” he growls next to my ear, making me jump. I finally pull my eyes to his, and I can’t read his expression.

“Do they know?” I ask, wanting to know if my brothers sent him here to check on me because he’s close to them. I wonder if they want to make sure, once again, that a man isn’t within ten feet of me. But Kenton is. He’s so close I can feel the heat of his body. Smell the sun on his skin.

“I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, but no, I didn’t tell them, if that’s what you’re are asking.”

I relax a little at that. I’d left them a note telling them I was going away for a few days and not to worry. But nothing I could’ve done would make them not worry. I’m their little sister by a good ten years, a whoops my parents had late in life.

Their overprotectiveness was cute when I was younger, but it took on a whole new form when our parents died. I was fifteen and had been left in their care. It would be a lie if I said I didn’t sometimes like it. It’s sweet, and I know they’re only trying to protect me, but it has been starting to wear me down since I left school.

“Is there something you need? Or can I eat in peace?” I cock my head towards him.

I still can’t get a feel for him. The first few times I’d met him, he made me feel out of place, like he didn’t want me around. Then he’d started trying to talk to me. I just gave him the same icy coldness he’d given me, and I actually think that might have blown up in my face. Now he acts like he wants a piece of me. Boys want what they can’t have, and the saying rang loud in my head. It’s ringing now, and for some reason, I want to hold on to it, because Kenton is cocky. He looked at me like I didn’t belong, but I wouldn’t give him the time of day, and now he’s interested. This feels like a small piece of revenge, and I’m probably enjoying it a little too much.

“Can’t I enjoy the company of a beautiful woman?” He gives me that half smirk again.

“I’m sure there are plenty of beautiful women to keep you company, Mr. Monroe, but I’m not among them.” I run my eyes over him. “And you’re not my type,” I lie, and I feel his body stiffen around me.

I don’t even know what my type is, regardless of what my late-night dreams tell me.

The bartender comes back, placing our plates in front of us. “Can I get a to-go box, please?” I ask him. He nods and heads towards the back once again. I’m not up for a verbal sparring match with a man like Kenton.

“Don’t go.” His tone is different now. It’s soft and sweet and almost sounds like a plea.

I push my stool back and stand, and he makes no move to get up himself. His arm is still on the bar in front of me, but the other’s fallen off the back of my chair.

“I don’t know what’s going on here. One minute you’re kind of a jerk and dismiss me, then the next you’re doing this weird flirt-with-me thing,” I say, shaking my head. At least, I think it’s flirting. My experience with men is almost zero, after all. “Either way, it doesn’t matter. It’s not happening. This,” I motion between us, “would never work. I mean, think about the first night we met. You could barely stand the sight of me.”

“That’s not true. I”

I hold my hand up, cutting him off.

“Let me just be frank so we can stop this. My brothers work for you, and we keep running into each other. I don’t want it to be weird, and I don’t want them to lose your business, but you and I can’t happen. You’d break my heart.” I grip the edge of the bar, my nails digging into the wood. “When I fall in love, it’s going to be with a sweet man who doesn’t scare the bejesus out of me.”

I stress love instead of sex, because for some reason I don’t want him to know I’m a virgin. I want to lose my virginity to someone who isn’t going to break my heart in the process. Thankfully, the bartender comes back at the end of my little speech and starts packing up my food. Kenton just stares at me while I just watch the bartender box up the food and grab the bag.

“I got it,” Kenton says, grabbing the check from the bar top.

“Thank you.” I give him a tight smile, like a part of me isn’t aching from shutting down what could’ve been. That I hadn’t thought for a minute that maybe, just maybe, I could spend a few sexy nights with this man in paradise. But the aftermath would be too painful. I’m just like he said, sweet. I have no idea how to begin to be sexy.

I’d have to see him again in New York. And what would it be like if, after all that, I’d have to see him with another woman? Heck, I’d been jealous that night at the charity event and we’d said maybe two words to each other.

“It’s always a pleasure,” he says, standing and moving his own chair out a little so I can easily get by.

“Goodnight, Mr. Monroe.”

 

 

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Alexa Riley is two sassy friends who got together and wrote some dirty books. They are both married moms of two who love football, donuts, and obsessed book heroes.

They specialize in insta-love, over-the-top, sweet, and cheesy love stories that don’t take all year to read. If you want something SAFE, short, and always with a happily ever after, then Alexa Riley is for you!

Author Links

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☆:*´¨`* BLITZ! ☆:*´¨`* SCARS by Author Jaimie Roberts!

:*´¨`* RELEASE DAY BLITZ*´¨`*:

SCARS

By Bestselling Author Jaimie Roberts

 

I had the perfect school, the perfect friends—the perfect life …

At least, that’s what I thought.

But you changed all that.

You are always there … Always watching … Always waiting in the shadows. You send me flowers and messages. You stalk me, trace my every movement… 
Until that one day, in a silly game of Seven Minutes in Heaven, when I finally get to feel you—have a taste of you …

It left me wanting more.

One catastrophic day, my wish is granted.

Just past my eighteenth birthday, tragedy strikes and I watch my family die before my eyes. 

You are there. You rescue me. You choose my life over my older sister’s, and I hate you for that. I hate you for taking me and imprisoning me. You say it’s for my sake, but I know it’s for your own. You make me see that my life could be much worse without you in it… 

You make me see true darkness.

It is in that darkness you make me desperate for your presence, your touch, your caress. You make me need you… You make it impossible for me to live without you… And then, eventually…

You make me fall in love with you.

Secrets will always wound the ones twisted within their web of lies… But the ones I’m tangled in … are deadly.

WARNING: Although this book (overall) is not a dark read, one chapter is an exception, and contains the following triggers: childhood sexual/emotional abuse with some intensity in one particular scene.

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

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He pulls his head back leaving the lingering smell of spice invading my nostrils. It makes them flare violently, trying to take in as much of him as possible. Once he does pull back, he lingers for a moment and my heart beats rapidly against my chest. Can he feel it? Can he hear the boom, boom, boom sound thumping against my ribcage? It’s almost deafening me.

“Trust me,” he says, leaning in to touch my lips with his. At first he moves in slow, coaxing my mouth open a little. I suck in his breath, taking every morsel of his minty fragrance. I’m not sure why my body is reacting to his every move, but it’s almost as if it’s seeking out something, and that something is this mysterious patterned stranger standing in front of me coaxing my mouth open to meet his.

 

Jaimie Roberts was born in London, but moved to Gibraltar in 2001. She is married with two sons, and in her spare time, she writes.
In June 2013, Jaimie published her first book, Take a Breath, with the second released in November 2013. With the reviews, Jaimie took time out to read and learn how to become a better writer. She gets tremendous enjoyment out of writing, and even more so from the feedback she receives.
If you would like to send Jaimie a message, please do so by visiting her at:

More by Jaimie Roberts:
Until I Met You: getBook.at/UntilIMetYou
DEVIANT: getBook.at/DEVIANTBook1
REDEMPTION: getBook.at/RedemptionDEVIANT2
CHAINED: getBook.at/CHAINED
A STEP TWO CLOSE: getBook.at/AStepTwoClose
LUCA: You Will Be Mine: getBook.at/LUCAYouWillBeMine
LUCA: Because You’re Mine: getBook.at/LucaBook2

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