PRE-ORDER BLITZ | Tru Blue by Melissa Foster

Title: Tru Blue
Author: Melissa Foster
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 9th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

He wore the skin of a killer, and bore the heart of a lover…
There’s nothing Truman Gritt won’t do to protect his family–Including spending years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. When he’s finally released, the life he knew is turned upside down by his mother’s overdose, and Truman steps in to raise the children she’s left behind. Truman’s hard, he’s secretive, and he’s trying to save a brother who’s even more broken than he is. He’s never needed help in his life, and when beautiful Gemma Wright tries to step in, he’s less than accepting. But Gemma has a way of slithering into people’s lives and eventually she pierces through his ironclad heart. When Truman’s dark past collides with his future, his loyalties will be tested, and he’ll be faced with his toughest decision yet.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU / Amazon PaperBack
KOBO / NOOKiBOOKS / Google Play / Smashwords /
B&NIndie Bound / Books-A-Million / Powell’s Books

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

melissa-author-photoo-1Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

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

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

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COVER REVEAL | Black And White Flowers by Rachel Robinson

Title: Black And White Flowers
Author: Rachel Robinson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 1st 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Carina Painter lives a life she created in between the pages of her bestselling novel. At least, that’s what she outwardly portrays. A heart-rending childhood followed by an abusive engagement leaves her broken in all ways possible. A chance encounter provides the fork in the road she so desperately desires.

Navy SEAL Smith Eppington is fighting the war of his lifetime. One that isn’t fought with weapons and highly sought intelligence. It’s a battle to remember his past. The accident that scarred seventy five percent of his body, and stole the life of his best friend also seized parts and pieces of his memory. When an author asks to interview him for a fiction novel, he’s ready to pour his heart out no matter the cost.

The friendship that blossoms between Smith and Carina is something extraordinary. It’s a living, breathing love story about finding yourself, change that is out of your control, grasping what you can, and letting go of everything else.

In a twist of kismet, remembering could destroy everything, but fiction may be what saves the day. A friendship built on new truths and a relationship torn apart by old lies collide in a poignant novel by International Bestselling Author, Rachel Robinson.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

iBOOKS

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

rachel-robinson-1Rachel grew up in a small, quiet town full of loud talkers. Her words were always only loud on paper. She has been writing stories and creating characters for as long as she can remember. After living on the west coast for many years she recently moved to Virginia Beach, VA.

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COVER REVEAL | Say You Want Me by Corinne Michaels

Title: Say You Want Me
Author: Corinne Michaels
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 31st 2016
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Photographer: Embry Allen Lopez
Cover Model: Joel Rush

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SYNOPSIS

There’s no way I’ll fall for Wyatt Hennington.

He can keep his Southern drawl, irresistible smile, and those pick up lines all to himself. It’s bad enough that I made the mistake of sleeping with him once. It will never happen again. I don’t want nor need some cowboy complicating my life.

But I don’t always get what I want.

Whether I like it or not, our lives are intertwined. Trying to keep him out of my heart is futile. He’ll find every loophole and embed himself there.

The problem is—I don’t know if he even loves me. And when the ground crumbles beneath us and our world shatters, I’ll finally know if he truly wants me or if we are only fooling ourselves . . .

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

eBook Preorders – iBOOKS / B&N / KOBO
Paperback Preorders – Books A MillionAMAZON

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

corinne-close-mediumCorinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of The Salvation Series and Say You’ll Stay. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.

Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha heroes are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.

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RELEASE BLITZ | The Trouble With Before by Portia Moore

Title: The Trouble With Before
Author: Portia Moore
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 30th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Our history made things harder.

We were associates out of convenience.

We tolerated each other.

I never saw her that way.

She never saw me that way.

She and I were never meant to be friends.

You’re not supposed to fall for your best friend’s enemy, even if the enemy is YOUR ex-best friend.

This isn’t the story of falling in love with your best friend.

It’s about falling out of hate.

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BUY LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
NOOK / iBOOKS

EXCERPT

…. “So what’s your story, Lisa? The real story.” Grams shifts her attention to Lisa, honing in on her like a lion does a gazelle.
Even though I’m ecstatic to be out of the hot seat, Lisa hasn’t had a grilling by grams in years, and the woman is like a human lie detector. If Grams hadn’t been pulling so much overtime at the hospital during my senior year, she would have sniffed out Lisa’s Mr. Robinson romance before it even started and set her straight. Lisa’s eyes dart over to me, but if there’s one person I can’t save her from, it’s this one.
“My sort-of boyfriend-slash-boss dumped-slash-fired me and kicked me out of his house,” Lisa answers, picking at a piece of toast.
  
“That asshole. Do you want Aidan to go kick his ass?” Grams asks angrily, ready to send me to California.
“I already asked, Grams.”
“No, it-it actually was my fault,” Lisa answers quietly.
Grams is quiet for a moment. “What’d you do?”
Lisa looks at me before returning her attention to her toast. “I-I told him that I had slept with another guy.”
My eyes nearly bulge out of my head. She didn’t tell me that.
“It was a lie though,” she adds quickly.
“Why would you do something stupid like that?” Grams asks in a way that only she could. It comes off as hilarious but concerned.
“Because I’m an idiot sometimes.” Lisa laughs and looks down at her picked over toast, apparently embarrassed.
Grams sighs, shaking her head. “What am I going to do with you two? So what are you going to do to get him back?” Grams asks in the no-nonsense tone only she could make loveable.
Lisa chuckles. “I don’t think that’s happening.”
“Hey, one thing I want you two to remember is that you never give up on love. I don’t care what it takes. True love, real love, is worth some groveling and embarrassment.” Grams’s expression becomes serious, and she points at both of us to drive home her point. “Real love can bounce back from anything.”
I roll my eyes.
“One day you’re going to find the girl that will make you crazy, that you’ll hate and love so much it’ll make your skin itch,”
“Great, love’s like an STD.” I cringe.
Lisa hides her chuckle.
“Listen, if there’s one thing I wish for you, it’s that you find your other half who, no matter how bad things get, can make you smile every day, even if you want to crack their skull in sometimes. That’s the type of love that makes you feel complete,” she says with a reminiscent smile.
I wonder if she’s reflecting on my granddad.
“Shouldn’t you feel that way regardless of another person? You shouldn’t need anyone else to complete you,” Lisa says.
I grin. Now there’s the controversial, opinionated girl I know.
“No, you should never need anyone to make you feel good about who you are. You always have to love yourself, because if you don’t do that, when you meet that other person, it’s going to make their job a shitload harder. But when you have that love that makes your insides feel weak, when you have a person who will go to hell and back for you, it’s like putting a pretty little bow on an already beautifully wrapped gift box,” Grams says.
“So it’s like when a girl is hot, then you find out she’s a gymnast?” I deduce.
“You’re a pig,” Lisa scolds me playfully, and I make a snorting noise. “I didn’t know that you were into love stuff like this, Grams. You’re always so tough and kickass.”
“Us hardasses need love too, and you never got to meet Aidan’s granddaddy. You’d have seen true love right in front of you,” Grams says sadly. “So you going to get this boy, back?”
I snicker, and Lisa cuts her eyes at me.
“What was that for?” she asks indignantly.
“You don’t love Brett,” I say before stealing a piece of bacon off her plate.
“Oh, and you’d know because you’re so in love with Hillary?” she counters.
“Who’s Hillary?” Grams asks, and I frown.
“You know,” I say with a tense laugh.
“No, I don’t know,” she reiterates.
Lisa bursts into laughter. “So your grams doesn’t even know about your pretty-much girlfriend?”
I haven’t mentioned her once? “I’ve been kind of seeing her the past year,” I tell Grams, rolling my eyes at Lisa’s smug grin.
“Goddammit, when am I going to get to meet the girl?”
Shit, Hillary meeting Grams? I don’t even want to imagine how that’d go, or the ideas it’d give Hillary about us.
“I’ll think about it,” I grumble. Grams frowns, so I shine the spotlight back on Lisa. “What about you, Lisa? Going to run and fight for your true love?” I can’t even make it through the sentence without bursting into laughter.
“Brett is a really great guy!” she spits back, even though he kicked her and his soon-to-be child out of the house.
The thought makes my fist instinctively ball up.
“The whole thing was my fault,” she adds defensively.
“The guy’s a douche and has been since you dated him in high school.”
“Aidan hates Brett because he’s everything he’s not: charming, sensitive, and a man instead of a little boy,” she says, then sticks her tongue out at me.
“You two are still the same. As much as you fought when you were younger, I swore you’d grow up and marry each other.” Grams laughs as Lisa and I look at her as if she’s grown two heads.
“That’d never happen, Grams. Aidan likes his women dumb and psychotic,” she teases.
“And Leese likes her dudes with vaginas and issues out the ass,” I say.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’m obsessed with blowing kisses. I guess that makes me a romantic. I love books and cute boys and reading about cute boys in books.I’m infatuated with the glamour girls of the past: Audrey,Dorothy,Marilyn,Elizabeth.

I’m a self confessed girly girl,book nerd,food enthusiast, and comic book fan. Odd combination huh, you have no idea…

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REVIEW | Pretty Stolen Dolls by Ker Dukey & K. Webster

picsart_09-29-11-30-16Title: Pretty Stolen Dolls
Author: Ker Dukey & K. Webster
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: September 26th 2016

Benny loves his pretty little dolls.
As long as they do exactly as they’re told.
He keeps them perfect by brushing their hair
and gives them pretty dresses to wear.
He likes to toy with them late at night.
One so timid but the other likes to fight.
When his favorite doll runs away…
despite the other doll promising to stay,
his heart becomes broken and he can’t help but cry.
He wants her back home or his pretty little doll must die. Have you ever had to make a decision that haunts you every single day for the rest of your life…the life you stole back?
I have.
I ran for my survival, rocks and twigs cutting into the soles of my feet, my lungs burning and screaming for rest, every muscle tensed and fighting along with me for existence.
I left her.
I ran, ran, ran—from Benny and his lone, pretty little doll—until I couldn’t remember where to find them again.
I’m sorry.

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BUY LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

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MY REVIEW

I was extremely surprised when I read this book, it was really intriguing and scary. This might have been my first book by Ker Dukey, but I know what to expect from K. Webster, her darkness is always so consuming and mind blowing, and I would recognize her work anywhere. From the moment I started reading Pretty Stolen Dolls, I got addicted and drawn to it. The story is dark, twisted and scary.

Jade Phillips is a strong person on the outside, but on the inside she’s crumbling, falling apart. Afraid that the horror from her past will hunt her down and ruin her life once again. Even though she’s afraid, she still wants revenge on the monster who ruin her life and the life of her little sister. She wanted her sister back and she wanted the monster who made her life a living hell to pay for what he did and get what he deserves. As strange things start to happen, Jade can’t stop but fear that the monster is back to collect her, because every single detail of the events remind Jade of the monster who helped her captive for four years. Will Jade be able to get Benny to justice and make him pay for everything he has done or will she fall back into his clutches again. If you want to know, read Pretty Stolen Dolls.

The only thing I am asking myself now is written is the second book coming out because I can’t wait for it. The cliffhanger in the end, killed me. I need this more than my next breath. So Ker Dukey and K. Webster when the fuck is second book coming out?

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ker Dukey

My books all tend to be darker romance, edge of you seat, angst filled reads. My advice to my readers when starting one of my titles…prepare for the unexpected.

I have always had a passion for storytelling, whether it be through lyrics or bed time stories with my sisters growing up. We also used to put on performances by acting out stories. I wanted to become an actress from an early age so I could live out many roles but unfortunately I learned early on that my mind was too active…(I would end up wanting to change the script)
I would watch films or TV shows and think of ways they could have improved the story if they took another direction so I thought it best that I tell my own.

My mum would always have a book in her hand when I was young and passed on her love for reading, inspiring me to venture into writing my own. I tend to have a darker edge to my writing. Not all love stories are made from light; some are created in darkness but are just as powerful and worth telling.

When I’m not lost in the world of characters I love spending time with my family. I’m a mum and that comes first in my life but when I do get down time I love attending music concerts or reading events with my younger sister.

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K. Webster

K Webster is the author of dozens of romance books in many different genres including contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, and erotic romance. When not spending time with her husband of twelve years and two adorable children, she’s active on social media connecting with her readers.

Her other passions besides writing include reading and graphic design. K can always be found in front of her computer chasing her next idea and taking action. She looks forward to the day when she will see one of her titles on the big screen.

You can easily find K Webster on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads!

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EXCERPT REVEAL | Tempting Tempo by Michelle Mankin

Title: Tempting Tempo
Author: Michelle Mankin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 13th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Sager Reed, the strong and silent bassist of the rock band Tempest, is well acquainted with loss. The thoughtful artist’s own tattoos only hint at his turbulent youth. He buries his guilt about it deeply within his troubled heart.

Melinda T. Belle, the daughter of a dysfunctional rock legend, as a rule avoids emotional entanglement. In fact, she has turned her back on nearly everyone and everything she has ever known. Now she is alone, trying desperately to find fulfillment in the one dream she has left, competitive skiing.

CAN SAGER OVERCOME HIS DARK PAST AND FINALLY BELIEVE THAT HE IS WORTHY OF HER LOVE?

WILL MELINDA REALIZE TOO LATE THAT HE IS THE ONE THAT REALLY MATTERS?

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / KOBO / NOOK

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EXCERPT

“Melinda, come back,” Sager called, his deep voice urgent. “Wait,” he insisted, his hands falling on my shoulders before I had a chance to press the elevator call button. He turned me toward him, the warmth and tenderness in his touch and his unique leather and cardamom scent bending me to his will.

My lids fluttered half closed remembering how good it had been in his bed. Those strong hands gliding over every inch of my naked skin. His confident caresses coaxing me, sometimes demanding me to respond. Knees weakening, my body swayed in ready servitude towards the sexy rock god who had everything I needed but nothing I could ever hope to keep.

“Come back to bed.” He gently stroked a tendril of my sapphire hair behind my ear. He melted my resolve with his warm regard and his earnest expression. My arms stiffened at my sides, a battle waging within me. My fingertips longed to retrace the contours of his sculpted body, but my feet only wanted to run away.

“I can’t,” I pleaded, my stomach cinched. “I need to go. I have a race in a couple of hours.”

“I heard you.” His tone was tender, but I could feel the tension rising in it. “I listened very closely to everything you said.”

“It’s late.” Three a.m. in fact. We had been together most of the night. I motioned with my chin toward the door to his hotel room that he had left propped open. “Let’s forget tonight ever happened. Like I told you it doesn’t mean anything.” –a lie lie lie –no guy had ever made me feel like he did, even before I slept with him.

“Bullshit,” he decided, unwaveringly certain. “You might say you only slept with me to make Dizzy jealous, but I don’t believe that’s it. Don’t try to tell me you didn’t feel the same connection I did. It wasn’t him in that bed with you tonight. It was just you and me. And that’s the way it has to be from now on. I won’t share you with anyone else. You get me?” He gathered my hands and brought them to his chest. I could feel his heart racing. His thumbs lightly circled the delicate skin on the inside of my wrists. My pulse leapt to his touch. “Don’t be afraid, Melinda,” he whispered.

“I’m not scared.” Another lie. I was terrified of the intensity of the emotions surging through me, emotions he seemed to effortlessly command.

“I think that you are. You bolted for the door as soon as things got intense.” His dark eyes delved piercingly deep. “You’ve got to know that no matter how angry I get I could never hurt you.”

“I know,” I whispered back.

“So stay then.”

“I can’t, Sager. I just can’t.” He wanted something real, but when he found out how messed up I really was, he wouldn’t want me anymore.

**Tempting Tempo is a standalone in the Tempest series but does contain characters and story lines from previous novels.**

HE SEES HER IN A WAY SHE

COULD NEVER SEE HERSELF.

SHE HAS NEVER FELT MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN WHEN SHE WAS IN HIS ARMS.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle Mankin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Records series of novels.

Rock Stars. Romance. Redemption.

Love Evolution, Love Revolution, and Love Resolution are a BRUTAL STRENGTH centered trilogy, combining the plot underpinnings of Shakespeare with the drama, excitement, and indisputable sexiness of the rock ‘n roll industry.

Things take a bit of an edgier, once upon a time turn with the TEMPEST series. These pierced, tatted, and troubled Seattle rockers are young and on the cusp of making it big, but with serious obstacles to overcome that may prevent them from ever getting there.

Rock stars, myths, and legends collide with paranormal romance in a totally mesmerizing way in the MAGIC series.

Catch the perfect wave with irresistible surfers in the ROCK STARS, SURF AND SECOND CHANCES series.

Romance and self-discovery, the FINDING ME series is a Tempest spin off with a more experienced but familiar cast of characters.

When Michelle is not prowling the streets of her Texas town listening to her rock or NOLA funk music much too loud, she is putting her daydreams down on paper or traveling the world with her family and friends, sometimes for real, and sometimes just for pretend.

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EXCERPT REVEAL | Use Somebody by Beck Anderson

Title: Use Somebody
Author: Beck Anderson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 8th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Jeremy King, Hollywood über-agent to the stars, knows that sharks gotta swim. He’s one of them, after all. He’s never met a deal he couldn’t strike or an argument he couldn’t win. LA is his kind of town—they both never stop moving.

So when his friend and client, movie star Andrew Pettigrew, invites him on a “man-cation” to the wilds of Idaho for a little fly-fishing, Jeremy’s not so sure. He might not have cell service. There’s no way there’ll be any supermodels to woo. And his idea of the great outdoors is a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway in his Tesla Model S—moose definitely do not factor into the picture.

Fitting then that because of a moose, he meets Macy Shea Summerlin, the best fly-fishing guide on the South Fork. Jeremy’s surprised and tantalized, but Macy isn’t having any of his alpha male posturing. She gives as good as she gets, and she knows how to throw a mean right hook.

As the two of them get tangled up in each other’s lives, both Jeremy and Macy must come to terms with winning and losing and letting love in. And Jeremy has to find the answer to his own question: Is he simply “using” Macy or could he really “use” someone like her? Find out in Use Somebody, book 3 of the Fix You series.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / KOBO
NOOK / iBOOKS

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EXCERPT

We stand in a ridiculous line (my opinion) to grab a coffee at the original Starbucks, and Macy pulls out her phone.

“Now we’ll take our coffees and go drink them somewhere cool.” She pulls me along back the way we came, hops on the Link again, headed back toward the hotel.

“Where is this cool place?” I fight the urge to take the reins. She’s lost. We’re headed nowhere.

“Just wait. It’s gonna be cool. I asked the concierge about it before you got up, too, so it’s not just me and Google that thinks so.”

We walk a short block in the opposite direction of the hotel, past the gleaming steel and glass public library, which Macy takes several pictures of as we walk.

We cross the street, and she walks up to the front doors of a grey stone modern office building.

“What?” I feel a little unsettled. I’m the one who does the surprising.

“Trust me.” She takes my hand and pulls me in through the revolving doors.

We get on the elevator, and she presses the button for the seventh floor.

“Okay.” I stand next to her, but I’m concentrating mostly on the way it feels to have her hand on mine. I think about her lips on mine, her hips against mine…

And then she coughs. It’s two, quick coughs, but there’s that rattle again.

And my mind’s back on the business of keeping her well, keeping her safe.

We get off the elevator. She looks like a kid with a great secret. “Just wait. This is so cool.”

“You haven’t been here, how do you know?”

“Don’t be a crank. Nobody likes the stick in the mud.”

“Fine.”

She pulls me through another set of chrome and glass doors.

And yeah, she’s right. It’s pretty cool.

So apparently Macy from Teton County, Idaho, has discovered the rooftop park hidden in the middle of downtown Seattle. And it’s gorgeous. She hands me my coffee and walks over to the railing. The sun is out, and the water and the waterfront is laid out in front of us.

“There’s the Space Needle! We’re going there later today. After dinner.”

I laugh. “Are you at least going to let me pick a spot for dinner?”

“Do you want to?” She doesn’t look like she wants me to.

“There’s a great place I know, and it’s a short walk from the hotel.”

“Fine.” She takes a sip from her coffee and looks out over the view.

I kiss her on the cheek again. “Don’t sulk.”

She turns and kisses me full-on, on the lips, for the briefest possible moment, before pulling away and facing out to the view again. “I’m not.” I taste mint and feel sparks down to the base of my spine.

Then she smiles the slyest, crookedest grin I’ve seen. I haven’t seen her smile like that.

And I grin back.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beck Anderson is a two-time Rita© finalist and author of four novels including the Fix You series and The Jeweler. She’s also a wife, a mom, an educator, and a walker of a small, bossy dog-slash-evil genius.

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COVER REVEAL | Written In The Scars by Adriana Locke

Title: Written In The Scars
Author: Adriana Locke
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 20th 2016
Cover Design: Kari March Designs
Photographer: Lauren Perry, Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Model: Ghent Scott

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SYNOPSIS

Falling in love is easy.

Falling out of love is the hardest thing in the world.

And Elin and Ty Whitt are terrible at it.

The first time the local basketball star smiled at Elin, she was a goner. It was just so damn easy to fall for the dark-haired hometown hero with his charming smile and strong, athletic build.

Thousands of sleepy smiles, aimless drives down country roads, and squeaks of the backdoor after a swing shift later, reality hits. And it hits hard. Falling in love was definitely the easy part. Watching it break apart was impossible.

Through the tears, the second-guesses, the memories of a life built together, the world keeps spinning. With each turn comes clarity and hope—sometimes in the form of a pair of muddy boots by the back door or from the words of a wise friend.

When Ty shows back up with a new found determination to put his family back together, Elin’s torn between the fights of the past and the possibility of a new start. This is the man that holds her heart, the man she loves beyond anything else. But this is also the one person in the world that can cause her the most pain.

Life’s not always easy. Love’s not for the faint of heart. But with life comes lessons and Ty and Elin have the scars to prove it. But it’s their love written in those scars that will hold them together … or break them apart.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

 She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

 For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana’s Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.

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COVER REVEAL | Riveted by Jay Crownover

Title: Riveted
Author: Jay Crownover
Series:
Saints Of Denver
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 14th 2017

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SYNOPSIS

Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that’s become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she’s going hunting for him…even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.

When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON / iBOOKS / B&N / KOBO / GOOGLE PLAY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

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EXCERPT REVEAL | Four Letter Word by J. Daniels

Title: Four Letter Word
Author: J. Daniels
Series: Dirty Deeds
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 4th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Fate. Hate. Love. Lies.
Which four letter word will change their lives forever?

Sydney Paige was never so mortified to hear the words “wrong number” in her life. She meant to tell off the guy who broke her best friend’s heart, but unleashed her anger on a perfect stranger instead. And now her world is turned upside down by the captivating man who wants to keep her on the line.

Brian Savage is living a life he’s quickly come to hate-until Sydney’s wild rant has him hooked and hungry for more. Soon the sexy woman on the phone becomes the lover in his bed. But Brian has secrets, and the closer he lets Syd get, the harder it is to shield her from the devastating mistakes of his past . . .

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / AU / B&N / KOBO
KOBO UK / iBOOKS / iBOOKS UK / iBOOKS AU

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EXCERPT

I showered and shaved, slathered on my favorite sweet-smelling body lotion, slid into the dress after deciding on a thong and no bra, thanks to the mesh, and curled and teased my hair, giving it body and height that looked kick-ass paired with my outfit.
I also went to town on my makeup job, keeping everything heavy but the kind of heavy that screamed fierce concertgoer and not back alley hooker.
Dark, smoky eyes, false lashes that flared at the ends, and warm cerise lipstick.
I felt pretty. Really pretty.
The kind of pretty a girl had to commemorate with a selfie, and there was only one person in the entire world I wanted to send that selfie to.
I bit my lip while swiping my phone off the bed and pulling up the camera mode.
I was nervous.
Understandably so. This would be the first time Brian was going to see me.
Like ever.
Heavy stuff right there.
I’d thought about sending him pictures before, but got sidetracked with conversation and his sweet as warmed honey voice I wanted to taste, and all thoughts of pictures would slip my mind. Considering he never asked to see a photo of me didn’t help either.
Since he wasn’t bringing it up, I was hardly thinking about it.
But right now, standing in my bedroom with my makeup done up and my hair looking prettier than it had on prom night, sending Brian a picture of me was suddenly all I could think about.
And before I could think or whisper talk myself out of it, I reversed the camera so I could see myself on the screen, held the device out in front of me and off to the right a bit, pursed my stained lips into a kiss, other hand poised at my chin to blow it, and snapped the picture.
Then I attached it to a text and hit Send.

Feeling WILD.

I wanted to put my phone down. Really I did, especially since I had to snap on my studded cuff bracelet and that required use of both hands, furthermore because Tori had given me a fifteen-minute warning close to fifteen minutes ago, but I couldn’t let the damn thing go.
I couldn’t stop looking at it either.
My stomach was clenched. I was biting my fist and pacing the length of the bed, head down and eyes anxiously focused.
But when the little bubbles floated in teasing intervals on my screen and I knew Brian had seen my photo, that’s when the real panic set in.
Would he like how I looked? Would it be how he had imagined and confessed to imagining countless times late at night to me, or better, would my photo exceed the limits of his imagination and paint a more pleasing image in his mind?
Or would he hate it and me for sending it to him, shattering his dreamed-up spank-bank material and ruining every orgasm I ever gave him?
Shit.
Shit!
Which was it and why the hell was he taking so long to type? Didn’t he know this was killing me?
“Hurry up!” I whispered against the screen.
It started ringing in response to my plea, startling me and nearly slipping out of my hand.
Oh, God, he was calling.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

8184331J. Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the upcoming Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

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RELEASE BLITZ | Roping The Virgin by Alexa Riley

Title: Roping The Virgin
Author: Alexa Riley
Series: Cowboys and Virgins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 28th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Blake Jennings has always wanted what his parents had: a sweet, simple love that lasts a lifetime. And when he meets Luciana, he knows she’s the one.

Luciana Salazar comes from a tight-knit family that pushes her to follow her dreams. When she takes a job on the Braided Rope Ranch, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with its owner, the dark-haired man she’s seen watching her in town.

Roping the Virgin is over-the-top sweet, with a heaping scoop of sexy steam. Blake sweeps his Luciana off her feet and gives her the life she’s always dreamed of.

Warning: Ridiculous is almost close enough to describe this irresistible short story. Come back to the Jennings farm and pull up a rocking chair. You’ll like the way they treat you.

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BUY LINKS

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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

Twitter |  Facebook |  Website |  Goodreads |  Amazon Page |  Instagram

BLOG TOUR | Taking Tessa by Aria Cole

Title: Taking Tessa
Author: Aria Cole
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21st 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Cage West has spent his entire life waiting for that one special woman to turn his world upside down. As a detective with the local PD, he fills his hours investigating criminals with little time left for much else. When a tip comes into the office about a possible kidnapping at a suspiciously familiar address, Cage is prepared to do whatever it takes to rescue the girl, but when he lays eyes on sweet, innocent Tessa, a firestorm knocks him off his feet. She needs him, and he damn sure wants her–for now, for life, forever.

Nineteen-year-old Tessa Talbot hasn’t seen the outside world in two years. Her stepfather keeps her under his thumb after the tragic death of her mother, convinced she’ll only succumb to all the sins the world has to offer. He’s kept her wildly untouched, and after years of sheltered homeschooling, she’s doubtful her life will ever look any different. That is until one tall, dark, and devilishly handsome detective knocks on her door.

Scared to let him in, even more afraid to turn him away, Tessa makes the decision of her life and decides to trust the man she’s only just met and leave the only world she’s ever known behind. She’s just praying the past won’t return to haunt her, he’s just praying he can save her when it does.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON US / UK

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EXCERPT

“Can I help you?”  The saleswoman cooed.

“Just need a couple things for my girl. Something to complement those pretty green eyes, don’t you think?”

“Oh yes, we’ve got a few options back here that would look lovely.”

Cage wagged his eyebrows at me and nearly had me choking on a burst of laughter. He was silly, sweet, and sexy—was there anything better?

“How about this one?” The sales clerk held up a slinky black number with a deep vee.

“No way.” Cage shook his head firmly. “Something a little less revealing.”

“Wait, I kind of like that.” I fingered the short hemline.

“Over my dead body, Tessa. Saved you once, not going to do it again just because you want to wear that scrap-of-nothing excuse for a dress.”

“Well, this one then?” The clerk held up another black dress, this one with a high neckline and a completely open back.

“Yes.”

“No way in hell.”

“Cage!” I nudged his shoulder before swiping the dress from the woman’s hands and heading for the changing rooms in back.

“Tessa.” His throaty reply followed me.

I turned and cast him one last glance, the fire in my eyes burning bright as a mischievous smile danced on my lips. I ducked into the changing room and slid the latch on the door. I didn’t love the dress—I’d seen prettier ones just walking through—but I loved the way it made his eyes light up.

I stepped out of the dressing room a minute later. Cage’s eyes crawled up my skin, a wolfish fire burning in his eyes. “So help me, God. If you think I’m going to let you leave the house in that, you’re insane.”

“Really? I think it’s perfect.” The smile on my lips betrayed me when I stepped out of the dressing room and did a small twirl. “Don’t you think?”

Silence hung in the space between us. After a few too-long beats I spun, my gaze landing on his.

“Jesus, Tessa. What are you trying to do to me?” His ocean eyes crawled my body, moving up my legs, dancing over the curves of my breasts, and I closed my eyes in shame. Maybe he didn’t like it like I’d thought he would.

I turned and reached for the door of the dressing room, prepared to rip the awful dress off and get out of here. I’d embarrassed myself, and I wanted nothing more than to tuck tail and run.

“Tessa.” Warm fingertips grazed the small of my back, hovering around the curve before slinking up my spine. Goosebumps burned through my body and heightened every aroused nerve I had. “You’re so fucking beautiful, all I can think about is slipping this dress off you. But I don’t want to scare you, Tessa.  I need you to feel safe and wanted. I want you to feel loved.”

 GIVEAWAY

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aria Cole is a thirty-something housewife who once felt bad for reading dirty books late at night, until she decided to write her own. Possessive alpha men and the sassy heroines who love them are common, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily ever afters so sweet your teeth may ache.

Aria’s new release BLACK is the first in her modern fairy tale series. For a safe, off-the-charts HOT, and always HEA story that doesn’t take a lifetime to read, get lost in an Aria Cole book!

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COVER REVEAL | TONIC by Staci Hart

Title: TONIC
Author: Staci Hart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 13th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Joel Anderson doesn’t take anything seriously.

Not his relationships, which have been few and far between since his brutal divorce. Not the drama of working in a tattoo parlor, which seems to be around every corner. When things get him down, he smiles and cracks a joke. But he’s not the kind of man you cross, or you’ll find yourself at the wrong end of his fists.

Annika Belousov takes everything seriously.

Like her job as a reality television producer, given that she typically has something to prove. Or her love life, which is defined by a series of requirements — affluent, ambitious, accomplished, to name a few. Definitely her family, who worked their whole lives to afford her every opportunity, a sacrifice she doesn’t take lightly. When she’s tapped to produce a reality show at Joel’s shop, she doesn’t think twice, just goes in for the kill, as if there were any other way.

The second Annika walks into Joel’s shop, he makes it his mission to crack her open, but she’s not having it. He’s all wrong — too crass, too hairy, too un-serious. But it doesn’t take her long to find out there’s more to him than smirks and tattoos. And what she finds could put her career and his heart on the line.

Not that Joel cares. Because for the first time in a long time, he’s found his tonic.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

staci-hart-authorStaci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

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COVER REVEAL | Engage by Drew Elyse

Title: Engage
Series: The Disciples’ Daughters
Author: Drew Elyse
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Release Date: October 27th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Once a Disciple, forever a Disciple.

They came for her in the night.
When she wakes, she’s in a cell.
She has no idea if it will help, but it is the only option she has:
She tells them she belongs to the Savage Disciples MC.

A Disciple will fight like a savage when it counts.

Years ago, he lost everything.
Now, the club is the only thing Jager allows himself to care about.
Nothing matters but his Savage Disciple brothers.
At least, until she arrives and he has a decision to make.

This biker has no idea what choosing to engage could mean to a Disciple’s daughter.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Drew Elyse spends her days trying to convince the world that she is, in fact, a Disney Princess, and her nights writing tear-jerking and smutty romance novels. Her debut novel, Dissonance, released in August of 2014.

When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found over-analyzing every line of a book, binge watching a series on Netflix, doing strange vocal warm ups before singing a variety of music styles, or screaming at the TV during a Chicago Blackhawks game.

A graduate of Loyola University Chicago with a BA in English, she still lives in Chicago, IL where she was born and raised with her boyfriend and her prima donna pet rabbit, Lola.

COVER REVEAL | The Player by Claire Contreras

Title: The Player
Author: Claire Contreras
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Release Date: October 10th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

I’m naturally gifted on the field and between the sheets. With flashy cars and enough media attention to put the Royal Family to shame, I’m the definition of Most Eligible Bachelor.

I’ve never met a man who doesn’t want to be me or a woman who doesn’t want to tame me. Until I meet Camila.

From the moment I lay eyes on her, I know I have to have her.

She wants to keep me at arm’s length.
I want her naked in my bed.

She thinks our worlds are too different.
All I want her to think about is screaming my name.

She says I’m bad news.

I have three weeks to prove her wrong.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON Paperback / BooksAMillion / B&N Paperback / iBooks / B&N / KOBO / Google Play

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

6655354Claire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in seven different languages. She lives in Miami, Fl with her husband, two adorable boys, three bulldogs, and two stray cats that she refuses to admit are hers (even though they live on her porch, she named them, and continues to feed them). When she’s not writing, she’s usually lost in a book.

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CHAPTER REVEAL | The Trouble With Before by Portia Moore

Title: The Trouble With Before
Author: Portia Moore
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Release Date: September 30th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

Our history made things harder.

We were associates out of convenience.
We tolerated each other.
I never saw her that way.
She never saw me that way.
She and I were never meant to be friends.

You’re not supposed to fall for your best friend’s enemy, even if the enemy is YOUR ex-best friend.

This isn’t the story of falling in love with your best friend.
It’s about falling out of hate.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON / iBooks

EXCERPT
chapter 1

Aidan

You ever woken up with the feeling that you were going to have a really shitty day? When everything goes wrong from the moment you open your eyes? You look out the window and the weather is crappy, and your grams forgot to wash your favorite pair of underwear, and instead of her making your favorite pancakes for breakfast, she’s out globe-trotting with her lover and you’re stuck eating old people cereal- the crappy flakes with no taste- that you can’t even make edible with sugar because you stopped buying it after her doctor suggested she use Splenda instead, and she’s never even here to not use the sugar she’s supposed to be avoiding… and you forgot to go grocery shopping to get cereal that’s actually worth eating?
Splenda sucks. It’s sugar’s ugly cousin.
I choke down the last spoonful of tasteless crap, and my stomach is still growling. The fridge is stocked with bacon and sausage, but it’s all frozen. At times like this, I question my bachelorhood and think it’d be really cool to have a girlfriend who could cook when my Grams decides to go all single twenty-year-old. That thought doesn’t last long though. It shrivels up and dies as my phone vibrates. It’s my sort-of-ex Hillary, the blond bombshell. I call her that because she’s hot and explodes all over the place, and she’s a sort-of ex because she acts like an ex, but we were never really together.
Why? Well, aside from the fact that having a girlfriend is like renting a house when you can live in a whole lot of hotels for free, Hillary pretended to be normal—like all girls do—then turned out to be bat-shit crazy—like all the girls who get on this ride are. That is exactly why I don’t do girlfriends. My track record is embarrassing.
My first g-girlfriend—I can’t even say the word without shuddering—was in middle school. Cassandra Beyers was a cute little redhead who was the first girl in our class to need a training bra, and I wanted to be the first guy to learn to take one off. I was successful and grinning from ear to ear after she let me touch what was then the Holy Grail, but afterward, for some reason, she thought I was her boyfriend and that she could tell me all her secrets. One of those secrets was that she liked to sniff her armpits.
Like, who the hell likes to sniff their armpits? I broke up with her the next day. It really wasn’t a breakup since we were never really together, but she slashed the tires on my bike, years before girls were supposed to go psycho on dudes. I had a woman before her time.
In high school, I was smart and made sure to date as many girls as possible, so my next girlfriend wasn’t until after high school. I met Shawna right after I graduated and before I enlisted in the army. Shawna was great. She was a singer, cute, didn’t want to smell any weird body parts, and had an amazing ass. But for some reason, she was intent on having a fucking kid. I hadn’t known her for more than four months before she wanted me to have a baby with her. I wasn’t even nineteen yet. After I caught her poking holes in my condoms, I got the hell out of Dodge!
Which brings us to Hillary. The moment I saw her, I knew I wanted to do her. She was one of the sexiest women I’d ever seen. She was like a potty-mouthed Kick Your Ass Barbie. I met her through my best friend Chris’s wife. We were at dinner, and Chris’s fiancée was giving his wife, Lauren, a bunch of shit. How Chris has a wife and fiancée is a whole other story, but anyway, Hillary practically attacked the fiancée, Jenna, over giving Hillary’s best friend, Lauren, shit. The way Hillary flew over the dinner table after throwing a pitcher of water in Jenna’s face, who really is a bitch who deserved it, I thought I was in love. Nah, just kidding.
I knew I was in lust though.
That night, Hillary was screaming my name louder than she’d been screaming at Jenna at dinner. It was the best sex I’d ever had, wild and passionate. She was like a fuckin’ porn star, and she got it! That I didn’t want anything serious. Well, she claimed to get it, until she didn’t. She started to want to go out all the time—which is fine, I’m always down for a good time—but then she started to get crazy jealous, which was not a good time at all. I wanted to cut her loose, but she’s my best friend’s wife’s best friend, and I didn’t want things to get ugly.
So I kind of kept sleeping with her because the sex was phenomenal.
Then she sort of started to act as though we were a couple, which was not supposed to happen. We were just supposed to be having a lot of fun. Hillary lives in Chicago, and I won’t lie, being with her there was a breath of fresh air from stale Madison, Michigan. I was going back and forth because Chris and I are opening a car restoration shop in Chicago, and it was kind of cool to have someone on speed dial there who got that sometimes good sex is just good sex. Well, until she started not to get it.
I’ve lived a lot of places. My dad was a sergeant in the army, so Mom and I followed him to so many different states: Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, New Jersey, California, Ohio and even spent a little while in Paris. But Michigan always felt like home. For one, it was where my grams lived and was always kind of our home base, and two, it was the only place that I had real friends growing up. It’s funny how a decision like where you live can change your whole life. If my dad had chosen to live anywhere other than on Pine Circle, who knows who I could have become or how I would have turned out. But since he did choose Pine Circle, it was pretty easy for me and my next-door neighbors to become best friends.
I met Chris first. If there was a picture in the dictionary of an all-American family, it was Chris’s. He was like my generation’s version of Leave It to Beaver. He was a cute kid for a boy, I guess. A lot of girls liked him, almost as many as liked me… but we were complete opposites. He was nice, and not in the fake way most kids acted when adults were around. He was nice all the time. He followed the rules and did his homework and chores without having to get screamed at. He didn’t even swear much.
I don’t know if I believe in God after all the things I’ve seen while on tour, but if there is one, I believe he gives kids who don’t have siblings amazing best friends, because if I hadn’t had Chris as a best friend, who knows what all trouble I’d have landed in. He’s like the conscience that never shut up.
My phone rings again. This time, it’s a woman’s name I don’t cringe at seeing.
“Ms. Red!” I answer.
“Hi, Aidan, how are you?” she asks.
Her good mood is contagious, and I smile. Ms. Red is Chris’s mom and has been a surrogate mother to me since my own mom checked out after my dad died. She is one of the sweetest people I know, but she’s has had her fair share of shit dropped on her, including cancer and her husband being the biggest dick ever.
“I’m good. How about you?” I ask, hoping her happiness is genuine.
“I’m doing pretty well. Are you back from Chicago?”
I hear grease popping in the background, and my mouth waters. I glance at my phone and see it’s almost eight thirty, which is way past breakfast time at the Scotts’ house. They’re up with the roosters, literally. One of the only families I know that still runs a successful farm.
“I am, I got back last night,” I tell her.
“Great, I was wondering if you’ve eaten yet? Your grandmother mentioned you might need some breakfast since she was going to be gone for a while.” She laughs.
“Hell yeah!” I say, too excited. Not only is Ms. Red an awesome person, but she’s a freakin’ amazing cook. “I mean, yes, I’m starving.”
“Great, I’ll be done in about ten minutes if you want to head over.”
“Cool, I’ll be there in five!”

***
Before I’m even up the steps, I can practically taste Ms. Red’s famous homemade biscuits, rice, and gravy. If I’m lucky, she’s made sausage.
“Aidan!”
I steady my balance, ready for my favorite little person in the world to jump on me. She runs down the steps, her blond pigtails bouncing all over the place, and I brace myself as she jumps into my arms.
“What’s up, Willa bear?” I ask, lifting her over my shoulders.
“Guess what?” she asks sneakily.
“Let’s see… you’ve grown a tail?”
She smacks her lips. “No! I got A-plus on my spelling test,” she says with all the excitement of an eight-year-old on a sugar rush.
I set her down and give her a high five. “That’s awesome!” I take her hand as I walk up to the door, but she jumps in front of me with her hand held out.
“Remember what you said?” She laughs, her eyes twinkling, and I push the thought of her mother out of my head.
I let out an exaggerated sigh and pull the ten bucks I promised her out of my back pocket. “You’re breaking me kid,” I say with fake irritation.
She snatches it out of my hand and runs into the house. I follow her inside.
“Aidan, it’s so good to see you,” Ms. Red says, ushering me over to the sink after giving me a quick hug.
“You called me right on time. I’m starving.” After I finish washing my hands, I sit down at the table.
She sets a plate of rice, gravy biscuits, and score, sausage in front of me.
“Jackpot.” I rub my hands together before digging in.
She lightly swats my shoulder before frowning at me. I sigh and bow my head to say a quick grace, then I can stuff my face. I watch her pour me a glass of lemonade, and I notice no one else is eating.
“We all ate earlier. You know us.” She smiles with a quick shrug before sitting across from me. “So tell me, how is my little one?” She rests her chin in her hand as she watches me devour my food.
I swallow a spoonful of rice before rinsing my mouth with orange juice. “Chris or Caylen?” I joke, and she lets out a small laugh. “The big one is pretty much going crazy since Lauren just hit the six-month mark and he’s going to have three women in the house soon. Caylen is keeping him busy too.”
I reflect on the couple of days I spent with her son’s family. After visiting that household, I realize how calm my life is, which says a lot. My life is far from calm, but having a wife, a little girl, and twins on the way makes my friend’s life a circus.
“I can’t wait until I get there. I’m going next week to stay with them until Lauren has the babies.” She beams.
“I’m going to take care of Daddy and do all the cooking,” Willa sings, popping up beside me like a silent ninja.
“She is. I’ve showed her how to make eggs and oatmeal, and tomorrow she learns how to make my famous French toast.” Ms. Red winks at me.
“When the babies get here, me and Dad are going to help take care of the babies too,” Willa explains happily.
I smile widely at her, even though it still weirds me out to hear her call him Dad. He is her dad, through unfortunate circumstances, but after everything, fate or destiny has a funny sense of humor. A little person who almost destroyed their family has become such a permanent fixture in all of our lives. It’s as if she’s always been around even though she pretty much fell from the sky into our lives. Kind of like a bomb dropped, she was meant to destroy everything, but instead she fixed it… I can’t help but wonder sometimes if Ms. Red is a saint. I couldn’t have dealt with accepting and loving my spouse’s illegitimate child as my own, but if it works for them, it’s not for me to judge. I don’t think Ms. Red has loved anything in the world as much as she loves Willa, and that makes me admire her even more.
“Sweetheart, I have some towels in the dryer that should be stopping soon. Can you fold them up for me how you did last time?” she asks Willa, who nods happily before running out of the room. “So how are things with Hillary? I hear that you two are getting pretty serious?”
I instantly lose my appetite. Good thing I’ve already eaten most of what’s on my plate.
“Uh oh,” she says hesitantly.
I lay my head flat on the table. If Ms. Red thinks things are getting pretty serious, it’s because either Hillary told her we’re getting serious or Lauren told her we’re getting serious because she heard it from Hillary. Either way, that’s bad, bad, bad.
“I don’t know why everyone keeps thinking that.” I clear my throat, and she gives me a disbelieving look.
“What’s that face for?” she asks cautiously.
I lean back and stretch my legs. Ms. Red has always been like a mother to me and seems as though she could give some good advice. “Okay, things got really intense really, really fast…” I’m trying to sum up Hillary’s and my relationship in the best way possible.
She nods, seemingly understanding.
“I don’t know if the whole Chris and Lauren thing is getting to her, but she wants to move waaay faster than I want to move.” I shrug.
“When you say fast, what do you mean?” she asks.
I sigh. “She’s talking about moving in together, and when I went and visited her, she took me to this jewelry store supposedly to get earrings for herself, but we spent an awful lot of time at the ring section. It was more than awkward and completely weirded me out…”
Ms. Red nods thoughtfully.
“We’ve only been dating for, like, a year, and it wasn’t ever supposed to be exclusive,” I tell her, and she doesn’t look sympathetic but almost amused. “Well, it’s really been like a few months since we live in different states and don’t see each other all the time,” I say a little sheepishly.
“Do you love her?” Ms. Red asks, and I rub the back of my head.
“I’ve never really been in love. I’ve been in lust, a lot, with tons of women. I’ve liked girls, and I’m really in lust with Hillary to be honest. She’s cool, always willing to try things…” I chuckle.
“When you’re in love, you’ll know it,” Ms. Redd says, giving my hand a squeeze with a reassuring smile.
“I don’t know if I would.” I chuckle. “Most of the girls I’ve dated haven’t complimented me on being in touch with my feminine side.”
She shakes her head. “Love isn’t a feminine emotion. I understand why you’re afraid, but love, it trumps hate, anger, even un-forgiveness,” she says the last part quietly. A moment of awkwardness slips in, but if anyone can say that, it’s definitely her. She lets out a quick breath and flashes me a bright smile. “Love can be the single greatest thing that’s ever happened to you.”
I nod, my phone vibrates, and I pull it out and see that Hillary’s calling again. Is that a sign, or just a sign of crazy?
“I actually asked you here for a hidden agenda,” she says reluctantly.
I feel my eyebrow arch. Ms. Red has a hidden agenda? That’s actually funny.
“Do you need me to kick somebody’s ass?” I ask, and she laughs. Please be your husband’s, please be your husband’s. “I mean, do you need me to kick someone’s butt?”
She shakes her head. “No, nothing like that.” She sighs.
Shit, no such luck. I can tell by her demeanor change that she’s about to say something serious.
“Umm, I talked to Lisa this morning,” she says quietly, and her eyes narrow on me.
I slump back in my chair and let out my breath. I didn’t expect to hear Lisa’s name come out of her mouth, but then again, I would have never expected her to be raising Lisa’s daughter. I never expected Lisa would drop her kid off on their doorstep like an unwanted package. I can feel myself getting really pissed off. Ms. Red must be able to tell because she wrings her hands nervously together, so I shake my head to calm it.
“She’s calls every so often… to check on things…” she explains. I can tell she’s uncomfortable even mentioning her, at least to me. “I’m really worried about her, Aidan.”
I clear my throat. Wow. After everything Lisa did to this woman, she’s worried about her. “You really are a saint, Ms. Red,” I mutter in disbelief.
She shakes her head.
“She’s not someone you should be worried about. She obviously doesn’t worry about anyone or anything else,” I say, hearing the bitterness in my tone.
“She was your friend. Your best friend,” she says pleadingly.
“She was Chris’s best friend,” I correct her. I notice I’m pouting like a kid, and she frowns at me.
“I tried to talk to Chris about this…”
I can imagine how that went.
“If Lauren didn’t have two human beings in her…” she continues.
I roll my eyes, feeling disgusted. “I don’t know why you’re worried about her. She’s only ever worried about herself. She isn’t even worried about her own daughter.”
“I care because she’s Willa’s mother.”
“If you can call her that,” I mutter. “What’s the emergency? San Diego isn’t sunny enough for her? Brett didn’t get her the perfect gift for her birthday?”
“She’s hurting.”
The tone of Ms. Red’s voice makes my heart skip a beat. It’s funny how you can write a person off after they do so much crap and hurt so many people, but a small part of you still manages to care.
“And if anyone knows what hurting sounds like, it’s me,” she continues, her eyes locking on mine.
I nod guiltily. If anyone deserves to hate and refuse to forgive Lisa, it’s Ms. Red, but somehow she’s managed to.
“When she called me, she sounded terrible. Not in an obvious way; in a way only a person who has been there can recognize,” she continues. “I tried to call her mother, but that didn’t go so well.”
I roll my eyes. The only mother worse than no mother would be Lisa’s mother. We used to bond over that fact. She had Evie as a mom, and I didn’t have one at all most of the time.
“I know that… I appreciate that you’re so angry with her for me,” she tries to explain. “But if something happened to her, you and Chris would really regret not doing anything.”
I let out a long sigh. She’s right. Lisa’s like the stain you get on a shirt that you keep wearing because it was your favorite and the stain happened on one of the best nights of your life. “You think she’s really in trouble? What did she say?”
“She called and asked about Willa, then she just started crying, and when I asked her what was wrong, she said nothing and started to apologize for what she did. She said that she screws up everyone around her… and that it’d all be fixed soon.”
I roll my eyes. “Lisa’s too selfish to kill herself.”
“She sounded really drunk or high off of something maybe,” she says worriedly.
I think of the last time I talked to Lisa, how she pretty much told me she was shirking motherhood and escaping to California. I wanted to throw up.
When we were younger, Lisa and I were friends because of our best friend, Chris. We tolerated each other because of him, but somewhere along the line, we became close. She was one of the only girls who could put me in my place, who I could hang out with without any pressure or a hidden agenda. She was smart, funny, and could hold her own with the guys. And in some ways, we were alike. Chris was always the good kid, the Boy Scout with the perfect parents and perfect home. Lisa and I were kind of the outsiders, the kids no one expected to be much. We had it a lot harder than most.
When I found out what she had done with Chris’s dad, and how she hid a whole person from us for all those years, I couldn’t believe it. Still I stuck by her. I went off on her of course, but I didn’t abandon her. I would have never left her. So for her to abandon her daughter without a thought disgusted me. Even after she told me she was leaving to go to California, I hoped she’d change her mind. I knew if she went through with it, that would be it. I’d never be able to look at her the same way. She’d lose me the way she’d lost everyone else, so when she called me and told me she’d made it to California and she left Willa with the Scotts—who Willa had never even met—to find herself in California, I was done.
I told her to never call me again, and that she was a selfish bitch who deserved to be alone the rest of her life.
It’s been almost seven months since that call. Someone I used to talk to every day became someone I pretended didn’t exist for seven months. I guess humans are so resilient that someone essential to your life can so easily be wiped out of it.
“I don’t know where she is. I haven’t spoken to her since a few days after she left,” I tell Ms. Red.
“This is the address.” She slides a piece of paper toward me.
I look at her curiously. How the hell did she get Lisa’s address?
“She called me from this hotel. Last I checked, which was an hour ago, she’s still checked in,” she explains. “There’s a flight that leaves at four today I could book for you…”
I chuckle, and she smiles sympathetically. My phone buzzes again. It’s a text from Hillary saying she’s on her way to see me, complete with an angry face and a bunch of expletives. I throw my head back in frustration, then I text her back and tell her not to bother because I’m in California, bitch! Well, without the bitch part.
Three days earlier…
Lisa

Have you ever done something so bad, so terrible, that the act stays with you, wraps around you, and completely stops you from moving forward?
Well, let’s just say that in my other life, I was a bad person. Terrible, actually. I’m not even exaggerating. I can say that now because I’ve changed. When you change, you can recognize the bad things about yourself. You can tick off things that you didn’t used to notice but everyone else did.
Once upon a time, I was called everything in the book. There’s no word that could be thrown at me that would make me bat an eye. Selfish, inconsiderate, and manipulative? Those were the kinder words people used to describe me. Whore, conniving, and cunt were some of the not-so-nice ones. But they were just words then. Until they weren’t just words. Until they weren’t just accusations thrown around and I couldn’t defend myself, especially when the people I cared about most used them.
That, however, is the past. It’s not who I am anymore. Then I was a girl who put herself before everyone else. Doing that came so easily. It was second nature, almost inevitable, a dreaded family trait wrapped around my mother’s DNA that manifested the moment my boobs became full-grown. I should have seen it coming—my grandmother always said that I was my mother’s spitting image. I had taken Evie’s long blond hair and emerald-green eyes, so it only made sense that other traits would creep out sooner or later.
She was born to the perfect family, but managed to avoid doing a single worthwhile thing in her life, and she made every mistake she could, except putting her bra on right. That includes marrying my father, who walked out on us when I was just two years old. She made bad decisions, but her beauty usually offered her a way out. By the time I was five, Evie had met and married my stepdad, a successful man who was kind and owned his own construction company. When he was around, our life was good. I don’t remember wanting for anything, but apparently my mom wanted for a lot, seeing as she got caught sleeping with his brother. Needless to say, my stepdad divorced her.
She became a single mom again, with a pissed off family and a high school diploma, but this time, she had the screwed-my-husband’s-brother tattoo on her reputation in our small town. No decent man would come near her, so she settled for the drunks, screw-ups, and passersby, and she adapted who she was to whichever guy she was with. Of course, that made life very interesting for me. I never knew which guy would be there when, who I was safe with, who I needed to hide from.
The older I got, the more I looked like her. Once, I overheard my favorite aunt, Danni, arguing with Evie. They didn’t do it much—usually my aunt was my mom’s cheerleader—but this argument was one for the ages. I remember the most scathing thing she said to my mom.
The worst thing that could happen to Lisa is that she turns out like you.
It was an attack on my mom, but I remember her words cutting through me. They echoed in my thoughts every time I saw my mom with a new guy, or whenever a woman would show up screaming at our house in the middle of the night, having followed her very married husband. The thought of becoming her haunted me so much that sometimes I’d wake up to panic attacks.
I wanted to prove them wrong, every guy who said I was the spitting image of her, the townspeople who believed it was only a matter of time until I became her. I wanted every single last one of them to eat their words. I worked hard to make sure they would do just that, and it all seemed to be going perfectly until I turned seventeen. I was in my senior year, headed to college after working my butt off to make sure I had enough to money to pay for it if I didn’t get enough financial aid and scholarships. I was still a virgin even, and I was a good friend. Then, well, genetics kicked in, and everything just sort of fell apart…
But now, I finally have a clean slate, the opportunity to start all over, and it has been scarily amazing. For the first time in my twenty-eight years of life, I’m living in a state where no one knows what I’ve done or who my mother has done what with. Here, the secrets of my past don’t haunt me or remind me of how unworthy I am everywhere I look. Now I’m not weighed down; here, I can just breathe. For the first time in my life, I feel as though the universe isn’t pitted against me; I’m not destined to fail or set on the path to make a horrible mistake. Someone up there finally gave me a break in the form of someone I didn’t treat well in the past, someone I selfishly and stupidly looked over.
Brett Steltson.
He was my blond-haired, blue-eyed dream boy, my blessing in disguise, so to speak. We met right before I made the biggest mistake of my life. A part of me thinks that if guardian angels existed, mine had sent him to me as a last-ditch attempt to keep me from wrecking my future. But I was so stupid then. I ignored the glaring warnings trying to stop me from going down a road that only led to pain and years of loneliness. I was seventeen, stuck between bad history and an unknown future, and content to listen to unfamiliar emotions instead of my brain.
Still, even then Brett saw the good in me. He didn’t see how I needed to change, the mistakes I needed to fix, or the completely catastrophic decisions so close in my future. He only saw me. Not who I really was, but someone better, which was absolutely what I needed. He saw the person I could’ve been if I hadn’t let hormones and bad decisions shape the person I would become.
He was the first boy I gave myself to, the only boy I would have shared myself with if I had been thinking straight. The guy who took me out and loved to show me off, who didn’t keep me a secret. He was a sophomore in college, nice, extremely attractive, and smart. When hundreds of beautiful girls would have gladly been his and only his, he chose me. But like an idiot, I didn’t see how special he was, how much he had to offer, and I chose an alternate route to a terrible chain of events.
Brett and I broke up right before the end of my senior year of high school. I thought I was doing the right thing, but most seventeen-year-olds don’t do the right thing, only what feels good. They convince themselves that’s the right thing.
When I bumped into Brett last year, standing in front of one of the last book stores that wasn’t named Barnes and Noble, I realized what a complete idiot I had been. It was as if the heavens had opened up their door, highlighting his bright blue eyes and smile designed for pictures. He was so excited to see me, as if he had forgotten how I had been one of the suckiest girlfriends in history during our short-lived relationship.  I can’t recall a single time he ever said a bad thing about anyone. Not even the girlfriend who didn’t want to sleep with him because she was too busy screwing her best friend’s dad. Thank God he never found out about that. I’m sure everyone has their limits.
When we broke up, I’d told Brett that I wasn’t at a good place in my life to be with him, and he seemed sad and confused. But instead of being angry, which he had every right to be since I had essentially wasted almost a year of his time, he told me he still wanted to be my friend, that he’d be there if I ever needed anything. I believe he meant it, but at that point in my life, I didn’t deserve him. Sometimes I think he’ll wake up one day and realize that I still don’t, even though I’m trying my very best to be the kind of woman who deserves a man like him.
When I ran into him that day and looked into those warm blue eyes that never judged me, everything I felt came pouring out. Right there in a little café, I gave him tears and truth. I told him I hated my job as a teacher—not the kids, but the work—and that I felt like a fraud. I didn’t tell him why I felt like a fraud though. The truth was that I had only become a teacher because the married man I was in love with and had a child by was a teacher and he seemed like the only thing I could think about. I couldn’t stand another person I cared about looking at me as if I was scum.
Without hesitation, Brett invited me to come stay with him awhile. Well, not exactly with him but in a place he owned in California. Brett was doing pretty well and had just started his own real estate company. He didn’t tell me how good he was doing, but when I arrived at his four-bedroom house off the beach—which looked like something right out of HGTV—I realized he was doing extremely well.
He let me stay on the first floor free of charge, and the only thing I had to do in return was answer phones and make appointments for his prospective clients at his office. It was the easiest job I’d ever had, especially since he already had an assistant. Amazing Stephanie is what I called her at first, because not only is she smart and more organized than a Martha Stewart catalog, she’s a sweet girl who does all the hard real estate stuff while I pretty much answer phones, run errands, and watch Selling New York.
Only a few more nights after I moved to California, I kissed Brett and not in the way that I used to, with mild enthusiasm or obligation. I kissed him with an appreciation I had never felt for anyone before, and not soon afterward we made love.
Things have been great.
More than great.
Everything is perfect.
For once in my life, everything isn’t in a shamble on the brink of complete chaos. That’s why, as I stare at the two pink lines on the stick in my shaking hand, I don’t want to throw myself off a bridge.
I’m pregnant.
Two words that once destroyed me and scared me shitless actually do the opposite. They give me hope and a glimpse into a new life, an opportunity to get it right.
“Are you okay, Lisa? You’ve been in there forever,” Stephanie asks, worry in her voice.
I wrap the stick up into a paper towel and slip it in my purse. “I’m fine. I’ll be right out,” I tell her as I wash my hands. When I come out of the bathroom, she’s looking at me, her excitement apparent.
She sweeps her bangs from over her eye and smiles nervously. “Soo?”
“Yes. It’s a big fat yes,” I say, and she grabs me in a big hug.
“Shut up!” she squeals. “I’m so happy, happy for you!”
I laugh at how different this is from the last time all those years ago. Then, I lied to my best friend about the test results. Then, I was terrified and wanted to throw up. Then, it magnified the shambles my life was in. Now it’s different. I’m pregnant by a man who loves me, who I love, and things are just right.
“Brett is going to freak out!” Stephanie says.
“Freak out?” The nerves in my body start to bubble up.
She notices and waves me off. “You know what I mean. He’s going to be so excited. Oh my God, the baby is going to be so freakin’ beautiful. You might as well sign it up for Baby Gap right now.”
I roll my eyes playfully but can’t help imagining a beautiful baby boy with my bright-blond hair and Brett’s soft blue eyes and easy smile.
“You are going to be such a pretty mom,” she squeals.
Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I squeeze her hand. She’s been one of the first friends I’ve had in a long time. When I came here from Michigan, I didn’t want to judge people, since people had judged me all of my life, but I couldn’t help but think of all the clichés about everyone in California being made of plastic and only caring about the sun. And even though I’ve seen quite a few girls and guys with surgically enhanced features, I have loved everything about being here. The people are nice. Like, really nice. Everyone is so freakin’ happy all the time, and I guess why wouldn’t they be, when every day the sun is out and it’s the perfect temperature. Being miserable here is almost impossible.
I pull Stephanie into a hug, so happy to have a friend again. Even though my childhood was pretty crappy after Evie screwed up our life, I had really, really great friends. Friends who always took up for me, who were there for me when I needed them. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of them. One was Amanda, my best girl pal. We were complete opposites, but she really loved me. Then there were my two guy best friends. We had been inseparable, and I could never imagine going as long as I have without seeing them or speaking to them. Now they’re all just ghosts from another life.
“You’re happy right?” Stephanie asks cautiously, and I realize my mood has sunk from thinking of the past.
I flash her a wide smile, pushing away those memories of not so long ago . “Yeah, just a little bit nervous,” I say with a nervous chuckle, and she gives me a soft smile.
When I first moved here, Stephanie showed me all the girly spots she said Brett had no idea about, like the spas and hair salons that would make you look like an A-list celebrity on a C-list budget. She even introduced me to her group of friends, who are all beautiful, smart, successful, and scarily nice. She reminds me so much of Amanda.
I haven’t spoken to Amanda since I started college. A few months after the year that changed everything.
Amanda never knew what happened to me that year. I never wanted her to know that I became everything her sisters said I would be, so I pushed her away. It killed me to not be able to share one of the most major events in my life with my very best friend, but I knew if I did, she’d never look at me the same way. I couldn’t stand seeing that look of disappointment mixed with disgust on her face, the way I saw it on everyone else I loved and cared about.
I surveyed Stephanie, with her fiery-red hair swept up into a top-knot and her warm green eyes smiling at me. Stephanie likes me, but she doesn’t know all the terrible things I’ve done. If she did, she wouldn’t look at me the same way either. But that’s a different life and a different you, I remind myself.
“So when are you going to tell him?”
“Um, I don’t know,” I say, trying to tuck my nerves deep down into my stomach. There’s nothing like finding out you’re pregnant to make you reflect on the past you’ve been blocking out for a year.
“Oh, you have to make it romantic!” she squeals, following me back to my desk in the reception area.
“I don’t know if I should tell him yet.” I sit down in my plush chair behind my three-thousand-dollar desk. I almost passed out when Stephanie told me how much they spent decorating the place. “It’s still early. A lot can happen.” I shrug.
She frowns at me. “Don’t be such a scaredy cat. You and that little bean are going to be fine. You’re how many weeks, you think?”
I let out a deep breath. “About seven or eight, I think.” I try to keep my tone casual, but I don’t think. I know. Not necessarily the weeks, but I knew I was pregnant when my period didn’t come. My period is like clockwork, but with the absence of it came the symptoms, then the nausea came… just like last time.
Stephanie starts to ask another question, but thankfully the buzzer rings, letting us know a client has arrived. Luckily for me, our slow Thursday picks up and I don’t have to deal with the hundreds of questions Stephanie will have for me that I don’t have any answers to.
***
Thursdays in the office are typically slow for Stephanie and me, but Brett stays busy meeting with prospective buyers and other brokers. Work keeps him out late, which isn’t good because I’ve been thinking too much and I just want to talk to him. My brain’s pulling out the absolute worst scenarios possible. It’s silly, because I know Brett will be excited about this. He’s going to be ecstatic! But I can’t shake that stupid nagging bitch called worry. She won’t let me hold on to any happy thoughts.
“Stop being so negative,” I mumble to myself as I do a once-over of the house again.
I don’t clean often—I usually don’t have to. Brett’s sort of a neat freak. He picks up clothes behind himself and me. He does the dishes and takes out the trash. Today though, I cleaned all the glass in the house, vacuumed the area rugs, and lit candles I picked up earlier from Bath and Body Works. If Brett has a fantasy, I’m sure it’s me in a French maid outfit.
Shoot, why didn’t I buy one of those? When you tell someone you’re pregnant, is it supposed to be romantic? Do you have sex?
I’m pulled from my thoughts when I hear the little electronic feminine voice saying, “Front door opened.”
He’s home.
I do a once-over in a mirror, making sure my boobs are perfectly lifted in my bombshell bra I bought from Victoria’s Secret. I didn’t want to get so dressed up he’d think I’m going to propose or something… not that telling someone you have their child inside you and you’re pretty much tied together for the rest of your life is any less pressure.
“Lisa?” he calls up the stairs. I meet him at our bedroom door, and a wide grin spreads across his face.“You cleaned up?”
I nod and slowly walk toward him. My heart is frantic as I jump into his arms and kiss him, long and slow. When my lips leave his, I take in his breath and lean back, looking into the blue eyes that have given me comfort and hope this year. They reminded me that life didn’t have to stop after everything I did wrong but could begin again with everything I do right.
“I’m pregnant.” The words are quick and spontaneous, kind of like me, I guess.
I had a plan to wait until the food arrived from his favorite restaurant. Then I’d give him a massage and read him the poem I wrote for him that I haven’t quite finished yet. But I can’t hold the news in any longer; I’m already holding far too many secrets from him and I feel as though if I didn’t tell him, I’d just burst.
His eyes widen and his grip tightens around my waist. A weary smile spreads across his face before he laughs. When I don’t join in, his eyes narrow on mine, and for a second, a wave of discomfort rolls through me.
Is he mad?
Is he disappointed?
Oh shit, shit, shit!
“A-are you serious?” he asks me cautiously.
After the longest second of my life, I nod. He nods too, but it’s slow and cautious, not excited how I pictured it in my head. I watch his face turn a little whiter than usual, and his grip isn’t as tight on me as it was before. I feel my heart speed up. I wiggle from his arms, and he lets me go without a fight. I expect him to look at me, into the eyes of the woman carrying his child, but instead he’s just staring at his stupid shoes. I just told him I’m pregnant, and he’s suddenly preoccupied by his stupid black loafers. I feel my anxiety surging. My chest is tighter than the waist trainer I wore once.
Calm down. Calm down. He’s in shock. People can act really weird when they’re in shock… but why would he be in shock? It’s not that unbelievable. We’re in a relationship, we’ve been having unprotected sex, so me being pregnant shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. I bite my lip and take a small breath, hugging myself since he sure isn’t doing it. Since I’ve been with Brett, I’ve grown as a person. I’m not the overemotional, “do first and think later” person I used to be. Brett’s taught me how to be calm and how to rationalize, but standing in front of him and not being able to read him after I just told him I’m pregnant with his baby is the biggest test of patience I’ve ever had.
He eventually looks at me with a soft smile, but it seems forced, the kind of smile you give your friend when she’s announcing that she’s marrying an asshole, or the smile you give someone who just told you they got the promotion you worked your ass off for and you’re super pissed and want to cry.
“I really wish you’d say something,” I mutter, trying to hold in the expletives that are itching to get out of me.
He opens his mouth to say something, but instead he walks past me and sits on the edge of the bed and puts his head in his hands as if I just told him I gave him herpes or something.
“I-I-maybe I’m an idiot, but a small part of me thought you’d be happy,” I say quietly, trying to hold on to the little bit of optimism I have left.
He looks up at me, and the expression on his face makes my blood go cold. It’s not one of anger or disappointment, but something far worse—it’s pity.
“I guess I assumed you were on birth control.” He’s just as quiet.
I feel a tear come to my eye, but I refuse to let it fall. “Why would you assume that?” I notice that I’m pacing, my steps hitting the ground at almost the same rhythm he’s squeezing his hands.
“Because we aren’t married. Because you’ve just gotten settled here. After you talked about how much you hated being a teacher, I guess I assumed that you didn’t want kids,” he explains almost in confusion.
I look at him, just as confused as he seems to be. These don’t sound like the words of a man who is in love with me. This isn’t the Brett who looked on me adoringly while I was in high school. Have I been reading this all wrong?
“We’re in love, I-I thought. You love me, and you’ve been there for me, and you’ve been the best thing that has ever happened to me.” My voice cracks, and his face falls. Tears are coming down my cheeks now.
He walks over to me and pulls me into a hug, but it’s not warm and definitely not passionate. “Lisa, I love you. I think you’re a wonderful woman. You’re wild and free and so full of emotion that it pours off you.”
His arms clasp my waist. I look away, embarrassed.
“I love that about you. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for you, but are you saying that you’re in love with me?” he asks, his eyes boring into mine.  
I open my mouth to answer him, but the words are stuck and there’s a tugging on my heart before my stomach drops. I-I am. Of course I love Brett. How could I not love someone who is so perfect and who does everything for me without expecting much in return? He brought me out of one of the darkest places of my life. We look good together, we work well together, and that’s what’s important, right? Not the feels…
“I don’t even know what to say to you right now,” I choke out, pushing him away. If we aren’t in love, then it’s a hell of a time for him to make that clear now.
“Don’t shut down, Lisa, talk to me,” he pleads, following me to the bathroom.
I slam the door in his face. I have so much to say and nothing to say. My vision is blurred, and my head is pounding. I slide to the floor and cry while he knocks on the door and begs me to come out.
I hate crying. It makes me feel weak. There is nothing therapeutic about it, and it takes me back to a place I came here to forget. Ironically, I’m in almost the same situation. I guess if I look on the bright side of things, Brett isn’t married, and he’s not my best friend’s dad, and at least we are in a relationship, even if it seems more like a really well-developed friends-with-benefits thing.
Brett’s the only man who would make being a fuck buddy feel like being in a full-blown relationship. I replay everything in my head since we met and realize that’s exactly what we’ve been. He’s never introduced me as his girlfriend, just his best friend… but we live together… and we have sex pretty often.
His question replays in my mind. Am I in love with him? I shake my head.
I was told by a really wise woman that love isn’t a feeling; lust is a feeling, one that’s fleeting and goes away and causes a lot of damage. I can attest to that. Lust destroyed my entire freakin’ life. So love should be what saves it. Brett saved me. How could I not love him? How can I not be in love with him? So what that I’ve never had butterflies with him? The last time I had butterflies, they got me into a whole world of trouble. When he kisses me, I don’t feel anything. But he’s a good kisser, and when we have sex, it’s good—I mean, I always cross the finish line—even if it’s not necessarily passionate. When you mature, passion isn’t important, right?
I ignore him continuing to knock on the door. His voice is pleading, but I can’t face him or talk to him right now
“Please just leave me alone.” I force the words out of my throat.
How could I have been so stupid? So wrong! How could I just see things how I wanted to and ignore reality? This is why girls need friends, real honest, in-your-face friends who call you on your shit and don’t let you live in la la land. I try to remember Stephanie’s initial reaction when I told her I was pregnant. She was excited and happy and shocked of course, but was there something I didn’t see. She didn’t say that Brett would be ecstatic; she said that he’d freak…
My mind drifts to her and the group of friends who have so openly welcomed me. I picture them all sitting at the stupid little sushi restaurant I’ve been to with them. Their eyes would be wide as Stephanie dramatically tells them about how her boss’s stupid friend thought they were together and got knocked up by him. She wouldn’t use those words of course. She’d feign concern for me and tell them in a solemn voice, and they’d all look on in pity, absorbing all the juicy details over California rolls and Sake, and why shouldn’t they? They aren’t my friends; they’re hers. Stephanie has real friends, ones who would have told her if she was reading too much into the actions of a genuinely nice man who wanted to save the girl whose life was out of control.
I haven’t had friends like that in a long time… and my friends, other than Amanda, were guys. They definitely would have seen that I was jumping into something I shouldn’t have. Too bad I don’t have any of those friends left. I pushed one away, destroyed another one’s life, and let the one person who may not have judged me believe I had outgrown her and didn’t trust her with the truth.
“Lisa, can you just talk to me?” he asks quietly.
I swallow the lump in my throat. What did I do? The same thing I always do. Screw up people’s lives! I think of the one person who’s bothered to be a real friend to me. He’s standing on the other side of the door, and giving him a baby he doesn’t want will definitely ruin his life.
“I was just shocked, Lisa. I didn’t mean to be a jerk,” he says, sincerity lacing his voice.
Brett would be an amazing father… but I am pretty damned sure that this is the last situation he’d ever want to have a child in. Brett is an optimist and sort of a traditionalist. Of course he’d want to have a child with his wife, not some girl who isn’t even in love with him. I stare at my stomach, which just a couple of hours ago was a source of hope and love. Now it feels like a fifty-pound burden. That’s what a baby would be—a burden to him and a disaster for me. I push off the floor and take a deep breath before opening the door. When I do, he looks at me with eyes full of sorrow. He has a smile on his face, but it’s not real.
“I’m happy. I always wanted to be a dad one day,” he stumbles over his words.
“I’m not even sure it’s yours,” I spit out.
His face immediately hardens. “What?”
“I’ve been seeing someone else.” I bite my lip, trying to maintain the hardest stare I can.
He steps away from me. It’s a small step, but I feel as if he’s moved a million miles away. He chuckles, but it’s hard and cold and sounds foreign. He shakes his head in mild disbelief, searching my expression. “You’re lying.”
“His name is… Jake, and he works at this bar I’ve been going to, and yeah…” My eyes are locked on his shoes. I hear him let out a frustrated breath, and from the corner of my eyes, I see his hands wring together.
The silence stretches for almost a millennium. I’m afraid to look at him, and when I do, I wish I saw anger. Instead, I see hurt and disappointment from the curve of his lip to the ocean-deep color of his eyes. It slices through me. I’ve seen that look before, but this time, it’s due to a lie.
“Listen, I never meant…”
I stop when he shakes his head before leaving the room. He doesn’t even slam the door. Shit! Why did I do that? Why the hell did I just do that?
Because you don’t know what you’re going to do.
Because you always make rash decisions.
Because you’re an idiot.
Out of every way I could have made this better, I chose to do the one thing to make things worse. What if I decide to keep the baby? If I don’t, he’ll probably still never speak to me again. Why didn’t I just keep my mouth shut?
I race out of the door, hoping he hasn’t made it out of the house yet, but he isn’t anywhere in sight. I check the rooms on the ground floor, and he’s not in any of them. I look outside and see that his car is gone. I head back upstairs, grab the phone, and call him, but it rings twice before going to voicemail.
My night continues like that, except that my calls to him go straight to voicemail now. Hours pass without a call or text from him. I’m tempted to call Stephanie, but what will I tell her? Will she even listen to me? She and Brett are friends, but would he run to her with something this personal?
These thoughts run through my head until I hear the little electronic lady’s voice announce the front door opening. I sit straight up. My thoughts are running a million miles an hour about how to fix this, how to make it right. I get up from the bed since he’s probably not going to come upstairs. Brett has never slept on the couch, but I imagine after a girl tells you she’s having a baby but it’s probably another guy’s, that’s one time you’d sleep on the couch. Even if I’m the one who deserves to sleep on the couch.
I’m heading for the door when it opens. His eyes fall on mine, and I can see that his eyes are red and sort of puffy. I can smell the alcohol on him. In college and the past year we’ve been together, he’s never had more than a shot of tequila and a few beers. Today, it seems as though he’s had the opposite.
“Are you okay?” I ask worriedly. His gaze cuts through me. “Did you drive like this?”
He lets out a bitter chuckle and clears his throat. “It’s not like you care.” His tone is foreign. He doesn’t sound like himself at all.
“Of course I care.”
“Really? That’s a shocker.” His words are angry and wobbling into each other.
I’m not used to him being like this, and I hate myself for pushing him to this point, for turning a good person into this. Tears seem to be my best friend now. “I’m so sorry, Brett.”
He scoffs at me. “No, you’re not.” His disdain for me is tangible enough to hold in my hand. “When you told me you were pregnant, it threw me off. It was just so unexpected. I wasn’t mad. To be honest, a part of me was happy.” He sits on the bed with his back toward me. “I never know how to read you. Sometimes I look at you and I see this person with all of this love to give, someone so full of warmth and passion. Being with you made me feel like one day, the wall you have up would come down and you’d let me feel a flicker of that warmth.”
I crawl over near him and wrap my arms around his neck. I expect him to push me away, but he doesn’t. He’s slack in my arms, and it’s worse than him pushing me away.
“I knew when you came here that something happened to you. The light in your eyes was so faint. Not gone but barely there. I wanted to help you get the fire back. I wanted you to see in yourself what I saw when I looked at you. Someone who’s beautiful and amazing and deserved the world,” he says.
I can hear his voice breaking, and I start to cry harder.
“When I brought you here, I promised myself I wouldn’t fall in love with you unless I saw you felt the same way, because whether you know it or not, a girl like you could break a man.” He softly cups my arms and detangles me from around his neck. He turns toward me and looks me in the eye. “You’re not in love with me, Lisa, and I need you to leave.”
His words are colder than the chill that shoots down my spine. His face is harder than I’ve ever seen.
“What?” I ask, a little confused. I knew he’d be hurt and disappointed, but I didn’t expect him to ask me to leave.
“If the baby is mine, I will do whatever I can to help you, but if it’s not, I can’t keep doing this with you. It doesn’t take a genius to see that you don’t feel about me the way you claim to, and now it’s completely clear that you didn’t even care about me as a friend. If you’ve been sleeping with some other guy who could possibly be your kid’s father, that means you’ve been sleeping with him without protection. I wish I could say that didn’t hurt me, that I expected it, but you pulled one over on me.” He laughs with tears in his eyes.
“No, I lied! I’m sorry. I didn’t know what else to say. I haven’t been with anyone except you since I’ve been here. I swear to God,” I tell him frantically, but I can see in his eyes he doesn’t believe me.
“Are you kidding?” he asks with sharp irritation.
“I promise, I just didn’t know what else to say. I was angry and confused,” I say desperately.
“I don’t know how to read you! Why would you say something like that? What type of person makes up a lie like that?” he asks, completely appalled.
I’m breathing so fast now that I can see my chest heaving, but he just looks confused.
“Are you even really pregnant?” he asks.
“I am; I promise I am. I-I-I’m sorry, Brett, I’m messed up. That’s all that I can say. I don’t know why I said what I did. I’m just scared. I can’t go through another pregnancy alone. Please don’t do this,” I plead with desperation seeping from every pore in my body.
He only shakes his head. He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a paper then hands it to me. I open it and see it’s a check for three thousand dollars.
“This is for whatever you decide to do…”
I look at him questioningly. “You want me to get an abortion?” I ask quietly.
“That’s not really for me to decide. I don’t even know if I’m the father,” he says bitterly.
“I told you,” I cry. My chin is trembling, my entire body is.
“I need you to leave. When you have the baby, we can do a paternity test. If it’s mine, I’ll be there in every way I can,” he says quietly.
I shake my head. “I’m not going anywhere. Brett, I’m telling you the truth. Please don’t do this!”
“I need you to go. If you’ve ever really cared about me, you’ll leave!” he shouts, his face red and tears in his eyes.
I take a deep breath and nod.
He heads to the door but stops dead in his tracks. He looks back at me, confusion and frustration written all over him. “What do you mean another one?”
My skin goes cold, and I drop my head in guilt and embarrassment.
He laughs icily. “Wow, just wow.”
“I’ll be out before you wake up tomorrow,” I promise.
He only glares at me before turning and leaving the room. When he does, I crumble onto the floor.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

I’m obsessed with blowing kisses. I guess that makes me a romantic. I love books and cute boys and reading about cute boys in books.I’m infatuated with the glamour girls of the past: Audrey,Dorothy,Marilyn,Elizabeth.

I’m a self confessed girly girl,book nerd,food enthusiast, and comic book fan. Odd combination huh, you have no idea…

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COVER REVEAL | His Alone by Alexa Riley

Title: His Alone
Author: Alexa Riley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Release Date: 2017

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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COVER REVEAL | 3 Degrees Of Darkness by Courtney Lane

Title: 3 Degrees Of Darkness
Author: Courtney Lane
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Erotic Horror, Suspense
Release Date: October 8th 2016

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SYNOPSIS

This collection includes three previously released, full-length novels.

Lies & Lullabies

On the weekends, she’s Sugar, a woman free of the pretty prison constructed by her domineering father, who combs the dangerous streets in search of something she never quite finds. During the week, she’s Simone, the good girl and the illegitimate daughter of the most powerful and hated man in Los Angeles.

Catch—aptly named for his “career” choice—is a man shrouded in mystery with one dangerous purpose. After a whirlwind encounter, Catch draws Simone into his dark and tangled web.

A dangerous game ensues, lives are lost, truths are exposed, and one man may shatter the foundation of a powerful organization on the brink of extinction.

Opaque Mirrors

When the line between fiction and reality bleeds, there is no end to the lies or a truth to be found.

It was never supposed to happen. He was supposed to remain a porn star—the source of my fantasies—in my expansive collection of torture porn. But he found me, and he only wants one thing from me. He calls it the ultimate orgasm; death.

He gives me the illusion of choice—my life or his.

I thought my choice would be the end of my troubles, but it followed me to a town known for its close-minded, small population and hypocritical way of thinking.

My madness lurks in the shadows. It watches me and seduces me with pretty smiles and dirty degradation. It assures me that my fantasies aren’t wrong. It tells me that they will star in all of my nightmares…and I want nothing more.

The Sect (Wicked Trinity #1)

Keaton Mara ran away from a life that had become a nightmare to live on the streets. While the location she now calls home is a dangerous place, she is protected by an unlikely friendship.

The streets provided her with the education she could’ve never earned from the prestigious university she attended. Regrettably, the term ‘educated fool’ becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Due to meeting a man with whom she shares a captivating chemistry with, her judgment is clouded, resulting in a fateful decision.

The consequence of trusting the prepossessing stranger results in her being stolen away to a place unknown. Her deceptive new surroundings are just as beautiful as the people who reside there. She discovers that it’s a place where the culture of sex without limits or morals is their religion.

Keaton quickly begins to realize that the beautiful scenery serves to hide a very dark truth. The seductive and enigmatic man–who lured her there–desires to save her soul. His intentions are sinister, because saving her soul is synonymous with breaking her.

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PRE – ORDER LINKS

AMAZON US / UK

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COURTNEY LANE has been creating her own little world since she was very young. When she was eight years old, she began to bring her worlds to life with a pen and paper. Since 2013 she’s been living her dream by sharing her works with awesome readers.

Currently, Courtney can be found either working on her next book, playing the latest role-playing game on her X-Box (preferably a game by Bioware), or spending time with her family.

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RELEASE BLITZ | Blue by Jill Patten

Title: Blue
Author: Jill Patten
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Release Date: September 22nd 2016

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SYNOPSIS

He is a thief.
She is his victim.

Lance King, known as Blue, is the charming, local surfer bad boy everyone falls for. This comes in handy since he enjoys taking advantage of privileged college kids as they throw money around wherever they go. What turns out to be a typical spring break quickly changes when he meets the one tourist who exceeds his expectations.

Phoebe McCormick is on her way to having the time of her life. With Panama City Beach in her sights, and her two best friends by her side, the possibilities are endless, or so she thinks. What she isn’t expecting is Blue, the local surfer to nearly ruin her long anticipated spring break. Her carefree attitude and his charismatic personality is the perfect combination for a successful friendship, but their relationship turns out to be anything but. Once the fantasy world of spring break is over and life resumes in Pennsylvania, a secret she thought she’d be able to keep hidden emerges, making it difficult to ignore.

He steals her money, but she will steal something far more valuable from him — a memento that will forever change his life.

She is a thief.
He is her victim.

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BUY LINKS

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EXCERPT

As I approach the pier, I notice someone spinning around clumsily. The way their slender body moves about in the shadows tells me it’s a female. I pick up the pace as I see her dance closer to the water. With the tide up, underneath the pier is the worst place a person can be, much less by themselves. Her arms are flowing out by her sides as she dances around like a ballerina, and her eyes are closed as she sings a song I’ve never heard before. She has a pleasant sound to her voice, but she can’t carry a tune for shit. Talk about an odd combination. She’s either drunk off her ass or she has a carefree spirit.

Like a creepy stalker, I watch her carelessly. My eyes drink in her slender legs reaching for miles until they meet the round curve of her ass. And a fine ass it is. The front of my shorts slightly tightens. My feet draw me toward her of their own accord.

Before I can reach her, she trips over her own feet and lands face first in the water. Wrapping my arm around her tiny waist, I pull her out with one clean sweep. She stares at me with wide eyes then suddenly busts out into a fit of giggles. Her breath circles around my face, and my earlier guess is right—she’s drunk. Her lanky arms wrap around my neck with more strength than I thought she had, and her mouth is on mine before I even know what is happening.

I let her kiss me. From what I’ve seen, she’s cute and sexy enough for my taste. Even though her movements are sloppy from her inebriated state, her tongue caresses mine with precise grace, and it ignites a spark within me.

The taste of alcohol on her lips reminds me of her drunkenness. As much as I like the way she tastes and the way her tight little body rubs up against mine, I know it has to stop. When I try to pull away, she grips the back of my head and holds me in place. It’s just a kiss, right? Who am I to reject someone coming onto me as hard as she is?

“Lie down,” she commands, so I do what she says.

I’m still fully clothed with only my shorts unbuttoned and unzipped. When the hell did that happen?

For someone as wasted as her, she has stealth moves when it comes to getting what she wants. Her hands are inside my shorts with fingers eagerly wrapping around my hard-on. “Fuck me,” she breathes against my lips.

Fuck! I groan to myself. Maybe this isn’t just a kiss after all. I know I shouldn’t follow through with her request but, God, she’s turning me the fuck on with just those two words. What am I supposed to do now? She climbs over me, straddles my waist, and then lifts herself up just enough to align my dick to where we both want it to be. I’m so hard by her bold confidence.

She’s drunk.
She’s vulnerable.
She’s not going to remember.

As much as it kills me to do so, I sit up, forcing her to scoot back until her butt is on the sand. I take her forearm and pull it until her hand is free from the inside of my shorts. My dick twitches in protest and my balls are going to hate me in the next few minutes. I’ve never in my life purposely given myself a case of blue balls.

She frowns at me as she shimmies out of her panties then shoots me a drunken grin when she tosses them close to the water. “I have something to show you,” she sings as she teasingly inches her dress up the top of her thighs. Beautiful thighs, I might add. God, the ache in my lower belly is starting to set in.

“No, no, no, you don’t want to do that,” I retort while I try to pull her short dress back down.

“You’re such a party-pooper,” she whines. She’s literally sitting there with her plump bottom lip pooched out while looking at me with hooded eyes.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jill Patten was born a Yankee, but raised a southerner. She lives in the small town of Mayberry, North Carolina which was made famous by a popular TV show back in the sixties. (Maybe there will one day be a statue of her at the end of Main Street. Ha! A girl can dream, right?)

Jill has always loved to read, even during reading labs in middle school for reading comprehension. Judy Blume was her first author she hero-worshipped, maturing to revere the works of Stephen King. With all the fantastic authors today, she simply cannot choose a favorite. Her taste is very eclectic and she loves almost all genres. When she’s not captivated by her fictional characters, she spends time with her sweet husband and two beautiful children.

Music is her muse. Jill also loves elephants, sarcasm, and anything made with sugar, especially sweet tea. She enjoys all things rude and crude and laughs at stuff she probably shouldn’t. She has been accused of being bossy a time or two, but doesn’t really see it herself.

All in all, Jill is just a small town girl in this great big world trying to enable your book addiction.

Oh, and if you read her book, please leave her a review – good or bad, she’ll love you forever.

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BLOG TOUR | Southern Nights and Secrets by Robin Covington

Title: Southern Nights and Secrets
Author: Robin Covington
Series: The Boys Are Back in Town #4
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 19, 2016

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SYNOPSIS 

Being a doctor is everything to me, but I’m not going to let bureaucrats tell me how to practice medicine. It’s about saving lives no matter what, screw them and their paperwork.

When the one woman I could never forget, Ginger Crawford, shows up as my boss all bets are off. The heat between us is tough to ignore but I have to if I want a future at this hospital. It isn’t easy. Every time we argue, I want her even more.

But I’ve got secrets she can never know, and she’s always going to be way too good for me. So it’s best if she hates me…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

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EXCERPT

“What the fuck were you thinking? What were you doing?” She gritted out as he trapped her hands in his own tight grip, pulling her tight against him when she struggled even harder at the confinement. They shuffled backwards, her back slamming against the closed door, their exertions rustling the blinds closest to the door and joining the sound of the ER bustling just beyond the panel of wood.

“Damn it Ginger, stop it!” He hissed out trapping her hands between their bodies as he leaned into her, his face, his mouth less than a breath away from her own. She stared up at him, her lips opening to rail at him, to strip him down for scaring the shit out of her with a stunt like that but he spoke first. “I’m okay.”

His voice was a low, deep, reassuring balm against her frazzled nerves but she needed more. Needed more than words.

She kissed him. Soft and light. A quick brush once, twice, a third time enough to feel his warmth and taste his flesh. To know he was alive.

Beckett pulled back first, his gaze penetrating as he analyzed her, figuring out just where this thing was going. Virginia licked her lower lip, tasting him there and biting back a groan but not the tiny whimper that escaped her mouth. At that sound, Beckett’s jaw tightened, the edge in his eyes honing to a fine point of focused desire and decision and she shivered a little under his scrutiny.

He transferred both of her wrists into the grip of one hand and lifted them over her head, effectively pinning them there against the smooth, cool wood. The movement brought their bodies in full contact¾from the hard length of his thigh inserted in between her own, to the granite-hard muscles of his chest pressed against her full, aching breasts.

She watched him like a hawk, even though she felt more like prey as he drank her in, taking his time to review every square inch of her before he returned to gaze into her eyes with a look so hot, she flinched from it, trying to shrink back from the passion it represented.

But he was having none of that, his hold on her wrists growing tighter as he leaned in, his lips teasing her own while he maintained eye contact.

“When you hate me again later, remember that you started this,” he growled.

And then he kissed her.

CATCH UP WITH THE OTHER BOYS IN THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN SERIES BY USA TODAY BESTSELLER ROBIN COVINGTON!

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SYNOPSIS

 One night of passion…
Detective Jackson Cantrell never imagined that one night with an irresistible stranger would turn his life upside down. He’s spent years living in the shadows, but Dr. Michaela Roarke awakened a passion inside him he’d buried years ago.He never expected the woman would turn out to be the governor’s daughter…and his next assignment. The governor blackmails Jackson to secretly watch over Michaela and protect her from a stalker, or kiss his dream job at the FBI good-bye. Swearing to keep things strictly professional, Jackson moves in with Michaela. Too bad his heart can’t keep the same promise.

But when the stalker’s attacks quickly escalate beyond mere photographs to bodily harm, Jackson must race to save Michaela’s life. And he’ll have to figure out how to keep her once she discovers his lie.

Book #1 in The Boys are Back in Town Series…
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SYNOPSIS

Some women are bad. Some women are a bad idea. The best ones are both…

As a Black Ops assassin, “Lucky” Landon has had more than his fair share of close calls. Now he’s turned in his sniper rifle for the simple life of his small hometown. So the last thing he ever expected was to end up at gunpoint. Or that the woman holding the gun would be his best friend’s little sister and Lucky’s on-again/off-again lover.

Taylor Elliott is Trouble, and she likes it that way. And seeing Lucky again? Well, he’s been her dirty little secret for the past few years and everyone knows that secrets in a small town are almost impossible to keep. But Taylor has bigger problems on her plate. Like the local mob boss who wants her dead.

And right now the only thing standing between Trouble and disaster is a hottie named Lucky…

Book #2 in The Boys are Back in Town Series…
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SYNOPSIS

Privileged and ambitious attorney Teague Elliott is on the fast-track to getting everything he wants. All he has to do is stay on the straight and narrow and a high-profile political career is his for the taking. Until he wakes up naked with a Vegas showgirl…

Risa Clay has worked hard to put her showgirl past behind her and start fresh. But she owes ten grand to the wrong people, and to pay off her debt, she agrees to betray a stranger. . .but she ends up with a husband and guilty conscience.

Savvy and determined, she double-crosses the mob, goes on the run, and turns up on Teague’s doorstep armed with a dangerous secret, a marriage license, and the power to ruin his well-planed future. She thought using Teague again would be easy, but the passion that exploded between them in Vegas didn’t stay in Sin City and betrayal is the last thing on her mind.

Now Teague has to choose between the future he’s planned for all his life, or the one with Risa that he can’t turn away from.

Book #3 in The Boys are Back in Town Series…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Covington

A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.

A 2016 RITA® Award nominee, Robin’s books have won the Golden Leaf Award and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, the Book Seller’s Best and the National Reader’s Choice Awards.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder).

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ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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