Release Blitz + Excerpt + Giveaway: Shameless by Gina L. Maxwell – Playboys In Love Series – Book 1

Enter to Win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card…TWO WINNERS!

 

SHAMELESS
Playboys in Love #1
Gina L. Maxwell
Releasing May 30th, 2016
Entangled: Scorched

 

People say I’m shameless. They’re
right.
I like my work dirty and my sex even
dirtier. It takes a hell of a lot to tilt my moral compass, and dancing as a
private stripper for horny suburbanites doesn’t even register. Neither does
hooking up with them afterward whenever the mood strikes—it’s one of the
bennies of the job—but it’s always a one-and-done. I don’t do repeat
performances. Ever.
Until I meet the one girl in all of
Chicago not interested in dry humping my junk. She’s all I can think about, and
that’s a problem, because I made sure she wants nothing to do with me. But I’ve
seen her deepest secrets, her darkest fantasies, and they match mine to a
fucking T.
I want her. Bad.
Now I need to show her how good it
can feel…to be shameless.
 
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Excerpt

Chapter One

Jane

If such a thing as a Landlords of Chicago Convention existed, and said convention had an award for Worst Landlord of a Multi-Unit Building, mine would win by a landslide. A freaking landlord landslide.

Cursing his name for the umpteenth time in the last half hour, I wrap a Band-Aid around the cut in my thumb I’d acquired trying to unclog the pipes under my bathroom sink. God forbid Walter would actually do his job and call a plumber for me.

Since I’d moved into my small apartment in the South Shore area, my hot water heater, oven, and window A/C unit had all taken a crap at one point or another—just a few of the perks of living in a building so old that it predates the invention of the elevator—and each time it had taken Walter weeks to get them fixed.

But I’m nothing if not independent and self-reliant—traits born of being the child of workaholic parents. I’d managed to repair my garbage disposal and replace the tank assembly in my toilet by browsing the almighty Google and ignoring all my girly squeamishness at the ick factor of both. Neither instance had been pretty, but it wasn’t anything a hot shower and the satisfaction of a job well done couldn’t wash away.

Unfortunately, my stupid bathroom sink pipes aren’t going to be added to that list of accomplishments anytime soon. I don’t know if the slip nuts (thank you, Google Images) had been screwed on by the Incredible Hulk or fused in place by the lesser known supervillain Rust Man. Either way, those suckers aren’t budging for a mortal female with minimal experience handling a pipe wrench. (Feel free to insert dirty joke here.)

I glare at the standing water in the sink, hands on my hips, willing it to magically go down. I’m so focused on trying to Jedi-mind-trick the bastard into submission that I jump when my phone rings. Jogging into the living room, I snatch up the cell and answer as I plop onto the couch.

“Hey, you,” I say, greeting my best friend Addison Paige. “Aren’t you supposed to be burning the midnight oil?”

“It’s only seven p.m., but I’m sure I’ll still be here when midnight rolls around,” Addison says wryly. “You writing your paper?”

I laugh. Calling my masters thesis on social work a paper was like calling the Taj Mahal a chapel. I’ve been working on it for two years, and I’m almost—almost—done. Turning it in is the last step in getting my dual degree. Then I can finally get a job in my field and start making some real money instead of the piddly-ass wages I make as an intern and part-time waitress. (And then move.)

“Surprisingly, no,” I say. “I’m still trying to fix the clog in my bathroom sink, but all I’ve managed to do is pinch my thumb. Luckily, I managed to staunch the flow before I bled out all over the floor.”

“Damn good thing, because if you die before I get my fun friend back, I’ll kill you myself.”

“You know what I love about you?” I ask, laying the sarcasm on thick. “It’s that you make complete sense when you threaten me. I think it’s what makes you the best lawyer ever.”

“And I love that you love that about me. And also that you repeatedly tell me I’m the best lawyer ever instead of acknowledging my pathetic peon status. This boys club of a law firm isn’t going to give me my own cases anytime soon.”

“Nonsense. It’s only a matter of time before they see your brilliance and make you a partner,” I say with confidence. “Wait—since when am I not your ‘fun’ friend? I’m fun.”

“Seriously? When was the last time you went out? For fun. Not for school or work or any other life-sucking activity. Like, to a dance club or a bar or a fucking baseball game? I don’t know…anything.”

I open my mouth to respond with a list of all the things I’d done recently that qualified—because surely there is a list—but came up with nothing. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’d gone out to be social. I’ve hung out with Addison, but that was more lunch dates and Netflix than clubbing and cavorting.

“Um…”

“Exactly,” Addison crows.

Okay, so she’s not wrong. It’s been a while since I’ve had a social life and an even longer while since I’ve had a sex life, which makes me grateful she didn’t bring that particular nugget up. My recent hermit status may have slipped my notice, but I’m painfully aware of how long it’s been (for-freaking-ever) since I’ve been satisfied by someone other than myself.

Completing my masters coursework in two years instead of three, and then replacing school hours with work hours, doesn’t leave me with any time to invest in a relationship. I’m all for casual flings or even one-night stands, but the handful of forays hadn’t been worth shaving, much less the Brazilians I’d splurged on. After my last underwhelming sexual rendezvous, I decided that I wouldn’t drop trou for anyone else unless I’m positive it’ll be worth the pain of getting my pubic hair ripped out by the roots by a sadistic woman armed with strips of hot wax. If you’ve ever subjected yourself to that particular brand of cosmetic torture, you know that’s setting the bar for sexual excellence pretty high.

So while I wait for Mr. Mind-Blowing-In-The-Sack, I bought a Hitachi Magic Wand—God bless the misguided man who thought he designed a great neck massager—and became a frequent purveyor of internet porn.

That’s right. I’m a closet porn addict.

Don’t judge me. It gets the job done. With the right video, I can be turned on in minutes. Then, depending on my mood, I’ll either watch several to build the anticipation, or simply dive right in and get myself off in what I call an “express O.” Bing, bam, boom, done.

But like I said, it’s not something I’m ready to share with the class. Not even with Addison. Not because I think she’ll judge me—that girl is all for owning your freak flag and letting it fly—but because I’d inevitably have to answer questions about how often do I watch it (several times a week), and what kind do I like (the rougher, the better), and do I have a favorite porn star (hands down, James Deen). I’d just rather not get into the gory details of how I take the edge off my sexual frustrations, thank you very much.

“What’s it called when the lawyer is being an obnoxious asshat?” I ask my best friend. “Is it contempt? I find you in contempt of court, and I object. Your argument is erroneous. I don’t need a good time right now, I just need someone to fix my pipes.”

“Yeah, your lady pipes,” she jokes. “Things are probably just as rusted shut down there as they are under your sink.”

Actually, since I don’t use a dildo of any kind, it’s highly likely. “Okay, that’s it,” I say, laughing in spite of myself, “I’m hanging up. You need to get back to work, and I need to do anything other than talk to you at the moment.”

Sighing dramatically, Addison acquiesces. “Fine, killjoy. Does this mean you don’t want the number of a handyman who came highly recommended to me?”

I sit up a little straighter, perking up at the words “highly recommended.” Growing up in the digital age as I have, you’d think that I would trust online reviews of products and services. But things on the internet can be bought or faked. I’d much rather take the word of someone I know, and I’m ready to cry “uncle” and be done with this whole situation. “Who recommended him?”

“Rebecca, one of our paralegals. She said he’s worth every cent and more. I believe her exact words were ‘the best ever.’”

That sounds promising, so I grab the pen and pad of paper from the side table. “Okay, what’s the number? I’ll give him a call tomorrow.”

“One sec, I’ve got another call coming in. Hang on.” And with a click the line went silent.

I lean back on the couch, staring at the spidery ceiling paint, following the bigger cracks and admiring how they fan out with reckless abandon. Of course, they probably knew what I knew: no way was I standing on a ladder and painting upside down to fix them. When Addison clicks back over, I tell her, “All right. I’m ready for the number of my miracle plumber.”

“No need,” she replies. “I just called and paid in advance. Consider it an early birthday present. He’ll be there in about an hour.”

“What? It’s too late for anyone to be making house calls on a Friday night.”

“Riiiiight. Because everyone’s shit only breaks between the hours of eight and five on weekdays.” Addison is just as fond of sarcasm as I am. It’s one of the reasons we make such great friends.

“Point taken, but you still shouldn’t have called.” I hate it when she tries to pay for things. Peon or not, she makes a good living as a lawyer and likes to make up dumb reasons why I should let her pick up the tab on stuff. “My birthday’s not even for another six months.”

“So then it’s a half birthday present. Hasn’t anyone ever told you not to look a gift-friend in the mouth? Have some wine, read a book, tweeze your eyebrows. I don’t care, as long as you let the man do what he’s hired for when he gets there, okay?”

“Yes, Mother,” I say with the tone of an audible eye roll. But then I add a sincere, “Thanks, Addie.”

“You’re welcome, babe. Oh, and make sure you call me tomorrow and tell me all the juicy details. Ciao!”

Before I can comment on the ridiculousness of anything involving a middle-aged man with plumber’s crack being “juicy,” she hangs up. Belatedly, I realize I never even got the name of the guy or his business. I almost call her back to ask, but figure it’s not a big deal. The odds of someone showing up coincidentally under false pretenses as a handyman in disguise are pretty much nil.

It’s been a long week, and that glass of wine Addison mentioned is suddenly calling my name.

Blowing out a deep breath, I stand and head to the kitchen where I have an open bottle of red. For once, I’m going to take my friend’s advice: enjoy a glass of wine and a book while I wait for the “best ever handyman” to arrive and do his thing. Now that I know help is on the way, I’m really looking forward to getting my pipes fixed.

 

Gina L.
Maxwell is a full-time writer, wife, and mother living in the upper Midwest,
despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. An avid romance novel
addict, she began writing as an alternate way of enjoying the romance stories
she loves to read. Her debut novel, Seducing Cinderella, hit both the USA Today
and New York Times bestseller lists in less than four weeks, and she’s been
living her newfound dream ever since.
 
When she’s
not reading or writing steamy romance novels, she spends her time losing at
Scrabble (and every other game) to her high school sweetheart, doing her best
to hang out with their teenagers before they fly the coop, and dreaming about
her move to sunny Florida once they do.

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Meet Kenton, Kai, and Sven…. Underground Kings Series Sale…by Aurora Rose Reynolds

underground kings sale

The Underground Kings Series by Aurora Rose Reynolds is NOW ON SALE!

If you have not met Kenton, Kai or Sven yet,

NOW IS YOUR CHANCE!

(Each book can be read as a standalone)

****

 

The Underground Kings Series

 

81C77w4eHLL._SL1500_Assumption – Book 1

as·sump·tion:

a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof

They say when you assume that you make an ass out of you and me. Kenton Mayson learned this lesson firsthand when he made assumptions about Autumn Freeman and the kind of woman she is based on what little information he had. What he finds out is she’s not only beautiful, but also smart, funny, a fighter, and exactly the kind of woman he wants to share his life with. Autumn made assumptions of her own about Kenton, and now he needs to prove her wrong in order to protect her and their future.

Warning 18 and over due to violence and sexual encounters

Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes

51l3u78CkSL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Obligation – Book 2

[ob-li-gey-shuh n]

An obligation is a course of action that someone is required to take, whether legal or moral.

Myla was sent to a family her father and mother had chosen for her when they knew their time on earth was almost up.

Kai has been watching Myla from afar since he took over the family business from his father and inherited the responsibility of keeping her safe.

When word gets back to Kai that Myla is in danger he immediately jumps into action and does the only thing that can be done at the time by marrying her.

To Kai, Myla is an unwanted obligation, something that has to be done in order to protect the family business. And to Myla, Kai is another man who she believes will let her down. Neither Myla nor Kai would have thought that something that started off as a farce would become the most important thing either of them could’ve ever done.

Buy: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / ITunes

 

51cgAPnfu8L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Distraction -Book 3

Distraction: The great intensity, novelty, or attractiveness of something other than the object of attention.

Sven is a man who takes pride in his ability to separate himself from his emotions. He’s a man who knows who he is and where he’s going in life, a man who needs no one, because needing someone, anyone, is a weakness.

His past taught him love isn’t enough.

Maggie wants the happily ever after, but has never picked the right men, or stuck around long enough, to build a forever. It’s always been easier to get out early, before emotions make things messy.

When Maggie wakes up naked in Sven’s bed, with no memory of the night before, these two must be honest about their feelings and face their fears, so they can build a future together.

Will love be enough for them to get their happy ending together, or will a threat from outside strike them down before they ever have a chance?

This book contains an over the top alpha who knows what he wants, it also contains sexual situations that may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Buy : Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

____________________________________

aurora

About Aurora Rose Reynolds

aurora rose reynoldsAurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat who’s husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires it’s beauty.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

underground kings sale

Chapter Reveal + Giveaway : Cold Hearted by Toni Anderson -Cold Justice Series – Book 6

COLD HEARTED by Toni Anderson releases May 31st – but we didn’t want you to wait to get a peek at what’s in store for you! Take a look at the first chapter below and enter to win a $25 giftcard!

 

ColdHearted_ToniAnderson_FINALAbout COLD HEARTED

Hunting For A Killer…Who Doesn’t Play By The Rules.

Detective Erin Donovan expects life to quiet down after the arrest and conviction of a serial rapist who terrified her university town last summer. Then two young women are brutally slain and the murders bear all the hallmarks of the campus rapist. Did Erin arrest an innocent man? Now her job is at stake and tensions are high and just when it looks like things can’t get worse, her department gets the help it needs to solve the double homicide–in the form of a man Erin has never been able to forget.

FBI Agent Darsh Singh has no interest in reliving the past. Three years ago, his feelings for Erin Donovan had him breaking all his rules about getting involved. Now his only interest in the former NYPD detective is figuring out if she screwed up a rape investigation and helped send an innocent man to prison. But being forced to work together rekindles their old attraction, and as Darsh and Erin fall for each other, the campus predator fixates on Erin. The race is on to identify the ruthless killer before he makes Erin his final victim.

Add it to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on COLD HEARTED:

Amazon | iBooks | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Read the first chapter of COLD HEARTED now:

He spotted her across the street, blonde hair shining like polished gold in the sunlight, her lithe body tormenting every Y-chromosome in a hundred yard radius. He pulled out his cell and took a snapshot to immortalize the moment. He’d thought she said she was returning later in the week. Obviously he’d been mistaken. He dialed her number and watched her pull out her phone. He waited for the matching smile to form on her lips, for her eyes to light up. Instead, she checked caller ID, grimaced, and let the call go to voicemail.

Horror rushed through him as she re-pocketed the phone and turned back to her companion. What the fuck? He killed the connection and collapsed to a nearby bench, hidden from sight by a mass of tangled bushes.

He’d thought she loved him. That she wanted to be with him…

God! He’d given her everything she needed, laid it out like a feast on a platter with a fucking apple stuffed in its mouth. She played you, dumbass.

Fury flayed his skin. Rage so hot and pure that the blood coursing his body burned his bones. She thought she could dismiss him? Like he was nothing? Like he hadn’t risked everything for her? His hand strangled his phone as he imagined it squeezing her alabaster neck.

A noise brought him back to himself, and he drew in a long breath.

A laugh.

A giggle.

His head jerked up. Students milled around. They were relaxed and happy after winter break. The monster had been caught. They were safe. Life could go back to normal.

Sheep.

How could they think they were safe when the person they were having coffee with might be a predator dreaming about ripping into their soft, white underbelly? Why were they so willing to swallow bullshit as long as it was confidently labeled “truth”?

The system was broken. Bad guys walked free every single day. Good guys rotted. Innocents died.

Idiots.

A cute freshman smiled shyly at him from the bench opposite. He stretched his mouth into an answering curve that revealed nothing of the shock and disappointment that still rippled through him. Women liked him. So why the fuck did she think it was okay to ignore him?

A plan formed in his brain—a plan that buzzed along his nerves with the blistering speed of electricity.

Should he do it?

It might mess up things, and he didn’t want to go to prison, but it would certainly get her attention. His brain raced over the possibilities. He knew how to do this. He knew how not to get caught. And it might keep things interesting. Life had been pretty fucking boring lately and, as he’d found out last year, there was nothing quite as satisfying as revenge.

The student hiked her bag on her shoulder and got up to leave. He eyed the flirty plaid skirt she wore over opaque black tights and tall black boots, then jogged to catch up with her. Made a joke. Made her blush.

It was almost too easy.

He laughed and realized he was enjoying himself again. The excitement resurrected something inside him that was both heady and familiar. Something that scared him enough to keep it tightly leashed and under control. Something he’d denied himself for ten long months.

He reined in the thrill that fizzed through his bloodstream. He needed to be careful. The memory of the disgraced former quarterback reminded him he couldn’t afford to get cocky. No way in hell did he intend to share the asshole’s shame and degradation. But he knew the system. Knew the flaws. She was going to regret not taking that goddamned phone call for the rest of her life.

* * *

Cassie Bressinger smoothed out the single sheet of paper and read Drew’s small, cramped handwriting for the seventh time that day.

Cass,

I was trying to figure out something interesting to tell you, but after only a month I’m already running out of material. I mean, there are only so many adjectives I can invent to describe the three shades of gray that make up the decor here—snot, Minnesota, and dead rabbit are my newest favorites. I probably wouldn’t win any prizes in English class, but as I got kicked out I guess it doesn’t matter.

Three shades of gray—hmm, there might be a book in there somewhere…

Fifty Shades this place is not. Not to say there isn’t plenty of banging going on from the grunts and groans I hear at night. Someone somewhere is enjoying the fuck out of somebody else.

I think it’s consensual…

An ironic concern for a convicted rapist but, hey, who wants to be predictable?

Honestly, Babe, I’m at the stage where protecting my own ass has become my #1 priority. Luckily, I’m a big motherfucker and spent years on the gridiron, staring down people desperate to drill me into the ground. I could do with my offensive line in here though…

Crap.

I didn’t mean to talk about this shit and I’m running out of writing paper so I don’t want to start over. Plus, my fingers are getting cramps from holding a pen. Yeah, me, former star athlete whose hands were supposed to be his golden meal ticket. Getting cramps from writing a freaking letter! More irony J

Enough about me. How are you? What’s happening with your courses this semester? You said you were going to try and get into law school. Please don’t do that because of me!!! The last thing I want is for you to be stuck in a stuffy courtroom listening to god-awful testimony and watching people’s lives disintegrate. Run away and join the circus. Take a year off and travel the world.

Seriously.

And make sure you write and tell me all about your adventures, okay? I’m living vicariously. And if you want to have sex with other girls—that’s okay. Feel free to write and tell me all about that, too. Kidding! Well…kind of kidding and now kind of horny, which is a pain in the ass. Obviously the DA was right to classify me as a dangerous sex fiend.

Fucker.

Okay, gotta go. Time for me to go line up for sloppy mashed potatoes and sausages that look like severed fingers… Ugh, okay, just grossed myself out.

Don’t worry about me—I got this.

Love you. Miss you.

Drew. X

Someone knocked on the door and Cassie jumped. Tanya Whitehouse sauntered in before Cassie had a chance to hide the letter.

“That from Drew?” Tanya was wearing skinny jeans, her favorite strappy black top, and sparkly earrings. Her lips glowed in glittering magenta. Going out. Doing normal things like a normal person.

Cassie popped a shoulder and nodded.

“He okay?” asked Tanya.

“He’s incarcerated with rapists and murderers for crimes he didn’t commit,” she bit out. “What do you think?”

Tanya placed her perfectly manicured hand along Cassie’s forearm. “You know what I meant.”

Always patient. Always reasonable.

Cassie swallowed the anger. She wasn’t patient, and she wasn’t reasonable. But Tanya was only trying to help. All her friends had been nothing but supportive throughout this entire nightmare.

“He says he’s okay.” Cassie swallowed the knotted lump of grief that had taken up residence in her throat and tried to find her rationality. “I think he just says that to make me feel better.”

“You going to visit him?” Tanya asked gently.

Cassie nodded. “I’m driving over with his dad at the end of the month. Drew doesn’t want me to come, but I—”

“Maybe he’s right.”

Cassie sat up on the messy bed. She knew where this was going. “Please don’t tell me I’m wasting my life. Drew is my life.”

Tanya grabbed Cassie’s hand and squeezed hard enough to hurt. “I just don’t want you to be sad for the next thirty years.”

Her vision blurred, but they both pretended Cassie wasn’t crying. Even she was sick of the incessant tears. “I won’t be.” She was lying. “Anyway, he can still appeal.”

There was an awkward silence when Tanya didn’t say anything. Cassie’s gaze shifted to the image on the front of a magazine. Easier to look at some movie star complaining about her messed up childhood than dealing with the sort of truth that dug holes in your soul.

“Hey,” Tanya said brightly, “there’s a party over at Riddell Hall. Wanna come with?”

Cassie shook her head.

“Come on. It’ll be fun,” her friend urged.

Going to a party would remind her of all the times she and Drew had hung out. She didn’t want to acknowledge the aching void of his absence—especially not in public.

“I have an assignment due tomorrow. I really need to finish it.” She crawled over to her bedside table in search of a tissue.

Tanya lightly flicked the magazine, mockingly. “Well, you better get on with it then.”

Cassie slumped back to the bed, ashamed of how piteous she’d become. “I can’t face seeing people,” she admitted. “Not yet. Maybe coming back to school was a mistake.”

“You did great. Take it slowly. You’ll get there, and we’ll all be waiting for you on the other side of this.”

Cassie nodded. The problem was there was no ‘other side.’ Drew’s loss was like a rip in her chest that got bigger every day. “The world thinks he’s a monster.”

Tanya wrapped her arms around Cassie in a quick hug. “We love him. We know he’s a good guy and would never touch those lying bitches.”

“I don’t know how this could have happened.”

“You can’t lock yourself away forever, Cass.”

But she wanted to.

She didn’t know why she’d come back this term, but hanging around her parents’ house with nothing to do was worse. Christmas had sucked balls. Now she needed to figure out a way to move on without giving up on the man she loved.

She gripped her friend. “I love you, Tan. I’m sorry I’m such a bitch.”

“I love you, too, baby.”

She forced herself to pull away and wiped her eyes. “I really do have an assignment to finish.”

“Then get to it, slacker.” Tanya gave her arm a noogie.

Cassie forced a smile. She’d blown off cheerleading practice earlier today, and if she did it again, the coach would throw her off the squad. She didn’t care, except it would screw with her scholarship, and her parents weren’t wealthy. She couldn’t afford to get thrown out of the program, and she needed a good GPA to have a hope of getting into law school. But every time the football players ran onto the field in their black and gold jerseys, it was like someone was pouring acid in her eyes. Knowing everyone’s life went on while Drew sat locked up in a cell. Her throat constricted. Some days it felt like the pain would consume her whole.

She stood and pushed her friend toward the door. “Go. Have fun. Kiss some hot guys for me.”

“If I can find someone worthy enough, I intend to do a lot more than kiss him. So don’t worry if I don’t come home tonight. I’ll text you.” Tanya grinned. “Mandy’s studying in her room. Alicia is still at the library but said she’d be back just after ten as per usual. She might come to the party later, so if you change your mind…”

“Maybe,” Cassie lied. “You be careful out there. Guard your drink,” she warned. Because if those women had been raped, there was still a dangerous criminal on the loose, and no one knew it.

“I will, honey. Jillian’s going to be here any minute to give me a ride.”

“Go. Have fun.”

Tanya turned and smiled at her sadly, touching her arm. Cassie felt the punch of it near her heart. “You’ll get through this, Cass. You don’t have to forget Drew, but you need to keep living your life. He’d want you to do that.”

Cassie’s lip wobbled as she remembered what he’d said in his letter. She crossed her arms over her chest as she watched her friend jog down the stairs, grab her coat, and race out the front door. She had to believe a miracle was going to happen and that Drew would be freed, but it seemed futile. The judicial process was so slow it took months to even schedule a court hearing. In the meantime Drew was forced to live amongst killers and thieves. Getting raped in the showers wasn’t something anyone should have to worry about. Who could live like that?

That bitch Donovan had a lot to answer for. The blonde detective probably thought this was over.

It wasn’t. It would never be over.

Anger grounded her. Without it she’d be so damn lost.

Across the hall, Mandy turned her music on full blast. Cassie slipped on her noise-canceling headphones and stared at her computer and thought about the paper she needed to finish. Instead she pulled out a pen and notepad and started to write back to the man she loved, stopping only once to wipe away the tears that insisted on falling.

 

Want to win?

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About Toni Anderson

New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.

Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.

If you want to know when Toni’s next book will be out, visit her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com) and sign up for her newsletter. If you want to read other fascinating stories about life in a city that, during winter, is sometimes colder than Mars, friend her on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson).

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New Release + Review + Giveaway: Manacle by Bella Jewel – MC Sinners Next Generation Series – Book 3

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Title: Manacle
Series: MC Sinners Next Generation #3
Author: Bella Jewel
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
 Release Date: May 23, 2016
Blurb
I’ve loved Danny since I was five.
He’s loved me longer.
It seemed destined that we would be together, it seemed like the stars had aligned.
Then we grew up and life got in the way.
He’s stepping up to be president of the Motorcycle club we grew up in.
And I want no part in it.
I want to be free, to travel the world and experience life without violence.
He’s not willing to give up the club.
I’m not willing to be an old lady.
But giving him up is like losing a part of myself.
Love isn’t easy.
Life certainly never is.
The manacles he has wrapped around me will hold me to him.
No matter how hard I try to run.
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

 

 __________________________
4 Star
Michel’s Review
Manacle by Bella Jewel has finally released.  This book has slowly been building in the MC Sinners Next Generation series.  It has finally come to play and it is a doozy.
***
Danny and Skye grew up together in their fathers MC.  They are like family.  They have been friends all their lives.  They have been in love with one another all of their lives.  It should of been easy for these two to fall into their lives together.  Nothing is ever easy.  Life changes and dreams change.
***
After the horrific situations happened to Ava and Mercy, Skye has a different view of her life.  She no longer wants to be a part of the MC in her adult life.  She doesn’t want to be an old lady.  She doesn’t want to worry that her man or her children are going to get killed or seriously injured because of the way they live their lives.  She wants a normal family life, a picket fence, and all the trappings that go along with it.  She knows she has to walk away from Danny , no matter how much she loves him, in order to pursue her dreams in life.
***
Danny is destined to take over the position of President in the MC.  He has been groomed for this all of his life.  He loves the club and everything it stands for, even after Skye completely tears his heart to shreds.  The only thing he can do is move on with someone else.  He will always be there as a friend if Skye needs help but he will not let her destroy him again.
***
As the old saying ” Be careful what you wish for…” goes, plays a big part in Skye’s life.  She has a lot of growing up to do.  She has a lot to learn about love, friendship, and selflessness.  She will go from a self centered girl to a confused young lady to a determined woman.  She’s going to experience more heartbreak than she would of ever experienced if she would of listened to her heart rather than her head.  Now she’s listening and it may be too late.  Danny has moved on.
***
Manacle kept me glued to the pages.  I spent most of the book annoyed with Skye.  She was a self centered mess.  She was lucky her family and friends stayed true to her.  I was extremely happy when she finally grew up and gave more than she got.
***
I would highly recommend Manacle and The MC Sinners Next Generation series.  Each book can be read as a stand alone or in series order.
____________________________

Also Available

 

AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

 

AMAZON US / UK / AU / CA

B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

 

 

Author Bio

Bella Jewel is a self published, USA
Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release
was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon
release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a
bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is
currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella
has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013
she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling
modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her
writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

Author Links
Giveaway

Pre – Release Promo + Excerpt : Inseverable by Cecy Robson

Don’t Miss this Price….Only for a Limited Time!

 

INSEVERABLE
Carolina Beach #1
Cecy Robson
Releasing June 21st, 2016
 
How
can you imagine forever with someone who’s leaving everything behind?
Callahan,
a former army sniper, wants to make an escape from his past and everything he
experienced at war, but most of all, just not feel. Feeling leads to pain and
he’s suffered enough. When he inherits a house on South Carolina’s Kiawah
Island, he packs his bags, lured by the peace and seclusion he thinks it will
bring. But, Callahan never counted on meeting anyone like Trinity . . .
Trinity
has always been the cute, and funny one, who most guys overlook inpursuit of
her “hot” friends. She became used to being everyone’s pal, until the
day the young man she was attracted to, was drawn to her in return. He became
her first great love, and first crushing heartbreak when she found him in bed
with one of her closest friends.
To
move forward, and to carry out her commitment to helping those in need, Trinity
enlists in the Peace Corps, but not before returning to Kiawah for one last
memorable summer. She just never imagined it would be so unforgettable.
Callahan
doesn’t want to get close to anyone-let alone Trinity. He finds her perkiness
insufferable and her attempts to entice a smile distracting. After all, he’s in
Kiawah to leave all feelings behind. But when it comes to Trinity, who feels
everything, it’s hard not to feel something.
Neither
expected to fall in love. And no one could have predicted how inseverable
they’d become.
Pre-Order Now

 

 Excerpt-BannerExcerpt

Prologue

Callahan

Three days.

That’s all I have left until this shit ends.

Three days shouldn’t feel like forever, not compared to the eight years I’ve bled to the Army. Thing is, good men have been killed in less time. In as quick as a blink, a squeeze of a trigger, or a small breath right before a grenade blows is all the time it takes to shove someone right out of life and well into death.

That’s what makes three days as long as it is. Three days is plenty of time to die.

My eyes tear when the wind picks up and shoots grime through the small hole of my lookout point. This blown out piece of cinderblock is only big enough to allow me a view of the street below, but not so small I don’t get smacked in the face with more filth. The tarp flaps above me as I spit out another layer of the dirt-sand mix spackling my teeth. Christ Almighty, I need a swig of the water resting near my elbow. But my thirst, like everything else has to wait.

I have a job to do.

I adjust my hips against the cracked cement of my bed, bathroom, and home all rolled into one, thankful that the agonizing ache stretching over the lower half of my body has settled into a now familiar numbness.

Out of all the points I’d scouted, and all the accumulated years spent in this position, I should be used to it. And in a strange way, it should almost be home. Yet nothing ever has been home.

But in three days, maybe something finally will be . . .

I shove my thoughts away and breathe as my fellow Rangers stalk along the street. It’s then I see them, a mother and daughter walking straight toward my team. Less than one city block separates them from the men counting on me to keep them alive.

The hell? How did they get past the other sniper unreported? Rogers is new on watch. But the quick paces these two are taking should have clued him in that something’s up. I train my scope on their faces; their expressions are blank, unreadable. ‘Cept that’s not what keeps my attention.

The little girl can’t be more than five. So why the fuck isn’t her mother holding her hand? I lift my radio and bark a warning, dropping it beside me as I lock my scope dead center on the woman’s head.

The radio crackles and Modreski chimes in, yelling at his team to hold their positions. He asks me what my plan is, knowing if something’s caused the short-hairs on my neck to rise, he and the boys damn well need to listen. But I don’t hear him, with a breath and a squeeze of the trigger, I leave a kid without a mother.

Just beneath the sleeve of her abayah―the dress completely covering her body―I see it, a detonator that would trigger the explosives likely strapped to her chest. A few Rangers I know―Simons and Boreman, rush forward. I start to mutter a curse, pissed at her for making me shoot her in front of her kid. But the curse lodges in my throat when I see the kid isn’t looking at her mother lying next to her dead.

She’s watching my advancing team as she lifts the detonator clasped tight in her hand.

 

CECY ROBSON is the New Adult and Contemporary author of
the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels, and the award winning
author of the Weird Girls Urban Fantasy Romance series. A self-proclaimed
professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of
useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into
song, despi4e her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered
nurse, wife, and mother living in the South, Cecy enjoys spending time with her
family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

 

 
Don’t forget to pick up Cecy’s Newest Release, 
LET ME
O’Brien Series 
Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo
 
 

Cover Reveal: Bedmates by Nichole Chase – American Royalty Series – Book 1

BEDMATES_Cover

Bedmates

American Royalty Series – Book 1

By Nichole Chase

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Pre Order: Amazon / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

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Synopsis

About BEDMATES
Everyone makes mistakes, especially in college. But when you’re the daughter of the President of the United States, any little slip up is a huge embarrassment. Maddie McGuire’s latest error in judgment lands her in police custody, giving the press a field day. Agreeing to do community service as penance and to restore her tattered reputation, Maddie never dreams incredibly good looking but extremely annoying vice president’s son, Jake Simmon, will be along for the ride.

Recently returning from Afghanistan with a life-altering injury, Jake is wrestling with his own demons. He doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with the likes of Maddie. They’re like oil and water and every time they’re together, it’s combustible. But there’s a thin line between love and hate, and it’s not long before their fiery arguments give way to infinitely sexier encounters.

When Jake receives devastating news about the last remaining member of his unit, the darkness he’s resisted for so long begins to overwhelm him. Scared to let anyone close, he pushes Maddie away. But she isn’t about to give up on Jake that easily. Maddie’s fallen for him, and she’ll do anything to keep him from the edge as they both discover that love is a battlefield and there are some fights you just can’t lose.

__________________________________________

About Nichole Chase

5074162Nichole Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Suddenly Royal and Recklessly Royal. She lives in Georgia with her husband, toddler, superhero dog, Sulcata tortoise, and two cats. When not devouring novels by the dozens, you can find her writing, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Author Goodreads |

 

InstagramBEDMATES

New Release + 5 Star Review + Giveaway: For 100 Days by Lara Adrian – 100 Series

 

 

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FOR 100 DAYS is the first novel in a passionate new contemporary romance trilogy from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Lara Adrian. Coming soon: FOR 100 NIGHTS and FOR 100 REASONS.For 100 Days

*****

100 Series

By Lara Adrian

Buy: Amazon / Amazon Paperback / B & N / ITunes / Kobo

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Pleasure has a price . . .

 

Just when everything in my life is falling apart, I find a chance to turn it around–to step into someone else’s glittering world, if only for a little while. I become someone new, no longer the woman defined by an ugly past, but a woman freer and bolder than myself. A woman who isn’t afraid to explore every passion, even at its darkest, with a mysterious and seductive man who believes my mask is real.

 

Handsome and commanding, enigmatic and irresistible, billionaire Dominic Baine is an obsession I cannot afford and should not risk. He ushers me into consuming new pleasures and addicting new desires, until the line between my real life and the fantasy one I’ve stolen with him begins to blur.

 

I know I cannot keep my truth from him. I know my past will not stay buried forever. But before I can make it right, everything comes crashing down. I have deceived this powerful, dangerous man . . . and now there is a price to be paid.

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

Tasha and I head for the elevators. Neither of the two cars are parked on the ground level, so, as we wait for one to come down, I can’t resist pivoting for another look at the opulence of the lobby.

A moment later, a soft chime sounds behind me as the elevator comes to a rest. I wheel back around and step toward the doors as soon as they slide open.

I don’t even register that the wall I’m facing is human until I’ve almost crashed right into him.

I stop short and lift my head with a half-formed apology on my lips. The sound evaporates on my tongue as I glance up and my gaze collides with a pair of cerulean blue eyes. They skewer me from under the slash of inky black brows.

Brows that are furrowed into a deep scowl at the uncouth clod who nearly body-slammed her way onto the elevator.

“Um, sorry.”

No reply from him. Not even a flicker of polite response in his handsome, sharply cut features. Under a crown of dark hair that’s neatly trimmed, fit for a boardroom, but thick with rebellious waves that catch the light in a glossy, raven’s wing sheen, his face is a blending of hard, chiseled angles. With his high cheekbones and square jaw, I’d be tempted to call his face brutal if not for the supple line of his mouth.

And he’s tall and muscular too, dressed in a dark gray track jacket and pants that do little to disguise the physically fit body within. Despite his athletic appearance, I can tell immediately that he’s not some meat-head gym rat who’s more brawn than brain.

No, this man’s eyes blast me with the kind of intelligence and seriousness—a powerful confidence—that I can’t ignore.

A shocking and inexplicable heat pours through me as he holds my gaze. His stare is bold, unflinching, as if he’s accustomed to taking his fill of anything in his sights. That air of assumption should offend me for many reasons, but as his brilliant blue eyes travel the length of me, all I feel is the rapid igniting of every cell in my body.

Tasha clears her throat when my muteness appears to be permanent. “Pardon us, please.”

He barely acknowledges her comment, nor her huff of indignation that follows. No, those piercing eyes staying rooted on me alone. I feel stripped bare under that hard gaze, as if he can see right through me with a single glance and knows I don’t belong here. Even worse, the barely imperceptible twist of his lips seems to say that he’s very much aware of the effect he has on me.

He doesn’t move, then I am mortified to realize it’s because I’m standing in his way.

I wince inwardly and step aside, wishing I would just melt into the crack between the marble floor and the elevator shaft before I embarrass myself any more.

His path cleared, he steps into the lobby without a word.

I follow Tasha into the elevator, but all of my attention is on the dark-haired stranger now prowling across the marble with fluid, almost urgent strides.

I hear Manny greet him as the elevator doors slide shut, blocking my view.

“Evening, Mr. Baine. Enjoy your run, sir.”

Once we’re sealed inside the car, my breath leaks out of me on a groan.

Tasha arches a brow. “Hot as sin, but obviously a superior prick. Do yourself a favor and steer clear of that one, honey.”

As if I need the warning.

Whoever he is, I doubt I’ll be seeing much of Mr. Baine. In fact, I’m already promising myself I’ll head in the opposite direction if I ever see him in the building again while I’m here. God knows, I don’t need to relive tonight’s awkward semi-introduction with the man anytime soon.

I push the button for the fifth floor, wishing it was as easy to push the memory of those searing blue eyes from my mind.

5Star

Michel’s Review

Spoiler Free Review

What a great surprise to see on of my favorite paranormal authors stepping out of her genre.  Lara Adrian is known for her world building, great characters, sizzling erotic romances, and creating an intriguing story behind the romance.

For 100 Days is not a stand alone book.  It is the first book in the 100 Series.  Be prepared for a cliffhanger.

For 100 Days is a great introduction to two very complicated characters from two very different kinds of lifestyles.  One is a struggling artist with deep secrets.  The other is a powerful, millionaire businessman that also has dark secrets.  Does this sound like a lot of the millionaire romances?  Don’t let the description keep you from reading this book.  Lara Adrian has definitely put her unique brand on the story that will leave the readers wanting more.

I’m not going to say too much more except this book was HOT and loaded with mystery and intrigue.  The story is only beginning and I can’t wait to see where Nick and Avery are headed.  I think there is a very dangerous road ahead for them both.

__________________________________________

 

Lara Adrian Bio:

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LARA ADRIAN is a New York Times and #1 internationally best-selling author, with nearly 4 million books in print worldwide and translations licensed to more than 20 countries. Her books regularly appear in the top spots of all the major bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. Reviewers have called Lara’s books “addictively readable” (Chicago Tribune), “extraordinary” (Fresh Fiction), and “one of the best on the market” (Romantic Times).

 

Writing as TINA ST. JOHN, her historical romances have won numerous awards including the National Readers Choice; Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer’s Choice; Booksellers Best; and many others. She was twice named a Finalist in Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards, for Best Historical Romance (White Lion’s Lady) and Best Paranormal Romance (Heart of the Hunter). More recently, the German translation of Heart of the Hunter debuted on Der Spiegel bestseller list.

 

With an ancestry stretching back to the Mayflower and the court of King Henry VIII, the author lives with her husband in New England.

 

Visit the author’s website and sign up for new release announcements at http://bit.ly/LaraAdrianNews

Connect with Lara:

Follow Lara at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lara-Adrian/e/B001JSFD7M/

Follow Lara at BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lara-adrian

Join Lara’s VIP Reader List: http://bit.ly/LaraAdrianNews

 

http://www.LaraAdrian.com

http://www.facebook.com/LaraAdrianBooks

https://www.instagram.com/laraadrianbooks/

http://www.twitter.com/lara_adrian

http://www.goodreads.com/lara_adrian

http://www.pinterest.com/LaraAdrian

****

 

Enter Lara’s Giveaway:

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Cover Reveal: Dirty Work by Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rather

Authors – Chelle Bliss & Brenda Rothert

★STANDALONE NOVEL★

Release Date – July 26, 2016

BLURB

After serving his country with distinction on the battlefield, there’s only one place left for Jude Titan to fight – Washington, DC. The people of the great state of Illinois welcomed home their hero, and it’s because of them that he’s running for Congress. #TrustTitan

But there’s a problem. His opponent, Reagan Preston, is a temptation he can’t afford.

Reagan Preston grew up in politics, groomed from an early age to carry on the family tradition. She’s in the biggest fight of her life against the golden boy, Jude Titan. It’s an uphill battle against one of the most eligible bachelors in Chicago, but she’s ready. With the backing of her family and friends, her campaign is a force to be reckoned with. #PurePreston

What starts out as a fight for the ages turns into an attraction so intense they’ll both risk ruin for it. #PoliticsIsFilthy #DirtyWork

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About the Authors

Chelle Bliss, USA Today Bestselling author, currently lives near the Gulf of Mexico, but hates sand. She’s a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend. She loves spending her free time with her 2 cats, hamster, and alpha male boyfriend.

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

VISIT CHELLE BLISS’ WEBSITEVISIT BRENDA ROTHERT’S WEBSITE

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Cover Reveal: Luka by Jane Harvey-Berrick – The Rhythm Series – Book 2

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Luka

The Rhythm Series – Book 2

By Jane Harvey-Berrick

Release Date: June 16, 2016

Pre Order: Amazon US  / Amazon UK  /Amazon CA

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Synopsis

I’m not a good man.

I’m not a bad man.

But I’ve made some bad mistakes, made the wrong choices.

Who hasn’t? But the consequences are tearing us apart.

I love two people.

I love them differently.

The world tells me I have to choose. Why? Why do I have to choose?

Loving hurts. Dancing heals.

Love makes you soar, makes you fly and sets you free—and then it lets you freefall until you’re smashed and bleeding on the ground. Ultimately, love is the worst thing that can happen to a human being.

Im my opinion.

I love two people.

I love them differently.

One is a man.

One is a woman.

And they are brother and sister.

**** A stand alone novel in the best-selling Rhythm Series. ****

LUKA, full sleeve

Luka 1

__________________

The Rhythm Series

Slave to the Rhythm COVER

Slave To Rhythm

By Jane Harvey- Berrick

Release Date: March 8th, 2016

Buy : Amazon / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Nook / Kobo

29361-goodreadsSynopsis

Dance. Guns.

Music. Bullets.

Rhythm. Pain.

Music in my head, dance in my body, the rhythm of my heart.

How far can you fall in just one month? How quickly can the human spirit be broken? Where does evil hide in plain sight?

Ash wants to dance. Needs it. To leave behind a life of expectation and duty, to set his soul free.

But life is never that simple. Every step is a journey on a new road.

For every action, there is a reaction.

Every choice has a consequence.

And when you meet the wrong person, all bets are off.

Laney tolerates her limitations, pushing quietly at boundaries. But when Ash crashes into her world through rage and violence, it sets off a chain reaction that neither of them expected.

***

luka

Luka

The Rhythm Series – Book 2

By Jane Harvey-Berrick

Release Date: June 16, 2016

Pre Order: Amazon US  / Amazon UK  /Amazon CA

9deaa-goodreads

Synopsis

I’m not a good man.

I’m not a bad man.

But I’ve made some bad mistakes, made the wrong choices.

Who hasn’t? But the consequences are tearing us apart.

I love two people.

I love them differently.

The world tells me I have to choose. Why? Why do I have to choose?

Loving hurts. Dancing heals.

Love makes you soar, makes you fly and sets you free—and then it lets you freefall until you’re smashed and bleeding on the ground. Ultimately, love is the worst thing that can happen to a human being.

Im my opinion.

I love two people.

I love them differently.

One is a man.

One is a woman.

And they are brother and sister.

**** A stand alone novel in the best-selling Rhythm Series. ****

_________________________________________________________

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Jane is a writer of contemporary romance fiction, known for thoughtful stories, often touching on difficult subjects: disability (DANGEROUS TO KNOW & LOVE, SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM); mental illness (THE EDUCATION OF CAROLINE, SEMPER FI); life after prison (LIFERS); dyslexia (THE TRAVELING MAN, THE TRAVELING WOMAN).

She is also a campaigner for former military personnel to receive the support they need on leaving the services. She wrote the well-received play LATER, AFTER with former veteran Mike Speirs. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk1CyB8c0xA )

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

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Book Blast + Excerpt + Giveaway: An Accidental Affair by Holly Blackstone – Liliana Batchelor Series

Enter to Win a Hardcover Copy of AN ACCIDENTAL AFFAIR

 

AN ACCIDENTAL AFFAIR
Liliana Batchelor Series #1
Holly Blackstone
Released March 2013
Erotic Romance

Two souls meet at a
dark railroad crossing… there’s no hint this night will be the beginning – and
end – of everything.

Lily doesn’t exist any more – old
Lily, anyway. That night made her different, rewrote her life, tore up
everything she thought she knew and understood.

How do you go back to normal after
you’ve met someone who has turned your life upside down? When you fear the
passionate connexion but don’t want to live for anything else? When those few
moments were the most intense and intimate of your life and it was the barest
taste of what you could have together?

How do you find the strength to not
run away from something that has the power to shatter your heart?

Note: This book contains explicit
sexual content, graphic language and situations that some readers may find
objectionable (including spanking and bondage). Content intended for adults
only.

What
readers are saying:

“It took forever to find a book
last night on my Kindle. To find that perfect Alpha male character. Stuart is
the one.”

“Really enjoying the strong
alpha possessive male qualities of Stuart, Liliana is no simpering girl, their
connection and the way the author visualizes that to the reader are really
impressive. Did I mention it is smokin’ hot?! Really pleasantly surprised with
this one, reminds me at times of In Flight series among others.”

 

IT’S FREE….GRAB YOUR COPY
Amazon | B
& N
 | iTunes | Kobo
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Excerpt

Drawn again to the view, this time with the sky lit up from the sunset, she walks to the wall of windows. The stones of Edinburgh Castle glow with a kaleidoscope of purple and vermillion hues, the shadows a dark Payne’s Grey. It would be fun to try and paint, she thinks, to capture the colour and movement. The castle looks otherworldly, sitting on the hilltop with the dwindling rays of the day dancing across it.

Lily senses a presence behind her, and before she can turn she feels an arm slip around her waist and warm breath is in her ear.

“I’m so pleased you’re here”, Stuart says huskily, his arm tightening, pulling her against his body. He kisses her hair, drinking in the subtle scents that waft off of her.

She is speechless; once again she is spellbound simply by sharing a room with him. She doesn’t needed to see his eyes; his sultry voice, accent and the warmth of his arm around her instantly make Lily feel wobbly, as if her will is being sapped, as if nothing else matters but that she’s here with him.

“It’s beautiful”, she says softly, glad he is there to enjoy the majestic colour, the fiery clouds, the corona of darkness pushing down towards the horizon. It is one of the most gorgeous sights she has ever seen.

“It’s nearly as beautiful as you”, he whispers it so quietly she isn’t sure she heard it. Things have moved, this declaration was a surprise. Probably just gratitude, she reminds herself.

“You didn’t need to invite me to supper.” She says, still watching the light show outside. “You don’t owe me anything.”

His arm tightens around her. “Is that what you think? The invitation was out of gratitude for what you’ve done?” God, how that sounded like the very thing she had been thinking.

She doesn’t know what to say. “Answer me”, he demands, and turns her around to face him.

Stuart’s eyes are ablaze. How they can be blue but still fiery I don’t know, she thinks as she looks into them and then scans the rest of him. The tailored navy suit hangs off him flawlessly and his tie is the colour of his eyes. My God… what a perfect man, she thinks before crashing back to reality.

She can feel his annoyance. “You said you’d invite me to dinner as a thank you… when we talked in the hospital, the note”, she reminds him. “I just assumed…”

“I kissed you last night.” He sounds incredulous. He doesn’t understand how Lily could think this way. He steps closer and looks down at her. “I think you enjoyed it.”

“I…”, she has to look away. Liliana knows what is in her eyes; that she craved more but the desire frightens her.

“Did you Lily?” His hand moves to her face and turns it back to his. “Look at me. Did you enjoy it?” She tries to turn her head again but he holds it firm, his fingers curled around her chin.

She feels cornered. “What do you want from me?” she pleads, her eyes looking at his mouth, no, not his mouth, not his eyes…

He moves his right hand and cups her face in his palms and forces it upwards – she has no choice. Their eyes meet and it is like falling into an abyss with walls of sheer blue ice on either side; nothing else is real but those impossible eyes.

“I want the truth, Liliana”, he says her name as if it is a caress. “I can see it in your eyes regardless. But I want to hear it. Did you enjoy it when I kissed you?”

“Yes”, it is almost inaudible.

“Why are you struggling against me so?” His thumbs are stroking her cheeks.

“Who are you?”, she asks, her voice tinged in wonderment.

“You’ll find out to-morrow.” She hears a distant bell. “That will be supper. Come.” He offers his arm to her.

 

 

Holly
Blackstone
 has
been writing stories and poetry since she was seven and has always been an avid
reader. She enjoys cooking, painting, reading, blogging, music, writing,
dancing and gardening, and lives in the Pacific Northwest, just outside of
Seattle. 
 
Holly
enjoys exploring how her hero and heroine grow when faced with adversity, and
believes erotica can not only be sexy and sensual, but contain rich characters
and tell a compelling story.
 
She
enjoys interacting with readers and discussing her books and what motivates the
people in her stories.

 

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