Sneak Peek + Pre-Order: Promise Me Always by A.L. Jackson

NYT Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson has a sneak peek of her upcoming single dad, fake fiancée romance, Promise Me Always. Coming January 30th! 

EXCERPT:

“Go, go, go!” Tessa jumped up and down, rooting on Remy who’d thrown the Frisbee and was currently rounding the bases.

I scooped Scout into my arms, and he and I raced toward the Frisbee that’d rolled out the right side of the baseball field.

Scout was bouncing all over, his laughter filling the air, my little guy kicking my sides like I was a horse. “Hurry, Dad, hurry, Remy is so really fast, and we gotta catch her before she gets all the way to home base.”

I dipped down to snag the Frisbee, holding tight to Scout as I tipped him upside down, making him holler and laugh uncontrollably while Tessa was shouting, “You’re almost there, Remy! Whoop, whoop! Team Remy-T Wreckers coming in for the win. Yeah, baby!”

Scout’s eyes went wide. “Go, Dad! We gotta catch her. Rocket speed!”

I shifted him, tucking his side to mine so he could stretch out his arms like he was flying, and I was supplying the rocket propulsion as we bounded back the opposite direction, a bunch of sounds bubbling out of my mouth as I found a lightness I hadn’t felt in a long, long time.

Remy rounded third base.

Tessa jumped up and down on the pitcher’s mound, waving her hands in the air and cheering on my kid. “Go, Remy, go!”

Both their faces were red.

Joy radiated all around.

Guessed it was my joy, too.

This feeling in the air that might have been the best thing I’d ever felt.

Scout kept himself rigid, still zooming through the air. “After burners, Dad!”

I increased my speed a fraction.

Remy screamed and laughed as she ran for home, my daughter soaring free when her steps were often laden with reservation.

Her load too heavy.

I made sure that we just missed her as she stomped onto the base.

“Ahh, dang, you’re too fast.” I feigned the grumbled complaint while my little girl squealed in victory and shouted, “I did it! I did it!”

Tessa ran her way, her arms in the air. “You did it! You are a rockstar, Remington Hendricks!”

They jumped, high-fiving each other with both hands.

“Oh, man,” Scout whined. “We got a tie. How do we even know who’s the best?”

I pressed my lips to the top of his head. “Means we’re all the best, little man.”

“That’s Rocketman to you,” he told me.

A chuckle got free, and Tessa was giggling nonstop, her smile so bright, happiness this glow of warmth that surrounded her.

She poked Scout’s belly where I’d shifted him upright. “Pure awesomesauce, I tell you.”

He jumped out of my arms and into hers.

She caught him like she was completely accustomed to pint-sized shenanigans. “There’s my Rocketman! You’re off to Mars!” she sang as she swung him around.

Peals of his laughter rang in the air, and Remy moved to hold my hand, grinning in a way I hadn’t seen her do in so long that I’d almost forgotten what it looked like.

God, I wasn’t even sure how to navigate through it when I kept getting struck with an urge to capture it.

Hold it and protect it forever.

“Okay, I think that’s my favorite game.” Remy was almost shy to say it, though it was adrenaline and glee rushing all over her face.

“So fun!” Tessa agreed.

Everyone was panting with the exertion, sweat slicking our skin, and we moved back to where we had the blanket set up in the shade.

Tessa flopped down onto her back on it, Scout still held in her arms. Remy flopped right down beside her.

Tessa rolled her head in Remy’s direction so they were staring at each other where they lie on their backs. “Thank you for being on my team.”

“Best team ever.” Timidity might have filled Remy’s voice, but joy shined in her eyes.

They just sat there for a second, smiling at each other, something special moving between them.

Scout climbed off Tessa, and he crawled to the cooler and tossed open the lid. “I spy with my little eye a blue Popsicle.”

Like he hadn’t spotted it earlier when we were passing out sandwiches and fresh-cut fruit.

He reached for one.

“You’re supposed to ask first, little man,” I told him.

“Is it okay, Tessa?” He beamed at her. I was pretty sure those full lips would be enough to swindle the last dollar out of a starving man’s hand.

I blinked at him. “Excuse me? What am I, chopped liver?”

Scout shrugged. “Tessa’s got my back.”

Tessa sat up, pressing her fingertips to her mouth like she was trying to keep back her laughter.

“What are you giggling about?” I asked, voice low as I climbed down onto my knees at the edge of the oversized blanket.

“I think I found myself a couple of new besties.” Her smile softened, pure affection as she glanced between the two of them.

Remy smiled, too, and fuck, my chest tightened.

I loved to see my little girl happy.

“I’ll be your best friend because you brought me a Popsicle,” Scout supplied as he grabbed a handful of them and started to pass them out.

“One for Daddy-Doo, one for Remy-Roo, one for Tessa-Too.”

My kid, he was a poet.

“Dad, you better kiss her if you’re gonna marry her,” Scout said so nonchalant as he peeled the wrapper and stuck the blue bullet into his mouth. “Because in a minute, she’s gonna have blue lips, and that’s gross.”

I knew we were going to have to get these displays of affection right, but my nerves decided it was a fine time to short-circuit.

To go zapping and zinging in all those places she kept bringing to life.

Shaking me down and tightening my guts in a flurry of want as I looked at the woman who watched me with such a tenderness that my spirit groaned.

“You’ve got love, Dad,” Remy whispered.

Soft encouragement that cut me to the quick.

My child’s belief filling me full after I’d lost it.

Warily, I crawled forward on my knees, already towering over Tessa where she sat on the blanket.

My friend.

My friend.

Curling my hand around the back of her neck, I drew her closer.

Fire flashed.

That feeling rising that I had to keep at bay.

But those blue eyes, they were so intense and deep and filled with this trust that spread like fingers through my senses.

The girl a lure.

Her lips barely parted as we sat there with an inch of space separating us.

Hovering.

Hesitating.

Unsure.

My heart thundered too loud, and I finally drew her the rest of the way in and pressed my lips to hers.

Somewhere between firm and soft.

A second.

Then two.

Breathing her in.

Torment and bliss.

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Connect with A.L.

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, BLEEDING STARS, FIGHT FOR ME, CONFESSIONS OF THE HEART, FALLING STARS, and REDEMPTION HILLS novels. Watch out for her upcoming stand-alone, PROMISE ME ALWAYS, releasing January 30th!

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

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New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Cold Deceit by Toni Anderson

Title: Cold Deceit
Series: Cold Justice – Most Wanted #2
Author: Toni Anderson
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: December 20, 2022
BLURB
When forensic anthropologist Zoe Miller stumbles across a murder victim in the blisteringly hostile Sonoran Desert, she triggers a chain of events that puts her in the crosshairs of a ruthless killer.

FBI HRT operator Seth Hopper is on secret assignment near the Mexican border when he suddenly finds himself on a rescue mission. The former Navy SEAL is ordered to protect Zoe, whether she likes it or not, which sets them off on a cross-country journey back to Virginia.
Zoe has good reason not to trust a man like Seth, but there is no denying the scorching heat that flares between them, hotter than the desert sun. Can Zoe find justice for the murdered woman? Or will the killers close in to destroy them both…
Don’t miss New York Times bestselling author Toni Anderson’s next Cold Justice® – Most Wanted novel, featuring agents from the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
EXCERPT

He placed a large palm over her forehead and she squinted up at him from under her lashes.
He had the most perfect symmetrical features—strong jawline, high cheek bones, a full lower lip. And those eyes…which veered in color from a pale olive-green to light brown and were probably technically hazel. They looked way prettier than any other hazel eyes she’d ever seen.
An unwanted quiver of awareness shot down her spine at the reminder of how attractive she’d thought he was when she’d first seen him at the motel about a thousand years ago. But, right now, he was examining her more like he thought she was a recalcitrant little kid with a fever.

ALSO AVAILABLE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
AUTHOR BIO

Toni Anderson writes gritty, sexy, FBI Romantic Thrillers, and is a New York Times and a USA Today bestselling author. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, Readers’ Choice, Aspen Gold, Book Buyers’ Best, Golden Quill, National Excellence in Story Telling (NEST) Contest, and National Excellence in Romance Fiction awards. She’s been a finalist in both the Vivian Contest and the RITA. Her books have been translated into five different languages.

Best known for her “COLD JUSTICE®” novels, perhaps it’s not surprising to discover Toni lives in one of the most extreme climates on earth—Manitoba, Canada. Formerly a Marine Biologist (Ph.D.), she still misses the ocean. Her greatest achievements include raising two kids, mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving eighteen (and counting) Winnipeg winters.

Toni loves to travel for research and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. She also got to shove another car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy in Wisconsin. She hopes not to get arrested for her Google searches.

Find out more on her website: http://www.toniandersonauthor.com

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt + 4-Star Review: The Scramble by Kristen Proby

Maddie and Dylan heat up Iceland for Christmas!

The Scramble, an all-new heroine scrooge meets hero Mr. Christmas, opposites attract romance from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby, is out now!

There are two things you need to know about me. 1: I’m never late. And 2: I hate Christmas. Yes, I’m a girl who hates the holidays.

My entire, enormous family is already enjoying their holiday vacation in Iceland, but thanks to my busy job and having to meet them there, I’m late. They could have chosen any holiday to fly across the world, but Christmas won, which sent me scrambling because the end of the year is my busiest time. It’s difficult to carve out moments to see the family at all.

So, now, I’m forty thousand feet in the air, trying to get to Iceland before Christmas morning, all while also attempting to get some work done. If only the hot guy next to me would leave me be.

Dylan says I should put the work away until after my holiday and relax a bit. And while his suggestion of spending some time together on the north Atlantic island seems preposterous, I can’t help but feel intrigued when he promises to show me how to enjoy the Yuletide season properly.

After all, I can’t possibly spend every minute with my family.

But how do I just shrug off my duty to my job and throw caution to the wind for a stranger…no matter how handsome he is? Because that’s something else about me: I never throw caution to the wind—even a beautiful, blustery Icelandic wind.

Then again, Mama always said, “Never say never…”

Grab some holiday cheer today!
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Keep reading for a look inside The Scramble!

“Okay, this is going to be the craziest story I’ve ever told you, and you can’t tell the cousins.”

She blinks at me in surprise. “All right. Give it to me.”

“I didn’t know him until I got on that airplane. And then we fucked in the bathroom.”

She just keeps blinking. “On the airplane?”

“Yes.”

I chew my bottom lip, waiting for her response.

“I know people talk about it all the time but is that even possible? I mean, they’re so small.”

“You don’t need much room.” I smile to myself, hearing Dylan’s words echoing in my head.

“Oh, I like that smile.” She sits up, crosses her legs, and then hugs the pillow to her chest. “I like it a lot. That’s a satisfied smile.”

“Yeah, well, it was fun.”

“Did you just say fun?”

“If you say a word about me not being fun, I’ll come over there and break your nose.”

“You always were violent. I’d say you got it from Dad, but despite being a former SEAL, he might be the gentlest human alive. Okay, so, there were airplane shenanigans.”

“Yes.”

“What else?”

“He just flirted with me, practically the whole flight. And he’s nice. Which is weird.”

“I know they seem to be fewer and fewer these days, but there are nice guys out there.”

“Yeah, well, we seem to be related to ninety percent of them. Anyway, I don’t know much about Dylan other than what he does for a living and that the sex is beyond anything I’ve ever had before.”

“Honey, as a woman well into her thirties, it’s about damn time. I’m glad we talked you into staying the week. Now, you can hang out with Dylan more. Have a vacation fling. If that’s all it is, it’s still time well spent.”

“Huh. I never considered a vacation fling.”

Tracey’s Review

One of my favorite things about the Montgomery family is that it’s so big! This gives me hope that Kristen Proby has many more stories to tell about some of my all-time best-loved characters, because every adventure with them is literally one for the books. Case in point, THE SCRAMBLE, the latest novella in Kristen’s Single in Seattle series.

Like all of the Montgomery women, Maddie is strong, savvy, and committed to her king-sized family, the last of which has her on a flight to Iceland to spend Christmas with them. The last thing that she’s expecting is to meet a man, especially one that will have her stepping outside of her comfort zone in so many ways.

Dylan is a great match for Maddie, getting her to try new things, to make time to enjoy life, and to reevaluate the life that she’s living. Best of all, though, he truly likes Maddie for who she is, and is key in her being able to come out of the shell that she’s developed over the years. As a couple, they are supportive, sweet, and definitely steamy.

Insta-love doesn’t always do it for me, but it just works in Maddie’s and Dylan’s case. And while THE SCRAMBLE takes place at Christmastime, it is the perfect little taste of sugar and spice for anytime, and a great next link in the Montgomery chain that will leave you happy and ready for more. ❤️

About Kristen Proby:

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

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New Release + Blog Tour + 5+ Star Review: Shattered Seas by Catherine Cowles

He was the last person she expected to fall for…

Shattered Sea, a sexy, suspenseful, small town romance from USA Today bestselling author Catherine Cowles, is out now!

I’ve known every kind of pain. Of the heart. Of the body. Of the soul. All I want now is the freedom that comes from making my art.

The last thing I expected was Hollywood royalty to waltz into my gallery in a small town in the middle of nowhere and see me.

A man like Boden Cavanaugh shouldn’t understand me. Shouldn’t be able to soothe my most ragged edges. Even worse, he makes me want the one thing I can’t have. Him.

All it takes is one spark, and friendship catches flame. But as our attraction burns bright, there are forces desperate to send us back into the darkness. And they’ve already killed before…

Keep reading for a look inside Shattered Sea!

The way Boden’s muscles tightened told me the little he’d shared was only the tip of the iceberg. That tension called to me, and I reached out, kneading the flesh along his shoulders. His head fell to my own shoulder, and he sighed. “I’ll only let you do that forever.”

I chuckled. “I do have the magic touch.”

“You could be making millions with those hands.”

“I only use them on very special recipients. They aren’t for sale.”

Boden straightened, but as he did, he came closer. Our faces were close. Lips just a breath away. The urge to lean forward, to know what he felt like, tasted like, was strong. Boden’s hand skated up my arm to my neck to tangle in my hair.
I knew that Boden Cavanaugh was more than dangerous. But like a moth to a flame, I kept getting closer.

Tracey’s Review

Author Catherine Cowles continues to both break me and lift me up with the books in her Tattered & Torn series. SHATTERED SEA, the fourth book in the series, is a testament to Catherine’s ability to craft a story that evokes emotion that is both painful and beautiful.

Having met Laiken in the earlier books of the series, paired with the fact that every single story has blown me away, I was certain that I would love SHATTERED SEA, and I was not wrong. Both Laiken and Boden have great back stories, ones that have made them the strong people that they are because of the pain that they’ve suffered. They see something in each other, that something that draws them together despite any reservations that they may have.

Each book in the Tattered & Torn series makes me fall more in love with Catherine’s writing, with her skills as a storyteller, and with a place and its people. I absolutely cannot wait for FRACTURED SKY, Shiloh’s and Ramsey’s story, because the build to see Shiloh get her HEA has been tremendous. I can honestly say that this is one of my top series ever, and wish that every single fan of angsty suspenseful romance would snap these books up and binge them. They are amazing, and you will love them. ❤️

Fall in love today!
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About Catherine Cowles

Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.

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New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Gouda Friends by Cathy Yardley

GOUDA FRIENDS by Cathy Yardley is out now! Check out the gorgeous friends-to-lovers rom-com and grab your copy today!

Title: Gouda Friends

Author: Cathay Yardley

Genre: RomCom

About Gouda Friends:

Two high school BFFs reunite and endeavor to fix each other’s lives in this geeky romance from the author of Love, Comment, Subscribe.

Tam Doan dumped her boyfriend after he threw away her gourmet cheese. Sure, it’s a little more complicated than that, but the point is, he had it coming. Newly single and unemployed, Tam calls up her best friend from high school and utters the emergency code word—goldfish. Next thing she knows, she’s on a plane back home.

Josh O’Malley was a troubled, unconfident teenager. Now he’s the successful owner of a multimillion-dollar ghost kitchen. Tam, his high school BFF and fellow member of the Nerd Herd friend group, was instrumental in building his self-esteem. When she calls him out of the blue, he jumps at the chance to return the favor.

Josh and Tam immediately get to work fixing her life—but again, it’s complicated. Their close friendship was always a lifeline between them; a blooming romance might confuse things. Still, at least one thing is for certain: their chemistry is un-brie-lievable.

 

Get Your Copy!

Exclusive Excerpt:

He probably should just ignore it, let it go to voice mail. But . . .

Damn it. He knew people in New York, and maybe it was an emergency.

You only know two people in New York, at least well enough for them to call this late, and it’s been years.

He grimaced, then accepted the call. “Hello?”

There was a pause, a long one. And he was ready to hang up when he heard a short impatient huff, then a woman’s low voice. “Goldfish.”

Every muscle in his body tensed.

He knew that voice. And he knew what it meant when she said that word.

“Do I need to kill someone, baby girl,” he said automatically, “or just help you hide ‘em?”

 

About the Author:

Cathy Yardley is an award-winning author of romance, chick lit, and urban fantasy, who has sold over 1.2 million copies of books for publishers like St. Martin’s, Avon, and Harlequin. She writes fun, geeky, and diverse characters who believe that underdogs can make good and sometimes being a little wrong is just right. She likes writing about quirky, crazy adventures, because she’s had plenty of her own: she had her own army in the Society of Creative Anachronism; she’s spent a New Year’s on a 3-day solitary vision quest in the Mojave Desert; she had VIP access to the Viper Room in Los Angeles. Now, she spends her time writing in the wilds of East Seattle, trying to prevent her son from learning the truth of any of said adventures, and riding herd on her two dogs (and one husband.)

 

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New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Hard Limit by Brenda Rothert and Kat Mizera

Title: Hard Limit
Series: St. Louis Mavericks #2
Authors: Brenda Rothert & Kat Mizera
Genre: Hockey Romance
Release Date: February 15, 2022
BLURB
St. Louis Mavericks star defender Lars Jansson is dead set against relationships. A new love makes him wonder if maybe he can change, but first, he must confront the truth about who he is.

Lars
On the ice, I’m unstoppable. If anyone is in my way, it’s simple—I move them. Hockey is my life, and I don’t have the patience for relationships spanning more than one night. But when I meet a woman so bold and intriguing I can’t help wanting more, I’m blindsided by the revelation that no matter what I do, I may never be enough for her.
Sheridan
One night. That’s all it was supposed to be. But Lars Jansson is larger than life in every way—how could one night be enough? It’s risky for me to see him again, and to let myself fall for the stoic hockey player who is charming in his own way. He thinks it’s his truth that could undo us, but he couldn’t be more wrong about that—it’s mine.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
EXCERPT
Mavericks group text

Wes: Boys, this is your captain speaking. I want every member of the team to join me in congratulating Nash and Lars, who are selling their bodies to raise money for charity. Nash brought in 7k for a night with a cougar, and Lars brought in 10k from a supermodel. Enjoy those dates, guys – and update all of us here.
Boone: I hated to miss that auction but I had to. How much of a cougar are we talking? Is Nash’s date at a nursing home?
Nash: No dude, maybe like 50 and she’s hot.
Beau: Dude, cringe. My mom is 50.
Nash: Is she hot? Can I get her number?
Beau: FU
Drew: Lars is going out with an actual supermodel?
Wes: Yep, Sheridan Lee …
Ross: Holy shit! She paid 10 large to go out with Lars??
Lars: What is a supermodel?
Nash: It’s a generous person who spends an evening with a total dipshit to benefit charity.
Lars: I just Googled her. She’s more famous than me.
Ross: Dude, she’s way way more famous than you. More famous than any of us. She has a clothing line or something and she makes the lists of wealthiest women in the world.
Lars: She could have paid more than $10,000 then.
Nash: You’re lucky she paid anything at all for you. Put some duct tape over your mouth and the date will go great.
Lars: You’re just jealous.
Nash: Nah, cuz I know you’ll blow it. You’ll make some stupid comment and then wonder why she doesn’t like you.
Wes: Check in here after the dates, both of you. Let’s see who ends up with a second date.
Lars: Okay.
Nash: Deal.


Nash was right. I didn’t have the best track record with relationships. But I didn’t care, because I wasn’t looking for one.
Eat. Sleep. Hockey. Occasionally get laid. That was all I needed.
I’d dated a woman who occasionally spent the night after we slept together when I was in the minors, and she always complained when my alarm went off at 5:30 for my workout. She’d wanted to stay in my apartment while I worked out, but there was no way I was going for that. She’d bitched the entire way out the door the last time we’d been together, and I’d decided then and there—no more women staying the night. My 5:30 workouts were non-negotiable.
It wasn’t just that, though. I’d seen what my friends and teammates had to go through with their wives and girlfriends. If they asked where they wanted to go for dinner, it was always, “Oh, I don’t know,” but if the guy suggested something, it was, “No, I hate that place”.
My teammate Drew got stuck watching stupid shit like Big Brother and Real Housewives, because that was what his wife Nina wanted to watch. He spent forever in the grocery store trying to find the exact brands of ingredients she put on the grocery list, and he went to Fashion Week and Broadway shows just to make her happy.
Fuck that. If I went to New York City, I’d be watching baseball and hockey games. My teammates in relationships just didn’t seem to get it—you could have all the sex you wanted without the bullshit.
ALSO AVAILABLE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
BRENDA ROTHERT
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, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.
KAT MIZERA
USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Kat Mizera is a South Florida native. Born in Miami Beach with a healthy dose of wanderlust, she’s called Los Angeles, Long Island, upstate New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Atlanta home. She’s never been able to pick which locale is her favorite, but if pressed, she’d probably choose the west coast.

A typical PTA mom with a wonderful and supportive husband (Kevin) and two amazing boys (Nick and Max), Kat can usually be found scrapbooking or indulging in her second love (after writing) – traveling. Greece is one of her favorite places in the world. She loves that Athens is a big city with a small-town feel. The food, beaches and culture keep her going back as often as possible.

Kat’s been a working freelance writer for nearly thirty years. She sold her first article–a review of a rock concert–for $10 in 1985. Since then she’s been an entertainment journalist, waitress, bartender, legal assistant, food critic, magazine editor, substitute teacher, and sports writer. She also spent some time working at A & M Records in Los Angeles.

As you can guess from her Las Vegas Sidewinders and Alaska Blizzard series, Kat loves hockey and occasionally writes articles about her favorite team, the Florida Panthers. The rest of the time, she writes novels: sexy, romantic fiction that she hopes makes you as happy as it makes her. There’s something enticing about hockey players and romance…

New Release + Blog Tour + 5 Star Review: Tattered Stars by Catherine Cowles

“Small town romance at its best! Absolutely unputdownable. Cowles grabs you from page one and doesn’t let you go. A brilliant tale packed with heat and heart.”
—Adriana Locke USA Today bestselling author

Tattered Stars, an all new enemies to lovers small town romance and first book in the Tattered & Torn series from bestselling author Catherine Cowles is available now!

Be brave. Just for sixty seconds. Twenty breaths.

One night changed them both forever.

Their lives shattered, beyond repair, with jagged edges and pieces askew.

Now, Everly has a chance to make things right. To bring healing to the place where everything fell apart. But it means facing the family her father almost destroyed, and the boy with the dark eyes—now grown—who still haunts her dreams.

Just one breath away from having your life ripped out from under you.

The last thing Hayes wants is another reminder of all the ways he failed sixteen years ago. When Everly drives back into Wolf Gap, his only mission is to get her to leave. For his family’s sake, and for his own, those demons need to stay buried for good.

But everything about this woman is a surprise, from her spine of steel to the sanctuary she hopes to create with the land her mother left behind. And Hayes is powerless to stay away.

As a careful friendship sparks into something more, someone watches. And they’ll do anything to tear it all apart…

Fall in love with Everly and Hayes today!
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Excerpt

I pressed on the accelerator to make it past the final rise, and as I did, the property came into view. My heart seemed to take up acrobatics in my chest, flipping and tumbling, expanding and contracting. My hands gripped the wheel harder as my foot eased off the gas.

The house itself was in worse shape than I’d expected. One of the walls had a gaping hole in it. But the small guest cabin didn’t look too worse for wear. The cottage had been in my mom’s family for generations, but the house had been my father’s construction after they married. She hadn’t stayed long after he went to prison, choosing to move us down to the flats to live on some land my uncle owned.

While the generations-old construction of the cabin had held steady, the barn and paddocks hadn’t fared nearly as well. The entire structure seemed to lean to one side, and a storm had taken down more than half of the fencing. My back hurt just looking at all the work that needed to be done.

I sighed and pulled to a stop in front of the cabin, releasing my hold on the wheel. My phone dinged, and I sent up a mental thank you to the gods of technology that it seemed I had service up here.

Shay: Are you there yet? Text me the second you arrive.

I smiled down at my phone, feeling a little less alone, knowing that I had someone who would drop anything to have my back.

Me: Just pulled up outside. Cabin looks okay. The house and barn are a disaster.

Shay: Are you sure you don’t want Brody and me to come help you get settled? We can be there in two days.

God, I was lucky to have her as a friend, but I wasn’t ready to open all the doors I’d need to if they came to stay. There were too many skeletons I didn’t want to let out into the light.

Me: Thank you, but I’ve got this. Let me get settled, and then you can come for a visit.

Shay: I don’t like that you’re there all alone.

Me: I won’t be alone for long.

Soon, I would have this place crawling with animals. It had always been my dream to build a home for neglected or abused animals of any kind. A sanctuary. It was simply coming more quickly than expected.

I turned off my SUV, rolled down the windows, and the pine air swept in. It was different than any other type, the Ponderosa pines. And as it filled me, tears sprang to my eyes. I’d missed this, more than I’d realized.

I leaned back in my seat and pulled out my letter.

Dearest Everly,

I know much of this will come a day late and more than a dollar short, but better that than not at all. Even once the doctors told me the cancer had a hold, I couldn’t bring myself to call you, to tell you these things face-to-face as I should’ve. So, I’ll take the coward’s way out. That won’t be anything new. There were so many times I should’ve stood up but didn’t.

But that’s not you. You’ve always been the bravest person I’ve ever known. Even before that night. I should’ve told you, but I didn’t—I’m so proud of you, beautiful girl. You made yourself into this amazing warrior all on your own, without any help from your dad or me.

I wish I had a chance to truly see you shine now. That’s the price for my sins. To miss all of your beauty and light shining on this world.

This should’ve come so long ago, but I’m sorry. For not being there for you. For not getting your father the help he needed. For not taking you and your siblings away when things went sideways. I’m so very sorry that I wasn’t stronger. That I wasn’t more like you.

I don’t have much I can give you, but the land’s still mine. I know a lot of pain’s been poured into the dirt there, but there was good once, too. When I spent summers there with your grandparents. As your father and I made it our home. The babies that grew there. The animals we raised.

Maybe you can find your good there, too.

I understand if you can’t. Or don’t want to. But I know if one person is strong enough to do it…it’s you.

I love you forever and always, my little warrior.

Mom

A single tear splashed onto the page. She’d been gone before I even knew she was sick. Buried before I even knew she was gone. My family hadn’t wanted me there. Not my brother—who I was sure still blamed me for everything—my uncle, or any other vast network of relatives still rooted in the area.

To them, I was the enemy, the outsider. And now, I’d returned. The only one who might be happy to see me was my cousin, Addie, but I wasn’t even sure about that. We hadn’t spoken since I’d left. All of my letters came back, marked as Return to Sender in her father’s handwriting.

My mother thought I was a warrior, and I hoped she was right. I would need all my armor if I was going to face them again. Because no one would be happy that I was here. And they’d be downright livid when they learned I was staying.

Tracey’s Review

The first in a new series, TATTERED STARS is my first book by author Catherine Cowles, and, y’all, I am in LOVE. This story had me from the first page, and I could not stop reading until I was done. As a blogger, I read a lot of books, and that happens less often than you’d think. I mean, I was ALL in, and fell in immediate love with Everly, Hayes, and all of the Easton family and residents of Wolf Gap, Oregon.

Romantic suspense is my jam, and Catherine has done an excellent job of writing a story that is riveting, action-packed, and still full of moments of love, healing, and grace. These characters have been through so much, and seeing them work through the preconceptions, the pain, and the anger is amazing.

I truly could not have asked for better introduction to Catherine’s words, nor could they have come at a better time. Books like this are why I read, and why I blog to let others know about them. It’s safe to say that, although this is my first of Catherine’s book, it most definitely will not be my last. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for fans of contemporary romantic suspense. And, if you’re already a fan of Catherine’s work, then you know. Read TATTERED STARS. You will not be sorry. ❤️

About Catherine Cowles
Writer of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend.

Connect with Catherine
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Website: https://www.catherinecowles.com/
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New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Claimed by Laura Pavlov

Title: Claimed
Series: Willow Springs #5
Author: Laura Pavlov
Genre: Second Chance Romance
Release Date: January 27, 2022
BLURB
Nashville’s hottest country music star. Wedding planner extraordinaire. High school sweethearts one day and complete strangers the next.

He’s the only boy I’ve ever loved and the man I’m determined to forget.
Ty Greene promised me forever and like a fool—I believed him.
But he skipped town with a bag of broken promises and a piece of my heart.
It’s taken time, but I’ve put myself back together and moved on.
Now Ty’s a big country music star in Nashville and I curse his name every time his song plays on the radio.
I don’t have time to dwell on the past.
I’m too busy living my best life.
I have the job of my dreams, a dating app that never disappoints, and the best friends in the world.

Hashtag thriving.

Life is good.
But now Ty is back in Willow Springs after all these years…
Acting as if nothing has changed.
His superstar status might impress everyone in town, but I’ve put him in my rearview.
And that’s exactly where I intend to keep him.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
EXCERPT
The air shifted once we were alone. Ty stretched out his long legs, crossing them at the ankle, and then connected his hands behind his head, like he didn’t have a care in the world. His tee lifted just a bit and I tried not to let my gaze wander to the sliver of tanned abs that was on display, but I couldn’t help myself.

“So…” he said.
“So what?” I hissed, before opening my computer screen and pulling up the budget for Talia’s wedding. “Let’s get down to business.”
“Sure. Sounds good to me.”
I looked up to see him drinking me in. “Stop looking at me all smug and sex driven.”
“How does one look sex driven?” he said over his laughter.
“I don’t know, Ty. Maybe you should try looking in a mirror.”
“Come on, Ive. Stop this. Can’t we talk?”
“About the budget? Sure.” I kept my eyes trained on my screen.
He moved to his feet and came around my desk, and I swear I stopped breathing. “Fine. Let me look at the budget.” He stood behind me leaning over my chair and I squeezed my thighs together because holy hell, my lady bits do still work. Was it his scent? Was he shooting his pheromones at me or something?
“So, the total is at the bottom. Do you have issues with anything? These are the line items here,” my voice came out in a whisper, with a side of lust.
What in the hell.

You’re better than this Ivy.

“It all looks good to me.” He turned my chair, so I was facing him. “You look good. I’ve missed you something fierce.”
I narrowed my gaze and shoved back in my chair, my wheels making it easy to move away and put some much needed distance between me and the pheromone king.
“That ship has sailed, Ty. It sailed a long time ago when you disappeared from my life. So, if you don’t want to talk about the budget, then I am going to have to ask you to leave. Don’t make me call security.”
He barked out a laugh. “Why are you so nervous?”
“I’m not nervous. I’m annoyed. Can you not tell the difference, Mr. Country Star?”
He moved toward me, and his tongue swiped out and wet his bottom lip.

Halleluiah, mother of Mary, Lord have mercy, holy hell fire…this man would be the death of me.

“Have dinner with me tomorrow night. We can go to our favorite old place, Dean Taylors Steak House,” he said.
I gasped, let out a few appalled huffy breaths to make it clear that that was not happening. “You must be dreaming.”
“I do dream about you often.”
“I already have a date tomorrow. As a matter of fact, he and I are having dinner at Dean Taylors tomorrow night,” I said proudly as I moved to my feet and stepped further from him. I’d most definitely be taking Dr. Scotty up on his offer.
“Who is he?” he asked, and he looked so smug I wanted to slap the sexy right off his face.
“He’s a doctor. He’s opening his own veterinary practice here in town. It’s all very impressive.” I smiled and crossed my arms over my chest to calm my racing heart.

He moved closer. Invading my space once again. “What’s his name, Ive?”
“You smug bastard. His name is Dr. Scotty.” My back hit the wall and he was so close our noses were almost touching.
I couldn’t move. I was paralyzed by his gaze.
And nothing was going according to plan.
ALSO AVAILABLE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


Free in Kindle Unlimited
AUTHOR BIO
Laura Pavlov writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance that will make you both laugh and cry. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, mom to two awesome almost-grown kids, and dog-whisperer to a couple crazy yorkies. Laura resides in Las Vegas where she is living her own happily ever after.
AUTHOR LINKS

New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Pike by Brenda Rothert

Title: Pike
Series: Sin City Saints #2
Author: Brenda Rothert
Genre: Hockey Romance
Release Date: January 18, 2022
BLURB
In Sin City, the stakes are high. Bet big and you may win it all—but you could also lose far more than you bargained for.

Indie Garrison is in over her head. Ditched by her husband in the dead of the night, she’s suddenly a broke single mom living with her sister. Sure, she and pro hockey player Pike Morgan got off on the wrong foot in a big way, and admittedly, it was entirely her fault. But Indie’s been fooled by a man for the last time, and no matter how hard Pike tries to break down her walls, she’s not falling for him. At least, that’s what she keeps telling herself.
Pike Morgan is at the top of his game. Being drafted by the new Las Vegas expansion team was ideal for the bearded, blue-eyed NHL goalie who’s only serious about two things: hockey and partying. When he accepts a bet from a teammate, he finds himself wooing a spirited woman who wants nothing to do with him. Once he gets to know her and her young son, though, he regrets his wager. If Indie finds out the truth, she’s going to hate the player and the game.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
EXCERPT

“What do you think of the new blocker?” Katz asks me.
We’ve just finished up practice but we’re still on the ice. I smile as I watch Rudy getting hit with rapid-fire pucks. He’s a good guy who dreamed of playing pro hockey but didn’t make it, so he became a trainer instead. His name’s actually John, but we call him Rudy because of his enthusiasm for being the best practice goalie ever.
“It’s okay,” I say, taking off the blocker I’m wearing. It’s a new model Katz asked me to try out in practice.
“You’re not ready to wear it in games yet,” Katz says.
“No way. Me and my blocker are like Smeagol and his ring.”
Katz grins. “I never would have pegged you as a Lord of the Rings fan.”
“Are you kidding? I love that shit. The movies, I mean. It would take me years to get through the books, and I’m not much of a reader.”
“Morgan!” Our head coach, Phil Bear, calls out to me while pointing at someone standing next to him. “This intern needs to see you. Get your ass over there!”
Coach never bothers to learn the names of any of the front office interns. I look over, squinting to make out the face Coach is talking about. I think his name is Shawn, but I’m not confident enough to call him that out loud. I nod in response to him and set my blocker, catcher, and mask on the bench before skating over to the intern at the end of the rink.
I think I talked to Shawn once, and he seemed like a good guy. He’s a college student from what I remember. My gaze immediately shifts to the woman next to him, who is smoking hot. She’s petite, with glossy black hair that falls just to her shoulders in a straight line, beautiful light brown skin, and warm brown eyes. Unfortunately, though, she’s glaring at me.
“What can I do for you?” I ask.
“Sorry to interrupt practice,” Shawn says. “This woman says—”
The exotic hottie cuts him off. “You’re Pike Morgan?”
I grin. “The one and only.”
“You bought a baseball from Vegas Sports Collectors.”
“Yeah?”
“The Roger Maris one?”
“Right.”
What’s this about? I furrow my brow, wondering what this woman has to do with the baseball I just added to my collection.
“I’m the seller,” she says. “They brokered it for a commission. And when my sister gave it to the guy from Vegas Sports Collectors, she didn’t realize I had put my grandmother’s ring inside the case. Can I please have the ring back?”
“There was no ring inside that case.”
Her nostrils flare slightly. I’d find it cute if she wasn’t so pissed off at me for no reason.
“I distinctly remember putting it in the Roger Maris baseball case a few weeks ago. It’s not valuable. I mean, it’s not monetarily valuable, but it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. It was my grandma’s, and it’s all I have left of her.” Tears shine in her eyes. “Can I please have it back?”
“I’d give it to you if I had it, but I don’t.”
“I know it was in there.”
I shake my head. “I already took the ball out of the case it was in and put it in a new one. There was nothing but the ball in that case.”
“That’s impossible! The case has a latch, so there’s no way it opened and fell out on accident.”
I shrug.
“Look, you must make good money, so what’s a little sapphire ring to you?”
“Listen—what’s your name?”
“Indie Garrison.”
“Listen, Indie Garrison—I don’t have it, okay?”
She buries her face in her hands, and the picture tugs on my heartstrings because it looks like she’s crying, but it only lasts a nanosecond. Because when she lifts her face to look at me, the only expression I see if complete and utter fury.
“I’m willing to buy it,” she says in a level tone.
This chick is about half crazy. She’s right—why would I give a shit about someone’s sapphire ring? I wouldn’t care if it was a giant diamond ring. If it wasn’t mine, I’d return it.
If I had it.
“I can’t sell you something I don’t have.”
“So what, it just disappeared into thin air?”
“I have no idea. I paid for the ball and picked it up yesterday, then took it out of the case and put it in my display case. You’re welcome to have the original case back, but it’s empty.”
“Okay…” Shawn tactfully clears his throat and gives me an apologetic look. “You asked me to see Mr. Morgan and you’ve done that, so…”
Indie gives him a withering glare. She may be small, but damn, this woman has some fire.

ALSO AVAILABLE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
AUTHOR BIO
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, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

Series Cover Reveal + Excerpt + Pre-Order: The V-Card Diaries by Lili Valente

Series: The V-Card Diaries Series
Author: Lili Valente
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Kelly Greer
Photo: Wander Aguiar
SCORED
Releasing March 1
Begging my brother’s best friend—aka NHL superstar, Ian Fox—to help me ditch my V Card wasn’t part of my “make it big in NYC” plans.

But after years of being “cute little Evie,” I’m tired of waiting for Mr. Right. I’m ready for Mr. Right Now, and Ian is everything I’ve ever wanted in a first time. He’s kind, funny, confident, and has a legendary…stick.

Seriously, his stick has its own page of search results, complete with gray sweatpants shots hot enough to make even a clueless virgin drool.

And yes, my brother will murder us if he finds out, but we’re both grownups.

We can keep a secret. We have to since I just landed an art therapy job working with his troubled team.

All we’re doing is a little practice. (Or…ehembig practice.)

Too bad my heart didn’t get the memo.

PRE-ORDER LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
EXCERPT
“No good comes from insomnia scrolling or reading articles about sugar.” I head into the kitchen, fetching the stepladder from beside the fridge.

“And what about withholding funny texts from one of your best friends?” Jess tosses casually over her shoulder. “Any good come from that?”
“It was nothing,” I say, collecting the small Tupperware container from under the pile of empty coffee bags we’re collecting to earn a free sock cap. “Just a goofy thing. Not worth sharing.”
She hums thoughtfully. “Right. And I wasn’t secretly hoping to be teacher’s pet and get Ian’s monster cock to sledgehammer through my V-card.”
I tumble off the stepladder in surprise, sending the cookies flying as I reach out to catch myself on the lower cabinets before I crush my tailbone on the tile.
“You okay?” Jess calls out.
“I’m fine,” I say, my heart still racing.
“And the cookies?”
I glance over to see the Tupperware container still closed though it has rolled halfway into Cam’s giant tennis shoe. “Also fine, but what are you… How did you…”
“Nothing gets past me,” Jess says. “You should know that by now. I appear to see nothing, but I see all. Like the Eye of Sauron.”
SCREWED
Releasing April 19
My best friend’s older brother excels at many things—being a bossy grump, a jerk, and…this hopeless virgin’s fake fiancé?

I need a guy who understands that this is all pretend, and who better than a man who can’t stand me—and vice versa? Besides, Derrick is the kind of cocky, confident, successful dude bro my gram will adore.
We’ll convince my ailing grandmother I’m not going to die alone, Derrick will honor that favor he owes me, and we’ll part ways as enemies with NO benefits.
It’s a rock-solid plan…until it isn’t.
Turns out I may have made a slight miscalculation.

Now Derrick is charming my family, sweeping me off my feet, and making me want crazy things.

Suddenly, I think I might actually want him to be my first and maybe…my only?

Yeah, I’m screwed.
So bleeping screwed.

SEDUCED
Releasing June 7
Last night I made out with a gorgeous, funny, quirky older woman. Today I learned she’s the new executive chef at my restaurant. AKA my new boss.

Yep, that’s the hot mess I’m in at the moment.
But the chemistry between Beth and me is even hotter.
The problem? She’s a single mom focused on helping her little girl adjust to life in the big city. Dating right now—especially a co-worker—is asking for trouble.

So, what’s my next move? Seduce the hell out of the woman, of course.

I may still technically be hanging onto my V Card, but I know how to drive a woman wild in bed.

Even more importantly, I know I’m the kind of man Beth’s looking for. I love hard, keep my promises, and I’ll put her and her daughter first.

And then I learn the real reason she’s been holding me at a distance…
Most men would be scared away. Me?
I’m even more determined to prove I can make this wounded woman’s dreams come true.
SPARKED
Releasing July 26
Eight years ago, Sam Baxter and I were best friends and the goofiest computer nerds to matriculate from our swanky high school.

We also made a pact to meet up and get busy if one or both of us were still virgins by our twenty-fourth birthdays.
I assumed that was a silly pinky swear we’d both forgotten about until Sam shows up at my twenty-fourth birthday party. He no longer needs a V-Card puncher, but he’s ready and willing to help me out.

Boy is he ready…

Gone is the lanky kid with glasses who made me snort-laugh when we played video games. In his place is a sex god with massive biceps, designer clothes, and a smolder that transforms women to quivering puddles of lust.

I’m out of my league with this new Sam.
But I’m also every bit as drawn to him as I used to be.

So, when he dares me to give him three dates to prove he can be trusted to rock my world, I agree. What do I have to lose aside from my V Card?

Oh, right. My heart…

AUTHOR BIO
Author of over forty novels, USA Today Bestseller Lili Valente writes everything from steamy suspense to laugh-out-loud romantic comedies. A die-hard romantic, she can’t resist a story where love wins big. Because love should always win. She lives in the Northeast with her two big-hearted boy children and a dog named Pippa Jane.

Lili also writes naughty serials as Everly Stone. Learn more at www.lilivalente.com.
AUTHOR LINKS