Release Blitz and 5 Star Review: The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward


TDHCB Front cover

 

THE DAY HE CAME BACK

(A standalone)

Release date: 8/19/2019

Buy: Amazon / B & N / Apple / Kobo / Google Play / Audio / Paperback

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 ***

A Contemporary Romance Novel

 By

New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author

Penelope Ward

Synopsis:

 

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone novel.

 

It was the summer of my life.

I’d met the guy of my dreams.

Unfortunately, he was the son of my uppity employer—and very much off-limits.

But Gavin was a rebel. He knew his mother would disown him if she found out about us; in his eyes, we just had to be careful.

He never treated me as his mother did—like hired help.

Instead, Gavin put me on a pedestal and loved me harder than I’d ever been loved in my life.

 

What a summer it was.

Until it all ended—badly.

 

I was never supposed to see Gavin again.

That didn’t stop me from thinking about him every day for ten years.

I knew little about his life now, just that he was an entrepreneur living an ocean away.

 

When a twist of fate had me working again in the very place our love affair started a decade earlier, I knew it was only a matter of time before I might see him again.

But I wasn’t prepared.

What if he hated me?

What if he loved someone else now?

I wasn’t prepared for all the unknowns.

 

And most of all, I wasn’t prepared for today to be the day he came back.

*****

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Stay Away Teaser

Excerpt Reveal:

Copyright © 2019

By Penelope Ward

 

I looked down at her fitted white pants, covered in dirt marks. Even though she looked sexy as hell, I had to ask. “Why the hell does my mother insist on the staff wearing all white?”

“You’ll have to ask her, although I like to think of it as practice for my future nursing career.”

“I guess that’s one way to look at it. It kind of freaks me out. It’s like you’re all part of some cult.” I chuckled.

“I wonder what she’d do if I showed up in black. She’d shun me.” She snapped her fingers jokingly. “Oh wait…”

Except I wasn’t laughing now. I felt horrible that she knew exactly how my mother felt about her.

“I’m sorry she’s such a bitch, Raven.”

“It’s not your fault.” She looked out at the ocean, then promptly changed the subject. “You must be excited to go to Connecticut in the fall.”

“At this very moment, thanks to you, I’m in absolutely no rush to leave this spot, let alone Palm Beach.”

She blushed. “You’re funny.”

“You’re f*cking beautiful.” That just came out. “I’m sorry if that was too forward. But it’s true,” I said.

“No.” Her cheeks turned pink. “Thank you.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?”

She pushed some hair behind her ear. “No.”

“I want to take you out.”

She looked down at her empty cup. “I don’t think so.”

Ouch. “Can I ask why?”

“It’s not that I’m not interested, but…you’re leaving in the fall, so I’m not sure it makes sense to start anything up. Then there’s the bigger issue of your mother. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“I get it.” I nodded. “I understand.”

Holy sh*t. I wasn’t used to rejection. I couldn’t remember the last time a girl had said no to me. I swear to God, my dick just stiffened. What was it about the chase that was so damn arousing? I had to find another way…

“Can we hang out as friends, then?”

She grinned skeptically. “Friends?”

“There’s this improv club near where you live. I wanted to go check it out this weekend. Would you want to go with me?”

“Venturing to the other side of the bridge, eh?” she teased. “What would Mother think?”

“Will you come with me, wiseass?”

“Seriously, what if your mom finds out?”

“She won’t. She doesn’t really question where I go. I’ll just tell her I’m going to meet a friend. And thanks to your rejection, that won’t be a lie, right?”

Raven blinked for a while before she finally answered, “Okay. Yeah.”

My heart sped up. “Yeah?”

5Star

Michel’s Review

This review is spoiler free and a bit vague. Readers should experience this story for themselves.

The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward has released. This new contemporary novel is an emotional second chance romance which deals with many issues beyond one’s control.

Raven and Gavin were never supposed to socialize with one another let alone fall in love. She was the girl from the other side of the bridge and part of the help staff. She was off limits in his world. She was the help.

Gavin is not the typical spoiled rich boy who takes what he wants. He’s kind, considerate, compassionate, and charismatic. He was mesmerized by Raven’s simplicity and honesty. He wants a girl who is real rather than the manufactured, barbie look-a-like girls in his world.

They cannot resist one another until life steps in and rears it’s ugly head and destroys both of their hearts. Gavin’s mother will do anything to keep them apart, including destroying her son.

Ten years later Gavin is back in Palm Beach and Ravin is forced to face him. This time around their circumstances are completely different. They are both adults completely in control of their own lives. It should be a simple but life never is. Their love for one another is still burning just a brightly but now they must choose which path to take. They have built lives on separate sides of the ocean.  Their hearts still belong to one another no matter how far apart they are or what stands in their way. They need to find a common ground.

Penelope Ward once again delivered an emotional romance which includes issues and situations that can affect anyone at anytime.  Health issues and terminal illness do not discriminate.

This book was well researched and delivered with eye opening truths and heartfelt compassion. Not only did she research the medical issues but the accuracy of the settings in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach were spot on. It made this book become a reality and made the characters seem more alive. Every place, road name, and location really exists. The distinction of the wealthy islanders and the commoners across the bridge is a reality. I am a native of West Palm Beach and was floored by her accuracy. It made me miss the beauty of the Palm Beach area and want to go home.

I highly recommend reading The Day He Came Back by Penelope Ward.

 

u u u u u

BIO:

 Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

 She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

 With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

 

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BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD:

When August Ends:

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BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD AND VI KEELAND:

Hate Notes:

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New Release + Excerpt + 5 Star Review: Quiet Man by Kristen Ashley – A Dream Man Novella

We are beyond excited to be sharing this release from Kristen Ashley with you today! QUIET MAN is part of her Dream Man series and it is releasing as part of 1001 Dark Nights. It just went live today! Check out an excerpt and book trailer from the title below. Click here to grab your copy now.

 

Purchase your copy of QUIET MAN today!

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About QUIET MAN:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Dream Man series…

Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family.

The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard.

Enter Mo Morrison.

Enormous. Scary.

Quiet.

Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly.

But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it.

However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die.

But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters.

All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man.

And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 

Add QUIET MAN to your Goodreads TBR here!

Purchase your copy of QUIET MAN today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Excerpt:

He picked up the paper, turned it over and read it again.

It stated, plainly, he was fucked.

More alarmingly, it stated, chillingly, Mac was in danger.

This was a problem more than it was already a colossal motherfucking problem.

Any other one of his girls, he’d pick up the phone to Lee Nightingale, the man behind Nightingale Investigations, the commander of the baddest badass motherfuckers in Denver. He’d hand over this letter and he’d get this problem solved.

But Mac was Charlotte McAlister, Jet McAlister Chavez’s little sister. Jet was married to Eddie Chavez. Eddie was Lee’s best friend. And Jet worked for Indy, Lee’s wife, the Queen of the Rock Chicks, and thus Jet Chavez was a bona fide Rock Chick.

Mac might not be a card-carrying member of the Rock Chicks, mostly because she had a job where she worked nights, the time those crazy bitches instigated the most fucked-up of their varying antics. Though they weren’t averse to mornings and afternoons. It was just that the stun-gunnings, kidnappings and the like mostly took place at night, and Mac was busy then.

She was still a Rock Chick, or at least she was by association.

Considering the Rock Chick link and the blood ties to Jet, if Lee knew Mac was in danger, he’d tear the town apart to put a stop to it.

And Eddie…

Now Eddie, Smithie didn’t even want to think about it. The man was a cop. The shit Lee and his boys did with flair and a flagrant disregard to just about anything, Eddie could not do.

But Eddie wouldn’t blink at doing whatever he had to do to make his sister-in-law safe.

And the man had mouths to feed.

So yeah.

This was a problem even more than it already was a colossal motherfucking problem because Smithie couldn’t call Lee.

Which meant Smithie had to find a different set of badasses to deal with it.

His first call would normally be the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Mac wasn’t one of theirs, neither was Smithie, but they had ties to Lee, they could keep a secret, and they didn’t dick around when it came to women and their safety.

But they’d just come out of a war, and like any war, that had been some serious fucked-up shit.

They needed a breather.

Lee, and Chaos, also had ties to…

“Well, hell,” Smithie muttered, the words on the letter blurring, the sick feeling in the back of his throat easing.

He dropped the letter and picked up his cell.

If you couldn’t call a badass…

Then it was far from second best to call a commando.

BOOK TRAILER

“OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! This was pure Old School Vintage KA GOLD!!!”
~Aestas Book Blog

“[Kristen] Ashley captivates.”
~Publisher’s Weekly

“There is something about them [Ashley’s books] that I find crackalicious.”
~DearAuthor.com, Kati Brown

 

Excerpt

I unlocked and opened my door.

Then I immediately, and automatically, took a step back.

All right.

Whoa.

I could get a hint from the chest and what it might be attached to with what I’d seen of that throat, but this guy had to be six five, maybe taller.

And his height was only a part of why Smithie described him the way he did.

He wasn’t “motherfucking huge.”

He was motherfucking huge.

I was average height.

But slender.

My sister had ass.

My job was physical. It wasn’t just the nightly dancing. It was the practice and constantly choreographing and adding new routines. I could probably eat a boatload, but I didn’t because I was too busy to eat, and when I did, I’d learned long ago what all the experts said was what an expert would know from studying it. Eating good food gave me more energy, made me sleep better and put me in a better mood (most of the time).

So unless the occasion was special, I put good food in my mouth and didn’t drink much outside water, flavored water, sparkling water, with the odd antioxidant vitamin drink thrown in.

So yeah, I was slender.

And two of me could make this guy.

Maybe three.

He moved forward.

I moved back.

His movements were unwieldy. Not clumsy—heavy and plodding.

It didn’t matter this guy was a bull in a china shop.

He’d terrify small children.

Hell, he’d terrify grown men.

And that had nothing to do with the gun worn openly on his hip.

It had to do with what that compression shirt barely contained, not to mention the carved protrusion of the muscles of his biceps exposed by the short sleeves, the sinewy, richly veined lengths of his forearms and the trunks of his long legs covered in dark gray commando pants.

He shut the door behind him, twisted at the waist and I heard the lock click.

He twisted back to me.

“Hey,” I forced out.

He dipped his chin.

“You’re Mo,” I stated unnecessarily.

“Yup,” he agreed.

 

 

5Star

Michel’s Review

Quiet Man by Kristen Ashley is the book / novella her fans have been waiting for. An opportunity to revisit the beloved Dream Man characters, some of the Rock Chick characters, Smitty, and TEX.  A pure delight to finally see the extraordinary superstar pole dancer and pesky little sister Lottie Mac finally get her happy ever after.

Smitty has been receiving threatening letters concerning Lottie Mac at the strip clubs. He is very concerned and knows that taking care of the situation is a very delicate matter because of the infamous “Rock Chicks”. He can’t hire Nightingale Security because of their family and Rock Chick connections to Lottie. Once again he can’t go to the police for the same reason. The only thing he can do is bring in Hawk and his team to take care of the dangerous stalker situation.

The first thing Hawk does is assign Lottie a bodyguard twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Hawk assigns his best man, Mo Morrison, to the job. Mo is known for his complete focus and ability to protect his client.  They underestimated the charming powers of Charlotte “Lottie Mac” MacAlister and it has nothing to do with her talent on the pole. Lottie is going to distract Mo with her perfectly organized refrigerator, her healthy dietary dishes, her clever conversation skills, and genuine big heart.

He needs to eliminate the threat to Lottie’s life so he can claim her as his own. After all she is a Rock Chick by relation, and no man can resist that. Lottie has her heart set on Mo and no stalker is going to stop her from claiming her man.

Kristen Ashley charmed me once again. It was wonderful to go back to one of my favorite “reading worlds” and visit with old friends while making new ones. I hope there’s more to come.


About KRISTEN ASHLEY:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

 

Connect With Her:

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New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Discretion by Karina Halle

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Discretion by Karina Halle

Release Date: August 6, 2019

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Discretion, a full-length contemporary standalone romance by Karina Halle.

The Riviera means indulgence—if you’ve got money. For Sadie Reynolds, a down-on-her-luck student, the Riviera means dingy hostels and back streets. When a wrong turn puts her in jeopardy, the last thing she expects is to be saved by the most handsome stranger she’s ever locked eyes with. When she later wakes up in a luxury suite with a Mediterranean view, she’s in the tender care of her rescuer: Olivier Dumont, France’s most eligible bachelor, billionaire hotelier, and heir to the Dumont fashion fortune.

Olivier also owns his reputation for scandal. But Sadie is unlike any woman he’s ever met. Her humble persona and wild innocence promise real passion. He’s promising Sadie something too: anything she wants. From Bordeaux to Cannes to Paris, Sadie’s past in America is swept away and replaced with a fantasy too good to be true.

Pulled into Olivier’s orbit of wealth, glamour, and excess, Sadie discovers that the Dumont dynasty comes with a legacy of wicked secrets. And Olivier’s secrets may be the most damning of all…

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/KHalleDiscretion

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Excerpt:

“Care to go for a swim?” Olivier asks, his tie now loose, his hands deftly unbuttoning his shirt.

Oh God.

“Um,” I manage to say feebly, “I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Go in your underwear.”

“I’m not wearing a bra.” He smirks. “I’ve noticed.” Then he shrugs off his jacket and shirt until he’s topless.

Even in the dim light, he’s a sight to behold. Wide, firm chest, rigid abs, those lickable Vs on the side of his hips—all wrapped up in a smooth golden package.

Speaking of package, now his fingers are undoing his belt, and I’m not sure I’m ready for what’s next.

“I’m going in,” he tells me. “You’re free to join me. I highly advise a dip in the Mediterranean. The sea salt here is good for your soul.”

I’ll tell you what else is good for the soul: watching Olivier Dumont take off his clothes, that’s what. The sound as he undoes his zipper is so loud it seems to bounce off the waves.

I quickly avert my eyes, even though the temptation to stare is overwhelming, and then he moves into my vision: his perfect shoulders, back, and, yes, one hell of an ass, all lit by the soft moonlight.

He stops just at the stern of the ship, climbs over the railing, and with one quick smile back at me over his shoulder, swan-dives naked into the sea with barely a splash.

I get up and scramble over as quickly as I can with my ankle and peer over the side.

He’s swimming and grinning up at me, his wet hair pushed off his face. But that’s not the only thing that’s taking my breath away.

The water around him is lit up, like the moon’s glow has saturated it. The light continues out from around him along the dark waves, like cool white trails snaking through the sea.

“It’s called une mer de lait,” he says. “The sea of milk. It’s bioluminescence from a type of Mollusca.”

“It’s magical,” I say breathlessly, trying to soak it all in. “We have something like this in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s more blue and green. This is like . . . you’re swimming in the Milky Way.”

“Doesn’t it make you want to jump in?”

It does. And so does the fact that he’s so effortlessly bobbing in the waves.

“Is it safe?”

“Very much so.”

“Warm?”

“Bien sûr.”

I think about it for a minute. “What about my ankle?”

“You can use the steps and platform at the back, just there. Unwrap your ankle so the bandage doesn’t get wet, and we’ll put it back on you after.”

“And my lack of bathing suit?”

“I just went in naked.”

“I didn’t see anything,” I tell him quickly.

“No? That’s a shame. It was the whole point.”

I smile, feeling extremely giddy all of a sudden, like everything inside me is fired up and ready to go. Fuck yes, I’m going in.

“Okay,” I tell him, walking around to the back, where there’s a step leading down to a wide wooden swimming platform. I sit down on the step and start unwrapping my ankle. “But you have to turn around when this dress comes off.”

“You do know by now that most women in France swim and sunbathe topless anyway?”

“And you know by now that I am not a Frenchwoman, nor am I most women,” I tell him, pulling the rest of the bandage off and setting it aside before easing up to my feet. “Okay, turn around now.”

He sighs but pivots in the water so he’s facing the shore. I quickly reach down and slip off my underwear, not wanting to get them wet, then unzip my dress and pull it over my head. I toss it back on the deck and look to see if he’s peeking.

To his credit, he’s not, but he is letting out a sly whistle of sorts as if he might have been earlier.

“You better not have seen anything,” I warn him as I hobble over to the edge.

“My imagination is pretty good at filling in the blanks,” he says, and I can hear the grin on his face. “Though I have no doubt it won’t do it justice for when I see the real thing.”

“When?” I repeat with a dry laugh, but inside a million fireworks are going off.

Time to take the literal plunge.

There’s nothing as nerve-racking as the moment before you’re about to jump, when something goes from a concept that you’ve talked about and considered to a real, actual thing. It’s scary. It doesn’t matter if it’s taking your first trip overseas or jumping into the Mediterranean Sea at night. The abstract becomes your reality, and it’s happening.

So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and jump.

Meet Karina:

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

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New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Feast of Sparks by Sierra Simone

 

FEAST OF SPARKS (Thornchapel #2) by Sierra Simone
Release Date: August 1st
Cover Designer: Hang Le
Photographer: Regina Wamba

 

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START THE SERIES TODAY WITH
A LESSON IN THORNS (Thornchapel #1)
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Blurb:
I’m an outcast and a loner, named for death itself. Fate wasn’t supposed to have plans for me.

But then she came back—the girl I once kissed in a thorn-covered chapel in the woods. She came back, and I could no more resist her than I could pry out my own heart. And by some trick of fate, she wants me as much as I want her. The only problem? She also wants the man who owns Thornchapel, Auden Guest.

And so do I.

Eight years ago, I did something to Auden, something terrible. He hurt me back the only way he knew how, and so here we are: our hatred seasoned with pain and my loneliness seasoned with longing. The only thing we can agree on is Proserpina Markham, and she wants us to find a way to be together—all three of us.

If Auden wants to earn her as his submissive, then he has to earn me as well.

But with the discovery of bones behind the altar and the carnal revel of Beltane fast approaching, it’s becoming clear that Thornchapel’s secrets are much deeper and older than any of us could have ever guessed. And no matter how bright and merry a feast of sparks may be, it’s always followed by ashes.

And darkness.

 

 

Excerpt:
Shame, hot and prickling, needles everywhere at my face and chest and belly as I begin to bend down to the floor. The cool air that caresses my pussy is now everywhere as the position begins to expose my most secret flesh, and there’s no pretending away the reality of what I’m doing. I’m doing something I’ve never done before, I’m offering up the filthiest part of me for inspection, and despite everything the three of us have shared in the past twenty-four hours, I’m flooded with shame. It’s real shame now, not play-shame, and my safe word floats to the top of my mind, a buoy in the clear waters.

Convivificat.

I don’t want to safe out right now, I’m nowhere near the edge, but it’s nice to have it there all the same. Reassuring. There’s nothing they can do that I can’t stop.

And anyway, this is who I am—who I’ve been growing into ever since I found the words to define it.

 

 

About the Author:
Sierra Simone is a USA Today Bestselling former librarian (who spent too much time reading romance novels at the information desk.) She lives with her husband and family in Kansas City.

 

 

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New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Lost In You by Lexi Blake

LIY - BT banner

“A hot, sexy mix of angst, longing, suspense and drama you don’t want to miss!” — Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author

Lost in You, an all-new sexy and action packed installment in the Masters and Mercenaries: The Forgotten Series from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake, is available now!

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Robert McClellan was forced to serve as a soldier in a war he didn’t understand. Liberated by McKay-Taggart, he struggles every day to reclaim the life he lost and do right by the men he calls his brothers, The Lost Boys. Only one thing is more important – Ariel Adisa. The gorgeous psychologist has plagued his dreams since the day they met. Even as their mission pushes him to his limits, he can’t stop thinking about taking his shot at finding a life beyond all this with her.

Ariel Adisa is a force to be reckoned with. Her performance in Toronto proved she’s more than just a brilliant mind, but Robert still acts as if she is a wilting flower who needs his protection. Joining him on the mission to Munich should be the perfect opportunity to test their skills and cement their relationship. She and Robert are an excellent match. But when a stunning secret from Robert’s past is revealed, their world is turned upside down and nothing will ever be the same again.

While they chase dark secrets across Europe, Robert and Ariel realize that the only thing worse than not knowing who you are could be discovering who you used to be…

LIY - AN

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Lost in You teaser 4Excerpt:

He led Ariel out. Down the hall he saw Dante outside the media room, a beer in his hand. He’d been turned toward the kitchen at the opposite end of the hall, as though he’d been standing there staring at it. Had he been listening to the happy couples?

There was something dark in Dante that always gave him pause.

Dante turned without a word and disappeared behind the doors where he would likely drink himself to sleep. It seemed to be the way he and Sasha operated.

But he wasn’t thinking about that tonight. Tomorrow would be soon enough to sit everyone down and talk about the problems they were having. He would get Jax on the phone. He wasn’t leaving him out because he was in London.

“Are you all right?” Ariel had stopped beside him. “Is Dante giving you trouble?”

He was glad she’d been upstairs when they’d gone on their rant. “I think the pressure is starting to get to him. But we can talk about that tomorrow. I think after we get back to London we should have a big group meeting and get some things out in the open.”

“They think Damon and Ian are keeping things from them?”

No. He did not want to go there. He stopped in the middle of the hall and got into her personal space. She backed up against the wall and he loomed over her. It was time to move from reality to a place where they might be able to play out a few fantasies, if she was ready. “No work talk. If you want to go to sleep, I’ll kiss you now and see you in the morning. Tucker and I are in the room next to you. If you need anything I’ll be there. If you aren’t tired and you want to talk some more, we can go down to the bar and have another glass of wine with the full knowledge we don’t have to go any further than that. I’m more than willing to sit up talking to you all night long.”

She tilted her head up to him. “And if I want to go to bed but not to sleep?”

His heart rate ticked up, blood starting to thrum through his system as he invaded further, brushing his chest against hers. He reached for her wrists and gently brought them up and over her head, pinning her to the wall. “Then we need to make a few things clear.”

She took a deep breath, her lips curling up as though she liked the way he smelled. “Me sub, you Dom. Got it.”

He leaned over. “Hey, I’m trying to make sure I take care of you the way you like to be taken care of. I’ve watched you play. I don’t think your play partners realized how much you like being dominated. I think they view you as a woman who enjoys a spanking from time to time. They don’t get how much you need to know your partner is thinking about how to handle you. They don’t understand that you need to stop thinking. You need a place where you obey your partner.”

“In their defense, I had no interest in sex with any of them. I was looking for a spanking, some physical play that wouldn’t lead to real intimacy. You watched me?”

“I always watch you,” he admitted. “It’s why my brothers insist I’m your stalker. I watch you because I can’t not watch you when you’re in a room. If I thought for a second that it made you uncomfortable, I would make myself stop, but I think you like it.”

She watched him, too, and not in a way that made him think she was wary of him. It had always been there between them—the crackle and fire of sexual chemistry.

“You’re going to be a talky one, aren’t you?” she asked.

And she was going to be a brat.

About Lexi Blake

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

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New Release + Blog Tour: Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart

Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.

Coming Up Roses, an all-new must read enemies to lovers romantic comedy from Staci Hart is available now!

CUR-ebook

Everyone hates parts of their job.

Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.

But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.

Except for Luke Bennet.

The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint.

When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him.

Almost.

He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.

Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.

Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.

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everyone-hates

Excerpt:

I wanted to kiss Tess Monroe.

I’d wanted to kiss her the second she walked into the shop a couple days ago, wearing overalls and a Cure T-shirt. I’d wanted to kiss her as I watched her scrub the wall with her little face wrinkled up in concentration. I’d wanted to kiss her when she fell off the ladder and into my arms. And all day today while we painted the shop, I only thought about one thing.

I wanted to kiss her. And I was accustomed to getting what I wanted.

“Did you hear me?” Kash asked impatiently.

“Hmm?”

He rolled his eyes, his long body stretched out on the bottom bunk in our old room. “Man, what’s with you?”

“I’ve been scrubbing and painting the shop for two days. I’m tired.”

“Right,” he said, “and the redhead in the overall shorts has nothing to do with it.”

I leaned back in the wooden desk chair I’d taken up residence in, the hinge squeaking. “As if Tess Monroe would willingly give me the time of day.”

He shrugged. “Seems to me like she’s given you the time every hour, on the hour, for two days. What’s with her? She was different today.”

It was true. This morning, she’d walked into the shop, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to work with a smile on her face. She’d only insulted me seven times, and one of those was a backhanded compliment. My stats were down: the day before, it’d been twenty-three insults and a jab with a broom handle that I couldn’t be sure was accidental.

Not that I was counting.

“I dunno what’s gotten into her, but I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I’m just taking the boon and moving on.”

“Man, she looked so cute with that bandana in her hair and paint on her nose. And her ass in those overalls…” He whistled up at my old bunk.

I fought the urge to chuck my Batman paperweight at him.

“So are you going after her or what?” Kash asked, smirking.

“I just got her to quit treating me like a dog. Pretty sure anything more is off the table.”

“Maybe I’ll go after her then. Think I’ve got a shot?”

I snorted to cover my immediate fury at the thought. “She’s a girl with standards, Kash. If I don’t have a shot, you’ve got none in hell.”

“Maybe she just needs somebody older. More mature.”

“We were born in the same year, asshole.”

“I’m just saying. Maybe she’s looking for stability. Everybody knows you’re about as stable as uranium.”

“And you’re running your mouth like you want a foot in Uranus.”

Kash laughed. “I’d love to see you try.”

I eyed him. “You don’t actually like her, do you?”

“Nah,” he said, smiling. “I just want you to admit you do.”

A sigh of concession blew out of me, the pause filled with my thoughts. “We almost kissed yesterday,” I admitted.

Kash sat up so fast, he thunked his head on the bottom bunk. “Goddammit—” He rubbed at his forehead “—Warn a guy before you go saying things like, I almost kissed Tess.

I laughed openly at his misfortune, hoping it left a mark. “She fell off a ladder in storage, and I caught her. Topless.”

His eyes bulged, hand still pressed to his forehead. “Tess was topless in storage?”

“No, I was.”

He rolled his eyes, chucking a pillow at me. I caught it midair and chucked it right back at him.

“I’m surprised she didn’t deck you,” he said, fluffing the pillow before leaning back again.

“Me too, if I’m being honest. She hates me. Hated me. Maybe still hates me a little.”

“What’d you do to her?” he asked. At this point, the question was rhetorical—neither of us knew, no matter how many times we’d asked.

“Who knows? But I think the last couple of days have helped my case. All I had to do was show up and not fuck up.”

“Don’t worry. There’s still time,” he reassured me.

“Trust me, I’m aware. I’ve been working on the installation for her in the back, and I’m both convinced I’m going to disappoint her and that I’ll knock her socks off.”

“Or her bra. Think you can knock that off?”

“If she were anybody else, I’d guarantee it. But Tess?” I made a resigned noise.77

He watched me for a second in that way he had about him, the quiet assessment that ran under his outward charm. It was a mask— that much I knew for a fact—armor to protect his soft spots. Everyone thought he was nothing but a girl-crazy flirt, just like me. But that was just how we liked it. Let them think we were empty.

There was comfort in being underestimated. We were constantly set to impress everyone.

About Staci

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

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

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New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Lilies On Main by J. Lynn Bailey

Today we are celebrating the release of LILIES ON MAIN from J. Lynn Bailey! This is the fourth title in the Granite Harbor series. Check out the purchase links for it below, and links for the previous titles in the series.

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Lilies on Main by J. Lynn Bailey

Granite Harbor, #4 | Available Now

Book Blurb:

For bookstore owner Lydia White, another geographical move doesn’t faze her. She doesn’t even bat an eyelash at one more curveball thrown into her life plan. Five years running from a man who broke her heart, and her spirit, has taught her to keep her walls up.

Scared to trust again, Lydia swears to keep all men off limits. Even Aaron Casey, who seems too perfect to be true. With a daughter to protect and a life to build, she simply can’t afford to let her guard down.

But when William Davis, a seventy-something recovering alcoholic, steps into Lydia’s bookstore for the first time, holding the secret to saving both of their lives, she might have to learn that trusting a man with her life is just as dangerous as trusting one with her heart.

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EXCERPT:

Come here,I tell her as I lean in across the table.
What?She drops her head to the side.
Come here,I say again.
Lydia hesitantly leans in, but nevertheless, she leans in toward

my mouth.
I need you, Lydia,I whisper in her mouth before I kiss her. She doesnt move.
She doesnt hesitate but welcomes my tongue into her mouth.
I dont care that Im kissing her in front of patrons at the

restaurant.
I dont care if the rumor mill starts.
Im making a statement.
I love this woman, and I want everyone to know about it.
Let them talk because kissing Lydia is like seeing in vivid color.

Like feeling the warm breeze. Like the first taste of a beer on a hot summer day. Like the first time you hear I love you against a lovers lips. The feeling of being wrapped up in a perfect moment. Where your mind is present and not in yesterday or today but right now.

I pull away but only a little, so I can say, Im going to need you to touch my body tonight, Lyd.I dont ask if shes okay with it. Because, looking in her eyes, I know she needs this, too.

 

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS TITLES IN THE SERIES

Peony Red

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Violet Ugly

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Magnolia Road

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————————-

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

J. Lynn is a bestselling author who hates to talk about herself. Loathes it.

More importantly, she’s the mother of two beautiful children and a wife to her high school sweetheart. She’s also a mother of two extremely needy cats, Leo and Vinni, and an Australian Shepherd named Grizz.

She lives with her family in a small town tucked away in the redwood forest, located on California’s northern coast.

 

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