New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Claimed by J.R. Ward

Claimed, the sizzling and addictive first book in the Lair of the Wolven Series from #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward is available now, and we have a sneak peek!

A heart-pounding new series set in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world, with a scientist fighting to save the timber wolves—and getting caught in a deadly trap herself…

Lydia Susi is passionate about protecting wolves in their natural habitat. When a hotel chain develops a tract of land next to the preserve, Lydia is one of the most vocal opponents of the project—and becomes a target.

One night, a shadowy figure threatens Lydia’s life in the forest, and a new hire at the Wolf Study Project comes from out of nowhere to save her. Daniel Joseph is both mysterious, and someone she intrinsically wants to trust. But is he hiding something?

As the stakes get higher, and one of Lydia’s colleagues is murdered, she must decide how far she will go to protect the wolves. Then a shocking revelation about Daniel challenges Lydia’s reality in ways she could never have predicted. Some fates demand courage, others require even more, with no guarantees. Is she destined to have true love… or will a soul-shattering loss ruin her forever?

Grab your copy today!
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Audio: https://amzn.to/3i9KQaP

Excerpt

In so many ways, Lydia should have known. From the moment Daniel Joseph had appeared in her office doorway, there had been something about him.

But she hadn’t expected . . . this.

“Unless you tell me to go,” he said in a husky voice,

“I’m going to kiss you.”

As Lydia stared up into his face, they both knew

what she wanted. What she needed. Still, she kept them on the edge for a heartbeat or two.

“I don’t want you to leave.”

“Good,” he growled.

When he lowered his head, there was a rumble of satisfaction in his chest—and then she wasn’t hear- ing anything. Thinking anything. Worried about any- thing.

As big and strong as he was, his lips were soft against her own. Gentle, too, as if he knew she wanted to be handled with care—not because she didn’t want him, but because she did. Too much. And God, there were more reasons to pull away than get close to him, except there was no denying the chemistry. The connection. The heat.

And the experience was even better than the anticipation.

Aware that she was going to stop this sooner than she wanted, but much later than she should, Lydia lifted her arms and put them on his shoulders. His heavy body was rock-hard under his windbreaker, the muscles roping up to his neck—and that was where her hands went.

She just wanted to see if his hair was as thick and lush as it looked—

It was.

As she dug into the waves, he purred in response, like he was a great cat and she had found his favorite stroking place. And that was when he wrapped an arm around her waist. She did not feel trapped, though. She had the sense, as he continued to stroke her lips softly, that he would let her go immediately.

Not that she was going anywhere anytime the hell soon.

Inch by inch, their bodies came into full contact, her breasts against his chest, the front of her thighs meeting his, their hips brushing. And then the kiss deepened, his tongue licking into her—

Letting out another moan, she tightened her hold on his nape, in his hair, a sense of desperation making her rougher than she should have been—she was holding him to her now, grabbing on to him. But he was going with it. One of his hands traveled from her shoulder to her waist, to her hip, and she moved against his palm, imagining what it would be like to be naked with him touching her.

With those workman hands.

Daniel eased back and stroked her hair away from her face. “You’re a good kisser, you know that?”

“Am I?” She smiled like an idiot. “I could have sworn it was you.”

“I guess it’s us.” His eyes roamed her face. And then one side of his lips tilted up. “I’m going to go now.”

Lydia exhaled in surprise—but like she was going to sleep with him here on the mauve kitchen floor?

Not a bad idea, actually, she thought as she glanced down.

“Okay,” she said. “I understand. We do work together—”

“That’s not why I’m leaving.”

“So why are you?”

He traced her cheek. Then her jawline. “If I stay, I’m not going to let you get any sleep at all.” He stepped back. “You know where to find me, if you need me. And I’ll see you after we’re allowed to wake up at four-oh-one a.m.”

She nodded. “Good night, Daniel.”

Turning away, he lifted a hand over his shoulder. When he got to the door, he said, “Don’t forget to lock up.”

And then he was gone.

Add Claimed to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fW6oW7

About J.R. Ward
J.R. Ward is the author of over thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. There are more than 15 million copies of Ward’s novels in print worldwide and they have been published in 25 different countries around the world.
After graduating from law school, Ward began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.

Connect with J.R. Ward
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3qfweZY
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zA0Uso
Instagram: https://bit.ly/35GtqLJ
GoodReads: https://bit.ly/3wN0ldK
Twitter: https://bit.ly/2TS5lzc
Website: https://jrward.com/

New Release + Release Blitz + Blog Tour + Excerpt: The Perfect Catch by Meghan Quinn

THE PERFECT CATCH by Meghan Quinn

Release Date: June 10th

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Forbidden Romance

Workplace Romance

Slow Burn with an EXTREMELY hot end

Baseball player with all the ALPHA swoon

Addictive page turner with a twist at the end

Add To Goodreads:

https://bit.ly/3ezdalb

AVAILABLE NOW!!! FREE IN KU!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2SqUED4

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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3u0uvb5

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Universal Link: mybook.to/ThePerfectCatch

Audio Link: https://amzn.to/3pEFDK0

Blurb:

“Kiss me. Just this once . . . please Walker.”

Those whispered words were my undoing . . .

As the most hated player in baseball, I had two options: either clean up my image or pack my bags. Being traded wasn’t an option which only meant one thing, I had to become compliant.

That’s how I found myself sharing a small bistro table with Kate Chapman, the Chicago Bobbies newest PR Manager. Devastatingly beautiful, vastly intelligent, and incredibly cunning, she knows exactly how to handle my grumpy demeanor.

It was supposed to be simple. Book some PR events, show up, smile for the camera, and be done. But one massive mistake on my end sends me into the trenches with Kate, forcing me to open up to her.

Innocent glances turn into cordial encounters.

Secret touches turn into tempting invitations.

And dangerous nights alone turn into consuming desperation.

I’ve never wanted a woman as much as I want her. And I know she wants me, but there’s a no fraternizing with the players rule. Neither of us can afford to lose our jobs, but we also can’t seem to keep our hands off each other either.

AVAILABLE NOW!!! FREE IN KU!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2SqUED4

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Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3u0uvb5

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Universal Link: mybook.to/ThePerfectCatch

Audio Link: https://amzn.to/3pEFDK0

EXCERPT:

I slip on my clothes, going for a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved Henley. I push the sleeves up, still heated from the shower. I leave my hat in my locker, opting for a quick swab of styling pomade through my hair. I couldn’t care less what I look like, but Coach always likes us to be somewhat presentable after a game in case we run into any press.

Hungry and ready for my bed, I head out of the locker room and am making my way toward the players’ exit when a throat clears behind me. I glance over my shoulder to find Kate Chapman standing against the wall, her purse draped over her shoulder and a beautiful smile gracing her delicately freckled face.

She quickly gives me a once-over and says, “It was the socks.”

I can’t help it, I let out a low chuckle while slowly shaking my head and turning toward her. Hands in my pockets, I say, “It wasn’t the socks.”

Her mouth drops open in disbelief as she approaches me. “It was so the socks.” She points her finger at me.

“Don’t even deny it.”

“It was all my practice.”

“Yeah, practice with me. Just admit it, Rockwell, you had fun last night, the socks were a good luck charm, and you played your ass off tonight.”

I don’t believe in superstitions, which is unheard of when it comes to a baseball player, but I’ve never geared my play around being a habitual player, either. Instead, I do what feels right. So, believing in socks having a special power and helping me gather some hits tonight—nah, not real. But I will say this—having my socks up reminded me why I was behind that plate. It reminded me of being small again and taking joy in the little things.

Was it the socks? Maybe.

Was it the thought of the girl standing in front of me?

Maybe a little more.

“It wasn’t the socks.”

Her head falls back as she groans. “You’re so stubborn.” She makes eye contact with me again. “Do you realize that?”

“Yeah.” I rock on my heels, trying not to stare at her too much.

Just picture me pitching to you.

When I said that would be too distracting, I meant it. With her softly curled hair and her gorgeous smile that doesn’t seem to ever falter—unless I’m a total dick and walk out on her—she’s caught my eye.

She’s starting to imprint herself on my brain.

She’s starting to make me feel shit I shouldn’t be feeling.

“Well, I’m—”

“What are you doing right now?” I ask out of the blue, surprising myself, and her.

“Uh, I was going to give you a hard time and then go home?” she says with a hint of question at the end.

I nod at her. “Hungry?”

She eyes me suspiciously. “Starving.”

“Want to get some food?”

She chews on her bottom lip, thinking about her answer, and I know it’s not in a joking around way, but more so she’s afraid. Afraid of me, possibly. Afraid for her job, most likely.

So, I add, “You know, to discuss business.”

It’s against team policy to fraternize with the players. I know that, she knows that, but, for the life of me, after seeing that infectious joy on her face, I had to ask her. I had to try to spend more time with her.

“Well, if it’s business . . .” She smiles brightly and then nods behind her. “Follow me.”

About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.

Connect with Meghan:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meghanquinnauthor

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorMegQuinn

Website: http://authormeghanquinn.com

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TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authormeghanquinn

New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: The One I Want by S.L. Scott

Release Date: May 10

Narrators: Sebastian York & Summer Morton

Tropes: Unforgettable Meet-Cute, Opposites Attract, Office Romance, Neighbors-to-Lovers, Friends-to-Lovers, Perfect Spring Read.

💗 

She was everything he never knew he needed.

He was everything she avoided.

💗 


It’s not the first time I’ve been called a stalker.


I can’t blame Andrew Christiansen for thinking that since we keep crossing paths, especially when I pop up in the most unexpected of places—his office.


We’re opposites in every way. Not the kind that attract.


I’ve been called a ray of sunshine. He’s been called a grumpy workaholic that needs an attitude adjustment. By me.


Somehow, we become friends, the teasing, flirting, and kissing kind. But this thing blooming between us threatens to turn this relationship from friends-to-lovers into a full-blown office romance. 


That’s the least of my worries because one or two, little, okay big, secrets I’ve been keeping may turn him from the one I want into the one I can’t have.

Grab your copy here

Excerpt

I hear a familiar bark and turn back. The woman from the park rushes toward the nearest shop as if I didn’t just bust her for following me. “What are you doing?” I ask. “Are you stalking me?” I might be jumping ahead of myself, but better to settle it now. A lot of weird stuff was happening at the park. Is she to blame?

Despite Rascal’s joy to see me, obstinance stiffens her shoulders, and she scoffs. “You wish.” Her hand flies out. “It just so happens that I’m walking in the same direction. So what?”

“Defensive,” I reply, analyzing her body language. Crossed arms. Straight line across her lips. Half-mast eyelids as she glares at me. 

“I’m not defensive. I’m offended. You just called me a stalker.”

“My bad.”

“You’re bad, all right.” She angles her chin up, and adds, “You can go about your day now.”

I’m tempted to chuckle, but I’m thinking it’s wise to restrain myself. “I will. Good day.”

“Good day, sir,” she says to my back as I walk away. 

I stop again, but this time, I don’t look back. Forcing myself to walk forward, I continue through the upscale neighborhood to the next block. I busy my attention on the architecture until I hear Rascal bark again. 

I knew I shouldn’t have talked to a stranger. She may be hot, but she could also be deranged, using her dog as a ploy to trick her next victim to her lair. What am I even talking about?

When I turn back this time, she sidles quickly up to a coffee shop window, pretending to know the people sitting on the other side. 

By how they turn their backs to her, they don’t reciprocate. “Nice try,” I tease.

Glancing at me, she huffs. “I’m walking in the same direction. It’s no big deal, for God’s sake.” She punctuates the words with an epic eye roll as if I’m putting her out. Huffing, she grabs Rascal, clutching him to her side. 

“His feet have—”

“Shit.” 

“Exactly.”

Anger fills her chest, and she shakes her head, exhaling it loudly with a foot stomp. “Ugh! I’ll go this way.”

As. If. I’m the nuisance.

Me?

Why am I even sticking around to have this conversation? Why am I bothering? Going in different directions—that’s us. She crosses the street, and I turn the corner, both of us heading back to our own lives and hopefully never seeing each other again.

I continue toward the building up ahead alone. I’m good. I’m fine. Alone is how I thrive. I’ll be here a year or two. That’s nothing. I have plenty of work to keep me busy.

Work.

I’m here for work. That’s it. I have a plan in place, and nothing and no one will keep me from achieving my goals.

Meet S.L. Scott
New York Times and USA Bestselling Author, S. L. Scott, was always interested in the arts. She grew up painting, writing poetry and short stories, and wiling her days away lost in a good book and the movies.
With a degree in Journalism, she continued her love of the written word by reading American authors like Salinger and Fitzgerald. 

She was intrigued by their flawed characters living in picture perfect worlds, but could still debate that the worlds those characters lived in were actually the flawed ones. 
This dynamic of leaving the reader invested in the words, inspired Scott to start writing with emotion while interjecting an underlying passion into her own stories.

Living in the capital of Texas with her family, Scott loves traveling and avocados, beaches, and cooking with her kids. She’s obsessed with epic romances and loves a good plot twist. She dreams of seeing one of her own books made into a movie one day as well as returning to Europe. Her favorite color is blue, but she likens it more toward the sky than the emotion. Her home is filled with the welcoming symbol of the pineapple and finds surfing a challenge though she likes to think she’s a pro.


Connect with S.L. Scott
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Cover Reveal + Pre-Order + Excerpt + Giveaway: Reel by Kennedy Ryan

Reel, Kennedy Ryan’s new breathtaking standalone romance set in the glamorous world of film and theater, is coming June 8th, and we have the beautiful cover and your first look!

Award-Winning Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Kennedy Ryan launches a brand new series with a Hollywood tale of wild ambition, artistic obsession, and unrelenting love.

One moment in the spotlight.

For months I stood by, an understudy waiting in the wings, preparing for my time to shine.
I never imagined he would watch in the audience that night.
Canon Holt.
Famous film director.
Fascinating. Talented. Fine.
Before I could catch my breath, everything changed.
I went from backstage Broadway to center stage Hollywood.
From being unknown, to my name, Neevah Saint, on everyone’s lips.
Canon casts me in a star-studded Harlem Renaissance biopic, catapulting me into another stratosphere.

But stars shine brightest in the dead of night.
Forbidden attraction, scandal and circumstances beyond my control jeopardize my dream.
Could this one shot—the role of a lifetime, the love of a lifetime—cost me everything?

Reserve your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xFYGay
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Reel
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3dWwUyG
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Google Play: https://bit.ly/3gHMDUc
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Barnes and Noble Paperback: https://bit.ly/3nsKKfr

➜ Enter the Goodreads Giveaway! Kennedy is giving away 10 Signed Reel Paperbacks!
http://bit.ly/REELGoodreadsGive

➜ Follow Hollywood Renaissance series on Instagram:
@TheHollywoodRenaissanceSeries

Keep reading for the very first excerpt from Reel!

When the show reaches its climax, at the very end, the song pries the final note from my diaphragm, pulls it from my throat and suspends it—leaves it throbbing in the air. The theater goes quiet for the space of a breath held by 800 people and then explodes. 

Applause.

The relief is knee-weakening. I literally have to grab John, the lead actor’s arm for support. He doesn’t miss a beat, pulling me into his side and squeezing.

“Bravo,” he whispers, a broad, genuine smile spread across his face. The last song made me cry, and my face, still wet from those tears, splits into a wide, disbelieving grin.

I did it. I survived my first Broadway performance. 

The lights drop and we rush backstage, a cacophony of laughter and chatter filling the hidden passageways. When the curtain call begins, the cast return to the stage in small waves, the applause building as the principals take their bows. 

And then it’s my turn. On legs still shaky, I leave the safety of the wings, the long skirt of my costume belling out around me. I take center stage. The applause crescendos, approval vibrating through my bones and jolting my soul. Someone thrusts flowers into my arms and the sweet smell wafts around me. Every sense, every molecule of my being strains, opens, stretches to absorb this small slice of triumph. I can’t breathe deeply enough. The air comes in shallow sips, and I’m dizzy. The world spins like a top, a kaleidoscope of colors and light and sound that threatens to overwhelm me. The whirl of it makes me giddy, and I laugh. Eyes welling with tears, I laugh.

These are the moments a lifetime in the making. We toil in the shadows of our dreams. In the alleys of preparation and hard work where it’s dark and nothing’s promised. For years, we cling by a thread of hope and imagination, dedicating our lives to a pursuit with no guarantees.

But tonight, if only for tonight, it’s all worth it.

I’m still floating when Takira bursts into the dressing room.

“Neevah!” she screams, throwing her arms around me and rocking me back and forth. “You did it. You chewed that performance up and spat it out. You hear me?”

I laugh and return her squeeze, new tears trailing down my cheeks. 

“Thank you.” I pull back to peer into my friend’s face. “I can’t believe it.”

“Well, believe it. You served notice.” She snaps her fingers and grins. “Neevah Saint is here.”

“Now to do it seven more times.” I laugh and start taking pins from the wig, which is as hot as a herd of sheep on my head.

“Oh, you got it, unless Elise hears how amazing you were and cuts her vacation short.”

“Not happening. She was ready for a break, but she’d never missed a show.” 

I strip off the costume and stand in only panties, unselfconscious. Modesty is one of the first things to go in this business. I’ve undressed hurriedly in a roomful of actors and dancers in smaller shows where there was a dressing room, so we get real communal real fast. 

I tug on skinny jeans with a tight-fitting orange sweater, and layer it with a brown leather jacket, scarf, boots. I wipe away the heavy stage makeup. It feels like my skin can breathe for the first time in hours. I assume there will be some fans at the stage door, even if it’s just a few. They’ll have to get the real Neevah because I don’t want anything more than a slick of lip gloss and a bit of mascara. A brown, orange and green plaid newsboy cap covering the neat cornrows I wore under my wig is all I’m doing for hair. Slim oversized gold hoops in my ears finish the look.

“Ready?” I ask Takira, hefting a slouchy bag on my shoulder.

“Let’s do this. Hopefully your adoring fans won’t take all night, ’cause your girl is starving.”

We’re still laughing, and I’m so preoccupied with my empty stomach, I’m completely unprepared for the crowd at the stage door. Are they here for John? For some principal player because surely they’re not all here for the understudy.

“Neevah!” a young girl, maybe ten or eleven, calls. “Can you sign this?”

She thrusts a pen and a Splendor playbill toward me. She glows, her smooth brown cheeks rounded with a wide grin. Her eyes shine with . . . pride?

“Oh, sure,” I mumble dazedly, taking the pen and signing my name. 

She’s the first in a long line of girls, all shapes and colors and ages, saying what it meant to see me onstage. Mothers whispering how impactful it was for their Black and brown daughters to be in the audience tonight. The impact is on me; what could feel like a weight or burden or responsibility feels like a warm embrace. Feels like strong arms encircling me. Supporting me. The first time I saw someone who looked like me onstage, it planted a seed inside of me. It whispered a dream.

That could be you.

It makes me emotional to think I might have done that for any of these girls tonight, and I spend the next twenty minutes scribbling my name on playbills through a film of tears.

“Neevah!” a deep male voice calls from the back of the now-thinning crowd.

I squint at the tall man, frowning until I place him.

“Wright!” I take a few steps and he meets me halfway, giving me a tight hug. “Oh, my God. You were here tonight?”

“Was I here?” When he pulls back, a warm smile creases his handsome face. “You blew it out of the water. I knew you were good, but damn.”

Laughter spills out of me and I don’t think this night could get more perfect. I randomly met Wright Bellamy a few weeks back at a gig when he subbed for the pianist, giving the audience more than they bargained for with such a famous musician tickling the ivories that night.

“Thank you.” I step away and shove my hands into the pockets of my jeans, huddling in the leather jacket against the chill of an October night. “I was nervous as hell.”

“Didn’t show. Your voice is spectacular. I knew that from the gig we did, but I had no idea you were that good. Wow. Glad I saw your post on Instagram or I would’ve missed it.”

I’m stone-still, shocked that he came tonight specifically to see me perform. “I’m so glad you made it. You’re still in LA, right?”

“Yeah, but I’m here for some stuff. Heading back home in a few days.”

Takira walks up, linking her arm through mine. “Girl, if we don’t get some food,” she whispers.

“Oh, yeah. Sorry.” I turn back to Wright. “Takira, this is Wright Bellamy. Wright, my friend Takira.”

“Nice to meet you,” Takira says. “You got any food on you? I’m about to eat your hat.” 

As usual, Takira never meets a stranger and has us laughing right away.

“We’re actually headed to Glass House Tavern,” I tell Wright. “Come if you want. It’s a group of us from the show. Just some of the cast celebrating, but you’re welcome. We can catch up.”

A small frown dents between his thick brows and he glances over his shoulder.

“I mean, no pressure obviously,” I rush to assure him. This is one of the biggest names in music, and here I go, inviting him to dinner with a group of strangers. 

“No, it sounds cool,” he says, looking back to us. “Lemme check with my boy. Can he come?”

I glance over his shoulder and spot a tall man turned away from us, his broad shoulders and back straining a wool blazer, a hoodie pulled up to cover his head and face in the cold. His hands burrow into the pockets of his blazer and he’s nodding like he’s talking to himself.

“He’s on the phone,” Wright explains. “But lemme see if he wants to roll.”

He steps away toward the man and Takira immediately squeezes my hand and squeals.

“Neeve.” Her eyes are wide and bright. Mouth dropped open. “That’s Wright Bellamy.”

“I know. He’s cool as a fan.”

“You know him? How—”

“We’re in,” Wright says, stepping back up beside us. “He’s finishing a call, but we’re ready. Lead the way.”

It’s just a few blocks, and the three of us chat about the show and what Wright’s been doing in New York. All the while his friend’s deep voice rumbles a few paces behind. I don’t want to be rude or nosy and look back, but the rich timbre, his towering height, his face obscured by the hoodie—I’m intrigued. He hangs back on the sidewalk, still on his call, when we enter the restaurant. 

Our friends already have a table and a shout goes up, congratulating me on popping my White Way cherry. My three understudy buddies came. John’s here, too, and one other principal. A few from the stage crew. Our little troupe has become a family and, as if eight shows a week isn’t enough time together, we gather and eat every chance we get. 

“You’re not paying tonight,” John says, holding out the seat beside him. “And drinks are on me.”

“Awwww.” I plop into the chair and drop my bag to the floor. “You’re so sweet. You don’t have to do that.”

“You were fantastic,” John says, baby blue eyes sincere and smiling. “Let’s do it again tomorrow.”

Takira is already sitting beside me, so Wright takes the seat next to her.

“Hey,” he says to Janie across the table. “Could you hold that seat beside you for my friend? He’s wrapping up a call, but’ll be in soon.”

“Sure.” Janie blushes. “I love your work, by the way. The score of Silent Midnight . . . gah.” 

“Thank you. That was a special project. Lots of fun,” Wright replies with a smile. “Now tell me about the show.”

Wright’s a genius, but he’s so unassuming and modest. A man as famous as he is could easily make this conversation about him, let everyone at this table give his ego a real nice hand job, but he doesn’t. He talks about our show, compliments the performance, asks John about his process. I liked him when we did that last-minute gig, and we’ve interacted some on social media since. My impression of him holds up. He’s a good guy. 

Not to state the obvious, but also fine. Like fine fine.

He has this Boris Kodjoe vibe. Real smooth. Kind of golden–brown. Clean-cut, close-cut. I can objectively recognize his appeal, even though he’s not my type. 

Not that I have a type lately. I’m so deep in this dick drought I’m past the point of thirst. 

At first I thought it was merely the grind. Auditioning constantly, taking craft classes, doing commercials and voiceover work to not just keep bills paid, but to save. This business is feast or famine. I’m eating now, but I’ve been hungry before. Not again. I’m thirty. Too old to still be living gig to gig and buying into that starving artist thing. I need health insurance and regularly scheduled meals, thank you very much. So yeah, the grind could account for my semi-disinterested libido, but I suspect it’s more. 

Maybe I’m disinterested.

I need a man who doesn’t think that because he has a dick and I don’t that I should defer to him—shrink my dreams down to a more manageable size. I’m cautious not only about who I share my heart and body with, but I’m also protective of my dreams; of my ambition. I won’t endanger my future for a man who can fuck. Though . . . a man who can fuck? I wouldn’t turn it down, but it will take more than that to pique my interest.

“What are you getting?” Takira asks, leaning over to read my menu instead of hers. “Anything here meet your high standards?”

My standards aren’t that high. I’ve just cut out red meat and stopped drinking as much alcohol. My health demands it. 

“I’m thinking about the salmon, but I—”

A chair scraping across the floor catches my attention. Wright’s friend has finally come inside to join us. The table shrinks immediately when he settles his imposing frame into the seat beside Janie. He peels the hood away from his head and I bite off a gasp.

It’s Canon Holt.

Like the Canon Holt.

The director I, and probably every actress at this table and in this dining room, would sacrifice a pinky toe to work with. Canon Holt is at my table sitting across from me. 

Takira’s expression doesn’t register this massive earthquake of a revelation, but she kicks me under the table and hisses from the corner of her mouth. “Did you know?”

I pretend I need to reach for something on the floor so I can whisper back, “Do you think I would have kept my shit together this long if I knew?”

“True. True.” Takira casually glances up from her menu and smiles in Canon’s general direction, but he’s not looking at her. He’s studying his screen. He’s apparently in an exclusive relationship with his phone, and no one at this table tempts him to stray.

Which means I can look at him.

Good. God.

He’s not that handsome, but that’s irrelevant. Some might even call his features, examined on their own, unremarkable. 

They’d be wrong.

It’s a Maker’s sleight of hand. Now God knew this man did not need lashes that long and thick, a paradox against the hard, high slant of his cheekbones. Canon hasn’t looked twice at anyone here as far as I can tell, but I’ve stolen enough glances to know there’s a fathomlessness to his dark eyes that is arresting. His unsmiling mouth is wide, the lips full in the blunt elegance of his face. A five o’clock shadow licks the ridge of his jawline. There is a geometry to him—angles, lines, edges—that disregards the individual parts and illuminates the compelling sum. WANT MORE REEL? Click here for the rest >> http://www.thehollywoodrenaissanceseries.com/excerpt

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Cover Designer: Lori Jackson Design
Photographer: Sophia Barrett Studios
Models: Jasmine Raiford and Ajayi Bodden

About Kennedy Ryan

A USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Kennedy Ryan and her writings have been featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Cosmo, TIME, O Mag and many others. A RITA® Award winner, Kennedy writes empowered women from all walks of life and centers those who have found themselves perennially on the margins of traditional storytelling.

Her Hoops Series (Long Shot, Block Shot and Hook Shot) and All the King’s Men Series (The Kingmaker, The Rebel King and Queen Move) have been optioned for television.

An autism mom, Kennedy co-founded LIFT 4 Autism, an annual charitable initiative, and has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for autism families. She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son.

Connect with Kennedy

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New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Fade Into You by Elle Greco

Today we have the release day blitz for Elle Greco’s FADE INTO YOU! Check it out and be sure to get yours today!

Title: Fade Into You

Author: Elle Greco

Series: LA Rock Star Romance

Genre: Rockstar Romance

About Fade Into You:

It’s all fun and games until someone falls in love.

 

Six years after the cops found Ear Assassins’ lead singer dead of a drug overdose, his widow Lydon Johnson has only just begun to pick up the pieces. Now she finds she’s fast running out of money to support herself and her son. A reality TV show is an unappealing means to an end, but in the interest of keeping a roof over their heads, she signs on. But the producers soon find out, Lydon’s kind of boring for a rock and roll widow.

Vince Davis, lead singer of Anthem, is a rock and roll legend two decades in the making. But when the head of his longtime record label is exposed as the cause of his son’s drug overdose, his attempt to split his band from the label comes with a personal cost that he’s not sure he’s ready to make.

Enter Lydon. Vince has an idea to spice up Lydon’s flailing reality show: pretend to be lovers. Thrust back into a glowing spotlight, can Vince’s amped star power get Anthem out of their contract on his own terms?

The reality TV producers think it’s a match made in rock and roll heaven. What could possibly go wrong?

 

When you hate the person you are supposed to fall in love with, LOADS.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Vince flashed his panty-melting grin. “And now we also know that the feelings you have for me scare you.”

“Rubbish,” I snapped. His eyes danced with humor.

“Seriously, Lydon, I’m scared too.” His hands slid along my thighs. “But it’s worth the risk, don’t you think?”

I closed my eyes. “We can’t let Charlie know. I don’t want him hurt.”

“I’d never hurt Charlie.”

I opened my eyes to see his earnest look. “But you might hurt me, and right now that’s the same thing in his little boy heart.”

He pressed his hand over mine on my chest. “I don’t want to hurt you, Lydon.”

“We don’t go into these things wanting to hurt people. It’s just what happens. It’s a by-product,” I said. My brain flashed to Charlie again. He never knew Chad, so he never experienced that sort of aching loss. His loss was different—more of a sadness around never having a father. If Charlie got close to Vince and lost him… that pain rips through your heart and cuts into your very soul.

Was I willing to take that gamble with Charlie’s heart? Because it wasn’t just my own that was exposed.

“I can’t, Vince. It’s too risky.”

He leaned into me, a hand landing on the mattress by my hip. “Lady Ly, we are halfway there with this reality show. Maybe we should try?”

It was tempting. Vince was right. The sex we had was explosive. It was raw. It felt right.

But it had also been six years since I last got laid, so I couldn’t exactly trust what I felt.

I leaned away from him. “How about we just, you know, scratch the itch every once in a while?”

His head cocked. “Go on. I want to hear this.”

“I mean, we carry on as normal, faking it for the cameras and such. But if we get the urge to, you know…” I paused. “Have intercourse…”

Vince closed his eyes and shook his head. When he opened them again, he pressed his forehead to mine. “So, friends with benefits.”

I stared at his full lips and tamped down the urge to kiss him. “We could call it that, I suppose.”

About Elle Greco:

Urban Fantasy lovers will know me as Karen Greco, author of the best-selling Hell’s Belle series. My Contemporary Romance books are written under Elle Greco. (That’s me, to the right, in a Covid 19 self-portrait!)

While the genres are worlds apart, strong female characters are the chain that links all my worlds.

These women are magical. They wield wicked weapons. They play a mean drum solo. They fall in love. They rule the boardroom and the bedroom.

Whatever they do, they do it with swagger.

I love escaping into their badass worlds. I hope you do, too.

 

Connect with Elle:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

 

New Release + Release Blitz + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Book of Love by Erin Satie

Erin Satie is joining us for the release blitz of her historical romance, Book of Love! Check it out and be sure to get your copy today!

Title: Book of Love

Author: Erin Satie

Genre: Historical Romance

About Book of Love:

She’s trying to make ends meet. He’s out for a bit of fun.

Cordelia Kelly is busy, focused, worried about the future of her fledgling bookbinding business. When a handsome man stops her on the street to pester her with questions, she gives him the consideration he deserves: none.

That handsome man happens to be the Duke of Stroud, and he finds Cordelia’s hostility hilarious. He gives chase, if only for the pleasure of provoking her again.

He thinks life is a game. She doesn’t play around.

Within days of meeting Cordelia, Stroud sets a marching band on a matchmaking mama, defaces a local monument, and ropes Cordelia into a round of his favorite game.

In that same time, Cordelia stitches together the complete works of Mary Wollstonecraft, enthusiastically devotes herself to a petition demanding expanded legal rights for married women, and beats Stroud at his own game.

She defies all expectations. So does he.

Most people dismiss Stroud as a fool–himself included. When Cordelia sees past his lighthearted facade, he’s terrified and also… in love?

Stroud barges into Cordelia’s life, offering her all the material and sensual temptations she’s learned to do without. She usually has willpower to spare, but turning him down takes all of it, and then some. He’s oddly irresistible.

Or maybe they’re perfect for one another.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

The dog stood about eight inches tall and half as wide, exquisitely detailed, with shiny black eyes and a little pink tongue lolling out from its open mouth, painted toenails peeking out from a fringe of fur.

Cordelia picked it up and, finding the statuette fairly light, turned it upside down. A scroll of paper poked out from the hole in the base.

Ruby swore under her breath.

“Have we fallen into one of your novels?” Cordelia asked, not entirely in jest. She plucked the paper from the dog’s belly and returned the sculpture to its spot—slowly, giving herself time to gather her courage—before carefully unrolling the note.

Rules of the Game

    1. You have one week to deliver Homer the Roamer to a new owner.

    1. You may employ any and all means at your disposal.

    1. Do not get caught!!!

    1. If you are caught, you must try again.

    1. Each attempt must be unique. Once a delivery attempt has failed, you must devise a new scheme.

  1. Once you are successful, you may enter his new address into the Official Register at Stroud House.

A picture of two hounds rampant stamped in red wax marked the end of the letter, in lieu of a signature.”

About Erin Satie:

Erin Satie is the author of the dark and elegant No Better Angels series, historical romances set in the early Victorian period. She’s currently hard at work on her upcoming series, Sweetness & Light, which should be just as elegant but not quite so dark.

Erin is a California native who’s lived on the coasts and in the heartland, in tiny city apartments and on a working farm. She studied art history in both college and graduate school—research is always her favorite part of starting a new book.

Her favorite part of finishing a book, whether reading or writing, is the happily ever after.

Connect with Erin:

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New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide by AJ Elmore

Today we have the blog tour for AJ Elmore’s romantic suspense, Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide. Check it out and be sure to catch up on the series today!

Title: Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide

Author: AJ Elmore

Genre: Romantic Suspense

About Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide

It has been a year since the fire in the Ninth Ward that solidified Maria’s place in the ranks of her grandmother’s operation. Though tensions are high among her remaining crew, things seem to be going well…until Abuela starts moving pieces and changing the ranks. Suspicions ride even higher when Isaiah shows up well after he left the life behind, and without an explanation. Will Maria be able to hold it together, or will she lose Joshua and Frederick, as well? What part does Isaiah play?

Order Yours Today!

EXCERPT:

I’m staring at a gun barrel. It’s pointed at my chest. Outwardly, I haven’t moved since he drew on me. Internally, all I can hear is my heart pounding.

“What are you doing, Warren?” I ask. When I lift my eyes he shifts his weight.

“He’s hustlin’ me, Charlie,” he says. There’s sweat breaking on his forehead.

When I look him in the eye he shifts again.

“Of course he’s hustling you. He’s obviously a rookie. I don’t remember that being punishable by death,” I say.

Warren’s eyes cut from me to the kid he was threatening just minutes before now. If I really thought Warren had it in him, I’d choose now to draw. But his heart isn’t in it. He turned his gun on me before he recognized me.

“Do you really want to draw on me, Warren?”

“I didn’t mean to,” he mutters, his attention flitting back to me.

“I know. Put the gun away. I’m not going to retaliate,” I tell him. The whole time I’m consciously relaxing the muscles in my shoulders, in case this gets ugly.

Warren looks at me like a dog who has been kicked too many times. He knows he fucked up and he doesn’t quite believe me that I won’t kill him if he takes his aim off of me. I get it, honestly. As his internal conflict rages, his gun slowly lowers to his side.

“Put it away, Warren, and we’re done here,” I say. I still haven’t moved.

He holsters so I gesture toward the building with my chin.

“Time to go,” I say.

He nods and shuffles away inside the bar’s back door. A long breath slows my pulse. I pull my smokes from my pocket, lip one, and light it. I hear the stranger move again and release a shaky breath. I take a drag and angle toward him.

He’s young, maybe my sister’s age. His eyes are wide. He’s wearing jeans and plain black t-shirt. He probably goes to Tulane.

“Close one,” I muse, slightly lifting an eyebrow. I don’t smirk at him, but my tone is definitely goading.

“Hey man, thanks,” he says in a rush. The hands hanging at his sides are shaking. He’s scared shitless.

“A word of advice, rookie, this territory is taken. If you want to hustle, go back to the playground,” I tell him, casually sliding my free hand in my pocket.

The movement catches his attention. He freezes, waiting to see if I’m going to draw on him, too. Now I let a small smile play on my lips.

“You’re not even strapped, are you?”

His shoulders deflate and he kicks at a wadded up paper bag on the ground.

“No,” he admits quietly.

I take another hit from my cigarette and shake my head. This guy is gonna get himself killed.

“Can I buy you a drink, you know, as thanks?” he says, his tone more hopeful than I would have expected.

“You got a name, rookie?”

“Josh.”

I pull my hand out of my pocket and extend it.

“I’m Charlie.”

He stares at it warily, then accepts. His handshake is firm despite his obvious fear. I flick my cigarette at the ground and add, “Come on.”

I head back in the bar without waiting to see if he’ll follow. Where else is he going to go? When the door swings wide, there’s someone poised to open it. My hand twitches toward my gun, but recognition stops me.

“You OK?” Isaiah asks, his eyes skipping over my shoulder to the new kid.

“Gravy,” I say with a grin.

He nods and turns back inside. I’m on his heels and Josh brings up the rear. He follows us to the semicircle booth where we’re posted up.

“Did you finally find a boyfriend?” Noah asks around the cigarette hanging from his lips.

“I thought he was more your type,” I tell him, sliding into the booth. I tip up my PBR, drain it, then add, “Anyway, next round is on him.”

“You’re right, he is my type,” Noah says with a big smile.

“I think shots are in order,” Jack weighs in.

He has one arm slung over the back of the booth, and he’s sizing up the new arrival with a passive expression. His dark hair is hanging against his shoulders and he has a hand on his Budweiser bottle.

Josh is standing awkwardly by the table. His eyes are bouncing among the rest of us as we candidly volunteer him to buy us liquor. When he realizes what I’ve done, his expression becomes a scowl that tugs at the corners of my lips.

“Tequila all around,” I say with a nod.

“Good call!” Noah says.

“Go help him carry them,” Jack says to his younger brother.

“What? Why do I have to go?” Noah protests.

“So he doesn’t spill them all on the way back,” Jack says, lifting an eyebrow. His expression is enough to let us all know this won’t be an argument.

“Oh, what the fuck,” Noah says with a groan. Still, he stabs out his smoke, scoots out of the booth and mutters, “Fine. Come on, new guy.”

Josh gives the rest of us another calculating glance then follows Noah toward the bar.

Jack watches them for a moment then locks eyes with me. He raises his eyebrows expectantly. After years of being friends, he doesn’t need to put a voice to the questions in his gaze.

“I found him out back about the get himself shot. He hustling something. Doing a shitty job, too,” I say.

“So that’s why Warren came through here sulking,” Izzy says, lighting a cigarette.

I nod, grabbing Izzy’s pack off the table and shaking one out. He watches me do it, his lips pressed in a thin line, but he doesn’t say anything. He lifts his lighter, flicks the flame to life. I duck the end of the smoke to the flame and light it.

“So you invited him to join us?” Izzy says in an unamused tone.

“He offered to buy me a drink,” I answer with a shrug. “You know, for saving his ass.”

“What a hero,” Izzy says flatly.

Jack snickers and brushes some wayward strands of hair over his shoulder. There’s a fresh burn on his forearm in the shape of a grill grate. He looks back toward the bar and I know he’s tracking his brother.

“You’ve been watching that kid since he walked in here,” Izzy says.

“So have you, I’m not stupid, Iz,” I answer. My tone is nonchalant, but he’ll know better than to think I’m taking the situation so lightly.

“Apparently he is,” Izzy answers.

“I don’t know about that,” I say, catching Izzy’s frown in my periphery. “Stupid and inexperienced are different matters.”

“Looks like Noah is making a friend out of him,” Jack says, his eyes still on his brother’s back.

“Noah would make friends with a snake after it bit him,” Izzy says. One of his hands is idling on his amberbock as the other transfers his cigarette to his lips.

“That’s not entirely true,” Jack answers, side-eying Isaiah. We all know that though Noah can – and usually will – talk to anyone, he’s a damn fine judge of character.

When the younger two return, Noah has two shots sitting on the palm of his left hand and one shot in his right hand. Josh is holding one in each hand. Noah reaches his left hand toward Izzy and me, and we both take one. Josh hands one to Jack and waits for a cue.

“To Charlie. Not all heroes wear capes,” Jack says snidely.

A laugh tumbles out of me as we clink glasses and toss back the shots. I watch Josh over the rim. He grimaces, but he keeps it down.

“Everyone, this is Josh,” I say, drawing attention to him as he battles the tequila gods.

Noah is also watching with a one-sided smirk as Josh tries to handle the liquor. Noah points when he says, “Jack, Charlie, Isaiah. And I’m Noah.”

Josh just nods at us. I can still see uncertainty in his eyes. He’s either not sure how to handle the dynamic among us, or he’s not sure if he measures up to our league. It’s a strange thing to think, but I have this feeling that with the right guidance, he’d fit in just fine.

“I sure could use a smoke break,” Izzy says grimly.

I watch Josh’s eyes bounce from the cigarette in Izzy’s hand to me, then get wide as the words seem to make sense. He’s quick minded, I’ll give him that.

“That’s a damn fine idea. Who brought the blunt?” I say.

“Got it,” Noah answers, patting his pocket.

Without any more directive, we start sliding out of the booth. The others head toward the back door. Josh just stands there, watching us. I meet his eye from over my shoulder and say, “You coming?”

His eyes brighten and he nods.

Catch up on the series with Cadillac Payback!

About Cadillac Payback:

An old Cadillac and a gun are all she has left of her brother. Three men stand ready to follow her into the darkest pits of hell to avenge him. The Cadillac leads them down a swamp road lined with ghosts, consequence and the tangled web of business and pleasure, into the underbelly of New Orleans crime as she fights for vengeance for her brother.

Joshua was just a rookie, a kid caught up in a drug ring. It’s fun and dangerous, all easy, until it kills his best friend and drags what’s left of his companions into a war. All he knows is he would walk into hell with her, and she might ask before it’s over…

Isaiah thought he’d seen everything—but watching Charlie die tore the world apart. The regime is changing, and with the new leader come more questions than answers. He was Charlie’s right hand, but what will he be to her?

Frederick came up on the streets, learned fast and hard and dirty. His past has always been a sticking point for the group, but one person has never questioned him, and he’ll do anything for her…

Maria never wanted to take over Charlie’s operation. But with her brother dead, and vengeance the only thing she has left, she makes her first decision: drag Charlie’s killers down.

It might just be her last.

About AJ Elmore:

AJ is a beach migrant and part-time muse. She enjoys the exploration of genres vast and the search for untold worlds. A writer-for-fun since childhood, she has also been known to be a superhero, a gunslinger, and, occasionally, a waitress. She lives on an island, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and some tattoos. She is most easily found at the water’s edge.

Connect with AJ:

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New Release + Release Blitz + Excerpt: Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide by AJ Elmore

Today we have the release day blitz for AJ Elmore’s romantic suspense, Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide. Check it out and be sure to catch up on the series today!

Title: Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide

Author: AJ Elmore

Genre: Romantic Suspense

About Cadillac Payback: Rising Tide

It has been a year since the fire in the Ninth Ward that solidified Maria’s place in the ranks of her grandmother’s operation. Though tensions are high among her remaining crew, things seem to be going well…until Abuela starts moving pieces and changing the ranks. Suspicions ride even higher when Isaiah shows up well after he left the life behind, and without an explanation. Will Maria be able to hold it together, or will she lose Joshua and Frederick, as well? What part does Isaiah play?

 

Order Yours Today!

Exclusive Excerpt:

I roll the Indian into the garage lot, and park it. I let the engine growl for a bit before I shut it off. The only time I enjoy turning heads is when they hear this streamlined beast coming. This bike came back from the dead. Only true fans could understand.

 

Josh is already here, the garage door is up, and so is his hood. A greased-up Cajun by the name of Spanky is checking out the car’s guts. I think that’s his name, anyway.

 

Spanky is one of the few associates of mine whose interest lies almost solely in a legal trade. He knows where to get old parts for real cheap, and though sometimes I don’t know what the fuck he’s saying to me, he’s reliable. He owns the place, and for a fat sack, he lets me use his space when he can. He’s used to seeing the Caddy. The Challenger is a new treat.

 

I swing a leg over my bike, then replace my road goggles with my wire-framed glasses. The days are fading earlier the closer we get to fall, and the air has cooled from the mid-summer shroud of humidity and heat. The ride over was nice, wind against my face, carrying what last bits of aggravation lingered from the earlier part of the day.

 

Everything changes tomorrow, but tonight, I’ve agreed to do a tune up on Josh’s Challenger. He offered me money, but I won’t take it. I just want to get elbow deep in that machine.

 

I’ve dressed down in a pair of stained jeans, my old motorcycle boots, and a pristine white t-shirt. It’s something of a ritual, the process of getting a clean shirt dirty. I can hear Spanky jawing at the engine in an appreciative tone, and I smirk as I approach. Josh is watching Spanky’s backside with a look of confusion, which he turns on me, like I can somehow explain.

 

I say, “She’s a damsel, eh, Spanky?”

 

“Daaaaayum straight,” he answers, with a drawn out “Wooooooeeeeee” as punctuation.

 

He straightens and gives me a half-cocked grin. The grease on his cheeks makes what’s left of his teeth seem almost white. Somehow I think under that layer of muck, his skin is pale as a newborn, and he never sees the sun without a solid mask of grit.

 

He points at a large dirty cooler full of ice and clear beer bottles, and says, “Youawnt’un?”

 

I shake my head and hand over a rolled-up fast food bag, which contains a few flat, oozing burgers and his weed. His eyes light up when he sees it. As much as he’d love to stay and drool over Josh’s toy, he’d just as rather go get high and down some disgusting food. He nods to us, and disappears into the bowels of the garage.

 

“What the fuck?” Josh mutters under his breath as he snags a beer for himself.

 

He eyes the label, Miller High Life, and his expression turns down in distaste. It’s so haughty that I almost give him shit for being such a picky bitch. He pops the top anyway and takes a swig.

 

I’ve been riding for a while, so there’s already a layer of road dirt on my face. It was the best way to find the space to breathe after everything clicked just out of place at the Garden District house. That moment has been carefully boarded up and stored for later inspection.

 

There’s a strange ease in knowing the secrets are out, at least as far as our inner crew is concerned. The mandate has been passed, all applicable parties have been notified. Effective immediately. Except not really. Tonight I’m a free agent, floating too far from the ground to control my landing.

 

Catch up on the series with Cadillac Payback!

About Cadillac Payback:

An old Cadillac and a gun are all she has left of her brother. Three men stand ready to follow her into the darkest pits of hell to avenge him. The Cadillac leads them down a swamp road lined with ghosts, consequence and the tangled web of business and pleasure, into the underbelly of New Orleans crime as she fights for vengeance for her brother.

Joshua was just a rookie, a kid caught up in a drug ring. It’s fun and dangerous, all easy, until it kills his best friend and drags what’s left of his companions into a war. All he knows is he would walk into hell with her, and she might ask before it’s over…

Isaiah thought he’d seen everything—but watching Charlie die tore the world apart. The regime is changing, and with the new leader come more questions than answers. He was Charlie’s right hand, but what will he be to her?

Frederick came up on the streets, learned fast and hard and dirty. His past has always been a sticking point for the group, but one person has never questioned him, and he’ll do anything for her…

Maria never wanted to take over Charlie’s operation. But with her brother dead, and vengeance the only thing she has left, she makes her first decision: drag Charlie’s killers down.

It might just be her last.

About AJ Elmore:

AJ is a beach migrant and part-time muse. She enjoys the exploration of genres vast and the search for untold worlds. A writer-for-fun since childhood, she has also been known to be a superhero, a gunslinger, and, occasionally, a waitress. She lives on an island, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and some tattoos. She is most easily found at the water’s edge.

 

Connect with AJ:

Facebook | Twitter

 

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Wild Beauty by Audrey Carlan

Can my savior protect me, or has my fate been sealed?

Wild Beauty, an all-new not-to-be-missed contemporary romance in the Soul Sisters series of standalones by #1 New York Times bestselling author Audrey Carlan is available now!

My life has never been easy. Not from the day I took my first breath until now. Only days old, I was placed in a laundry basket and left in front of a firehouse. I never knew who my parents were before being shuffled around from one bad foster home to another. Until the day I arrived at Kerrighan House.

My safe haven.

My home.

I was welcomed with open arms into a world where love and sisterhood were the rule, not the exception. From that moment on, I believed I was safe. That nothing bad could touch me.

I was so wrong.

Neither my success as a full-figured lingerie and fashion model nor my street smarts as a born and bred Chicago native, safeguarded me against walking into the clutches of a monster.

As I try to pull my life back together, I’m brought face to face with a man whose wounds mirror my own. Under his protection, I’m gifted the opportunity to find beauty where there has only ever been pain. And yet, danger lurks, as a new evil threatens to bring me to my knees.

Can my savior protect me, or has my fate been sealed?

Note: Each book in the Soul Sister series can be read as a standalone.

Download your copy today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3d24QK0
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/wildbeautyac
Nook: https://bit.ly/3oecULb
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3dMFwWT
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2Td4tRR
Google Play: https://bit.ly/39G8Eyp
Paperback: https://amzn.to/31ZHn5S

Add WILD BEAUTY to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/3caLH8L

Excerpt

Killian came over to me and stopped a couple feet away. “You doin’ okay?”
I nodded and pushed a lock of hair behind my ear suddenly feeling shy. “Everything is a little awkward but I’m rolling with it. Thank you for sharing your space and willingly shooting in your home. This can’t be fun for you.”
He smiled softly. “Why wouldn’t having something unearthly beautiful to photograph in my home not be fun for me?”
I bit down on my bottom lip and looked at the floor, trying to hide how much his compliment lifted my confidence.
“I’m still scared.”
“Of the guy who hurt that girl?” He clarified.
I shook my head. “No…actually, yeah, that too. It’s just… This is my first shoot back after the other thing and now it’s blowing up again. I just want to apologize in advance if I randomly I stare off into space or have one of my moments.”
He stepped so close I could almost feel the heat of his larger frame cocooning mine, reminding me that there was someone perfectly capable of protecting me. Him.
“Last time when you paused during the shoot, you went somewhere. What happened then?” he asked.
“I…uh, went back to that horrible place where I was kept. The guy, he took pictures and video of me. Sometimes the sound of the flash or a picture being taken can send me back there.”
He lifted up a finger. “I’ve got an idea. What if we drown out the sound?”
I tilted my head. “How so?”
“Music, of course. What do you like?”
I shrugged. “Most everything, but I’m really into Lana Del Rey right now.”
“She’s awesome. Why don’t you go get your hair and makeup done while I set up and get some music on? I need to choose the first outfit and props to see what we’re working with.”
Without any preamble, I closed the space between us and wrapped my arms around his neck. I lifted up onto my toes so I could whisper against his ear while hugging him. “Thank you. For making me feel safe. For giving me a private space. For understanding my issues…”
He wrapped his arms around my body, bringing me flush against his hard frame. I relaxed into his return hug.
“When I say it’s my pleasure, I really mean it, Addy. There’s something about you. About your beauty. About your body. About your entire package that calls to me, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. I have to capture your beauty on film. It feels…important somehow.”
I trembled in his hold, not because I was afraid, but because the things he said turned my insides to mush and my body to nothing but liquid desire.
I wanted him.
Badly.
“We’re going to break all the rules about models and photographers getting mixed up with one another, aren’t we?” I whispered against his thick, manly neck where I scented a light cologne mixed with a heady, earthy musk that had to be all Killian.
“I sure as hell hope so.” He ran his hand up my back and cupped my cheek, his thumb tracing my bottom lip in a feather-light caress. His gaze seared straight through to the heart of me.

Meet Audrey Carlan

Audrey Carlan is a #1 New York Times and International bestselling author. Her titles have appeared on USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Audrey writes wicked hot love stories that have been translated in over thirty different languages across the globe. She is best known for the world-wide bestselling series Calendar Girl and Trinity.
She lives in the California Valley where she enjoys her two children and the love of her life. When she’s not writing, you can find her teaching yoga, sipping wine with her “soul sisters,” or with her nose stuck in a steamy romance novel.

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Website: https://audreycarlan.com/

New Release + Blog Tour + Excerpt: Steal My Magnolia by Karla Sorensen

Steal My Magnolia is more than a love story. It’s a beautifully crafted journey of life full of obstacles but a journey worth the travel with the right person.” –Author Andrea Johnston

Steal My Magnolia, an all-new heartwarming small-town romance from Karla Sorensen, is now available in Kindle Unlimited! 

Life lesson from Grady Buchanan: If you’re going to fall in love with the untouchable girl in town, don’t hire her as your only employee.

Even after he bungled the interview with Magnolia MacIntyre, he knew better than to hire her. The list of why it’s a bad idea is a long one.

Her father could ruin his fledgling business.

She is completely overqualified.

And he’s attracted to her.

What does Grady do? He offers her the job.

Magnolia knew better than to take it. Normally, she’d make the safe choice, and working for Grady is anything but.

He’s new in town–and entirely too charming.

Her dad will be furious.

She hates the outdoors and working for an outdoor adventure company is not exactly the right fit.

What does she do? She says yes on the spot.

Grady and Magnolia will have to prove to everyone in their life that they’re not crazy. And prove to each other that the list of why it’s a bad idea should be tossed out the window.

For these two opposites, sometimes doing the wrong thing is exactly right.

‘Steal My Magnolia’ is a full-length contemporary romance and can be read as a standalone. Book #3 in the Love At First Sight series, Green Valley Chronicles, Penny Reid Book Universe. 

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Read for FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Baking Me Crazy

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Batter of Wits

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Excerpt

“This is Grady.”

There was silence on the other end. I pulled the phone away from my face to make sure I’d answered.

“Hello?” I said.

I heard a deep breath before she spoke. “Hi, I’m here, sorry.”

My head tilted to the side when I heard her voice. It was soft and low with the curling accent that I’d gotten used to in the past month and a half. But it … I shook my head … something about it made the hairs lift slightly on my arms.

“Did you mean to call my number?” I asked carefully.

Inexplicably, I found myself holding my breath waiting for her to answer.

“I heard you’re looking for help. Administrative help,” she clarified.

My head went back. “Did you?”

She was quiet for a second. “Small town,” she explained. “People talk.”

I laughed under my breath. “So I’m learning.”

It made me shake my head. The darknet had nothing on the Green Valley information pipeline. “So,” I continued, “tell me a little bit about yourself.”

“Of course.” For the second time since I picked up, she let out an audible breath. “I have my BS in Business Administration, an MBA from Vanderbilt, and other than college, I’ve lived in Green Valley my whole life.”

Scratching the side of my face, I glanced around at the horrific state of the office and tried to imagine someone with an MBA wanting anything to do with it. My face was bent in a grimace

“I’ve spent the past five years as an office administrator for my …” She paused. “For a local business, and I’m looking to change things up. Fresh start.”

I sat up slowly. “I can understand wanting a fresh start. That’s why I’m here.”

“I know. I, umm, I heard that. In town.” She stumbled slightly over her words, and I smiled. “I’m not very outdoorsy, and I know that’s what you’ll be doing, but I’m the most organized person you’ll ever meet. My label maker is my favorite accessory, and I have lists for my to-do lists. And I know every single business owner from here to Maryville.”

I laughed. “You sound like you’re already in your interview.”

She laughed too, and I grimaced when my chest tightened. It caused a strong enough physical sensation that I glanced down at my body, like it was separate from me somehow.

“I can come in and fill out an application, if you’d like,” she said.

I laughed under my breath. “If I had applications, I’d say yes.” I glanced around the mess surrounding me. “But … I’m not quite that prepared yet.”

“That’s also why you need someone who knows how to get an office up and running.”

“That’s true,” I agreed. “Can you come in tomorrow so we can talk a little bit more? Since I don’t have an application.”

“That would be great,” she said firmly. The stumbling was gone. I found myself wondering how old she was. What she looked like.

If I had a calendar, I would’ve glanced at it. But that was also buried in a stack of papers.

“How does nine sound? Do you need the address?”

“Sounds perfect,” she answered. “And uh, no, thank you. I know where to find you.”

I shook my head.

“Small town,” we said in unison. She laughed, and my smile took up my whole damn face.

“Then I’ll see you at nine tomorrow …” My voice trailed off. “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name. I’m still working on my Southern manners.”

She laughed. My chest did that thing again. It wasn’t the heavy press of panic. It was a lightening. A lifting of whatever pressure I’d been feeling before she called.

She spoke slowly, like she was thinking carefully about her answer. “You can call me Lia.” 

About Karla Sorensen

Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.

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