Cover Reveal + Pre-Order: Broken Record by K.A. Linde

Release Date: November 26

A new angsty second chance stand alone in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s steamy Record series.
Savannah Maxwell’s life is perfect.
She landed her dream job, is moving to D.C. after graduation, and finally has plans to live with her long-term boyfriend, Easton. Everything is exactly how it should be.
Until the boy next door walks back into her life.
Now, Lucas Atwood is offering her everything she’s ever wanted.
The life she only dreamed of.
How can she choose between the easy love that she thinks she deserves and a second chance with the boy who broke her heart? 
Pre-Order NOW! 
Add to your Goodreads TBR!

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding Series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time.


She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.
Visit her online at FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @authorkalinde.
Join her newsletter for exclusive content, free books, and giveaways every month.
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Cover Reveal: The Indulgence Series by Aleatha Romig

 Cover Reveal for Unforgettable,

 

Indulgence Series

 

Releasing 10/22

 

&

 

New Covers of 

 

Unconventional & Unexpected,

 

Indulgence Series

 

by 

 

Aleatha Romig

 

 

Marji
Working for a therapist who specializes in exploring hidden desires may sound like a dream job. It is if hearing other people’s fantasies come to life is your cup
of tea.
The truth is that I’m tired of hearing about other people. I want to experience what I’ve only imagined. 
That’s where Lace and Leather comes in.
A falsified referral and I’m in the door. One visit is all I want.
Lucas
Sometimes plans change and life throws curveballs. It’s at times like that when we must
force ourselves to move forward and take life a day at a time. 
I did that.
Now I believe I’m ready for more.
To find out if the desires I once possessed still exist, I make the decision to
return to a place where anything is possible, Lace and Leather. One visit is
all I want.
What happens when one visit turns unforgettable?
From New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig
comes another of her steamy novellas exploring hidden desires. UNFORGETTABLE is
a stand-alone story in the INDULGENCE series. Stories may be read in any order.

 

*Warning: Reading may set your e-reader on fire while bringing a smile to your face.*

 

Have you been Aleatha’d? 

Pre-Order Here:



Other Books in the Indulgence Series – 
can be read in any order.
Unconventional & Unexpected are both available NOW!
 
Erika Ellis is available to everyone, each night, on their TV—news at five-thirty and again at six o’clock. Viewers think they know her.
They don’t, not like I do.
I’ve watched her—closer than the others—not only on the news, but at all hours of the day and night. I’ve taken my time and learned her routines and her secrets. I know what she needs.
I’ll bring her fantasies to life, even the ones she’s yet to realize. I’ll be the one to teach her that in submission there is power. She’ll understand that she doesn’t need accolades from her viewers or the world. She doesn’t need to be primped and primed. My praise is what she’ll live for. Bound and helpless is where her freedom will be found.
The truth behind the stage makeup and faux laugh is that she’s mine—nothing she can do or say will change that.
She doesn’t know my unconventional plans.
That’s okay.
She will.
It’s time to make my move.
I’m Victor Cross, the only man for the job.

 

Free on All Platforms for a Limited Time Only:

 
 

 

A second chance at happiness sounds
promising.
What happens when faced with the unexpected?
With their marriage on the line, Paul and Jenn must choose to face their past and move on to a future together forever or forever apart.
If you enjoy a fast and furious, heart-thundering ride that leaves you breathless and perhaps a bit hot and bothered, UNEXPECTED is what you’re seeking. This novella is a suspenseful and steamy stand-alone story following Paul and Jenn Masters, characters previously introduced in the novella UNCONVENTIONAL.

 

UNEXPECTED is a stand-alone story in the INDULGENCE series. Stories may be read in any order.
*Warning: reading may set your e-reader on fire while bringing a smile to your face.*

 

Have you been Aleatha’d?

 

Available Here:
 
 

 

Aleatha Romig is a New York Times, Wall Street
Journal, and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana, USA. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of over thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing.
Now, when she’s not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and
creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams and bring your imagination to
life!
Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers.
Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS,
in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha’s twisted style
with an increase in heat.
In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romantic suspense with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series that has taken the reading world by storm. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books
INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK were published through this
mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.
In the spring of 2017, Aleatha released her first stand-alone, fun, and sexy romantic comedy with PLUS ONE, followed by the sweet stand-alone, ONE NIGHT.
Aleatha is a “Published Author’s Network” member of the Romance Writers of America and PEN America.  She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
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Cover Reveal + Pre-Order: Great and Precious Things by Rebecca Yarros

How do
you define yourself when others have already decided who you are?
Six years
ago, when Camden Daniels came back from war without his younger brother, no one
in the small town of Alba, Colorado, would forgive him—especially his father.
He left, swearing never to return.
But a
desperate message from his father brings it all back. The betrayal. The pain.
And the need to go home again.
But home is
where the one person he still loves is waiting. Willow. The one woman he can
never have. Because there are secrets buried in Alba that are best left in the
dark.
If only he
could tell his heart to stay locked away when she whispers she’s always loved
him, and always will…
Great and
Precious Things
is a heart-wrenching story about family, betrayal, and
ultimately how far we’re willing to go on behalf of those who need us most.

 

PREORDER AT THESE RETAILERS 
B&N | AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | 

 

Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless
romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and paleo. She is the
author of The Last Letter, the Renegade series, and the Flight
& Glory series, which includes Full Measures, the award-winning Eyes Turned SkywardBeyond What is Given, and Hallowed Ground. She loves military heroes and has been blissfully married to hers for eighteen years. 

 

When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching brat-pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, and an English bulldog
who is more stubborn than sweet. Having fostered and adopted their youngest
daughter, Rebecca is passionate about helping others in the foster system
through her nonprofit, One October.

 

 

Cover Reveal + Pre-Order: Boss of Me by Tia Louise



Cover Design by Lori Jackson Design
Photography by Wander Aguiar
 

 

They warned me not to take this
job.
They said you were ruthless,
impossible to please…
I said I was better than them.
I wouldn’t fall for your charm,
your arrogance, or how sexy you fill out that suit.
I wouldn’t fall for your deep brown
eyes or the way that muscle moves in your square jaw when you’re pissed.

 

I said I could resist you.
I was wrong…

 

(BOSS OF ME is a STAND-ALONE workplace, military romance with a badass alpha boss and the feisty woman who steals and heals his heart. No cheating. No cliffhangers.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Pre-Order BOSS OF ME for ONLY 99
Cents Now!
Amazon: *Live Release
coming Sept. 17!
(*BOSS OF ME will release LIVE into
Kindle Unlimited at 99 cents. Wide readers, please pre-order now, as it will be
Amazon Exclusive starting Sept. 18!
 
 Wide pre-orders will deliver Sept. 17,
midnight.)
 
 
 Get an ALERT when it goes LIVE:
*Text TIALOUISE to 64600 for a New
Release Alert. (U.S. Only)
*Sign up for my
Newsletter and get an email as soon as it’s live: http://smarturl.it/TLMnews




 

Tia Louise is the USA Today best-selling, award-winning author of When We Touch, the “Bright
Lights,” “One to Hold,” and “Dirty Players” series, and co-author of the #4 Amazon bestseller The Last
Guy
.
After being a teacher, a book editor, a journalist, and finally a magazine editor, she started writing love stories and never stopped.
Louise lives in the Midwest with her trophy husband, two teenage
geniuses, and one grumpy cat.





Newsletter  | Website | Bookbub | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook |
Amazon
Author Page
 | Book + Main

Cover Reveal + Pre-Order: Shadows by Kristen Proby

Coming this October from New York Times Bestselling Author, Kristen Proby, comes an all new paranormal romance set in the mystical city of New Orleans…
I am never alone. Not even when I am alone.

I see the unquiet dead, the souls that wander through the French Quarter.

They can’t move on, and I can’t stop seeing them.

I wear malachite for protection, and I control what I let in. It’s the only way to stay sane. 
Everything changes the day Cassian Winslow joins my ghost walking tour and knocks my world off its axis with green eyes the color of the stone around my neck.

An unspeakable evil is loose in New Orleans, taking young women and leaving a bloodbath in his wake. More shadows lurking for me. More unhappy dead. There might be a way to stop it.

Open myself up to Cassian.

If I do, it could spell his death.

But if I don’t, it’s mine.







Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ZzOXRB 
Pre-order your copy today: https://www.kristenprobyauthor.com/shadows 
Cover Design by: Hang Le
Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.
During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

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

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana. 

Chapter Reveal: On The Corner Of Love And Hate by Nina Bocci – Hopeless Romantics Series – Book 1

42587433

 

On The Corner Of Love And Hate

Hopeless Romantics Series – Book 1

By Nina Bocci

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Pre-Order: Amazon

images

 

Blurb:

For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.

OTC good enough

Chapter Reveal

Thud. Whoosh. Slap.
Thud. Whoosh. Slap.
The trio of irksome sounds repeated another half-dozen times. My eyes darted upward, a silent prayer falling from my lips.

Dear God, please give me the strength not to shove that tennis ball somewhere that would require surgery. Amen.

My coworker casually leaned back in his chair, his long legs out- stretched and crossed at the ankles on the shiny surface of the con- ference room table. Beneath his brown leather loafers sat a report.

His unfinished-yet-due-tomorrow report.

I marveled at his ability to multitask. It would have been more appropriate if he had been, say, working. Instead, he was tossing a ball against the conference room wall with one hand while texting with the other. Even though he didn’t take his eyes off his phone screen, he caught the ball every single time. If I hadn’t been so annoyed, I would have actually been impressed.

The clock ticked against the pale yellow wall above his head. With each passing tick, the ball struck with a thwack to its right. “Cooper, could you please stop?” I finally said, rubbing my

temples to ease the headache that was forming.

Thud. Whoosh. Slap.

7P_Bocci_CornerLoveHate_WB.indd 1 6/17/19 4:21 PM

2 NINA BOCCI

“Cooper,” I repeated, glancing up from my laptop. “Hello?” Thud, whoosh, slap was the only response I got.
Sliding back my chair, I stood up and walked around the long

maple conference table. It was only when I got close enough to see the scantily clad woman in his text window that I noticed the wireless earbuds that were blasting music into his ears. As the ball left his hand, I touched his shoulder.

Startled, he lost his grip on the ball, sending it sailing behind him. “What’s up?” he sputtered, quickly pulling his earbuds out. I didn’t miss his hand sliding his phone into his pocket. He looked every bit like a teenager caught red-handed by the principal.

“Are you kidding me?” I exclaimed. “You’ve had music on this entire time? I read nearly two pages of the brewery expansion proposal out loud to you twenty minutes ago!”

At least he had the decency to look remorseful. “I thought you were talking to yourself, so I”—he motioned to the black Beats— “figured I’d give you your privacy while I caught up on work.”

My eyebrows must have reached my hairline, because with a mildly guilty expression he pulled his legs down from the table.

I snorted. “Yes, I start all sentences with, ‘Cooper, what do you think about’ when I’m talking to myself. Were you just smiling and nodding for my health?” Shifting in his seat, he straightened. I huffed.

The small laugh lines around his mouth became more pro- nounced, an indication that he was fighting back a smile. “Em- manuelle,” he purred smoothly.

“Don’t Emmanuelle me,” I clapped back. “That tone may work on your fan club, but not me.”

He held his arms up in a defensive position. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. What did I miss?” He grabbed for the papers in my hand.

Holding them back against my chest, I scowled. “Hope Lake Brewing Company. Expansion. Asking for input before it goes to the town council for approval.”

He whistled and rocked back in his chair. “Council is going

7P_Bocci_CornerLoveHate_WB.indd 2 6/17/19 4:21 PM

ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE 3

to reject anything that comes across their desk from them. They hate the ‘vibe’ the brew house brings, and the addition would make the council’s heads explode.”

I nodded. “Yep, which is why the guys asked us for help. To try and edit the proposal to appeal to them. It’s also why I booked us the conference room for this meeting that you just Tindered your way through.”

“That’s not a word, and I wasn’t—” he began, patting his pocket absently. Probably making sure the evidence was tucked away safely.

I held up my hand. “Save it. I don’t care what or who you’re doing. Just that you’re not paying attention. Again.”

When the owners of HLBC, Drew and Luke Griffin, first came to our department, Cooper and I had championed their proposal to build a brewing company, tasting room, and outdoor entertainment space just along the lakefront. It was one of the first projects Cooper and I had worked on together, and it was just what we’d needed in town back then—a fun, innovative business that catered to every age. Now, six years later, HLBC was one of Hope Lake’s most popular spots, and the brothers were looking to expand their space to include rooms for private events and a small restaurant. Cooper and I were supposed to be discussing how to approach the town council about it.

Looked like I’d just been talking to myself instead. “I’m going back to my office, where I can work in peace,” I said. Exasperated, I started gathering up my stuff.

After a few seconds of awkward silence, he cleared his throat. “You’re right. I’m sorry. Let’s go over it. Again.”

I stacked my files, feeling my blood starting to boil. Having to repeat myself irked me, but I needed his input whether I liked it or not.

Glancing up, I noticed Cooper readying to say something else when our shared assistant, Nancy, hurried in with the main office calendar and a fistful of Sharpies clutched in her hand.

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4 NINA BOCCI

“I’ve been searching for you two everywhere,” she said, looking wide-eyed at each of us in turn. The conference table, at least on my side, was covered in charts, graphs, and photos of the lake- front. On Cooper’s side—well, there was a lot of polished maple visible.

“Did you discuss the project?” she asked hopefully, her face falling when I shook my head. “Okay, well, I guess you’ll handle that, uh, later. I’m sure.” She gave me a look. “I hope,” she mouthed, then cleared her throat and pulled out the head chair of the confer- ence table and sat down with the main office calendar in front of her. “It’s time for the afternoon rundown—are you ready?”

Cooper groaned. Not at Nancy but at the calendar she had opened. It had been on my desk this morning when I’d filled it with upcoming appointments and meetings. By the looks of it, Nancy had managed to fill almost every empty space that remained.

We kept it old school at our office. Instead of using Google calendar or iCal, we used a large paper desk calendar with a color-coded legend, labels, and tabs to keep our government of- fice running like clockwork. It’s not as though we hadn’t tried to modernize, but some of the, ahem, older department staff were frosty toward change.

Nancy, Cooper, and I worked at the Hope Lake Community Development Office on the top floor of Borough Building. In a small town like Hope Lake, my department was sort of the home base for everything. From simple things such as parade permits to more detailed ventures—for example, helping to secure funding for business owners like HLBC—the CDO, as we tended to call it, had its hand in pretty much everything. It wasn’t big, but what we lacked in size and staff we made up for in energy and results.

“The upcoming week is brutal,” Nancy apologized, looking at Cooper, who, not surprisingly, was on his phone again. “Emma, I’m afraid you’re a bit overscheduled.” She tapped a Sharpie on the table.

I waved a dismissive hand. “It can’t be any worse than that

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ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE 5

week the staff came down with the flu.” I had practically run the office that week even though I was heavily medicated myself.

“It’s close.” She held up two fingers barely an inch apart. “You’re back-to-back Monday. There is a pocket of time during the event this weekend with the future Mr. Mayor here and his opponent.”

Cooper perked up then. He knocked twice on the wooden table. “Don’t jinx me.”

Oh, sure, you’re paying attention now.

“You’re a shoo-in. People love you, Cooper. And with the mayor already behind you, how can you not be?” Nancy assured him.

Nancy wasn’t blowing smoke. Cooper had decided to run for office this year, and his magnetic personality made him the per- fect political candidate. He was brilliant, liked by the majority of the town, and had confidence to spare because he knew he was the best choice for the job. Even I could admit that, and we were often at odds.

“Emma, I know you wanted to have a sit-down with Drew and Luke from the brewing company about the proposed expansion before they go to the council, but I don’t see how it’s going to happen.”

Nancy jotted a note onto the calendar. Over the years, we’d gotten our system down to a science: orange for me, blue for Cooper, hot pink for our department administrative assistant, green for Nancy, and red for the mayor, because red was my dad’s favorite color. Blue, not surprisingly, was the color least vis- ible on the entire calendar. It was sporadically used, even from my vantage point, which meant that Cooper had a light schedule this week.

Shocking.

I chewed the pen cap, irritated. Nancy continued reading off meeting after meeting throughout the week.

“These two on Thursday—I can probably sit in on them to give you a break, Emma,” she offered.

7P_Bocci_CornerLoveHate_WB.indd 5 6/17/19 4:21 PM

6 NINA BOCCI

Looking over Nancy’s shoulder, I marveled at the Technicolor scheduling system. It might have been old-fashioned, but at least it looked good.

Shaking my head, I pointed at the partially torn yellow Post-it stuck on the edge of the frame. That was how my father added mayoral meetings to the calendar. Stickies. He was nothing if not professional. “No can do, my friend. You’re going to be at a ribbon cutting with Mayor Dad.”

She looked up, her lips a thin, flat line. “I am? He didn’t tell me.”

Sighing, she jotted the information down. “I wish he’d told me I was supposed to go, too!”

She took her calendar duties very seriously. I for one appreci- ated it, and I knew my father did, too, even if he did use his own odd system to add to it. It kept all of us in line.

Together, Nancy and I figured out the rest of the week, Coo- per staying silent and, surprise surprise, on his phone. We looked over the days, pointing and crossing out, trying in vain to find somewhere to squeeze in a last sit-down. “It’s not going to work,” I lamented, sinking into the chair beside her.

“Well, someone from the department needs to at least show their face at the city events meeting,” she urged, looking point- edly at Cooper. A notebook was now on his lap, his hand moving swiftly over the page. He didn’t look up when she said his name or when she repeated it a few seconds later. He was too deeply invested in whatever he was doing.

At least he’s off the phone.

Tearing the Post-it off the calendar and balling it up in her fist, Nancy lobbed it at him. “Cooper!” she shouted, snapping her fingers as if she were telling a dog to sit.

Fitting.

He smiled at her. “I’m listening.”

“Uh-huh, we need you to take a meeting or two on Thursday so Emma can head down to the lake to meet Drew and Luke. Unless you’d rather take the HLBC meeting.”

7P_Bocci_CornerLoveHate_WB.indd 6 6/17/19 4:21 PM

ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE 7

“Thursday?” he repeated, sliding his phone out from behind the notebook.

When did he take that out? He was stealthy like a teen texting in class.

With a shrug, he shook his head. “Sorry, I’m booked all day and I’ve got a campaign publicity debrief at noon. That’s taking up most of the afternoon.”

“Doesn’t that just mean you and Henry are meeting at the diner to play on Facebook and Twitter together?” I scoffed, feeling the blood rushing to my face.

Henry was one of my and Cooper’s oldest friends. As a teacher, he had limited time to meet up with Cooper, so I understood Cooper’s reticence to reschedule, but—

Then it hit me. “Wait . . . why are you having mayoral meet- ings during work and school? How’s Henry getting out of class to meet you?”

Setting his phone down, he stood and straightened his tie. “I’ll have you know, I’m meeting him at the high school. I wish I could help, but alas—”

“You can’t,” I finished, sliding out of my chair to stand myself.

With Cooper running for mayor of Hope Lake, the brunt of his work at the CDO was taking a backseat. I noticed, the staff noticed, and the mayor noticed. If it had been anyone else, they probably would have been fired, but Cooper was Hope Lake’s golden boy. Once he was elected, we could hire someone new to replace him. But until that happened, it fell to us to pick up his slack.

Cooper walked toward the door, leaving his phone—aka his most prized possession—on the conference table. Surely he would be back in for it the second he realized it wasn’t attached to his hand.

“Wait, you can’t leave!” Nancy called after him. “I need the theater proposal paperwork. You guys have that meeting with the council on Monday and the mayor wants the weekend to review

7P_Bocci_CornerLoveHate_WB.indd 7 6/17/19 4:21 PM

8 NINA BOCCI

the specs. Cooper, it has to be before end of day since you have the debate tomorrow! Everything is done, right? Please tell me it’s done.” “It’s handled,” Cooper said smoothly over his shoulder, tap- ping his temple. “And it’s not a debate. It’s a photo op, remember?

Pose, smile, shake hands. You know, the usual.”
“Thank God. I don’t have time today to do it if you didn’t,” she

said, pretend wiping her brow.
Smiling broadly, he clapped his hands together. “Oh, come on,

Nance. Have I ever left you hanging?”
Her silence spoke volumes. If she’d had the time, and the

inclination, she could have created a depressing list of how often that had happened.

Looking uncomfortable at Nancy’s lack of response, Cooper disappeared through the door, only to reappear two seconds later. “That would have been bad!” he said with a tight smile, jogging in to grab the iPhone.

“Cooper, are you sure you can’t reschedule your Thursday plans with Henry until after work so Emma isn’t pulled in nine- teen directions?” Nancy said quickly. “It’s just about the local sports participation in the Thanksgiving parade. They’re looking for guidance with the floats and theming—it won’t exactly take up all your brain space. The other is an initial meeting to see if the CDO can finally purchase the old bank.” Nancy already had a blue Sharpie at the ready, clutched between her fingers. “Or if you wanted to switch with Emma, you could meet with Drew and Luke and Emma could handle the parade instead. You’d probably get some free beer out of it.”

For a moment, he looked like he was going to agree. His jawline ticked anxiously, a habit he’d had since we were kids. It appeared whenever he struggled with a decision. Reluctantly, I admitted to myself that it was happening more often than not.

“I’m really sorry, I can’t,” he finally said. “You know how im- portant these meetings are for the core of my campaign. I’ve got to run. I’m late.”

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ON THE CORNER OF LOVE AND HATE 9

I glanced at the clock. “It’s barely four.”
“I have a thing.”
“You came in at ten because of a ‘thing.’” I air-quoted it be-

cause although he said those things were for the mayoral cam- paign, I didn’t believe him. Call it years of experience or just a gut feeling. “Cooper, I need you to focus. You’re all over the place, and things are going to start falling through the cracks here. We can’t afford any missteps. Not when we’re under a microscope. The council is looking for any reason to put the screws in this department.”

Cooper’s opponent, Kirby Rogers, had been on the town coun- cil for the past few years. He had made it his mission to strip the CDO—funding, staff, all of it gone.

With nothing but a grimace, Cooper left, leaving no opening for discussion. I shook my head at his retreating form.

“Forget him, I’ll figure it out,” I said, glancing between the cal- endar with the work appointments and my nearly empty personal calendar. “I can pop over to the brewery and see Drew and Luke on my way home Tuesday or Friday night. They owe me dinner, anyway,” I said with a weak laugh, an attempt at loosening the anxiety-ridden ball in my stomach. How am I going to accom- plish all of this? “Just see when they’re free.” I tapped away on my phone. Making a note, I double-checked my iPhone’s calendar as Nancy read off the rest of the upcoming schedule.

“Emma,” she said with a heavy sigh, “I don’t want you to over- work yourself.”

“I’m fine. It’s an adjustment we’re going to have to get used to since we’re going to be picking up all the Cooper slack,” I insisted, knowing that she was always worried about me in a big-sisterly sort of way. “Promise,” I said after seeing her frown.

Months ago, before he had decided to run for mayor and before he had become so distracted by the election, Cooper had been an asset. I longed for those days. He had a gift, an ability to coax the very best of ideas out of you, and he transformed them into solid

7P_Bocci_CornerLoveHate_WB.indd 9 6/17/19 4:21 PM

10 NINA BOCCI

plans that we then presented to Mayor Dad and the town council. His undivided input would have been valuable here.

That part of Cooper I respected and enjoyed working with. Pre-candidate Cooper. Except lately, so much had changed. I missed the focused Cooper. The guy who would pull together a presentation in just a few hours. The guy I could count on to bring the best ideas out of me when I thought I had hit a wall. Or even the guy who got his work done on time. I hated myself a little bit because I was missing that coworking partnership. We did make a good team when we weren’t arguing.

“Not for anything, but you’d think he’d want to head over to Hope Lake Brewing Company to see the guys.”

“His head was so buried in his phone, he probably didn’t hear you mention them.”

Nancy nodded. “What do you think? Is this going to get better or worse as the campaign progresses?” She packed up her Sharp- ies and hoisted the large calendar off the table, mindful not to drop any of the Post-its and papers tacked to it.

I slung my arm over her shoulder. “Worse. So much worse.”

__________________________________

Author Bio

14164319Nina Bocci is a novelist, publicist, eternal optimist, unabashed lipgloss enthusiast, constant apologist, and a hopeless romanticist. She has too many college degrees that she’s not using, and a Lego addiction that she blames on her son.

 

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter  ~ Goodreads

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Lani Lynn Vale is a USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.
When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.
Lani is married with three children and lives in the Great State of Texas.