Excerpt

CHASING HIM by Kennedy Fox – Excerpt Reveal

John Bishop isn’t your typical single dad.

Reserved, impatient, and utterly clueless.

Running the family’s bed and breakfast has many perks. Working long hours, picking up after the guests, and hearing couples going at it all night long aren’t any of them. Hooking up with girls who come to the ranch for horseback riding lessons? Best perk of them all.

That is until a baby shows up at his doorstep with a note claiming it’s his. Growing up on a ranch was anything but easy, but raising a newborn is proving to be the hardest task he’ll ever tackle. Leaving the bachelor life behind, his only priority is to hire a nanny who can teach him a thing or two about parenting—except he doesn’t anticipate her being gorgeous and quirky with an unhealthy football obsession.

Mila Carmichael has many talents—making balloon animals, creating origami art, and remaining in the friend zone. Often seen as one of the guys, she’s struck out more times than a rookie baseball player.

Seeking a new adventure, she flies to Texas to visit family and is offered a position she can’t refuse. Helping out a new dad should come easy to her, considering her past experience, but what she doesn’t anticipate is him being an attractive Southern temptation.

But that’s only the beginning.

While growing close to his family and falling madly in love with the baby girl who’s stealing their hearts, things are bound to get complicated. Everyone knows not to mix business with pleasure. That means no late movie nights, no stolen glances, and definitely no kissing behind closed doors. Too bad the universe has other plans—one that’ll threaten taking away the main thing that binds them together.

 

𝗣𝗥𝗘𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗘𝗥

Chasing Him will go live on iBooks/Kobo/B&N on June 26th and then be taken off and go live exclusively on Amazon June 28th!

Amazon US | Amazon International | iBooks | Kobo | B&N

 

 

John’s POV

 

It’s been three days since Mila started working for me and so far she’s been a complete blessing. I know Maize’s in safe keeping and that’s all I’ve ever wanted though I can’t say I’m getting any more sleep.

After lunch, I fall asleep again and this time I’m woken up by a guest bitching about a toilet issue. Usually, I’m friendly and have a smile plastered on my face, but honestly, I’m pissed. Mama caught wind of me snapping at someone and practically threatened to fire me, which I know would never happen, but it was a wake up call that I need more sleep at night and that’s not going to happen until Maize is sleeping in longer stretches. Any little noise I hear, I’m wide awake and then I can barely fall back asleep. By the time I do, it’s time to get up for work. I feel as if I could sleep for a week straight.

After falling asleep for the third time today, I force myself to stand the rest of my shift. I’ve had so many ridiculous things happen today that I swear it’s Friday the thirteenth. By the time I make it home, I’m so fucking exhausted that I can barely keep my eyes open. When I walk in, I see Jackson flirting with Mila and it annoys the fuck out of me.

“Jackson, kitchen,” I bark when Mila walks into the room to check on Maize.

“What?” He looks at me, slyly.

Leaning against the counter, I cross my arms over my chest and give it to him straight. “Listen. There’s a few rules you need to adhere too.”

He sarcastically nods his head, which pisses me off further.

“Don’t look at my nanny like that ever again.”

“Like what?” he asks.

I narrow my eyes because he knows damn well what I’m talking about. “I don’t need you scaring her away and leaving me without help. So don’t hit on my nanny. Don’t flirt with her, ask her out, and don’t you dare fuck my nanny.”

He arches a brow and crosses his arms as if to ask if I’m done—as if to challenge me on everything I just listed.

“Basically, stay away from my nanny. Got it?”

Jackson bursts out into laughter. He’s doubled over trying to catch his breath but I’m as serious as a heart attack, ready to punch him in the chest and threaten his life if he breaks my rules.

“Why? Are you fucking her?” he asks, laughing with amusement. “God knows you’re worse than me.”

“No. Hell no. Those rules are for everyone, and if you break them, I’ll break your fucking neck.”

He leans over and whispers loud enough for just me to hear. “But you want to.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brooke Cumberland & Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors who teamed up to write under the USA Today Bestselling pseudonym, Kennedy Fox. They share a love of You’ve Got Mail and The Holiday. When they aren’t bonding over romantic comedies, they like to brainstorm new book ideas. One day, they decided to collaborate and have some fun creating new characters that’ll make your lady bits tingle and your heart melt. If you enjoy romance stories with sexy, tattooed alpha males and smart, independent women, then a Kennedy Fox book is for you!

Keep up with all their social media platforms for updates & info!

WEBSITE | NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

 

 

BLOG TOURS, Contemporary Romance, Excerpt

Blog Tour THE RIGHT STUD by Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise

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The Right Stud, an all-new steamy standalone from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise is LIVE!

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Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise are back with an all-new romantic comedy filled with Southern sass and steamy scenes that will have you laughing out loud and fanning yourself. Pour the sweet tea and get ready…

“The best way to get over your sh**ty ex-fiancé is to get under a shiny new stud…”

As soon as Mr. Tall, Blond, and Handsome walks into that bar, I know he’s the hook-up I need to get over stupid Cheater Kyle.

A few stolen kisses in a dark hallway, and I’m pretty sure we’re headed for a home run—until he disappears without a trace.

Whatever. Men are all snakes in the grass, and I don’t need a new one anyway.

I resolve to forget about his perfect lips (and chest of steel) and instead focus on turning my Granny’s old beach house into a profitable B&B.

What I don’t expect is for him to show up the next day in my kitchen!

You see, my sexy mystery man is none other than Jax Roland, the drop-dead gorgeous home improvement star of The Right Stud, and he’s got an offer I can’t refuse.

With a suitcase in one hand and a hammer in the other, he wants to move in and renovate my old house while he films his new show.

But my roommate has secrets, and they threaten to rip our blossoming friendship—and possible love—apart.

When push comes to shove, is Jax really The Right Studor is he just another nail in the coffin of love?

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Excerpt

Ashton

I disentangle myself from Jax’s strong arms and land on the floor with a plop. I freeze, hoping I didn’t wake him, and I’m reassured when I hear a soft snore.

Thank God. I don’t think I can face him right now. I completely made a fool of myself. It was the wine. It was the Marvin Gaye. It was…

Hell, it was just him. No man has the right to look that fucking good when he’s washing skunk spray off his body in the ocean!

I snatch up my clothes and throw them on with haphazard care. With one last, regretful look at his physically perfect form on full display, I open the door and slide out, closing it with a soft snick.

I’ve just made it downstairs in the dark, hoping to grab a glass of water, when I run smack into Mrs. C leaving the kitchen.

“Oh!” I stammer, stepping back.

“You got the big D didn’t you?” Her face is covered in some kind of green mask that smells faintly of cucumbers. Rufus, her parrot, studies me with beady eyes from his perch on her shoulder.

“What’s a D?”

“Don’t play coy with me. I may be sixty but I know a satisfied woman when I see one. I had that same look every time Mr. C took me to pound town.” She sighs. “He had the biggest cock you know. I used to tease him that he could have been a porn star…”

I blink. Pound town?

I clear my throat. “You’ve been watching too much HBO, Mrs. C. Jax and I are in a working relationship, and I would never jeopardize that.”

Her eyebrow arches. “Whatever you have to tell yourself. But your dress is on inside out.”

“Fuck!” Rufus calls out and I scowl at both of them.

She hushes him, still looking at me. “And don’t think I didn’t hear all the moaning and grunting. It was loud. I kinda liked it to be honest. It’s been a long time since anyone got a good seeing-to in this old house.”

Pushing the hair away from my face, I exhale, feeling embarrassed. “It’s one in the morning. Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“I came in here to grind up some cucumbers for my mask. But I can tell you’re not in the mood to talk, so I’ll go to my room and wash it off.” With an offended sniff, she turns to go.

“Wait.”

She pivots back around. “Yes?”

I rub the back of my neck, which is sticky from being pressed against sweaty male-flesh for the past few hours of glorious bliss… which reminds me that I don’t ever recall Kyle giving me two orgasms in one night.

Focus, Ashton. “If we did have sex, and that’s a big if—”

“You did. I heard you cry out…Oh God, I’m coming.” Her face is deadpan.

“Did I make a mistake? I mean, he’s here to work, and he’s a man, which makes him an asshole.” I give her a pleading look, and I know I must be desperate to be seeking dating advice from Mrs. C.

Her lips purse as she gives it a think, beady eyes carefully studying me from beneath the layers of the lime green mask. “Honey, he’s the goat savior and the skunk hero. He deserves a good fuck. Just call it a one-off and let it go.”

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My Review

With The Right Stud, Ilsa Madden-Mills and Tia Louise have created a charmingly sweet and steamy tale about two people who fall in love over their mutual passion for home renovation.

Right on the tail of her failed engagement, Ashton is faced with the fact that if she doesn’t find a way to restore her granny’s beach house and turn it into a successful B&B, she’ll most likely have to sell it and thus resorts to writing an email to a home improvement reality show host for help. She never expected him to be the same gorgeous man she met at a bar and wanted to take home.

When Jax Roland drove to South Carolina he had two things in mind, to visit his sister and film the show that would get him out of his property development day job and take The Right Stud to a big time network. He didn’t anticipate his sister setting him up on the most boring date ever much less meeting the sexiest woman he’s ever seen during it.

Thinking he’s out of luck because he’d never see the alluring siren he stole a kiss from ever again, he’s thrilled to find out she’s the co-owner of the house he’s there to renovate. Now that he’s temporarily moved in, can they keep a professional relationship despite their growing attraction? Can their budding relationship survive Jax’s secret once it gets out?

Ilsa and Tia do wonderful job of developing both the plot and characters. With its small town and home improvement background, the story delivers a delicious central romance between Jax and Ashton who are both strong and sensitive, but while Ashton is caring and sweet, Jax is all alpha and sexy. But the delight doesn’t stop there, secondary characters like Mrs. C — a wise, semi-meddling older widow and the B&B’s other boarder— adds hilarity to the story as much as the misbehaving goat, the swearing macaw and the stinky skunks.

The Right Stud crackles with a wonderful blend of fun and clever dialog, sizzling swoon worthy romance, a beautiful backdrop and a full ensemble of alluring characters. It is standalone contemporary romance co-written by Ilsa Madden-Mills & Tia Louse. It is a super sexy home improvement romance, told from both points of view with a happy ending.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US I Amazon Universal

Add to GoodReads

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About the Authors

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills and USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise are not a secret duo, but simply themselves.

Great friends, former English teachers, and southern gals in real life, they’ve teamed up to bring you laugh-out-loud naughty romances with strong leading ladies and sexy alpha males who know how to please their women… and who sometimes you just want to slap.
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Connect with Tia:

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

Twitter: @AuthorTLouise

Stay up to date with Tia Louise by signing up for her newsletter:

http://smarturl.it/TLMnews

https://authortialouise.com/dirtyplayers/

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Connect with Ilsa:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorilsamaddenmills/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ilsamaddenmills
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2k6L96J
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2jjRzlD
Website: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com/

BLOG TOURS, Contemporary Romance, Excerpt, GIVEAWAY, review

Blog Tour: Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken

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Dirty Exes by Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: June 5th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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They’re serving up some red-hot revenge. A sizzling series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel van Dyken.

Blaire has never quite gotten over Jessie Beckett, the ex–NFL star whose kisses were hot enough to ignite the entire Eastern Seaboard. When he chose work over her, Blaire was left brokenhearted. Why else would she have married a skeezy two-timer, just to divorce him less than a year later?

Now Blaire is getting even by becoming one half of Dirty Exes, a PI firm fully committed to humiliating cheating jerks. If only the new jerk she’s been hired to uncover wasn’t Jessie Beckett himself.

Exposing Jessie isn’t going to be easy, especially when she still daydreams about his sexy smile. Further complicating matters is Colin, Jessie’s best friend. He’s gorgeous, a little bit cunning, and willing to help Blaire get the inside scoop on Jessie—for a price.

Now caught between two men—one totally right and the other totally wrong—Blaire will need to decide just how much she’s willing to risk…and whom she’s willing to risk it for.

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Read Today!
FREE in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HmULoK

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2x6YTIE

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kiJtYA

Excerpt:

It ended there.

Right. Forget about his mouth.

Or the way I sighed when he touched my shoulder.

The way my body quivered when his skin pressed against mine in the car.

“Stop!” I gritted my teeth and searched the kitchen. Cheaters often hid things in places that their spouse wouldn’t expect, like pantries and junk drawers, places that seemed obvious but weren’t. I’d once found a second cell phone in a cereal box.

Cheaters were like drug addicts.

They knew the perfect place to hide the drugs.

I shuddered.

Dirty. Toilets.

Not the best day I’d ever had, but marginally better than the sewer.

I spent the next thirty minutes with plastic gloves searching every crevice of that kitchen, patting down the inside of drawers, digging through trash. Nothing.

The guy was either a saint . .

Or we had a serious Dexter situation going on, and he knew exactly how to dispose of incriminating evidence.

Sexy male laughter jolted me from my search. I freaked, ran into the pantry, and shut the door just as Jessie’s face came into view.

Sweat trickled down my back.

Shit, shit, shit!

Oh, this was bad, so bad.

What man didn’twant to eat after coming home from the gym?

“Nice, man, she keeps the book on the bar?” Colin’s mocking voice at least made me feel like I wasn’t the only one who thought it was strange. “Fams always so classy.”

“Yeah,” Jessie agreed. “I think maybe it’s her way of reminding me how happy we were that one year.” He hesitated. “You know, the one where we actually did normal things like stay home and make dinner, and watch movies instead of going out all the time. That went to hell fast.”

Colin sighed.

“She writes a book about our best year, and then turns into this greedy person I don’t recognize and dream about murdering in her sleep.”

  • “Hey,” Colin warned. “I get it, I do, but she’s still my—”

“Sorry, man.”

“It’s fine, like I said, I get it.”

I plastered my ear to the door to listen harder. What did Colin mean? Why was he defending her? Why was Jessie saying sorry? I made a mental note to purchase the book and torture myself by reading it cover to cover.

“You contemplate murdering her while she sleeps,” Colin said in a weird tone, “and yet she’s still living here in this house with you? Tell me how that makes sense? You say she’s not the same person, but she never really was the person you thought she was. When are you going to get that?”

“She was different then, man. She was.” Jessie came to her defense so quickly I almost fell backward. He sounded like—he still had feelings for her. I turned my attention back to the door as footsteps neared the pantry. Oh hell. Not good.

I needed to get out. Fast.

I grabbed my cell and texted Colin.

And seconds later heard a ping.

“Another one of your sex buddies?” Jessie teased.

Colin paused and then, “Oh yeah, but this one’s been really hard to tame. You know the type, a bit schizo but so hot you don’t care that she asks to twist your nipples while she licks your nose.”

“Seriously?” Jessie choked.

“She likes noses. And snake tattoos, loves them.”

“Lucky for you.”

“I think it reminds her of the size of my dick, you know?”

I made a gagging noise, shifted on my feet, then texted again.

Me: Seriously! Trapped! And your dick can’t be the size of that python on your arm because that would mean you actually impale women on a daily basis.

Colin: Just call me Dracula.

I frowned.

Colin: Get it? The impaler.

Me: Look at that, basement dweller can joke! He’s got jokes! Meanwhile I’m going to starve to death in this pantry.

Colin: You mean around all that food?

“Wow, this girl must have skills if you’re that focused on your texts . . .” Jessie trailed off.

“She’s . . . unique,” Colin finally said.

My eyes narrowed. Was that a compliment? Did it matter? Why did I care? And why the hell did Jessie have ten different kinds of cereal—and all the boxes were full.

And alphabetized? Starting with Apple Jacks? Really?

Not that I’d resorted to more snooping.

Okay, so I’d resorted to more snooping.

But the fact that they were full was emotionally distressing. A full cereal box at my house lasts about one hot minute before I get a craving for Cheerios that even wine can’t cure.

“Hey”—Colin cleared his throat—“I need a favor.”

“Anything,” Jessie said quickly.

“I need a nice shirt for a date tonight, something . . . classy.”

Jessie laughed. “What? You can’t wear your own clothes?”

“You know I like your style better.” I rolled my eyes, has he seen that man’s closet? His white shirts are all ironed to within an inch of their lives. “Plus I want to impress this girl and I don’t have time to go grab a new shirt, we’re going on a late lunch date and I’m sweaty as hell, so please? Let me borrow a shirt, I’ll go home and shower, pair it with some nice jeans, and be inside her in no time.”

I glared at the door. Like I could actually see Colin’s smug expression. Why was my heart thumping? Why was I breathing like I was having trouble sucking in air?

He could date whomever he wanted.

I shifted on my feet as my face heated.

He was an attractive, successful man.

I crossed my arms.

Then uncrossed them nervously.

“Yeah, yeah,” Jessie finally said. “I’ll be right back, try not to burn down the kitchen or set the book on fire.”

“Shit, you read my mind,” Colin joked.

The sound of footsteps faded as Jessie walked toward the bedroom.

And then pantry door was jerked open.

I blinked up at him. “Thank you.”

“People . . . they pay you,” he said, leaning his large frame against the door while his muscles bulged beneath his sweat-soaked shirt, “for this?”

My eyes narrowed. “Yes! And I’m good at it.”

His smirk was wicked as he glanced behind me and then locked eyes. “Obviously.”

I shoved his chest. “I miscalculated the time, that’s all.” I tried squeezing past him, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the pantry and closed the door.

“What the hell are you doing?” I hissed as he pressed me against the wall. “He’s going to find me!”

“A favor for a favor, spy girl.” Colin’s grin turned menacing. “I got Jessie out of the house, gave you my car, and saved your sorry ass. I get a favor.”

“I’m not sucking your nose and licking your tattoo, you psycho,” I said, repeating what he’d said earlier.

“Don’t knock it, you may love it.” He winked, and then stood his ground. “One favor.”

I sighed and gritted my teeth. “Fine.”

“A date,” he said triumphantly. “I want a date.”

“A date,” I repeated in a slightly panicked voice. “Like to dinner?”

“No, I was thinking the drive-in, we could make out, eat popcorn, I’d feel you up a bit—yeah, dinner.”

I smirked. “If I go to dinner with you . . . you’ll get me out of this godforsaken pantry with the full boxes of cereal?”

“Noticed that, did you?’

“He’s clearly not human.”

“I steal his Cocoa Puffs every chance I get.”

I nodded seriously. “I think my respect for you grew just now.”

“Ah, she likes cereal.”

“She’d also like to not get caught!”

“Go.” He shoved me toward the pantry door. “Run out the back and try not to trip and ruin your escape.”

“I don’t trip.” Of course, at that moment, I tripped over my own feet and almost face-planted into his lips.

He sighed, his expression worried and a bit stunned as Jessie’s voice carried to the kitchen. “Black okay?”

“Go.” Colin shoved me again. “Oh, and you’re picking me up. It seems I’m down a car.” He winked. “I’ll text you.”

Review

Outwardly, a scorned PI dedicated to embarrassing cheaters might not sound like the best backdrop for a love triangle. But Rachel Van Dyken provides a fun, funny, sweet and sexy read while successfully launching the first in her Liars, Inc. series.

When Jessie Beckett left Blaire to pursue his NFL career, she tried to move on but ended up marrying a cheating douche canoe she soon divorced and now firm, dedicated to catch and humiliate cheaters in the act, has been hired to investigate none other than Jessie. A difficult task given the fact that she never got over him. But his best friend Colin is willing to help, sort of. Mostly he’s been flirting with her from the moment they met while she was spying on Jessie in Colin’s hotel. She’s got sweet history with one and an incredible attraction with the other and now she has to decide.

Rachel Van Dyken’s effervescence shines through in fun, sassy and witty dialogue which is nicely balanced with the swoony moments full of emotion. The story has many share-tastic bits yet the plot is also rife with twists and turns that, if shared, would zap all the enjoyment out of the read. I can mention though that the tale is told from various points of view and that Jessie, Colin and Blaire are charming characters that easily made me smile and laugh. It was an unputdownable book which I’ve read several times since it landed on my eReader.

Dirty Exes is book #1 of the Liars Inc. series by Rachel Van Dyken. It is standalone contemporary romance told by several points of view with a happy ending.

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Meet the Author:

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Connect with the Author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelVanDyken
Website: http://rachelvandykenauthor.com
Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/RVDNewsletter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachvd
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachVD
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cNVwL9
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/RVDGR
Rachel’s Rockin’ Readers: http://bit.ly/RachelsRockinReaders

BLOG TOURS, Contemporary Romance, Excerpt, review, TEASER

THE SECRET THIEF by Nina Lane – Review and Excerpt Tour

 

Behind his beautiful eyes
Lay a thousand secrets and lies.
But my own secrets are all laid bare
The twisted reality of a disgraceful affair.

I once deciphered the mysteries hidden in art
Then mistakes and desire tore me apart.

Now I’m shipwrecked at the end of the earth
Desperate again to prove my worth.

The lighthouse keeper is a stranger to me
Yet one night with him sets me free.

We find ourselves united by the stars above
Both of us needing the salvation of love.

Until our secrets and shame continue to build
And what was flourishing will soon be killed.

 

 

EXCERPT

The minute Flynn opens the workroom door, my whole body zings with excitement and anticipation. Even with his dark frown, the remoteness surrounding him like an aura, the clipped tone of his voice, I react to him as if he were stroking my hair and whispering sweet nothings in my ear.

Jeremy hadn’t come close to eliciting anything even close to this…which is exactly the reason I’ll go out with him again, if he asks me. Jeremy is solid, grounded, honest. Everything about Flynn is a mystery and a fantasy. I’d gotten caught up in a fantasy with David—whose “mystery” had been a lie—and I’d paid the price.

Never again.

“How was your weekend?” I set my satchel and lunch bag on the desk.

“Fine. Yours?”

“Great.” I give him a once-over, looking for evidence of an encounter with a chick, but while he looks edible in his worn jeans and T-shirt, like a warm, rumpled bed I could nestle right into, his demeanor is as impassive as ever.

Does he ever smile? Every now and then I’ve caught a glimpse of amusement, a twitch of his mouth, but I’ve yet to see him fully smile.

“Any special instructions for today?” I turn on the laptop computer and open my notebook.

“Stay away from Jeremy King.”

Shock bolts down my spine. I jerk my head up to stare at him. He’s watching me with a narrowed gaze, his mouth set in a stern line.

“Um…what?” I can’t get another word out.

“Stay away from him,” Flynn repeats. “He’s not good for you.”

Irritation breaks past my shock. “How would you know who is or isn’t good for me? You’ve barely said twenty words to me the whole week I’ve been working here.”

“I don’t need to say anything to know the facts.” His tone hardens. “I don’t want you around him.”

“Well, you have no right to tell me that,” I retort. “How did you know I went on a date with him anyway?”

His jaw tightens. “You think people around here don’t take notice when their favorite son is out having dinner with the new girl in town?”

Christ. I experience a sudden longing for the cold anonymity of a big city.

“I know people are talking about me,” I snap. “But I refuse to let gossip dictate what I can and can’t do. And for your information, Jeremy knows about what happened to me, and it didn’t seem to bother him.”

“That’s not the point. You can’t work for me and see him.”

My shoulders tense. I focus on the computer, hitting the key to bring up the database software.

“My date with Jeremy has nothing to do with my work here,” I reply stiffly. “I didn’t, and won’t, tell him anything about the job or the fact that you’re my employer. You don’t need to worry about breach of contract.”

“This isn’t about the damned contract.” His voice is suddenly sharp.

He steps closer to me, his soapy, warm scent filling my nose. I hold my ground, not wanting him to see me weaken even though I’m melting inside at his nearness. Impassive though he is on the exterior, I can almost feel the energy coursing through him, his heavy strong heartbeat, the rush of his blood.

“I don’t want you around King,” he repeats.

“Does your animosity have something to do with him wanting to sell the lighthouse?”

“I’m not answering questions.” His gray eyes turn the color of metal. “I’m telling you to stay away from him.”

My pulse races. “You don’t have that right.”

“I’m your boss.”
“That doesn’t mean you can make that demand.” The words snap out of my mouth without thought. “And if you think you can threaten to fire me over this, then step back, mister, because I’ve been through the worst wrongful termination I can imagine. And even though my employer fucking won that battle, I still have plenty of fight left in me. I’ll put on my gloves and go another round with you, if I have to.”

Wow. Go, Eve.

I’m breathing fast, and my knees are quaking with sudden fear that he’ll make me prove my bold statement. I dig my fingernails into my palms. The air between us sparks with electricity. I force myself to hold my ground, to look directly at him and—

Admiration flashes in his eyes, like a silver comet streaking across the sky. His stern expression doesn’t change, but that brief glimpse of warmth eases the tension knotting my shoulders.

“I’m not going to fire you.” His voice is measured and controlled. “But I will not have you seeing King.”

“You don’t like him, so that means I have to stay away from him?” I ask. “Sorry, no. He’s one of the few people in this town who has been nice to me, and I enjoyed our date. I refuse to discount the possibility of Jeremy being my first real friend here.”
Flynn’s jaw clenches. “He wants to be more than your friend.”

“I know.” I put my hands on my hips and look him in the eye. “He even kissed me.”

Anger crashes over his features, and a vein throbs in his forehead. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was jealous.

But I do know better. He’s mad because I’m refusing to do something he wants me to do. Despite, or maybe because of, his isolated lifestyle, Flynn is clearly a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

“He kissed you.” The word grind out of his mouth like broken glass.

“Yes. And I kissed him back. Like our date, it was nice. Nice hasn’t been the norm in my life lately.”
“I could kiss you,” Flynn retorts, his hands fisting. “But it wouldn’t nice.”

“Oh yeah?” My heart kicks into gear, blood rushing through my veins. “What would it be, then?”

He pulls in a breath, his gaze settling on my mouth. “Hot.”

“Prove it.” Borne of my endless nighttime fantasies, the dare flies out of me without thought of the potential repercussions.

Before I can take another breath, he grabs my shoulders and pulls me against him. I freeze, stunned by the reality of a moment I’d imagined more times than I can count—the sensation of his body against mine. And God, he feels exactly the way I’d imagined, a solid wall of heat and muscle pulsing with life. Rock-hard arms that could wrap around me so tightly nothing would get past them.

He stares down at me, his steel-like gaze sparking with intent like iron striking stone. I can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t think.

Then his mouth crashes down on mine, an onslaught, a possession, a claiming. Hunger bursts through me, a desire so sharp and intense it destroys all my defenses in one fell swoop. I moan, everything inside me weakening and aching for more. He slides a hand to my lower back, fitting our bodies together. I yield everywhere, my curves softening against him, any thought of resistance dissolving in a haze of disbelief and craving.

I part my lips tentatively, let him inside. My head spins with the taste of him—something decadent and forbidden. Our tongues touch, breath mingling. Arousal floods me, swift and hard, as if all the fantasies in which I’ve indulged have primed me for this moment. I bring my hands up to his face, his stubble coarse against my palms, slide them down to the sides of his neck where his pulse throbs heavily. He’s like the sea—mysterious, unpredictable, powerful. I could get lost in him, drown, let him sweep me away to a distant land where no one knows who I am and what I’ve done.

He lifts his head, breaking our kiss and stepping away from me at the same time. Heavy breaths saw from his chest, and his eyes are darkened to black. I bring a shaking hand to my mouth, suddenly unsure if the kiss just happened or if I’m like Alice in Wonderland, spinning downward, lost in my intricate imagination.

REVIEW

Tales of broken souls finding, healing and completing each other aren’t new in the romance genre, but there are fresh new ways to pairing characters who aren’t inclined to happy ever afters. In The Secret Thief, Nina Lane expertly explores the connection between recluse lighthouse keeper Flynn and art historian and scholar Eve Perrin.

After a lack in judgment almost irreparably damages her career, reputation, and self-confidence Eve moves to Castille, Maine to try and put the pieces of her life and battered heart back together, but no amount of distance can hide her from the rumors attached to her and no one but the cantankerous and enigmatic Flynn is willing to help her.

“When I first came to Castille, I’d thought I was running away. But now, my body and soul reawakened, my intellect inspired, my heart open… maybe all along, I was simply coming home.”

As Eve works on the private job Flynn assigned her, she finds herself wondering about the broody, mysterious man who doesn’t like questions and keeps himself locked up in the lighthouse’s tower. Flynn reveals close to nothing about himself, but his actions speak more than words and the crackling attraction between them starts to take a life of its own. And while their romance slowly ignites, undiscovered forces conspire against them.

“You make me want more. All it took was oolong tea, crossword puzzles, and you.”

This is my first Nina Lane read, but it won’t be the last. Lane creates a story with depth and detail carefully interlacing a rich narrative that ranges from scenery and art description so vivid they leaps off the page, to interesting fairytale history, a suspenseful plot, smoking hot love scenes, and a swoony, slow burn connection that left me hungry for more.

“A happy ending is more than a kiss, an embrace, a promise. It’s loving the person who will struggle through the darkness with you, who believes in your strength, who sees the light you thought had been extinguished.”

I wish I could reveal more about this amazing book but I believe it’s best when experienced firsthand. But if you’re looking for a reason to believe in the immense possibilities of love and kismet, Lane’s writing is an absolute must read.

The Secret Theif is a wonderfully crafted and gripping standalone contemporary romance by author Nina Lane. Told mainly from the heroine’s point of view, with a happy ending.

 

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New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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Jay Crownover’s RECOVERED Release Day Launch

The road to recovery is full of twists and turns no matter who is in the driver’s seat.

From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jay Crownover comes a standalone romance with a hero sure to keep readers up long into the night. Pick up your copy of RECOVERED for just $.99 through release week only!

It was hate at first sight……

Affton

I hated Cable James McCaffrey.

He was entitled, spoiled, a user…and an addict.

He was out of control and didn’t bother trying to hide it.

He had everything anyone could want but still seemed miserable and lost.

Every move he made, every mistake he stumbled his way through, rubbed me the wrong way. However, I couldn’t stop myself from trying to save him from himself when no one else would. In the sweltering heat of the summer, Cable taught me that having it all means nothing if you can’t have the one thing you want more than anything else.


Cable

I was obsessed with Affton Reed.

She was rigid, uptight, and no fun. There was something about her innate goodness that called to me.

She acted like she was above all the normal faults and failures that clung to the rest of us like the scent of smoke after a fire.

I was infatuated with her, but that didn’t stop me from acting like she didn’t exist.

In the scorching heat of summer, Affton taught me that there is always a way back from the brink of despair. She showed me that the trick to having it all was realizing that it was already there, in my hands. All I had to do was hold onto it.

The road to recovery is full of twists and turns no matter who is in the driver’s seat.

RECOVERED is just $.99 through release week! Order your copy of RECOVERED today!

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EXCERPT:

I took another swallow of cinnamon-flavored booze and made a face as it burned down my throat. Maybe I could breathe fire. I needed to be able to if I was going to make it through the summer with Affton Reed looking over my shoulder. She had some of the strongest shields I’d ever seen. If my fire wasn’t hot enough, it would bounce off her and burn me to a crisp.

The sun was down, and I was pretty much sitting in the water now. I thought about lying down and letting it lift me up and carry me wherever it wanted. I wasn’t drifting anywhere good on my own. I heard splashing and felt the air behind me stir. No longer alone. No longer left to my own devices and bad choices.

I took another swig from the bottle, draining it, and looked over my shoulder at the girl making her way toward me. Her hair looked silver in the darkening light, and there was no mistaking the annoyance on her unmade-up face. She looked at me then shifted her gaze to the empty bottle in my hand. Her lips pulled into a frown, and her eyebrows tugged down into an angry V over the top of her nose.

“You aren’t going to make anything about this summer easy, are you, Cable?”

I had a thing for her voice. It was a little bit husky and a lot sweet with that slow, southern Texas twang in it. The way my name sounded when she said it, all exasperated and frustrated, was fucking sexy. It made me wonder what it would sound like when she whispered it in the dark while I was inside of her. I’d imagined that more times than I could count over the last eighteen months.

“I don’t really do easy, Reed.” I looked at the empty bottle in my hand and contemplated tossing it into the Gulf. Knowing my luck, I’d hit some endangered marine life and give the judge one more reason to add months onto my sentence. Instead, I reached up and handed it to the leggy blonde who was now standing next to me, the water well above her ankles.

“Jesus. Did you drink this whole thing?” She sounded incensed, and when I rolled my eyes up to look at her, it was clear she was contemplating hitting me over the head with the very weapon I’d just handed to her.

I shrugged. “Pretty much.” The bubbly teen girls barely had the chance to put a dent in it before I swooped in and snagged their stash.

She sighed from where she was hovering above me. I jolted in shock when she suddenly lowered herself to the wet sand next to me, the water immediately soaking into her frayed cutoffs and swirling around her ankles and hips as she copied my pose, my empty bottle caught between her feet. She leaned forward, rested her cheek on her knee, and gazed at me steadily out of those mesmerizing eyes. “I tried to tell your mother this was hopeless. I warned her there is no helping someone who doesn’t want to be helped. I don’t want to be here, Cable.” Her voice was hard, and I was surprised that her admission hurt a little bit. I didn’t want to be around me most of the time, but I was used to other people flocking to me, vying for my attention. “I don’t want to be here, but I have to be, so that means you’re stuck with me no matter how difficult you decide to make the next couple of months. I don’t have a choice.”

I wanted a cigarette. I needed something to occupy my hands and my mouth. I’d left the smokes and m y t-shirt on the steps of the deck off dad’s house. The steps led to the beach, just a few feet from the water. It was a beautiful house on a prime piece of property. With Affton here, it was nothing more than an expensive jail cell.

I knew exactly what means my mother had gone to in order to get Affton to agree to this madness. She told me outright she was blackmailing my former classmate, I think in a thinly veiled attempt to make me care about someone else’s future if I wouldn’t care about my own. I knew if I drove Affton away, her father would lose his job. It wasn’t fair, but my mom had been nothing short of ruthless in her pursuit of my sobriety. “My mom can be very convincing when she puts her mind to it.” She could also be tough as nails and immovable when she wanted something.

Affton snorted and shifted so her chin was resting on her knee instead of her cheek. She looked out over the endless landscape of water and sky, and I shivered even though it wasn’t cold. I lifted a hand to run it through my hair. My unease lived inside of me, crawled all around my bones and under my skin. I wasn’t used to it making its way to the surface because of someone else. There was a lot unsaid between me and this girl. The few words we’d exchanged were powerful, important ones that hung heavy between us. It was so much easier when I looked at her, and she refused to look back.

“I don’t think convincing is the word I would use…more like conniving. Either way, she tied my hands, so succeed or fail, you are stuck with me until the end of summer. Let’s get you into the house so you can sleep this bottle off and pray you don’t get popped for a piss test tomorrow.” She grabbed the bottle from where she had plunked the base in the sand and lifted a pale eyebrow at me. “You should have picked something…” she trailed off and gave me a shrug. “Less wussy to enjoy your last binge with. This stuff tastes like toothpaste.”

She offered me her free hand, and for a second all I could picture was grabbing it and pulling her under with me, letting the water cover us both and take us somewhere we would both rather be. I didn’t. I took her hand and struggled to my feet. Months of forced sobriety tumbled away under the wash of cinnamon whiskey. I wobbled and almost went back down, but before I could nose dive into the shallow water, Affton was there, arm around my waist, empty bottle pressed into my side, a chilly reminder that I’d already fucked this up and it was only the first day.

I had no idea how either one of us was going to survive the summer, and if we did, I had no idea how I was supposed to survive beyond that when I was once again left to my own devious and duplicitous devices.

MY REVIEWIn this raw, gritty and intense new adult romance, Cable McCaffrey needs to get a foothold in an uphill battle to stay sober but having the straight laced, beyond reproach and unattainable Affton Reed as his keeper during the summer is an ever bigger challenge.

Addiction ruined her life once, Affton is not about to let it derail her plans now and spending her summer trying to keep Cable out of trouble is only a speed bump even though she’s resigned to the fact that she’ll probably fail because he wasn’t just an entitled spoiled teen, no one ever said no to him. That is, until the day she tried to save him from himself which unchained a series of events that ended in tragedy. But time has passed and Cable is about to teach her a thing or two about having it all.

Even though Cable did his best to ignore her during high school, there was something about Affton that fascinated him, sadly his demons were bigger. But now he has the opportunity to have everything he wanted, all he has to do is try and hold on.

Both Affton and Cable are complex and interesting characters. While Affton was an incredibly strong, independent, and very centered young woman, Cable is lost and broken and riddled with self-hate. They’re complete opposites and yet perfect for one another because both are closed off due to loss, they both understand guilt and sadness.

Things never really go as planned, much less when two people are forced to spend time together, but it’s the perfect setting for this raw, real and honest romance. After a lot of pushing and provoking, they get under each other’s skin. Cable finds understanding and support from Affton and the possibility of losing her drives him to make an effort. The story moves between deep discussions of addiction, devastating secrets, forgiveness, redemption, hope and a beautifully intense romance neither Cable nor Affton expected.

Crownover expertly entwines addiction as a backstory for contemplation and interpersonal development while reminding the reader that before we can love others, we need to love ourselves.

Recovered is a standalone new adult romance by Jay Crownover. It is a powerful contemporary romance that hooked me from start to finish. Told from both points of view with a happily ending, no cliffhanger.

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About Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, the Point Series, the Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.

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Excerpt

BAD FOR YOU by J.Daniels – Excerpt Reveal

“If you’re a fan of Kristen Ashley, then you will love this book.” -Aestas Book Blog on Four Letter Word

 

He didn’t want to be bad. He just didn’t have a choice…

Shayla Perkins isn’t the kind of girl who makes the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to Sean “Stitch” Molina. So when he gives her the world’s biggest rejection, that’s it–she’s done. Until the sexy, silent, unavailable Sean makes Shay a very personal offer. Of course, it still doesn’t mean he’s interested in her. Or does it?

Sean has done things in life. Bad things. And he’s paid the price. All he wants now is to make up for his past by doing good in the present. And no one deserves more good than Shay. Beautiful on the inside and out, Shay is the kind of woman who should be cared for and protected–especially from a man like Sean. He’s tried to keep his feelings for her in check, but a single, reckless impulse pulls them closer than ever before.

 

Soon the two are sharing their biggest dreams and satisfying their deepest desires. But what will happen if the only way to truly give each other what they want most…is to let each other go?

 

“The perfect mix of funny, hot and heartwarming. I enjoyed it immensely!” –Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author, on Four Letter Word

 

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Chapter One

Shayla

I wanted to tell her no. I wanted to lie to Gladys or Dorothy, whatever this sweet old lady’s name was seated in my section, and say we were fresh out of ranch dressing, and the little cup of it that came with her large garden salad was the last drop. If I didn’t and obliged her request, it would mean walking back over to the kitchen window I avoided like the plague and speaking to him—Sean “Stitch” Molina. The keeper of the dressings. The cook at Whitecaps Restaurant. He hoarded the ranch back there, and the only way to get more of it was with words.

And we didn’t do words anymore. Not as of eight months ago.

So, instead of doing my job as a waitress, I contemplated the dishonest route, which could very well get me fired.

Was I willing to roll those dice? Maybe. It might be worth a shot. My boss, Nate, could overlook my wrongdoing. He was understanding enough.

We’re fresh out of ranch, I could tell the lady. And all other dressings, for that matter. I am so sorry. Could I maybe get you another refill? Or something else not located in the kitchen?

I thought on this plan—it could work. Maybe she would believe me. Or maybe she would rethink her request and decide she no longer needed more dressing.

Help a fellow woman out here, Millie. Christ.

“I just need a little bit more,” the lady requested with a gentle smile. “Would you be a dear? I won’t trouble you for anything else, I promise.”

“Of course,” I replied, the response compulsively leaving my tongue. I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t lie. I’d feel terrible.

Besides, this was my job. If someone requested more ranch dressing, I got them more ranch dressing, even if it meant speaking to the man I was completely and pathetically infatuated with, no matter how badly it hurt me to do so.

I gave the lady a smile in return before moving away.

My steps were slow as I weaved between tables and headed toward the kitchen. I tried to keep my head down, to focus on the tile floor disappearing beneath my feet, but I couldn’t.

I had to look.

Who was I kidding? I wanted to look.

As I approached, Tori was leaning close to the window that separated Sean’s domain from everyone else’s. She slid two plates of food off the ledge, commenting, “Looks good. Thanks, Stitch,” before walking off to deliver her orders, winking at me as she passed.

Sean only went by Stitch when he was here, I was assuming. I wouldn’t know for sure since I’d never spent any time with him outside of work. It was a nickname Tori and I had given him when he’d cut himself a bunch of times during his first week on the job, and he didn’t seem to mind being called that.

Back then, he didn’t seem to mind a lot of things, like listening to me talk and talk about anything and everything, putting my problems on him in between waiting tables, my stresses, my fears, needing a person to vent to and him being the only person I wanted to vent to because of the way he listened and looked at me.

No one had ever seemed so interested in what I had to say before.

Like what I was saying meant everything to them. Like it was a privilege just to listen.

And no one had ever looked at me the way Sean did—glances that only ever lasted a few seconds at a time, but those few seconds of eye contact—holy crap. I thought my skin was going to combust it would tingle and heat up so quickly. The man had a stare unlike any stare. Equal parts intense and intimidating. But his eyes, sweet mother of God, his eyes were unreal, this rich, golden copper color. And when they were on you, you didn’t just see that beauty—you felt it.

It was a two-punch combo that turned me into a puddle. No man had ever affected me that way before.

And that effect wasn’t going away. I was still feeling it.

Even now with us not speaking to each other, or rather, with me not speaking and him not listening, I still couldn’t get Sean out of my head. I missed what we used to have, yes, but it was more than that. It was so much more.

A man I barely knew, who seldom spoke, and who had never showed interest in me in that way had somehow taken hold of my heart and twisted it all up. I didn’t understand how it had happened, I just knew it happened.

Pathetic, right?

I reached the counter silently, which was a miracle considering how loud my heart sounded in my ears. Keeping my breathing quiet, I looked through that window and peered into the kitchen.

Sean had his back to me as he flipped burgers and stirred something in a pot. I allowed my eyes to travel the length of him, something I hardly ever let myself do anymore. We shared quick glances now, that was it.

Sean was well over six feet tall—way taller than me. His back was broad. His hair was long, a beautiful caramel color, and almost always pulled back; his arms were covered in tattoos and roped in muscle; and he had a thick, short beard that hid what I just knew was a strong jaw.

Sean was beautiful. And he was intimidating. Not just how he looked, but how he acted too.

He smoked. He drove a motorcycle. He never smiled. He rarely said a word. Everything about Sean said leave me alone, but eight months ago I couldn’t.

And eight months ago, I didn’t think he wanted me to.

I thought that was why he looked at me the way he did and listened so well. I wasn’t even nervous when I finally asked him out after hearing about a local party. I was excited.

I wanted Sean. I wanted to kiss him and touch him and God, hear his voice more. I had gotten so little of it. I wanted to do everything with him. And I thought we would. I thought we’d go to that party together as friends and leave as something more.

But Sean wasn’t interested in the more I’d been after. He wasn’t interested in me at all.

Now, that was perfectly clear.

Sensing me, or maybe he was finished minding the burgers and whatever he was stirring in the pot—I didn’t know for sure, since I was still letting my eyes wander—Sean spun around and stepped forward, snapping my gaze off his body in a panic. Our eyes met.

Mine widened.

His narrowed angrily, like I’d pissed him off and he hated me for it, and further hated me for catching him pissed off about it.

I didn’t understand that look, but no way was I asking about it. I was doing what I came over here to do, and then, hopefully, staying far away from this window the rest of the day.

Maybe I could convince Tori to put in my orders.

“My lady needs more ranch,” I informed Sean, swallowing thickly when my voice came out sounding stressed and distorted. “Could I get a little more for her?”

Sean’s gaze lowered to my mouth like he was waiting for more words, which didn’t make sense to me, until I considered the one word I left off he was most likely waiting for.

“Please?” I added.

His eyes lifted to mine and stayed narrowed. His nostrils flared. His jaw set.

I almost apologized for being polite and for not lying to that woman about our condiment supply. Things were so awkward now, I couldn’t stand it. I missed how easy this used to be.

Memories flooded my mind in an onslaught as I stood there waiting, and my back stiffened. I pictured Sean watching me with care and concern. I remembered the smiles behind his beard I used to catch, and the way his eyes would follow me through the restaurant and brighten when I would wave. We were friends. I wanted to scream at him for ruining that. I wanted to scream at myself for still caring. What was wrong with me? He had completely shut me out. We were nothing now. We were this.

But with a quick hand, Sean snatched a dressing cup off the shelf and ladled some ranch into it before I spoke another word. He sat the cup on the ledge, removing his hand before our fingers touched, and briskly turned back to the grill without giving me another glance.

“Thank you,” I mumbled at his back, turning before I lingered another second.

He shut me out. I needed to do the same to him.

I delivered the cup of ranch to the sweet old lady, picked up a check for a table who didn’t wait for change, and took care of their tab at the register. Then because I didn’t have any other tables needing anything from me at the moment, I moved to a vacant booth far away from that window and busied myself filling ketchup bottles.

The next time anyone needed extra dressing, I’d send Tori.

Three Days Later

I am getting one of everything.

Twisting the dial on the radio, I quieted the music I was listening to when the truck ahead of me pulled forward, allowing room for my Civic to squeeze up next to the speaker.

Mouth already salivating, I rolled my window down.

“Welcome to Taco Bell. Can I take your order?”

My stomach growled as I surveyed my choices.

I eyed the fiesta taco salad. The quesarito. The never-ending list of combos and the specialty options. Everything intrigued my taste buds.

I stuck my head out the window and directed my order at the speaker. “Can I have a number six, please? Chicken supreme with a soft taco? And a Mountain Dew.”

“That’ll be six fifty-seven at the second window, please.”

I couldn’t pull forward yet, so I kept my foot on the brake, and just as I was about to roll up my window to keep the cool March air from filling up my car any more, a song I knew and loved began playing low through the speakers.

I had no idea what the name of the song was or who sang it, but I knew every single word. And this was not a song you didn’t crank up and sing along to with your windows down.

Fingers twisting the dial until music poured out of my car, I started moving my hips in time with the beat and smacking the steering wheel, eyes closing and fingers snapping as the lyrics left my mouth.

“Oh oh oh oh oh oh,

You don’t have to go, oh oh oh oh oh

You don’t have to go, oh oh oh oh oh

You don’t have to gooo.”

The drum kicked up. I shook my head and felt pieces of my short, dark hair lash against my cheeks.

The girl giggled through the speaker.

Smiling and not feeling one bit of shy about the audience I was entertaining, I leaned halfway out the window and sang to her as loud as I could, reaching and pointing like she was front row at my concert.

“Ay ay ay ay ay ay

All those tears I cry, ay ay ay ay

All those tears I cry, oh oh ah ay

Baby, please don’t goooo.”

She laughed harder this time, whooping and cheering me on.

“How’s that?” I asked. “Think I got a career in singing if all my other options fall through?”

“You bet!” the girl yelled. “That was sick!”

Giggling at myself, I sat back in the seat and turned the volume down halfway, noticing through the windshield the space between the truck in front of me and the car in front of it.

My eyes narrowed. I beeped twice. I was starving, and this was not the time to be messing around. What was this person doing?

The truck jerked forward, gears grinding over the music, loud enough I actually cringed. It was an old, beat-up Chevy, covered in dirt and rusted all along the back, with most of the paint chipped off and the muffler barely hanging on by a thread. The well loved and very well used vehicle was probably on its last leg, as was the worn smiley-face sticker half peeled from the bumper, leaving only one eye and half a mouth showing.

That thing had definitely seen better days.

Staring at all that rust, I had a moment of panic when I imagined the truck dying on its owner and blocking my path. Come hell or high water, I’d get my chalupas. Though I really didn’t feel like stepping out of my car and walking inside where the lunch rush sat. I was wearing sweats covered in bleach stains, a baggy sweatshirt, zero makeup, and not a lick of dry shampoo. No way was I presentable for the public yet.

This was why God invented drive-throughs and curbside service—so women like me could sleep in on their days off and rush out the door when a hankering hit without even bothering to glance at themselves in a mirror.

But when the truck made it up to the window to pay without a hitch or stall, most of that panic left me.

And when the driver pulled away after collecting their order and turned out onto highway, all of that panic left me.

I rubbed my hands together. Come to Momma.

“Hello!” I greeted the young girl with a smile and a wave, feeling like we had one of those lifelong friendship connections since I’d just serenaded her.

Grabbing my bag off the floor in front of the passenger seat, I dug around for my wallet.

“No need for that!” she said, turning my head and pausing my search. “That guy just totally paid for you. God…I love it when that happens. It doesn’t happen enough. It’s such a treat!”

I sat up and looked at her more fully. “What? What guy?”

“The guy in the truck.”

“Really?”

Nobody had ever done that for me before, and I used drive-throughs a lot. Well, shit on my head. My first random act of kindness, and I had rushed the poor thing along.

I suddenly felt bad for beeping.

“Yep,” the girl said, smacking her gloss-covered lips. “He asked me how much your order was and gave me enough to cover you both. And he wasn’t bad looking either.”

I leaned closer to the window, my interest in this mystery man spiking off the charts. “Yeah?”

“Oh, yeah. He had that dark, smoldering look about him. Real sexy.”

Nice.

“Did he say anything? Leave his number on a napkin or something?”

“No.” She shrugged. “Just paid for you and left. He acted in a rush.” The girl turned to pack up my order.

Huh.

If he was interested, he would’ve gone beyond just paying for my food. I would think he would’ve at least waited before speeding out of here—at least pulled over and given me opportunity to thank him.

Maybe he was just doing a good deed?

Letting myself think on that, I smiled and took my drink. “I’d like to pay it forward. How much is the person’s order behind me? I’ll take care of them,” I said while blindly digging my wallet out of my bag.

Really?” The girl clapped her hands together and squealed. “This is awesome! And they say there’s no good people left in the world.”

I laughed and made a face like I was agreeing with her, though I really didn’t. I knew a lot of good people. Dogwood Beach was full of them.

And I was blessed to have a lot of those people in my tribe, supporting me, giving me friendship and love, and others, not necessarily in my tribe, but around me enough I got to see their good.

Still, I understood this girl’s excitement. It wasn’t every day a complete stranger did something out of sheer generosity. And selfless to boot. Who didn’t stick around to take credit when credit was due? That was practically unheard of.

It’s funny how a simple gesture can affect you. But kindness was powerful that way. It not only had the ability to alter moods, but it was also infectious. People wanted to spread that good around once they got it put on themselves.

Hell, I was doing it. Maybe the person behind me would do it too, and so on. We could all pay it forward.

Smiling, I thought about that mystery man in the beat-up truck, wondering if he knew just how inspiring he was. How good he was. I hoped someone was telling him.

After safely securing my bag of deliciousness in the front seat, I got the total of the order from the car behind me, paid, got my change, cranked up my stereo again, and sped off, leaving my window cracked so I could serenade Highway 355.

 

J.Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the Dirty Deeds series.

She would rather bake than cook, she listens to music entirely too loud, and loves writing stories her children will never read. Her husband and children are her greatest loves, with cupcakes coming in at a close second.

J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

Sign up to receive her newsletter and get special offers and exclusive release info: http://authorjdaniels.com/newsletter/

Twitter | Instagram | Website | Facebook | Amazon Author Page |Goodreads | Reader’s Group

 

 

BLOG TOURS, Excerpt, Giveaways, TEASER

Saving Brad by Siobhan Davis Release Blitz Tour with Excerpt and Giveaway!!

Saving Brad banner

This is my stop during the bookstagram blitz for Saving Brad by Siobhan Davis. This bookstagram blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 23 till 29 October. See the tour schedule here.

Buy Saving Brad for only $0.99!
For a limited time only you can buy Saving Brad for only $0.99 on Amazon!

Saving BradSaving Brad (The Kennedy Boys #5)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: October 2017

Blurb:
An enemies-to-lovers romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis. Standalone with an HEA and no cliff-hanger.

Brad
I’m in love with my best friend’s girl.
She knows it. He knows it. Everyone knows it.
Faye will never be mine, but try telling that to my stupid heart.
An endless rotation of girls streams in and out of my bedroom in a desperate attempt to forget her, but nothing eases the horrid ache in my chest. Rejection isn’t anything new for me, but it hasn’t gotten any easier.
Until she reappears in my life. Like an out-of-control tornado. Storming in, all fierce and angry, ready to steamroll everything in her path. Rachel is trouble with a capital T bundled in a gorgeous, sexy, Irish package.
She pushes all the wrong buttons, and I can’t decide if I want to yell at her or kiss her.
I should steer clear.
But I’ve never been very good at taking my own advice. Especially when it comes to girls I can’t have and shouldn’t want.

Rachel
I need to escape.
To put as much distance between me and that monster so I can start living my life.
Yet, even the vast Atlantic Ocean isn’t enough to sever the connection. To allow me to forget how he’s ruined me. His hold is more than just physical. He has a vise-grip on my head and my heart, and I can’t breathe, can’t think, can’t function.
So, I do everything to blot it out.
Until he reappears in my life.
Brad McConaughey. So hot. So infuriating. So in love with my best friend.
Every word out of Brad’s mouth makes me want to throat punch him or kick him in the nuts.
But he makes me feel, and I hate him for it. A part of me might actually love him for it.
I should keep my distance, but like destructive magnets, we are drawn together.
This isn’t going to end well.
I know it. He knows it.
But we’re powerless to resist.

You can find Saving Brad on Goodreads

You can buy Saving Brad for only $0.99 on Amazon
It is available to read with Kindle Unlimited.

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Excerpt:
That guy is such an asshole. He’s the only potential blimp in this otherwise stellar plan of mine. I honestly can’t fathom how Kyler has been best friends with Brad since kindergarten. How they’re practically like brothers, according to Faye. Brad has a major chip on his shoulder, and he doesn’t seem to care who knows it. Well, I came here to get away from that kind of shite and no one is going to drag me back to the gutter. Not even a guy as fit as Brad.
The guys are leading the charge in front of us, giving me ample opportunity to ogle the asshole without his knowledge. My eyes drop from his broad shoulders and muscular back—which flexes and rolls under his clingy shirt as he moves—to his shapely ass, and I have to fight the urge to jump him from behind. There is no denying how utterly gorgeous Brad McConaughey is. With his cropped blond hair, stunning blue eyes framed by lashes that should be illegal on a guy, and the chiseled lines of his tanned face, Brad is temptation on a stick. He has that all-American golden boy good looks I used to swoon over when I was younger. He’s like the US equivalent of Niall Horan, albeit a moodier, crankier version. Not that I know Niall Horan personally or anything, but he always comes across as a total sweetheart. Looks, talent, humor, intelligence, and a good heart. A winning combination if ever there was one. Although, I’m kind of protective over our homegrown talent, so I might be biased.
Faye digs her elbows in my ribs, breaking through my inner Niall swooning. “Were you even listening to me?”
“Nope.” I grin at her, linking my arm more firmly through hers. “I was just daydreaming about Niall Horan.”
“Random dot com.”
I snort. “I was thinking that Brad could be like the US Niall Horan if he wasn’t such an ass.”
Quick as a flash, Brad spins around, eyeballing me with a smirk. “You think I look like Niall Horan? All the ladies love Niall, or so I’ve been told.”
“And your point is?”
We come to a standstill in front of Kyler’s car.
“The ladies love me too, Red. And I think you have an inkling why.”
He winks, and it’s so wrong.
All of it.
The sleazy comment, the sly reminder that he’s been inside me, and the shady wink. I often get a sense with Brad that he’s playing a part. A role he’s not entirely comfortable with, which is why he can’t pull it off most of the time.

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Previous books in this series
Finding KylerLosing KylerKeeping KylerLoving Kalvin

The first three books have to be read in order. The books after that can be read as a standalone and have a HEA and no cliffhanger. The Kennedy Boys series is free to read in Kindle Unlimited and book one Finding Kyler is currently available for only $0.99 on Amazon

SiobhanAbout the Author:
USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult and new adult fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the international bestselling True Calling, Saven, and Kennedy Boys series.

Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management.

She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Google +
Instagram
Goodreads
Amazon
Kennedy Boys Newsletter

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for Saving Brad. There will be two winners. One winner will win a signed copy of Saving Brad and one winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card. Open international.

To enter this giveaway you need to make a picture of the book Saving Brad by Siobhan Davis and post it on social media with the hashtag #SavingBradGiveaway.