Excerpt

A CHARMED LITTLE LIE by Sharla Lovelace blog tour!

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Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make 
a dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it?
A CHARMED LITTLE LIE
Charmed in Texas #1
Sharla Lovelace
Releasing April 18th, 2017
Lyrical Shine

Lanie Barrett didn’t mean to lie. Spinning a story of a joyous marriage to make a

dying woman happy is forgivable, isn’t it? Lanie thinks so, especially since
her beloved Aunt Ruby would have been heartbroken to know the truth of her
niece’s sadly loveless, short-of-sparkling existence. Trouble is, according to
the will, Ruby didn’t quite buy Lanie’s tale. And to inherit the only house
Lanie ever really considered a home, she’ll have to bring her “husband” back to
Charmed, Texas for three whole months—or watch Aunt Ruby’s cozy nest go to her
weasel cousin, who will sell it to a condo developer.
Nick McKane is out of work, out of luck, and the spitting image of the man Lanie described.
He needs money for his daughter’s art school tuition, and Lanie needs a
convenient spouse. It’s a match made . . . well, not quite in heaven, but for a
temporary arrangement, it couldn’t be better. Except the longer Lanie and Nick
spend as husband and wife, the more the connection between them begins to seem
real. Maybe this modern fairy tale really could come true . . .

Excerpt

I didn’t look back, and I didn’t care. Nick’s hand was warm in mine, and when we reached the dance floor they’d cleared a space for, he tugged back gently to make me turn around. The look in those dark eyes nearly took out my knees. He pulled me into his arms, leaving no room for imagination, and I let my hands slide up his chest to his neck, and around back as his eyelids grew heavy.

Roberta Flack crooned softly, the first time…ever I saw your face… And something in me went warm from head to toe. Something besides whatever was in that punch. Something more real than that.

“Nice save.”

“I tried.”

“How was the punch?” he asked.

I wound my fingers into his hair and pulled his head down.

“See for yourself,” I said, the last word finished against his lips.

Sparks ignited throughout my body as our lips met. Soft. Slow. Wet. Needing. Our bodies moved as one with the music, so close, so tightly pressed together I could feel his heart beating. My hands traveled slowly back down his chest and around his middle as his came up into my hair. When his tongue ran over my top lip, I knew he could feel my gasp. And when I pulled him in deeper to taste him, I felt the low growl in his chest rumbling against mine.

His fingers twisted in my hair as he dove deep and then pulled back, deep again and back, teasing me, pulling back to kiss my lips one at a time, as I kept clinging tighter. I was drunk on it. Breathing shallow. My fingers curling into his shirt with the need for more.

The first time…ever I kissed…your lips…

It was erotic, the way he kissed me. The way I kissed him. Slow, matching our movements. Intimate. Electric and emotional at the same time. And so full of desire and barely restrained need, that my body was trembling with it when he held my face and leaned his forehead against mine.

I wanted to keep my eyes closed. Absorb the feel of him, the song, the words, the taste. Just hold on to it a little longer. But I felt the heat of his gaze and my eyes fluttered open. And everything inside me turned to liquid fire. No one—ever—had looked at me like that. Had wanted me like that. The mirror image of what was churning inside me was all over him. In the desire mixed with the trouble haunting his eyes. This wasn’t the game. That thought hit me like a sucker punch to the gut. This was—

His mouth covered mine again, hungrier, hotter, and I melted into it. The burn in my chest at the realization of just how fucking real this was, stole at my breath, and I didn’t care. It was more than we were supposed to be doing but—God, it was so good. It was so good my heart felt like it was swelling to the size of the room. Wrapping around us as his hands cradled my face and he broke from the kiss, moving his lips along my face, my cheeks, back to my lips, both of us breathing fast. It was more. Nick was giving me the more. It wasn’t just physical; it was bursting inside me.

When he pulled me to him, I buried my face in his neck and held him as tightly as I could as the words slowed to an end. I didn’t want it to be over. I didn’t want to let go.

I could hear my heart in my ears, pounding with every breath. He smelled like soap and something woodsy and Nick, and I always knew that but being up close enough to lick him made the smell intoxicating.

The music stopped.

The lighting was changing. I had to let go of him, and the second I moved he backed up too. Just a little. Just enough for me to see the mouth I’d just gotten to know intimately. His gaze fell to my lips as well, before dragging up to my eyes. Things had changed. In the course of time it took for that song to make its evolution, our reality had shifted. And the real kicker was that I think we both knew it already had.

A Charmed Little Lie
A Charmed Little Lie by Sharla Lovelace
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Welcome to Charmed, Texas a picturesque town where you can find crazy townsfolk, possibly haunted houses, old flames, and new beginnings.
Sharla Lovelace pens another wonderful small town romance filled with emotion and desire, quirky characters and fun twists.

When Lanie lied to her Aunt Ruby about having the job of her dreams and a husband to match it, her intentions were good. She didn’t want her dying aunt to worry about her. But after reading her aunt’s will she finds out her good intentions have an unpredictable impact in her life and now she desperately needs to find a fake husband who’ll live with her in order to save her childhood home from falling into the hands of her greedy cousins. As Lanie has forsaken love, she’s in no danger of falling for her newfound gorgeous roommate is she?

Nick McKane needs a job to pay for his daughter’s education and he’s just desperate enough to accept a perfect stranger’s insane plan to fake a marriage for three months. But as he deftly jumps into his role of loving husband while getting to know Lanie the illusion they create is slowly turning into reality, but can he trust in them enough to believe it’s real or will he walk out on them when the time is up?

I get the impression that Sharla Lovelace has a great time writing about small towns, creating the charming places with interesting townsfolk and their wacky dynamics. I loved reading about Charmed and feeling as though I was transported there. Aside from the parochial appeal, I very much enjoyed the slow burn relationship between the perky Lanie and sexy yet closed off Nick.

It’s clear that they both have vested interests in pulling off the lie, but Nick is able to jump effortlessly into his role whereas Lanie has a more difficult time having to quit her current job, not being able to accept her actual dream job in California all while having to deal with the ridiculously attractive man who struts dripping wet in only a towel after a hard run and before heading to work at the local dinner filled with fawning females who can’t get enough of the easy going new chef.

“How was the punch?” he asked.
I wound my fingers into his hair and pulled his head down.
“See for yourself,” I said, the last word finished against his lips.

Sparks ignited throughout my body as our lips met. Soft. Slow. Wet. Needing. Our bodies moved as one with the music, so close, so tightly pressed together I could feel his heart beating. My hands traveled slowly back down his chest and around his middle as his came up into my hair. When his tongue ran over my top lip, I knew he could feel my gasp. And when I pulled him in deeper to taste him, I felt the low growl in his chest rumbling against mine.

Having the need to show everyone that they’re madly in love and happily married requires them to be out and about together, holding hands and showing other PDAs which helps to fuel the already existing smoking hot attraction, but it’s during the quiet times when they’re alone when they get to know more of each other when that attraction turns into so much more.

I loved both Nick and Lanie equally. She was so lively yet a tad broken and insecure, but not enough to that it stopped her from defending her “husband” against all the unwanted female attention he got. That was so much fun to witness. Nick on the other hand was a bit walled off having had bad luck whenever it came to love, but I just swooned over every time he got instinctively protective over Lanie, whenever he flirted with her when no one was there to watch or listen in, and every time he sexily called her “Mrs. McKane.”

“What was that, Mr. McKane?” I said, putting my cake-covered hand to my ear. “Was that the sound of losing?”
Nick grabbed my hand and stuck one of my fingers in his mouth, sucking the cake off with his tongue. Everything stopped for me for a moment, the world going on tilt, and he winked as he licked his lips.
“What was that, Mrs. McKane? …The sound of shock?”

There’s so much I’d love to share, so many things I highlighted from sweet, to sexy, to emotional. Needless to say I was captive with their story and wanted to know how it would all turn out. I look forward to reading the next book in this series and anything else Sharla Lovelace puts out for the sentiments she evokes and the emotive stories she composes.

A Charmed Little Lie is the kickoff book in the series Charmed in Texas by author Sharla Lovelace. It is a standalone contemporary romance with a great balance between fun, wit, steaminess, and heartfelt emotions. It is told from the heroine’s point of view with a happy ending.

 

Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sexy small-town love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go, the exciting Heart Of The Storm series, and the fun and sexy new Charmed in Texas series.

For more about Sharla’s books, visit http://www.sharlalovelace.com, and keep up with all her new book releases easily by subscribing to her newsletter. She loves keeping up with her readers, and you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

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Good Girl by Lauren Layne SALE

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“a delicious bite of Southern seduction with chemistry that sizzles.” 
Rebecca Yarros
GOOD GIRL
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Released May 17th, 2016
Loveswept
New York Times BESTSELLER • Lauren Layne brings all the unpredictable heat
of Blurred Lines to
an all-new cast of characters! Country music’s favorite good girl is hiding
away from the world—only to find herself bunking with a guy who makes her want
to be a little bad.

 
Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music,
not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s
suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal
connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking
her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next
album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker
named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and
serious heat.

 
Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston
Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer
has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed
break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is
indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet
pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he
is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their
problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

Excerpt ~ Noah’s POV

“What time did you say this chick was arriving?” Finn asks around his cigarette.

“Tomorrow morning,” I say, rapping my toe against a funny-looking floorboard and wincing when it buckles.

“Huh.” Finn exhales and looks out the window.

I know that tone. “What?”

“Seems she might have gotten here early,” he says, a second before the quiet afternoon erupts with the sound of my dog losing his mind, mingled with the shrill piercing yap of a much smaller dog.

“Seriously?”

Finn shrugs and nods. “There’s a girl outside.”

“Shit,” I mutter as I head toward the stairs, dodging the two broken ones.

Ranger’s about as good a dog as they come, wouldn’t hurt a fly. But he’s a big dog with a big bark, and one serious weakness: gleefully humping smaller dogs. He’s a rescue, and though he was fixed after they brought him in, he’d already gone through canine puberty, or whatever. He’s still got the fierce urge to hump, although it’s more habit than hormones.

I exit out the front door just in time to see my big brown Lab leap forward, his clumsy paws finding the shoulders of a blond girl who lets out a shriek, holding a cat above her head like that scene from The Lion King.

“Ranger, no! Down.”

I run forward, my hand finding the collar of my dog and yanking him backward as I search the ground to find the source of the small-dog barks still piercing the air.

Then I register that the sound is coming from above, and realize . . .

The cotton ball isn’t a cat.

That orange piece of fluff is a dog, and Ranger is apparently in love.

“What the heck is wrong with your dog?” the girl says as she slowly lowers the puffball from over her head, cradling the hideous little monster against her chest as it continues its high-pitched bloody-murder yips.

“At least my dog is actually a dog,” I say, staring in horror at the pointy face of a canine that could fit in one of my hands. “I’ve seen dust bunnies bigger than that thing.”

“Dolly’s a Pomeranian,” she says, setting a hand on top of the monster’s head. “She’s supposed to be this tiny.”

“Well, Ranger’s a Lab. He’s supposed to be this normal.

“He attacked me,” she says, giving Ranger a wary look as his tongue hangs out the side of his mouth, his eyes locked lovingly on Dolly.

“He didn’t want you, he wanted the . . . dog,” I say, forcing myself to acknowledge that the creature in her hands might be part of the canine family.

“For what, dinner?”

I don’t respond, because now that the crisis is averted, I’ve managed to shift my attention from the dogs to the girl, and . . .

Holy shit.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been sucker-punched by equal waves of lust and disdain before.

Jenny Dawson is hot as hell.

I knew that going in, but up close she’s even more mouthwatering. Her white skirt is short and tight, her legs long and toned.

She’s wearing some billowing pink top, so I can’t get a good look at what’s happening there, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ve always been a legs man, and I can’t stop looking.

The legs are a 10.

The face is a 10.

And the long blond hair spilling over one shoulder definitely begs to be spread over a man’s pillow. My pillow.

And yet even as my cock says yes, my brain is saying hell no.

Gorgeous as she is, she screams diva from the pink toenails to the sky-high stiletto sandals and all the way up to the carefully made-up face.

I just turned my entire life upside down trying to get away from a woman exactly like this one, so this is definitely a look, don’t touch situation.

But I’m looking. I’m definitely looking.

ON SALE .99 CENTS
 

 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author
of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her
husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized
Pomeranian.
 
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing
career in Manhattan, and never looked back.
 
In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a
Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!
 

 

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Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis Release Tour

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This is my stop during the book blitz for Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 9 till 15 January. You can view the tour schedule here.

Special release week pricing!
Finding Kyler is only 0.99$ during the release week! Buy a copy from Amazon now before the price increases to $2.99. Finding Kyler is available to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Finding KylerFinding Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #1)
by Siobhan Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Upper Young Adult
Release Date: January 9, 2017

Blurb:
Two fractured hearts and a forbidden love they can’t deny.

You shouldn’t want what you can’t have…

Faye Donovan has lost everything. After her parent’s tragic death, she’s whisked away from her home in Ireland when an unknown uncle surfaces as her new guardian.

Dropped smack-dab into the All-American dream, Faye should feel grateful. Except living with her wealthy uncle, his fashion-empire-owning wife, and their seven screwed-up sons is quickly turning into a nightmare—especially when certain inappropriate feelings arise.

Kyler Kennedy makes her head hurt and her heart race, but he’s her cousin.

He’s off limits.

And he’s not exactly welcoming—Kyler is ignorant, moody, and downright cruel—but Faye sees behind the mask he wears, recognizing a kindred spirit.

Kyler has sworn off girls, yet Faye gets under his skin. The more he pushes her away, the more he’s drawn to her, but acting on those feelings risks a crap-ton of prejudice, and any whiff of scandal could damage the precious Kennedy brand.

Concealing their feelings seems like the only choice.

But when everyone has something to hide, a secret is a very dangerous thing.

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REVIEW

Read an exclusive sample of Finding Kyler here.

Finding Kyler
Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


A totally addictive read full with cat fights, teen anguish, lust and forbidden love.

“You asked me before to find myself. No to commit until I had. But, the thing is, I can’t find myself without you.”

Faye Donovan’s life has been turned upside-down. Having to move from Ireland to the other side of the world to her previously unknown uncle’s home in America with his seven intense and odd sons after her parent’s tragic car accident isn’t an easy adjustment. Especially not when one of her cousins frustrates her as much as he gives her heart palpitations, and there’s more to him than the rude and sullen façade he shows to the world which makes him even more irresistible to crack especially when he keeps everyone at arm’s length.

After his best friend and girlfriend’s betrayal, Kyler Kennedy has very little interest in getting into a relationship and is more focused on his motorcycle racing but when his off-limits cousin takes residence at this parent’s mansion and his mind and under his skin it’s hard to keep her at bay no matter how much he tries. And although a relationship with his cousin isn’t against the law, it’d still be frowned upon so keeping it under wraps seems the way to go. Can they find a way to be together or will family secrets keep them apart?

“Kyler emits dangerous, seductive vibes that speak directly to that secret chamber inside me. It’s like he possesses a silent calling card that resurrects a hidden wild part of me.”

Oh boy, where to begin? There’s a reason I don’t read much YA, mainly because I’m not into all the teen angst and drama, but when I read that Siobhan Davis was writing a series in this genre similar to Rachel Van Dyken and Abbi Glines, I just couldn’t resist and I glad I didn’t. This story is executed with skill and an allure that kept me biting my nails and flipping pages well past my bedtime.

“When Ky decides to let someone in, she’s going to be the luckiest girl in the world, because this boy has a huge heart, and he’s capable of enormous feats when it comes to the ones he loves.

Even though I had a trouble with the cousin issue throughout the book, I do believe these aren’t just beautiful words randomly strung together. There’s a method to every accomplished writer’s madness that will take the reader in an addicting and unputdownable journey. I trust Siobhan’s cleverness to do just that. So having said that, I think Finding Kyler is a wonderful read, the pacing is perfect, the characters are well developed and the plot is moving.

“My eyes explore hidden, dark depths filled with loathing and self-ate. It’s a melting pot of wild, out-of-control emotions. Heartfelt pain has a vice grip on his heart.”

Not only are Faye and Kyler complex and well layered all of the supporting characters are appealingly flawed and fascinating in their own unique way, even the bad “guys” who cause heartache and commotion. I loved reading all about all the Kennedy brothers whose names all start with K and I would’ve have confused if not for the chart the author provided at the beginning of the book. Siobhan gave every single one an interesting back story I can’t wait to read about in the coming books.

But the brothers aren’t the only characters that help build the story, there’s the Kennedy heads of family which have their own subplot, the cook’s daughter who is in love with one of the Kennedy boys but of course she can’t act on it because they’re not of the same social class, Kyler’s ex-best friend Brad and of course the mean girls.

Even though there are a good number of secondary characters and subplots, the hero and heroine are always at the forefront. Faye is a strong young woman who knows herself and isn’t afraid to express herself and just trying to find her place in her new life. Kyler, well… he’s somewhat lost his way, hence the book’s title. He was wishy-washy when it came to Faye being at times mean and then sweet, nice and thoughtful to her, but I couldn’t blame him, it was pretty much par for the course. Besides the fact that he’s part of a pretty dysfunctional family and has been hurt by love before, she’s off-limits! So they have their ups and downs, but as like knows like, they recognize a kindred spirit in each other which helps them connect on a deeper level.

“That unspeakable void in his soul calls out to me, as if we’ve been carved from the same cloth.”
Finding Kyler is book 1 in young adult The Kennedy Boys Series by Siobhan Davis. It’s written from the heroine’s points of view with an “I never saw that coming” shocking cliffhanger. I recommend it for readers that like emotional roller coaster teen drama and angst.

SiobhanAbout the Author:
Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young 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 Amazon bestselling True Calling and Saven 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 +
Goodreads
Amazon
Kennedy Boys Newsletter

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Finding Kyler. This giveaway is open international. These are the prizes you can win:
– One paperback of Finding Kyler by Siobhan Davis
– One paperback of Fallen Crest High by Tijan
– One paperback of Paper Princess by Erin Watt
– a $5 Amazon gift card

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Royally Screwed by Emma Chase Release Blitz with Excerpt, Teaser

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royally-screwed-for-webEmma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled Series & Legal Briefs Series, returns with the first of three sizzling standalone books about a family of racy, irresistible Royals.

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness”, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant—hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

***

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately—the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia—Nicholas is worth it.

***

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is, but more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

 

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Excerpt

 

“I have a plan.”

We’re in the library of the suite. Nicholas is behind the desk, his hair falling still damp over his forehead from a recent shower, while James and Tommy stand near the windows.

“Take off your clothes,” I say, dropping a stuffed backpack at my feet.

He stands, giving me a curious, dimple-flashing smile that makes my stomach tingle.

“I like this plan.”

He pulls his shirt over his head—and at the sight of that gorgeous chest and ripped abs, I have to close my mouth to stop the flow of drool.

“Should I send the lads to their room?” he asks.

I toss him a Beastie Boys T-shirt and ripped jeans from the backpack. “They can stay—I’ll get to them in a second.”

Nicholas puts on the outfit, his disguise for the day. I hold up a thick gold chain with a dangling cross, and he dips his head so I can loop it over his neck. Then I squirt gel into my hand and reach up on tiptoes to rub it through his hair—mussing it at the top and slicking the sides.

Perfect.

“Do you know how to drive a motorcycle?”

“Yes.”

“Excellent.” I pull a helmet with a full, tinted face shield out of the backpack and hold it up. “Marty’s bike is downstairs. He said to tell you: break it, you bought…a Ducati.”

Logan steps into the room from where he was stationed just outside the door, lifting his hand, like a traffic cop. “Hold on, now—”

Nicholas takes the helmet. “It’ll be fine, Logan.”

“And,” I say cautiously, turning to the three big, strong, probably-have-a-license-to-kill boys. “I want Nicholas and me to go on this outing alone. You guys stay here.”

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph.” Tommy says.

James makes the sign of the cross.

Logan takes another route. “No fuckin’ way. Not possible.”

But the look on Nicholas’s face says it’s definitely possible.

“No,” Logan insists again, his voice straining with a faint hint of desperation.

“I have an itinerary.” I take the sealed envelope out of the backpack and hand it to Logan. “I wrote everything down for you, just in case—exactly where we’ll be, every minute.” When he starts to tear it open I put my hand on his. “You can’t open it until after we’re gone—it’ll ruin the surprise. But I promise it will be all right. I swear on my life.”

My eyes drift from Logan to Nicholas. “Trust me.”

And I want him to—so much. I want to do this for him, give him something he hasn’t had. Something he’ll remember always: freedom.

Nicholas looks at the helmet, then at Logan. “What’s the worst that could happen?”

“Ah…you could get assassinated and the three of us will hang for treason.”

“Don’t be silly,” Nicholas scoffs. “We haven’t hung anyone in years.” He smacks Logan’s back. “It’d be the firing squad.”

 

 

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Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER | TWITTER | GOODREADS

YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE by Julie Cross and Mark Perini

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YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE
Julie Cross & Mark Perini
Releasing August 2nd, 2016
Sourcebooks Fire
Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before
Anyone Else
, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect.
The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone
together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high-paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.
Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once in a while?
Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else… 
 
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Excerpt

FINLEY

“What are you so afraid of?” Summer asks.

I take a sip of the beer Dima brought me a few minutes ago. “Oh, I don’t know, addiction, overdose, puking on some innocent victim’s shoes, random drug testing by the agency…”

Summer laughs. “Drug testing on models? Yeah, that’ll be the day.”

Okay, so maybe I just don’t want to do it. Even if I should be in my so-called experimental phase.

I wouldn’t exactly label myself a rule follower, but I guess I’m just cautious. I haven’t always been this way. Not that I’ve done drugs, but before high school, I was all about ballet. Let’s just say I had a rep for being the sassy troublemaker. My mom being my ballet teacher may have had something to do with my behavior. My fingers immediately move to the cross dangling from my neck—I’ve only removed it a couple times over the last four years. Somehow, it’s always warmer than my hands.

I debate texting my dad to ask him if he’s done coke or molly. He’d probably tell me. But I wouldn’t want to freak him out. Seems like a conversation better reserved for a weekend visit instead of late on a Friday night when I could be too far gone to help, for all he knows.

I glance around the room and finally spot someone I know: my friend Alex and his girlfriend Eve. Alex and I did a big Calvin Klein shoot last year, and Eve was the photographer’s assistant. Actually, Eve used to be a model too, another preteen/teen phenom like Elana, who headlined that CK shoot along with Alex. My part had been fairly small, and still, that was my biggest job ever.

“Have you met Alex?”

Summer shrugs, grabs two more shots of vodka, and hands me one. “Like I would remember.”

I down the shot quickly and prepare to talk to Alex and Eve. Maybe they’ve done drugs and can advise me. But my buzzing phone distracts me. I pull it out of my purse and glance at the new text.

JASON: Yeah, it’s so weird to be home again. But I missed it.

My stomach flip-flops. He replied to my text. Hours later, but still…this could mean—

“Oh lord, you’re pathetic.” Summer is leaned toward me, reading over my shoulder. “That’s probably enough for you to live off of for another six months or so, right?”

I glare at her and shove the phone back into my purse.

“No comeback? Wonder why…” She pretends to be in deep thought. “He said he missed it. Not you. Cut the fucking cord already. It’s not healthy.”

If only it were that easy. When you’re in a relationship with someone for four years, you get so comfortable with that person. It’s daunting to start all over again.

I make my way across the room to see Alex and Eve, who are leaning against the back of the couch, more absorbed in each other than anything else.

“I heard Elana’s back from France?” Alex asks me, keeping his voice low.

“Yep, her and her mom. I think her mom is driving her crazy, but that’s to be expected. French Mama is driving me crazy too.”

They both laugh at the mention of French Mama, but I can’t take credit for that title. Summer made it up.

“I can’t believe her parents let her come back to New York,” Eve says.

Alex smiles at her. “You’re just upset that they’re here and not in France where we can hit them up for lodging.”

My gaze travels back and forth between the two of them. “You guys are going to France? Are you going for Fashion Week?”

Eve shakes her head. “Nope. I did the Prada shoot, and I’m done for good. Got tuition for next year covered.”

Even though Eve had supposedly quit modeling a few years ago, she pulled a one-last-job stunt last spring to cover her tuition at Columbia. She’s a photography student with a lot of experience under her belt.

“We’re doing the cheap travel, backpacking in Europe but without actual backpacks thing,” Alex explains.

Across the room, another beer pong player is being requested. This could possibly be the most adventurous thing I’m willing to do here. I turn to Alex and Eve again. “Well, good luck in Europe. I’m gonna go play beer pong.”

“Hey.” I grab Dima’s shirt sleeve. “You need another player?”

He looks me over, deliberating. “Sure. Be the new guy’s partner.”

“The new guy?” I glance around. What does that even mean? New to the party, like he just walked in? I’ve been here fifteen minutes.

“He’s new to the agency,” Dima says. “First casting, and he books some big job.”

“So we hate him then, right?” I joke. I turn around to head toward the game table and run right into a guy about my age with wild, dark curly hair and designer jeans.

“This guy,” Dima says to me and then turns to the new guy. “Got you a partner. Finley. She lives in the agency apartment downstairs.”

They exchange a look that says I’ve been mentioned before. I’m not liking that too much, but usually, I don’t come to these parties. Instead, I bang on the door at two in the morning to tell them to

stop thumping around like elephants. Maybe I got a bad rep.

While we wait for Dima to find a partner, I snatch two beers from a nearby cooler and offer one up to New Guy. “So, Dima said you’re new, but he didn’t say where you’re from.”

“Uh…the Midwest.”

“The Midwest.” Okay. Someone doesn’t want to get personal. “Like Wisconsin or like Chicago?”

“Chicago…well, not in Chicago, but around it, you know?” he says.

“Right.” I pop open my can and take a drink. “What’s your name? I’m sorry, I don’t think Dima said…”

“Eddie.” He lifts his gaze again. “Eddie Wells. And you’re Finley Belton, the girl who lives downstairs.”

Summer breezes past me but stops when she spots me holding the beer pong ball. “Beer pong? Oh, you wild animal…grrrr.” She holds up her tiger paws and growls at me.

I give her the finger and then turn back to Eddie. “I’m one of the girls who live downstairs.”

“One is too bitchy, one is too underage, and one is nice,” he recites, most likely quoting Dima.

This is exactly what I’m trying to escape tonight. “Dima called me the baby bear?” I’m secretly hoping he catches my reference to Goldilocks.

“No,” Eddie says. “He called you Finley Belton, but I added the nice part, because you brought me a beer. And it is just right, not to mention you’re talking to me instead of staring and whispering to other people about me.”

Points for his fairy tale knowledge, and I’m sure the whispering is the result of whatever big job he’s landed. Too many models at this party.

Eve tries to be Dima’s partner, but he refuses and tells Alex to play with him. Eve opens her mouth to protest, but Dima holds up a hand. “Don’t even. I know your type. You’ll engineer some fancy trick shots. No Ivy League players showing me up. I got a rep to protect.”

“Fine,” Eve snaps. “I’ll just stand here and look pretty. And I’m definitely rooting for Fin and…” She gestures toward the new guy.

“Eddie,” I fill in for her. “Eddie from Chicago.”

“Eddie from Chicago,” Eve repeats. “Good luck.”

Summer returns and stands beside Eve, both leaning against the back of the love seat.

“Fin makes a great partner,” Summer says to Eddie. “She knits. Lots of finger dexterity.”

I shoot her a glare and will my face not to heat up. So not cool.

Review

You Before Anyone Else
You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


Fun, flirty, endearing and touching. Not what I was expecting but I completely enjoyed this story about self-discovery and breaking the mold.

Eddie picks up a lock of my hair. Slowly, he slides it between his fingers. “You’re not my type either. Too pretty. Too nice. Too smart. Too perfect. I’d hate to go after someone I could actually fall for…”

Finley has a goal no one knows about. To achieve it she needs big bucks and therefore better contracts which usually go to edgier, rebellious models and not the selfless, goody goody ones like her. Trying to get out of her comfort zone she decides to have a fling with a fun, yummylicious stranger. As it turns out though, he’s the newest model at her agency who’ll be living in her same building. Can she resist the attraction she feels toward Eddie? After she finds out he’s keeping secrets of his own, will she still feel the same way about him?

Eddie Wells’ confident, carefree façade couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s taken a job no one knows about because he needs the money to refocus his life which he’s not exactly sure what direction will take. And just the tip of the iceberg of secrets he’s keeping. But in the meantime, he’d love nothing more than to spend time with the smart, beautiful, down to earth girl who makes his feel calm but only wants a one night stand. Can he convince Finley to at least give him a chance to enjoy the now? Will spending time with her make him open up and reveal all his troubles? When the time comes, will he be able to give her up?

My head clouds with a million thoughts – “Who are you Eddie Wells? What is your story? Why does it seem like you have so much to tell? And why is your mouth so easy to stare at?”

I was invited to read this title because I read and enjoyed Julie Cross and Mark Perini’s previous book Halfway Perfect and I’m incredibly thankful for the invite. I liked You Before Everyone Else immensely, which really doesn’t come as a surprise because I’ve read other books by Julie. I will say this though, given the blurb I was expecting a light, fun r about models. What I got was certainly fun, but also endearing characters whose stories pulled at my heart strings.

“Neither of my parents have ever cooked a meal for me. I have no memory of being hugged by them. Ever. They’ve never taken me to the zoo or the park…”

The characterization is fantastic. Both Eddie and Fin feel real and relateable. They’ve both had difficult pasts but neither are boggled down but them. They’re both trying to be better people despite their histories and striving to find their place in the world and in each other’s lives. Finley is totally a goody-two-shoes who tries to help her father, her brother’s, Eddie, everyone really. She’s selfless and ignoring what she’s really wanted to do all her life. I loved how, with Eddie’s help, she found her confidence and made herself a priority.

Eddie was totally adorable. He’s completely lost, a stray, as Finley’s roommate called him. But he’s incredibly sweet, strong and determined to be better than his father, his family. Just be better and try to do the right thing. My heart broke for the total lack of warmth and support he had but applauded his bravery and loved that he found his place in Finley’s life.

There is of course a good dose of delicious chemistry and great banter between Eddie and Fin, however this is a new adult book and their sexy times are mostly delectable make out sessions which fade to black. Something I liked because then the focus is on the actual relationship between them.

I loved the dynamic between them which was strong and sweet, tentative and yet intense. The way they accept and support each other is lovely. If they put what they truly want on a map, their paths barely cross because modeling to them is a means to an end. Yet they don’t try to change the other, but rather try to fit as best as possible their lives to one another. Which included Fin’s incredibly adorable twin brothers and amazing dad.

I absolutely have to give a shout out to Fin’s father, Sam. He’s loving and supportive, really cool and understanding. He wants what’s best for his daughter but isn’t imposing in any way. The completely opposite to Eddie’s family.

You Before Everyone Else hits all the right New Adult marks about barely being old enough to vote, not old enough to drink and still having tough adult choices to make and finding oneself. The pace was terrific, I desperately wanted to know Eddie’s secrets and then wanted to know how everything would unfold and was so glad that the ending was a very realistic and happy.

Even though this book isn’t marked as a series, I loved having Alex, Eve and Evana from “Halfway Perfect” back, playing pivotal roles in the story. You Before Everyone Else is a YA standalone book, told from both points of view with a happy ending.

Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating
those who have taken the steps in Breaking the Mold on society’s expectations,
like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!  We are looking for anyone who would like to
share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!
 
Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story.  Feel
free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of
your comment!
 
Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug
15th, 2016.  No purchase
necessary to enter.  If under 12 years
old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.   

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Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today
bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest
series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex,
Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).
She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at
You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program
Director with the YMCA.She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the
young adult and new adult genres.Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a
committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach
vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card
holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

 

Mark Perini is
a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect.
Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.
Mark began his career as an international
fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a
business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the
world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders
of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.
 
Don’t miss the companion novel
HALFWAY PERFECT

Tour Info for TO HAVE AND TO HOLD by Lauren Layne

Posted on Updated on

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles!

 

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
The Wedding Belles #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing July 26th, 2016
Pocket Books

 

Sex and the City meets The
Wedding Planner 
in The Wedding Belles, her sizzling brand new
contemporary romance series about three ambitious wedding planners who can make
any bride’s dream come true…but their own.
 
Discovering her fiancé is an
international conman just moments before they exchange vows devastates
celebrity wedding planner Brooke Burke’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a
pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks
she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet, if slightly spoiled,
hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse
springs.
Seth Tyler wishes he could write a
blank check and be done with his sister’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately,
micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiancé is a liar.
Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose
practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs
Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan
a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she
should be planning…is theirs?
BUY NOW

Review

Cute, sweet and sexy.

Escaping to New York was never Brooke Baldwin’s plan. She just wanted someone that would love her and have a successful career as a wedding planner. Having her fiancée taken away in handcuffs minutes away from getting married not only shattered her dreams of love but also of having a fruitful business. But the East Coast elite wedding Belles want her and she’s happy for the new start until she meets the infuriatingly controlling man who’s paying for her client’s wedding.

Hotel mogul Seth Tyler would do anything for his only living family, but going to tastings and viewing potential locations for his little sister’s out of the blue wedding to a man he doesn’t know is not exactly something he’s looking forward to, but how else will he make sure the man isn’t after his sister’s money?
After meeting the very attractive wedding planner and hearing her earnest opinion on happy forevers, his very pragmatic and unromantic side seems to be constantly distracted with thoughts of passion and romance towards Brooke. Can he convince her to give them a real chance and still keep his sister from making a terrible mistake by marrying the wrong man?

“She so desperately wanted a nice man who’d take her to dinner, buy her pretty things, and most of all, who’d hold her. Who’d pull her close, wrap his big arms around her, and just let her lean. Without plan or agenda. A kind man, a gentle man, who wanted to build a life with her.”

I’ve been hooked on Lauren Layne since she first got her first book out and I’ve read all of them since. I can’t really say which one is my favorite because I’ve loved all of them. I really like all of her series because of the friendship and camaraderie between all the characters that add a layer of appeal you can’t ignore. So when she announce a series described as “Sex in the City meets The Wedding Planner” I just couldn’t resist.

“What” she asked.
“A dirty vodka martini… Somehow that seems to be exactly the perfect drink for you.”
Brooke tilted her head. “Do you always mean for things to sound the way they do when they come out of your mouth?”
“How’s that?”
“Provocative.”
“What’s provocative about repeating your drink order?”
“The dirty part.”

Lauren’s writing is as solid as ever with humor, sassy banter and hot sexy times. I liked all the different personalities within the ladies at the Wedding Belles and think each will make interesting characters. Maya and Grant, Seth’s sister and best friend, made for a great backstory. I wish we could have had of what went on between them and I hope Lauren considers doing a novella about them.

Seth and Brooke are appealing characters. Seth is an anti-social, cynical control freak who loves his sister tremendously and has a vulnerable side that wanted to make Brooke happy no matter what. On the other spectrum is Brooke, who despite having had a humiliatingly heartbreaking almost wedding, she still believes in romance and hasn’t lost hope in finding a man that will love her.

They had an incredible attraction but I found myself not entirely sold on their connection. I don’t know if I’m in the minority but I couldn’t understand why Brooke at one point got really upset with Seth. I won’t go into detail but I thought he’s reasoning was solid, good and came from the heart. He could probably have been more forthcoming, but I didn’t feel it was a good enough reason to get all worked up about it and certainly not to the point of Brooke comparing him with her conman ex-fiancée.

To Have and to Hold is book # in The Wedding Belles series by Lauren Layne. It is a sexy contemporary romance and a great start to the series. Told from both points of view that has a happy ending.

Author’s Pinterest board -> https://es.pinterest.com/LLayneAuthor/to-have-and-to-hold/

Excerpt

Hold on. Back up. Back all the way up. What do you mean you’re getting married?”

It was eleven p.m. on a Wednesday, and Seth Tyler was exactly where he always was these days: behind his expansive mahogany desk at the Tyler Hotel Group, suit jacket slung over the back of his ergonomic chair, tie begging to be undone, impeccably pressed white shirt cuffed at the wrists.

He raked a hand through his thick light brown hair in frustration and fixed his younger sister with his best no-nonsense glare, an approximation—like everything else he seemed to do lately—of his deceased father.

When Seth’s father dropped dead of a heart attack eight months ago, Seth had thought the hardest part about his father’s passing—other than the mourning, of course—would be taking over the family company.

Sure, Seth had been groomed for the role. He’d wanted the president and CEO title. He’d always wanted it.

Eventually.

But not yet, for God’s sake.

Seth had no problem admitting that he was a perfectionist, and he’d been bound and determined to take over the family company his way. The right way.

And the right way, as Seth had determined it, was spending at least a year shadowing each of the senior-level Tyler Hotel Group executives. Seth had wanted to learn every possible detail, every in and out of the business, before even thinking about taking over the reins of the Fortune 500 company.

But his father’s heart had had other plans. Mainly, up and quitting during a routine round of golf. And so, quietly, per his father’s wishes, Seth had become CEO two years ahead of schedule.

Not a day passed that Seth didn’t wish his father was still with him, but in truth, taking his place at the head of the boardroom table had been easier than Seth had anticipated. The investors hadn’t freaked out. The executive team hadn’t left in mass exodus. Even Hank’s longtime assistant, Etta, had stuck around, seemingly content to call Seth boss even as she busted his balls about not eating enough vegetables, getting enough sleep, or getting his hair cut.

But if taking over the family company was easier than Seth had expected, there was one ramification of Hank Tyler’s death that Seth hadn’t been in the least prepared for:

A wedding.

Maya Tyler inhaled a long, patient breath, as though preparing to deal with a difficult child. “Well see, marriage, Seth, is when two people fall in love and decide to spend the rest of their lives—”

“Yes, I’m aware of how marriage works,” Seth interrupted. Although, not as aware as well as he’d like, as it turned out. He wouldn’t be getting any firsthand knowledge of how marriage worked any time soon.

Maya bit her lip. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to remind you of Nadia.”

Seth glanced down at his desk to avoid his sister’s too-perceptive gaze. She wasn’t wrong. He’d gotten to the point where he could go most days without thinking of his ex, but he hadn’t yet figured out how to think about marriage without hearing the incredulous laugh she’d let out when he’d gone on one knee and showed her the ring he’d spent months picking out.

“Can we not?” he said curtly.

“Don’t get pissed. It’s a wedding. You’re supposed to be happy.”

“I’m not pissed; I’m just surprised.”

That was an understatement. Seth had not seen this coming, and for a man who exercised precision in all things, he couldn’t say he was enjoying the shock value of Maya’s announcement. Especially not on the heels of his father’s death. A death that everyone but Seth had seen coming, because Seth had been the lone outsider on the knowledge that was his father’s longtime heart condition.

Apparently, Hank had considered his only son a control freak—had known that Seth would have stopped at nothing to try to halt death in its tracks.

His father had been, well, right. It was hard to admit, but if Seth had known about his father’s condition, he’d have devoted every waking hour to researching experimental treatment and the best doctors.

Hank Tyler hadn’t wanted that for his final months. Not for himself or for Seth.

Still, Seth resented not having the choice. Resented his father nearly as much as he missed him.

But he’d put that behind him. Mostly.

Hank was gone, and Maya was still here. Maya was all he had.

He had known she was dating a new guy—Neil something or other. But Seth hadn’t thought a thing about it. Maya had whipped through a constant string of casual boyfriends since high school, and other than a two-year relationship in college, they had never been serious.

And it certainly hadn’t gotten close to marriage.

What’s worse, Seth hadn’t even met this man that was apparently to be his brother-in-law.

But none of this would have mattered, not really, if Seth’s instincts hadn’t been buzzing that something was amiss with the way this was all going down. Something was off. He knew it down to his gut.

“How long have you been seeing this guy?” he asked.

Maya slumped back in the plush chair facing Seth’s desk with a groan. “Don’t do this. I knew you were going to do this.”

He frowned. “Do what?”

“The big brother thing,” she said.

“Hard not to, what with me being six years older and all,” Seth said.

He didn’t add that he was doubly obligated to be protective given Hank’s death just months earlier. Maya had definitely been Daddy’s Little Princess. She still got tears in her eyes every time their father’s name was mentioned.

Maya leaned forward, her pale blue eyes much like his own, although her blond hair was lighter than his, thanks to her frequent trips to the salon.

“I love him, Seth. I know you’re jaded these days, but Neil is exactly the type of guy we women spend our entire lives dreaming about.”

Seth bit his tongue to stop from saying that he bet Maya was exactly the type of girl that guys like Neil dreamed about, too. Young, pretty . . . and filthy rich.

Or so Neil likely thought.

 

 

Lauren lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

Five years ago, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan.

She writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush, and in her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

When not bringing The Sexy, she likes to blog about her Instagram addiction, and why mean girls are the worst.

 

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Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward Excerpt Reveal

Posted on Updated on

STUCK-UP SUIT

(A standalone novel)

Release date 4/11/2016

A Contemporary Romance novel

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Authors

Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

stuck up suit excerpt reveal

RELEASE DATE: April 11th, 2016

Pre-order EXCLUSIVELY on iBooks:

http://apple.co/1Qbwy57

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified of releases! http://eepurl.com/brAPo9

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Cover Information

Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, r.b.a designs

Model: Dusan Susnjar

Photographer: Tijana Vukovic

stuck - up suit cover

Blurb

It started out like any other morning on the train.

Until I became mesmerized by the guy sitting across the aisle.

He was barking at someone on his phone like he ruled the world.

Who did the stuck-up suit think he was…God?

Actually, he looked like a God. That was about it.

When his stop came, he got up suddenly and left.  So suddenly, he dropped his phone on the way out.

I might have picked it up.

I might have gone through all of his photos and called some of the numbers.

I might have held onto the mystery man’s phone for days—until I finally conjured up the courage to return it.

When I traipsed my ass across town to his fancy company, he refused to see me.

So, I left the phone on the empty desk outside the arrogant jerk’s office.

I might have also left behind a dirty picture on it first though.

I didn’t expect him to text back.

I didn’t expect our exchanges to be hot as hell.

I didn’t expect to fall for him—all before we even met.

The two of us couldn’t have been any more different.

Yet, you know what they say about opposites.

When we finally came face to face, we found out opposites sometimes do more than attract—we consumed each other.

Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for where I’d wind up when the ride was over.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.

EXCERPT

It felt like we were the only two people in the world, instead of inside a busy, posh restaurant.  

“This is beautiful.  But odd,” I said.

Graham took off his jacket and settled into his side of the table with one arm casually slung over the top of the booth.  “Fitting.”

“Are you saying I’m odd?”

“Are we going to fight about it if I say yes?”

“Probably.”

“Then, yes.”

My brow furrowed.  “You want to fight with me?”

Graham tugged at his tie, loosening it.  “I find it turns me on.”

I laughed.  “I think you need counseling.”

“After the last few days, I believe you may be right.”

The waitress returned with our drinks.  She set a highball glass down in front of him and a wine glass in front of me.

Graham had ordered Hendrick’s and tonic.  “That’s an old man’s drink, gin and tonic,” I said as I sipped my wine.

He swirled the ice around in his glass, then brought it to his lips and looked at me over the rim before drinking.  ”Remember what arguing with me does.  You might want to look under the table.”

My eyes widened.  “You aren’t.”

He smirked and cocked an eyebrow.  “Go ahead.  Put your head under.  I know you’re dying to take a peek anyway.”

After we both finished our drinks, and some of my nerves had started to calm, we finally had our first real conversation.  One that wasn’t about sex or tongue rings.  

“So how many hours do you work a day in that big fancy office of yours?”

“I usually go in by eight and try to leave by eight.”

“Twelve hours a day?  That’s sixty hours a week.”

“Not counting weekends.”

“You work weekends, too?”

“Saturdays.”

“So your only day off is Sunday?”

“I actually sometimes work in the evening on Sunday, too.”

“That’s nuts.  When do you find time to enjoy yourself?”

“I enjoy my work.”

I scoffed.  “Didn’t sound that way when I stopped in the other day.  Everyone there seems afraid of you, and you refused to open the door.”

“I was busy.”  He folded his arms over his chest.  

I did the same.  “So was I.  I took two trains to personally deliver that phone, you know.  And you didn’t have the decency to even come out and say thank you.”

“I didn’t know what was behind the door waiting for me, or I would have come out.”

“A person.  A person was behind the door.  One who went out of her way for you.  If I were a sixty-year-old married woman with blue hair, you should have come out to thank me.”

He sighed.  “I’m a busy man, Soraya.”

“Yet here you are on a weeknight at only 7PM.  Shouldn’t you be working until eight if you’re so busy?”

“I make exceptions when warranted.”

“How big of you.”

He arched an eyebrow.  “You want to look under the table, don’t you?”

Other books from Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Cocky Bastard

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1DW9XpB

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/1WwPzkC

iBooks: http://apple.co/1J7vbN0

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY

About the Authors:

vi keeland bioVi Keeland

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work.  She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

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Additional Books by Vi Keeland

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1MWanfu

Amazon UK:  http://amzn.to/1fczMX5

iBooks: http://apple.co/1DnI6f6

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1aqrmbS

B&N:  http://bit.ly/1O1Ah0q

Throb

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1BgqIUD

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1CsRg9d

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1zk882K

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1x5c3P8

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1slglLN

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)

Worth the Fight (MMA Fighter Series, Book One)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1xC6epE

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1alpVES

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1dbzZ8R

Smashwords – http://bit.ly/1is0zNX

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1co2ZpF

Worth The Chance (MMA Fighter Series, Book Two)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1xC71aa

B&N: http://bit.ly/1gwTyJw

iBooks:  http://bit.ly/1gHMCZg

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1fqQcnj

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/NU2rCR

Worth Forgiving (MMA Fighter Series, Book Three)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1wbsJEK

B & N: http://bit.ly/1ljdVzb

iBooks:  http://bit.ly/XBTLFX

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1kWP4ka

The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You (Cole Series, Book One)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1fr26W2

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1KRsCVy

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845

IBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You (Cole Series, Book Two)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Mi0AzQ

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1KRsdCx

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Standalone novels

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

Amazon US:http://amzn.to/1G9HdDK

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Rmi3xp

First Thing I See

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1fr3dF7

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1RmihEP

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1JWFo21

Meet Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Stalk Her: Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Other books from Penelope Ward

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon  http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg

B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG

ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT

kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

Gemini

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE

B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD

iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj

kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC

B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6

iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8

kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

My Skylar

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F

B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi

iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR

kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves

B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z

iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC

kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

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