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House of Falling Embers

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House of Falling Embers
Krystal Jane Ruin
Publication date: October 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Retelling

Once upon a time there was a witch. She was a kind witch, but that didn’t matter. The people were afraid, and fear often turns to hatred.

When Artemis was thirteen, her best friend Aris was swallowed by the crumbling house they found in the woods. Like a coward, she abandoned him to the horror within.

She moved away. She tried to forget. But when she finds herself back in her old neighborhood after college, the ghosts—and her guilt—are waiting. A charred figure stalks her dreams, and someone, or something, haunts her from the trees.

Going back into the woods might be the only way to save her sanity.

Because nine years later, the house is still there. Still waiting. Still restless.

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Author Bio:

Krystal is the author of supernatural and paranormal fiction, living in the Tennessee Valley with a collection of swords and daggers. When she’s not hoarding stuffed pandas, hourglasses, and Hello Kitty replicas, she can be found in a YouTube hole or blogging about books, writing, and random things at KrystalSquared.net.

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Dragon Avenged

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Dragon Avenged
Ophelia Bell
Publication date: September 4th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

The indulgently sexy epilogue of the “Immortal Dragons” series is here!

A year has passed since the explosive conclusion of the Dragon Council’s quest to find their mates and destroy their mortal enemy. The world of the higher races is on the verge of a dangerous shift. The dragons have one more ritual to undertake to ensure their secrets are kept and the human world remains oblivious to their presence. One woman is the key to their safety.

With powers and a bloodline no other creature in existence possesses, Deva Rainsong is finally on the verge of understanding her purpose. She must cast the spell required to reach all the humans tainted by the enemy, even if it comes at the expense of her innocence. But Deva’s nature craves a true awakening, and her rapture might just be the thing that saves them all.

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EXCERPT:

Numa gazed up at Dion, curious. “You already have a plan, don’t you? Do you have enough power to control the entire bloodline?”

Dion smiled bitterly. “Potentially, but that would be the wrong approach. Meri’s methods of mind control are not what I wish to employ to handle this challenge. There is the added complication of the mutations many of the humans possess. The bloodline is as varied as Deva’s, though none of the humans with it possess more than a few drops of divine power, thanks to their link to me. And they all have souls. Attempting to meddle with them unwillingly could corrupt them.”

Numa pursed her lips, following the thread of Dion’s thoughts. Meri’s creation of the Ultiori had involved infusing humans with the blood of the higher races, her own in particular. Once her puppets interbred, that blood, along with Meri’s nymphaea blood, was passed down the generations for thousands of years, their numbers increasing to the millions. It had allowed Meri access to immense power at the end, a power that had nearly cost them control of the Source. If Dionysus hadn’t intervened, Meri could have beaten them. Now their biggest worry was being discovered by all of humanity, which had its own set of complicated drawbacks. They couldn’t treat this issue lightly.

“But you have the power to reach them, right?” she asked.

“Yes. I can sense all the souls attached to the bloodline, but I can’t affect them on my own. I would need power from all five races to do that, and a conduit through which to channel the power—someone with a link to all the races too.”

“Not a fucking chance.”

Numa’s gaze shot to Cade, who had spoken. The big blond ursa shook his head and scowled.

“Cade, you don’t even know who would possess that kind of link.”

“The hell I don’t. You know as well as I do it’s Deva he’s talking about. The poor girl’s been through enough the past year, being shuttled around like precious cargo between all the higher realms, never once allowed to get her feet under her. Now you want her to be the apex of some sex ritual. She isn’t ready.”

“He never said . . .” Numa objected, but Cade interrupted her with a laugh.

“Sweet pea, you think I don’t know how this works? Anything that involves our magic—especially dragon or nymphaea magic—requires someone getting fucked. If it were any one of us, I’d be all over it. The five of us together brought enough power to win a fucking war. But we’ve got experience under our belts. Eons of it between us. Deva may look old enough—she may be wise beyond her years after living with the gods while we won that war—but she’s still a baby, and I guarantee none of her parents are going to sign on, either. Find someone else.”

She turned a worried gaze to Dion. “He’s right. There has to be someone else who can do it. Meri experimented on thousands. We should at least talk to Neph and Nyx about it, don’t you think?”

“You forget I am linked to all the potential options, little one. If they were tainted by Meri’s blood, they are now part of my bloodline. That includes your brother, who was Meri’s first. Yes, I can sense him with Neph and Vrishti and their new daughter in the Sanctuary, though his blood meld to my son is a stronger link. I agree we should open up the conversation to the others when they arrive, but if there was any other option, I would know.”


Author Bio:

Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren’t apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don’t mind being with a woman who’s in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.

Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.

If you’d like to receive regular updates on Ophelia’s publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list: http://opheliabell.com/subscribe/

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Twelve Months of Awkward Moments

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Twelve Months of Awkward Moments
Lisa Acerbo
Publication date: August 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Dani can’t wait for senior year at college. A straight-A scholar whose anxiety is a daily struggle, being awkward, introverted, and studious has become a way of life. She vows this year will be different. It’s time to move beyond her comfort zone, but that’s not easy.

Dani’s wild roommate and handsome best friend hate each other; her crazy family won’t leave her alone; and a new job forces her to be social. Unfortunately, when college romance finally calls, Dani is unable to answer thanks to a stalker who has her all tied up.

Can she stay alive long enough to find love and graduate?

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EXCERPT:

Shaded under the dim porch light, Shami sits outside in a black jacket at a picnic bench near his apartment. He’s surrounded by a few friends but stands out as he is a good head taller than those around him. I’m confident as I saunter toward him in leather pants and strappy wedge sandals that highlight my long legs. My jacket is unzipped, exposing my lace-trimmed tank top. A bathroom run before leaving the bar showed my long hair remained under control, no frizz.

“How was the bar?” he asks.

“Good, you should have joined me there.” I run a hand through my hair for show.

“No car.” He smiles sweetly.

“So sad.” I grin. The two cans of hard cider leave me less than drunk but give me a bit of an edge. I feel good, which usually leads to trouble, and consider switching to beer. I hate the taste, so I’ll drink less and remain more in control. Small talk swims like a school of minnows as we catch up.

I pose the question I really want the answer to, and I realize why I need the hard cider. “What happened after our date?” I really mean, “Why didn’t you text me?” He squirms over, and his movement reminds me of a caterpillar. I work hard to stifle my giggle.

His hand finds my leg. “I had to go to Israel and was traveling.”

“Really? You couldn’t text from there? Or once you got back?”

“I guess I should have. Sorry.”

Silence invades for long seconds. I’m out of conversation topics and sobering up. I close my eyes as the brisk night air pushes against my cheeks. I hear the bench squeak as we adjust ourselves on the uncomfortable wood seats. I taste the awkwardness of the moment in my mouth. Finally, we throw out questions to each other to cover the disconnect.

Shami stands and stretches. “You have a car, right?”

“Yes.” I’m reluctant to say more, realizing where this is heading.

“Let’s go for a ride.” His white teeth shine in the darkness.

“I’m not sure that’s a good idea. I’ve had a couple drinks.”

“I haven’t. I’ll drive. Plus, it’s super close.” He holds out his hand. I hesitate, but then dig through my purse and hand him the keys, already understanding I’ll hate myself in the morning for doing this. We take off. I’m relieved Shami is a capable driver, but I smell his excessive cologne. To my overstimulated senses, it reeks. The fact he is in control of my car makes me feel like a cornered animal, yet I did this.

I’m confused when we enter the dark parking lot at McDonalds. Shami cruises into a spot in the far corner away from the entrance. An awkward silence ensues as he remains in his seat. With the heat blasting, the interior of my tiny Toyota Matrix warms quickly, and my leather pants stick to my skin. Shami takes his jacket off, revealing a gray T-shirt underneath. His hand slithers to my thigh, and I ask myself where the polite, sweet college student who held the door for me at the Hookah lounge has gone and who has replaced him.

“What are you doing?” I ask as I remove his hand from my leg, placing it none-too-gently on his side of the car.

“That’s why we’re on this date, right? You want to hook up, right?” He touches various parts of his own body.

“I see the way you’ve been appraising the Shami. You want this.” The muscles under his T-shirt flex.

Now I’m repulsed. His third-person reference to himself sounds stupid, conceited, and immature. “What I want is to get to know you.” I eye the McDonald’s sign and wonder if “The Shami” takes all his super-fun dates here.

“You got me. I’m the best thing at the Connecticut Central State College.” He leans over and tries to kiss me. I give him my cheek and then jerk back.

“I’m beginning to doubt that.”

“You’re not giving away any sugar?”

I feel my eyes bug out, wide open. “Here in the parking lot? Are you kidding me? Who does that?”

His cocky expression sours. Clearly, he knows I’ve called him a male slut because he seems to like lurking in dark corners of fast food joints. “You’re turning out to be a drag. Man, I’m hungry.” He focuses on the building. Shami opens his car door, and the scent of fries wafts through the air. Without a word, he leaves me in the passenger seat. I wait, unsure of what to do. I want to leave. Unfortunately, he took my keys with him. The jerk. The hopeful part of me perks up. Maybe this date will be salvageable. He probably darted inside to get us milkshakes.

I’m almost correct. Shami arrives with a milkshake, fries, and quarter pounder for himself. I watch as he devours them. My stomach growls.

“That put me in a good mood,” he says as he finishes his food. His snake-like hand embraces my arm, but I am certain he was aiming for another part of my anatomy. He squirms closer. I scoot away, my butt colliding with the door. He doesn’t notice. I attempt to avoid him as he angles in for a beef and onion-flavored kiss. It’s sloppy at best. I shove him away.

My stomach growls again. “We could go out for drinks and dinner?”

“I just ate.”

I smell the pickles and special sauce as he talks, his lips transforming into a dour frown. “Listen, if this isn’t happening tonight, I think I’m going to hang with the boys.”

“I think that’s an excellent idea.”

We drive home in silence. In the parking lot, he hands me my keys and heads off without a backward glance. I sit in the car, stunned, and realize I get to look forward to an entire year of running into him in the complex and on campus. My life is just one happy merry-go-round of fun. As I make my way back to my apartment, I felt a cool breeze on my thigh. I gaze down to witness the long split in my leather pants. All I want now is to inhale some left-over veggie Pad Thai, curl up under my comforter, and cry. The crazy part? This isn’t the worst date I’ve been on.


Author Bio:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education.

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Wyoming Legend (Wyoming Men)

Wyoming Legend (Wyoming Men)Wyoming Legend (Wyoming Men #8) by Diana Palmer
Published by Harlequin on October 30, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 381
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four-stars

A Wyoming rancher finds love where he least expects it in this heartwarming second-chance romance

Micah Torrance could use a helping hand. Between managing his expansive Wyoming ranch and caring for his willful little girl, Janey, Micah’s plate is more than full. Usually, it’s not in this cowboy’s nature to ask, but when beautiful Karina Carter offers her help, Micah can’t resist. With her sweet smile and her easy way with Janey, Micah wants to trust her. But he knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak.

Champion ice-skater Karina Carter needs a fresh start while her body heals. Caring for little Janey is just temporary until she can get back on the ice—or so she keeps telling herself. But the longer she spends with this gorgeous single dad, the more drawn she is to him and the family they could share. Now if only she can convince him that she’s here to stay, this new life with him could be beyond her wildest dreams.

Who abducted Diana Palmer?

 I am a huge fan of Diana Palmer. I began reading her books in my early adult years. But recently, I noticed a huge change in her writing. Where are the strong, capable women? Women who were capable of handling domineering males in a romance story.   In the last past several books all Diana Palmer female characters were too timid, to the point that the female characters became 2D. There are aspects in DP latest book, that has become a norm for all her female characters. They must be virginal and weak. I don’t mind that a female can be pure. But come on, weak to the point that she becomes a doormat to the first man to shows a slight interest in her…. Enough of my ranting onto the review.

Diana Palmer takes us into the world of figure skating.

Wyoming Legend, the 8th book in Diana Palmer’s Wyoming Men series, published under the Harlequin brand. When champion ice-skater, Karina “Miranda Tanner”, whose life and dream where to be on the US Olympic Team, suffered an icing accident. Karina must now ponder if her dream was just that.…Dreams.

Caring for little Janey was supposed to be temporary. Something to do until her body heals or come to a decision if she should hang up her skates for good. But the longer she spends with the Torrance family, the more she is drawn to put down roots away from the spotlight. Until little Janey Torrance becomes Karina inspiration to go for the Gold!

Wyoming Legend was okay. It was interesting enough to maintain my focus long enough to complete which in my eyes is a good thing. I didn’t want Wyoming Legend to become the first title of Diana Palmer books that I wrote off as a DNF.

You might be wanting to ask; will I stop reading books by Diana Palmer? The answer to this question will be…. no. However, it might come down to if I am willing to purchase her titles or just borrow the book from my local library.

All, of the titles in Diana Palmer’s Long Tall Texans was fun and entertaining. I have these titles handy for those times I want to read a Diana Palmer book. What book by Diana Palmer that you find you can’t stop reading. Leave your answer below.

About Diana Palmer

New York Times bestselling author Diana Palmer, AKA Susan Spaeth Kyle, was born in Cuthbert, Georgia, the eldest daughter of William and Eloise Spaeth. She and her younger sister, Dannis, were raised in Chamblee, where Susan graduated from Chamblee High School in 1964. The family moved to Cornelia, Georgia, in 1965. Susan married James Kyle in 1972. They have a son, Blayne, who is married to the former Christina Clayton. They are both graduates of Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. They live in Tennessee and have a daughter, Selena Marie Kyle, born in February 2009.

In 1991, Susan returned to college and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia, in 1995. She continues to work on her master’s degree in history as time permits. Her first novel as Diana Palmer was published in 1979. She has over 115 novels in print. She has written historical novels as well as contemporary romance and has produced science fiction, with her novel THE MORCAI BATTALION appearing in hardcover in 2007.

Susan’s hobbies are gardening, knitting, crocheting, astronomy, archaeology, and animals. She has dogs, cats, birds, and lizards. She enjoys getting mail from her readers but is slow to answer it.

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Eight Goodbyes by CHRISTINE BRAE

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Eight Goodbyes
Christine Brae
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 28th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance

One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” –Unknown

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

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EXCERPT:

“Who knows you’re here?” she asked.

“You mean, specifically here? In Hong Kong?”

She nodded.

“No one. My family and friends think I’m traveling for work.”

“Ah. So if anything happened to you, how do they know where to look?” she asked, her chin resting on the palm of her hand.

“Well, when they find my phone and the one thousand pictures of you, they’ll know,” he said.

She laughed. Rather uncomfortably. This is what having an affair feels like. It’s you and him and no one else.

“Adrian doesn’t know I’m here.” This time he leaned forward, closer to her. “Does Riley know you’re here?”

“She has to. Even if I don’t tell her directly, Jake knows. He’s very protective that way. Needs to know where I go, who I’m with.”

“You seem so attached, the two of you.”

“He’s the only constant in my life.”

He stayed silent. She hadn’t intended to offend him with that comment. But then she decided that it was too soon to even think of his role in her life.

That was the real crux of the matter, and she wanted to keep it top of mind.

What about you, your parents? Do you see them often while you’re home?”

He laughed. “As a matter of fact, I have dinner with them every Sunday. They don’t live far from my old apartment. I’m moving to Chelsea when I get back which is a little further away, but I know my mum will find every excuse to come and visit. I’ll be too close to the shopping area for her to resist. She likes to get out sometimes. Leave the farm.”

“We’re lucky we have family we can count on,” she said.

“But none of them know we’re together,” he said, his tone lowered, quiet.

“Why does anyone need to know? Who cares?” she asked in defiance. She observed the way he picked up another dumpling with his chopsticks and shoved the whole thing in his mouth. “Okay, let me rephrase that,” she said. “In time, they’ll know.”

He smiled. “Better.”

He looked at his watch. She could tell that he wanted to change the subject. And she didn’t have to try. A round of applause filled the room. Tessa and Simon turned to see a man on one knee with his arms in the air, proposing to a very embarrassed woman.

“At a dimsum restaurant?” Simon smirked.

“Hey! You’ll never know! Maybe this is a special place for them,” Tessa said.

“Must be,” he answered, pulling his wallet out at the same time. He motioned for the dimsum man to bring the check over.

The man counted the different colored plates, each with a code for the food they ordered, wrote with lightning speed on a pad of paper, tore it off unevenly and handed it to Simon.

As he examined the bill, Simon said, “I forgot that your Twitter profile says ‘hopeless romantic.’“

“Love makes the world go ‘round!” she said in response, pausing to follow up with an afterthought. “At least in Romance books!”


Author Bio:

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.

Christine’s third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life, released in January 2016.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.

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Taxed by Love by A.J. RENEE

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Taxed by Love
A.J. Renee
(St. Fleur #5)
Publication date: August 29th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Love was in the air and Gabrielle wasn’t interested. Even if she was willing to risk her heart again, which she wasn’t, any man would have to get past her overbearing brother first.

Andrew was unashamed of his love of women… until he found himself yearning for what his friends had found—love and family. When a gorgeous woman caught his eye at a buddy’s wedding reception, he blindly followed, unable to resist her allure.

Their encounter was meant to be no-strings fun, but months later, Gabrielle couldn’t get him out of her mind. Andrew regretted never getting her name or number, leaving them both with only memories and unanswered desires.

An unexpected reunion brought the couple to St. Fleur, where trouble had been stirring for their friends and family. Can Andrew persuade Gabrielle to take a risk on a playboy? Or will tragedy jeopardize their chance at love?

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EXCERPT:

Andrew stared at her text. He’d given up on his food and his last task at eight o’clock. Memories of their lunch date plagued him, and he wished he’d had more time with her. In a weak moment, he’d texted her again.

Only now he was slack-jawed as he reread her message. Gabrielle didn’t come across like a woman who would sleep with multiple men at one time. Then again, Andrew didn’t know her well. She was a gorgeous woman who could easily command a group of men to worship her body.

A body he wanted to worship. No help required.

He took a deep breath, hoping to calm the storm of emotions raging inside him. Of course, it didn’t help at all.

Gabrielle: Cat got your tongue?

He narrowed his eyes and imagined spanking her firm ass for making him feel out of balance.

Andrew: You’re screwing with me?

Gabrielle: I’m sure you’d know if I was “screwing” with you…

He chuckled and shook his head. His eyes moved the words around and read, “screwing you,” and he hardened.

Andrew: There’s no way I wouldn’t be sure. I can promise you that you’d have my undivided attention.

Gabrielle: I’m glad to hear that.

Andrew smiled like a fool and looked around. At least he was at home with no one to witness his juvenile reaction. He closed his eyes and let his mind drift back to when he’d touched Gabby earlier in the day. It hadn’t been nearly enough.

He wasn’t sure how long he was lost in thought, his hand wrapped around his cock, when the phone next to him dinged and pulled him from his fantasy. If it weren’t from the object of his desire, he would have ignored the text and continued torturing himself with images of Gabby’s perky breasts.

Gabrielle: I’m with Marc and Lindsey. Noah, Sofia, Jaime Lynn, and Jesse are here too. I just met Charlie as well.

Reading Marc’s name was like a bucket of ice water had been dumped on him. Had this been how his buddy felt the entire time he’d fought his attraction to Lindsey? A pull toward a woman he knew was forbidden fruit. The constant fear of losing someone you loved because of a woman.

Andrew: Three men. Aren’t you clever. I’d tell you to say hello but…

Gabrielle: But you’d like not to have your ass handed to you?

Andrew: Pretty much.

Gabrielle: You realize that Marc has no control over who I date right?

Andrew chuckled as he imagined Marc trying to step into Gabby’s love life. He was a stubborn fool, but Andrew was pretty sure Gabby held the trump card every time.

Andrew: If it wasn’t me trying to date you I’d be grabbing popcorn to see him try.

Gabrielle: Is that what you’re trying to do? Date me?

He stared at her words. His initial reaction was to yell yes! What was it about this woman? Andrew didn’t date; he fucked. Beautiful women with their beautiful curves, regardless of their ethnicity, hair color, or occupations. Strictly speaking, he loved taking women to bed. He didn’t date them.

Before he could stop his fingers, he hit Send.

Andrew: Yes…

“What the fuck are you doing, Drew?” he snapped.

 

Author Bio:

AJ Renee is the author behind the St. Fleur series, Beauty Unmasked, Winter’s Surprise, Surviving Paris, and Finding Love at the Falls…. She’s a military wife and mother to three young girls. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with her Master of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology while working at the library.

She loves to write steamy romance with suspense and a happily ever after. When she isn’t writing or interacting with her readers, you can find her spending time with her family or reading. AJ enjoys traveling, researching family history, and all things New Orleans.

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Faith In Love by C.M. ALBERT

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Faith in Love
C.M. Albert
(Arden’s Glen Romance, #1)
Publication date: August 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Full of grief and jaded by love, corporate philanthropist Egan MacGuire is given two options by his boss: take a leave of absence or kiss his job goodbye. A road trip with a friend is just the distraction Egan needs to figure out how to get his life back on track.

Celeste St. Angelo left the bright lights and big city for the mountains of North Carolina to open the next phase of her flourishing Angel Therapy business, a healing and wellness center. With the grand opening looming she has no time for distractions, especially love.

When divine timing sparks an unexpected romance, will Egan and Celeste be able to leave their troubled pasts behind and find the courage to have a little faith in love?

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Grab our copy for FREE for a limited time only!

PLUS!! Book 2 – Proof of Love – is on sale for 99¢!

EXCERPT:

He went to the kitchen and washed out their wine glasses, placing them in the drying rack. He grabbed two large Mason jars and filled them with water, then headed back to the great room. “Mind if I light your fire?” Egan asked.

Celeste burst out laughing. He hadn’t realized what was so funny until she said, “I bet you say that to all the girls!”

Egan grinned, his mouth turning up at one side. “I don’t usually ask . . . it just happens naturally.”

Celeste rolled her eyes, a smile still lighting them from within. Damn. If Egan could only make her smile like that all the time.

He loved the serious side of Celeste, but he loved her funny, lighter side even more. He’d never met anyone he could laugh with and cry in front of whom he also wanted to grab by the waist and dip into a serious kiss. God, that mouth. He would be dreaming about it tonight. He could feel himself staring, so he shook his head to clear it. He flipped on the switch for the gas fireplace, watching it spring to life. He settled back down on the couch next to Celeste. This time, he sat a little closer. He turned toward her, adjusting his leg, and brushed hers in the process. He felt the electricity shoot through his gut and straight into his heart. He wanted to hug her, protect her, and slide inside of her, all at the same time.

“What?” Celeste asked, using a small hand to gently turn his face toward hers. “You have such an intense look on your face right now. I don’t know what you’re thinking.”

“But you know what I’m feeling, don’t you?” Egan couldn’t stop himself if he’d wanted. He leaned his head to the side and melted his cheek into the softness of her hand. It felt so right there, cradling his strong jawline. He knew his five o’clock shadow would feel scratchy against the incredible smoothness of her skin. He couldn’t help but wonder how that hand would feel tracing down his chest and over his abs. How it would feel to have it smooth over the muscles in his thighs. His groin tightened at the thought of her fingers trailing over him, touching him, taking him. He leaned his head back against the couch and groaned.

“Perhaps this isn’t the best idea, Celeste,” he whispered.

“It’s definitely not a good idea, Egan.” But instead of pulling back, she leaned further into him, settling into the crook of his shoulder as she rested her head against his chest. “You smell so good. What are you wearing?”

Egan wrapped an arm around her shoulder, pulling her closer. “Um, soap?”

Celeste took in a deep breath again. “That cannot be just soap.”

“Soap and the natural scent God gave me.”

“Mmm,” she replied. “Lucky you.”

“Well, I don’t exactly sit around smelling myself, Celeste.”

“Yeah, that would be awkward.” She smiled when she looked at him, sitting up a little straighter on her feet, which she had tucked beneath her.

Her eyes were dark, but more. Flecks of amber kissed the brown that swirled around in her irises. He could lose himself in those eyes. Hell, I’m lost already. Who am I kidding?

She leaned forward, her eyes never leaving his. They were inches apart, and Egan had to clutch his fingers in a fist to stop himself from devouring her.

“Celeste,” he moaned, “if you start this, I might not be able to stop.”

“If I start this, I wouldn’t want you to stop,” she whispered.


Author Bio:

USA Today Best Selling Author C.M. Albert writes heartwarming romances that are both “sexy and flirty, sweet and dirty”! Her writing infuses a healthy blend of humor, inspiration, and romance. She’s a sucker for a good villain, but is a die-hard believer in everlasting love. In her spare time, she and her husband wrangle their two kids and enjoy spending time outdoors. When not writing or kid wrangling, C.M. Albert is also a Certified Medical Reiki Master, chocolate chip cookie aficionado, kindness ambassador, and seeker of naps.

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Somewhere Out There: Indie Authors in Support of Immigrant Families A Charity Anthology

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Somewhere Out There: Indie Authors in Support of Immigrant Families
A Charity Anthology
Publication date: August 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

The more than 150 independent authors, editors, artists, and promoters involved in this charity volume series are donating 100% of all net proceeds to non-profit organizations supporting immigrant families detained at the United States borders, particularly charities working to reunite children separated from parents and organizations working to provide legal and humanitarian aid. Our goal is to help keep immigrant families together and unincarcerated. (Watch this space for information about specific charities!)

The stories included range from contemporary romance to urban fantasy to paranormal romance to horror to comedy, and beyond–they’re as varied as the families and people whose dreams we want to support. The contributors come from all over the world, highlighting the international scope of this issue.

The stories we tell can help define who we are. Help us tell one of an international author and reader community coming together to support immigrant families.

Get your copy today!

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Private Charter by N.R. WALKER

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Private Charter
N.R. Walker
Publication date: August 24th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Stuart Jenner’s job is high stress, high stakes, and everything he’s strived for. So why, when the apex of his career is within reach, does he stumble? At his doctor’s insistence, he books a privately chartered yacht to sail around the Whitsundays for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex. When his friend-with-benefits bails on him at the last minute, Stuart decides to go alone.

Foster Knight left the rat race behind six years ago, bought a yacht, and now calls the Great Barrier Reef his home. Sailing tourists around tropical waters is all in a day’s work, and he’s never been happier. When his next client arrives alone, the two-week charter will be the most private job he’s ever had.

Foster can see how stressed and exhausted Stuart is, and he promises him extensive rest and relaxation. Stuart slowly realises his original plan for two weeks of sun, surf, and sex might not be lost yet. Confined to a yacht, isolated by aqua-coloured oceans and the sweltering sun, Stuart and Foster are about to find out just how hot the tropics can get.

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EXCERPT:

While he ducked downstairs to grab his things, I dropped anchor and pulled over the sun visor. Stuart came back up, vest gone, towel draped over his arm, and the bottle of sunscreen in his hand. He held it out to me. “Would you mind?”

I took it and rolled my eyes. “It’s not exactly a hardship.”

He chuckled and turned around, giving me his back. I applied sunscreen, covering his back and the nape of his neck, rubbing his shoulders, and even giving him a little massage. “You’re not so tense today,” I said.

“Imagine how relaxed you could get me,” he said, his voice low. I dug my thumbs into the knot of his shoulders, intending it as a jab to what he said, but he moaned instead. “Jesus, your hands…”

I dropped them and took a small step back. “You’re done.”

He turned to face me, his imploring gaze full of mischief. “Would you mind terribly doing my front? I’d hate to get sunscreen on your yacht.”

I stared at him. And Jesus, he was being serious.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

He looked around the cockpit. “I know. That’s why I asked. I’d hate to get sunscreen on your seat or your ladder when I hold on.”

I fought a smile. “That’s not what I meant.”

“Oh, I know.” He sighed dramatically. “Well, if you won’t do it for me, could you watch me do it and point out any parts I miss? I’d hate to get sunburnt.” He dropped his towel onto the seat and made a show of pouring sunscreen onto his palm. How could he make that sexual? God, it may as well be honey, or lube, or any-fucking-thing I’d like to lick off him.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, then he rubbed it all over his chest, his abs, down below his navel… and his eyes never left mine. His tongue peeked out at the corner of his mouth, and he stretched his neck and rubbed one hand over his throat while his other hand slipped just under his Speedos. It made me look at the bulge barely concealed by his swimmers. “Did I get everywhere, Foster?”

I swallowed hard and forced myself to make eye contact. “You were pretty thorough, yeah.”

One corner of his mouth rose in a sexy-as-hell smirk. “I’ve been told that before.”

My nostrils flared. “You don’t play fair.”

He shook his head slowly. “I’m not playing.”

Fuck.

Sure, it was summer, and sure it was the tropics, but that had nothing to do with the sweat that beaded all over my body. I let out a shaky breath and reached up to a line of sunscreen he’d missed under his eye and smeared it with the pad of my thumb. I wanted to slide my thumb across his lip. I wanted to slip it into his mouth, let him suck on it…

“Join me,” he whispered. “You know you want to.”

I knew exactly where we’d end up if we got into the water together. “I was going to make a start on an early lunch,” I replied. There was no conviction in my voice, and he knew it.

He leaned in and whispered in my ear. “I’m not hungry for food.” Then he turned, collected his towel, which he dropped near the ladder, and dived into the water.

I all but collapsed onto the seat, taking in deep breaths. I wiped my forehead, my face, and felt my heart hammering in my chest. Jesus, Lord have mercy, he was going to kill me.

I shouldn’t encourage this. I should have told him when this whole playful flirting thing started that it was a no-go. I had rules in place for a reason. I had a business, a reputation.

I also had a hard-on that wasn’t going away any time soon.

I had urges and desires that I hadn’t wanted to act on with anyone else. Then Stuart Fucking Jenner boarded my yacht and everything went to hell.

I should go down to the galley and prepare some lunch. I should turn on the TV for a distraction, or read a book, or go into my bathroom and take care of my aching dick, thinking about anything but him.

Him in the water, just a few metres away. Him, with the come-fuck-me eyes, who wants me to join him—and not just join him in the water. Him, with the scorching hot body who’s offering himself to me. Him, yes him.

I should not want him. I should not want this. And most of all, I should not get into the water with him. I knew how it would end. I would dive into the water with him, and he’d swim over to me with that devastating smile, and he’d reach out for me and I’d pull him close. He’d wrap his legs around me and I’d tread water, holding us both up, and he’d crush his mouth to mine. I’d finally get to taste him, to have that gorgeous pink tongue of his in my mouth, and then we’d bring it on board. On the deck, on the cockpit seat, down in the cabin, on the floor, on the table, in his bed, in mine.

“Fuck.”

I stood up, pulled my shirt over my head, took two long strides, and dived headfirst into the water.

 

Author Bio:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

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Catch Him If You Can

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 In Jennifer Shirk’s newest installment in her Accidentally Yours series, town widower Wade Roberts is being bombarded by Cape Harmony’s matchmaking mamas. His only way to stop them: pretend to be in a relationship with his sister’s best friend, Arden Pearson. But when what started as an act begins to shift into something more, it might take a village to convince Wade that Arden’s his perfect match.

Rafflecopter for Catch Him If You Can Blog Tour Giveaway:

Jennifer is offering one lucky grand prize winner a $10 Amazon Gift Card and five Runner-ups an eCopy of Bargaining with the Boss, book #1 in her Accidently Yours series! To enter for your chance to win one of these exciting prizes, please fill out the Rafflecopter link below:

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About Catch Him If You Can:

CatchHimIfYouCan_1600Title: Catch Him If You Can
Author: Jennifer Shirk
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 13, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Series: Accidentally Yours
Format: Digital eBook
Digital ISBN: 9781640636156


Synopsis:

Veterinarian Wade Roberts is done with love. But try convincing the elderly folk of Cape Harmony who are determined to play matchmaker. Now the young single women in town are bombarding him with baked goods and love notes, and being “taken” is the only way to stop the meddling grannies—which is why he needs a fake fiancée. Fast.

Arden Pearson loves planning weddings. Other people’s weddings, that is. After her own engagement ended in disaster, she prefers to live vicariously through her work. But when she needs to persuade a big client that she’s capable of planning the celebrity wedding of the year, she’s willing to go as far as pretending to be engaged herself to her best friend’s older brother.

Soon their ruse has everyone in town believing they make the perfect couple—including Arden. She’s always been nothing more than a kid sister to Wade, and it might take a village to convince him otherwise…

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes


Excerpt:
Copyright© 2018 Catch Him If You Can
Jennifer Shirk

Wade stood in line at the Drip N Sip, about seven people back, mentally warming up to let good old matchmaking Judy Tavish have an earful. What a friggin’ exhausting morning he’d had at work on Saturday, combating the flirting, the date requests, and the come-ons. Becky was right. His office had served more like a singles bar than a veterinary clinic. Well, no more. He was done with that, but mostly he was done with the meddling gray-haired coffee barista, looking over at him now and shooting him that wide, cheery-assed smile of hers.
“Oh, hello, Wade!” Judy waved, all sunny and good-natured, which ironically had the direct opposite effect on his already foul mood. He gritted his teeth and didn’t wave back.
“And what animal peed on your parade?” a feminine voice asked beside him.
He glanced to his right. Arden Pearson stood next to him with arms folded and an amused grin on her glistening pink-glossed lips. Arden was his sister’s best friend and all-around town sass-mouth—at least to him. He’d known her since high school when she had braces and blond hair down to her butt. Her mouth was still as sassy—maybe more so—but the braces were gone and her straight hair was cut shoulder length in a mature, professional style now. He’d always thought she was a cute girl back then, but as an adult, she was pretty damn stunning—when she wasn’t ribbing him. She had moved back to Cape Harmony about five years ago to open up her wedding planning business. Wade rarely ran into her in town unless she was with Kinsley, which made this day all the more agitating.
He turned away. “Right now, I’d actually welcome being peed on,” he muttered.
She made a tsk tsk sound. “Wow, you are having a bad day. Well, join the club.”
“Join the club?” Wade turned back to her and blinked. Damn, she had the prettiest eyes. The most unique kind of blue he’d ever seen. He immediately looked away. “Are you being bombarded at work and at home by hordes of single marriage-minded women?”
“Well, no— Wait.” She laughed. “Hold on. Are you?”
“Yes. And it’s all Judy Tavish’s fault,” he said, jerking his thumb in Judy’s direction. “She’s taken it upon herself to become my own personal walking, talking Tinder account.”
“Hmm…” Arden’s delicate brows drew together. “So, does this mean you want to book me ahead of schedule for a discount, or do you want to wait until the actual wedding proposal?” she said with a chuckle.
“I knew you wouldn’t see the seriousness in the situation.”
“You’re right. I don’t.” She shrugged. “I mean, so what if Judy thought you should get out and have some fun and gave your number to a few nice women. Oh, boo-hoo.”
He looked her dead in the eye. “Twenty-six women, Arden. Twenty-six. Not including the crowd that showed up at the clinic on Saturday with their fake sick pets. And did you know that when I got home from work there were brownies and half a baked chicken left on my doorstep.”
Arden whistled. “Damn. Remind me to use Judy when I’m looking for a date. Or need a snack.”


About Jennifer Shirk:

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Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of sweet (and sometimes even funny) romances for Montlake Romance and Entangled Publishing. Her novel, FIANCE BY FATE—a 2015 Readers’ Crown Finalist—became an Amazon #1 best seller for Series Romance. And recently, Wrong Brother, Right Match, WON the Sweet Traditional category of the 2017 Golden Quill Contest and became a #1 Amazon bestseller for Holiday Romance.

She resides in a beach resort in NJ, so when she’s not writing or working on her tan, she’s taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter and puppy (Sox).

Check out her website for News and Links: www.jennifershirk.com

And don’t forget to join her mailing list for a chance to win monthly giveaways and free ARCs: eepurl.com/Q6TH1

Connect with Jennifer:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

 

 

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Mute & Haze Box Set

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Mute & Haze Box Set
Christine Bernard
Publication date: July 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

This box set includes Mute and Haze.

Mute – Book one:

Can you get by for an hour without talking? A day even? What about a month? Or nine?

Rebecca Marley sets herself a nine-month challenge with only one rule: She isn’t allowed to communicate with anyone. She is to become mute. How hard could it be? Yet, what starts as a challenge, soon becomes a journey of self-discovery as Rebecca has only herself for company. Will this time be the peaceful respite she so desperately seeks? Or will she confront aspects of herself that a noisy world hides so well?

Faced with love and heartache, she soon learns to find solace in silence.

Haze – Book two:

Not all problems can be solved with a mute button.

Everyone knows Rebecca Marley. She’s the crazy, brave and introspective woman who spent nine months without talking. Everyone loves her. She’s raw, honest and relatable. She’s also rich and famous, although I’m sure you knew that already. You’ve probably read her articles, or her book, or seen one of her many interviews. She’s also socially anxious, self-conscious and self-degrading, but she tries to keep that to herself. Her once-silent world has changed, and the noise has engulfed her. It’s also about to get noisier, as Rebecca agrees to a new challenge, perhaps even crazier than before. This story picks up from Mute, and follows Rebecca on a new journey, one which we all face today. It begs the question, ‘how do we find quiet in a deafening world?’

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EXCERPT:

Excerpt from Mute

The ideas were rushing through me almost too fast to comprehend them myself. I needed to keep talking to keep the momentum going. “Why don’t I take a year off? But not from work. From life.”

“You want to take a year off from life? I don’t get it, Rebecca.”

“Yeah. Yeah. I mean, okay, so what if I create a challenge for myself? The magazine is big on challenges. We’re always giving people challenges to do in order to improve themselves. Why don’t I do one myself? Oh, and why don’t I write about it? That way, you still get articles from me each month.”

“But what would the articles be about? What’s the challenge?”

“To not talk to anyone for a year.” My smile grew wider. Given the current circumstances, it possibly made me look more maniacal than happy, but I couldn’t help myself. The more I thought about my new idea, the happier I became.

“What? Rebecca, you’re losing it. Why would you want to do that?”

“Why not? Think about it, it’ll be great. I’ll work from home for the next year. I’ll still do whatever you need done, but I’ll also provide you with an article each month, or each week—whichever you prefer—detailing my progress. Come on, wouldn’t it be interesting to see if a human being can go from living a normal life in society, to suddenly not speaking to anyone for a full year? I think the readers would love it too.” I needed her to think about the readers.

“But how can you not talk to anyone? How will you go shopping? How will you get by? Surely you have to talk to someone? What about emails? How can I give you work if I’m not talking to you?”

“You email me what you want done and I send it to you. But we don’t interact over email other than for work. And shopping? Why do I need to talk to anyone? I just buy and pay. I’ll spend my year writing and getting to know myself. I’ll come out of it a whole new person. I’m sure of it. I think I need this. I know it sounds crazy. But maybe a bit of crazy is what I need.”

Bubbles was staring at me now. She clearly thought I was mental, but there was also a glint in her eyes. Perhaps there was a part of her that thought I was being serious. She sat like that for a while, just staring at me and trying to make sense of it all. This was not the direction the meeting was supposed to take.

“Nine months,” she finally said.

“What?”

“Nine months. A year is too long. Do it for nine months. But you have to commit to this, Rebecca. If we are going to put it in the magazine I can’t have you changing your mind in a month and making us look like idiots. If you really want to do this, then you have to do it properly. I’ll support you, because I think you’re a great writer. And I also think you’re just the right amount of crazy to pull this off.”

The reality was sinking in. “Really? You’re going to let me do this?”

“I am, but, Becs—” Her voice softened. “It’s not going to be easy, you know.”

“I know.”

That was nine months ago.

Today marks the day the whole project comes to an end.

I have dreamed about this moment. I’ve wondered how I would react when I finally finished what I had started. I thought I’d scream. Jump for joy. Run out and talk to the first person on the street. Instead, I just sat there by myself. I knew I’d be different—it was impossible not to change after something this drastic—I hadn’t known I’d be this different. I sat there for a while, taking it all in.

Silent.

Mute.

 

Author Bio:

Christine Bernard is a South African author, with an obsession for good coffee (or wine), books and guinea pigs. She’s also a graphic and layout designer who illustrates on the side, but she’s happiest when writing. She enjoys writing mystery/suspense and contemporary fiction.

If you want to know when Christine’s next book will come out, please visit her website on www.christinebernard.com and sign up to her newsletter.

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A Shameless Little Con: Shameless

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A Shameless Little Con
Meli Raine
(Shameless #1)
Publication date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

I didn’t do it.

I never betrayed my friend.

Last year, I was kidnapped along with presidential candidate’s daughter Lindsay Bosworth, forced to help her assailants, my mother implicated in one of the biggest political scandals in American history.

I’ve been cleared of any wrongdoing, but that doesn’t matter. Once you’re tried by the media, you’re guilty as sin. The truth doesn’t get the public’s attention.

But shame? Shame sells.

And everyone assumes you’re tainted.

Now I have my own personal security team, courtesy of the United States government. Not the one you learned about in civics class, though.

I’m being tracked by the deep state. The shadow government. They’ve assigned Silas Gentian to be with me twenty-four seven. He thinks he knows everything about me – all of it bad — and he does.

On paper.

Like everyone else, he assumes I’m a traitor. A backstabber. A betrayer. Someone who helped a group of violent psychopaths, puppets of powerful men in Washington who made me into a tool.

Yet I see how he looks at me. True desire can’t be faked.

Or hidden.

And that goes both ways.

He assumes I’m trying to fool him.

And he might be right.

But not for the reasons he thinks.

A Shameless Little Con is the first book in the Shameless trilogy by USA Today bestselling author Meli Raine.

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EXCERPT:

Life is about blending in now, an impossible task for someone who has more notoriety than Monica Lewinsky. Shame is a booming industry, one with capital and debt, profit and loss sheets, one that trades in the hard currency of humiliation and intrigue. My ringing phone would be a constant reminder of my ongoing debasement, so I turn it off. Pretend there is no sound.

Pretend in order to function, because if I let myself receive a notification every time someone mentioned me, I’d be buried in cacophony, shattered by so much noise I would dissipate, particles of Jane Borokov in the air everyone breathes, and we can’t have that.

If I did that, I wouldn’t exist, and right now my best defense is just existing.

I’m innocent.

No one believes me.

And as time passes, I see that what people actually believe doesn’t matter.

It’s what you can manipulate them into feeling that counts. Media reports about my so-called heinous actions last year are all about stoking the furious fire of public anger. Get them outraged. Get them frothing. Pitchforks and torches are so twentieth century.

Now you tar and feather people with a Share button and a Like. It’s so easy. Read the words, feel something, then tap. Click.

Move on to the next scandal.

It’s all part of your life, right?

Until you are the shame sacrifice of the day. Week. Month.

Year.

We’re trained to seek high rewards, but the internet lets us do it with low effort. Got to get that dopamine fix somewhere, right?

“Jane.”

I start, spilling a bit of the crema from my latte on my hand. The perfect heart at the center of the foamy milk on the surface of my coffee turns into a mangled, jagged mess.

“Jesus! You scared me.” I keep my voice to a low hiss, mortified by all of the layers this interruption is breaching. I refuse to look at him, because if I look at Silas Gentian, my newly assigned bodyguard and babysitter, I’ll see disgust.

And while I’ve gotten used to it from everyone else, I still can’t stomach seeing it reflected back at me from him.


Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them.

Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

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Smokin by OLIVIA RUSH

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Smokin’
Olivia Rush
(The Hot Boys Series, #1)
Publication date: August 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Falling for a fireman is so cliché.

Yet, here I am. The elementary school teacher who’s all worked up over New York’s finest.

It started out as a simple ride along.

Now the only brass pole I want to slide down is his.

I know, good girls don’t think those thoughts, right?

Wrong!

The sculpted jaw, the tight t-shirt rippling with muscles. I’m only human.

Now, I’m the only witness to a crime. One that puts me on the run.

Solving the case is our main focus. Well, almost.

Staying at his place was supposed to be temporary. His love wasn’t expected.

Can a girl have her cake and him too?

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Par for Cinderella by PETIE McCARTY

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Par for Cinderella
Petie McCarty
(Cinderella Romances #3)
Published by: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication date: July 25th 2018
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Billionaire Aidan Cross longs to escape his life of celebrity and become a regular guy, if only for a brief time. His chance comes when his yacht breaks down near quaint Cypress Key, Florida—the site of his planned five-star golf resort. The golf resort no one in town wants.

Casey Stuart has given up her dream of escaping to the big city. She refuses to desert her uncle, even when he hires the new stranger in town to replace her at their golf course. Casey vows to steer clear of the stranger called Aidan and the danger their inescapable chemistry provokes. Aidan’s stay is temporary, and falling for him promises only heartbreak.

When Casey discovers Cypress Key’s mayor is making underhanded business deals, she ends up on the wrong side of the powerful autocrat. Aidan steps in to rescue her, but secrets from his past threaten to bogey their newfound relationship.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The beauty looked right at him. She’d no doubt sensed his boat’s arrival. No frown, though her eyes widened almost imperceptibly. If he hadn’t been staring into them, he may not have noticed. Maybe the boat slip was open for rental.

Aidan knew he turned women’s heads without trying, and mostly it annoyed him. Because the aforementioned women then made a pass at him. He wanted to be the chooser in any hookup. This particular beauty could stare as long as she wanted. Instinct assured him he could still be the chooser here.

The blonde stole his breath. He wasn’t usually a go-after-blondes guy, except for the brief crush he’d had after meeting Rhett’s wife Lily, though she wasn’t yet Rhett’s when Aidan met her. He could make a second exception for this fresh-faced beauty.

Her green eyes reminded him of twin emeralds, visible even from here. Eyes that bored into your soul and squeezed at your heart. Despite the desire tugging at his body, his faithful instinct suddenly cried out, This woman will be important to you.

His little tour guide hopped from a bench to the gunwale with grace and then tiptoed down the narrow ridge to the stern. He couldn’t help but grin at her athleticism and balance. Her eyes never left his, though his may have wandered down to her beautiful tanned legs and back up.

She stopped dead. Her lips, luscious and a perfect pink, twitched and then stretched into a smile.

Aidan’s heart threatened mutiny if he didn’t get closer. The woman was gorgeous.

How rosy could he make those lips with a properly-delivered kiss?

Aidan heard the whine of an incoming boat. Ignored it. Assumed the craft would scoot to one of the multitude of slips and docks on the other side of the boat ramp. Plus, he refused to take his eyes off his smiling tour guide just yet.

Assumed, as the saying went, often made an ass of me.

The large incoming pleasure craft swooped to a blunt landing on the other side of the dock by throwing the powerful engine into reverse to halt forward motion. The subsequent tsunami-sized wake had no such reverse or brake and pitched his boat and the tour vessel up on a roiling crest and back down, sending his green-eyed girl into a dive.

Headfirst.

Over the side.

Grabbing for balance himself, he couldn’t tell if she made a clean entry. He scrabbled toward the bow of his boat.

One second.

Two.

Three.

Four seconds. Too long.

The water looked to be six or seven feet deep at low tide. The beauty should have surfaced. He kicked off his shoes and went over the side at the spot where she went down. The fool driver of the errant boat hollered, “Hey!” but Aidan kept going.

The dark marina water made it hard for him to see her. Aidan went by feel more than sight when he searched. Precious seconds elapsed until his hand felt a sneaker. He tugged the beauty’s motionless body from beneath the darker shadow of the tour boat and bolted for the surface.

Forcing her head above water, he made a straight shot between the boats and under the dock—only possible, Thank God, due to low tide—and gained his footing at the base of the boat ramp. He swung the girl up and into his arms.

When he reached shallower water, he angled her front first over his arm. She coughed twice and spit out a couple mouthfuls of seawater. At the top of the ramp, he stepped up onto the dock, then knelt and laid her down prostrate, ready for CPR.

He put an ear to her chest. Grabbed a limp wrist and felt for a pulse, then heaved a sigh of relief at her slow but steady heart rate. She coughed. He put his ear to her nose and mouth and detected breathing. Shallow, but air in and air out.

Come on, baby. Open those beautiful green eyes for me.

“You there!” The late boat arrival glared down at him.

Aidan ignored the jerk and scooped the unconscious woman into his arms, ready to sprint for the parking lot for a ride or directions to the closest doctor or hospital.

An arm grabbed Aidan and swung him around. The jerk was tall, only a couple inches shorter than Aidan’s six foot three. Had the look of a football player going to seed with a belly paunch already committing a false start. Dark-haired and glowering . . . a fight picker who now blocked his path. Aidan had no time for this.

“Don’t you touch her!” Jerk shouted.

“I’m taking her to the nearest doctor,” Aidan hollered back at him, “and you’re going to tell me where that is.”

“You’re not taking her anywhere!”

“That your boat?” Aidan nodded at the newly arrived sleek speedboat just to clarify.

“Yes. Now leave her alone!” the pompous jackass commanded.

You don’t know how to drive a boat, you knocked her into the water, and you deserve this!” Aidan planted a foot in the ass’s gut and booted him backward into the marina’s dark water.


Author Bio:

Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World — “The Most Magical Place on Earth” — where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-a-dash-of-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.

Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband, a spoiled-rotten English Springer spaniel addicted to pimento-stuffed green olives, and a noisy Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in Angel to the Rescue.

My first five books released by the now-closed Desert Breeze Publishing–Everglades, Catch of the Day, No Going Back, Angel to the Rescue and The SEAL’s Angel–are temporarily unavailable while I change publishers. You can contact me at petiemccarty@gmail.com for updates on their re-release.

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Unscrewed by REN ALEXANDER

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Unscrewed
Ren Alexander
Publication date: August 14th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Greg Rodwell.

The myth, the man, the legend.

Yeah. I’m none of that crap.

Okay. I’m a man. There’s that much.

Almost everyone calls me Rod, whether I like it or not. I’m the guy others look to for a laugh, a dirty joke, a distraction—the office clown. Even my best friend, Hadley, laughs.

It’s just that, I’m not always laughing. Not even on the inside. Nobody knows the real Greg or the agony I hide with humor. My recently dead sister had a clue, but she’s in no position to blab. I screwed up big time—then and now—but it’s all my undoing. Through everything, Hadley’s been my cure and my curse. And I fell in love with my married best friend. But she wasn’t always married, and I wasn’t always broken.

I had a millisecond of a chance, but I blew it, siding with morality. What guy does that? And sailing that sinking ship all the way down, I sacrificed my wants for her needs. Doing that, I fathered a kid with the office trouser troll. Stupid? Hell to the yes. Because now, regardless of the grand total, I want something I can’t have. Integrity and my sanity be damned.

But nobody, especially Hadley, can know the real Greg Rodwell, my tortured soul, my unashamed love, or my darkest truth, because it wouldn’t just blow her mind.

It would rock our damn world.

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EXCERPT:

Do Jewish vampires avoid the Star of David?

Does killing time damage eternity?

Do you need a silencer if you shoot a mime?

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

If a person dies and then rises from the dead, do they get a refund for the coffin?

“Did you fall in?”

Widening my eyes at the piss-colored wall tile, I restlessly sigh, dramatizing my annoyance. Can I not get a moment of fucking peace around here? It’s the only place I’m able to ponder life.

“Just taking a piss break, Amos.”

“Could you at least give a courtesy flush?” The fucker laughs, and it echoes midstream while I throw him a middle finger from behind the door. Without seeing him, I know he’s checking out his bald reflection in the mirror, blinding the room.

“I’ll get right on top of that,” I reply like a dial tone as I near the finish line, imagining I’m pissing on his face. He’d probably like that shit, though.

“You know, there are urinals in here.” His pompous voice reverbs, giving me a double dose of his assholery.

“Oh. I thought they were snooty sinks.” I yawn as my actions also echo within the stall. Jackwad.

“Don’t be playing around in there. I need a face-to-face after lunch, so make sure I don’t see more than your face and zip your pants.” He just wants to think of me holding my dick. Perv.

On the third shake, I qualify for playing with myself as I check my watch at the same time. I don’t want to see him when I leave this stall. I guess it’s time for the big guns, so to speak.

Rolling my eyes, I moan—not my greatest moment—and noisily suck air between my teeth, praying to God nobody else walks in right now. With a loud, stuttered sigh, I give the fourth shake, grinning to myself. I hear his jaw, and his disbelief hit the sink. Don’t fuck with me, comrade. You’re no match for me.

Amos mutters, “Okay. Okay. Just stop. I was only kidding. I’m leaving. My office in 30.”

“Yes, Obi-None.”

Because Amos Vaughn is so transparent, I know he’s squinting his eyes at me from the other side of the door, unsure of how to respond. Lacking comeback skills, he heaves his brawny body into the door, at the mercy of my patience. “It’s 29 minutes now, Rod.”

Rod. Yeah. That’s me. I used to be just Greg Rodwell. A nickname given to me by a former coworker troll has transcended even her tenure here. Now, most of my coworkers and my godforsaken boss call me it. Though, that’s the tamest version of names the bitchtress used to call me, giving that my middle name is Richard. Draw your own conclusions. Sometimes I’m still Greg at work, but not often and only by a select few. I’ll never escape Rod while working here. I’ve accepted it. I just hate the source.

I’ve also accepted that I’m the office clown, making everyone laugh. In reality, I should be a goddamn marvel for the services I provide since most of my coworkers are garbage humans. I’ve crafted my distance, deflecting with my carefully sculpted wit, aged to perfection in oak barrels for nearly 29 years—an undiluted, rye wit, you could say. That’s my superpower. Fuck me. I need a job at a distillery.

Tucking myself and my shirt back into my pants, I kick at the handle. Emerging from the stall as I buckle my belt, the sound of the flushing toilet swirls the Amos-free room just as Crick Scanlon enters. I instantly grin. With his Caesar haircut, circa George Clooney 1996, this particular coworker is a favorite of mine. Maybe it’s because he’s the Arctic opposite and doesn’t outwit, allowing me to polish my skills. To those who don’t know him, he has a wallpaper-paste personality. That’s their loss. Because of his eerie quietness and formalness, his rare laughter is a goldmine. He takes anything I lob at him. Crick is the coloring book to my bucket of crayons. I aim to shock the hell out of him, making him laugh or gape in horror, which, coincidentally, is how my mother often looks at me on any given day. “Hey, Crock. Get fucked last night?”

His face reddens faster than a novice ass at a BDSM club. He looks at the wall with an expression like I just kicked him in the liver. “Uh, no. Um…you?”

My grin doesn’t falter even as I go for a depressing lie. “You know it. All night. Every night.” He’s a decent-looking guy. He could probably find a date if he tried. I’m pretty sure he’s gay like Amos, not that they’re dating each other. That would be fucking disturbing. Crick deserves way better. Not Amos Vaughn. He’s a sick fuck.

Crick makes an effort to not look at me. I dig his awkwardness, so I grab a bigger shovel. “If you’re like me, I bet you’re a beast in the sack.” When he looks at my hands working my buckle, I tease, “I’m not doing no replay of last night for you.” He swallows loud, gaping at me. Bingo. “Just yanking your chain, Crack. Calm down.” I laugh when he looks at the ceiling, still quiet. “Maybe I can help you find a date. What’s your type?”

“I’m not really into dating right now.”

Finished with my belt, I go for the sink. While washing my hands, I watch Crick scratching his arm through an unnecessary sweater for the early October weather. “Come on now. I know a sex fiend is hiding beneath that submissive exterior.” Images of him being collared at one of those clubs make me flinch at my own reflection.

He shrugs as I catch a surprising quirk of his lip in the mirror. “I’m boring, Greg. I don’t have much luck as you do, especially with a certain coworker.” Goddamn it. Don’t say her name.

The sudsy water swirling in the sink temporarily enthralls me, so I don’t have to see either of our expressions. “Uh… She’s… We’re—”

“Shasta?”

Looking up at the mirror, I glare at both of us. Shit. Joke’s on me.

Shasta. Enough said.

Actually, no. I have plenty I want to say about that meat sock. I wish I could blame Shasta for what we did, but I was the one who went to her. It was a last-ditch effort to forget my life for the night. And shit did I do things with Shasta I’m not proud of, not that I wouldn’t do them again. Just not with her. And thanks to a busted condom, I’m glued to her. Enjoy that mental image.

Grabbing a paper towel, my smile shrinks faster than my dick earlier, feigning jerking off for Amos. “Never.”

“Well, Greg, I mean, you do have a daughter with her.”

Shooting my wad—not that kind—into the trash, I try to laugh, but I’m still caught off guard by his unusual commentary. “No. Yeah. I meant, never again, not even if hell froze over, melted, caught fire, and then froze again. Damn, Crick. You know how to destroy a guy’s day.”

He clears his throat as he inches toward a urinal. “I didn’t intend to. I’m sorry. I thought since you were joking around, I needed to engage.”

“Jesus Christ. What a day for you to grow a vagina.”

I return to the mirror, adjusting the Windsor knot of my Storm Trooper tie while he says, “Um, right. Well…” Through the mirror I see him staring at the urinal, and I’m half expecting him to start singing In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. I never said he wasn’t peculiar.

I snort. “You need a bathroom pass or an engraved invitation?”

He slightly smiles. I’ll take that as a win. “No. I was just…”

“I’m just busting your balls.” Crick looks away from me, and I feel super awkward now for saying that. “Uh, right. Anyway, enjoy. Not too much. There’re some sick bastards working here.” Why can’t I just shut the fuck up? As I leave, I hear his quiet laugh. There’s that, at least.

When I reach the hallway, I’m ticked for now thinking of Shasta. I guess talking to Crick does have its drawbacks.

Taking a left, I steer clear of my office since it’s attached to Amos’. I’m not ready for that follicle-challenged psycho again yet.

Approaching the open door, I hear a familiar voice. Stopping in the doorway and leaning against the frame, I straighten my tie and cross my arms.

She looks my way with a bright smile as she talks. I don’t know how she does it, but I grin back at her. It’s a requirement.

Hadley.

My favorite person.

Well, I guess next to my infant daughter and my older sister, Eden, but to be fair, my daughter is new in town, and my sister is dead.

I watch Hadley move as she talks. I’m always watching her.

Hadley and I have been BFFs since I started working as a paralegal at the law offices of Rhodes, Dryden, Charleton & Associates over three years ago. Only that long? It feels like I’ve been rotting here for a century and a half.

Hadley turns her attention back to her computer screen as she nods. Her honey-brown ponytail dances along while I stare, and I can’t help but do that, even though I have no right. When she laughs, my gaze drops to her bouncing tits, larger than they used to be only months ago. Her left hand goes to her chest, and her sapphire and diamond rings catch the overhead light, blinding me while reminding me. I didn’t give her those rings, but I may as well have with the lengths I went to get them on her finger.


Author Bio:

Ren Alexander was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. She graduated from West Liberty University, where she received a B.S. in criminal justice. Although interested in that field, her true passion was reading and writing. She currently lives in Detroit, Michigan with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.

Ren’s novel, “The Keys to Jericho,” was chosen as an “Official Selection” in the Romance category of Apple Literary’s 2017 Annual Book Awards.

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Painless by MARTY THORNLEY

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Painless
Marty Thornley
Publication date: January 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Horror, Psychological Thriller

The debut psychological-horror novel from author Marty Thornley is a page-turning ride, a front row seat to a clinical trial gone horribly wrong.

For Greg Owens, this was supposed to be a chance to end years of back pain and escape his reliance on pain pills. If it all worked out, he could maybe even get back the life he left behind as the pills took control.

Instead, as the patients are cured of their physical pain, they encounter a different sort of pain building inside them – obsessive thoughts, depression, self-destruction. The side-effects grow worse, and the suspense ratchets tighter. The patients want answers and violent revenge, setting them on a collision course with a crazed doctor, determined to protect his life’s obsession.

What readers are saying…

“…most definitely a recommended read, though it’s probably not the best choice for those with a weak stomach.”

Gruesome and twisted. Awesome!!!”

“OMG this book. Holy heck the gruesome descriptions of blood and gore and guts was SO RAD. I found myself cringing and fidgeting and yes, even feeling a bit nauseous in some spots – but totally in a GOOD WAY! Painless was exactly what I wanted in a super-unique, creepy, shocking horror-thriller.”

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

PAINLESS – Excerpts

Author Bio:

Marty started writing short stories as a teenager, inspired as much by favorite books and movies as the environment and characters that define the South Shore of Massachusetts. The pull of the movies dragged him first to film school and finally to Los Angeles, where he poked at the outskirts of the industry with screenplays and short films.

As his interest in a film career fizzled, he rebuilt himself bit-by-bit as a programmer. He spent the next decade building websites, finally realizing that something had been lost. His stories were collecting dust in the back of his brain while he sat through conference calls and code reviews.

So he returned to the woods of New England and the calming darkness under the trees. He returned to find the things that crawl in the undergrowth and turn them into words on the page. He dusted off one of his screenplays and turned it into his first novel. In the process, a dormant storyteller was awakened and is now seeking the next blank page to fill.

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Katee Robert’s SIREN’S CURSE review & excerpt tour!

by Katee Robert

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SIREN’S CURSE, a dark and haunting standalone novel in the multi-author series, The Sea King’s Daughters is LIVE!

 In SIREN’S CURSE by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert, a cursed mermaid has lost her powers and her ability to shapeshift and the only creature that can help her reclaim herself is one who may mean her the most harm…

Add SIREN’S CURSE to your TBR pile on Goodreads then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and your chance enter the giveaway to win one of TEN (10) eBook copies of SIREN’S CURSE!

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Title: Siren’s Curse
Author: Katee Robert
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 13, 2018
Publisher: Indie
Series: The Sea King’s Daughters
Page Count: 76 pages
Format: Digital
ASIN: B07DJK2HQR

Synopsis:

Lorelei Fischer is cursed. A mermaid who can’t shapeshift, can’t create portals, and is no longer fully who she was meant to be. Too ashamed to admit how badly she failed to her sisters, she takes refuge in a small town in northern California and opens a used bookstore. With no way to regain what she’s lost, she resigns herself to a life half-lived.

After nearly drowning under the dark of the new moon, there’s no escaping the truth. She’s being hunted, and this enemy will stop at nothing to take her.

Lorelei must find a way to reclaim her birthright and her abilities before it’s too late. Because the sea holds more monsters than she could have dreamed—and one of them wants her dead.

Look for other stories in this exciting Urban Fantasy series from Philippa Ballantine, Stacia D. Kelly, Lauren Harris, and Asa Maria Bradley.

Available at: 

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2syiT2e


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Siren’s Curse Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

I start for home, the wind and water turning my hair into blond snakes that whip around my head. Less than a quarter mile to my house and it might as well be on the moon. I pull my jacket tighter around my body and pick up my pace. Each harsh breath makes my chest ache, reminding me about the way this morning started.

I shouldn’t be alive.

There’s no other way to say it. When I closed my eyes, parted my lips, and inhaled… I made my choice. That I hadn’t died. That I woke up on the beach… Someone put me there, though I can’t begin to guess their purpose.

Lorelei.

I jump and spin in a circle, searching for the source of the voice. There’s no one in sight. There isn’t even a single pair of headlights on the road. Just the trees whipping back and forth in front of me and the beach at my back. I turn slowly to face the beach—the water—and squint into the driving rain. No part of me is dry at this point, so I might as well investigate.

Lorelei.

There it is again, barely more than a whisper on the wind. Calling me back to the water.

I take a step before what’s left of my self-preservation kicks in. “No.” I don’t mean to say the word aloud, but it settles something inside me. I am not some weak-willed creature to be drawn in by curiosity. Whatever has the power to reach me here on dry land is something I want no part of. “Get the fuck out of my head.” That’s where I must be hearing him. There’s no way he’s actually speaking to me on the wind.

Whoever he is.

I have something you want.

I freeze. The faintest tugging in my stomach dials it up a notch. It never really goes away, even when I’m sequestered in the bookstore and surrounded by earth instead of sea. That tug tells me the exact direction my necklace—my powers—lay. I never get more than a hint of water that’s such a dark blue, it might as well be black, or an intense pressure that conveys exactly how far from the surface my necklace is kept. Too deep for humans and their machines.

Too deep for me.

I start for the beach before I can think better of it. For over two years, I’ve been missing a vital piece of myself, walking around as only half of a whole. I might not be completely helpless in my current state, but I’m easy pickings for any supernatural creature who decides to gun for me. Last night more than proved that the sea will take me, one way or another

It might as well be on my terms.

Lightning flashes, bright enough that spots dance over my vision for the several seconds of silence before thunder rattles my bones. The storm isn’t directly overhead yet, but it will be soon. I’m a damn fool if I’m still out by that point.

I yank off my boots and socks and toss them onto the beach just out of reach of the waves coming faster and faster. One step, maybe two, and I’ll be submerged up to my ankles. My finding power will spiral out of me, instinctively seeking the one item I want more than anything in this goddamn world.

Not my sisters.

Not even the portal home.

No, what I want more than anything is to be whole again.

I should just turn around and go home. Whoever this voice belongs to, they mean nothing good for me. There’s a proper way to reach out, and it’s not by drawing a finless one of the merfolk into the ocean and nearly drowning her human body. Stepping into the ocean will boost what little magic I have left, and it will create a clear channel for him to speak to me.

I take that first step, and then the second. My power streaks out into the deep and then rebounds, slamming me with a vision of my necklace. It’s different than it’s been in the past. Barely any pressure to speak of. Blue-gray water that stretches for miles and miles and miles around without encountering land. A vaguely fishy taste on my tongue.

Tentacles.

And then his voice is in my head, curling through me in a way that’s just shy of being invasive. Hello, pretty.

Telepathy isn’t one of my skills, but apparently his is so strong that it allows me to fire off a reply. Tell me what you want and get out of my head.

His chuckle is pure predator. More like I have something you want.

Surely not. The Deep Dwellers, sworn enemy to my people, wouldn’t be so foolish as to lose a coup like my necklace. In the endless history of wars between our kind, I can’t think of a single instance when they’ve managed to steal the very essence of what one of the merfolk is—to sever one of us from our power. It’s priceless. They wouldn’t have traded it—would have, in fact, guarded it with their lives. So why does this monster in my head have access to it?

I cross my arms over my chest and tell myself that the shiver racking my body is from the cold. I’m listening.

Come to me.

That surprises a laugh out of me. Pass.

You’d turn down a chance to regain yourself?

I’d turn down a chance to walk into a trap like an idiot. I shake my head. This is a waste of time. I turn for the shore when power slams into me, sending me to my knees. The water rushes in—or maybe I rush out—and the next thing I know, I’m up to my chest.

Don’t be a fool.

This deep, I finally have a sense of him. He must have held himself back up to this point, because he’s positively ancient. Older than anything I’ve ever felt—even my father—and so powerful that pain lances through my head. It would be so easy to give him what he wants, to stop fighting, to…

“Get the fuck out of my head!” I sprint for dry land. This deep, it’s more of a fast wade, but I curse and spit and fight the pull of the magic current trying to yank me off my feet. “No, no, no, no, get your stupid magic off me!

He releases me all at once and I fly the last few feet and land in a heap just past the now-normal waves. I sit up and scrub sand from my face. Even without the water connection, his dark amusement slithers through me. Another time, pretty. His presence recedes faster than any tide, leaving the storm just a normal storm.

It’s official—I’m in even worse trouble than I could have imagined.


Enter to win one of TEN (10) eBook copies of SIREN’S CURSE!

 
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About Katee Robert

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it ‘a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension.” When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

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In Too Deep: Blue Spruce Lodge #3 by DANI COLLINS

In Too Deep
Dani Collins
(Blue Spruce Lodge #3)
Publication date: August 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The family he didn’t know he needed…

At her wit’s end with her twelve-year-old niece, Wren Snow takes the manager’s job at Blue Spruce Lodge so Sky can get to know her father, Trigg Johanssen—a tycoon snowboarder with a playboy reputation.

Gold-medalist Trigg Johanssen is furious she kept Sky a secret, but quits competition to focus on his newly discovered daughter only to have his chemistry with Wren complicate their attempts to co-parent.

When outside forces threaten the ski resort he’s rebuilding, a marriage of convenience seems like the answer. It would give his daughter the life she deserves, but is it too much for a heartbroken woman still nursing past hurts?

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EXCERPT:

SETUP: Wren has just arrived at Blue Spruce Lodge with her niece, Skylar. Sky wanted to meet her father, Trigg—a man who had NO IDEA he was a father until Wren showed up a month ago and revealed her sister had kept his baby.

~ * ~

Wren drew a deep breath of the clean mountain air, closing her eyes and letting the sunshine bathe her face. Construction noises sounded in the distance. Birdsong overlaid it with the pulse of rap music and a sudden, sharp whistle.

She opened her eyes and Oh. She started to flush with self-conscious heat even before she fully registered that Trigg Johansson was coming out of the lane and walking toward her. Her brain said, Hot man alert, then she recognized him and a fresher, more startling rush of sexual awareness went through her.

Déjà vu all over again. Damn it.

When she had arrived here in May, he had been sitting in a small, open-topped ATV kind of vehicle right here where she was standing. He’d been talking to another man who’d given her a friendly nod.

She might have said, “Hi.” She honestly couldn’t remember because her brain had been exploding.

Trigg had given her a wolfish look that she had felt in the pit of her belly. She had recognized him, having stalked him online, but even as she had met his gaze with hysterical disbelief, her girl-parts had scanned the mouth-watering selection and ordered the full buffet.

That’s why she had chickened out on speaking to him directly. She had gone inside, ears ringing with her pounding heart. He’d been gone when she walked outside again.

By then, she had secured a tentative job offer and the knowledge that her life would never be the same.

She had dreaded seeing him after that. Not just because she’d seen firsthand that he was a player. Of course he was a player. He had knocked up her sister when he was seventeen. He probably had a whole flock of Skylars out there.

But who could blame Mandy or any of the women he’d conquered? He was built like a god and moved like a cat, as though he knew how to use each of his muscles exactly as intended. He wore jeans and a T-shirt today and had light stubble the same color as his dark brows. His hair had been in a man-bun the last time she saw him. Today it was shaved into business on the sides, rumpled bedhead on top. His eyes were a sharp, mountain-lake blue, his smile flat and tense. Forced.

That vaguely hostile, hard expression made her heart slip and judder while her limbs felt loose and lubricated.

The way he had smiled at her the first time had been very inviting and approving.

The second time, when they’d all met in a lawyer’s office for twenty minutes, he’d worn a suit and hadn’t smiled at all.

She wasn’t able to find a smile right now. She was standing here like a virgin on her wedding night, throat dry, waiting for him to come to her.

Something nudged her in the crotch, scaring the shit out of her.

“Oh my God!” She jerked back and clipped her hip on the driver’s side mirror. Pain streaked through her hip bone while she scrabbled for balance by grasping at the warm roof of the car.

“Murphy. Sit.” Trigg stopped behind her taillight and snapped his fingers by his thigh.

The dog let his haunches drop, but stayed in front of her, tail swirling like an electric beater, sweeping through bits of gravel on the concrete. His pink tongue lolled out of his black-lipped mouth and he cocked his head at her. His ears and face were black, but he had a white stripe that came down between his eyes. The stripe ended in speckles above his black nose. There were more speckles on his white chest and legs. Border collie and heeler maybe, with Labrador eyes that offered instant and eternal love.

“Quite the welcoming committee.” She smoothed her hand down the short, silky fur on his hard head.

“We usually charge extra for that, but since you’re a VIP…” Trigg shoved his hands into the front pockets of his jeans. She could tell they were curled into fists. The mask of tension across his face bore an eerie resemblance to the one stonewalling in the passenger seat of her car.

 

Author Bio:

USA Today Bestselling author, winner of 2013 Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times Book Reviews

Before making my first sale to Harlequin Mills & Boon in 2012, I spent two decades writing and submitting to every publisher with a transom while holding down a day job and raising a family with my high school sweet heart. Since then, I’ve gone to contract on over thirty books.

While Harlequin Presents remains my first love, I also write romantic comedy, medieval fantasy romance, erotic romance, and small town contemporary romance for Tule Publishing’s Montana Born. In fact, I write just about anything, so long as it’s romance. P.S. I’m also Canadian.

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Better Together: One Fond Embrace #1 by CRISTA McHUGH

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Better Together
Crista McHugh
(One Fond Embrace, #1)
Publication date: August 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Hawaiian rancher Alex Kahale needs a temporary wife to close a deal that’s vital to the welfare of his herd. Thankfully, he’s already married to a woman stole his heart in less than a week, even if that same wife filed for divorce a few days after they said their “I dos”.

Rising country music star Britney Moore had a wild fling with a cowboy in Las Vegas a year ago which ended in a drunken drive-through marriage. Once she returned to Nashville, she filed for divorce to save her squeaky clean image. Besides, spontaneous marriages never last, and she knows better than to risk her heart on Alex. But no matter how many requests she sends him, he refuses to sign the papers. Then he sends her an intriguing offer. Come to his ranch on Kauai and pretend to be his wife for two weeks for business purposes, and he’ll sign the papers.

As much as Britney tries to resist his charm, Alex manages to tear down her defenses one by one until she falls for him all over again. But when the press finds out about her secret husband, will their revived romance be killed by the tabloids?

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EXCERPT:

Her suitcase slid into the baggage claim carousel and she reached down to grab it, only to have a man snatch it away from her.

“Allow me,” a deep, masculine voice said next to her.

Britney’s heart went still. Time had done nothing to chill the instant rush of desire that heated her blood. She didn’t need to turn her head to know Alex Kahale was standing next to her. She knew him from the sweet words he’d murmured while making love to her. She could also tell from the familiar scent that had driven her wild nearly a year ago. But she turned anyway. And when she looked into his handsome face, she forgot about everything else.

Even after all this time, he still managed to take her breath away. Alex had claimed he was descended from Hawaiian royalty, and she believed him. Raven-dark hair framed a beautifully sculpted tan face. Soulful brown eyes flecked with gold looked back at her with the same warmth and affection as they always had, and those sensual lips practically beckoned her to cover them with kisses. From the moment she’d met Alex at a rodeo event in Las Vegas, it had been love at first sight.

Correction. It had been lust at first sight. The love had come later in the week.

If it was even possible to fall in love with someone that quickly.

She closed her eyes and focused on her career, on the one thing she’d worked so hard to obtain, and how getting a divorce would be a good thing. Once she was free of the husband she barely knew, she could start dating in her own circle and perhaps become part of the next country music power couple. “Thank you, Alex.”

“So you do remember my name?”

She snapped her eyes open at the teasing tone of his voice. “Of course I remember you.” How could she forget him? The seductive memory of him making love to her time and time again still haunted her dreams, leaving her flushed with want and completely unsatisfied when she awoke. Alex was more than just great sex, although the nights she’d spent with him made her believe the man had superpowers. Yet no matter how hard she’d come, it was the gentle way he’d held her in his arms afterward that had endeared him to her heart.


Author Bio:

Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage, www.cristamchugh.com.

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The Devil to Pay: Shayne Davies #1 by JACKIE MAY

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The Devil to Pay
Jackie May
(Shayne Davies, #1)
Publication date: September 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

When it comes to talented new recruits at the Federal Underworld Agency, Nora Jacobs is only half the story. The Devil to Pay is the first book in a companion series to Nora Jacobs, set in the same urban fantasy Detroit, sharing several supporting characters (hello, Nick Gorgeous), but with a new main character, Shayne Davies. This series can be enjoyed on its own, but readers of the Nora Jacobs books will be more familiar with the world and its characters.

As a fox shifter, Shayne Davies gets no respect in an underworld run by the fearsome and powerful—werewolves and vampires, sorcerers, demons, and mythical faerie creatures. Even at home, Shayne is still treated like the brat of the pack. Her mom constantly nags; her intended (but unwanted) mate ensures plenty of awkward silences, and Shayne is even expected to act submissive to the pack’s future alpha…a six year old.

Yeah. Time for Plan B.

All Shayne wants is to prove that she’s got what it takes to run with the big dogs, not just to feel like she matters, but, more importantly, to give a big middle finger to anybody who ever doubted her. Which is why she is constantly hounding Nick Gorgeous to make her an agent at the “Double D”, the Detroit Division of the FUA. That’s an easy “No” for Gorgeous, who keeps a strict “No Shayne Davies” policy. Well, never say never. When mysterious underworld criminals steal a load of bomb materials, the FUA picks up a messy case nobody wants to touch. It’s bad enough that a demon horde is involved, but now the annoying FBI has sent out an agent to babysit the investigation. To make matters worse, notorious master vampire Henry Stadther has control of what may be the only key to breaking the case: a human detective with a beautiful man face, but a broken past.

The whole thing’s a hopeless disaster.

So guess what, Shayne? You’re hired!

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Author Bio:

Jackie May is a pseudonym for a husband and wife writing team. Josh and Kelly live in Phoenix, Arizona with their four children and their cat, Mr. Darcy. Jackie May is their only daughter. (And she keeps asking for her cut of the profits since we’re using her name.)

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