Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: By The Hour by @roniloren

BY THE HOUR
Series: Pleasure Principle #2
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Roni Loren
Release Date: April 25, 2017

From the New York Times bestselling author of Off the Clock comes a story of love, hate, and the fire that ignites when the two collide…

Dr. Elle McCray has a plan. Work hard. Be the best. And do it alone. After her ex-husband’s betrayal, she’s learned being feared is a hell of a lot easier than being humiliated. So when trouble personified, Lane Cannon, dares to flirt with her, she shuts him down cold. Too gorgeous. Too cocky. And his job as The Grove’s sexual surrogate is to sleep with patients. No, thank you.

Former escort Lane Cannon has spent enough years with people looking down on him. Stupid. Trailer trash. Rent boy. He’s heard it all. He’s worked too hard to shed his past to let some haughty doctor cut him down. But something about Elle’s ice queen act has his dominant instincts perking up and his body taking notice. He can’t walk away.

After an evening of verbal sparring turns into a night of steamy hate sex, Lane’s ready for round two. But Elle proposes a business deal. How better to keep things strictly physical than to pay him for his services?

Lane wants her, not her money. But he’ll play along in exchange for one thing—all the control. It’s only supposed to be a dirty little fling between colleagues, but these two are about to learn a lesson in love…by the hour.

AMAZON | B&N | iBOOKS | KOBO 

Elle paced her floors and shook out her hands, trying to get rid of the nerves that had insisted on stalking her as soon as she walked into her house. She never got nervous about things like this. It was only sex. Since her divorce, she’d had her fair share of it with a number of men. Some better than others. This would just be another hookup. A one-night stand.So what if she’d have to see Lane again at The Grove? He didn’t work on the rehab wing, her domain. He was easily avoided. Plus, she was a grown woman who could separate business and pleasure. She’d compartmentalized the hell out of Donovan. Compartmentalizing was a long-practiced art of hers. This would be no different.

If she were really that worried, she would lock her door. Shut down the possibility for good. Because she knew Lane would hold true to his threat. If she locked it, he’d never look her way again. She put her hand on the lock briefly, but she couldn’t bring herself to turn it, not with her blood pumping this hard and the silky panties she’d changed into already clinging to her. She wanted this.

But after twenty minutes of pacing, her focus switched from worrying about the possibility that this would happen to worrying that Lane wouldn’t go through with it, that it had been a tease. A joke.

So when she heard the back door click open, she had to bite her lip to keep from making a sound of relief. He was here. This was happening.

She halted in the spot where she was in the living room, waiting in the hazy gray moonlight that filtered through the curtains. She wouldn’t go to him, wouldn’t reveal how eager she really felt.

Heavy footsteps sounded on the wooden floorboards, the one in the hallway creaking beneath his shoe, and then he stepped into the doorway of the living room. Somehow he looked even bigger here in her house. Over six feet of man filling up the unevenly framed antique doorway. The stained-glass pane above the door showered pale, colored light onto his shoulders and left his face half in shadow.

Her throat went tight, bone dry. “It took you long enough. Decided to stay for dessert?”

His mouth curved as he stepped forward, absorbing her sharp tone like she’d said something sweet. “No. I’m having you instead. Hope you’re worth skipping bread pudding.” He eyed her. “Frankly, I have my doubts.”

The jab made her pull up short. But instead of it pissing her off, a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding released, the insult somehow softening the edge of her nerves. “Screw you, Cannon.”

Amusement crossed his face. He was close now, almost within arm’s reach, making her step back. “That’s the idea, sunshine.”

She licked her lips and her back pressed against the wall. “No one knows you came here?”

His hands planted against the wall on each side of her shoulders, caging her in and enveloping her with his scent, his…bigness. “No, don’t worry. No one knows you’re slumming it. That you’re horny and hot for the institute’s hooker. Your dirty secret’s safe.”

She winced. “I didn’t mean—”

“Yeah, you did,” he said. “But it’s all right. I wouldn’t want anyone to know I’m here either. I’ve got my own reputation to keep.”

She narrowed her eyes. “What? For only fucking people who pay you?”

He smiled, a wickedness to it. “Oh, people don’t pay me for this, sweetheart. This isn’t for sale.”

Before she could register what was happening, he spun her around, pinned her against the wall, and pressed his body along her back. His erection pushed hard and heavy against her and a hot shudder of need chased down her spine. She had to fight not to whimper.

“Give me a safe word, McCray,” he said, his voice low and serious against her ear. “Because I’m about to give you what I know you want, but I’m not gonna do it without one of those. Your attitude’s got me wanting to do bad things to you.”

She closed her eyes, heat flooding her sex and making every part of her prickle with awareness. She said the first word that came to her head. “Birthday.”

He pressed his nose to her hair, inhaling. “Good girl.”

“No.” She tensed, the endearment scraping across her psyche and making her stomach clench.

He stilled. “No, what?”

“Don’t call me that. Ever.”

He was quiet for a second, and then his hand coasted down her bare arm in a soothing touch, like he was trying to calm a skittish horse. “Got it. That’s all you have to say to me, all right? Anything that’s out of bounds for you, just tell me and I’ll respect it.”

She took a deep breath, hating that she’d reacted so strongly, that the demons floated so close to the surface. That her ex-husband’s old endearment would get to her. She was off her game tonight. He was putting her off her game. “I don’t need your therapy mode, Lane.”

“This isn’t therapy mode. This is me being a responsible dominant and human being.”

A dominant? Great. Of course he was. “I’m not submissive.”

“Yeah, I got that.”

“And if you ask me to call you sir, I will fucking punch you.”

He chuckled behind her, his breath tickling her neck. “I’d like to see you try.”

GUEST POST

DGR: What was your favorite scene to write in this book?

RL: Writing an enemies-to-lovers story is actually way too much fun. The scenes feel like they write themselves sometimes because it’s all this verbal sparring and banter, which is one of my favorite things to write. Both the hero and heroine are smart and sarcastic, so they can hold their own with each other. The opening scene in the book was so much fun because Lane, the hero, is trying to do a favor for a friend by talking to Elle, but Elle does everything she can to insult him and get him to go away. Lane is impervious to it. In fact, her attitude and insults amuse him greatly. So he just keeps prodding her more. It results in way more than either bargained for that night.

Excerpt:

She sat up straighter in her chair and crossed her arms, sending the go away signal with a bullhorn. That always worked. She had a Ph.D. in that signal.

Lane ignored it. He grabbed the chair next to her, slid into it, and then plunked the glass of wine he’d been carrying onto the table in front of her. When she didn’t reach for it or acknowledge him, he draped his arm over the back of her chair as if she’d invited him there. He didn’t touch her, but his body heat warmed her neck as he stared out at the group like she’d been doing.

“You know, I’ve heard you can’t really kill someone with a look. But good on you for continuing to test the theory.”

She didn’t look his way and tried to keep her expression smooth as he did the man-spread next to her—knees wide, big body taking up too much space. He smelled like laundry soap and dark, rich beer. And when the side of his knee bumped against hers, soft jeans brushing bare skin, an uninvited spark of awareness shot straight upward, announcing his presence to her renegade lady parts.

She cleared her throat. “Brave of you to be a test subject.”

His lips quirked in her periphery. “I saw you give the death ray to Donovan earlier. Figured if he survived, I was safe.”

She frowned, hating that any of her emotions about Donovan had slipped through, hating that she even had emotions about Donovan. “Don’t be too confident. If you’re coming over here to tell me to smile or join the party, I may dial the look up to eleven.”

“Ouch, Spinal Tap level.” He took a drag off his beer. “But no. You do your thing. I don’t need you to smile and fake it to make me comfortable. I’m good.”

“Because you’re comfortable anywhere,” she said, not hiding the wryness in her tone.

He shrugged. “Pretty much.”

She grabbed the wine and sipped, enjoying the smooth warmth of it and hoping it would settle the jumpy feeling Lane’s presence was causing. “Must be nice.”

DGR: What was the inspiration for this series?

RL: Before I was a full-time writer, I was a clinical social worker. I worked at a state mental health hospital and provided therapy to children and their families, so it wasn’t the same environment as The Grove by any means (which is exclusive and caters to celebrities and such.) But it was its own social world. Psychologists, social workers, doctors, nurses, and other staff all working together for long hours in high stress situations. Plus, all the patients have their own interesting stories. So, I thought it could be a good setting for a series. Like Grey’s Anatomy but with a lot less blood and more sex, lol.

She wanted a hate fuck? He was ready to deliver.

What can a previous escort turned sex surrogate and the brainy and standoffish doctor possibly have in common? A whole lot of chemistry!

I’ll be honest, I hated and I mean HATED Elle in the first book. She’s rude and cold and she certainly doesn’t mince words or make friends. She’s an ice queen in every way and there’s only two sides to her; the professional and the woman you don’t want to be on the wrong side of. I wasn’t sure I’d ever like her, but Roni Loren proved me wrong in just one chapter.

By The Hour gives the reader a whole different side of Elle; the side that tells you why she is the way she is and you can’t help but feel for her. Whether it’s sympathy or pity, you understand her and the depth of her hurt. This is a woman that suffered the worst sort of betrayal from someone who was supposed to love her and she never recovered for it. She lashes out before anyone gets close. She’s closed off and rude. She’s the one everyone avoids at a party…except for Lane Cannon.

You know, I’ve heard you can’t really kill someone with a look. But good on you for continuing to test the theory.”

Lane is a man who has his own demons from the past. A previous escort, he’s working hard towards his dream career. He’s damn good at what he does now, even if the snobbish doctor never ceases to remind him how little she thinks of his lowly sex surrogate ways. But one vulnerable moment leads to some sizzling hate sex and things are irreversibly changed between them forever.

The best part will be when I’m deep inside you and you’re riding your edge, begging for this guy you hate to give you exactly what you need, to drive you so out of your mind that you have no choice but to forget everything except the way I’m fucking you and how good it feels and how much you want it.

There’s quite a bit of back and forth that goes on between Elle and Lane. Elle struggles with letting her walls down and in her hard shell of self preservation, hurts Lane on more than one occasion. As much as I wanted to rage at her or judge her, it’s tough, knowing her history. This is a woman that has every reason to lose her faith in men and love, so she struggles deeply with accepting Lane’s affection.

This isn’t therapy mode. This is me being a reasonable dominant and a human being.”
“I’m not submissive.”
“Yeah, I got that.”
“And if you ask me to call you sir, I will fucking punch you.”

What I really appreciated about her is she was never simpering or whiny about it. She’s tough as nails and she certainly gives as good as she gets. She’s mouthy but she’s also funny and has a soft side to her that she hides beneath her hard layers.

I loved the chemistry between her and Lane. Their hate lust was entertaining….

Are you feeling tempted to beg? Because, boy, would that be a feather in my cap.”
“Fuck you.”
“Already doing that. Effectively, based on the look on your face.”

But what really sold me was watching the development of their relationship. It’s a slow build and they each have their own insecurities that they battle, but they also help balance each other out. I loved how understanding Lane was with Elle and I loved watching Elle’s fierce protectiveness and caring heart come out more and more when it comes to Lane.

What are you doing to me?”
“Bad things.”
“They don’t feel bad,” she said softly.

By The Hour was a fantastic addition to this sizzling series. It was packed with just as much feeling as steam, and it was a book that kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end.

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her cooking, watching reality television, or picking up another hobby she doesn’t need–in other words, procrastinating like a boss. She is a RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

Places to find Roni Loren:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Spring Fling Spotlight & Giveaway #6: Our 2017 faves…so far

Confession time; we’re a bunch of picky bitches here at DGR. True story. Especially me. I have pet peeves for my pet peeves. Swear to god. It’s a curse. LMAO. But then our 2017 started off strong, and kept going and going and going, until we had so many 5 stars under our belts, we were positively full of good book mojo glee. It’s totally a thing. Go with me here.

So we figured, being the picky bitches that we are, these 5 star reads need to be shouted from the rooftops. So this will be a HUGE spotlight we do for the next several weeks. We’ll be featuring a book per post and telling you just why this happened to make our top favorites (so far) list.


 

If you follow our blog, you already know that we love us some alphaholes. Like borderline unhealthy sort of like. Seriously. What’s more satisfying than the ultimate alphahole being brought to his knees by a woman that can give as good as she takes. Last year, I discovered the pure awesome that is LJ Shen when I read SPARROW, then I read BLOOD TO DUST and I realized that this woman writes some of the most amazing alphaholes I’ve EVER read. But then she had to go and outdo herself when she wrote Vicious. HOLY SHIT, PEOPLE!!! If ovaries can swoon at the same time your logical mind is telling you that you want to throttle the man, mine were doing all of that at once. I DEVOURED and I mean DEVOURED that book. Then I forced Jenn to read it and made her just as obsessed with all things LJ Shen as I am. If you love alphaholes and you haven’t yet met the Sinner of Saints yet, you’re seriously missing out.

Check out my 5 star review HERE and read Jenn’s fangirling over it HERE to see just why this made our top faves list for this year!


VICIOUS
Series: Sinners of Saint #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: LJ Shen
Release Date: December 27, 2016

Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.
The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares.
He is a brilliant lawyer.
A skilled criminal.
A beautiful liar.
A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.
Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious

She is a starving artist.
Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom.
Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down.
She paid the price.
Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate.
That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t.
So she hates me. Big fucking deal.
She better get used to me.

AMAZON

Enter to win a SIGNED paperback of VICIOUS HERE

SPRING FLING SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY #5: OUR 2017 FAVES…SO FAR

Confession time; we’re a bunch of picky bitches here at DGR. True story. Especially me. I have pet peeves for my pet peeves. Swear to god. It’s a curse. LMAO. But then our 2017 started off strong, and kept going and going and going, until we had so many 5 stars under our belts, we were positively full of good book mojo glee. It’s totally a thing. Go with me here.

So we figured, being the picky bitches that we are, these 5 star reads need to be shouted from the rooftops. So this will be a HUGE spotlight we do for the next several weeks. We’ll be featuring a book per post and telling you just why this happened to make our top favorites (so far) list.


Since starting this spotlight, we’ve since had a few additions to our list. All of a sudden our small list got that much bigger. While we’re saving the best for last in spotlight #6, these books were no less special to us. Each was a giant 5 star for us. Now here they are, in no uncertain order…


WALK OF SHAME
Series: Love Unexpectedly #4
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: April 18, 2017

Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW


CROWN OF LIES
Series: Crown of Lies Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Pepper Winters
Release Date: January 31, 2017

“I met the boy I wanted. But then he vanished and a new man claimed me instead. My father approved, my colleagues congratulated, and behind closed doors, I was bedded by a stranger.”

Noelle Charlston lived a fairy-tale life: a doting father, a powerful job, and a future blessed with financial security.

However, two meetings with two men changed her happy existence forever. First, she met the boy who made her heart sing. Second, she met the man who made her blood quiver.

Noelle’s freedom was no longer hers. It belonged to the man her father believed was the perfect match. The man who pulled his lies over everyone he touched.
Including her.

Seduced and manipulated, Noelle lives two lives. The one everyone sees on the outside and the one no one sees on the inside. The lies he spins, the truth he hides, the mystery he webs—it’s all enough to slowly erode the woman she’d been and turn her into something else.

Until her past collides with her present.
And it’s her turn to lie.
To everyone…including herself.

AMAZON  | iBOOKS

READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW


 GRIEVOUS
Series: Scarlet Scars #2
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: JM Darhower
Release Date: February 6, 2017

Once upon a time, there was a girl who stopped believing in fairy tales after her innocence was stolen.

Morgan Myers is tired. So damn tired. Most people either push her around or brush her off, and she’s not putting up with it anymore. Determined to reclaim the life that had been stolen from her, she puts her trust in the last person she ever expected to: the notorious they call Scar. Morgan sees a side of him that few people seem to know—the man, not the myth. Lorenzo. And what she sees, she likes, a lot more than she thought she would.

But fairy tales aren’t real, as life likes to remind her. Some dragons, you just can’t slay, no matter how hard you fight them. And when hers comes back around, breathing fire, she’s forced to face some unimaginable horrors. But there’s a white knight in combat boots out there that isn’t afraid of monsters.

You see, it’s impossible to be afraid of something you see every day in the mirror.

AMAZON

READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW


THE HOT SHOT
Series: Game On #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Author: Kristen Callihan
Release Date: April 18, 2017

First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…
What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.
No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

AMAZON | iBOOKS

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THE CASTLE
Series: Endgame #3
Genre: Dark Romance, Contemporary
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: April 4, 2017

THE FINAL BOOK IN THE TRILOGY!

Safe in the ivory tower…

Gabriel Miller swears he’ll keep me safe. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army held back by these walls.

Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It’s already here. Is Gabriel my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?

There’s nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.

No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.

 

 

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READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW


HARD LIMITS
Series: Bowen Boys #4.5
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Elle Aycart
Release Date: April 4, 2017

DO NOT READ before Jacked Up.
***MAJOR SPOILERS***

Nico Grabar, head of one of the most ruthless cartels in the world, is in the last stretch of a two-year nightmare, his agenda extremely busy. He has a criminal organization to run. A cover to maintain. A promise to fulfill. Too bad he’s bleeding to death in the middle of nowhere, about to meet his maker on a deserted street. A fitting ending to a bleak existence, really. When a beautiful Vintage bride with racoon eyes and a choke collar, covered from head to military boots in blood, came to him. It looked like the Grim Reaper had gotten a makeover just for him. What an honor.

Who finds a frigging drug lord in serious need of resuscitation while coming back from a bachelorette party at the wee hours? Paige, aka magnet for psychopaths, of course.
The Goth waitress at Rosita’s has already survived a major asshole, narrowly escaping with her life. The last she needs is to have to play Nightingale to a dangerous kingpin. What if he dies on her? Or worse; what if he doesn’t?

AMAZON

READ MY 5 STAR REVIEW


How to Date a Douchebag: The Failing Hours
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, College Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: January 31, 2017

Zeke Daniels isn’t just a douchebag; he’s an asshole.

A total and complete jerk, Zeke keeps people at a distance. He has no interest in relationships—most assholes don’t.

Dating? Being part of a couple? Nope. Not for him.

He’s never given any thought to what he wants in a girlfriend, because he’s never had any intention of having one.

Shit, he barely has a relationship with his family, and they’re related; his own friends don’t even like him.

So why does he keep thinking about Violet DeLuca?

Sweet, quiet Violet—his opposite in every sense of the word.

The light to his dark, even her damn name sounds like rays of sunshine and happiness and shit.

And that pisses him off, too.

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iBOOKS

READ JENN’S 5 STAR REVIEW


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Release Blitz, Review, & Author Q&A: The Player by @ KBrombergDriven

THE PLAYER
Series:
The Player #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: K.Bromberg
Release Date: 
April 17, 2017

Baseball has never been sexier in an all-new novel by New York Times Bestselling Author, K. Bromberg.

Easton Wylder is baseball royalty. The game is his life. His passion. His everything.

So, when an injury threatens to end Easton’s season early, the team calls in renowned physical therapist, Doc Dalton, to oversee his recovery. Except it’s not Doc who greets Easton for his first session, but rather, his daughter, Scout. She may be feisty, athletic, defiant, and gorgeous, but Easton is left questioning whether she has what it takes to help him.

Scout Dalton’s out to prove a female can handle the pressure of running the physical therapy regimen of an MLB club. And that proof comes in the form of getting phenom Easton Wylder back on the field. But getting him healthy means being hands-on.

And with a man as irresistible as Easton, being hands-on can only lead to one thing, trouble. Because the more she touches him, the more she wants him, and she can’t want him. Not when it’s her job to maintain the club’s best interest, in regards to whether he’s ready to play.

But when sparks fly and fine lines are crossed, can they withstand the heat, or is one of them bound to get burned?

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO 

AUTHOR Q & A

DGR: Who’d be your dream cast for Scout and Easton?

KB:You know, I don’t really muses when I write. Most of the time the character is in my head and I see him there. I rarely see an actor or an athlete in this case and think “That’s Easton!”

DGR: What was your favorite scene to write in The Player?

KB: There were so many… I’d have to say the second interaction between Scout and Easton… she lays down the law and he just watches her with a smirk and some serious admiration. And sexual attraction of course.
DGR: What was the hardest scene to write in The Player?
KB:The ending. You want it to be perfect. 
(The problem with my fav scene… is the excerpt has to be super long to make it make any sense… my apologies!)

I’m putting myself out on a limb for a woman who wants to run, when for the life of me, I’ve never been one to stay. But I’m not going anywhere.

K. Bromberg can do no wrong. With each book she writes, her masterful writing gets better and better. I have yet to meet a hero of hers that didn’t melt both my heart and my ovaries, and Easton Wylder is certainly no exception. The man is baseball royalty, sexy as sin, and currently out of the sport that he loves due to an injury.

He’s hard lines and tanned skin. He’s confidence with a half-cocked grin, and he’s desire restrained with the tense set of his shoulders.

Scout Dalton is the woman hired to be his physical therapist, and sparks fly between them right away. Expecting to see his old PT, Doc, Easton has a hard time believing the delicate beauty is who she claims to be. But Scout is also no delicate wallflower and puts him right in his place and straight on his back…for the therapy, of course. What were you all thinking? *evil grin*

Scout is a woman with secrets. She’s fully accepted that nothing good stays in her life and won’t allow herself to put her heart out there, not even for the sexy baseball god that’s determined to prove to her that he’s different. Can I just say how refreshingly nice it was to have a famous hero that wasn’t a playboy? This is a man that knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it.

It’s going to be a bitch, isn’t it? To have to stretch me. Body to body. To have your hands on me. To have to watch me get hot and sweaty. To hear me groan when I lift weights and not remember that’s the same sound I made when I came. To rub me out—nice and slow. To be around me so much you’re sick of me, all the while denying there’s something here worth figuring out.”

I loved their mix of easy camaraderie, sexual tension, and banter. They practically crackled through the pages with their chemistry. I love a good slow burn and boy does K. Bromberg bring it with this couple. It was delicious.

We crash together in a torrent of lust and lips and tongues, where wants now become needs. Where greed becomes the game, and satisfying it becomes a by-all-means-necessary type of strategy. Where bodies mesh and meet and tease and pleasure.


Scout was stubborn and proud, almost to a fault. She’s determined to keep her secrets and her heart to herself. Her focus should be Easton’s rehab because it could mean a contract for the entire club, but her focus deviates more and more with each brick that he demolishes on the wall that she’s so carefully built around herself through the years.

This being book one of a duet you obviously get left wanting at the end, but you won’t find this girl complaining. It was perfectly paced and you get just the right amount of story to hook you and leave you salivating for the conclusion. But don’t go getting any ideas now, because Easton is ALL mine.


I want more. I’m going to take more. Right here. Right now. On this rural country road with fireflies outside the window and the scent of her everywhere.


New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

Since publishing her first book in 2013, K. has sold over one million copies of her books and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times.

In April, she’ll release The Player, the first in a two-book sports romance series (The Catch, book 2, will be released late June), with many more already outlined and ready to be written.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales: http://bit.ly/254MWtI

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon Author | Driven Group

Spring Fling Spotlight & Giveaway #4: Our 2017 faves…so far

Confession time; we’re a bunch of picky bitches here at DGR. True story. Especially me. I have pet peeves for my pet peeves. Swear to god. It’s a curse. LMAO. But then our 2017 started off strong, and kept going and going and going, until we had so many 5 stars under our belts, we were positively full of good book mojo glee. It’s totally a thing. Go with me here.

So we figured, being the picky bitches that we are, these 5 star reads need to be shouted from the rooftops. So this will be a HUGE spotlight we do for the next several weeks. We’ll be featuring a book per post and telling you just why this happened to make our top favorites (so far) list.


 

It’s post four of our spring fling spotlight, and no list could be complete without my obsession with Nashoda Rose and full on fangirl gushing. It’s no secret that I love everything this woman writes. She creates this mix of angst and grit that I gobble up with a spoon and beg for more. Her alphas are tortured, protective, sexy as all get out, and of course they’re dirty talkers…because DUH. But in all seriousness, ever since she first wrote Torn From You, I became completely obsessed with all things Tear Asunder. It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for Kite to finally get his book and finally, FINALLY it was in my grabby little hands. You know when you spend years waiting for a certain character, you build him up in your head, your hope and anticipation gets the best of you and you think no way can the book be as good as I hope? Well that was definitely the case with Kept From You. Because it wasn’t as good as I hoped, it was BETTER. This never happens to my picky self and I will forever worship at the alter of this author’s greatness because of it. If you haven’t read this series yet, you’re sorely missing out. And if you’ve read it, you already know why I’m obsessed with it! I adored this second chance romance. So much. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to. You can easily read it as a standalone but I highly recommend the entire series be read in order to really appreciate each detail.


KEPT FROM YOU
Series: Tear Asunder #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Nashoda Rose
Release Date: March 5, 2017

A sexy second-chance romance from New York TimesBestselling Author Nashoda Rose. Can be read as a standalone.

A first kiss that changed everything.

Killian Kane.
He was the most feared guy in high-school.
Guarded. Angry. A fighter.
But when I caught him watching me with his captivating green eyes I saw something more. Something protective and kind.

He warned me to stay away from him.
I did.
Until I didn’t and he kissed me. A knee weakening, body tingling kiss that left me breathless. 
And scared the hell out of me.

And then…
He warned me never to come near him again or next time he wouldn’t let me go.

That was eleven years ago.
We aren’t teenagers anymore. He has probably forgotten me. 
He’s a famous rock star now. I’m a dance instructor with a broken dream and desperate for a job.
So, when we cross paths again I don’t expect him to remember me.
He does.
And his warning eleven years ago? I’m about to find out exactly what that meant.

 

AMAZON | iBOOKS 

Enter to win a SIGNED paperback of KEPT FROM YOU HERE

Spring Fling Spotlight & Giveaway #3: Our 2017 faves…so far

Confession time; we’re a bunch of picky bitches here at DGR. True story. Especially me. I have pet peeves for my pet peeves. Swear to god. It’s a curse. LMAO. But then our 2017 started off strong, and kept going and going and going, until we had so many 5 stars under our belts, we were positively full of good book mojo glee. It’s totally a thing. Go with me here.

So we figured, being the picky bitches that we are, these 5 star reads need to be shouted from the rooftops. So this will be a HUGE spotlight we do for the next several weeks. We’ll be featuring a book per post and telling you just why this happened to make our top favorites (so far) list.


For our third spotlight, I bring you the perfection that is this romantic comedy. Brooke Blaine, as I loving refer to as a dirty hooker (She loves it. Swears! She even wrote a book titled Hooker. She knows what’s up), seriously knocked it out of the park with this book. I’m telling you guys, P.I.T.A. may have been my favorite romantic comedy I’ve read to date. I have all of the love for this book!! Besides being laugh until you pee funny, it also had some of THE best banter I’ve read. Now you all already know I love me my enemies to lovers and this book delivered on that front SO HARD. So hard I tells ya! Also, I adore the fact that Brooke writes about such a deep female bond friendship in this series. It’s so rare to find books with true female friendship, a la Sex and the City. It deserves 5 stars for that alone. Did I also mention that Paige was my spirit animal? We’d be total BFFs in real life. Why? Because of conversations like this

“You know, this is a perfect example of why I call you Pita.”
“Why? Because I stick up for myself? Because I call people out when they’re assholes? Because I have fucking balls of steel?” One of the bellhops we passed stopped in his tracks at my admission, and stared at me with wide eyes. “What?” I asked. “You wanna see my steel balls? Dawson, put me down so I can show him.”

Mmmm hmm. See?! She’s full of awesome! So let’s catch up here…

Awesome banter? Check!

Seriously hot sexy times (even involving Nutella *scandalized gasp*) Check!

Hot hero? Check!

Amazing heroine and a gang of girlfriends that will make most anyone jealous? CHECK.

You can read my full, gushing 5 Star review HERE


P.I.T.A.
Series: L.A. Liaisons, #3
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Author: Brooke Blaine
Release Date: January 30, 2017

As one of the most prestigious wedding coordinators in Los Angeles, Paige Iris Traynor-Ashcroft is known for being classy, elegant, and the orchestrator of many happily-ever-afters.

But in the words of Paige herself: “What a crock of shiitake.”

Known affectionately (or not) as P.I.T.A. to those closest to her, she’s never been one to buy into the whole monogamy thing for herself. Sure, her BFFs are getting picked off by Cupid one by one, but his arrows have nothing on her semiautomatic.

Richard “Dick” Dawson does his best to live up to his name. A long-time frenemy and manwhore extraordinaire, he thrives on pushing limits, pushing up skirts—and pushing every single one of Paige’s buttons. He’s the itch she can’t scratch, and doesn’t want to. Or does she?

What happens when blazing-hot rage turns to crazy, unexplainable lust? Surely not…love? Because that would just be a total P.I.T.A.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

Enter to win a SIGNED paperback of P.I.T.A. HERE

Spring Fling Spotlight & Giveaway #2: Our 2017 faves…so far

Confession time; we’re a bunch of picky bitches here at DGR. True story. Especially me. I have pet peeves for my pet peeves. Swear to god. It’s a curse. LMAO. But then our 2017 started off strong, and kept going and going and going, until we had so many 5 stars under our belts, we were positively full of good book mojo glee. It’s totally a thing. Go with me here.

So we figured, being the picky bitches that we are, these 5 star reads need to be shouted from the rooftops. So this will be a HUGE spotlight we do for the next several weeks. We’ll be featuring a book per post and telling you just why this happened to make our top favorites (so far) list.


For our second spotlight, I bring you quite possibly the sweetest and swooniest romantic comedy I’ve read this year. It’s probably my favorite from this author to date, and that’s saying something, considering I’ve loved her entire backlist. In even MORE amazing news, did you hear that the film rights for Royally Screwed (book 1 in this series) have been optioned! AHHHH!!!! It just makes it that much better. But really, let’s talk about this book for a second, shall we? I read this one back on Valentine’s Day  and I couldn’t have picked a better book to read. Because this book! ALL OF THE FEELS! For someone that grew up on the classics and adores all thing Jane Austen, this story was calling to my inner mushy parts. This heroine is my spirit animal. A more shy and introverted version of my spirit animal, but still. It melted my cold black heart. I’m seriously on the swoon train, on the way to swoon city here and I plan on riding the train over and over and over again. Don’t get me started on the perfection that’s Henry or the laugh out loud bits and the glorious writing. Because gah! Just. GAH. Where do I even begin? PERFECTION

You can read my full, gushing 5 Star review HERE


ROYALLY MATCHED Series: Royally #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | BAM | IndieBound

Enter to win a paperback of Royally Matched HERE

Spring Fling Spotlight & Giveaway #1: Our 2017 faves…so far

Confession time; we’re a bunch of picky bitches here at DGR. True story. Especially me. I have pet peeves for my pet peeves. Swear to god. It’s a curse. LMAO. But then our 2017 started off strong, and kept going and going and going, until we had so many 5 stars under our belts, we were positively full of good book mojo glee. It’s totally a thing. Go with me here.

So we figured, being the picky bitches that we are, these 5 star reads need to be shouted from the rooftops. So this will be a HUGE spotlight we do for the next several weeks. We’ll be featuring a book per post and telling you just why this happened to make our top favorites (so far) list.


To start things off, I really didn’t have to think too hard which book to pick. This was the book that first started my 5 star book mojo and it deserves all of the stars for that alone. I read this book back in October of last year, actually, so you may be thinking why I’m featuring it in my 2017 faves? Well, my suspicious friend, the reason is quite simple actually. I’ve since re-read this book 3 times. Yep. Thrice. I wanted to start my year of with a top favorite re-read and I couldn’t think of a better book to do it with than this gut wrencher. That’s totally a word. Go with me here.


BLACK SWAN AFFAIR
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: KL Kreig
Release Date: October 17, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

black-swan-affair-ebook-cover

I’ve loved him as long as I can remember.

The gangly boy with big brown eyes and unruly hair who grew up into an intoxicating man. He wears scruff like he invented it and ambles with a swagger that makes panties drop.

Killian Shepard.

Shep.

We grew up together. We played Ghost in the Graveyard. Had our own rock band. It didn’t matter that he was five years older than me. It didn’t matter that he looked at me as a kid sister even as I grew into a woman. It didn’t even matter when he left me behind to go to college and start his adult life.

He’d be back.

He was always meant to be mine.

He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me—us—the day he married my sister instead of me.

So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do.

I got my revenge.

I married his brother, Kael.

Now we’re one big happy fucking family.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS


See here’s the thing, I actually hate and I mean HATE love triangles. I usually avoid them like a venereal disease. By practicing love triangle abstinence. 

Death from angst overload. It’s a thing. Look up Thoughtless. But I digress.

This book was clearly a triangle. So why did I read it? Well, for one, I’m a glutton for punishment. For two, I love this author. And for three, this blurb hooked me, line and sinker. I had to read it. I needed to read it. And you know what? This book ruined me. RUINED me. I loved it. I loved it beyond words!!

You can read my full 5 star review HERE

If you haven’t heard of this book yet, you may want to check your surroundings because there may be slight chance that you’ve been living under a rock. If you’ve heard of it but haven’t read it, you need to change that right meow. One click it immediately!

And if you’ve read it and loved it, I have an AMAZING treat, because it just so happens that I have a SIGNED paperback of Black Swan Affair generously provided by KL Kreig to gift to one lucky winner!

CHECK OUT THE GIVEAWAY HERE

#DGRFave & Review: Royally Matched by @EmmaChse

ROYALLY MATCHED
Series:
Royally #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Emma Chase
Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | BAM | IndieBound

What a strange pair we are. The sad boy and the frightened girl.

I couldn’t have picked a better book to read on Valentine’s Day. This book! ALL OF THE FEELS! For someone that grew up on the classics and adores all thing Jane Austen, this story was calling to my inner mushy parts. This heroine is my spirit animal. A more shy and introverted version of my spirit animal, but still. It melted my cold black heart. I’m seriously on the swoon train, on the way to swoon city here and I plan on riding the train over and over and over again. Don’t get me started on the perfection that’s Henry or the laugh out loud bits and the glorious writing. Because gah! Just. GAH. Where do I even begin?

There are meetings in books that stand out, that alter the course of the story. Profound encounters between characters when one soul seems to say to the other, “There you are—I’ve been looking for you.”

Henry is a boisterous, quick-witted, happy go lucky ladies man. The wit and humor is strong with this one, ladies, and I loved it. I LOVED IT SO HARD.

Not that kind of proposition. I don’t want to sleep with you, Henry.”
“Who said anything about sleeping? I’m talking about sex. Good sex. Lots of it.”
That puts a flush on her pretty cheeks and she laughs. “I don’t want to have sex with you.”
I pat her hand. “Now you’re just being silly. The cat-and-mouse game can be tantalizing, but it’s not necessary.” My voice drops to a whisper. “I’m a sure thing.”

It’s exactly what you would expect from an Emma Chase male POV. Pure. Awesome.

Henry is quick to jokes and smiles but if there’s one thing he struggles at, it’s politicking. Much to his disappointment. The one thing he yearns for is his grandmother’s approval. As the heir to the throne since his older brother abdicated, he can’t seem to do anything right. So what’s one more grand bad decision in a line of them? May as well star in his very own royal version of the Bachelor. Except the last thing he expects is to meet the unlikeliest of women that takes his breath away.

Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum is a shy, introverted bookworm. She’s the exact opposite of everything about him. It’s funny because I’m not typically a reader that enjoys the shy and mousy heroines, but there was just something so endearing about Sarah that tugged at my every heart string. It was impossible not to like her, to connect and to feel for her.

Sarah only goes to the show to support her sister and to narrowly escape a project at work that would be a nightmare come true for her; force her to speak publicly. Whatever her reason may be, the last thing she expected was the attention of Prince Henry. And as much as she thinks that he’s everything she doesn’t need and guaranteed to break her heart, his presence is a magnet that seems to draw her into his orbit with a mere look.

He’s so damn comfortable, so sure and confident in his own skin. And he makes me feel that way too. Beautiful and bold. Brave. Like I could do anything—say anything—be anything. But at the moment, all I want to be is his.

The romance in this book? OH MY FEELS!!!! This is by far, one of the swooniest books I’ve read from Emma to date. It was pure perfection. I mean, yes, it was also absolutely sexy. But it was so much more than that, too. It made you feel all mushy and warm. It was as sweet as it was sexy and you couldn’t help but fall head over heels for both Henry and Sarah. They may not make sense together at first, but their connection was such a palpable one that you’re rooting for them from the very start. I adored it. Oh my god, you guys, I adored it so hard!!

My darling girl. I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul—mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is . . . she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.

Do you see?!!!

Look, if this book isn’t on your TBR you’re seriously missing out. It packed everything I loved into one incredibly satisfying read. It had humor, romance, steam, AMAZING characters, a perfect story, and flawless writing as only Emma Chase is capable of. It. Was. EVERYTHING.

I’m not going to fall. I can’t. Because Henry has shown me how to fly.



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

Website | Facebook | Newsletter | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

Series Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Ex-Con by @katanacollins

Who likes their bad boys EXTRA bad and EXTRA sexy? I have your next addiction right here!!

Ex-Con is the first book the newest Harrison Street Crew series from author Katan Collins and you don’t want to miss it. This Sons of Anarchy meets Fast and the Furious series is a gritty, erotic romance featuring the quintessential “bad boy” hero and kick ass heroine. Though the Harrison Street Crew is a series, each book is a stand alone novel featuring a different member from the car club. The second book in the series, Outlaw, is scheduled to release on March 7th, 2017. Book 1 is being released as a serialized novel, in 3 parts in the span of 3 weeks, and part 1 and 2 are already available now! Part 3 is releasing on February 14, 2017.


Ex-Con (Part 1)
Author: Katana Collins
Serialized in 3 Parts, Roughly 350 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Swerve)

Ex-convict Shane McGill is as rugged and wild as they come. Bad to the bone and back on the streets, he’ll do anything and say anything to survive. Even if that something means joining the one car club he had worked so hard to avoid. But there’s one person out there who can match him toe-to-toe…the hot mechanic pin-up doll of a woman with the body of a goddess and tomboy attitude would even give him a chance.
Charlize “Charlie” Wakeman fixes cars and doesn’t suffer fools. But when the hot as hell ex-convict Shane McGill enters her mechanic shop, she can’t resist one wild night with him. It was just meant to be a fling…the wildest, most thrilling fling of her life. But Shane’s too ruthless, too bad to ignore, and Charlie can’t stop herself from coming back for more.
Shane McGill learned one thing from prison—if you get a second chance, don’t screw it up. Shane doesn’t regret a single second of his life once he’s found Charlie. She’s the happiest, hottest, most important thing to happen to him. But as tensions rise in the Harrison Street Crew, his relationship with Charlie takes on a new level of heat, and danger…

Ex-Con: Part 1Ex-Con: Part 2Ex-Con: Part 3

 “He’s the one. I can feel it.” Charlize “Charlie” Wakeman could feel the flush in her cheeks and the grin on her face as she reclined in her office chair.

You say that every time, Charlie,” Michelle, her best friend since kindergarten, said.

Kicking her feet onto her desk at back of the garage, she cradled her cell phone between her ear and shoulder. The Tiffany-blue accents created a peaceful work environment against the stark white walls. Most people would think she was crazy to have sleek white furniture in her mechanics’ shop office, but to Charlie? It was calming and a much needed reprieve from the greasy garage. Not that she didn’t love the grease. But just because she could kick ass under a hood didn’t mean she didn’t also love her more feminine side as well.

No, Michelle, this is it. I’m telling you. He’s perfect.”

You do this every time. You tell yourself things are perfect and within a week you’re threatening to remove parts piece by piece.”

It’s different this time.” Charlie stood, peering out into the front of the garage where Rick waited. She stared, her mouth watering. Needing, wanting. “He needs a little work, yeah. But a few tweaks here and there—”

See? That’s how it begins.”

I’m gonna go for it. I need to at least try. No regrets, right?”

Charlie, no—”

She hung up before her friend could talk some sense into her, and stole a quick glance in the mirror. “Shit,” she muttered, grabbing a tissue and wiping a bit of grease off her temple. The black oil streaked her red hair and she sighed, flipping her part to the other side to cover it. It would have to do. Nothing short of a hot shower would remove that black smear from her hair.

Reaching for her checkbook, she took a quick glance at her balance in the business account. Eight thousand. Sure, that seemed like a lot, but for a garage, it was barely enough to make rent, electricity, and water; pay for supplies and parts; and pay off her monthly business loan. Not to mention her personal bills—rent for her house and little things like, you know, food. That number was low. Too low for her liking. Especially since she’d missed her last three months of the loan payment. That damn interest was killing her. Sucking in a sharp breath she tossed the checkbook back down onto her desk beside the stacks of overdue bills.

One thing at a time,” Charlie whispered to herself before shutting her office door behind her.

Rick,” she said entering the garage. Her eyes flicked to the 1971 AMC Hornet and her whole body purred at those sleek lines. Oh, how she wanted that car. Needed him. She could see herself riding it late into the night, windows down during the balmy Boston summers. “I crunched some numbers and I’ll be honest with you, it’s a great car. He’s in rough shape, though. Despite that, I’m interested in him.” Interested? Ha. That was the understatement of the year. She was wet for that car.

Rick gave a chuckle and shook his head. “Him? Sweetheart, this baby is all woman. At least until your check clears. Then it could be a damn hermaphrodite for all I care.”

Until your check clears. His statement caused her heart to stumble. Would her check clear? If she could get the car for a decent price, Charlie was certain she could flip it for a profit within a few weeks. She needed that. She needed the big-ticket item to get her garage back in the black. Though she had enough money to pay most of this month’s bills, she still had the previous three months’ debt. Not to mention her personal rent at home which she didn’t pay last month. She needed a big payoff. Something that would not only allow her to pay off this month’s bills, but catch up on the previous as well. Without that, next month she’d have just as many bills, even more debt, and nothing in her account to pay it all off with. At least by spending that money now on a car, she could keep the garage going another month. Maybe two. And if she gets the car for cheap enough, she could even do it all over again next month. Find another fixer-upper and turn it for a profit.

Sweeping her gaze across the garage, the parking lot was lined with small jobs. Oil changes, tire rotations; small gigs that took time and paid very little. Her dad was trying to help by bringing in the Boston PD car maintenance to her shop. But in the end, those small jobs were reducing her hourly bottom line. Even still, money was money. She couldn’t turn away business, no matter how small or low-paying the job was. “So? How much for it?” she said, purposefully leaving gender out and wetting her lips nervously.

I need at least twenty. And I’m losing money at that.”

Fuck. Charlie shook her head and turned back for the office. “I’m happy to negotiate, Rick, but don’t insult me. We both know that you couldn’t get twenty thousand for that car in its current condition if it came equipped with a gold dashboard and a man to give me head while I drove. Now give me a real number or get the fuck out of my garage.”

Rick sucked his teeth, but there was a smirk twisting at the corners of his mouth. “You know the drill. It’s your turn to throw down a number.”

Two.”

He snorted, shaking his head. “Bitch,” he muttered.

You throw an insulting number my way, but when I do the same I’m a bitch?”

He rushed to the hood, throwing it open. “This is a V8, two-barrel carb, 245 gross horsepower. It’s the rarest AMC muscle out there.”

Yeah, but you and I both know that the four-barrel is faster and more cherished by collectors. And the two-barrel is a helluva lot more work.” She gave a light kick to the back bumper. “And this thing is in rough shape. Seventy thousand miles on it.”

Lucky you’re the best mechanic in Southie.”

It’s a little late to try buttering me up, Rick. All that’s gonna do is give you a fat ass,” she said.

Only if I eat you.” He grinned.

She fiddled with some cables, dipping her head back into the engine, ignoring that comment. They hardly fazed her anymore. One year owning her garage in Southie, and she’d fucking heard it all. “Three thousand,” she said, knowing he’d never take a number that low.

Fifteen,” he countered. He was still shitting her. For a Hornet in this condition? That was an insane number. That’s what she was hoping to sell it for once she finished fixing it up, for Christ’s sake.

Look at all that rust. Finding original parts is going to be a bitch.” Except that she already had a bunch of parts stored in the back of her garage. Not that she’d be telling him that. She’d been saving them, scrapping them together when she found them at the perfect price, and digging through the scrap yard on her days off. All waiting for the day she found the Hornet of her dreams. Don’t get attached, she told herself. She had to sell this baby for a profit.

Who are you kidding, Charlie? You love that shit. You live for it.”

Not at fifteen thousand, I don’t. Besides, even if you don’t sell it to me, there’s only a handful of garages in this neighborhood. There’s a pretty good chance that whoever buys it will be bringing it in here to fix up anyway. I get to work on this car regardless. The question is, do I get to drive it after?” She paused. “Four thousand.”

He sighed. She was breaking him down and they both knew it. “Eight. That’s more than fair and you know it.”

It was his first reasonable offer. And yet still two thousand higher than her budget. She needed to keep at least a couple thousand in her account to order parts and pay Declan his rent this month. She paced around to the back of the car, kicking the tires. “It’s got the original sea-foam green interior leather,” he added.

Yeah, shitty and cracked. Again, the amount of patchwork that’s gonna take to restore it to period is more than the damn thing is worth. Fifty-five hundred. My final offer.” Charlie held her breath . . . she’d even given herself extra breathing room in case he countered one last time.

He nodded, holding out his hand, and Charlie grasped it quickly before he could pull it back right along with the offer. If there was one thing she’d learned living in Southie, it was that no one went back on a handshake. “Excellent. You got the title with you?”

Sure do. Lemme just go grab it.” Rick walked out into the parking lot, and Charlie waited until he was out the door before launching herself into the air, jumping around and dancing. Bending at the waist, she dropped a kiss on the hood. Yes! This was what she needed. It might deplete her bank account momentarily, but overall this restoration project was going to do well for her. At fifty-five hundred, after expenses, she could easily make ten to twelve thousand of profit off of this car, finally paying off her debt and be in the black with her business.

Well, you sure as shit ripped that guy off.” The low voice was deep with a quiet intensity that permeated Charlie’s bones. The blood rushed away from her face, and her entire body solidified with clenched muscles. Shit. She hadn’t realized she had other customers waiting.

Standing straight, she smoothed her T-shirt, pulling the hem lower and clenching her teeth to keep herself from biting her lip. “What are you talking about?” she said as she turned toward the voice. And if Charlie thought his voice was sexy . . . holy hell. It was nothing compared to the man standing before her. He wore faded jeans with the beginnings of holes at the knees and a tight white T-shirt that gripped bulging muscles beneath. The material hugged his biceps so tightly that she feared any movement would result in a Hulk-like tearing of the material off of his body. A tattoo, something angular looking, started below his sleeve, curving around his bicep before dipping under the shirt which hid the rest of it. His long, light brown hair was wavy, edging just below his ears, with stubble a shade darker covering his sharp jaw.

You got a Hornet two-barrel for under ten thousand?” he said. “Either he didn’t know what he had, or he was hypnotized by your tight jeans.” Moss-green eyes pierced into her, a smile softening the back handed compliment, and Charlie felt her body shiver under his gaze. This guy was bad news. And she should know; she’d seen enough guys like him in this part of town this last year. She’d sworn to herself that she wouldn’t get involved with any of the local guys here. Too much of pissing where you eat. Even as her brain was telling her to step back, her body was clenching with desire for the stranger.

It’s business,” she countered when she finally found her voice again. “And speaking of, what can I help you with?” Charlie grabbed a rag on the shop table and wiped her hands. Anything to keep herself busy and not stare at this guy. Or worse, touch him.

She looked up in time to catch his green eyes still on her. Faint wrinkles fanned from each corner, and smile lines framed his mouth spotlighting the exact area she wanted to press her lips against.

My cousin told me this was the best place in town now that Dec’s retired. I got a car that ain’t running so good.”

Charlie licked her lips and jerked her head into the empty spot beside her new Hornet. “Pull her on in, and let me have a look.”

I’d love to . . . but she won’t even make it inside on her own. Barely got her the five blocks here in the first place.”

Five blocks. This guy only lived five blocks away? And yet she’d never seen him around before today. He didn’t wait for Charlie’s response before he turned and walked out for the parking lot. He dragged one leg with a slight limp. Very slight. She wouldn’t have really noticed it if she hadn’t been staring so damn hard at his ass. She followed him to where a smoking 1976 Corvette Stingray was parked. Literally smoking, with stacks of dark gray clouds streaming out of the open hood. “What the—”

She hasn’t been driven in almost four years,” he said, reading her thoughts.

Well, that’ll do it.” Charlie sighed, waving away the smoke. “I can’t even take a look until the engine cools. There’s a waiting room right inside. Grab yourself a coffee. I’ll settle up on my Hornet, then have a look.”

Coffee,” he repeated as though she had mentioned a long-lost lover he hadn’t seen in years. Like the very mention of her name conjured visions and memories. And Charlie could have gotten lost in that dreamy gaze of his.

Um, yeah,” she said, barely recognizing her own voice as it came out a few notes lower and more gravely than intended. “Through that door.” She swiped her hand across her jeans before extending it to the man. “I’m Charlie, by the way.”

Charlie?”

Short for Charlize.”

His hand curved into hers, the pad of his thumb skimming over her skin. The tenderness of his touch lurched through her body, and she locked her grip in his palm as though maintaining that handshake could somehow steady her. His eyes studied hers, moving quickly across her face, and she momentarily feared that he could see everything. His penetrating stare could have sliced her right open, spilling her feelings and secrets right to his feet. “Shane,” he answered.

There was something in his eyes; something different than how other men looked at her. She wasn’t blind. She knew the reason most of the local guys came to her shop. It wasn’t just because she knew her way around a 396-cubic-inch engine . . . it was because she knew her shit about cars, but she also looked damn good while working on them. And they loved to watch as she bent into their hoods, probably imagining that she was bending over their dicks. But Shane seemed different. He didn’t just look at her—he saw her, his gaze intense and hungry. The sort of lust she hadn’t allowed herself to give into in a year.

He pulled his hand back, and Charlie watched as he took his time walking inside before she allowed herself to catch her bottom lip between her teeth. Damn, that was a fine man. Typically, she found herself lusting for horsepower and engines and mufflers. But today? It was the man behind the wheel she craved, not the engine beneath the hood.

She didn’t have time for a boyfriend. If there was anything her previous relationship had taught her, it was that no man was better than the wrong man. With her business coming up on its first year anniversary and the fact that she couldn’t afford any employees to help tackle the work load, almost every free moment she had was spent here at the shop. But damn, would he be fun to take home for a night.

In the year Charlie had been working in Southie, she’d learned that the men here cherished their cars . . . and it was bad news if someone treated something they cherished like shit. And that guy in there? He’d barely given his “baby” any attention in years, to the point that she was barely running. Using her phone as a decoy, she watched him through the window. Despite the hard veneer, he seemed to have a gentleness to him that she hadn’t seen in men around these parts before. Rough, but pliable. Like sandpaper that bristles against your skin on one side, but with hardly any effort can rip right in half.

Christ, what was she doing? She wasn’t looking to marry the guy. Sandpaper or velvet or fucking steel, he could still be good for one thing . . . one night. Just because she didn’t want to tie him down with a wedding band didn’t mean she couldn’t tie him down to her bedpost. One and done, a little voice said in her head. Would one night be so bad? A relationship would be too much work at the moment . . . and she already had one job taking up most of her time. But one night did not equal a relationship . . .

It had been a year since Charlie had been with a man. A year since she’d felt the weight of him on top of her or his scratchy scruff brush between her legs. A year too long. She watched through the window as Shane limped to the coffee machine and carefully poured the ebony liquid into a paper cup. He cupped it gently, bringing the cup to those full lips of his and pausing, inhaling deeply before taking a long, lingering sip. His pink tongue darted out and he licked his top lip in a long, luxurious swipe.

Shit. She needed that tongue on her body.

She was going to fix his Stingray, and before he left her shop today she was going to convince him to give her a ride . . . and not in his car.

Found it!” Rick called from the other end of the lot, waving the Hornet’s title. “You’re going home with one hell of a catch tonight.”

You bet I am,” she said.

DREAM CAST

Katana Collins is lucky enough to love her day job almost as much as she loves writing. She splits her time evenly between photographing boudoir and newborn portraits and writing steamy romances in a variety of genres — paranormal, contemporary, new adult and suspense.

She lives in Portland, Maine, with an ever-growing brood of rescue animals: a kind of mean cat, a very mellow chihuahua, and a very not mellow lab puppy… oh yeah, there’s a husband somewhere in that mix, too. She can usually be found hunched over her laptop in a cafe, guzzling gallons of coffee, and wearing fabulous (albeit sometimes impractical) shoes.

www.katanacollins.com

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @katanacollins

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Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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