Excerpt: Eighty-One Nights by Georgia Cates

EIGHTY-ONE NIGHTS
Series:
 Beautiful Illusions Duet #1
Genre: 
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Georgia Cates
Release Date: April 9, 2019

Beautiful, penniless American girl meets handsome, wealthy Scotsman.

Sounds like the beginning of a fairy-tale romance?

It’s not.

This story begins with a contract.

And an exchange of money.

A lot of money.

An angel perches nervously on one shoulder.

A devil lounges smugly on my other.

And even that dark little bastard is leery of what I’m doing.

Maxwell Hutcheson wants the girlfriend experience.

All of it.

And I’m going to give it to him.

I’m not supposed to enjoy being his whore.

I’m also not supposed to fall in love with him.

But I do. Both.

When our contract expires, I will walk away.

Because I have to.

But he’ll always have a piece of me.

I’ll mask my sorrow with a smile.

I’ll hide my love with indifference

… all while it’s killing me softly.

A fairy-tale romance.

It isn’t mine to have.

And this man I’ve come to love so dearly isn’t my happily ever after.

About Eighty-One Nights:

While the characters from Eighty-One Nights are entirely new, their storyline is a combination of fresh material and carefully selected themes, scenes, and settings from The Beauty Series, The Sin Trilogy, Dear Agony, and Indulge. This is intentional. I chose some of my favorite elements from previous releases and interjected them into Hutch and Lou’s story. Let’s call it a “story fusion” between our old favorites and new material. This work was briefly released under a pen name and was titled The Girlfriend Experience.

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“No one gets to call you a whore.”

“You can.”

He stops eating and looks at me. “I’d never degrade you by calling you a whore.”

“Not a whore. Your whore. There’s a difference.”

I can almost see the wheels turning in Hutch’s head. “You’re my whore?”

“Yes. Only yours.”

“My whore.” He grins. “I don’t think that I’m supposed to like that, but I do.”

“And I don’t think I’m supposed to like being your whore, but I do. Very much.”

He reaches out for my hand and brings it to his mouth, kissing it. “You never cease to amaze me.”

“Dirty talk. Never underestimate the power of it.”


Georgia resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her music and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

Connect w/Georgia:
Website: http://www.georgiacates.com/
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Excerpt: Nothing But Trouble by P. Dangelico

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE
Series:
Malibu University #1
Genre:
New Adult Romance
Author:
P. Dangelico
Release Date: March 26, 2019

Nothing But Trouble, an all new standalone Contemporary Romance by

P. Dangelico

Reagan Reynolds…

Water polo god.

Owner of a face that belongs under Wikipedia’s definition of drop dead gorgeous.

Too charming for his own good.

But most importantly––the worst driver on the planet.

No, really, I’m pretty sure his blind nana taught him how to drive.

I had no idea who he was until he almost ran me over. And frankly, I kind of wish I still didn’t because then I wouldn’t have a sprained ankle to show for it. And my leg wouldn’t resemble a boa constrictor that’s swallowed a feral pig.

Yeah, it’s that bad.

I’ve spent years saving every penny I’ve ever earned to be able to transfer to Malibu University. And now my entire future––including my scholarship––is in jeopardy.

So I either accept the help he insists on giving me, or lose everything I’ve sacrificed for.

In the meantime, I’m going to ignore the fact that we’re becoming friends.

And I’m definitely going to pretend he’s not turning into the object of my…umm, dirty fantasies.

That’s not happening.

Not even a little.

Because the minute I clapped eyes on him I knew he was nothing but trouble.

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Alice

A strong gust of hot air invades the car and Reagan’s hair gets ruffled. It’s been like this the last few weeks. Crazy hot winds picking up now and then. Mine is literally standing on end. I’m forced to hold it down with both hands.

“The Santa Anas,” he says as if reading my mind. I look over and find him smiling at me. “The hot wind.” He swirls his index finger.

I let go of my hair, close my eyes, and let it have its way with me. It stands instantly upright, like I stuck my finger in a socket. I’m sure I look like an idiot but it makes me laugh, a burst of pure joy emanating from my chest that can’t be contained any more than the wind can.

“Nice hair,” he mocks with a teasing smile.

“Thanks, Flipper.”

“I thought we established that it’s not a dolphin.”

“You’re not going to like me saying this, but you’re more dolphin than shark,” I happily point out. He’s always perky and upbeat, likes to socialize, loves all the attention. He’s a dolphin––whether he likes it or not.

He levels narrowed green vengeance on me, offset by a sly smile. “I’m the top of the food chain, babe. I’m all shark.”

“That’s adorable. Especially coming from someone that wears a swim cap like my nana used to wear. Except yours has those darling cinnamon buns over the ears. Like Princess Leia.”

He fights his amusement. “Those cinnamon buns are meant to protect my ears from all the rough, manly activity. And I’m tellin’ on you. I’m tellin’ all the guys you said that.”

The Jeep comes to an abrupt stop. Only then do I realize we’re parked in front of the apartment building where my study group is being held. Scanning the parking lot, I see people I recognize from class pouring out of a car.

My attention returns to Reagan and I find him watching me. His smile melts. His expression grows serious like he rarely ever is. I rake my hair down and get my fingers snagged on a few knots. Unfortunately I’m not the comb-carrying type.

Mental note: purchase comb. Crazy winds are afoot.

“Thank you for driving me.” I look for some sign of what’s going on in his mind and finding the door shut.

“What time should I pick you up?” He reaches out and I lean away, staring at his hand. “Chill, Bailey. You have a piece sticking up.”

“Oh…okay.” He’s trying to be helpful and I treat him like he’s a festering case of the bubonic plague. How embarrassing.

I lean in and he sets about gently brushing down each and every one of my stray hairs, so gently I can barely feel him picking apart the knots. I can feel his breath on my skin. Fresh from a shower, I can smell his shampoo. My scalp tingles and goose bumps break out on my forearms. Lord give me strength.

P. Dangelico loves romance in all forms, cuddly creatures (four legged and two), really bloody sexy pulp, the NY Jets (although she’s reconsidering after this season), and to while away the day at the barn (apparently she does her best thinking shoveling horse crap). What she’s not enamored with is referring to herself in the third person and social media so don’t expect her to get on Twitter anytime soon. Oh, and although she was born in Italy, she’s been Jersey Strong since she turned six.

Connect with P. Dangelico:

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Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Not Dead Yet by Jenn Burke

NOT DEAD YET
Series: Not Dead Yet #1
Genre: Paranormal Mystery Romance, MM Romance
Author: Jenn Burke
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: February 4, 2019

Dying isn’t what it used to be.

Wes Cooper was dead. Then he wasn’t—though he’s not exactly alive, either. As an immortal not-ghost, he can transition between this world and the otherplane, which makes him the perfect thief for hire. For seventy years he’s made a “living” returning items to their rightful owners, seeing his fair share of the bizarre in the process. But he’s never witnessed murder. Until now.

His latest mission brings him more than he bargained for: a very-dead actor who is definitely going to stay that way. It’s just Wes’s luck that his ex-boyfriend, Detective Hudson Rojas, is assigned to the case. Hudson broke Wes’s heart years ago—and could again, given he’s rocking a hot silver-fox look that shouldn’t be legal.

As they work together to track down the murderer before anyone else gets hurt, it becomes clear Wes and Hudson have unfinished business. And when a secret Hudson’s been keeping threatens more than just their happiness, it might mean the end of their not-life together—permanently.

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“You are single, right?”“Yeah.” He turned back to watch Gemma’s condo. “We should pay attention to—”“And kids?”

“We need to—”

“We don’t have to look at each other to talk.” To make my point, I turned my gaze back to the empty front entrance too.

Hudson didn’t respond, and he was quiet for long enough that I thought he really wasn’t going to share anything. But then he said, “We talked about this.”

“Yeah. But it’s been thirty-three years. I figured some things were bound to change.”

He’d been—well, adamant wasn’t too strong of a word. No kids for Hudson. His upbringing hadn’t been the best, with an alcoholic father he hated to talk about, a series of stepmothers who rarely lasted more than a year, and a half-brother named Lance who was ten years his junior and lived overseas with his mother—or at least, he had, back in the eighties. Hudson had called him every Christmas we’d been together. He’d shared that there were some good memories of his parents from his childhood, back before his mother had died in a car accident. After that, his family life had descended into something less than tolerable.

So yeah, I got the no-kids thing. Hell if I wanted spawn of my own. I didn’t even know what they’d be—human? Not-ghost? Something else? It was probably best I never find out, and I couldn’t see that attitude changing. But then, like Hudson had pointed out, I was constant and unevolving. My perspective was set. His could have easily changed as he grew older.

“Not about kids,” Hudson said definitively.

“But a husband?”

“Why?” he demanded. “You fishing? You want to get back together?”

I gave up all pretense of watching what I was supposed to be watching, and turned to look at him. “Don’t you ever think about the good times?”

Off and on throughout the day, the happy moments we’d shared had been on replay in my brain, maybe as a way to try to convince myself that Hudson was still Hudson. I wasn’t sure if they were successful or not, but damn, they were some good memories.

“Of course I do.” His expression softened. “Like going up to Algonquin Park and camping under the stars.”

I smiled. I’d hated the obnoxiousness of Hudson’s El Camino, with its noisy engine and excessively large aftermarket tires, but the truck bed had been pretty sweet. Throw an air mattress back there with a few sleeping bags, and…yeah. “Hearing the wolves was pretty magical.”

Hudson laughed. “You were terrified.”

“I was n—” I scrunched up my nose. “Okay, maybe I was. A little. They sounded really close.”

“They weren’t.”

“But they sounded like they were and that was all that mattered.”

“You were…” He paused before voicing the rest of his thought. “So honest.”

“What do you mean?”

“You were scared and you didn’t try to hide it. You wanted me to comfort you, so you asked for it. You were…you are a lot braver than you give yourself credit for.”

I snorted. “Like that small shit matters.”

“Of course it matters. You’ve always been unapologetically you. It was something—something I aspired to.”

“Then why did you leave?”

“Because you weren’t happy, and I sure as hell wasn’t happy, and we were never going to make each other happy. I wasn’t what you needed.”

“That’s bullshit.”

“Is it? Think about it. You needed someone to accept you, to welcome you, to love you as openly as they could, and that wasn’t me.”

“It could have been.”

“Not a chance. Not in 1985.” Hudson lifted his hand as though he were going to cup my cheek.

Despite the questions that still lingered between us, I wanted to feel his skin on mine. I wanted to feel the roughness of his hands, the calluses that had always made his touch that little bit more interesting. I closed my eyes—

“And not now.”

Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Rough Terrain by Annabeth Albert

ROUGH TERRAIN
Series: Out of Uniform #7, *Final book in the series*
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male Romance, Military Romance
Release Date: January 14, 2019

The camping trip from hell may be the first stop on the road to happily-ever-after in Rough Terrain, the final book in Annabeth Albert’s critically acclaimed, fan-favorite Out of Uniform series.

Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…

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“Big plans this weekend?” Canaan asked while he made the drink.

“Working out with a friend tomorrow. Gonna film some new moves.”

“Please tell me you put those clips online.” Thinking fast, Canaan grabbed a blank stamp card and a pen and thrust it at him. “I’ll fill a stamp card for you if you give me your handle.”

“Well…” Rooster’s eyes shifted to his friends, who were deep in conversation. “Navy doesn’t exactly approve of me being on social media…”

“Not gonna tell a soul,” Canaan promised. “I just like workout videos and fitness pics.” And how.

“Yeah?” Rooster gave him an appraising stare, one that had Canaan damn near preening. “That so?”

“Yup.” Canaan set the blender going and returned to the counter. He filled a stamp card and waved it at Rooster. “So how about it?”

“Okay, okay.” Rooster scribbled something on the other card and pushed it at Canaan. Their fingers brushed as they traded cards, thick callused fingers rubbing against his, and Canaan swore his toes curled from the contact.

“So how about you?” Rooster asked as Canaan poured his drink into a purple plastic Smoothie Palace cup.

“How about me what?” Canaan was still busy celebrating getting his username and felt a little punch-drunk on the contact to boot.

“Big plans?”

Here was the opening Canaan had been waiting months for, and no way was he missing it. “Dunno. I get off at nine. Wanna help me find trouble?”

“You make that offer to all your customers?” Rooster studied him intently, and Canaan straightened his spine, trying to pass whatever test he was giving him.

“Just my favorite ones.” The more honest answer would be just you, but Canaan didn’t want to seem too desperate, so he kept his voice light and easy. “How ’bout it?”

“Rooster!” Bacon called out before Rooster could answer. “Come on. We’ve got that meeting in ten.”

“Sorry. Gotta head out. Thanks for the card.” Rooster gave him a smile but no answer before hurrying over to join his friends.

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Connect with Annabeth Albert:

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Excerpt: Seduce Me by Kelly Elliott

SEDUCE ME
Series: Austin Singles #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kelly Elliot
Release Date: November 6, 2018

What happens when you’re forced to seduce the one person you vowed never to love?

You get screwed … in more than one way.

I walked out of Tucker Middleton’s bedroom seven years ago, leaving him hurt and angry. Now I need his help; the only way I can get it, is to make him think I want him back.

The only problem is we have silently vowed to hate one another for the rest of our lives. In order to get Tucker to help me—I have to seduce him.

Easy right?

Hell yes! I’m the CEO of CMI Consulting. If I set my mind to something, I make it happen.

Charleston Monroe is playing me for a fool. If she believes for one second I’m going to let her walk into my life to help her save the very job that ripped her away from me, she’s got another thing coming.

She thinks she can seduce me, and I let her believe she can. After all, I’m getting what I’ve always wanted.

Her.

Caution:

This story contains crazy hot sex, and one shaved pussy.

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Rolling over, I pulled the covers over my head and moaned.“Oh shit,” I whispered. Even my whispered words hurt my head. I hadn’t drunk like that in a long time.

Note to self: Give up alcohol. Except wine. Wait. No. Never ever give up wine.

With my head still buried, I tried to think back to last night. The last thing I remembered was talking to that guy . . . Brad. No Billy. Bobby? Brady? Who cares? I need aspirin.

I pushed the covers over my head and went to get out of bed. I froze when I saw the sheets.

Oh. My. God.

These aren’t my sheets.

Turning, I looked at the bed.

This isn’t my bed.

Glancing down, I gasped. I’m not wearing any clothes.

Covering my mouth, I jumped up. “I didn’t. Oh God, please tell me I didn’t. Terri! I’m going to kill her.”

Frantically looking around, I saw my purse on the chair in the corner.

Rushing over to it, I dug through it until I found my phone.

As I waited for that whore to answer her phone, I mumbled, “She broke the number one girlfriend code. Don’t let your friend leave with a guy when they’re drunk!”

“Hey, girl! So? Did you get laid like you wanted? Please tell me yes ’cause this would make a great story.”

My heart jumped to my throat as a small sound came from my lips.

“Wh-what? Why? How could you? You let me go off with him? What if he had killed me!”

She laughed. “Hardly. But then again, you do drive him up a wall, and he has mentioned snuffing you out a time or two.”

My finger and thumb went to the bridge of my nose. “What are you talking about?”

Terri muffled the phone, then laughed. “Hello? Terri! I’m at a strange man’s house, I don’t remember anything, and I’m naked.”

“Wait. You’re naked?”

“Yes!”

“Oh, wow. Shit just got really interesting. Where’s Tucker?”

Tucker? How in the hell would I know where Tucker was?

“I don’t know! I don’t care. Terri. I don’t know where I am. He could come back any minute, and I’m standing here naked. Oh my God. Do you think I had sex with him?”

“Do you feel like you had sex?”

Stopping, I jumped around a bit. “No. I’d be sore if I did, right? Fuck if I know, it’s been so long.”

Terri sighed. “It really has been that long. You’ve done forgotten how it feels, huh?”

“Aww, hell, Mr. Pootie!”

“I’m sure he’s fine. Let’s get back to what happened between you and Tucker last night.”

I shook my head as I glanced around the room for my clothes.

Dropping to my knees, I looked under the bed.

“Why are we talking about Tucker? I have bigger problems.”

Then I heard a male voice clear his throat.

“Oh God,” I whispered. “He’s in the room, Terri. I’m naked! I can’t find my clothes.”

Terri laughed. “Okay, well, have fun. Tell Tucker I said hey.”

My brows furrowed, and I was about to say something when the line went dead.

It was then I felt the change in the room, and everything from last night came crashing back into my poor brain, causing my head to pound harder.

Slowly lifting up, I peered over the bed, only to find Tucker leaning up against the doorjamb. He wore a shit-eating grin on his face, and fuck me, he looked so gorgeous.

Oh no.

I swallowed hard. “Um… I can’t, um. Well, it appears I am… you see, I can’t find my, ahh… the dress I had on.”

Jesus. Why do I act like an idiot around him? Why!

“Your clothes had throw up on them. They’re almost dry.”

My stomach dropped. “Did we . . . ?”

He smiled. Full on dimples and all.

God, I want him. Even in my current hungover condition, I’ve never wanted this man more than right now.

Wait. No. I don’t!

Yes . . . yes, you do.

Crap. What if I already had him? And I don’t remember. I’m going to be so pissed off if we had sex and I don’t remember it.

“No, we didn’t sleep together, and for the record, you got yourself undressed.”

Relaxing, I let out the breath I didn’t realize I held in.

 

Kelly Elliott is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author. Since finishing her bestselling Wanted series, Kelly continues to spread her wings while remaining true to her roots and giving readers stories rich with hot protective men, strong women and beautiful surroundings.

Her bestselling works include, Wanted, Broken, Without You, and Unconditional Love, to name just a few.

Kelly has been passionate about writing since she was fifteen. After years of filling journals with stories, she finally followed her dream and published her first novel, Wanted, in November of 2012.

Kelly lives in central Texas with her husband, daughter, and two pups. When she’s not writing, Kelly enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is down to earth and very in touch with her readers, both on social media and at signings.

To find out more about Kelly and her books, you can find her through her website.

www.kellyelliottauthor.com

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Excerpt: Shadow & Ice by Gena Showalter

 

SHADOW AND ICE
Series: Gods of War #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: October 23, 2018

Gena Showalter, the New York Times bestselling author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld, introduces a scorching new paranormal romance series… Gods of War.

Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.

Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.

Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.

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Present DaySomewhere in the Arctic Circle

“Heads are going to roll.”

Sore, tired and chilled to the bone, Vale London dropped a ten thousand pound backpack, leaned against a wall of ice and scanned her surroundings—a sea of snow broken up by mountains and seracs that made her fancy that ocean waves had flash-froze just before they’d come crashing down.

Frigid wind howled, the sound of it somehow more glacial than the below zero temp, screams of pain and helplessness seeming to echo within.

“Are we talking literally or figuratively?” Her be­loved foster sister Magnolia “Nola” Lee dropped her pack as well, sat atop it and drew a thick flannel blan­ket around her shoulders. “With you I never know.”

Vale savored the flavor of sweetened brown butter that coated her tongue. At some point in her childhood development, wires had gotten crossed in her brain, leaving her with a severe case of synesthesia. She heard sounds, just like everyone else, but she tasted them, too. Letters also registered as colors, and numbers appeared as a three-dimensional map inside her head.

The more nuanced the sound, the richer the flavor.

“Figuratively…maybe,” she replied. “The next time I see our absentee guide, he’ll be lucky to walk away. Or even crawl.” She wasn’t known as a street-tough scrap­per for nothing! And the POS had ruined what was sup­posed to be the vacation of a lifetime, so he had to pay.

Dang it, Nola hadn’t needed this kind of stress, or danger. She’d needed a break. The girl worked two full time jobs. If she wasn’t baking and selling the goods at local office buildings, she was writing How To copy for her dating column in Oklahoma Love Match magazine. And Vale… Vale had needed a break from everything. Had hoped to enjoy one last hoorah—or maybe a first hoorah—before she and Nola settled down and opened a fancy-schmancy gourmet donut shop slash catering center slash speed dating and bachelorette party hub, with Vale on paperwork duty and Nola behind the oven and the counter.

Vale’s biggest mistake? Booking each extracurric­ular activity with the cheapest company possible, in order to do more stuff on a limited budget. Quality beat quantity; she understood that now. So how about a break, world?


Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared on Nightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfans

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Exclusive Excerpt: Restless Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

RESTLESS INK
Series:
Montgomery Ink: Colorado Springs #2
Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 18, 2018

The Montgomery Ink series continues with the so-called sensible sister and the one man she never should have fallen for.

For Thea Montgomery, baking isn’t only therapeutic, it’s also her dream job. She’s worked countless hours keeping her bakery afloat, and now that it’s where she wants it to be, she’s ready to expand and take the next step. When it comes to work and her family, she’s on top of her game. Her personal life, however, is a different story.

When Dimitri Carr isn’t teaching and hiding his ink under long sleeves to keep the bosses happy, he’s trying to be the best brother and friend he can be. After his divorce, he’d thought he would lose Thea from his life forever because she’s his ex-wife’s best friend. But now that he’s free, and the two of them realize they want to keep their friendship. Then he finally sees what he’s been missing all this time.

But there are more problems than the fact that Dimitri is Thea’s best friend’s ex. And when accidental touches and flirtations aren’t enough for either of them, and they’re finally ready to take the next step, they’ll find out exactly what that cost is for crossing that line. And will need to find the strength to face it.

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They said their goodbyes to Abby and headed over to the bar next door to Kaylee’s studio. Kaylee herself couldn’t make it since she had a later event but told them all to have fun as they strolled to the other building. Soft guitar music drifted out of the open door, and Thea glanced at the sign next to it on the sidewalk claiming it was open mic night.

“This could either be amazing or horrible,” Adrienne said under her breath as Roxie laughed.

But Thea didn’t laugh, she couldn’t, not when she heard that voice.

She knew that voice, dreamed of that voice. Oh, hell, that voice was one that kept her awake at night and sent delicious warmth between her thighs.

“Is that…?” Adrienne’s voice trailed off, and Roxie sucked in a breath.

Thea just blinked as they stopped right inside the door, the three of them standing stock-still, their mouths dropping open.

Dimitri sat on a stool in front of the crowded room, his fingers strumming the guitar as he crooned a song about love and loss with that deep growl of his.

And when he lifted his head, and his gaze met hers, he didn’t pause, didn’t break his concentration, but she knew he saw her, understood that he wanted her there from the glint in his eyes. Realized that this meant something.

And she knew… she knew she was lost.

And so damn screwed.

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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Exclusive Excerpt: Unlocking Shadows by Kennedy Layne

UNLOCKING SHADOWS
Series: Keys To Love #4
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Kennedy Layne
Release Date: September 18, 2018

The next book in Kennedy Layne’s KEYS TO LOVE is available now – romantic suspense lovers do not want to miss this!

About UNLOCKING SHADOWS

Gwen Kendall spent ten years in the Navy and used the last four to create a life for herself she could be proud of away from the confines of her overprotective family. Being the only woman in the Kendall clan tended to be a bit overwhelming at times.

Chad Schaeffer had been hired on to help restore an old farmhouse for one of the returning Kendall siblings. He’d heard about the trouble the family had encountered and honestly didn’t want to go anywhere near their properties. He had a change of heart when he saw the most recently returned Kendall sibling stepping out of her car with a key in her hand.

Gwen had waited a very long time to have a place to call her own, just as she had waited for the right man to share her life. One night of seduction convinces her she’s found both, but someone wants to take it all away. It’s been said that old houses retain a piece of each person who has lived there, but she never counted on the dark shadows wanting a piece of her.

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“Did you actually cook for me, city girl?”Gwen would have probably screamed like a little girl at the sight of a spider bouncing on its web had she not first heard the faint sound of her cell phone chiming as the proximity alarm announced Chad’s presence. The security firm who’d set up her system had the surrounding area of the house monitored for any movement. It came in handy for times like this, but for some reason, blood rushed to her cheeks and her heartbeat accelerated as if she’d just run a mile or two.When was the last time a man affected her in such a manner?

Too long to count, which was the sole reason she’d refused to take back her key earlier this afternoon. It wasn’t like they were making a serious commitment to one another, and he would ultimately need to be able to come and go while working on her house.

“City girl?” Gwen opened the fridge and pulled out two bottles of beer to give time for the flush of color to leave her face. “Since when do you consider me a city girl?”

“Well, let’s see.” The intoxicating scent of Chad’s cologne told her that he’d moved into the kitchen and was now in close proximity. “You put in excessively long hours at your new firm, you complained that there wasn’t one of those fancy coffee places in town open twenty-four hours for your convenience, and today was the first time I’ve seen you in a pair of jeans since last weekend. I’d say that qualifies you as more city than country.”

Gwen silently handed over his beer, giving herself time to study him before responding to such a ludicrous claim. Well, it did have some merit, but she’d address that at the appropriate time.

It was obvious he’d showered recently. The ends of his hair that curled slightly were still damp, and her fingers itched to brush them away from his face. He was freshly shaven with a slight sheen where he’d put on his aftershave. She fought the urge to rest her hand against his cheek. She still wasn’t sure he was here for reasons other than he didn’t want to stand her up on her invitation.

“I wasn’t completely sure you were going to show up here tonight,” Gwen finally said rather quietly.

She was unusually tentative to start this conversation considering all of this had been her idea to start with. She also wasn’t usually so cautious with what she wanted.

If she wanted something, she bought it.

If she craved something, she ate it… within her own limitations.

She was a natural born go-getter, but that wasn’t unusual given that she was raised with four brothers. This thing with Chad? She wasn’t quite sure what tactic to take for fear that he’d want nothing to do with her or her offer for more.

“I wasn’t sure, either,” Chad responded honestly, the cap on his beer still secured to the opening. “I’m pretty certain Tobias was about to come out of his house to check on me when I stood by the driver’s side door of my truck for ten minutes debating the idea.”

Many times over the course of the past two weeks they’d had random debates over the silliest of things. She enjoyed a spirited conversation of opposing ideas and listening to his opinions, which were not much different than her own. Well, other than his preference of Dodge over Ford… which was totally insane.

“What eventually changed your mind and had you deciding to hop in that thing you call a truck and drive over here?”

“This.”

Gwen wasn’t expecting Chad to move in for the kill quite so quickly, but he did so with grace and lethal intent. She was a goner the moment his lips brushed over hers. The result was a foregone conclusion before she could take another breath.

Chad must have set his bottle of beer on the counter, because both of his hands were cradling her face. There was no hesitation. There was no uncertainty that he spoke of earlier, and she decided she’d have to take stock in whatever brand of aftershave he used before coming over tonight.

She was now addicted.

How could Chad Schaeffer— the skinny boy she remembered having freckles— turn into a man who could buckle her knees with a single kiss?

“Are you sure about this?” Chad asked, his tone a little breathless. At least he was able to talk. Her lips were still tingling, and she wasn’t nearly done savoring his taste of mint mouthwash. “There’s still time to—”

“This is exactly what I’ve been dying to do since I pulled up to the house and saw you standing on my porch,” Gwen managed to say, setting her beer down next to his. “The only thing missing was a big red bow.”

Chad lifted her underneath the arms, causing her to lose her breath at his obvious intention. She wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck, not wanting to waste any more time than they already had.

“Did you put any precautions on that list that Reese took to the store today?”

Gwen smiled against his neck, getting the gist of where this very brief conversation was headed. They wouldn’t be talking for long.

“No,” Gwen answered with a laugh, not expecting him to set both hands on her ass and hoist her over his shoulder. “Chad! Put me down!”

“It’s a good thing they were on mine.”

About the Keys to Love Series

 Their homecoming wasn’t so welcoming. Four brothers and one sister each gave twelve years of their lives to serve their country and fulfill their family’s legacy of service. As each of them return to their home of record, they weren’t prepared for what awaited them—an unforgiveable sin that has been hidden for twelve long years. Secrets and lies are concealed in the dark shadows of the very town they were raised in, and the Kendall family will have no choice but to rely on one another to unravel the sinister evil that they all hold the keys to unlock.

Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their teenage son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers–find out how to connect with her at www.kennedylayne.com.

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Spotlight, Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Hard Trigger by @sexlifehannah

HARD TRIGGER
Author: S.L. Hannah
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: AOH Publishing
Release Date: August 28, 2018

“Your mother’s opiates are coming from Jose Herrera’s distribution network.”

My pulse races as my stepfather speaks these words. Because taking on the Herreras also means taking on Diego.

Reckless, and hardened by a volatile past, Victoria does not see a future with Diego Herrera as a realistic option.

As their childhood friendship ignites, they find themselves on opposite sides of a bloody feud between the two most powerful families in Mexico City.

And she’s a Moreno now—brought up to be the secret weapon nobody suspected.

But Victoria can’t deny the attraction.

Diego’s commanding muscles, the coarse, dark hair of his solid chest, that rugged scar above his sensuous lips…

Loyalty is in the eye of the beholder.

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HARD TRIGGER ExcerptCopyright © 2018 S.L. Hannah

He smacks the seat with a fist. “Stay away from José. This is not your problem. It’s ours. The Herreras.”

I place the cool water bottle against my neck. “I’m just here to make deals for some sugar transport. For the Morenos.”

Diego lunges towards me, grasping at the straps of my dress. I gasp at his sudden nearness.

“I’m fucking serious, Victoria. José isn’t some malandro with no family, friends, history, or name. He isn’t Teresa.” He lets go. “You should never have gotten involved with…this.”

He grunts and slides me into the corner. His face is as close to mine as it’s ever been without us breaking into a passionate kiss.

“José is the second in command.” He grips my shoulder. “In my family.”

Pressed between the hard leather and Diego’s hard torso, I can’t decide whether this is an invitation to fight him or fuck him.

My breathing hastens.

“That’s not what I heard,” I tell him. “I heard he lost that position, which is why he’s turned against your family.”

Diego tugs again at my dress straps, his knuckles digging into my chest, until one of them breaks.

“They will kill you, eventually,” he urges. “You know this.”

I attempt to create some space, but my struggles just intertwine us more.

His hand wanders into my hair and breaks loose the band holding the knot. I breathe in the familiar musky scent of his neck as his face burrows in the dark-brown waves.

“Do you understand me?” he pleads. “They will do it without checking in with me. They will do it despite what I say or do to defend you. And once they decide, they will do it so swiftly, you won’t have a chance to reach for your weapon of choice—like tonight. You won’t be able to outmaneuver or outthink. You will just be dead.”

The seam of the seat digs into me, my emotions hanging off the edge of a cliff. My hand fumbles for balance until it lands on the thick, hard outline of his cock. A jolt of heat shoots through me.

Diego reaches around my ass and slides me further underneath him.

I lock my thighs around him, the dress tearing further as the SUV continues to rumble. He pulls down the top of my dress, exposing a round breast. My nipple is already pert in anticipation of his hot breath and flicking tongue.

When he performs just that, my hips circle beneath him. My moan is no longer silent. His stiff cock grinds into the last few layers of fabric between us as he sucks fervently at my nipple and I twist a lock of his hair between my fingers. The muscles of his back ripple as he pulls me tighter into him, trying to mold us into one. My pussy pulses to the rhythm of his insistence.

He looks up with his big, dark eyes, trying to figure out how to quell a storm he can’t control. His thumb draws across my lips.

“Stay away from José,” he begs. “Promise me.”


S.L. Hannah was born in Poland, grew up in Canada, and moved to Southern California to pursue her love of single-engine airplanes. Her latest rogue romance, Hard Trigger, will be published on August 28th, 2018. Visit her online at www.slhannah.com to learn about her other books, to get updates about her new release, and to connect through social media. S.L. Hannah lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and garden of succulents. When she’s not writing fiction, she continues to solve the aviation problems of the world.

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Exclusive Excerpt: Wild With You by Layla Hagen

WILD WITH YOU
Series: The Connor Family #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Layla Hagen
Release Date: August 14, 2018

Lori

Planning weddings is my dream job. As a single Mom, I live vicariously through my brides. From picking the dress to cutting the cake, I’m there every step of the way.

When I meet the best man at the latest wedding, sparks fly. Graham Frazier is more than I bargained for. The charismatic soccer club owner is disillusioned with marriage after his divorce, so it’s part of my job to make sure he won’t slip any sarcastic jokes in his best man’s speech.

It’s not part of my job to notice his washboard abs, or that he kisses like a dream. Graham’s touch is sizzling.

Before I know it, he bosses me into accepting gifts and spending the night at his house (his excuse is good: I can’t possibly drive after working a wedding, can I?)

I say yes to both. There are no two ways about it. I have the hots for this bossy man.

Graham

Since my divorce, weddings aren’t my favorite events. But when my best friends decide to tie the knot, I promise to throw them a party they won’t forget.

I was counting on sitting through long hours of preparations, but I didn’t count on meeting someone like Lori Connor.

I pursue her relentlessly, wanting those long legs wrapped around me and her smooth skin under my lips.

Then I meet her son, and that boy charms me even faster than his mother did. Before I know it, he has me wrapped around his little finger.

But are Lori and I ready for our lives to intertwine in ways we haven’t even imagined before?

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When I approached my entrance gate, I spotted Lori’s car farther down the street. I found her inside the tent, perched on a stool, securing the end of a piece of linen in a corner. Everyone else seemed to have left already. Yesterday, the tent had been bare. Now, it was adorned with decorations of all kinds. The tables and chairs had also been arranged in wedding formation.Lori didn’t give any signs of hearing me approach, even though my steps were echoing across the floor. When I was close enough, I realized she was tapping her foot against the edge of the chair. She had earbuds plugged in. After stepping down from the chair, she clapped her hands twice, shimmying her hips, then slowly turned around. Her grin was so wide it lit up the space. Then she glimpsed me.

“Oh my God.” She took out her earbuds, laying them on her shoulder. “I didn’t hear you.”

“You’re the last one here?”

“Yes. Amber and my assistant just left. How come you’re home so early?”

Because I needed to see you.

“We had the calendar photo shoot today. Didn’t feel like heading to the club once it was over.”

“Oooh, that calendar is my guilty pleasure. And this year, you’re in it too, right?”

I cocked a brow. “How do you know?”

“Amber. And Facebook. I voted for the shirtless option, obviously. Please tell me you didn’t chicken out and went through with it. It had the most votes.”

Finding out that Lori had a feisty side was a very pleasant surprise. I felt like keeping her on her toes a while longer.

“You’ll have to wait and see. So, what were you celebrating when I interrupted?” I asked, moving closer.

“Nothing in particular. I like listening to music when I’m alone. It’s been a productive day. I finished putting up the decorations, and I’m taking my boy to a concert tonight. A fine gentleman got us tickets. Thanks again.”

“No problem.” I was close enough to hear a faint sound coming from the earbuds, but I stepped closer still. I wanted to share this moment with her, so I put in one earbud. Johnny Cash was singing a classic.

“That’s a great song.”

“I know,” she said a little smugly. I suspected that if I weren’t here, she’d still be clapping and moving her hips. I wanted in on her happy moment, to celebrate it with her. She was grinning again. Her joy was contagious. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt that way. When I put the earbud back on her shoulder, I couldn’t help myself and touched her collarbone. Her eyes widened, but instead of stopping me, she sighed softly. That little sound was my undoing. I knew that touching her wouldn’t be enough. I needed to taste her. So I dragged my knuckles down her cheek, framing her jaw with my thumb and forefinger. She licked her lips.

I claimed her mouth the next second. I took my time, lavishing her lips with attention before coaxing her tongue with mine, savoring her like the prize she was.

Her hair was pulled in a braid, but I buried my hands in it anyway. Her warm body pressed against mine, and feeling her full breasts was torture. Touching her hair wasn’t enough anymore. I moved my hands down her body, stopping briefly to cup the sides of her breasts, flicking my thumbs over the peaks. Lori ran a hand through my hair, tugging until it was erring on the side of painful, but I liked it. I loved that I could unleash her passion just with a kiss. I continued my exploration, moving my hands downward. When I palmed her ass, she moaned against my mouth and pressed her thighs together. She was wet for me; I was sure of it. It took all my self-restraint not to spread her out before me and confirm it with my fingers, or my tongue. I nearly yanked her top and jeans away. I needed everything separating me from her skin out of the way, but we weren’t there yet. So I held her and kissed her until we were both out of breath.

Layla Hagen has a great giveaway for running on her facebook page – head on over to check it out!

Layla Hagen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She fell in love with books when she was nine years old, and her love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.

She writes steamy and romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.

She is represented by fabulous Louise Fury (The Bent Agency)

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