Cover Reveal & Exclusive Excerpt: Make Me Forget by Monica Corwin

MAKE ME FORGET
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Monica Corwin
Release Date: February 1, 2018

He makes me burn. He makes me ache. He makes me forget.

Since grade school Murphy Wilcox and I fought incessantly. But one drunk night before my last military deployment changed everything. At least that is what he tells me. Along with the hundreds of scorching hot emails we shared.

Fast forward four years and Murphy is the only connection I have to my past. The only connection I have to the woman I used to be. Amnesia is a bitch but apparently so was I.

Make Me Forget is a dark romance, with a HEA, that touches on PTSD, mental health, and suicide. Follow Mara as she tries to learn who she really is.

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I brushed her still wet hair away from her cheeks and bent down to taste her again. The first time had been to shut her up, this time was all for me. I parted her lips with my tongue, anchored one hand in her hair and the other at her chin. Her moan almost broke me. The slight little brush of breath and sound melted every bone in my body and shot my cock to attention. Each charge and retreat spun tight the web of my feelings for her. I’d pushed them down deep so long ago. Now, with her nails marking me and our lips battling for dominance, they overflowed. In a hundred years, I’d never get enough of her. Mara Williams was my addiction. Not the vice I wanted, but the one I needed as much as oxygen or water.She severed the kiss with an arch of her neck, releasing her head back and crushing my fingers against the wall. I didn’t dare move, though, not with such lovely access to her long elegant neck. I dropped my mouth to the curve of her throat and kissed a breathy trail from clavicle to chin. Her hips shifted forward as if she were unwittingly trying to get closer, eliminate any distance between our bodies. The lingering scent of the hotel soap wafted from her clean skin.

I jerked her head back up by the hair, and her eyes snapped open. No fight there, almost a submission. An unexpected turn I could definitely play with. “On the bed, now.”

She blinked once, twice, but to my surprise, said nothing, simply stepped around me and perched on the edge of the bed. It squeaked with her minimal movements. In another life, we might play a game and try to make as much noise as possible. Or maybe I wanted the world to know this woman belonged to me, even if only for tonight. I’d waited long enough for the chance.

I stepped up, and her face sat inches from my cotton-covered hard on. If she were a woman I’d fucked before, I’d have taken myself out and invited her lips for a taste. But this was Mara, and I didn’t want to scare her too soon. “Do you want to see it?”

She swallowed heavily enough I could hear it, see it, and then she nodded almost desperately. I bent, pulled my boxer briefs off, and tossed them on top of my clothes. My dick was so hard, it ached. I palmed it, trying to slow down my reaction to her, my body’s response to every beautiful inch of her skin I still needed to see more of. Her eyes burned into me as she watched me stroke myself.

I released my cock, not wanting this to end sooner than I planned, and stepped closer. “Take off your clothes. This is happening.”

She let out a soft snort of laughter, and then she stripped her t-shirt off and shimmied out of her gray panties all while still sitting on the edge of the bed. I took my time looking her over. Her skin was bronzed to her mid-bicep and around her neck, but pale and creamy everywhere else. A farmer’s tan she’d gotten on deployment. It didn’t matter, I’d worship every part of her the same.

She licked her lips and scooted up the bed to lay on the pillow. It broke my heart the way she folded he hands across her smooth flat belly as if prepping for a medical exam. What the fuck kind of men had she been with before me? Ones who fucked on clean sheets, in the missionary position, on Tuesday’s? Anger shimmered through me. She deserved so much better than ordinary.

“Get your ass back down here. This will not be clean. This will not be civilized. And this will not be something you can lie back and take.”

 

Blog Tour & Excerpt: A Little Too Late by Staci Hart

A LITTLE TOO LATE
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Staci Hart
Release Date: October 24, 2017

I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with the nanny.

When my wife left, she took the illusion of happiness with her, and I’ve been caught in a free fall ever since. For nine long months, I’ve been fighting to figure out how to be a single dad, how to be alone.

For nine long months, I’ve been failing.

When Hannah walked through the door, I took my first breath since I’d found myself on my own. She slipped into our lives effortlessly, showing me what I’ve been missing all these years. Because Hannah made me smile when I thought I’d packed the notion of happiness away with my wedding album.

She was only supposed to be the nanny, but she’s so much more.

The day my wife left should have been the worst day of my life, but it wasn’t. It was when Hannah walked away, taking my heart with her.

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CHARLIE

The next morning, I was up and in my office before anyone was awake, attacking my work with newfound enthusiasm and a plan in mind. Because I wanted to feel like I’d felt the night before in the kitchen again, and there was only one way to get that back.

Today, I would take a few breaks and be present. Today, I would change, work be damned. Today would mark the first real attempt. Because change wouldn’t happen on its own. I had to make it happen. And to make it happen, I would have to put boundaries in place, starting with my weekends.

I checked the clock around eleven that morning and closed my laptop, pushing away from my desk and heading up the stairs in search of my children.

When I rounded the corner into the kitchen, I found them sitting at the table with their lunches. And when they saw me, their smiles validated my grand plans with unwavering certainty.

“Hey, guys,” I said, smiling back as I walked over to them, ruffling Sammy’s hair when I passed him.

“Hi, Daddy,” he said.

Maven’s mouth was full, so she just waved, and Hannah smiled at me from the island where she was setting up a spread for sandwiches.

I snagged a grape off Maven’s plate and popped it into my mouth. She handed me another, which I accepted.

“Thanks, pumpkin.”

“Are you done working?” Sammy asked hopefully.

“’Fraid not, bud. But I thought I’d come have lunch with you. Is that okay?”

“Yeah! Want a Nilla Wafer?”

“Psh, obviously. And I thought we could play for a little bit before I have to get back to work. What do you say?”

He nodded, grinning. “We can play trucks! You be the bulldozer and I’ll be the tractor and Maven can be the monster truck and Hannah can be the ambulance because she helps people.”

“Perfect,” I said on a chuckle.

A burst of color caught my eye. A vase on the windowsill behind the table held a spray of red and orange tulips.

“Those are beautiful,” I said, gesturing to them. “Where did they come from?”

“Oh, I picked them up this morning,” Hannah said with that ever-present smile.

“Feeling homesick?”

“Always a little. But I love having fresh flowers in the house, something bright and delicate and alive. Well, maybe not alive anymore, but it feels alive, doesn’t it?”

“It does,” I said as I moved to her side.

“Can I make you a sandwich?” Hannah asked.

“Nah, I think I can manage, thanks. How’s it going this morning?”

“It’s good. We went to the park this morning.”

“I rode my bike!” Sammy crowed.

“Did you? No bumps or scrapes?”

“Nope!”

“I’m impressed. Maybe next time I can come too,” I said, hoping it was something I could deliver as I reached into the bread bag for a stack.

Hannah turned to the cupboard, returning with a plate for me.

“Thank you.”

She was still smiling, standing at my side, assembling her sandwich. It was so mundane, something completely and utterly boring, but like the weirdo that I was, I found myself watching her hands as she folded cold cuts. We worked around each other—not that it was complicated, but there was a sort of rhythm between us, a natural pace wherein I used what she wasn’t and finished just as she needed what I had. I wasn’t sure why I noticed it, but I did, and I appreciated the simple synchronicity of the moment, a breath where things were easy.

I passed her the mustard as she handed me the ham. “So, I was thinking …” I paused.

“Oh, were you?” She glanced over at me with a hint of mirth at the corners of her lips.

“I know. I almost sprained something.”

Hannah laughed gently.

“If it’s okay, I think I’d like to try to handle bedtime tonight.”

“Of course it’s okay; they’re your children.” That time, her laughter was sweet.

“Do you … would you … do you think you could maybe …”

She shifted to face me, her eyes full of encouragement.

“Would you mind … helping me?”

Hannah nodded, her smile opening up. “That’s what I’m here for. Just let me know what you’d like me to do.”

I smiled back. “I’m sorry. I know it sounds stupid. I just … I haven’t done this much on my own, but I’d like to start.”

Her eyes softened, caught by slanting light, lighting up with sunshine. “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” she said simply.

I didn’t speak.

“There’s no right or wrong, and they don’t care about anything other than you being there. It’s simple enough; you only have to try.”

“Is it really that easy?”

“It really is. You’ll see.” She reached for my arm and gave it a squeeze that wasn’t meant to be anything but friendly but held something more, something in the pressure in her fingertips and the depths of her eyes.

It was something I did my very best to ignore. But I felt the heat of those fingertips long after they were gone, even as we sat across the table from each other eating lunch, the tulips in the vase behind her bowing their long heads as the sunlight illuminated them, exposing what was hidden within their petals.

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.

From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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Blog Tour & Excerpt: Alpha Mail by Brenda Rothert

ALPHA MAIL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Brenda Rothert
Release Date: October 24, 2017

Sienna Mills knows her alpha males.

They brood.

They growl.

They love the word “mine”.

After spending her early twenties in and out of relationships with alphas, Sienna used her knowledge to found Alpha Mail, a booming business that allows women to sign up for emails, letters, and texts from their own brooding, red-blooded man.

Her star is on the rise and Sienna is attracting the interest of investors when a mysterious man starts messaging her about the true nature of an alpha. She’s got it all wrong, he says, and he’s willing to show her how a real man makes women respond.

The more Sienna hears from him, the more aggravated she becomes. Who does this anonymous, supposed alpha think he is, anyway?

And yet…she can’t deny his messages are becoming the best part of her days. Commitment-phobic Sienna finds herself wanting more from her sensei of seduction. But is she willing to trust her heart to an alpha again?

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Andrew Benson, a reporter for the Chicago Sun, is waiting in a chair outside my office when I approach, moving as quickly as I can in heels.“Sorry.” I smile at him. “My meeting ran over by a few minutes.”

He grins back, brushing dark hair away from his eyes. “No problem. I walked past the room as you were speaking. That sounded like…an interesting meeting.”

“Yeah.” I laugh lightly. “As you can imagine, our employees have to be comfortable talking about things that aren’t usually part of an office environment.”

He nods and arches his brows. “Ready for the interview?”

“Ready. Thanks for waiting. And thanks for the call. This is going to be great exposure for Alpha Mail.”

“I’m sure the story will get lots of reads. Our photographer will be coming by in about an hour to get a photo of you to go with the story.”

I run a hand over my red hair, which is down around my shoulders today. I’m wearing a black pencil skirt and a green blouse. With a little lipstick and mascara, I can be photo-ready.

“Perfect.”

“Ms. Mills, I have Conference Room One ready for you.” My assistant, Jane, gives me a confident smile.

She does an amazing job as my assistant. If I can get the investment I need to grow the business, I’m planning to promote her into a role more suited for her talents. It’ll mean training a new assistant, but that’s okay. I believe in rewarding hard work.

Andrew follows me into our makeshift conference room. It has two tables pushed together and surrounded by mismatched chairs. I’ve focused my resources on building my base of employees, and things like office furniture have been neglected. Another area I plan to address if I can attract investors.

“So, want to start out by telling me where you got the idea for Alpha Mail?” he asks as he sits down.

He’s almost handsome in a rumpled sort of way. With shaggy dark hair and glasses, I get a Clark Kent vibe from him. But he doesn’t interest me enough to check for a wedding ring. I’m officially over men.

“I drew from my own experiences. I know there are women out there who like certain parts of dating, but other parts…not so much. So my goal was to help them cut through and get only what they want.”

“But the relationships they find through you…they aren’t real, right?”

“They’re real in their own way. They aren’t exclusive, and they aren’t physical, but when clients choose an alpha to communicate with, that’s absolutely the only person they’re hearing from.”

Andrew quirks his lips into a smile. “What are the qualifications to be an alpha?”

“Alphas know what they want. They don’t pussyfoot. They’re domineering and often jealous and a bit controlling.”

“And women are looking for that?”

Bless your heart, Clark Kent. You have no idea.

“Some women, sure. And I’m hoping they’ll give Alpha Mail a try.”

Jane brings in coffee, and we continue the interview for nearly an hour. When the photographer arrives, Andrew says he has everything he needs for his story. He shakes my hand and leaves, looking more than a little perplexed.

I wasn’t really expecting him to get it. So many people think women are looking for a nice man who will open doors, kiss them goodnight, and not leave the toilet seat up. I’m sure a few of them are actually looking for that. But there are enough women dreaming of a dirty-talking alpha to grow my business into an empire.

And that’s exactly what I plan to do with this pitch to investors.

BRheadshot

Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Review: Midnight Unleashed by Lara Adrian

MIDNIGHT UNLEASHED
Series:
Midnight Breed #15.5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Lara Adrian
Release Date: October 10, 2017

 

For Breed vampire Trygg, a menacing former assassin and the ultimate loner, duty is everything…until his solo mission to destroy a powerful enemy earns him an unwanted partner in the form of Tamisia, a beautiful, ice-hot immortal who ignites a flame in his cold heart, and his blood.

Banished from her Atlantean colony, disgraced immortal Tamisia longs for a chance to redeem herself and return home where she belongs. Her work at a Rome women’s shelter has given Sia purpose, but when a break-in results in a brutal killing, her quest for answers puts her in the middle of the hunt for a dangerous enemy of the Order–and brings her up against one of the deadliest of their Breed warrior members, the Gen One vampire, Trygg.

A former Hunter enslaved to the commands of a madman, Trygg has devoted his life to the Order. Duty is his only master now, until an interfering beauty inserts herself into his investigation. The last thing Trygg wants is a partner in his mission, but Sia will not be denied–nor will the fierce desire she stokes in him. Soon the warrior who needs no one is craving the only woman he should not desire, unleashing a powerful hunger in his cold heart, and in his blood.

AMAZON 



“Those men. Is that what they were—drug dealers?”He stared at her. “You don’t need to know anything more than what I told the cops, Sia. Do us both a favor and leave it at that.”

“They were searching for something, Trygg.”

“So you mentioned.”

“Do the police have any idea what it might be?”

“I didn’t tell them that part.”

Sia gaped. “Why not? Rosa was killed for whatever it was they thought she had. If telling the police about it will help them understand what kind of trouble she was in—”

“The police can’t help.” Trygg blew out an impatient curse. “And whatever those men wanted from the woman doesn’t matter now.”

“It matters to me,” she insisted.

His dark eyes narrowed and he gave a stiff shake of his head. “This conversation is over. I told you, what happened here is the Order’s business. Go back inside and get some rest. Forget about tonight.”

She scoffed. “Forget it?”

When he started to move around her, Sia grabbed his arm. Warm, hard muscle clenched beneath her fingertips, sending a shocking heat through her body. She drew her hand away at once, trying to ignore the distressing awareness she felt for a man who infuriated her more and more the longer she knew him.

“You think I will ever forget what I saw tonight? A young woman was murdered, Trygg. A woman I liked. A woman I was responsible for keeping safe. And now an innocent little baby is without her mother. Maybe that’s something your cold-hearted kind can simply dismiss, but don’t expect me to do the same.”

“Yes, Tamisia. That’s exactly what I expect.” He scowled now, his scarred, sinister face taut with growing irritation and something more difficult to define. “In fact, I’m fucking demanding it. You do not want to be involved in this. So stow your questions and march your fine ass back into that house and stay there.”

Right now, she was a distraction he could not afford.

After trusting the wrong man leads to the gruesome death of her friend, Tamisia ‘Sia’ finds herself banned from her beloved Atlantean colony and thrown into the unfamiliar human world. Soon the powerful female finds herself in a war between a deadly enemy and the Breed warriors.

Soon Sia finds herself captivated by a Breed warrior that seems to want nothing to do with her. With the Breeds being a long time enemy, being attracted to one of their kind is certainly not what she expects. But as they’re thrown together in a hunt for a mutual enemy, the heat between them is undeniable.

Don’t push me, Sia.” She shook her head. “I think a push is exactly what you need.” Without warning, she took his mouth in a hard, hot kiss.

I loved that Sia was the aggressor and went after what she went. Trygg put up a valiant effort to deny the chemistry between them, but ultimately a connection like theirs proves to be too much.

This was a quick paced, sexy read based in Adrian’s Midnight Breed world. I highly enjoyed the back and worth between Trygg and Sia and the action that flowed harmoniously with the romance. The ending did feel a bit rushed and I was disappointed to see the resolution happen off the pages. Midnight Unleashed was still a satisfying read from what’s one of my favorite PNR series.
 LARA ADRIAN is a New York Times and #1 international bestselling author with nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide and translations licensed in more than 20 countries. Her upcoming release is FOR 100 REASONS, the third book in a contemporary romance series that reviewers are calling “phenomenal” and “one of the hottest series of the year.” Learn more about the author and her books at LaraAdrian.com.

 

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Jenn’s Review & Exclusive Excerpt: Burn For You by @JTGeissinger

BURN FOR YOU
Series: Slow Burn #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Release Date: October 17, 2017

The marriage is fake. But for a sassy chef and an arrogant billionaire, the sparks are real…

Jackson “The Beast” Boudreaux is rich, gorgeous, and unbelievably rude to the staff at Chef Bianca Hardwick’s New Orleans restaurant. Bianca would sooner douse herself in hot sauce than cook for Jackson again, but when he asks her to cater his fund-raiser, Bianca can’t refuse, knowing the cash will help pay her mother’s medical bills. Then Jackson makes another outrageous request: Marry me. The unconventional offer includes an enormous sum—money Bianca desperately needs, even if it does come with a contract—and a stunning ring.

The heir to a family bourbon dynasty, Jackson knows the rumors swirling around him. The truth is even darker. Still, he needs a wife to secure his inheritance, and free-spirited, sassy Bianca would play the part beautifully. Soon, though, their simple business deal evolves into an emotional intimacy he’s built walls to avoid.

As the passion heats up between them, Bianca and Jackson struggle to define which feelings are real and which are for show. Is falling for your fake fiancé the best happy ending…or a recipe for disaster?


AMAZON
 

See the BURN FOR YOU trailer: https://youtu.be/hpKswDZve24

“Ladies. How’re we doing?”Jackson stood in the doorway of the kitchen, looking at Claudia and me. It was the first time I’d seen him since I’d arrived at his house early this morning to start the setup.

“Everything’s under control,” I said. “Claudia’s doing a great job.”

She smiled tightly and adjusted her glasses again. I felt her gratitude for my small show of support. It was obvious how intimidated she was by Jackson. She could barely look him in the eye, probably because he was wearing a scowl as black as his outfit.

But I was used to that by now. I didn’t let it alarm me.

I asked him, “Is that what you’re going to wear?”

Jackson looked down at himself, then looked up at me with his brows drawn down over his eyes.

Seeing his murderous expression, Claudia ran out of the kitchen like her pants were on fire. “Fifty minutes, Bianca!” she called over her shoulder, then disappeared through the French doors.

Jackson didn’t seem to notice she’d left. He demanded, “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

I shrugged. “Nothing, if you want people to think you’ve been living under a bridge.”

He crossed his arms over his chest. I tried to ignore how that made the muscles in his biceps bulge.

He said, “You must be mistaking me for someone who cares what people think.” Propping my hands on my hips, I examined his untucked T-shirt, wrinkled jeans, and scuffed boots, his unshaven jaw, and his hair that appeared to have last seen a comb when he walked by one that had fallen out of someone’s pocket into the street.

I said, “Lord knows I’m no style maven, and I dress for comfort more than anything else, but your guests deserve the best version of you, Mr. Boudreaux. I’m sorry to say this isn’t it.”

His glower was so searing it could have melted a weaker woman. But after the past few days I’d had, I was in an ornery mood. An ornery truth-telling mood, because I’d recently decided life was too short to beat around the bush.

Plus, his check had already cleared the bank.

“Oh, really?” said Jackson, his voice acidic.

“Yes, really.” We stared at each other. It must have been my imagination, but it felt like the temperature in the room jumped several degrees.

He snapped, “So what would you recommend I wear, then?”

“Do you own a suit?”

His expression turned even darker. “I hate suits.”

“But do you have one?” When he didn’t answer and just stood there glaring at me like he hoped a stray asteroid would smash through the ceiling and land on my head, I said, “That’s what you should wear. With a tie.” I looked at his boots. “And dress shoes.”

He ran a hand over his face— probably deciding whether he was going to pick up the toaster from the counter and throw it at me— and I added, “Also, a shave wouldn’t kill you.” His looked at me with a strange new expression.

“You don’t like beards.” He said it flatly. It wasn’t a question.

“Beards are fine. But that thing carpeting your jaw? Honestly, I’ve seen tidier jungles.”

For a moment I thought he would let loose a string of expletives so loud it would deafen me. But then his lips twitched, and I realized he was trying not to smile.

He said, “You’re in fine form today, Bianca.”

It was the first time he’d used my given name. I nearly fainted in surprise but managed to control myself. “I’m sorry,” I said, looking down at the schedule I still held in my hands. “You’re right. It’s just . . .” I cleared my throat. “It’s just been a rough few weeks.”

There was silence for a moment, then he walked closer. “What’s wrong?” he demanded, gruff and growly as a bear.

I glanced up at him and was surprised again. I could’ve sworn he was looking at me with concern in his eyes.

Concern and something else a little hotter.

My heart decided it was time to run a sprint. It took off like a jackrabbit chased by a pack of hounds. I said, “Just some personal stuff. My mother . . .”

I trailed off, dazed for a moment by his eyes. I hadn’t noticed before, but they weren’t only blue. He had tiny flecks of green and gold around his irises, warming those steely-blue depths.

And by God, the man smelled delicious. If that was his natural scent, he could make a few more billion by bottling it and selling it to men with less scrumptious—

Wait. What am I doing? Why am I mooning at him? Am I out of my ever-loving mind?

“Your mother?” he prompted, but I quickly stepped away, smoothing a hand over my hair.

“It’s nothing. I’m so sorry, I’m being unprofessional. If you don’t mind, Mr. Boudreaux, I’ll just get back to work now—”

“Jackson,” he said. He gazed down at me, eyes burning. His voice dropped an octave. “I want you to call me Jackson, Bianca.”

My sprinting heart tripped all over itself and fell flat on its face inside my chest. Heat rose into my cheeks. I said haltingly, “Um . . . okay.”

His gaze dropped to my lips.

Every muscle in my body tensed.

When he abruptly turned around and left, my knees shook so badly I had to lean against the counter for support.

What on earth just happened?

J.T. has that kind of writing style that I feel in my Romeo & Julep, and by that I mean my heart, but yes that could be an innuendo (Leave me alone! Yes, it can!). But seriously, her writing style is poetic and pulls all the feels out of my Cheesecake. Ugh, sorry. I couldn’t help it. Let me explain.


If you haven’t guessed yet, this book centers around food. The heroine is a chef and includes the Bourbon that Jackson’s family is famous for into her recipes. When Jackson enters her restaurant, she freaks out because the man of the hour is there, in her restaurant. But Jackson is the asshole that she does not tolerate. He may be a billionaire, but her sassy ass doesn’t care because he is being rude and arrogant and treating her staff with no respect.

Jackson. The Beast. Well, lasso me up and give me a Slap, Slap Kiss Cocktail. He is scarred on the inside and outside. He is SO MEAN to her. Like, reeeeeally mean, and I loved him for it. I just want someone to cuddle me in a big, comfy blanket and be an asshole to me. Is that too much to ask? He has been hurt, by his family and a previous love. He has many many scars, and he carries them on his sleeve and his face. He is perfection all trussed up in in his leather jacket and worn jeans and scruffy beard. It’s like J.T. created a man just for me.


Bianca. This chick. Serious girl crush. I love that she doesn’t give Jackson the time of day. It doesn’t even matter that he is THE Bourbon legacy. She has a business to run, and she is the mother hen to her employees. When Jackson is in a pinch, he has no choice but to ask Bianca to help him with a major charity event. This gives Bianca a glance into a side of Jackson that she has never seen before, even if it is a façade. One thing leads to another, and Bianca finally meets the family that Jackson does not want to see ever again.


This is a love-hate relationship, which should be the only relationship ever because it’s the best and gets my Jambalaya going every damn time. Ok, so I may have taken all of the recipes in the book and twisted them a little bit. Can you blame me when J.T. uses recipes like Dixie and Gumbo?! Ok, maybe you can blame me. I have a perverted little mind. But this mind loves all things J.T. Geissinger.

I love all of J.T.’s alpha heroes.
I love all of J.T.’s sassy heroines.
I love all of J.T.’s books.

Are you getting hungry yet?

A former headhunter, J.T. Geissinger is the author of more than a dozen novels in contemporary romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. Her work has also finaled in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Join her Facebook reader’s group, Geissinger’s Gang, to take part in weekly Wine Wednesday live chats and giveaways, find out more information about works in progress, have access to exclusive excerpts and contests, and get advance reader copies of her upcoming releases.

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: Riske And Revenge by Natalie E. Wrye

Riske and Revenge
Series: The Revenge Series
Genre: 
Contemporary Romance
Author: Natalie E. Wrye
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Love is the strongest emotion in the world…next to hate.

I knew hate. Had known it since I was seventeen. For me, it was love turned on its head, a product of hurt and fear—twisted, tied up…and placed on the sculpted shoulders of Ethan Riske.

***

Dayton, Tennessee.

Home to the best cow-tipping in the world, the biggest hot dogs, and the lousiest sex.

Or so I’d heard…

They were right about the first two. Ethan Riske proved them wrong about the third and at seventeen, he and I spent a summer under the stars, squeezing our way out of trouble, sweating and panting among the haystacks.

 Until he left.

Nine years later, when a huge publishing house tries to buy my small press, I storm into the office of the CEO to find him.

Same cocky grin. Different name.

And suddenly all I can think about is exacting revenge on Ethan Riske for breaking his contract…and my heart.

But there’s someone who wants revenge even more than I do. As I begin to fall for the new Ethan, will the sins of the old one come back to haunt us?

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Prologue

“I hope you taste as good as you smell.”The sound drifted through the air. A slow, sensuous melody floated with it, and as both made their way through the room, the beat of the song and the quiet statement I just heard rattled the bourbon in my hand, making the ice cubes shake.

Or maybe I was the one shaking.

I couldn’t help it.

Griff was poking a hole in my ribs with his elbow, and as the lips that had just whispered in my ear withdrew, I could see the look on my “best man’s” face. He was essentially salivating, his tongue practically swinging as he took in the vision of the woman who was speaking in my ear… and laying a seductive path in my open lap.

She stood, her long legs stretching, her bare torso twisting as she rolled the shape of an “S” in the air with her body, swaying seductively to the music. She was toned… that was obvious. A tight package with tits too big to be real, the buxom blonde in front of me was the object of every man’s wet-dream, star of every cock-swinger’s fantasy…

Except mine.

But she was doing her best. Clad in a piece of cloth that barely covered her clearly cleanly-waxed pussy, she ground her pretty ass two inches from my face while every other man in the room fought the urge to put their fingers all over her. My best friend, included. He nudged my side for the ninetieth time.

“Fuck me, man,” he slurred. “If she was doing that to me, I’d be two seconds from putting my finger in her ass.” He smirked widely and wildly.

“Good thing you aren’t me,” I shot back quietly, leaning over to look into his face. “That’d be a felony, you crazy ass.” I finally smiled. “And the last time I checked you didn’t fuck strippers because ‘and I quote…  ‘Who knows how many other items have been in those goddamned holes?'”

I threw Griff’s own words back at him with a silent grin.

“Doesn’t matter,” he declared, staring at the stripper in front of me for the thousandth time. “For her?” He swallowed another mouthful of scotch. “I’d make an exception.”

I glared at the beautiful blonde again. Because Griff was right. The exotic dancer… She might have been one of the best looking I’d ever seen. Maybe the best. She was tall, long-legged. Gorgeous… in the porn star sense, of course, with a wide, luscious mouth made for licking and sucking in only the most erotic of ways.

She licked her lips at me as if she wanted to make good on the promise she’d just whispered, and I had no doubt when she looked at me, her brown doe-like eyes wide, that—if she could, she would devour me until nothing was left. Until she drained every drop.

Unfortunately, for her, I wasn’t interested.

She tried to drag me to my feet, her tiny fingers wrapping around my own, pulling as she walked backwards in the direction of the edge of the room. The overhead maroon lights illuminating the space in our black-curtain closed boudoir made her look as naughty as every word dripping from her blood-red mouth, and Bambi the Bimbo was putting on her best pout to entice me into joining her towards whatever dirty fun lay in the dark room beyond this one.

All of the men—friend and foe—whooped as I slowly dragged myself to my feet, stumbling and fumbling over the discarded decorations that littered the floor. Streamers and “Congratulations” ribbons ran the length of the room, taking up space between the cloth-covered tables, and I staggered past them, barely holding onto my Bourbon as I followed stolidly behind the too-excited dancer who nearly bounced on her platform-covered toes.

With the push of another curtain, we fell into another room, and I let my body flounce on the dark-colored couches beyond it, slumping into the padded cushions. I took a healthy swig of my drink and sank my fingers into the seat beneath, wondering how many stains these comfortable sofas had really seen.

The drunker I got, the more it didn’t matter. Ignorance truly was bliss.

And so was the sensation making its way down my crotch—a gentle rubbing that circled the length of my cock through the fabric of my suit pants. From the tip to the very base. I groaned, closing my eyes as I saw a vision in my mind. A vision too good to be true.

A vision almost ten years old.

Waves of dark hair fell to a waist too tiny to be anything but touched. Shiny and soft, the beautiful brown mane swept across my chest, against my shirt, as two eyes, a crystal-clear blue, peeked from beneath the strands, as round and as large as saucers. In my mind, they met mine, saying things that couldn’t be vocalized, voicing words that need not be said.

They seduced in the most innocent of ways, waylaying me, pulling at a possessiveness in me I didn’t know existed. The blue eyes smiled. The smile beneath them was even better—wicked, as it dipped to my abdomen and pressed there, making me ache, causing my cock to strain against the inconvenient zipper located there.

How many times had I imagined those lips doing exactly that? That tongue licking out beneath those straight white teeth to lap at my skin, the edge of her mouth nipping at the most sensitive parts of me? It was torture—letting her tease me, taking me to the brink and back again as she swept that sheet of auburn locks over my body as she bent to her knees. I sucked in a breath soaked in desire as I waited for her to place her mouth where it mattered most.

And then it stopped. The teasing. She stopped.

And before I knew it, she was pulling—no, ripping—at my pants. The top button popped, and suddenly my cock was between her hands, her lips. She sank her mouth around it with a sigh, sucking with delight. The sexiest slurp ever made to man escaped from between her teeth, and I nearly lost it, grinding my own teeth as I gripped the back of her head, my eyelids squeezing tight enough to ache.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck…” I muttered. Over and over and over again.

It was fucking amazing. Something so simple—someone so simple, sweet and secretly naughty could bring a stubborn fucker like me—CEO and all—to his Giorgio Armani-covered knees.

I came… with my cock in her mouth and her name on my mind. I leaned back even further, letting my head fall into the cushions.

“Fuck, Kat…” I mumbled, feeling way too fucked up to move, the liquor coursing through my veins as I came down from my high, my fingers reaching out to touch her once more.

But she backed away.

“Kat?” she said, rising to her feet. “Who the fuck is Kat?”

I opened my eyes, staring at the figure fumbling around in front of me. It was the blonde vixen—the stripper. Standing on shaky legs, she wobbled between my legs, locking me with a stare, her eyes hard and unblinking. She placed her hands on her tiny hips.

“Who the hell is Kat?”

As if she was outraged. As if she had any right to question whatever the fuck I was doing anyway. I ignored her with a shrug, stowing my dick back in my pants with a loud zip! I finished my drink and sat it down.

“Ohhhh… I get it,” the blonde blower hissed. “She must be your fiancé. Well… I guarantee you that she’s never made you come like that. That was epic, baby,” she sighed, trying to straddle me. Her pussy was peeking completely out of her barely-there panties this time, and she tried to rub it across me, sliding her pink slit across the front of my pants with a slow grind.

I almost pushed her off. I stood.

“There is no fiancee,” I rumbled.

“But I thought…”

“My friends,” I interrupted, “thought it’d be funny to celebrate my new position. They said it was fitting… seeing as how I’m now married to my job. This isn’t a real bachelor party. And that wasn’t a real blow-job…”

She raised an eyebrow. “Certainly felt real to me.”

I pulled out my wallet, taking out a couple hundred dollar bills and putting them in the palm of her hand. I folded her fingers around them, looking into her eyes.

“Can’t be real… Not when you’re thinking about someone else the entire time.”

I turned just as the fair-haired, breathing blow-up doll gaped. I pulled the black curtain aside, exiting, attempting to avoid the curious gaze of every onlooking employee that came to the party to usher me into my new executive role.

My smile was weak, as I tried to shake off what just happened to me in the other room… and who I was imagining it happening with. Somehow, it was the brunette in my head, and not the blonde on my lap, that felt as if she were still on my skin.

I was in so much fucking trouble.

Natalie Wrye is a tequila connoisseur, Game of Thrones addict and author best known for writing page-turning Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense.

A fan of the beautifully polarizing anti-hero, she crafts sexy stories about hard-bodied, complex men and the strong-willed women who crave them.

She loves it when people get weird with her on Facebook, NatalieWrye.com or Natalie@NatalieWrye.com.

 

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Blog Tour & Excerpt: Gun Shy by Lili St. Germain

GUN SHY
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Author: Lili St. Germain
Release Date: October 6, 2017
A stand alone psychological thriller.

** NOT A ROMANCE **

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?

In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Thomas disappears without a trace.

The second girl in nine years.

Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, stuffed in a well beside the creek that feeds the town’s water supply.

The killer was never found.

As the small town mobilizes and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?

For Jennifer’s friend Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer’s disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined. 


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 Leo

I visit Jennifer every evening at the diner; she seems to like the attention, and I could use the distraction. I make sure to turn up just before her shift ends, and she gives me a ride home every night. The first night she came over we ended up talking for hours. My mouth hurt by the end, every sense on high alert. I was a gentleman. I didn’t lay a hand on her again, not after she started to talk. She’s in trouble. A lot of trouble. I think it eased her mind to be able to confess to somebody who pretty much wrote the book on trouble in this town.I mean, there’s not a thing I can do to help the girl. Not unless she tells me who got her into this mess in the first place. “That’s the problem with men,” she said to me when I urged her to give me the name of the guy blackmailing her. “They always jump straight to problem-solving. Men always want to fix everybody.”

“You don’t want to be fixed?” I’d asked her.

“I can fix myself,” she’d replied. “I just need somebody to understand.”

I don’t understand. Her predicament is something I’ve never experienced. But I can listen. I listen to her talk as she drives me home in her shiny new car every night, and it makes me feel less of a fuck-up. I mean, she hasn’t killed anyone. But she’s planning to. And that’s why we’ve found each other. I am a killer and she is ready to spill blood. She is a welcome distraction from my sins, and I am a makeshift altar for her to lay her own sins upon. Because when I’m with Jennifer, I don’t think about Cassie Carlino. I don’t think of Karen Brainard. And, most especially, I don’t think of Teresa King and the way she burned beside me in that car.

* * *
The night Jennifer Thomas disappears is like all the rest. I go to the diner. Order nachos and a Coke. I’m surprised Jennifer is working. It’s Thanksgiving, and the place is deserted. Even Amanda is nowhere to be seen.

“Working on Thanksgiving?” I ask Jennifer, as she slides my food in front of me. She shrugs, that glitter lipgloss catching the light as she moves. “It’s just another day, isn’t it?”

I nod.

“Besides,” she says, “It pisses my dad off. I asked for this shift.”

At ten, I help her to turn out all the lights. I wait beside her as she locks the front doors of the diner, feeling vaguely worried about the fact that somebody left a sixteen year old cheerleader alone to lock up this late at night. I note the lack of video surveillance, the remote location, the fact that everyone is tucked safely inside their houses while Jennifer is alone with a convicted criminal in the dead of night.

Jennifer offers me a ride home, which I accept. Except, instead of driving me straight home like she has done for the past six nights in a row, Jennifer pulls her Range Rover off the road into an uncleared section of pine trees that tower over us. The track is narrow and winding and she doesn’t answer me when I ask her where she’s taking us.

She stops in a small clearing and cuts the lights. The engine is still running. Bits of snow fall outside, slow and bloated in their trajectory toward the ground. Jennifer’s hands are small as they grip the steering wheel; her eyes lit up by the red illumination of the dashboard, making her look almost demonic.

“What are we doing here?” I ask her again.

“I don’t want to go home,” she says staring straight ahead.

“Fair enough,” I reply. I watch her as she struggles to find words. She squirms in her heated leather seat, her nails shiny and perfect, her shoulders sagging under the weight of something I cannot see.

“Do you think I’m pretty?” she asks me in a tiny voice, and she sounds so mouse-like and weak that I almost laugh.

“Do I think you’re pretty?” I echo, feeling a smirk cut its way across my face. “Jennifer, you’re so pretty I could die just from looking at you.”

She rolls her eyes. “You think I’m stupid. You’re just here because you feel sorry for me, Leo.”

I shake my head. “I don’t think you’re stupid. And I’m not here because I feel sorry for you.”

She swallows thickly; I can see the pulse beat nervously in her throat. “Then why are you here?”

“Well, I guess I’m here right now because you just drove us off the road and into the woods.”

“You know what I mean.”

Do, I, though? I sigh. “Because you’re the only person in this town worth talking to who will even look at me.”

She bites her lip and I have the sudden, piercing urge inside my skull to wrap my hands around her throat and drag her onto my lap. That’s some messed up shit. She’s sixteen. Six. TEEN. I’m repeating the number in my head over and over, willing my dick to settle down. I can feel the throb of wanting her in my cock, in the thunderous rush of blood that makes my heart hit my ribcage like the firing of a gun, bang, bang, bang. My need eclipses my rationality. So what if she’s sixteen? She drove into this fucking clearing and licked her lips and asked me if I thought she was pretty.

“Why have you been back to the diner every single night, just as I’m about to get off shift?”

“Umm,” I try. “It’s the only decent place in town?”

She narrows her eyes at me and there’s a fire inside her pupils; it might be below freezing outside, but it’s a billion degrees in here. We’re already fogging up the windows with our breath, and I haven’t even laid a finger on her.

“Liar,” she says. “I want the real reason.”

You’re about to get the real reason, sweetheart. I grip the armrest. I grip it so hard my fingernails ache.

“I’m here because I’m a bad guy, Jennifer.”

“And?”

“Because you’re so pretty I can’t think about anybody else. Because I want to do things to you… that would probably frighten you. Things that might hurt you.”

Her cheeks are flush; her breathing quickens. I haven’t even touched her, and she’s already excited. Or scared. Or both. I want to reach between her thighs and see if it’s lust I’m reading on her face.

“What kinds of things?” she asks.

I cover my face with my hands.

“What kinds of things?” she repeats, a hand on my shoulder. I let my hands fall into my lap and fix my stare on this girl who should be home with her family, not out here in the dark in the woods and snow with a criminal. I watch in awe as she slides her seat back and reaches her hands up underneath her skirt, tugging a pair of panties down her legs and unhooking them from her heels. She can’t look at me as she hands me a pair of baby blue silk panties with a bow on the front. I grip the underwear in my fist so tight I could tear it to shreds with a single pull, but I don’t rip it. I find the damp spot of arousal in the center of the material and bring it up to my face. I close my eyes. I breathe Jennifer in.

I shouldn’t be here. Not with her. Not like this. I will get out of the car, I decide. I will walk home. I will not touch this girl.

But then, “I promise I won’t tell anyone,” she whispers.

Fuck.

I grab her. I drown her shock out with my mouth. I squeeze her slender neck with my prison-rough palms. I keep my promise and I hurt Jennifer Thomas until I’m sated.

It’s only after when I’m looking at the blank expression on her face, the odd tilt of her neck, the bruises blossoming on her spread thighs, that I understand what I have done.

By then, it’s too late.

The night Jennifer Thomas disappears is like all the rest.

Apart from the way it ends.

 

Lili writes dark, delicious romance full of love, lust and revenge. Her USA Today Bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the young woman who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a trilogy that explores the beginnings of the club, published through HarperCollins.

Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, excellent coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram.

She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.

Exclusive Excerpt from Man Down by Krista Ames


MAN DOWN
Author:
Krista Ames
Series: Kendall Ryan’s Imperfect Love World

 

Would it be out of line to run screaming from a wedding where the bride was your sister? Miranda Wentworth wanted to do just that. She hated her sister. The woman had stolen every guy Miranda ever liked, including the groom. She would like nothing more than to remove herself from the nightmare her family called a wedding. If it weren’t for her mother’s dirty looks and a hottie in a leather jacket in the back of the church, she’d leave the place and never come back.

Colt Jensen was the black sheep of a family he didn’t like to be around. He’d never received a formal invitation to a top-of-the line wedding where his brother was marrying his ex’s sister. And they called him the odd one out. Desperate to escape, Colt spotting a bridesmaid leaving the church that fit the description of his perfect woman could only be luck. Right?

Is he up for another short-lived romance with the girl of his dreams or will he be yet another Man Down?

Watching the newly married couple kiss when the preacher ordered it was sour icing on a shit cake.  She couldn’t take any more and if they didn’t end this soon and walk out of the church, she would be doing it herself, only ahead of them.  A move her mother would be less than thrilled about but she didn’t care.  Not anymore.  Nobody cared how this entire day made Miranda feel so she was done with the line of sympathy crap.  There’d been a scolding conversation from her mother every chance she got about how Brock was the perfect match for her sister and she needed to be happy for them.

When had her mother become so petty and oblivious to her surroundings? Brock was not a good guy at all.

Oh thank God.  Emily, the new bride turned toward Miranda who was paying attention this time, to retrieve the bridal bouquet so she and her perfectly disgusting new husband could take their walk of shame and hopefully out of her life forever!!!   With a wrinkle of her nose and a ha ha, he’s mine look, her sister grabbed the flowers and stepped off the platform.

She was next in line with one of the grooms’ brothers who let his eyes travel the length of her, up and down like she was a tasty treat.

“Don’t even think about it buddy. I am so not into brothers so put your eyes and your drooling tongue back in your head.”

Isn’t this day over yet?

Half way out of the church but moving much slower down the aisle than she liked, Miranda was looking anywhere to avoid the creepy stares of the guy holding her arm tighter than he needed to. When she spotted an adorable hunk in a black leather jacket in the very back row, she couldn’t stop staring. Not even when she’d passed his pew or when his eyes had connected with hers.

Now that’s my type of guy.  Then the pompous brute she was walking with jerked her arm, snapping her out of her trance.  She scowled, disconnected his arm from hers before she broke it, and slapped at the man’s unwanted attention.

Tragedy.  She’d probably never see that hot guy again.

 

Read the first chapter of HOOKING UP by Helena Hunting

HOOKING UP
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

AMAZON

One

Wedding Unbliss

Amie

This is the happiest day of my life. I allow that thought to roll around in my head, trying to figure out why it doesn’t seem to resonate the way it should. This should be the happiest day of my life. So I’m not exactly certain why the uneasy feeling I associate with cold feet is getting worse rather than dissipating. I’ve already done the hard part; walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

My husband excused himself to go to the bathroom several minutes ago and, based on Armstrong’s itinerary for the day, speeches are supposed to begin promptly at eight-thirty. According to my phone, that’s less than two minutes from now, and he’s not here. The emcee for the evening is awaiting Armstrong’s return before he begins. And then the real party can start. The one where we get to celebrate our commitment to each other as partners for life. As in the rest of my breathing days. Dear God, why does that make my stomach twist?

I sip my white wine. Armstrong pointed out that red is not a good idea with my dress, even though it’s my preference. Besides, I don’t want it to stain my teeth. That would make for bad pictures.

I glance around the hall and see my parents, who are probably celebrating the fact that I didn’t walk down the aisle with a convicted felon. And frankly, so am I. My dating history pre-Armstrong wasn’t fabulous.

The sheer number of people in attendance spikes my anxiety. Speaking in front of all of these people makes me want to drink more, which is a bad idea. Tipsy speeches could lead to saying the wrong thing. I check my phone under the table again. It’s after eight-thirty. The longer Armstrong takes to return, the further behind we’ll get. The music playlist, devised by Armstrong with painstaking efficiency, leaves no room for tardiness. If we don’t start on time I’ll have to take out a song, or possibly two, to compensate for his delay and he’s selected the order in such a way as to make that difficult and that will annoy him. I just want today to be perfect. I want it to be reflective of my decision to marry Armstrong. That I, Amalie Whitfield, can make good choices and am not a disgrace to my family.

“Where the hell is he?” I scan the room and take another small sip of my wine. I should switch to water soon so I don’t end up drunk, especially later, when all of this is over and we can celebrate our lifelong commitment to each other without clothes on. I’m hopeful it will last more than five minutes.

Ruby, my maid of honor and best friend for the past decade, puts a hand on my shoulder. “Would you like Bancroft to find Armstrong?”

Bancroft, or Bane for short, is Ruby’s boyfriend who she’s been living with for several months. Recently I find myself getting a little jealous of how affectionate they still are with each other, even after all this time. Cohabitation hasn’t slowed them down on the sex or their PDA. I have hope that Armstrong and I will be more like Bane and Ruby now that we’ll be sharing the same bed every night.

I’m about to tell Ruby to give him another minute when a low buzz suddenly fills the hall. It sounds like a school PA system. I start to panic—they can’t start the speeches without Armstrong at my side. What’s the point of speeches if the groom isn’t present?

I’m halfway out of my seat, ready to tell the deejay, or whoever is behind the mic, he needs to wait, when a very loud moan echoes through the room. The acoustics are phenomenal in here, it’s why we chose this venue.

I glance at Ruby to make sure I’m not hearing things. Her eyes are wide. The kind of wide associated with shock. The same shock I’m feeling.

Another moan reverberates through the sound system, followed by the words, “Oh, fuuuck.”

A collective gasp ripples through the now-silent crowd. While the words themselves are scandalous among these guests, it’s the voice groaning them that makes me sit up straighter, and simultaneously consider hiding under the table.

“Fuck yeah. Ah, suck it. That’s it. Deep throat it like a good little slut. Fuuuuuccckkkkk.”

My mouth drops and I look to Ruby to ensure I have not completely lost my mind. “Is that—” I don’t finish the sentence. I already know the answer to the question, so it’s pointless to ask. Besides, I’m cut off by yet another loud groan. I clap a hand over my mouth because I’m not sure I’m able to close it, my disbelief is as vast as the ocean.

Ruby’s expression mirrors mine, except hers is incredibly animated since she’s an actress. “Oh my God. Is that Armstrong?” Her words are no more than a whisper, but they sound very much like a scream. Oh no, wait, that’s just Armstrong on the verge of an orgasm. But these sounds are nothing like the ones he makes when he’s in the throes of passion with me.

I clutch Ruby’s hand. The next sound that comes from him is a hybrid between a hyena laugh and a wolf baying at the moon. And every guest at our wedding is hearing the same thing I am. Our wedding. Someone other than me is blowing my husband at my own wedding. My mortification knows no end.

I grab the closest bottle of wine and dump the contents into my glass. Some of it sloshes over the edge and onto the crisp white tablecloth. It doesn’t matter. There’s plenty more where it came from. I chug the glass, then grab Ruby’s.

People lean in and whisper to each other, eyes lift to the speakers. A few people, the ones who are probably just here for the social-ladder-climbing potential, question who it is.

“Is the deejay watching porn?” That comment comes from a table full of mostly drunk singles in their early twenties.

Several eyes shift my way as I carelessly down Ruby’s wine and someone asks where the groom has disappeared to.

The grunts and groans grow terrifyingly louder. This is nothing like what I’m used to in bed with Armstrong. The dirty words aren’t something he ever uses with me, mostly it’s just noises and sometimes a “Right there” or “I’m close,” but that’s about it. He’s never talked to me like he is to the woman currently providing oral pleasure. And I’m very adept at oral. Although with Armstrong it’s very polite, neat oral, with no sounds other than the occasional hum. Slurping is uncivilized and a definite no-no.

I reach past Ruby for the bottle of red since I don’t really give a flying fuck about purple teeth right now. As I sink low in my seat I pour another glass of wine, surveying the people in the ballroom from behind the cover of the centerpiece. The centerpieces are huge and excessive and I don’t like them at all, but at least provides a protective barrier between the guests and my disgust, which I’m certain they must share. He sounds like a wild animal rutting. It is entirely unsexy. I have no idea who he’s getting intimate with, but I’m suddenly very glad it’s not me.

And doesn’t that tell me more about our relationship than it should.

It’s only been about thirty seconds—the most humiliating thirty seconds of my life—before Armstrong comes. How do I know this? Because he says, very clearly, “Keep sucking, baby, I’m coming.”

And “baby,” whoever she is, makes these horrific gurgling noises. It sounds like some form of alien communication. It’s way over the top, and apparently Armstrong is loving it, based on the string of vile profanity that spews from his asshole mouth.

“Holy crap. Is this for real? That was really fast,” Ruby mutters.

I guzzle my glass of wine. Then decide the glass is unnecessary and take a long swig from the bottle before Ruby snatches it away. Wine dribbles down my chin and onto my chest, staining the white satin purple. My dress is ruined. I should be freaking out. But I really don’t care.

“Come on,” Ruby tugs on my hand. “We need to get you out of here while people are still distracted.”

My older brother Pierce and the emcee are standing in the middle of the hall, gesturing wildly to the speakers above us. My other brother, Lawson, is on his way toward the podium in an attempt to do something. I don’t think there’s anything he can do to stop this train wreck from there.

Ruby tugs again, but I’m frozen, still trying to figure out what exactly just happened. Well, I know what’s happened. I just can’t believe it.

The sound of a zipper and the rustle of clothes follows. “Thanks for that, now I’ll be able to last later tonight,” Armstrong says.

“What about me?” A female asks. Her voice is nasally and whiny.

“What about you?”

“Well I helped you, aren’t you going to help me?”

“Didn’t you come with a date?”

“Well, yes, but—” God her voice is familiar. I just can’t figure out where I know it from.

“My cousin, right? He loves my sloppy seconds. Speeches are starting. I gotta get back to my ball and chain.”

Gasps of horror ripple through the room, followed by a few giggles. These people really are assholes.

I think I’m going to throw up. I can’t believe he’s going to come out here and pretend nothing just happened. Like some other woman didn’t just have her lips around his cock. His distinctly average cock. Maybe even slightly below average in length, if I’m being one hundred percent honest.

A door opens and closes.

Lawson turns on the mic behind the podium and taps it, sending screeching feedback through the room, making people cringe. Too bad no one did that a minute ago.

Murmuring grows louder and glances flicker to the head table and then away as Brittany Thorton, a seriously skanky debutante, comes strutting through the doors, using a compact to check her lipstick. She’s made it her mission to attempt to get into the pants of half the eligible men in this room. She’s followed, not five seconds later, by a very smug-looking Armstrong.

“I’m going to kill him.” I grab the closest steak knife, but it appears my hasty, and possibly felonious, plan is unnecessary. My brothers leave their respective posts and stalk toward him. Across the room my mother is gripping my father’s arm, whispering furiously in his ear. Great. Just what I need, additional family drama.

“Oh shit,” Ruby gasps.

I follow her gaze to find Bane converging on Armstrong with my brothers. Bancroft is a tank and he used to play professional rugby. I’ve seen him with his shirt off, he’s built like a superhero and he’ll probably crush Armstrong, or at least break something. Possibly multiple somethings.

For a second I consider that Ruby should probably stop Bane from destroying Armstrong’s pretty, regal face, but then I realize I don’t actually care. In fact, the possibility that he might break Armstrong’s perfectly straight nose fills me with glee. Armstrong’s wellbeing is no longer my concern, it’s more about Bane ending up in prison for murder.

“I hope Armstrong has a good plastic surgeon, he’s going to need it once Bane is done with him.” Ruby echoes my internal hopes and her chair tips as she jumps up. “Come on, let’s get you out of here.” She nods to the right.

I notice my mother and father engaged in a heated discussion with Armstrong’s parents. I really don’t need this right now. Not the drama. Not the humiliation. All I wanted was a nice wedding. Instead I end up with a husband who gets a blow job during our reception—and it’s broadcast to everyone attending.

Ruby urges me into action. “Don’t worry about them. Get your stuff and we’ll get you the hell out of here. I’ll have the limo meet you by the entrance near your bridal suite as soon as I can.”

I nod and stumble unsteadily to my feet, thanks to having consumed the better part of a bottle of wine in the last minute and a half. It’s amazing how ninety seconds can change a person’s entire life.

All hell breaks loose as more men jump in to either pummel or extract Armstrong from the pummeling. I grab my clutch and phone from the table, gather up my stupid, too puffy gown, and head for the bridal suite, where I had prepared for what was supposed to be the most amazing day of my life. And now it’s likely the worst, at least I hope the mortification level I’m experiencing can’t exceed this. I feel like the foulest version of Cinderella ever.

I rush down the empty hall and grab the doorknob as I fumble around in my clutch for the key. I’m surprised when it turns. I thought I’d locked it before we left for the ceremony. Regardless, I need to get away from everyone before I either lose it or commit a felony. Maybe both. Murder in the first. Armstrong will be my victim. And maybe that horrible skank, Brittany.

I thrust the door open and slam it closed behind me, locking it from the inside. Tears threaten to spill over and ruin my makeup. Not that it matters since there’s no way I’m going out there again. I can’t believe my forever lasted less than twelve hours. I can’t believe the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life loving couldn’t be faithful to me for even one day. What the hell is wrong with me? With him? I’m as devastated as I am angry and embarrassed. Once I annul this farce of a marriage I’ll become a spinster. I should probably go ahead and adopt six or seven cats tonight.

“I need to get out of this dress,” I say to myself. I reach behind me and pull the bow at the base of my spine. Instead of unfurling, it knots and I only succeed in pulling it tighter. Of course my dress has to be difficult. I growl my annoyance and rush over to my dressing table where my makeup and perfume are scattered from earlier today. Half a mimosa sits unconsumed beside the vase of red roses Armstrong had delivered.

The card read: I can’t wait to spend forever loving you.

What a load of bullshit. I drain the contents of the champagne flute, not caring that the drink is warm and flat. Then I throw the glass, because it feels good and the sound of shattering crystal is satisfying. Next I heave the vase of roses, which explodes impressively against the wall, splattering water and shards of glass across the floor.

I yank out a couple of the drawers and find a pair of scissors. They actually look more like gardening shears and seem rather out of place, but I don’t question it. Instead I reach behind me with my back to the mirror and awkwardly try to cut myself free. It’s not easy with the way I have to crane my neck.

“Goddammit! I need to get out of this stupid dress!” I yell at my reflection. I think I might actually be losing it just a touch now. I stop messing around with the laces in the back and shove the scissors down the front. I nearly nick myself with the blade—they’re a lot sharper than I realized—but that doesn’t slow me down. I start hacking my way through the bodice; layers of satin, lace, and intricate beading sliced apart with every vicious snip.

I just want out of this nightmare.

Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Of Flame And Fate by @cecyrobson

OF FLAME AND FATE
Series:
 Weird Girls Flame #2
Genre:
Urban Fantasy
Author: Cecy Robson
Release Date: September 26, 2017

 

Taran Wird, who commands the power to wield fire and lightning, is an oddity in the supernatural world. But neither Taran nor her unique sisters compare to the bizarre entity known as Destiny. And Taran is assigned to protect her.

Born of two witches, Destiny is revered among the supernatural elite for her acute ability to predict the future. Her biggest prophecy involves Taran’s sister, Celia, whom Destiny decreed will bear children strong enough to take on the evil that’s rising. Yet Destiny is not alone in her predictions, or individuality.

When Johnny Fate, a rock star among humans and a male version of Destiny is discovered, his powers and Destiny’s clash, triggering the start of Destiny’s demise and altering the fate of Celia’s unborn children.

Taran, her werewolf lover Gemini, and their allies must determine if it’s Fate who will decide what will become of Celia’s children, or if their lives and the world will perish with Destiny.

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OF FLAME AND FATE ExcerptCopyright © 2017 Cecy Robson

Gemini and his twin growl at the pack of weres gathered in front of us. I pull up the blanket covering me as they scatter. Weres are used to being naked around each other in human form, but I’m not a were, and because of it, they’ve never seen me naked.

Until tonight, cause, don’t I know how to put on a show?

The next set of growls from him and his twin have them all hopping inside their vehicles and cranking the engines. The lights from the cars in front of us cast a gleam against the angles of his face, sharpening the menace plaguing his features.

He’s angry, and he should be. As a non-were different rules apply to me, one of them being they shouldn’t stare at his naked girlfriend.

He powers across the blue slate-lined double driveway, causing the dusting of pine needles covering it to stream past the window. I wait until we clear the wrought iron gates at the entrance to the compound before placing my hand on his thigh. But it’s not until we pass the miles of stone wall surrounding Misha’s property that I speak again.

“That probably looked pretty bad, huh?” I ask.

He clenches his jaw tight, enough to strain the cords along his neck. “Which part? The part where I find you surrounded by vampires pouring champagne over your naked body?”

“Um . . .”

“Or do you mean getting the call that a parasitic demon has infested your leg and is attempting to make your body its nesting ground—then watching it try and claw its way to your heart?”

CECY ROBSON is an author of contemporary romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double RITA® 2016 finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, and a published author of more than eighteen titles, you can typically find her on her laptop writing her stories or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.

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