Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: Butterfly In Frost by Sylvia Day

BUTTERFLY IN FROST
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sylvia Day
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Montlake Romance

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

 

Roxy bounces on her feet with excitement. “Les and Marge sold their house.”I blink. “I didn’t know they were selling.”

She laughs and heads toward the front door. “That’s the thing. They weren’t.”

“Wait, what?” I hurry after her as she steps outside.

I look to the right at my home, a lovingly restored butterfly-roofed midcentury, then on to the traditional house just beyond it that belongs—belonged—to Les and Marge. Including Roxy’s, all three of our homes have unique lots set between the homes that line the street and the Sound, affording us unhindered views of the water as well as exceptional privacy—all within a twenty-minute drive of the airport.

Roxy shortens the length of her stride to allow me to catch up, then glances over at me. “The day after you flew to New York, a Range Rover pulled into their driveway, and the guy inside offered them cash to close—and move out—in fourteen days.”

My step falters, and Minnie gets momentarily tangled in her leash. The dog shoots me what I would describe as an irritated look, then keeps trotting forward. “That’s crazy.”

“Isn’t it? Les wouldn’t say how much the offer was, but I’m thinking it was huge.”

We march up the inclined driveway, my head tilted back to take in the houses scaling the hillside. Designed with big windows to maximize the view, the homes have a look of wide-eyed wonder. Our little stretch of the Sound used to be a secret, but with the housing boom taking over Seattle and Tacoma, we’ve been discovered. Many residences are undergoing major renovation to suit the tastes of new owners.

Reaching the road, we turn left. To the right is a dead end.

“Well, if they’re happy,” I say, “I’m happy for them.”

“They’re overwhelmed. It was a lot to happen all at once, but I think they’re happy with their decision.” Roxanne stops when Bella does, and we wait as the two dogs mark one of their usual spots on the gravel edging the asphalt. There are no curbs on the streets in our neighborhood and no sidewalks. Just beautiful lawns and a profusion of flowering shrubs.

“We all tried prying information out of them,” she goes on, “but they weren’t sharing anything about the sale.” She gives me a sidelong glance. “But they did share a bit about the buyer.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Because Mike and I both think the buyer is someone famous. A film director maybe. Or an artist. Can you imagine? First Emily, a bestselling author. Then you, a reality-TV surgeon. Now this guy! Maybe we’re sitting on the new Malibu—beachside living without wildfires or state income tax!”

The mention of Roxy’s husband, Mike, coaxes an inner smile. A New York transplant like me, he adds a welcome touch of the life I left behind to the reality I’ve since created for myself—a reality that’s just been rocked by the loss of neighbors I like.

“What are the clues you’re working with?” I ask, deciding to play along. If I’ve learned anything the past year, it’s to accept the things I cannot change. A tough task for a control freak like me.

“Les pointed out to this guy that he hadn’t even seen the inside of the house. The guy said he didn’t need to. He knew already that ‘the light is perfect.’ I mean, who would say that? Gotta be someone who’s in visual arts, right?”

“Maybe,” I agree tentatively, disquieted by the unexpected conversation. The road rises sharply before us, the incline steep enough to put a little burn in my thighs. “Doesn’t mean he’s famous, though.”

“That’s the thing.” Her words carry a note of breathlessness. “Les wouldn’t give numbers, but he did say it was crazy the guy didn’t just buy that huge compound at the end of the street. That house is listed for three and a half million!”

My mind staggers at the thought. Les and Marge have—had—a beautiful home, but it’s not worth anywhere near that much.

“I think I saw the buyer once through that big arched window in the living room,” Roxy goes on. “The blonde with him was a looker. Supermodel skinny with legs for days.”

I’m panting when we reach the top; Roxy, who hits a gym most days of the week, is not.

A quarter mile farther, there’s a street to the right leading to Dash Point. Beyond that and straight ahead, the road slopes back down and around until it’s at water level. Redondo Beach is there, as is Salty’s, a restaurant on stilts in the water with expansive views of Poverty Bay and beyond. I’m about to wax poetic about Salty’s seafood chowder when a runner dashes around the corner at a full sprint. His sudden appearance rattles me. A closer look makes me freeze midstride. My breath locks in my lungs.

There are too many things to register at once, so my mind attempts to absorb the whole man. Dressed only in black shorts and shoes, he is a visual feast of deeply tanned skin, intricate sleeves of tattooed art, and sweat-slicked, flexing musculature.

And his face. Sculpted. Square-jawed. Brutally, breathlessly handsome.

Roxy, now a few feet in front of me, gives a low whistle. “Hot damn.”

Sylvia Day is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, #1 Sunday Times, #1 Der Spiegel, and #1 international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels sold in more than forty countries. She is a #1 bestselling author in twenty-eight countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Visit the author at www.sylviaday.com.

 

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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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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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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: 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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Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway: Intrepid by @KeriLake

I am BEYOND excited to share this DELICIOUS cover for Keri Lake’s INTREPID. If you’re not going to be left a drooling mess after laying your peepers on this, I’ll be shocked!

Title: Intrepid
Genre: Contemporary, Dark Romance
Author: Keri Lake
Release Date: April 10, 2018

In the corner house of an empty street, there is a boy inside a box. In that boy, there lives a secret, one so dark, it’s sealed with locks.

Nearly ten years have passed since the night I was captured. Tricked and betrayed, I suffered the hours of brutal torment with death’s cold whisper across my skin. And when the nameless faces that haunted my nightmares took everything and everyone I loved, I feared I’d never be free of the darkness.

But that’s the thing about fear. Over time, it breeds anger, and when anger fills the box, vengeance bleeds out.

It’s been almost a decade since I escaped their hell, staying in the shadows, hiding my demons, and God help them now that I’ve tasted retribution and crave more of it.

Blood is the price for pain, and I vow to take everything and everyone they love. I’m no longer a frightened boy, but the intrepid vigilante, a ruthless executioner, who will stop at nothing to punish the depraved few that stole my life and walked free.

The plan is perfect, except for her. The one woman I’m forbidden to have, whose soothing touch settles my fractured mind. My angel of mercy sent to silence the voices. Yet, not even she can save me from the black void wherein my skeletons lie buried beneath the truth. Because in order to feed my thirst for revenge, I have to destroy the very thing that gives me purpose.

Tooth for a tooth, heart for a heart.

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The stranger stepped into my view, his hand outstretched. “So you did it.”In spite of the ache in my back, I allowed him to pull me up to a stand.

The echo of pain lingered in my ankle, knocking me back a step, but he yanked tight, and wrapped his hand around my waist to steady me.

“You need me to carry you?”

“No. This is humiliating enough. I’ll suffer the walk, thanks.”

We rounded the building—ungracefully hobbled, in my case—to find a fire truck, police cars, and a crowd of people corralled together.

Though, that didn’t shock me quite as much as seeing the long, sturdy-looking fire escape snaking down the side of the building.

“You said there wasn’t a fire escape! Why did you lie?”

He shot a glance over his shoulder, but kept on down the side street. “You said you couldn’t climb down the chimney. You lied, too.”

“I had no choice! I could’ve died up there!”

“Everyone has a choice. So, how does it feel?”

“How does what feel?” I hissed, and at a sharp throb along my shin, I winced.

“To conquer your fear.”

I paused, dumbfounded, and looked back to the building and the chimney I’d just climbed down. Ninety feet high inside a cramped space. Something I wouldn’t have willingly done, had someone paid me.

“Offer’s still there, if you want a ride home.” Twisting around to face me, he walked backwards, sliding a pair of gloves onto his hands. “Or you can wait for your Uber. Your choice.”

“I don’t even know your name.”

“Ty.”

“I’m Sera. As in Serafina.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Rearing back, I frowned, folding my arms as I followed after him. “Um. How?”

“Bea! Simone! It’s Sera! Wait for me!” His hands waved dramatically in the air, mocking me.

Biting the inside of my cheek stifled the urge to laugh. “Right.”

“So, Serafina. Named after the angels.” He came to a stop in front of a sleek black motorcycle hidden in the brush, and handed me a helmet he pulled from somewhere on the other side of it.

“What are you, a religion major?”

He smirked and looked past me for a moment, as if checking to make sure no one had followed us.

Paranoid, I checked, too, before shifting my attention back to the impressive machinery standing before me. “I’ve never been on a bike before.”

Lips screwed to a wry smile, he mounted the bike and jerked his head for me to get on behind him. “Well, this night just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it, Sera?”


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RICOCHET (VIGILANTES, #1):

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BACKFIRE (VIGILANTES, #2):

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Keri Lake is a dark romance writer who specializes in demon wrangling, vengeance dealing and wicked twists. Her stories are gritty, with antiheroes that walk the line of good and bad, and feisty heroines who bring them to their knees. When not penning books, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughters, and their rebellious Labrador (who doesn’t retrieve a damn thing). She runs on strong coffee and alternative music, loves a good red wine, and has a slight addiction to dark chocolate.

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Review & Excerpt: Hawkyn by Larissa Ione

HAWKYN
Series:
Demonica Underworld #5
Genre:
Paranormal Romance
Author:
Larissa Ione
Release Date:
February 27, 2018

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Larissa Ione comes a new story in her Demonica Underworld series…

As a special class of earthbound guardian angel called Memitim, Hawkyn is charged with protecting those whose lives are woven into the fabric of the future. His success is legendary, so when he’s given a serial killer to watch over, he sees no reason for that to change. But Hawkyn’s own future is jeopardized after he breaks the rules and rescues a beautiful woman from the killer’s clutches, setting off an explosive, demonic game of cat and mouse that pits brother against brother and that won’t end until someone dies.

Aurora Mercer is the half-wytch lone survivor of a psychopath who gets off on the sadistic torture of his victims. A psychopath whose obsessive psyche won’t let him move on until he kills her. Now she’s marked for death, her fate tied to that of a murderer…and to a sexy angel who makes her blood burn with desire…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

 AMAZON



God, what was it going to be like to have all that intensity focused on her? Touching her? Inside her? All he had to do was look at her and she shivered with violent tingles.The cold air in this drafty castle just got warmer. “Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“You didn’t.”

“Didn’t what?”

“Warn me.”

She huffed. “When I said not to say I didn’t warn you… I was warning you.”

His lazy, lopsided smile made her groan. He was teasing her. She loved these glimpses, brief as they were, into his off-duty personality. He’d been on the go since they’d met, in a constant state of motion, and despite the shitty circumstances, it was nice to see him relax a little.

Of course, that could have something to do with the ninety-proof bottle of attitude adjuster in his hand.

She eyed her own glass of liquid bravery, but really, she didn’t need it. Even if her succubus genes weren’t already going to work, preparing her body with a hot rush of desire, she’d want Hawkyn.

And she’d want to help him.

As he gulped down another swig of vodka, she set her glass on the little end table and turned to him.

“Here’s another warning.” She pulled her shirt up over her head. “Some scenes may be too intense for young viewers.” She tossed the shirt onto the mattress and reached around to unhook her bra.

“What are you doing?” he croaked, the vodka bottle frozen a few inches from his mouth.

“Sex. That’s the fast method.” She dropped the bra on the mattress and flushed at the way he stared at her exposed breasts. “You game?”

For a long, tortured moment, he said nothing. Oh, God, what if he refused her? How embarrassing. She’d made a huge mistake, and she looked like a desperate fool.

Choking on humiliation, she lifted her hands to cover herself, but he shook his head.

“Don’t.” His voice was a low growl, sultry and dark, so resonant it hit her between her legs. “You’re beautiful.”

“Does this mean—”

He was on her before she could finish. His lips came down on hers and his body pressed her into the cold stone wall and both his hands gripped her shoulders so firmly she figured she’d have bruises later.

Awesome.

 

At this moment, he seemed to be both angel and demon, because what he was doing to her was nothing short of evil, but he was so damned good at it. 

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with all things Larissa Ione writes. Having read her entire backlist, I don’t think there’s been one book of hers that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, and this one was no exception. While the story is set in her Demonica world, new readers wouldn’t feel lost. There’s plenty of background, the characters are not ones that have previously introduced, and while part of a series, it’s a solid standalone as well. Though I’d still highly recommend the rest of the Demonica series because it’s just that awesome. But I digress.

Hawkyn is a Memitim; a special breed of earthbound angel that was raised by humans. His father is the powerful ruler of the underworld, Azagoth. But that doesn’t mean that he still doesn’t need to earn his way into heaven by doing his job. His duty is to protect his Primori. Unfortunately for Hawkyn, his Primori happens to be a deranged serial killer and he can’t interfere with destiny. That is, not until his accidental interference causes his Primori to abduct a woman that he can’t stop thinking about.

Aurora Mercer is a wytch; a fascinating hybrid of witch and succubus. She doesn’t know if she can trust the handsome angel that rescued her from the hands of a monster, but she doesn’t have much of a choice when she’s still hunted by the man determined to finish his job.

The chemistry between Aurora and Hawkyn is instant and sizzling, in only a way that Larissa Ione can write. But their relationship is a delicious slow burn that keeps you at the edge of your seat. I couldn’t get enough of these two together. I love Ione’s rich world building and all the characters that she’s created. And while Hawkyn brings mention some of my past favorites, there’s also some new faces that are introduced as well. I loved getting the additional development of Azagoth and Lili’s story. If you haven’t read their book, I can’t recommend it enough: Azagoth.

As for this one? For a short novella, it was incredibly satisfying, well developed and perfectly paced. It offers plenty of action, with a dash of sizzle, and a total page turner from beginning to finish. If you’re looking for a quick and sexy PNR read, you really can’t go wrong!

Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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New Release Spotlight, Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Forsaken by @booksbygray

FORSAKEN
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Author: J.R. Gray
Release: February 26, 2018 

Titus has lived and breathed religion his entire life, tucked away from the rest of the world in a compound in northern Wyoming.

He’s destined to be the next leader of the church, deemed so by the Prophet.

God spoke and with His word He created.

But God made a mistake.

Titus isn’t worthy.

He was born sick and it’s solidified when he rescues the most beautiful man he’s ever seen.

Torn between fidelity to his faith or his soul, Titus must reconcile the two parts of himself before he’s discovered hiding among the chosen.

 

AMAZON 

Angel was up on his knees, and he took Titus’ face in his hands. Titus’ heart sped up, and the scene from his workshop replayed in his head. Angel didn’t move. He looked into Titus’ eyes. Titus needed something to happen. More than this moment frozen in time. He wanted Angel to either put space between them or kiss him, but the wait was going to make his heart explode.

“Is this okay?” Angel asked.

“Is what okay?” Titus had a hard time getting words out. He had a hard time making his brain function with Angel’s hands on him.

Angel laughed and scooted his body closer so their legs were pressed together. “Me touching you.”

“Yes.” His voice was unsteady.

“What about this?” Angel put his other hand on the side of Titus’ neck.

“Sure.” Titus swallowed past the lump in his throat, and was happy for the way he was sitting because he was as hard as he’d ever been in his entire life. Harder maybe.

“What about this?” Angel whispered over his lips and then brought them together.

This wasn’t like back at his workshop. Angel parted his lips and used his tongue. Titus was left trying to keep up. As soon as he got the hang of something, Angel would change it. He’d done a little necking with girls, but this was completely different. He hadn’t been turned on while kissing those girls. It was more like something to do just to try it, but this was heat, and his entire body reacted. There wasn’t a part of him that wasn’t flushed and on fire.

Angel’s fingers slid around to the back of his neck and tightened, keeping Titus close. He grabbed Angel’s bicep, needing something to hold on to so he didn’t spin out of control. Angel seemed to like it, groaning

When not staying up all night writing, J.R. Gray can be found at the gym where it’s half assumed he is a permanent resident to fulfill his self-inflicted masochism. A dominant and a pilot, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. He frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns and conversations, to jot down notes or plot bunnies. Commas are the bane of his existence even though it’s been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn’t writing…well, that’s not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.

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Review & Excerpt: The Coaching Hours by Sara Ney

THE COACHING HOURS
Series: 
How to Date a Douchebag #4
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: February 5, 2018

THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY.

Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about.

This story is about me—the coach’s daughter.

When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university’s take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he’d make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone.

Wrong on both counts.

ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH.

A bet is placed, and I’m on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first.

Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more.

And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.

AMAZON 

She perks up. “Wait, you’ve never had a back massage?”“No?”

“Ever?”

“Nope.”

“Well, what the hell? How can I, in good conscience, lie here letting you rub my back when you’ve never had anyone rub yours?” She scoots over, pointing to the mattress. “Lie on your stomach, I’ll do you first.”

I wave my hands in front of me in protest. The last thing I need is her warm hands roaming my body. “No, no, you don’t have to. It’s not a big deal.”

“Are you crazy? Back massages are the best—like, better than an orgasm. You’re first, so lie down.”

“And you call me the bossy one?”

“Quit stalling and get on the bed.”

Obediently, I climb to the middle of my bed in nothing but a pair of gym shorts, legs hanging off the side. Next to me, the mattress dips, Anabelle on her knees, approaching my side.

A finger glides down my spine. “It will be easier for me to do this if I’m sitting on you. Hope that’s okay.”

“Is that the approved method?”

“No, but my arms will get tired if I have to lean over you the whole time.”

“Do whatever then, I don’t care.”

I stiffen when Anabelle swings one leg over my body, straddling my ass. Warm palms at my lower back.

“You’re so tense. Try to relax,” she coos, making it worse. “Tilt your head to the side, that’s it.”

I hear the lotion bottle snap open. Click closed. My roommate’s palms rubbing together, warming it up. “Sorry, I don’t have any actual massage oil. This will have to do.”

When her hands make contact with my back, I almost groan it feels so fucking good. Warm. Smooth. Pressure in all the right places, pushing gently into my muscles.

Slowly.

Slower still, caressing along my shoulders, thumbs and fingers working together to soothe the burning on my right side.

“Doesn’t this feel great?” Her soft voice cuts into the silence. “You’re loosening up. That’s good.”

I feel her leaning as her hands move up and down my spine until they stop, hovering at the base of my neck. Thumbs stroking the skin below my hairline, back and forth.

Kneading.

Her torso dips, hands maneuvering my arms, placing them at my sides. Palms slide up and down my biceps.

For several minutes, she rubs my arms and shoulders. Then she skims down my ribcage unhurriedly, in no rush, making little humming sounds inside her throat.

I know I’m not imagining the feather-light way her hands drift down my spine. I remain still, letting her touch me, basking in it.

Remain still when her lips kiss the tender spot of my shoulder where it meets my neck, nose nuzzling behind my ear, her breasts rubbing against my back and what the fuck was that all about? What does she think she’s doing, trying to drive me insane?

 

A heart is racing but I’m not sure if it’s his or mine. I’m not sure whose heart is beating fastest.

This final installment in the Douchebag series was the complete antithesis of why I was originally hooked on it. There are no douchebags, no cocky jock hero, no hate lust, no enemies to lovers vibes. But what it did have was a swoony, slow burn friend to lovers story that was full of sizzle and smiles.

There are no jocks to be found in this book. Well, not the main character anyway. But there is the coach’s daughter, her friendship with a guy that she didn’t see coming, and the development of their relationship from something sweet to something with a lot more sizzle.

I love a good friends to lovers trope, and this one delivered in spades. The progression of the relationship in this book was what really made it for me. It was just so perfectly paced. I loved getting a nice guy for once, though that’s not to say he was without his own brand of issues. And while the book took a turn into a particular plot device that I’m not typically a fan of, it totally worked for me here. I also loved a particular secondary character that gets redeemed in this story. This served as the perfect icing on the cake.

This story was cute and swoony, and definitely hit the spot just right. There’s a reason this author went straight to my auto-buy list from the very first book in this series; her versatility to deliver amazing characters that stand out in their own right is just a small part of it. I’m sad to see this series come to an end, but I can’t wait to see what Sara Ney has in store for her readers next.


Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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Excerpt: Three Blind Dates by Meghan Quinn

THREE BLIND DATES
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author: Meghan Quinn
Release Day: January 4th, 2018

“Good Morning Malibu, it’s another beautiful day on the west coast! I’m Noely Clark, your host: and I’m in the market for love…”

When the publicity team of the new local restaurant, Going in Blind, began their search for a hot, local celebrity to promote the wildly popular eatery, they couldn’t have found a better person than me.

Outgoing? Check.
Single? Check.
Open to finding love? Check.

I signed up immediately.

A hopeless romantic with an exceedingly demanding schedule, I’ve found it impossible to find the man of my dreams—so Going in Blind seems too good to be true! That’s until they start setting me up on dates—three very different, very attractive, very distinct blind dates—and only one thing is for certain . . .

I’m in big trouble.

Good Morning Malibu,
I’m Noely Clark, and I have a choice to make.
The question is who will I choose; the suit, the rebel, or the jock

AMAZON | AMAZON PAPERBACK

I didn’t realize how close I was to the restaurant because I’m ten minutes early. Does that make me seem desperate? No, I chastise myself. It shows that I respect the other person’s time . . . right?God, dating is the worst. There are so many unspoken rules you have to follow to not look desperate, or to not look like a psycho, or a creep, or horny, or—

“Can I help you, miss?”

Straightening up, I turn toward the hostess stand, which is a beautifully carved piece of wood. Standing behind it is an exotic, tall woman with long black hair, stunning grey eyes, and a massive engagement ring on her hand. Please tell me she got that rock from dating someone in this program.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that happiness for my life is dependent on getting married, but to see a success story in the flesh—particularly for me—would be encouraging.

“Hi, yes, I’m Noely Clark. I have a date at seven tonight with”—I lean forward, feeling silly and whisper—“with WindsorKnot.”

Her smile is kind and reassuring, making me feel a little calmer. “Yes, Miss Clark, I have you here for seven. You’re date hasn’t arrived yet, so can I show you to the bar for a drink while you wait?”

“That would be lovely, thank you.”

With my clutch tucked under my arm, I follow tall, dark, and beautiful to the bar where a very handsome Asian man is standing with a towel draped over his shoulder and a bright grin on his face. He’s wearing a button-up shirt with rolled sleeves, a brown vest covering his chest, which totally channels his inner Justin Timberlake.

“Danny, this is Miss Clark. She has a reservation at seven. Would you be so kind to make her whatever drink she would like?”

“Of course.” He winks at the hostess who presses her warm hand on my arm.

“Enjoy, Miss Clark. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. My name is Veronica, this is Danny, and we will be happy to serve you in any way.” With a parting grin, she moves back to her hostess spot.

Well, she’s nice.

“Miss Clark, please take a seat. What would you like?”

My tight, formfitting red dress makes my hop onto the bar stool a difficult task, but with a pleading prayer to the dress gods and a swift jump, I situate myself, only breaking a minor sweat.

I let out a sigh of relief and place my hands on the bar in front of me, scanning the glitzy bottles of “muscle relaxant.” “Hmm . . . how about a Moscow Mule?”

“Coming right up.” He gets to work and I watch as he magically floats around the bar, pulling the ingredients. “We recently bought new copper mugs, and I’ve been dying to use them.”

“Yeah? Am I the first?”

Winking, he says, “You are.”

If I didn’t know any better, I would say Danny is a bit of a flirt. Either that or he’s super friendly. Or simply made to be a bartender.

From beneath the bar, Danny pulls out a shiny, hammered-copper mug, and I’m instantly taken by the design. So sleek, just like its surroundings. The restaurant, with its white exposed brick, natural wood features, electric colors, and stone tabletops, is sexy, yet inviting. The friendly waitstaff is an absolute bonus. Every table is cornered off in its own spot, never getting too close to the other tables around it, and the mood lighting is on point with dim Edison bulb lights hanging from the ceiling and tabletop candles. I’m feeling the mood.

Despite the welcoming atmosphere, I can’t help but feel nervous, even after my brief exchange with WindsorKnot. There’s something to say about a blind date: the anticipation, the unknown, the knowledge that you’re having dinner with someone to possibly form a romantic relationship. It’s intimidating, but exhilarating all at the same time.

Could this be the last time I ever go on a first date? Will he like me? Will he want to get to know me?

Butterflies float around in my stomach and my cheeks heat as Danny places a napkin in front of me, topped by my drink with a lime slice on the side.

“Here you go, Miss Clark. Please enjoy.”

I smile politely. “Thank you.” When I take a sip, I’m instantly assaulted by the ginger-lime combination. Perfect. “This is fantastic.”

“Good.” Danny winks again and like an old-time bartender, starts drying a tumbler with the towel hanging over his shoulder. Eyeing me for a second, he asks, “A little nervous?”

After taking a sip from my drink, I lick my lips and nod. “Just a little.” I scrunch my nose, squinting ever so slightly. “Is it obvious?”

“Nah, you look pretty chill compared to a lot of blind daters I see come through the door.”

“Oh, I’m sure you see a lot of different reactions to these dates.” I lean forward, the cold wood of the bar cooling my sweaty hands, and whisper, “Any good stories you can tell me?”

Danny chuckles quietly and leans forward himself, taking a look from side to side before answering. “Plenty, but looks like your date just arrived.”

My date just arrived?

The temperature in the room seems to go up a thousand degrees as my body seizes and my shoulders tense. “Oh God, can you see him? Is he hot? What does he look like? Should I turn around? No, I shouldn’t, he would know I was checking him out.” Whispering a little louder, I ask again, “Just tell me, is he cute?”

Danny’s eyes scan over my head and his smile stretches across his face. “That’s for you to judge, not me.” Damn you, Danny.

Oh Christ, I’m not ready.

That’s right, I’m not freaking ready for this.

I get it, I know I said I was ready, that I wanted to do this, that I was all-in, that I wanted to find my soul mate, but now that I’m here, seconds from meeting “the one,” I’m pretty sure I’m going to throw up. Yep, I’m going to throw up. I can feel it rising.

Oh God, I’m going to retch all over him, right on his shoes. I know it. It’s bound to happen.

“Relax, you’re going to have fun,” Danny whispers before he turns to the bottles behind him.

As if the light hairs on my arm can sense it, they stand at attention as the sound of faint footsteps come closer.

Click, click, click. The cement floor leaves zero room for sneaking up on anyone.

Don’t throw up, don’t throw up. Think compliments, think pleasantries, think—

“Hello.”

Smooth molasses drips over my shoulders as the most velvet of voices I’ve ever heard echoes behind me, pulling me away from the death grip on my copper mug and turning me in my seat to face one of the most handsome and polished men I’ve ever seen.

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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