Spotlight Exclusive Excerpt & Review: Kill For You by Ayden K. Morgen

KILL FOR YOU
Series:
A  Warrior For Her #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Multicultural & Interracial Romantic Suspense
Author: Ayden K. Morgen
Release Date: March 17, 2020

I never believed in angels until I saw her standing in the middle of a crime scene, covered in the blood of a girl she knew nothing about. One look and I knew I needed to know more. Turns out, Faith Donovan is the answer to a lot of prayers…and my one shot at taking down Los Zetas, the biggest drug cartel left in Los Angeles.

The way I feel about her has nothing to do with my job though. She makes me want to wrap her in my arms and keep her for myself. Too bad for me, she’s off limits.

Witness protection, they call it.

I call it a sentence in hell.

I’m allowed to look, but I’m not supposed to touch the woman who’s been abused by her mother and imprisoned by a gang for most of her twenty-one years. I’ve never been a rule-breaker…but that’s exactly what I want to do when she turns those big brown eyes in my direction.

When Los Zetas paint a target on her back, all bets are off. I’ll find a way to keep her safe and keep her to myself, even if I have to kill every single cartel member along the way.

My name is Detective Octavio Hernandez, and Faith Donovan belongs to me. Once I claim her, no one will ever touch her again.

Kill for You  is the second book in a series of interconnected full-length novels featuring law enforcement officers willing to do whatever it takes to protect the women who need them most. Each book can be read as a standalone, has no cheating, and a guaranteed HEA.

(This book deals with human trafficking and slavery and gun and gang violence. There are graphic scenes of violence).

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On March 17th, 100% of author proceeds from Kill for You will be donated to Operation Underground Railroad to aid in the rescue of child victims of human trafficking. Post release day, 10% of proceeds will continue to go to Operation Underground Railroad. To date, Operation Underground Railroad has rescued over 3,200 children from slavery and has helped prosecute over 1,800 human traffickers. Learn more about O.U.R. and pledge your support here.


“What is it, angel?” I ask.”I…I just wanted to say thank you,” she whispers. “For today, I mean.”

De nada, conejita.”

She stands there for a moment and then turns to leave, but I don’t want her to go.

“Did you have a good time? At the movie, I mean.”

She pauses, turning those wide eyes back to me. “I did,” she whispers. “The movie was good.” A shadow passes through her eyes. “Sad.”

“You mean Mufasa’s death,” I guess. She cried during the movie when Mufasa died, but I don’t think she wanted me to know it. I ached to dry her tears for her but didn’t. Every expression that crosses her face and every thought in her mind fascinates me. I want to know all of them. I want to be the one she turns to when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Hell, I just want her.

She nods.

“I’m sorry you lost your father so young, Faith.”

“Me too.” She bites her lip. “I’m sorry you lost your sister too.”

“So am I.”

“Can…can I ask you something?”

“Anything.”

“What happened to her?” she whispers.

“I don’t know.” I glance away from her for a brief moment, steeling myself against the inevitable rush of memories her question brings roaring to the surface. “Alivia was ten years older than me, but we were always close. When she left home for college, she decided to stay on campus with friends. She started dating a guy her junior year, but no one knew much about him. He didn’t attend school with them. They thought he was involved in a gang, but she swore he wasn’t. She left campus to meet him one night and never returned.”

“Oh no,” Faith whispers, her honey eyes swimming with sympathy. “Did…did you ever find her?”

“No.” I shake my head. “I believe the man she was seeing was a Zeta.”

Faith’s stricken eyes widen.

“He took her across the border into Nuevo Laredo. No one in Nuevo Laredo was willing to talk with the threat of the Zetas hanging like a sword over their heads. Leads dried up from there.” I scrub a hand through my hair, expelling a heavy breath. “I accepted long ago that I’d never know what happened to her.”

It’s not hard to guess though. They either killed her or sold her into slavery. It’s a horrible thing to hope your own sister is dead, but for her sake, I do hope it. It’s been twenty years. God only knows the horrors she would have lived as one of the Zetas’ sex slaves in that amount of time. I would wish that kind of pain on no one.

“What happened to your parents?” Faith asks.

“My mom had a fatal heart attack when I was nineteen. My father had a stroke three years later. He passed not long after.” I was a surprise baby, born late in life. Losing Alivia aged my parents considerably. They were never the same after she vanished. They never recovered. Eventually, the grief of loss and the pain of not knowing took them both.

“I’m so sorry, Octavio,” Faith whispers.

“No more than I am.”

“Was your dad a cop too?”

“No. He worked in the IT field. My mom was a pediatric nurse.”

“Is your sister the reason you went into law enforcement?”

“Yeah. I wanted to find out what happened to her, and I guess I wanted to help make sure no one else ever had to go through what my family went through.” I glance at the file in front of me before flipping it closed with a heavy sigh.

As Franklin suspected, our tipster might not have been wrong about Kincaid. I’m not sure where that leaves me, or what I’m going to do about it. Kincaid is a damn good cop, one Roman trusts. Hauling him in on charges is going to cause a lot of problems for this city, and I don’t know what to do about that. We need him on the streets…but can I really leave him there if he murdered three people?

“Can I ask you a question now?” I ask Faith.

“Yes.”

“If a good cop did something wrong a decade ago to avenge his family and you found out about it, what would you do?”

She tilts her head to the side, studying me. “How wrong?”

“He may have killed the people who murdered his family.”

“Was his family innocent?”

I nod.

She thinks over my question for a moment, considering it carefully. “I don’t know what I would do,” she admits, “but I think what you’re really asking is what you should do.”

I sigh. “I have no fucking clue what to do. If I pursue this case against him, a lot of people are going to get hurt. Including some that mean a lot to me. If I don’t pursue it, I’m essentially looking the other way when my instincts are telling me there’s something here.”

“You pride yourself on doing the right thing.”

“I took an oath to uphold the law and do the right thing, even if doing it isn’t the easy thing.” I scrub a hand through my hair, truly baffled. The world isn’t black and white, not even when murder is involved. I know that. I accept it. But this case has so many shades of gray I don’t know what the right thing to do is. “If I pursue this case and find out he did it, I’m not jeopardizing just his future. Roman believes we need him to help keep our gangs in line, and I don’t necessarily disagree with him.”

“Look into it,” Faith says, taking a step into my office. “You can always decide what to do when you have your answers, but if you never even look for them, I think it will always bother you. You don’t strike me as someone who is content to have only bits and pieces of the puzzle.”

“I’m not.”

She nods like she already knew that and takes another step toward my desk. “You’re a good cop, Octavio. You’ll know what to do when the time comes. Until then, follow the clues. Maybe you’ll find out you’re worrying for nothing.”

“Maybe.” I lean back in my chair, folding my hands together on my stomach to study her. “You think I’m a good cop?”

“Yes,” she whispers.

“But you don’t trust me.”

“I tr–”

I cock a brow, daring her to finish that lie, but she doesn’t. Having confirmation that she doesn’t trust me shouldn’t bother me, but it does anyway. It’s also my fault.

“I’m sorry I threatened to take your door off the hinges,” I murmur to her. “I shouldn’t have said that, no matter how frustrated I was. You should know that I didn’t check it. If you want to lock your door, that’s your right.”

She nods but doesn’t say anything.

“I’m going to earn your trust again someday, angel. One of these days, you’ll tell me what you’re trying so hard to keep from me. You’ll let me help you.”

“The only thing I need help with is getting the Zetas to stop looking for me so I can be free,” she mutters, refusing to meet my gaze. “The only thing I want is freedom.”

“You’re free with me, Faith.”

“No, I’m not.” She offers me a sad smile, turning for the door. “You may be nicer about it than they are, Detective, but I’m as much a prisoner here as I was there. My cage is more comfortable, and my captor is less of a brute, but any freedom I have is an illusion, as easily snatched away as ever.”

“That’s not true.”

“No? If I wanted to walk out the front door right now, you’d let me?” she asks.

I grind my teeth together, pissed because she’s right and we both know it. There’s no way in hell I would let her walk out that door. She thinks it’s because I need her help, but she’s wrong. I can’t let her go because I think it might actually kill me if something happened to her. If the Zetas found her or hurt her, it would tear my world apart. I already lost a sister to the bastardos. I won’t lose Faith too. But I can’t tell her that. She wouldn’t believe me even if I did.

“Oscar wants me back so badly because my mom and stepfather stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from him before they fled,” she whispers after a moment. “He’s certain she’ll come back for me someday, so he decided to keep me close to ensure she had to come to him to get to me.”

“Jesus Christ.”

“I know you care about what happens to me, but I’m a means to an end for you just like I was for him, Octavio. I don’t kid myself about that. Maybe you shouldn’t either.” She offers me another sad smile and then ducks out of my office. “Goodnight.”

I sit there for a long time after she leaves, staring into space. Every part of me wants to stomp after her and tell her that she’s wrong. I want her to know that I’m nothing like he is and that the only thing I want from her is whatever little crumbs she’s willing to give me.

My entire adult life, I’ve focused on finding out what happened to my sister. Even after my parents died without answers, I kept searching, hoping to piece together which of the Zetas took her and what happened to her. Eventually, I had to come to terms with the fact that I’d never know. I started focusing on finding a way to make them pay after that.

I want them out of this city so badly it borders on desperation. But I think I’d walk away from that mission if it meant keeping Faith. She’s been here for two weeks, and she’s already becoming something vital to me. Something irreplaceable.

Too damn bad for me, because to her, I’m just another man keeping her in a cage.

I sigh heavily and flip open the file on Kincaid again, reading through it from cover to cover. By the time I’m finished, I’m almost certain there’s something here. Something I have to pursue. I jot a few notes and then stow the file before opening the one on Faith and the Zetas, flipping through it without really seeing anything.

Why is Fuentes so sure her mom will come back for her?

Nothing I’ve found thus far holds any answers on that front. Her mom was physically and emotionally abusive. Not even Faith has any illusions about the woman having any soft feelings for her. I doubt Fuentes has any either. So what does he know that I don’t?

I have a feeling finding the answer to that question is the key to giving her the freedom she so desperately craves. It might tear my heart out of my chest to watch her walk away…but letting her go is the only way to prove to her that I’m nothing like Fuentes.

Más tira el amor que una yunta de bueyes,” I mutter the old idiom about love being a strong motivator, returning her file to the drawer and climbing to my feet to go to bed. I stop in shock right outside her bedroom.

For the first time in days, her door isn’t closed against me.

It’s standing wide open.

Octavio,” she whispers in her sleep, snuggling closer. I don’t intend for it to happen, but in that moment, she steals a little piece of my heart.

I’m on a mission this year to read as many new-to-me authors as I can. The second I read the blurb to this book, I knew Ayden K Morgen would be going straight on my list. And once I finished? Holy crap balls!!! How have I not read her before?

First of all, if you like gritty romance with plenty of suspense and a hero that’s a balance of swoony and lethal with an edge, you need this book!

Octavio and Faith’s story was utterly addicting. Octavio is a detective working to take down of the most dangerous cartel gangs in LA. A rival gang shootout at a bar lands him the middle of chaos when he spots Faith and realizes she may be his in in bringing the gang down.

Faith is young but what she’s lived through in her short life has been a pure nightmare. She’s been a prisoner of one of the most brutal gangs and her scar covered body tells a tale of horrifying torture and abuse. But Faith, beyond all else, is a survivor. It’s impossible not to fall in love with her character. She’s been through hell and back and even though she’s terrified, she knows she has to do the right thing and try to help the police bring the gang down. Even if it may come at the cost of her own life.

Their relationship quickly progresses from victim/witness and cop to something much more. Octavio is immediately drawn to Faith and knows that he’ll protect her no matter the cost, even if it’s no longer a part of his job.

I loved the gritty and suspenseful tone of this book. I also loved that Ayden is able to build a picture without going into truly gory details and miss none of the effect. I was immediately sucked into this world and know I’ll be going back to read the previous book along with Roman’s story in Devour Me. I already can’t wait for the next book.

This is a true standalone set in the same world and you can definitely see the crossover and interconnections. I didn’t have a problem reading this book without having read the first. But the few glimpses I had of the couple from book one in this one, I know I need to read their story next.

My only (very minor) quibble was with the slight overuse of endearments. It was cure in most parts and in some parts it was just a touch too flowery for my personal tastes. But this is entirely a personal bias. I loved how Octavio treated Faith like he absolutely worshipped her. The man truly looked at her like he wanted to protect her from the world and would die doing it. I loved that!

If you’re looking for something different, fast paced, sexy and completely addicting, you need to check this series out!

Ayden K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of sixteen years, and their furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army.

She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law.

She puts her education to use as a 911 Dispatch Supervisor, where she’s responsible for leading a team of dispatchers as they watch over police, EMS, and firefighters for her county. Her books feature law enforcement officers, the women who love them, and the difficult cases that drive them.

Ayden has been published by Curiosity Quills Press, Limitless Publishing, Cobblestone Press, and Tirgearr Publishing. She also writes New Adult Fantasy as A.K. Morgen.

Author Links

Email: akmorgen@akmorgen.com

Website: http://akmorgen.com

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Facebook: http://facebook.com/akmorgen1

Twitter: http://twitter.com/akmorgen

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Exclusive Spotlight with Character Interview: The Two Date Rule by @tawnafenske

THE TWO DATE RULE
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Tawna Fenske
Trope: Afraid To Commit 
Release Date:
February 25, 2020

Willa Frank has one simple rule: never go on a date with anyone more than twice. Now that her business is providing the stability she’s always needed, she can’t afford distractions. Her two-date rule will protect her just fine…until she meets smokejumper Grady Billman.

After one date—one amazing, unforgettable date—Grady isn’t ready to call it quits, despite his own no-attachments policy, and he’s found a sneaky way around both their rules.

Throwing gutter balls with pitchers of beer? Not a real date. Everyone knows bowling doesn’t count.

Watching a band play at a local show? They just happen to have the same great taste in music. Definitely not a date.

Hiking? Nope. How can exercise be considered a date?

With every “non-date” Grady suggests, his reasoning gets more ridiculous, and Willa must admit she’s having fun playing along. But when their time together costs Willa two critical clients, it’s clear she needs to focus on the only thing that matters—her future. And really, he should do the same.

But what is she supposed to do with a future that looks gray without Grady in it?

From Tawna Fenske:

The Two-Date Rule is all about finding the sweet spot between planning for the future and living in the moment.

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CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Rom-com author Tawna Fenske interrogates her heroine from The Two-Date Rule

This is Tawna Fenske, and I’m a USA Today bestselling romantic comedy author with a brand-new release. The Two-Date Rule is the story of a woman with some very personal reasons for never dating a guy more than twice, and the sexy smokejumper who steals her heart.

The lovely folks at Dirty Girl Romance asked me to sit down with the heroine of The Two-Date Rule, Willa Frank, to ask a few questions about life and love and whether the toilet paper should roll over or under (duh, over…you think we’re monsters?)

In the interest of full disclosure, I should confess that you could swap my name with Willa’s throughout the Q&A and the answers wouldn’t change much. I should probably seek therapy for that.

TAWNA:

Hey, Willa, it’s great to see you. Love the dress!

WILLA:

Thanks! I got it for $3 at my favorite thrift store. Did you see it has pockets?

TAWNA:

That’s pretty badass. Okay, so let’s start by talking about what you like in a guy. I know you never date anyone more than twice, but for the ones who make the cut, what qualities do you dig in a man?

WILLA:

A sense of humor is huge. He has to be able to laugh at himself, and bonus points if he makes me laugh. He has to be kind to animals. That’s non-negotiable, since I have a blind dog, a three-legged cat, a deaf cat, and a beta fish with a broken tail. Um, let’s see…I like a guy who jumps up from the dinner table and offers to do the dishes. That’s always nice. And I guess I’ll admit I have a thing for gorgeous eyes. Also big, strong, massive, sexy hands. *shivers*

TAWNA:

I feel ya on that last one. Let’s see…got any makeup tips you can share?

 WILLA:

*makes face*

Does Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm count? That, and maybe a swipe of mascara. Sometimes when I’ve been working too much (which, okay, is most of the time) I’ll bust out the concealer for the dark circles under my eyes.

TAWNA:

Let’s try something a little easier. Name five things every woman should have.

WILLA:

Comfortable shoes, at least three-months’ salary socked away for emergencies, friends who will have your back no matter what, condoms and probably a backup method of birth control, and at least six contingency plans for every scenario in your life in which something could possibly go wrong.

TAWNA:

Wow. That’s…um…hardcore.

WILLA:

I believe in being prepared.

TAWNA:

No joke. Okay, last question: Can you give us any dating tips?

WILLA:

*laughs so hard she falls off her chair*

I am quite literally the last person who should answer that question.

TAWNA:

Come on, give it a shot.

WILLA:

*frowning*

All right. I guess I’d say don’t let yourself get too attached to anyone. And don’t let relationships derail your life goals or you could end up broke and homeless and scared and…

TAWNA:

Okay, um…we’re getting a little dark here. This is a romantic comedy, remember?

WILLA:

Right, sorry. How about always wear clean underwear?

TAWNA:

There you go.

***

So that’s it for Tawna’s interview with Willa. To learn more about The Two-Date Rule or any of Tawna’s other romantic comedies, visit www.tawnafenske.com

When Tawna Fenske finished her English lit degree at 22, she celebrated by filling a giant trash bag full of romance novels and dragging it everywhere until she’d read them all. Now she’s a RITA Award finalist, USA Today bestselling author who writes humorous fiction, risqué romance, and heartwarming love stories with a quirky twist. Publishers Weekly has praised Tawna’s offbeat romances with multiple starred reviews and noted, “There’s something wonderfully relaxing about being immersed in a story filled with over-the-top characters in undeniably relatable situations. Heartache and humor go hand in hand.”

Tawna lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, step-kids, and a menagerie of ill-behaved pets. She loves hiking, snowshoeing, standup paddleboarding, and inventing excuses to sip wine on her back porch. She can peel a banana with her toes and loses an average of twenty pairs of eyeglasses per year. To find out more about Tawna and her books, visit www.tawnafenske.com.To learn more about all of Tawna’s books, visit www.tawnafenske.com 

Author Website: http://www.tawnafenske.com

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Spotlight: Fall of Legend by Meghan March

THE FALL OF LEGEND
Series:
Legend Trilogy #1
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Meghan March
Release Date:
November 12, 2019

From New York Times bestselling author Meghan March comes a new deliciously dangerous alpha hero in The Fall of Legend, the first book in the brand new and utterly addictive Legend trilogy.

We come from two different worlds.

I’m from the streets. She might as well live in an ivory tower.

I made my living with my fists. I doubt she could even throw a punch.

Our paths never should have crossed.

We never should have met.

That doesn’t change the facts.

I would sell my soul to taste those red lips.

Fight the devil himself to hear her laugh.

Burn in hell to have a single night.

Scarlett Priest shouldn’t even know men like me exist, but sometimes temptation is stronger than will.

If this is how I go down, it’ll be worth every second of the fall.

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Making the jump from corporate lawyer to romance author was a leap of faith that New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Meghan March will never regret. With over thirty titles published, she has sold millions of books in nearly a dozen languages to fellow romance-lovers around the world. A nomad at heart, she can currently be found in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, living her happily ever after with her real-life alpha hero.

Sign up for Meghan’s newsletter and receive exclusive content that she saves for her subscribers:
 http://meghanmarch.com/subscribe

To get the inside scoop on a daily basis, search Meghan March’s Runaway Readers on Facebook and join the fun!

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Exclusive Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by @karenbbooth

SECRETS OF A (SOMEWHAT) SUNNY GIRL
Genre: Romantic Women’s Fiction
Author: Karen Booth
Release Date: October 16, 2018

As sisters, they tell each other all their secrets…except one.

With divorce and infidelity hanging from nearly every branch of her family tree, Katherine Fuller sees no point in marriage. Boyfriends? Sure. Sex? Of course. Wedding vows? No, thanks. Still, when her younger sister Amy gets engaged, Katherine gathers all the enthusiasm she can. She won’t let Amy down. She’s done enough of that for a lifetime.

As the sisters embark on wedding plans, Katherine’s college love resurfaces. It nearly killed Katherine to part from sexy Irish musician Eamon more than a decade ago, but falling under his spell a second time forces her to confront everything she hid from him. The secrets surrounding her mother’s death are still fresh and raw in her mind, but one has haunted her more than the others. She can’t bear to tell anyone, especially not Amy. It could ruin far more than a wedding. It could destroy a sister’s love forever.

AMAZON 

 

Katherine and Irish musician Eamon had a super-steamy relationship 11 years ago. Now he’s back in her life, but out on the road, leaving them to talk on the phone every day. This is the night of Katherine’s sister Amy’s engagement party, an event Katherine has been dreading.“How did the party go?” Eamon asked. “You don’t sound drunk, so it must’ve been at least tolerable.”

“It was okay. Everyone was really nice, but I definitely did not feel comfortable. Their whole family is like pod people. They’re all so happy and normal.”

“Why does that make them pod people?”

“I don’t know. Because that’s nothing at all like my family? And there’s no family dirt, which I find a little impossible to believe.”

“You went digging for dirt at your sister’s engagement party?”

“Hey. You’re the one who told me not to drink too much. I had to entertain myself somehow.”

He unleashed the laugh I find most disarming. In my head, I could see his off-kilter smile. “There’s always dirt somewhere. Trust me.”

“That’s what I was thinking.”

It got quiet on the other end of the line and I wondered what he was thinking about or whether he was maybe tired. I would’ve given anything for him to be waiting for me at home right now, rather than thousands of miles away. I couldn’t escape the loneliness of that fact.

“Katherine, can I ask you something?”

“Of course. Anything.”

“What exactly is it about that situation that makes you so deeply uncomfortable? Your sister getting married. I know it’s not just that you feel like you’re losing her. There’s something more to it, isn’t there?”

It felt like my heart was doing a bad impression of an old clock, ticking away at an unreliable pace. There was so much about this for me to unpack, probably because I’d devoted so much of my life to keeping it hidden. “My parents didn’t have a great marriage and they did a lot of things to hurt each other. It’s hard as a kid to witness that. It definitely sours your opinion of the institution.”

“I suppose.”

“Am I being unreasonable?”

“No. You’re not. I just think that’s not the only way to look at it. Some people might go through that and decide that they can do better. Maybe that’s the way your sister feels.”

Was he right? Had Amy taken things one way while I’d run with it in the opposite direction? She’d definitely seemed comfortable at the party, acclimated to the idea that marriage was this normal thing normal people did, and that she was a member of that group. Maybe I needed to accept that just because I saw her one way, and I saw myself the same way, perhaps I’d been completely wrong. After all, she had been younger than me. She’d witnessed less than I had. And of course, she hadn’t been the catalyst for the ultimate bad. She hadn’t set the demise of her own family in motion. Amy didn’t have to live with that.

“Maybe you’re right. Maybe I need to stop looking at it like that.” I knew then that I needed to get my attitude straight. Amy deserved better than a maid of honor who was being a complete pain in the ass.

“I could be wrong.”

“Nope. It’s a great suggestion. You make me a better person, you know. You always have.”

“Do you really think that?”

I thought back to the way I’d been with him the first time, so full of sunny optimism, not at all the way I was right now, but I could admit it was a place I wanted to get back to. “I do, Eamon. I really do.”

2 Truths and a Lie with Katherine and Eamon from Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl

I’m so excited to be here today and let Katherine and Eamon, the main characters from Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl, play Two Truths and a Lie. Katherine and Eamon met eleven years ago when she was studying abroad in Ireland. There was instant chemistry—as Katherine says, “The first time we did it, we were so hot for each other we didn’t even use a condom. We were half-naked in his front hall. I was out of my mind.” But their romance didn’t last long the first time. Katherine had to return to the U.S. Eamon left for his first world tour. Hearts were broken, big time.

Now they’re back together after a chance run-in in New York, and although they were recently engaged, there’s still a lot they don’t know about each other. Let’s begin!

Katherine: I already have my list. You know I plan for everything.

Eamon: I do know that much.

Katherine: Number one: I have never eaten a Big Mac. Number two: I’m terrified of spiders. Number three: I lost my virginity to a guy with the name Eamon.

Eamon: Are you joking with me right now?

Katherine: I can’t answer that.

Eamon: Were you really a virgin when we met?

Katherine: This isn’t Twenty Questions. Make a guess.

Eamon: (grumbles) The one about spiders has to be true. You don’t seem like a woman who would do well with those. And I don’t want to think that you’ve never had a Big Mac, but I suppose it’s possible. Number three has to be the lie. You were not a virgin when we met.

Katherine: Wrong. I’m ambivalent about spiders, Big Macs do not excite me, and I did lose my virginity to a guy with the name Eamon.

Eamon: You’re lying.

Katherine: It was his middle name. His first name was James. His mom was Irish. Eamon was her father’s name.

Eamon: You cheated. And how long have you been waiting to tell me this?

Katherine: I did not cheat. I just very carefully worded my statement. And I thought you would think it was a cute coincidence.

Eamon: I don’t want to think about James Eamon who took your virginity.

Katherine: Believe me, I don’t either. Your turn.

Eamon: Number one: I was at the top of my class in secondary school. Number two: I broke my leg in a motorcycle accident when I was thirteen. Number three: my favorite candy is black licorice.

Katherine: This seems like a trap. If I say the first one isn’t true, you’ll never forgive me.

Eamon: No hints. It’s not like you helped me.

Katherine: This is hard. I can totally see you breaking your leg in a motorcycle accident. You seem like the type who would like black licorice. You probably like black jellybeans, too. (shudders) So I guess I’ll say that the one about school is the lie. I bet you were in the top 25% of your class though.

Eamon: Nice job hedging your answer.

Katherine: But did I get it right?

Eamon: No. You did not. I was top in my class. Despite my musician ways, my mam was a schoolteacher and wouldn’t take anything less of me. She also did not want me to get the motorcycle I broke my leg riding. And I despise black licorice. Vile stuff.

Katherine: Wow. I was not top in my class. Not even close.

Eamon: It’s not a competition. And I don’t love you any less for it.

Katherine: Good.

Eamon: Might take me a while to come to terms with James Eamon and your virginity though.


Karen Booth is a midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ‘80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. An early preoccupation with rock ‘n’ roll led her to spend her 20s working her way from intern to executive in the music industry. When her kids came along, she traded late nights for early mornings, writing contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Karen was a finalist for RT Magazine’s Series Romance of the Year and Gold Seal of Excellence, and the 2018 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages.

Connect with Karen: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway: Win a signed print set of Karen Booth’s three Romantic Women’s Fiction novels: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl, Bring Me Back and Back Forever, or 1 of 2 e-copies of Bring Me Back!

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About Bring Me Back:

Nearly forty, Claire Abby had thought life would be a whole lot smoother by now. Single parenting her college-bound daughter is trying, her journalism career is fading, her sister’s a handful, her dad is worse, and her mom has been gone so long it’s hard to remember what it was like when she was here.

So it’s both a lucky break and a jaw-dropping distraction when Claire lands an interview with British rock star Christopher Penman. Claire spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend. In person, Chris is everything Claire feared—off-the-charts sexy, ridiculously charming, and utterly nerve-wracking. He’s not about to discuss the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. She must earn his trust and unearth the truth, but she never banked on the heartbreaking secret behind it.

His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling. And flirting. There’s no denying his wit or his buttery British accent, and once she agrees to see him, it’s beyond anything her teenage brain ever imagined. But when Christopher’s painful past repeats itself, can Claire smooth out her life and save the man she could never forget?

Exclusive Excerpt: Restless Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And she knew… she knew she was lost.

And so damn screwed.

About Carrie Ann Ryan

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

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Exclusive Excerpt: Unlocking Shadows by Kennedy Layne

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

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

About UNLOCKING SHADOWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If she wanted something, she bought it.

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

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

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

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

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

“This.”

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

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

She was now addicted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Keys to Love Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Victoria can’t deny the attraction.

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

Loyalty is in the eye of the beholder.

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HARD TRIGGER ExcerptCopyright © 2018 S.L. Hannah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My breathing hastens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: IN MY SKIN by @ShannonMcKenna4

 

IN MY SKIN
Series: The Obsidian Files #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Shannon McKenna
Release Date: June 19, 2018

NYTimes and USA Today bestselling author Shannon McKenna releases the third, standalone installment of The Obsidian Files! IN MY SKIN, features Luke, a renegade supersoldier with blocked memories that only the fiery beauty Dani can help him restore. Fans of JUST ONE TOUCH by Maya Banks, JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Cynthia Eden’s Lazarus Rising Series will devour this thrilling tale of deadly danger and burning desire.

Come back to me …

Luke remembers a few things. Just not his last name, or anyone he ever knew. He knows that he’s a supersoldier, genetically enhanced and loaded up with brain implants. He just escaped from a year-long hell of captivity, and to protect his family and friends from his tormentors, he blocked his memories. Now he needs those memories back, fast … or he and those he loves will die agonizing deaths.

Luke’s dangerous plan to reconnect with his past—and stay alive in the present—has drawn his enemies’ attention to the tough and sexy Dani LaSalle. He’s duty bound to protect the luscious beauty from the evil pursuing them, but he can’t control the scorching desire she awakens in him.

Dani’s strict routine has been trashed by Luke’s explosive arrival. This rock-hard slab of valiant, smoldering manhood appears out of nowhere, saves her life, spirits her away to his mountain lair and bewilders her with tales of sadistic researchers, enhanced assassins. Is this gorgeous, problematic sex god just plain crazy—or is she? But Luke can do things with his mind that are just as wild as what he can do with that body … and she can’t say no.

And there’s no time to wonder. As their passion burns hotter, Obsidian moves closer … and Luke and Dani must place their lives and their hearts on the line just to survive …

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THE SERIES


RIGHT THROUGH ME | MY NEXT BREATH | IN MY SKIN


IN MY SKIN Excerpt (713 words)

Copyright © 2018 Shannon McKenna

 

Dani got back to work. Focusing on caring for his body.

Not that she could have focused on anything else if she wanted to. Even wounded, with his breath rasping painfully in his massive chest, the guy was a mouth-watering super stud. Close proximity to him was distracting even before she got his clothes off.

And when he was half naked, the sheer breadth of his heavily muscled shoulders and chest stopped her breath.

Not good.

Concentrate, LaSalle. Do your nurse thing. Breathe. Your brain needs oxygen.

But he threw off so much heat. It made her sweat. Her face felt fiery as she dabbed on antibiotic ointment with a piece of folded gauze. Trying not to be so acutely conscious of the taut, steely belly muscles before her eyes. So lean and ripped. The dark treasure trail tapering down, sliced through here and there by the scarring.

She tried desperately not to think about the kissing interlude in her laundry closet, which now seemed like a crazy dream. One that couldn’t possibly have been real.

Her eyes rested on his rock-hard thighs splayed out in front of the bench, his huge quad muscles bulging against the blood-stiffened black fabric of his pants, remembering how it felt to straddle them and hang on for dear life, her chest plastered against his bullet-proof vest while his hand cupped her ass and, slowly rocking and pulsing the yearning ache between her legs against the hard, thick bulge at his crotch.

Stop it. You are working. Fuck’s sake. The man just got stabbed.

Good thing he wasn’t looking at her. He hunched over, head down and shaking fingers clenched, white-knuckled, on his own knees as she finished taping the gauze over the wound at his side.

There was blood on his face, too. Or what she could see of it, with his head lowered. Sweat shone on it. Big drops standing out. She rose to her feet, alarmed by the heat radiating off his body, and reached out to feel his forehead—

He pulled sharply away, then went still. He looked up at her, eyes cautious.

Sorry,” he said gruffly. “I’m on edge. You took me by surprise.”

I was just, uh, checking,” she said. “You’re so hot.”

He glanced up, with a look that was almost like a smile.

Her face flamed. “I mean … I just want to see if you’re running a fever.” Crap.

I’m not,” he said softly. “But go ahead.”

She was so flustered, she was no longer tracking. “Huh? Go ahead and what?”

He put his hand on the gauze taped to his side. “Touch me,” he said simply.

Another awkward silence, while Dani’s mouth worked. “Ah …”

If you want to check my temperature, I mean.” He grinned at her. The very first smile she’d seen on his otherwise grim face.

Oh, God. Dimples? It was too goddamn much. Everything they said to each other sounded like a blatant come-on to her now.

Well. I’ll just, um, find a thermometer,” she mumbled.

Don’t have one.” His voice was thick with exhaustion. “Never needed one.”

OK, whatever.” That was an argument for another day. She pulled out a piece of folded gauze and dabbed antibiotic ointment on it. “Let me take care of those scrapes on your face.”

He didn’t make a sound, just closed his eyes as she swabbed and dabbed. Which left her free to study every detail up close. His face had scars, too. More recent injuries on top of older ones. Bumps on his nose from being broken more than once.

I hope you have a bed around here, because you look like you’re ready to get horizontal,” she told him.

There’s a bed in the other room, but you can take it,” he said. “I’ll sleep on the floor.”

Yeah, right. Like I would let you do that.”

You’re the boss,” he said.

Hardly,” she said. “I can’t make you clue me in about what’s going on. You just keep saying you’ll tell me everything later. And I’m really hoping that tell me everything includes explaining those scars, and who the killer robots are, and how the demon Porsche drives itself.”

I’ll do my best,” he promised.

Dani harrumphed. “You’re a piece of work, Luke.”

Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of seventeen action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series and the brand new romantic suspense series, The Obsidian Files. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she’d ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers.

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 $10 Amazon gift card + Winner’s choice of either RIGHT THROUGH ME (Book #1) or MY NEXT BREATH (Book#2) in the Obsidian Files Series

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Spotlight & Exclusive Excerpt: Relay by @LaylaReyne

RELAY
Series: Changing Lanes #1
Genre: M/M Contemporary Sports Romance
Author: Layla Reyne
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date (Print & Ebook): January 8th, 2018
Length (Print & Ebook): ~ 63,000 words

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

RIPTIDE PUBLISHING

Dane climbed out of the car, squinting against the bright midday sun. Dressed in jeans and a wrinkled tee, hair a red rat’s nest, auburn scruff matted along one side of his jaw, and the rest of his face somewhere between flaming red and sickly green, Dane looked a sleep-deprived mess, worse even than Alex.

Alex stepped back, not forward.

And met his mom’s hand, pressed lightly against his spine. “I think you know what he wants now.” Alex could hear the smile in her knowing voice.

“Isn’t that Big Red?” Carla asked, drawn from the back porch by the commotion.

Alex nodded, still speechless.

His mom gave him a firmer push, and he stumbled down the first porch step. No going back now. Putting one foot in front of the other, he descended the steps and came to a stop in front of Dane.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, voicing the only question that mattered in this present world gone mad.

Clear blue eyes stared back at him, full of the same affection he’d seen there Saturday night, had seen for the first time ten years ago across a pool. Together with Dane’s shy, self-deprecating smile, the real one, it was a beautiful and dangerous combination.

And beautiful, dangerous words followed. “I came here for you.”

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

 Author Tagline: Adrenaline-Fueled Romance

 

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Exclusive Prologue Reveal & ARC Giveaway: ONE SHOT by BJ Harvey

One Shot
Series:
Chances #1
Genre:
Contemporary Romance 
Author:
BJ Harvey
Release Date:
November 16, 2017

Boy meets girl, boy wins girl, boy nails girl—boy’s gone by morning.

I think for sure it must’ve been a dream because there’s no way a guy could look like that, touch me like that and be so in tune with me on every known level, and disappear, leaving me with nothing but a good story to tell my friends.

When he walks into my bar three months later, everything I thought I knew and what we’d had disappears in the blink of an eye and the blinding light of the three-carat diamond on his fiancée’s hand.

It seems what I thought was a dream is now my most complicated reality, and I’ve got absolutely no idea how to fix it – or if I even want to.

 

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PROLOGUE

Present Day

I have tingles, and not the kind that feel great in all the right places. The ones I’m feeling right now are the hair-standing-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck, someone-walking-over-your-grave kind of feelings that you get when something bad is about to happen.

Unable to ignore them any longer, I turn around from my stock take sheet and come face to face with my worst nightmare.

Lana fucking Mason, childhood best friend turned high school nemesis and arch enemy, and…

A man stands beside her, his eyes as wide as mine and—if I’m not mistaken—he looks kind of pissed off. At me.

And just like that, this moment has just gone from bad to worse.

Hold on! I’m the one who should be annoyed, with him. It wasn’t me who did a disappearing act three months ago, and now he’s here, standing with her. Of all the fish in the sea, he had to go for the smelliest, rottenest one.

“Kenzie,” she says, all saccharine sweet, like she wouldn’t choke on the first dick that came close to her perfectly-made-up lips. “Long time no see.”

Forever wouldn’t have been long enough, Lana.

“We were in town running errands and thought we’d stop by. I wanted to let you know what I’ve been up to.” Without preamble, she holds out her hand as if she’s the Queen of Sheba and I’m a lowly minion at her bidding. But that’s the last thing I care about, given that I’m being blinded by a huge, shiny rock on her ring finger.

What in the ever-loving fuck­?

I don’t get a chance to hide my surprise, or the fact that my eyes dart to Millen, his jaw twitching like crazy, his grey eyes that I remember turning molten with lust now blazing with some unreadable emotion.

Why is he angry at me when he must’ve known that I’d be here?

Lana turns her head and beams at him all doe-eyed and vomit-inducing, reaching out her arm to Millen before returning her attention to me, positioning herself to deliver the final death blow.

Then she says them. The words I don’t want to hear—let alone believe.

“I have amazing news. First, my daddy just bought this place. And second, meet Millen, my fiancé…”

Yep. Dead. Done. The see-ya-later, don’t-let-the-door-hit-your-ass-on-the-way-out kind of done.

Then Drew walks through the front door. Drew who warms my bed most nights. Finally, a friendly face.

However, one look at Lana’s expression and I know this moment has just gone from bad to plain awkward. It’s like the universe is making a joke at my expense.

Drew’s already big smile grows impossibly larger when he spots the two people standing in front of me.

“Mills!” he says, pulling Millen into a man-hug the likes of which I’ve never seen Drew hand out before. He turns to the she-bitch and wraps his arms around her too. “Lans.”

Lans?

“What are you guys doing here?” Drew asks.

“You know them?” I blurt out, my brain unable to engage quick enough to care about putting a filter in place.

Millen’s eyes snap to Drew then back to me. “You know Drew?” he asks at the same time as Lana juts a hip to the side and asks Drew, “You know Kenzie?”

“Millen is my best friend from college,” Drew happily informs me, and his smile falls at the same time that all of the blood rushes from my face.

Awkward, meet Mortifying. Also here are Shame, Embarrassment, Anger, Disgust, and over in the corner there is Complete and Utter Confusion and her friend I’m Going to Have to Move to the States and Join a Women-Only Commune with Cats and Unlimited Batteries.

With nothing else to say—at least, nothing that wouldn’t take a bottle of Jack and a whole lot of time—I decide to just go with the flow and revert to my old trusty auto-pilot because seriously, what else is there for me to do?

“Soooo, would anyone like a drink?”

BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer, and a funny romance thinker upper. An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly and loving every minute of it. She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.

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