NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: If the Duke Demands by Anna Harrington

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Capturing the Carlisles Book One

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♦BLURB♦

A LESSON IN SEDUCTION . . .

Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can’t wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she’s swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she’s horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent-Robert’s formidable older brother.

Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He’ll help her win his brother’s heart if she’ll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

A scintillating romance, Anna Harrington’s If the Duke Demands was a refreshing and wonderful historical romance novel. I fell into the pages from the very beginning and neglected most of the world while I was inside it. While Harrington’s writing fit well in this genre, her style felt new and alluring. It had the kind of electricity that kept the pages turning from her characterization to the ever-growing romance.

I loved the slow burn between our main characters. It was beautifully penned–allowing for their connection to slowly take root and bring the sexual awareness with it until it reached its peak. The sexual and emotional tension in this story was absolutely addictive. I wanted moremoremore of them, wherever and however. Not only that, but the deeper, emotional connection they forged made it much more enticing. Miranda was spirited and easily charmed by life’s wonders and she complemented the rooted seriousness of the Duke so very well.

I don’t read a lot of this genre mainly because it can get a bit easy to get bogged down by the historical aspect, but this story uprooted me along with it. It was sexy and fun, and I found myself deeply loving both characters. Harrington made me feel the ups and downs with them which truly brought the story to life. With it’s unabashed sexiness and wild heroine, I can say that I absolutely loved If the Duke Demands.

 

♦SERIES♦

When the Scoundrel Sins

Capturing the Carlisles Book Two

Release Date: August 29, 2017

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Anna Harrington

I fell in love with historical romances and all things Regency—and especially all those dashing Regency heroes—while living in England, where I spent most of my time studying the Romantic poets, reading Jane Austen, and getting lost all over the English countryside. I love the period’s rich history and find that all those rules of etiquette and propriety can be worked to the heroine’s advantage…if she’s daring enough to seize her dreams.

I am an avid traveler and have enjoyed visiting schools and volunteering with children’s organizations in Peru, Ecuador, Thailand, and Mexico, and I have amassed thousands of photos I unleash on unsuspecting friends who dare to ask about my travels.

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Jennifer L. Armentrout takes a wild turn in Till Death, a thrilling and chilling romantic suspense novel. I loved where JLA took this novel. It was bold and an edge-of-your-seat experience that carried throughout the entire novel. But don’t fear, there is a second-chance romance that is woven within the story that fills that requirement right up, and it only adds to the intense nature of the story.

Still affected by her past trauma, Sasha has returned to her hometown. While she certainly isn’t the woman she used to be, she has still managed to maintain that deep inner strength and hard-headed nature–both qualities that I loved that JLA gave her. She’s a survivor but not a backseat one. The alpha nature of her once-lover Cole fueled her, both with his protective nature and in how he doesn’t hold her back. I loved their dynamic and how they found their way back to one another amid the chaos. My only ask is that I wish there was more of them in flashbacks in order to see their connection prior to everything; that would’ve added a really nice element to their reunion for us as readers.

I love romantic suspense and the visceral reactions they can provoke. Till Death was a story I never expected from this author, but one that I’m glad she wrote. It’s morbid of me to say that I found it fun, but I really did. The past and the present mixed so well and created a really enjoyable story. I loved the twists and turns and being taken along for the ride. I hope JLA takes us on another dark adventure soon.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

jla

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

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REVIEW: Mister Wrong by Nicole Williams

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♦BLURB♦

Cora Matthews grew up with the Adams boys, twin brothers and best friends who wouldn’t let anything come between them except for one thing—her. One of them became her best friend, the other, her fiancé.

She always knew she’d wind up marrying one of them, and Jacob Adams is the very epitome of Mister Right. At least he is up until he fails to show up for their wedding day. Not that Cora realizes it. At first.

As Jacob’s best man, and identical twin, Matt makes a split second decision, but one that will affect the three of their lives forever—he steps in to take his brother’s place. In front of the altar, exchanging vows with the woman he’s secretly been in love with for years.

Cora eventually finds out about the groom swap. The morning after the wedding. As if realizing she just slept with her fiance’s brother wasn’t disturbing enough, she’s forced to confront her feelings for Matt Adams she thought she’d buried years ago.

Matt’s wrong for her. In every way. But through the course of her real honeymoon with her fake husband, she starts to uncover truths both Adams brothers were hoping to keep hidden, for opposite reasons. One to protect himself, the other to protect her.

She married the wrong brother, but what if he’s been the right one all along?

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Mister Wrong carries with it the rightness of an emotion-filled story that’s written with both care and love. With a dicey subject involving a woman and her long-time connection with twin brothers, Williams’ managed to finesse a 20-year history into their current predicament. Their connections were felt without needing any flashbacks to tell us a thing; instead we were shown throughout the story how their relationships have ebbed and flowed, how they’ve gotten to where they are now.

I love stories that go into a territory that comes with conflicted feelings and Williams’ did it beautifully. I felt how each character was torn against what they wanted versus what was right. Over a short period of time, these characters became living, breathing beings that had the ability to pull at a reader’s every emotion. The romanticism of it was far too enjoyable. I wanted moremoremore of them. The forbidden pull was sexy and oddly so very right. I read this story quickly and easily, enjoying every moment of it, and I didn’t want it to end.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“So?” I crossed my arms and leaned into the banister behind me. “Did you? Like my brother?”
She sighed, turning toward the open door. “Jacob . . .”
“What? It’s a fair question.” I shoved off the banister, feeling hope and heat tangling in my veins from the look on her face, from the sound of her voice. She’d felt something for me, whether it be the most passing of crushes or something much deeper. Realizing that had me feeling drunk from something other than alcohol. “Besides, you’re stuck with me now. Won’t matter what you ’fess up to.”
Cora started through the doorway. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Grabbing the suitcases, I followed her. I wasn’t letting this go. Never. Not if she threatened death or castration or anything else. “Why not?”
She broke to a sudden stop a few feet inside the room. “Because I don’t want to focus on the past. I want to concentrate on the future. That’s not going to work if you keep asking me questions about Matt.”
There was a sharpness in her voice—one she didn’t use too often. She didn’t want to keep talking about me, which only made me want to continue talking about me. I’d struck a nerve, but I wasn’t sure how deep that nerve went.
I needed to know how deep it went. I had to know. My whole life, I’d been under the impression that Cora saw me as nothing more than a good friend and substitute brother. She cared for me, but not in the same way I cared for her.
Or did she?
“This thing with Matt . . .”
Her back stiffened.
“Was it a thing? Like ancient history? Or is it still a thing?” I closed the door and wondered why I could feel my heartbeat in my eardrums.
She kept her back to me, standing in the middle of the dark room like a lone ship on a vast ocean. “I married you.”
Yeah, she did marry me.
“But if he’d made a play for you, way back before all of this”—I waved my finger between the two of us, not that she could see it—“would you have given him a chance?”
“He never made a play for me.” Her voice sounded faraway, like she was out of reach when she was less than an arm’s length away.
“That doesn’t answer my question.” I stepped closer. “If he had? Would you have?”
Her back was moving faster from her quickened breathing. This conversation was making her uncomfortable. Why was that?
“Stop, Jacob. Enough.” She spun on me, swaying in place just enough that I reached out to steady her. She shook my hand away like it was white-hot. “I’m not going to get into another fight with you over Matt. I’m done. I picked you. I married you. What else do I have to prove?”
“That you don’t—”
“I don’t love Matt!” Her arms flung out at her sides as her voice spilled across the room. ‘There. I said it. Are you happy now? Are you happy we’ve managed to get into another argument over this infatuation you’re convinced I have for your brother? On our wedding night of all times?” She glared at me with bleary eyes. I couldn’t tell if that was from tears or from alcohol. Maybe both.
“Cora, I’m sorry.” I ran my hands through my hair, wondering what in the hell I was doing—for the millionth time that day. Deceiving her, betraying her, and now accusing and angering her. Maybe I didn’t know the first fucking thing about love. Maybe Jacob knew more about it than I did, because I wasn’t sure love was supposed to hurt as badly as this did.
“Just . . . enough already.” As she shouldered past me, I reached for her, but she shook me off. “I need to be alone.”
She slammed the front door behind her a moment later, leaving me alone with my idiocy.
“Cora,” I called to an empty room. I wasn’t thinking when I rushed toward the door after her. “Cora!”
The moment I pulled the door open, something crashed into me. It made a sharp breath rush out of my mouth as I staggered back a few steps.
My arms barely had time to wrap around her before Cora’s mouth was on mine, moving in such a way that made staying upright next to impossible. Before I had a chance to catch up to the fact that I was kissing Cora in an entirely different way than we’d kissed at the wedding and reception, her fingers were working at my belt. Quickly.
I didn’t know she’d already gotten it undone before she’d moved on to my zipper. The sounds she was making as she kissed me, the way her body felt aligned against mine, the way her mouth knew the intricate balance of submission and domination . . . one moment at a time, Cora was crushing the last remnants of my resolve. Destroying the final pieces of my views of right and wrong.

Mister Wrong Nicole Williams Teaser 5

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Nicole Williams is the New York Times and USATODAY bestselling author of contemporary and young adult romance, including the Crash and Lost & Found series. Her books have been published by HarperTeen and Simon & Schuster in both domestic and foreign markets, while she continues to self-publish additional titles. She is working on a new YA series with Crown Books (a division of Random House) as well. She loves romance, from the sweet to the steamy, and writes stories about characters in search of their happily even after. She grew up surrounded by books and plans on writing until the day she dies, even if it’s just for her own personal enjoyment. She still buys paperbacks because she’s all nostalgic like that, but her kindle never goes neglected for too long. When not writing, she spends her time with her husband and daughter, and whatever time’s left over she’s forced to fit too many hobbies into too little time.

Nicole is represented by Jane Dystel, of Dystel and Goderich Literary Agency.

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NEW RELEASE w/ GIVEAWAY & EXCERPT: Blackbird by Molly McAdams

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Redemption Book One

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♦BLURB♦

From New York Times bestselling author Molly McAdams comes a powerhouse romantic suspense that will have you questioning your morals and second guessing your view on love.

I live in a world few know exist. I’ve trained for this. I know what to say, what to do, and how to act. I’ve perfected the lethal calm required for this life.
Now it’s time to buy my first girl. But all it takes is one look at the brave girl who starts singing mid-auction for that calm to slip.
Briar Chapman is going to be the death of me, and I don’t care. I’ll take every day with her until that death comes, and I’ll welcome it when it does.

On the outside, Lucas Holt is what nightmares are made of. A man cloaked in darkness, with sin-filled eyes and an enticing grin. A devil so devastatingly beautiful and cruel that his very presence instills fear.
But beneath his terrifying, ever-calm exterior is an affectionate man haunted by a past that refuses to stay buried. And Lucas looks at me as though he’s finally found the only person who can make it all go away.
We’re a battle of the brightest day and the darkest night–and I want to lie in the wake of our war.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

My head shook absentmindedly as I tried to comprehend all that he had told me.

Knowing the man Lucas was behind the darkness, I couldn’t grasp why he had ever fought to get into this life at all.

“I’d been wondering what had happened in your life to make you into the devil I saw so often at the beginning,” I began, my voice soft . . . almost hesitant. “But now I wonder how you were able to remain you, instead of letting the devil completely consume you.”

“Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that that part of me isn’t there.”

“I couldn’t,” I said honestly and huffed a small laugh. “He’s always there . . . I see you fighting him all the time. Now, more than I have in a long time.”

He held my stare, and his dark eyes burned with something I couldn’t define. “You’re afraid of me.”

I wished in that moment for my room so I could have something to hide behind, at least for a minute, because I knew I couldn’t hide any of the emotions coursing through me, and I couldn’t lie to him. “Yes,” I whispered and hated that he seemed to not only expect my answer but accept it. Reaching out, I traced around the outer edge of his eye, thankful I wasn’t shaking. “I’m afraid of the eyes I’m looking into right now. I’ve been afraid of them for a long time. I’m afraid of what I know about you now, but I wonder if I haven’t always known. If you haven’t hinted at it before . . .”

“Briar—”

“But the things you see in your mind that force me to see these eyes? They’ve been there this whole time. They were there when I fell in love with you, and I knew when I fell that they would always be there.” I watched as he fought with whatever haunted him and lowered myself back onto the bed and curled against his side. “The darkest part of your soul can terrify me, but it won’t cause me to leave.”

He gripped my hand in his, and mumbled, “Sometimes I wish it would.” Before I could react or respond, he continued. “If you think I’m dangerous, maybe you understand what my life is like, and maybe you can grasp the danger in throwing out the rules for you. Eventually someone other than William will see what you mean to me. And with who we are and what we do, we all have so many enemies who’ve been waiting for a chance to get back at us—to hurt us.” He raised our joined hands to kiss my wrist and let his lips linger on the skin there. “We don’t have weaknesses, Briar, but you are mine. They’ve been waiting for you.”

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

MOLLY MCADAMS

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Come be my friend!

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♦GIVEAWAY♦

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NEW RELEASE: If You Were Mine by Melanie Harlow

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Theo MacLeod wasn’t supposed to be the one.

Tall, dark and handsome suits me just fine, but the cocky grin, know-it-all attitude, and mammoth ego? No thanks. I only hired him so I wouldn’t have to sit at the singles table again. It was just pretend.

He wasn’t supposed to kiss me.

My heart wasn’t supposed to pound.

We weren’t supposed to spend the night together—the hottest night of my life.

One night turns into a snowed-in weekend away, and even the blizzard of the century can’t cool the fire between us. I can’t get enough—of his smile, of his body, of the way he makes me feel.

We’re nothing alike. He’s a daredevil, and I’m a nervous Nellie. He’s a drifter, and I want to put down roots. He’s an opportunist with a checkered past, and I’m a Girl Scout volunteer.

But none of it matters when I’m in his arms.

I know he’s made mistakes. I know his wounds are deep, and he doesn’t trust easily. I know he doesn’t believe he could ever be enough to make me happy, but he could.

All he has to do is stay.

IF YOU WERE MINE TEASER 5

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.

Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

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COVER REVEAL: Stars Over Castle Hill by Samantha Young

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A Joss and Braden Novella; On Dublin Street #6.6

Release Date: March 30, 2017

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♦BLURB♦

Joss and Braden Carmichael are blissfully married living in their townhouse on Dublin Street with their two beautiful children. It’s a life Joss never expected to have, and one she’s grateful for every day.

But… what if she never met Braden and Ellie Carmichael on that fateful day when she was only twenty-two years old?

When Joss is asked to write a story about how her life might have turned out if a pivotal moment in it never happened, she thinks of the day she met both Braden and Ellie Carmichael. If she had never met them where might she have ended up? Joss believes no matter where life may have taken her it would have inevitably led her to Braden. But what if she was thirty instead of twenty-two when they met? How would she have felt about risking her heart then?

And even if she was older and wiser and ready to fall madly in love, what if too much had happened to Braden to make him the man that would risk his heart to save hers?

Will time be their enemy… or is it possible that two souls are meant for one another in any reality?

Stars Over Castle Hill is an alternate reality novella of a romance that captured the hearts of readers all over the world. Joss and Braden are back with a story that is just as emotional, passionate and sexy as their first!

♦SERIES♦

Joss and Braden’s novel is On Dublin Street, the rest are about different couples.

ODS Series Updated

On Dublin Street Series:

#1 – On Dublin Street → Kindle
#1.5 – Until Fountain Bridge (Novella) → Kindle
#2 – Down London Road → Kindle
#2.5 – Castle Hill (Novella) → Kindle
#3 – Before Jamaica Lane → Kindle
#4 – Fall From India Place → Kindle
#5 – Echoes of Scotland Street → Kindle
#5.5 – Valentine (Novella) → Kindle (FREE)
#6 – Moonlight on Nightingale Way → Kindle
#6.5 – One King’s Way (Novella) → Kindle

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

SamanthaYoung

Samantha Young is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author from Stirlingshire, Scotland. She’s been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and Best Romance 2012 for her international bestselling novel ON DUBLIN STREET and Best Romance 2014 for BEFORE JAMAICA LANE. ON DUBLIN STREET is Samantha’s first adult contemporary romance series and has sold in twenty-eight countries.

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NEW RELEASE: Something in the Way by Jessica Hawkins

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Something in the Way Book One

Not a standalone novel; Part of a 3-book saga

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♦BLURB♦

It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents’ house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn’t be broken…no matter how hard we tried.

I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights—I would wait. But I’d learn that life isn’t always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn’t matter. My older sister saw him next.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. To her, the most intriguing fiction is forbidden, and that’s what you’ll find in her stories. Currently, she resides wherever her head lands, which is often the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.

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PREORDER BLITZ: A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott

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Standalone; Contemporary Young Adult Romance

Releasing: March 3, 2017

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♦BLURB♦

They say everyone’s a superhero to someone. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to save, but I know who saved me.

We were kids. His name was Christopher. And up until the day he pulled me from death’s grip, he was nothing more than a boy I felt sorry for. In a blink of an eye, he became the only person who made me feel safe.

And then he disappeared.

Now I’m seventeen. I’m not a kid anymore. I haven’t been for years. While death didn’t take me that day, the things that happened left me with scars—the kind that robbed me of everything I once loved and drove me into darkness. But more than anything else, that day—and every day since—has taken away my desire to dream.

I wasn’t going to have hope. I wouldn’t let myself wish. Those things—they weren’t for girls like me. That’s what I believed…until the new boy.

He’s nothing like the old boy. He’s taller and older. His hair is longer, and his body is lean—strong and ready for anything. I don’t feel sorry for him. And sometimes, I hate him. He challenges me. From the moment I first saw him standing there on the baseball field, he pushed me—his eyes constantly questioning, doubting…daring. Still, something about him—it feels…familiar.

He says his name is Wes. But I can’t help but feel like he’s someone else. Someone from my past. Someone who’s come back to save me.

This time, though, he’s too late. Josselyn Winters, the girl he once knew, is gone. I am the threat; I am my worst enemy. And he can’t save me from myself.

 

Shot of young woman being carried by her boyfriend in grass field. Couple having fun on their summer holiday.

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, and Hold My Breath.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns.

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BLOG TOUR w/ EXCERPT: Lost in Between by K.L. Kreig

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Finding Me Book One

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♦BLURB♦

We all have one.

A price.

That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything.

Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it.

What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick.

What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit.

I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.

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♦EXCERPT♦

As long as Noah and I have known one another and as close as we are, he’s far from an open book. He holds some of life’s secrets so close to the vest, he’ll likely take them to his grave. So how he knows Ms. Randi Deveraux of La Dolce Vita is still a mystery he won’t divulge.

When he told me his plan and showed me the picture of the woman who’d play my love interest for the next several months, I was immediately drawn to the her, but it took me a few seconds to realize why.

It was her.

My spicy little Goldilocks.

The one I haven’t heard from.

The one I haven’t been able to get out of my fucking head for the past eight days.

The one my cock involuntarily gets hard for in the dark of night.

The glossy-colored print I stared at for long minutes was a complete contradiction to the fiery woman I’d met.

On paper her exterior was flawless. Not one sculpted eyebrow out of place. Striking blue eyes rimmed with the right amount of shadow, liner, and mascara that made them alluring but not slutty. Pouty lips painted a deep shade of maroon, lined impeccably so the stain didn’t seep, then glossed enough in the middle to draw your attention to their fullness. Hair curled into loose ribbons that fell over her shoulders and down her slim back.

But while the outside was practiced perfection, the inside screamed dead. Not damaged, not broken or bruised, but lifeless. This beautiful creature went through the motions. She moved through life without living. I don’t know how I saw it, or why, but I know it wasn’t a product of my overactive imagination. This woman’s pain was rooted deep but she put on an award-winning façade that told the outside world otherwise.

I saw the same thing when I stared into her fierce eyes under the cover of my sunglasses days ago, but I also saw something else. Smoking embers buried under piles of ash. God help me, but for some reason I want to be the man who stokes those smoldering cinders until they spark into a burning inferno, bringing her roaring back to life.

Standing before her now, I’ve no doubt I’m the igniter, the single match needed to wake her from the living dead.

“Summer, is it?” I close the door behind me and move to the couch, gesturing for her to sit.

She doesn’t. She just blinks rapidly like she’s seeing a ghost. That makes me smile for some reason.

I know the name she’s using is fake. I hate it. Not the name, per se, but the fact that I don’t know her real one. I told Ms. Deveraux my circumstances and my concern around using a fake name. The press will eventually find out and it’s best if we’re up front in the beginning rather than if they dig, thinking we’re hiding something. That would be disastrous. She agreed but told me the decision was up to Summer. If she agreed to my terms, I could plead my case. If not, then her anonymity was still protected.

“You don’t look like a Summer,” I say casually as I take a seat and cross my legs.

Although in a way she does. She’s hot and sultry and I’ve no doubt she’s nice and moist in the place I’m dying to drive my cock. Jesus, she is absolutely mouthwatering. And she has the sexiest fucking voice I have ever heard. It’s no wonder I can’t stop thinking about her.

She crosses her arms and cocks a hip in irritation. “Is that so? What do I look like then?”

Mine.

Why that disturbing word pops into my head, I haven’t a clue. She is yours temporarily, though. If she agrees.

“How is your neck by the way?”

That seems to catch her off guard because her cocky bravado falters. “Uh…fine. It’s fine.” She unconsciously reaches up to palm it. My fingers itch, wishing they were on her skin instead. I still remember the electricity that ran down my arm when I touched her before. It set my cock on fire and it hasn’t stopped burning since. “You’re lucky, you know. I could be wearing a neck brace right now and be lawyered up.”

“And you’d still be just as beautiful.” I ignore the lawyer comment. I know it’s just a dig. When she blushes and looks away, my grin gets wider and I allow myself a few seconds to absorb her, head to toe. I find myself zeroing in on that tiny diamond stud in her nose, now catching the light. I first noticed it when she pounded on the window of my Rover calling me names. I generally find them childish, yet on her, I find myself incredibly turned on by it.

“Why don’t you take a seat?” On my lap would be preferable.

Defiant eyes snap back to mine. “Hit and run anyone else lately?”

“Hit and run?” I chuckle. “I didn’t hit and run you. I took accountability.”

“Yeah. After I dumped car parts into your lap, it was pretty hard to deny it any longer.”

Hell. This woman is full of restrained passion. She just needs someone to help her unleash it in a very controlled manner.

“Why haven’t you called about your car? Change your mind on whose fault it was?” I’m goading her, but Hot. Damn. The sparks firing from her are overly addictive.

“Oh, it was your fault, all right,” she snaps. “And I’ve been…busy.”

“Yes, I can imagine you have a very full schedule.” I sound more sarcastic than I intend, but the thought of her with other men makes me feel exactly the way I felt when I thought of Noah with her.

Her lips thin. She’s madder than a hornet. I’m harder than a two by four.

“Why are you here, Drive By?”

Drive By? I laugh at her feisty spirit. God, I want to kiss her. Feel her tongue sparring eagerly with mine. See if she tastes of rage and raw energy.

“I was under the impression you were agreeable to meeting with me.”

When Noah set this up, I insisted on three things.

One: it take place in Ms. Deveraux’s private home with her alone. There’s no way in hell I will be caught on film coming and going from her “business.”

Two: I meet with Ms. Deveraux in advance and work through the contractual details to my satisfaction. Let’s just say I now feel comfortable we have a mutual interest in keeping this arrangement buried deep.

And three: I be allowed to personally meet with “Summer” before she signs the contract. Surprisingly, that was the toughest piece to negotiate. Seems Ms. Deveraux is very protective of her, or maybe she’s that way with all of her employees.

Everything I have done to secure her has deviated from Ms. Deveraux’s normal course of business, but this situation is far from normal. It’s reckless at worst. Precarious at best.

“How did you find me?”

Sheer, dumb luck.

“I’m very resourceful.”

Her forehead creases. “This is a mistake.”

She turns to leave and I panic. True blistering panic sears through me at the thought she’s about to walk through that door and I may never see her again. I don’t know her real name. I don’t know how to contact her and if this meeting goes south, I know I won’t get anything further about her from Randi Deveraux. If she walks out on me now, I highly doubt she’ll give me the time of day when she finally does call Dane about her car.

I don’t know why I care that I spend the next few months with her and only her so damn much. I just do.

“Wait,” I plead.

She stops but doesn’t turn. I have no idea what possesses me, but I close the distance between us until I’m a whisper away. Our body heat plays off each other, growing hotter by the second.

“You haven’t even listened to my proposal,” I say against her ear.

Her breath kicks up. Good. She’s not unaffected by me, and that will play into my hand nicely.

“You can get someone else,” she replies softly, without conviction.

Drawing her long hair off her shoulder, I let my finger feather across her bare flesh. It’s soft and silky. She shivers. I suppress a moan. Fuck, I want her so much. It makes no sense.

“I don’t want anyone else,” I tell her truthfully, keeping my voice low.

“Why?” she breathes.

I don’t know why. I have no idea what it is about her that draws me in. I wish I did. I need to stop it. I should end this right now—look at a dozen other pictures and pick a woman whose very presence doesn’t twist me into knots and make me have thoughts I’ve never had before. Thoughts that make me uncomfortable. It’s unnerving.

But, fuck me. I can’t. There is just something different about this woman and I won’t rest until I find out what it is.

“Have a seat. Just hear me out. Please,” I tack on sincerely.

She stands motionless and I wonder what her next move will be. My hands curl into fists as I restrain myself from throwing her over my shoulder and hauling her to my house. I think she could benefit greatly from a hard hand and a red ass. I have a feeling she might even enjoy it.

When she floats effortlessly to one of the velvet-covered chairs, I release a veiled breath. Picking up the contract from the edge of Ms. Deveraux’s desk, I make myself comfortable across from her and place the paperwork on the table separating us. Her eyes drop to it but she makes no move to pick it up.

“So what’s your proposal, Mr. Knowles?”

“Mr. Knowles?”

“That’s your name, right? Dane Knowles. Wildemer & Company?”

Amused, I rest my elbows on my knees and grin at her. “No. Dane is my assistant. I told you to call him and he’d take care of the damage to your death box.”

“Death box?” She sounds offended.

“Do you know what the safety rating is on that little tin can you drive?” When she opens her mouth to respond, I talk over her. “Five point seven out of ten. You’re basically driving around in your own steel coffin.”

I expect a hot retort or for her to leave in a huff. What I don’t expect is a genuine, breathtaking smile that lights up her face like summer and makes my cock knock uncomfortably on my zipper in a futile attempt to reach her. My God, she’s trying to kill me already.

“Are you a walking Kelly Blue Book of safety ratings, Mr.…?”

“I have a vast array of useless Trivial Pursuit knowledge up here,” I retort with a smirk, finger pointing to my temple. I’ll never admit that I looked it up after our little accident. She could be seriously hurt in that ridiculous miniature box on wheels that somehow passes for a fucking car. Hell, had I hit her any harder, she would be in the hospital. “And I’m Shaw. Shaw Mercer.”

“Shaw Mercer,” she repeats slowly like she’s tasting my name for the first time. Savoring every consonant and every vowel. Fuck. I sit back and cross one leg over the other to hide my rock-hard erection.

“Any relation to Preston Mercer?”

I nod, impressed that she tied me back to my father instead of referring to me as one of Seattle’s most eligible bachelors. She’s intelligent and up on politics. I like that. Immensely. If you ask three-fourths of the residents of Seattle, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many branches of government there are, something that’s taught in middle school, let alone who the mayor of Seattle is.

“So why is the mayor’s son…here?”

Her eyes are locked on mine, waiting on an answer.

When she swallows I follow the delicate line of her neck down to the swell of her breasts that peek out from the light pink strapless flowing dress she’s wearing like a fucking Greek goddess. One flick of my finger and I could find out the color of her areolas and the size of her nipples before I draw one into my mouth for a sample. My mouth waters at the thought.

The conversation that Ms. Deveraux and I had earlier about expectations sits hard in the pit of my stomach. On one hand, I was relieved to get confirmation she doesn’t sell herself, only her “time,” but now that I’m sitting here in front of her, I won’t rest until she lets me explore every square inch of not only her perfect body, but her complex mind. I want to know her like no one else has.

When our gazes connect again I’m sure mine is full of unmistakable heat. Hers definitely is.

She clears her throat and straightens her back. “I think you have the wrong idea about what it is I do.”

“I don’t,” I state plainly.

“I don’t sleep with my clients, Mr. Mercer.”

Oh, but you will. We both know our ingredients are explosive.

“Women would pay to have sex with me, not the other way around.”

She huffs a laugh as a wry look crosses her face. “Then what is it you need if not a good fuck?”

I chuckle and when I lean forward she straightens her spine. I love that even the simplest of movements I make in her direction affect her, just like she does to me. “Is that what I’ll be missing with you? A good fuck?” I won’t be missing a damn thing. She will be mine in every conceivable way. I know it and so does she.

“Not just good. Life altering,” she banters smoothly.

Now it’s my turn to smile slowly. What I wouldn’t give to throw her up against the wall and show her just what a life-altering fuck really is. For what seems like forever we stare at each other in some sort of weird silent challenge where we’re waiting to see what move the other will make.

Shaking myself out of her spell, I pick up the papers and hand them to her.

“What’s this?”

“Your employment contract.”

“All the paperwork is handled through Randi.”

“I want a little extra insurance.”

She quickly flips through the five-page document before lifting her eyes. “Nondisclosure agreement? This is sounding very fifty shades-ish. And just so you know, if I find any mention of hard limits or safe words, that’s a deal breaker.”

I can’t help but laugh loudly.

“I’m not kidding,” she says, her voice stern.

“Trust me, Goldilocks, if I could have gotten that past your warrior she-devil, I would have.”

Her eyes narrow, but I see a little twitch at the corner of her mouth so I forge ahead, making a mental note to invest in handcuffs and a flogger. Or six.

“The duration is for approximately the next four months. Ten hours a week, maybe more, maybe less, depending on my schedule. You may be required to travel and you will be available at all times when I need you, day or night. You will attend social events, fundraisers, business dinners, and family functions. You will be photographed and it’s only fair to warn you, you will likely be hounded by the press but I’ll try to shield you as much as possible.”

She regards me quietly. I wish I could tell what’s spinning around in that pretty little head of hers. A corner of my mouth tips when she says, “Reelection is just around the corner.”

Not a question and I don’t answer, but score another point for her.

For not the first time I wonder if this little plan of Noah’s will backfire, taking us all down in a curl of hot flames. She figured out what I was doing within two minutes. Lianna would be a far safer, more believable choice. But there’s also an undeniable, powerfully charged connection between us that will be hard for people to refute.

“And what is my role, specifically?”

Deciding I don’t care if this entire thing blows up in my face because that means I won’t get what I want—which is her—I stand and step around the table, holding out my hand.

When she tentatively sets hers in mine, I help her up and wrap one arm around her waist.

Pulling her close, I relish in the hitch of her breath. Cupping her cheek, I savor the baby-fine skin under the pad of my thumb. I take a deep breath, drinking in her delicately floral scent. She’s intoxicating and my head is already spinning.

“What are you doing?” she whispers, her small hands going to my chest.

Dipping my head, I trail my nose along her jaw, stopping so my lips brush her ear. “Making sure we have chemistry.”

She mutters a curse under her breath I know I’m not meant to hear before stuttering, “Wh…why?”

Fuck, if she only knew the dirty things running through my head right now.

“Because, my wide-eyed little pretty, you’re going to play my new love interest. My girlfriend. My serious girlfriend.” I emphasize the word so she understands what she’s getting herself into. I won’t pay her to be in my bed but that doesn’t mean she won’t end up there anyway.

“I…I haven’t agreed to anything yet.” Her breathlessness is testing me and she’s only about half an inch away from finding out exactly how much.

Walking into this meeting, I had already agreed to what I thought was a generous offer with her boss, madam, keeper, whatever she’s called. But after the last fifteen minutes, I’ve decided I will pay whatever it takes to have her. To own her. I think I would give away my own soul.

Framing her face with both hands now, I lean in until my mouth is a hairsbreadth from hers. Her eyes fall to my lips. I feel her wariness, but I also feel her hunger. She parts her lips and I watch with a deep ache in my groin as her tongue darts out to moisten them in anticipation of my kiss.

I restrain from slamming my mouth to hers, taking what I want. What she wants me to take, regardless of how she’s trying to refute me.

“But you will. Everyone has a price, Summer. What’s yours?”

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out, I’m a raving bitch. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).

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EXCERPT REVEAL w/ GIVEAWAY: The Coppersmith Farmhouse by Devney Perry

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Jamison Valley Book One

Release Date: March 9, 2017

PreOrder: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

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♦BLURB♦

One old farmhouse brought them together. It could also tear them apart.

Gigi has just uprooted her whole world to start a new life. The unexpected gift of a farmhouse in small-town Montana is just what she and her daughter need to escape big-city loneliness. The last thing she needs is attitude from the town’s sheriff, the most perfectly attractive and ruggedly handsome man she’s ever laid eyes on—and a complete jerk.

Jess knows all about women like Gigi. Beautiful. Sexy. Scheming. She’s stolen his sanctuary, the farmhouse that should have been his. But along with a face full of freckles, she’s got a sharp wit and a backbone of steel—something he doesn’t discover until after making a complete fool of himself. If he can earn back her trust and win her heart, he might just find the home he’s always needed.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“Coffee’s getting cold, Georgia.” He leaned on the counter with his forearms.

Forearms that were tanned and sinuous. Forearms that I really wanted to touch, with veins I really wanted to trace as they snaked their way across the muscle.

Forearms I should not be thinking about.

I needed to focus. My mission? Get Jess away from my ER counter.

“Did you poison it, Sheriff?” I asked, grabbing my cup.

He chuckled but didn’t answer.

The sheriff probably wouldn’t poison me and more caffeine was a necessity, so I took a healthy pull.

Bliss.

“Thank you,” I muttered.

I had no desire to feel indebted to Jess but also didn’t want to be rude. I wasn’t a rude person, normally. Something about him brought it out in me.

“So why the coffee, Sheriff? And how did you know what I liked?” My curiosity was piqued.

He smirked and took a drink from his own cup. What he didn’t do was answer me.

“You do realize a smirk is not an answer.”

Still no response.

“Seriously, what’s going on?”

He sighed. For once, his beautiful eyes weren’t glaring at me. They were kind and gentle. He could melt me with those eyes.

Damn.

“I made some wrong assumptions about your relationship with Ben. Been an asshole this week. Sorry.”

Yep. Hell had frozen over. Why wasn’t it on the news?

In less than twenty-four hours, Jess had changed personalities. He’d been utterly mean to me last night, and now here he was being nice, buying me coffee and making apologies.

I appreciated his admission but I wasn’t going to let down my guard. One apology wasn’t enough to erase the way he’d treated me. To make me think he was as wonderful as everyone professed him to be.

“Would you mind expanding a bit on these assumptions? I’m interested to know what type of relationship you thought I had with an eighty-one-year-old man.”

His answer was a wide smile filled with perfect, straight white teeth.

Eff.

During our previous and rather unpleasant encounters, I hadn’t seen Jess smile. So far, I’d only gotten scowls, glares and smirks.

But damn if his smile wasn’t perfect.

Shivers erupted across my skin. My cheeks flushed and there was a throbbing sensation between my thighs. My core temperature skyrocketed a couple hundred degrees.

I was hot for the town sheriff. I was hot for a man who I absolutely did not like one bit.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.

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