NEW RELEASE & REVIEW w/ GIVEAWAY: Too Beautiful to Break by Tessa Bailey

Romancing the Clarksons Book Four; Interconnected Standalone

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♦BLURB♦

A love of a lifetime . . .

Leaving Belmont Clarkson is the hardest thing Sage Alexander has ever done. From the moment they met, she knew Belmont was the one, and getting up close and personal with him on his family’s epic road trip has taken her desire to a new, even hotter level. But there’s no way she can go there—not without revealing secrets that could devastate them both.

Losing Sage is not an option. Belmont’s heart is hers, has always been hers. He knows she’s hiding something from him, but nothing will stand in his way of telling her just how much she means to him. Finding her is easy—saving her from her past could cost him everything.

 

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

In a series where it had been building up to this fourth book and its characters since book one, and where the entire premise of the series as a whole was to conclude in it, it meant that there was a lot of ground to cover in Too Beautiful to Break. The ‘torture’ of waiting until the end was worth it in every sense of the word. And while the story can stand on its own, I would highly recommend starting from the beginning because each Clarkson family member is so complex, their family as a whole so functionally dysfunctional, that it would be a shame to miss their growth to this point as siblings as well as in learning the beauty of who Belmont was from the start of the road trip to now.

Belmont and Sage were pivotal characters from the get-go; two people so in-tune with each other that the rest was just noise. He was an enigma of a man, someone so affected by a defining moment in his past that his reliance on sheltering himself from anything and anyone was crucial to his mental stability. Bailey captured the essence of him from the very beginning, growing the perplexity of him as the stories went on with apparent ease. Belmont’s connection with Sage had been visceral and larger than the box of a descriptive word from the start, but it was so much more powerful here–the kind that carried butterflies from page one until the final page was reluctantly turned. But the wonderful nature of their relationship wasn’t on the ‘crutch’ they formed with one another, but in how that closeness helped the two of them find the strength they needed to overcome their individual hurdles on their own.

With many moments of truly gripping emotions as well as the original Bailey Hotness we love, Too Beautiful to Break was a fantastically written love story and conclusion to a series that has been very dear to my heart. The most powerful thing to take away was that the support of a person, your person, can be life-changing in helping to allow yourself to be in a place of vulnerability in order to overcome any powerful issues you’re facing, and Sage was the embodiment of that for Belmont–his safe place to fall and to get back up. They were enchanting together, but still shone when apart and had the kind of soul-deep love we all search for in our books and in real life. Then to see their reason for road-tripping finally play out? Breathtaking. Powerful. And I can’t help feeling bereft at letting them go, but I find solace in knowing there are always re-reads. It was the best way to end a series and to somehow find a new way to showcase unique characters and an all-consuming love.

 

♦SERIES♦


My Review

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My Review

My Review

♦EXCERPT♦

“You don’t have to leave right away,” Sage said when Belmont turned, watching her from beneath his eyebrows. “Can you wait here while I take a quick shower?”

Maybe that hadn’t been the right thing to say. His big back heaved and the touch of his tongue in her mouth came crashing in like a behemoth wave. They had crossed an unspoken boundary on the train platform. There was no going back to before, to when they stopped at rough, crushing embraces. As if that hadn’t been…more than sexual somehow.

“Yes, I’ll wait,” he said, his voice sounding like serrated metal. “I can light the fire for you.”

I’ll say. God, why did everything sound like an innuendo now? If her body weren’t flush and sweating beneath the jumpsuit, she would have laughed about it. But there was nothing funny about having Belmont looming mere yards away, looking like one word of encouragement would snap his chain and send him barreling toward her. “That would be perfect. I’ll just be…a few minutes.”

Sage all but dove into the itty-bitty bathroom, pressing her back up against the door and willing her racing heart to calm down. Why had she asked him to stay? Her resolve would weaken with every passing second. Biting down on her lower lip, she began the excruciating task of lowering the zipper of her jumpsuit, which kicked up a protest in her triceps and shoulder muscles. When she finally got it down, she gripped the hem of her T-shirt and attempted to lift it over her head.

Her arms wouldn’t cooperate. They flat out wouldn’t rise any higher than her ribs, leaving the T-shirt suspended in midair. Her muscles burned like someone had doused them in lighter fluid and held them above a flame. Sage’s agony must have escaped in the form of a whimper, because Belmont’s boots scraped just outside the door. And her stomach hollowed with awareness, lightning racing all over her skin.

“Sage.” His voice was deep, urgent. “Do you need help?”

No. Say no. She’d only gotten finished reminding him she didn’t need him. But in this case, it would be a lie and she’d done so much of that lately. With Belmont. The most truthful person she knew. “I can’t get my shirt off.” Her nose started to ache, the tip probably turning red. “My arms hurt.”

His growl was short and broken. A beat passed before the door opened and she felt Belmont filling the doorway behind her. She flicked a glance up to the ancient mirror and confirmed what she’d seen in her mind’s eyes. Belmont towering over her like an avenging angel, outlined by candlelight. He’d taken off his coat, leaving him in a black long-sleeved shirt, which he’d rolled up to the elbows. Every inch of visible skin was shot through with strained cords of muscle, as if his frustration were written on him like a road map.

Sage still had the shirt halfway lifted, so her lower back was visible. Not a big deal to most people. But Belmont had never seen anything below her neck. Or above her knees. With the jumpsuit peeled halfway down, the band of her underwear might even be peeking out.

Breathing grew difficult as Belmont took one step closer and took hold of the T-shirt, his knuckles grazing the small of her back. “You’re wearing”—his breath ghosted down her neck—“my shirt.”

Sage only realized she’d closed her eyes when they popped open. Oh God. In the shock of Belmont arriving, she’d forgotten. “I am?” Her mouth was parched. “L-look at that.”

“I am looking.” She jumped when Belmont reached over her shoulder with his left hand and turned on the shower, the sound of spray filling the room. Then the roughness of his knuckles returned, sliding up her spine along with the shirt. “I like knowing there was a layer of me standing between you and the earth.”

Her legs took on the consistency of Jell-O. His touch was a drug, making her languid, although it was different than the way he usually touched her. There was sex this time. So much of it. And it was that major difference that allowed Sage to accept the skimming of his fingers. Accept the part of herself that lusted. They were in a dark room and time had surely suspended anywhere outside this little plot of square footage. Words ached to leave her mouth, words that wouldn’t be suitable in the sunlight. This man, so warm and brave and large at her back, knew things about her no one else did. What was one more secret? “I stole it out of your suitcase. I broke a commandment and everything.”

“Why?” He breathed into her hair, sinking heat like an anchor in her belly. The shirt came off, her arms dropped to her sides, and she was left in nothing but a bra from the waist up. Inches from Belmont. “Why, sweetest girl?”

A light steam had begun curling in the air like beckoning fingers. Maybe this is a dream. It felt like one of the fevered fantasies she woke from on occasion, sweat slicking her breasts and neck. “Because I like the way you smell and it hadn’t been washed.”

His exhale was gravelly. “Sage.

“Yes.”

She thought he might not respond, but finally he asked a question that made her nipples turn to hard points. “Can you manage”—a long, windy inhale—“the bra?”

Sage tried. She really, truly did. Her arms felt as though they might break off and hit the floor, but she reached back until her muscles locked up, refusing to move farther. But Belmont was already there, pushing them back down, holding them at her hips.

Jesus. Please, stop. I can’t watch it.” His touch disappeared only for a second and then the cotton material of the bra tightened over her breasts. She could feel him working the back clasp with fingers she knew so well. They’d tunneled through her hair so many times, twisted in her clothing, but had never, ever, touched her with any kind of…intent. Intent to seduce. And that’s what he was doing, intentional or not. The inhibitions she’d held close forever, circled the drain, along with the shower water. “Your back is so beautiful.” A ghost of a fingertip traced down her spine. “But I need to leave before I—”

“What?”

“Before I turn you around.” They weren’t touching, but she could sense the shudder that ran through him. “Or look in that mirror.”

Right or wrong, the mine, their codependency aside, Sage knew if she let him leave just then, she would regret it for all time. Her body had been woken up. By one man. He’d kept her on the razor’s edge for thousands of miles, surrounding her with his power and taking it away. Over and over. And this fever wrapping around them in the tiny bathroom was completely different from easing his anxiety. Finally, she felt like a woman standing in front of him, instead of a calming device. This was mutual and alive and she couldn’t stand it to end. Tomorrow might be a different story, but this moment was the culmination of a thousand dreams and she could no more deny herself than she could forget his face.

“Belmont, do you think of the kiss?”

I never stop,” he groaned into her hair. “Never.”

She took a deep breath for courage. “Will you shower with me?”

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

tessa bailey bio

Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

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♦GIVEAWAY♦

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: The Beautiful Now by M. Leighton

Purchase: Kindle | Release Day Pricing & Free in KU

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From New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author M. Leighton comes an epic tale of a love so deep it defies all the odds, breaks all the rules, and promises never to die.

Dane James worked my stepfather’s fields. He was the boy next door.

Strong.
Hardworking.
Forbidden.

From the moment we met, we were star-crossed lovers–always wanting, never having. We loved each other for most of our lives, but right from the beginning destiny had other plans. She knew we would fall in love. She knew we would fall apart. Over and over again, like the curse of a recurring nightmare. Or the hope of a familiar dream.

Our past was tumultuous. Our future was bleak. But the one thing we always had was the beautiful now.

Until that was taken from us, too.

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

The Beautiful Now was an emotionally gripping tale of second-chance romance of a childhood love ripped apart some years ago. A forbidden romance to begin with, the love that Brinkley and Dane weren’t to have, but the kind of love that truly only comes once in a lifetime. Told between the past and present, with those flashbacks interwoven so perfectly, Leighton penned a complete story–one that spanned over a decade, but gave us everything we needed to feel everything.

I love a good forbidden romance, a teenage one of different social statuses, and how beautifully bittersweet they can feel. Leighton did a wonderful job of creating a relationship between the two and building a monumental kind of love in flashbacks–a feat that isn’t always easy to do. But it isn’t an easy story. The length of time they were apart built up on them, layers of distrust and guilt and regret. The tension, emotional and sexual, was always a shadow following them around, building as the story went on, and a big reason why the pages kept turning.

One thing, among many, that The Beautiful Now does well is provide all of the ingredients that will make a reader feel everything. It was powerful and emotional and sad. A love story of family, true love, and how time and distance can’t erase anything that deep. It felt a little slow in the very beginning when it was finding its footing, but after there it took off and wrapped me into it with open arms. Those who enjoy stories that involve and pull us into them will fall in love with this one.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, M. Leighton lives in the deep South with her super-hero husband and super-smart maltipoo. She has a fondness for coffee and chocolate, loves the color red, laughs at almost anything and often stares out her window, daydreaming of far-away places.

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EXCERPT REVEAL w/ GIVEAWAY: Show Me the Way by A.L. Jackson

Fight For Me Book One; Standalone

Release Date: October 2, 2017

PreOrder: Notification for Live Release on Amazon | Signed Paperback

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♦BLURB♦

The first sexy, captivating, stand-alone novel in the brand-new FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .
Rex Gunner. As bitter as he is beautiful.
The owner of the largest construction company in Gingham Lakes has been burned one too many times. His wife leaving him to raise their daughter was the last blow this single dad could take. The only woman he’ll let into his heart is his little girl.
Rynna Dayne. As vulnerable as she is tempting.
She ran from Gingham Lakes when she was seventeen. She swore to herself she would never return. Then her grandmother passed away and left her the deed to the diner that she once loved.
When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he’s in trouble.
She’s gorgeous and sweet and everything he can’t trust.
Until she becomes the one thing he can’t resist.
One kiss sends them tumbling toward ecstasy.
But in a town this size, pasts are bound to collide. Caught in a web of lies, betrayal, and disloyalty, Rex must make a choice.
Will he hide behind his walls or will he take the chance . . .

♦EXCERPT♦

© 2017 A.L. Jackson Books

Tension roiled between us. That tether pulled taut. Drawing us closer. I swallowed around it and reached for the latch. He was quick to open his door, jumping out and rounding to my side before I had time to step out of his massive truck. He helped me down, and his hand scorched where he aided me by holding on to my elbow.

“Let me walk you to the door. Last thing I need to be worried about is you here by yourself and some asshole taking advantage of you.”

He quirked this belly-flopping grin that pierced me like an arrow. “Unless of course that asshole is me.”

He barely angled his head to the side. There was something so endearing and self-deprecating about it. Everything about him right then was at odds with the surly, bear of a man I’d met weeks ago, the man exposing himself, layer by layer.

I lifted my chin, both in strength and vulnerability, tossing all the uncertainties and questions out into the open. “Should I be afraid?”

“Yeah, you should be.” His response was hard, but there was no missing the fact his irritation was aimed at himself. He set his palm on the small of my back, helping me through the gravel drive in my heels, an inch behind as we ascended the porch steps.

We crossed the planks. That tension wound higher with each step until we were nothing but needy pants at my door. Slowly, I turned around to face him.

His presence sent a ripple of energy vibrating across the floorboards, the overwhelming sight of him the owner of my breath.

He stood beneath the faint glow of the hurricane lamp that hung outside the door. A sculpture of sinewy muscle and raw strength, forged through years of obvious physical labor. Every inch of him was rugged, from those roughened, callused hands to the crinkles set deep at the edges of his eyes.

The man was a carving of pure, daunting beauty.

“What exactly am I supposed to be afraid of, Rex?” My brow twisted, and my voice quieted with the admission. “Because when I’m around you, the last thing I feel is afraid.”

“I fuck everything up, Rynna, and the only thing I’ve got to offer you is my mess. I can’t do this.”

Restraint rumbled in his chest, the sound so deep I felt it shake the ground beneath my feet.

I gently cupped one side of his rugged face. “I’m not afraid.”

It was a promise.

An appeal.

“You should be,” he grated. “Warned you, my shit doesn’t ever end well.”

“Maybe that’s a chance I’m willing to take.”

He groaned and he planted his hands high above my head. The man panted above me, torn, desperate, his nose just brushing mine. “God damn it, Rynna. God damn it.”

I felt the moment he broke. When the thread pulled too tight and this mesmerizing man snapped. His mouth descended on mine.

Overpowering.

Overwhelming.

Dizzying.

Lips and tongue and nips of teeth.

And those hands. They were on my face. My neck. My waist. Somehow, I managed to hold on to him and spin away as I fumbled with the lock. He pressed against my backside, his cock against my bottom, and his mouth leaving a trail of fire at the side of my neck. We stumbled into the darkness of my house, breaking apart as I turned to face him.

The only light trickled down from the lamp I’d left on upstairs.

Slowly, he clicked the door shut behind him. We stood there, two feet away from each other, staring.

Chests heaving.

Before we collided.

A tangle of tongues and bodies.

The man frantic, trying to touch me everywhere.

“What am I doing? Fuck, what am I doing?” he muttered incoherently, kissing me deeper. Madder. Wilder.

I pushed up on my toes and tore my mouth from his so I could kiss down the strong column of his throat. His head thudded back against the door, his entire body pressing against it as if he needed it to keep him standing.

He grated my name, and I kept kissing at his throat while I worked free the button on his jeans, hands shaking.

Every reservation spun out of control.

Out of reach.

It was only spurred further when the defined muscles of his abdomen jumped and twitched beneath my touch, when he mumbled, “You’re killing me, Rynna. Fucking killing me.”

Desire rippled from him in heady waves.

And I felt so brave and bold, my kisses brazen as I nipped at the hollow of his throat.

Before I could consider it—the ramifications and the repercussions and the distinct threat to my heart—I dropped to my knees.

I refused to think of anything but setting him free.

Hoping he’d find a little of that freedom in me.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. She writes emotional, sexy, heart-filled stories about boys who usually like to be a little bit bad.

Her bestselling series include THE REGRET SERIES, CLOSER TO YOU, as well as the newest BLEEDING STARS novels. Watch for the next installment STAND, coming Spring 2017.

If she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the pool with her family, sipping cocktails with her friends, or of course with her nose buried in a book.

Be sure not to miss new releases and sales from A.L. Jackson – Sign up to receive her newsletter http://smarturl.it/NewsFromALJackson or text “aljackson” to 24587 to receive short but sweet updates on all the important news.

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♦GIVEAWAY♦

Enter to win the Bleeding Stars series in paperback!

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa

Love on Cue Book One

Purchase: Kindle | Mass Market

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♦BLURB♦

After a very public breakup with a media-hungry politician, fitness trainer Tori Alvarez escapes to Aruba for rest, relaxation, and copious amounts of sex on the beach—the cocktail, that is. She vows to keep her vacation a man-free zone but when a cute guy is seated next to her on the plane, Tori can’t resist a little harmless flirting.

Hollywood heartthrob Carter Stone underwent a dramatic physical transformation for his latest role and it’s clear his stunning seat mate doesn’t recognize the man beneath the shaggy beard and extra lean frame. Now Carter needs help rebuilding his buff physique and Tori is perfect for the job. It doesn’t hurt that she makes his pulse pound in more ways than one.

Sparks are flying, until a pesky paparazzo reveals Carter’s identity. Tori is hurt and pissed. She wants nothing to do with another man in the limelight, but she’s still got to whip him into shape. Can Carter convince Tori he’s worth the threat to her privacy that comes with dating a famous actor, or will Tori chisel him down to nothing before he even gets the chance?

Grab the popcorn…

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

With gloriously sarcastic and down-to-earth characters, Acting on Impulse felt fresh and fun from the first page. Carter and Tori were evocative and inviting, both so witty that you couldn’t help but smile and feel a thrill by just being in their heads. Having a self-aware hero, a guy who was well aware of his bright spots and flaws and who wasn’t afraid to make light of that, made for a truly wonderful story. And it really created a great dynamic with the heroine, ratcheting up their chemistry and sexual tension.

Sosa penned a well-plotted romance with visible character arcs and progression that carried the story easily. The heat and effortless hilarity was an added bonus to an already great story. I find it hard to believe that this was my first book of hers, and will remedy that quickly; I know you will, too, the moment you start this story. Acting on Impulse was a wonderfully fun and sexy romance with great banter and even greater characters.

 

♦SERIES♦

Love on Cue Book Two; Standalone

Release Date: February 20, 2018

PreOrder: Kindle

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Mia Sosa is an award-winning contemporary romance writer and 2015 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® Finalist. Her books have received praise and recognition from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Library Journal, The Washington Post, Book Riot, Bustle, and more.

A former First Amendment and media lawyer, Mia practiced for more than a decade before trading her suits for loungewear (okay, okay, they’re sweatpants). Now she strives to write fun and flirty stories about imperfect characters finding their perfect match.

Mia lives in Maryland with her husband, their two daughters, and an adorable puppy that finally sleeps through the night.

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