BLOG TOUR w/ REVIEW & EXCERPT: Villain by Samantha Young

a Hero Companion Novella; Standalone

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Preorder: Kindle US | Kindle UK | Kobo US | Kobo UK (More links to come)

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The sexy and emotional companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.

Nadia Ray is not just a broadcast meteorologist. She’s Boston’s morning television It Girl. Successful and independent, she’s put a past she’s ashamed of behind her and is forging a future she can be proud of. However, when her new boss discovers her secret he blackmails her, intent on using Nadia’s popularity to make them the number one morning show in Massachusetts. He wants her to be part of uncovering the city’s biggest scandal – a secret billionaire Caine Carraway is hiding.

Soon Nadia is thrown into the path of Caine’s best friend: sexy, wealthy bachelor Henry Lexington. But she doesn’t encounter the dashing high society gentleman Henry is purported to be. Instead she’s faced with an insulting and defensive villain who misjudges her at every turn.

When Henry finally realizes the truth, and decides to make amends, Nadia wants nothing to do with him. But she underestimates his determination and charm and soon they find themselves embroiled in an intense, passionate affair.

An affair Nadia knows must come to an end before their feelings grow any deeper and he discovers her secrets.

After all, Henry Lexington isn’t the only one who played the part of a villain once…



Villain was easily devour-able and erotic, an enjoyable read from start to finish. Nadia’s story was surprisingly current to the climate of the country, and Young easily captured her warring with resistance and willingness to be complicit to everything pushing in on her. The contemptuous attraction between her and Henry was bold and irresistible, and became a nice complement to the story and her growth as a character. His charm and caring heart were representative of the supporting character she needed to come into her own.

More than just a love story, Villain highlighted the everyday struggles of a woman in a man’s world, and how easily it can stifle you. Nadia may appear to have villain-like qualities, but every villain is redeemable. And though it’s been awhile since Hero was released, there was no sense of being lost or needing to reread in order to understand. Young told Nadia’s side of the story as a separate entity, one that simply added an another layer to the original story we’ve all read and loved. And in it, she lifted up a brave and ballsy woman to her expected place in society as a heroine. Sexy, raw, and sweetly romantic, this is a companion story not to be missed.



Shaking off the memory of yesterday, I grabbed my purse and opened the door to my apartment with every intention of jumping in a cab to the address Joe had given me.

However, a man blocked my way.

He stood in my doorway, his fist raised as if to knock.

Shocked, I stared up at his familiar face.

Why the hell was Henry Lexington standing in my doorway?

His vibrant blue eyes met mine and for a moment, neither of us said a word. Silence stretched thinly between us, and I suddenly realized I was holding my breath.

Lexington quite abruptly broke the silence. “Miss Ray?”

“Yes, what—”

“We need to talk.” He pushed past me and walked into my apartment without an invitation.

For a moment, I stood there with my mouth open, asking myself if that had just happened. Were people really that rude?

I stared after him, watching him disappear out of my hall and into my sitting room.

All my papers on Carraway were in there!

“Hey!” I called, shutting the door and hurrying after him. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Lexington stood in the middle of my small sitting room, his back, thankfully, to my desk. His expression was sullen, cool, and calculating. This was not the charming, hedonistic millionaire I’d read about. “I could ask you the same thing, Miss Ray.”

“Excuse me?” Cold sweat prickled under my arms. Did he know? How did he know? If he didn’t know, why the hell else would he be here? Why was he here and not Carraway?

I waited anxiously for Lexington to stop boring through my face with his hard eyes. “I assume you know who I am.”

“You’re Henry Lexington.”

“And you, Miss Ray,” he turned and strode over to my desk, fingering my papers, “are going to let a certain story die.”

My belly flipped unpleasantly.

Goddammit. “What?” I said.

Lexington raised an unimpressed eyebrow. “Imelda Worthington.”


“That blank expression isn’t fooling anyone, Miss Ray. I know she said a few unfortunate things to Richard Peters, your boss, and I know you’ve been calling her ever since.”

Despite my guilt, despite knowing I was in the wrong here, this privileged asshole had burst into my apartment to intimidate me. Like hell! “You do, do you?”

His eyes narrowed. “Imelda informed me of what’s been going on and asked me to kindly give you a message.” He prowled toward me and I suddenly felt real fear. I didn’t know this man and he was here to shut me up. How far would he go? I steeled myself, not wanting him to see my fear. If my expression gave me away, however, I didn’t know; all I did know was that Henry Lexington stopped a good foot from me. It still wasn’t enough. He stood at over six feet, his broad shoulders fitted into a perfectly tailored three-piece suit. He had big, masculine hands, one hidden in his pocket, the other resting on his flat stomach over a suit button. Henry Lexington had a swimmer’s build—sleek but powerful—and I could only guess at the strength beneath his suit. I struggled not to feel overwhelmed by his large, magnetic presence, as much as I struggled not to feel fear.

“You’ll leave her alone,” he demanded.

Guessing there was no point in being coy considering he’d seen my desk, I asked, “Why are you here instead of Carraway?”

Lexington flashed me a wolfish grin that didn’t reach his eyes. “Because I’m the nice one. Caine scares Imelda. He scares most people. Not you, though.” He took another step toward me, seeming to be cataloging every little nuance of my face. “And if you’re not careful, that lack of fear could ruin you, Miss Ray.”



Hero Book One

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Samantha Young is the New York Times,  USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows.  Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017.

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for HeroOn Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

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REVIEW: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The Daevabad Trilogy Book One; Young Adult

Purchase: Kindle | Hardcover | Audio

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Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and Uprooted, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts.

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trades she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to question all she believes. For the warrior tells her an extraordinary tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling birds of prey are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass—a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In Daevabad, within gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say to be careful what you wish for . . .



Rich and intricately plotted, The City of Brass was a fantastical journey into the world of djinn and magic. Filled with political intrigue and mounting tensions, the story followed Nahri in her quest to find her people upon learning she’s the last of her kind. With the help of a revered warrior, they travel across many lands to reach Daevabad, escaping death on the way, only to find out too late that this city of brass is far from safe for a girl of her kind.

Told in multiple perspectives, allowing a rare insight into both sides of the story, Chakraborty accomplished a slow, steady escalation of the story to its climax. Both lead and supporting characters were starkly vivid and necessary to the drive of the plot, each with difference purposes and endpoints. As the first in a trilogy, it was a densely-packed tale and won’t be a quick read, but it managed to have me craving the next page even during slower moments. Nahri’s journey throughout the story was tumultuous at best, but true to a young woman’s stubbornness and independence when thrown into this situation. Her struggle for identity forced her to split herself into two halves; one that couldn’t release her old self and one that tried desperately to fit in to an ill-fitting version of what was expected of her, and it was all too easy to see the two sides clash as the story developed. Though the romance is small and uncertain, I expect there to be more to come as I don’t believe this is a core focus at this point, but it leaves me very curious for where the author plans to take it. Even as full of a story as this was, there are still many questions to answer and plenty more story to tell.

The City of Brass had a distinct direction that will leave the reader craving more. Chakraborty easily kept the objective of each character’s path up in the air and there was an anxiousness felt upon turning the last page. A strong female lead, playing a political game and coming into her power, felt refreshing and altogether captivating. The only unfortunate thing is the expected wait for more of the story, but I’ll gladly accept it when I’m this curious to see where it’ll go.



Originally (and proudly!) from New Jersey, S. A. currently resides in Queens with her husband and daughter. When not buried in books about Mughal portraiture and Omani history, she enjoys hiking, knitting, and recreating unnecessarily complicated, medieval meals for her family. You can find her online most frequently at Twitter where she likes to ramble about history, politics, and Islamic art.

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TEASER & GIVEAWAY: Enchant by Micalea Smeltzer

The Enchanted Book One; Young Adult

Purchase: Kindle (0.99) | Paperback | B&N

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Mara Pryce never imagined that her life was anything but normal and then a strange gray-eyed young man appears at her graduation. When he vanishes without a trace, she’s convinced he’s a figment of her imagination. Then he appears again and shatters her whole world.

Mara is an enchanter, part of an ancient line of Wiccan power, and a war is raging—one of good and evil—between the Enchanted and the Iniquitous.

The Iniquitous want her dead and it’s Theodore’s job as her protector to keep her safe.

When Mara and Theodore arrive at a safe house, where Mara will remain hidden while learning about her powers, they find that the real threat might be a little closer to home than they want to believe.





Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling twenty-something author. She started scribbling stories before she even knew her alphabet. She currently resides in Virginia with her doggie side-kick Ollie.

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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Exposure by Sylvie Parizeau

Incandescent Series Book Three; Standalone

Release Date: November 22, 2017

Preorder: Kindle | Paperback | B&N | Kobo

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PHILIPPE-OLIVIER TISSEROT’s caffeine addiction is about to land him in uncharted territory and one hell of a ride. One that’s about to go viral.

Current status: Computer whiz to hacker to penpal.

Upgrade status: Lover.

Well, I’m still working on the lover part.

I’m just a computer geek studying at MIT. And now I’m in two places at once – the geek and the lover battling it out to get the girl.

The only problem is, my dream girl doesn’t know she knows me in either one of them.

Now I have to win her in both.

Please wait. Upgrade in progress.




Leo keeps pace with me as I round the house at a fast clip, headed for the woodshed and the parked Volvo fleet. He spreads his arms wide, breathing in the decisive nip in the late-morning air. I can see his breath fan out in front of me. “It’s Sunday.”

“That’s a total non sequitur, man.” I give him a look that says poor sod, the gates are down and the lights are flashing but the train isn’t coming. “What’s that got to do with coffee and hurrying the hell up?”

I roll my eyes behind his back before turning to Yann slouched against Leo’s car. “Zac and Magali left already?” I ask him accusingly, hands on my hips. Zac’s Jeep is nowhere to be seen.

Great. Should have sent Yann to corral down Leo. I’d probably be sitting at the café by now.

“They went ahead to get us a table for five,” Yann says distractedly, typing an entry into his phone’s agenda in all likelihood. He tosses it back into his messenger bag and tucks the strap over his chest before bending his tall frame, buckling up in the front passenger seat.

“Awesome,” I grit through my teeth. Not only is Yann riding shotgun, but now I won’t even have a say in choosing tables, and odds are I won’t have a good enough, unobtrusive angle to spy on Aurèle.

The corner of Leo’s mouth twitches as if a smile is trying to form, but he’s doing his best to suppress it. “Like I said, it’s Sunday.” He fucking starts singing, Don’t worry, be happy.

If looks could kill, Leo would be dead by now.

“Let’s get this show on the road,” I mutter sullenly. Opening the rear passenger door, I shove aside three bags of soil and an impressive number of brand-new seed trays—thank God for small favors or I would have been left holding Leo’s sprouts— buckle in, and slam it shut.

“Chill, man,” Leo says, giving me an amused look in the rearview mirror as he cranks the engine. “I’ll make it quick and painless. Caffeine injection coming in ten.”

“Make it five. You’re not the one who’ll be sitting next to him on the longest forty-nine minutes flight from Tremblant to Boston in recent history,” Yann says with a smirk in his voice. “I’d like to keep all of my fingers if you don’t mind.”

“Hilarious,” I grumble. I may or may not have snapped shut the lid of his laptop over his hands to reach a cup offered to him by a stewardess on a long-ago flight from Zurich. In my defense, I’d been deprived of my elixir of choice for thirteen hours straight at the time, due to unforeseen delays and missed connections and nary a coffee shop opened in the dead of night. Very uncivilized. Them. Not me.

I check my phone, but still no Harry. Bloody hell.

I’m out the door before Leo even cuts the engine and take C’est la Vie’s stairs two at a time. My glance flits around the terrace, but I can’t readily spot any strawberry-blonde heads. Then again, everyone’s bundled up in heavy coats, wearing woolen hats and gloves. And everyone’s sitting outside, enjoying cups, nevertheless. I shake my head. Only in Les Laurentides would anyone take a sunny day as balmy weather.

I spin in a slow circle searching. It’s the weekend, and with the weekly invasion of day-trippers and chalet owners, the place is more crowded than usual. Over the sea of heads, Magali waves me over before I can do a more thorough search. Unlike yesterday, Aurèle could be sitting inside like she did on Friday.

Zac motions with his head for me to join them, brandishing a metal carafe like a prized possession. Giving him a disgusted look, I put my index finger in my open mouth, fake gagging. The whole point of being here is supposedly to savor one last cup of this particular café’s specialty espresso. I made such a fuss, I’m not about to ruin my perfectly good excuse with a regular-blend coffee industrially brewed. I thumb in the general direction of the front counter. He rolls his eyes and waves me off as Yann and Leo make their way over to them.

A quick sweep through confirms that fuck, she’s not inside, either. I check my phone again while waiting for my order. Yes! Harry’s now connected to this WiFi, and she’s surfing the net.

Where the hell are you, Aurèle? I’d like to ask but quickly type in one big-ass pop-up bloom, instead: Hi! Are you and Harry having a good time?

Olivier! Bonjour to you too. Harry and I are now having a lovely time together, thanks to you. What are you doing all over my screen (not sure if it’s creepy or not, having you drop in on us out of nowhere)?

I check out the terrace through the bay windows, looking for someone on a hot date with a computer. There is a god after all. I locate her four tables down in a straight line from ours, her back to us, facing the park. She wears an oversized black woolen hat pulled low over her ears and a glacier-blue fleece scarf wrapped a few times around her neck, but the long strands of hair escaping from underneath are definitely strawberry-blonde.

And already, I breathe easier.

I open our regular private chat window.

I’m not out of nowhere. I’m from somewhere. Big difference.

Clément hands over my alibi and I step out, cup in one hand, phone in the other, hard pressed not to detour and stare at her, face to face.

Better the back of her head than nothing at all, I suppose.

“Would one of you mind switching places?” I ask Magali and Zac, sitting side by side. That is, if we can call arms and other body parts all over each other sitting.

I almost feel sorry. Almost. But not quite. Desperation will do that to me.

Zac raises a brow in disbelief. “Why?”

Bloody hell. Why, indeed. I’d scratch my jaw but my hands are full.

“I’d like to face forward and drink in the view. You know, before I’m cooped up in a flying can of sardines hurtling through the sky at three hundred fifty kilometers per hour.” Brilliant, convincing, and somewhat truthful, if I do say so myself.

“This should be interesting,” Leo mutters into his mug, and Yann’s green eyes widen behind his lenses.

“Never bothered you before,” Zac argues, unmoving.

“Sure,” Magali says, talking over him while trying to wiggle out from under his arm, but Zac keeps her firmly by his side, effectively putting a stop to her efforts.

“You’re not going anywhere,” he says to her. “Don’t mind him. It’s just his caffeine withdrawal symptoms talking. Besides, his eyes are always glued to a screen anyway, so he can’t possibly miss any view.”

Well, shit. He has a point. My eyes beseech Magali in a last-ditch effort.

“But look at those sad puppy eyes,” Magali says, her head darting between the two of us. I knew she’d bite. She’s my new favorite person.

Zac shoots me a glare all Theo-like over Magali’s head. Ask me if I care, I’m ready to beg if I have to. I stare, unflinching.

Leo puffs out his cheeks in exasperation. “He’s been a pain in the arse all morning.” He rolls his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest. “Want mine?” he asks me pointedly from his perch at one end of the two little round bistro tables tucked together. Sandwiched as Leo is, in between three tables full, I won’t see a thing.

“Nope. Same difference.” I slide my tiny cup of dark ambrosia onto the table and tip my chin towards Zac. “So?”

“Here,” Yann offers them, getting up with alacrity before Zac can open his mouth and tell me to shove it where the sun never shines. “Take both our seats. Problem solved.”

Magali beams a smile, pulling Zac up by the hand. “See? Everyone’s happy,” she says to him and he follows without a single complaint, shaking his head at her before dropping a kiss on her temple.

I fist bump Yann before plopping down on the bistro chair vacated by Zac. “Thanks, man.”

Yann snorts, pushing his tortoise-shell glasses up his nose. “No need. I should be the one thanking Zac.”

“Really? If I didn’t mention today that you guys are weird, consider it done,” Magali deadpans.

“And I owe you two a solid.” Yann salutes them with his cup. “Otherwise, I’d have been stuck on a regional flight from Hell with his grouchy arse.”

“Nothing caffeine can’t cure.” Leo practically shoves my cup up under my nose. “Come on, man. Do us a solid and be done with it.”

“Appreciate your concern.” I salute them before swallowing my first sip, smacking my lips to a chorus of relieved sighs. Go figure. But then again, my addiction has been such a catchall excuse, you won’t see me complaining.

I stretch my legs out diagonal to the table, sighing contentedly, the view so much better from where I sit. Now if only Zac could move his newly appointed seat six inches or so to the left, it’d be a perfect one. As he’s whispering something in Magali’s ear with a wolfish grin tacked on his face, I wisely decide not to push the issue.

I crane my neck to the side instead and take a discreet peek at Aurèle. Hunched over Harry, she’s totally focused on her screen, as usual, unaware of her surroundings. And to be perfectly honest, I love that, for now, I’m the only one seemingly having an in with her… I pick up my phone, a slow grin crawling up my face as I read her latest comment.

I’ve been here for ages. Lost somewhere at the lab?

Nope. Not in the lab today. A lazy Sunday is to blame.

“With a little help from my friends,” I mumble under my breath, totally ignoring Zac pointing out to Magali that, as predicted, I don’t give a shit about the view.

Will wonders never cease? =) If not holed up in your lab, what are you up to on this lazy Sunday? Writing a letter, perhaps, like someone you know?

Writing a letter… It explains her lateness in booting up Harry, my only direct link to her, but not the electrifying flood of warmth those three little words of hers light up in me. I swallow back the smile that threatens.

Nope. Just chilling on a café’s terrace with some of my mates.

Cool! With a side order of (much too) early frost in the air, I’m chilling myself on a café’s terrace. But like any good natives, loving it. How’s the weather in Boston?

I have abso-fucking-lutely no idea. Christ. That really makes me wish to be over there already, if only to stop fudging around the truth at the drop of a dime, giving me less rope to hang myself with. Not taking any chances, I open a browser to go check on the weather channel but it takes forever, the café’s internet slower than slow right fucking now. My phone, unfortunately, doesn’t pack Lucie’s giga power and Lucie, unfortunately, doesn’t do compact like my phone and had to stay put in the car. I curse under my breath as I stare at my frozen screen, my palms growing sweaty. I should be typing a fluid reply to this innocuous question, like I’d normally do if I were in Boston.

“Hey, Yann? What’s the temp in Boston right now?” I ask him with some urgency, talking over their convo about Porter Airline and the fifteen-passenger regional jets used for our direct flight.

“Overcast and a balmy twenty-two degrees Celsius, or seventy-one point six degrees Fahrenheit, with a sixteen percent probability of precipitation upon time of landing.”

“Thanks, man. I owe you,” I say with heartfelt relief, my thumbs already flying over the keys.

“Since when does he need reassuring?” Zac says, completely misreading the reason for my question, but I don’t look up, too busy typing my reply.

“Since you’re not flying us back,” Yann deadpans.

With that one, Yann singlehandedly launches a discussion they all get engrossed into without requiring any input from me. I owe him another one. At this rate, I’ll owe him a kidney by the time we land.

Zac pilots his own twin-engine Piper Comanche, which is a pretty damn cool six-seater plane, and he used to fly us all over. But now, he’s more often than not talking house plans and home decor with Magali, both feet firmly on the ground.

Twenty-two Celsius, Olivier?!! They’ve let you out of the lab on such a gorgeous day to boot!!!!!! Program not responding… Get out from behind your screen this instant and get back to your other friends. And whatever is your sujet de l’heure under discussion. Enjoy the tropics for me! Ctrl-Alt-Del. @ bientôt.

Ctrl-Alt-Del? Shit. With her program not responding comment, using that chain of command means she’s forcing the program to close up, or in other words, she’s signing off. I type as fast as I can in case she disconnects completely.

Don’t go yet. Truth? I’d rather chat with you. Thanks to three of my mates, you can now ask me anything about wood screws versus nails. Even things you never knew you wanted to know.

lol. One too many screws loose between you?

Ha! You nailed it. One is living in a disaster waiting to happen, holding everything up with duct tape. One is building deep into the woods halfway through a two-year project using a wheelbarrow and a shovel. And the other is building a home as fast as he can get away with.

Building a home…

My mind goes a mile a minute in a quantum leap to next summer. And wood screws and nails no longer sound as boring as I wrote, all of a sudden. I sigh longingly, looking at the tip of Aurèle’s cute hat covered head over Zac’s shoulder. Sign me up on the Domesticated List, please. I sigh once more, deflating a bit. For now, I’ll have to be content to stay put on the Waiting List.

See anything of interest?” Zac asks me drily.

I jerk back, wrenching my attention from Aurèle. “Nope,” I’m quick to deny, straightening from my slump. “I just thought someone looked familiar, that’s all.” A rush of heat spreads like wildfire on my cheeks that the wind chaffing at my skin has nothing to do with. Great. Just great.

Leo and Zac share a knowing look.

Oh, joy. Here it comes.

I fiddle with my cup and brace myself for a merciless ribbing that might even alert Aurèle. The guys can be kind of loud when it suits them. I should know. I’m one of them. Not to say, they’re not above walking up to her table to invite her over on my behalf, charmingly insistent.

They’ve done it before.

Bloody hell.

“Wow. You normally would have flown them back to Boston if you weren’t on call today?” Magali asks Zac, distracting his enquiring gaze away from me, wanting to confirm whatever Yann said to her just now, saving me in the nick of time. There goes my other kidney.

We would have flown them back,” he says to her. One arm draped casually over the top of her mustard-yellow bistro chair, Zac crosses his ankles. “And that’s a big maybe. I want to be there for groundbreaking at the home site early tomorrow. Nice try, man.” He smirks at Yann over his mug, taking a sip of his no-frills, regular black coffee while the fingers of his other hand brush Magali’s arm in a slow back and forth, keeping her nestled to his side.

Upon witnessing their quiet intimacy, another shit load of envy hits me in the chest. In that moment, it’s not so much that I want Aurèle to be mine but that I want to be hers. Leo arches a questioning brow at me that I ignore by fiddling some more with my cup, watching my coffee swirl.

Don’t look at her.

Don’t look at her.

Don’t look at her.

I will my eyes to stay focused on the rich, dark color of what’s left of my espresso. “You’re pulling the plug now that we’re used to being chauffeured around?” Yann grumbles to Zac.

“Porter Airline has a direct flight from Tremblant to Boston, I’m sure you’ll recover well enough.” Zac rolls his eyes at Yann.

My gaze keeps straying in Aurèle’s general direction as I listen absently to the guys.

“Hell, I’ll drink to Porter,” Leo, our designated driver, says. “Saves me a trip to Montréal on the end of the weekend rush hour.” Leo and Magali clink their white and blue earthenware coffee mugs in complete accord. I’ve never been to Montréal yet, but according to them, pretty atrocious road conditions prevail in and around the city, so much so as to be the stuff of legends among the locals.

I take another slow sip of coffee. My phone wiggles on the table, buzzing with an incoming reply. My chest pings right along, and a goofy grin spreads on my lips as I pick it up. Yann gives me a sidelong glance, quirking a surprised brow that says, who’s this guy?

Can’t blame him. I usually scowl darkly and curse at my phone, in no hurry to pick it up. But then again, the only texts I get usually spell trouble with a capital T, or in my case, in binary codes gone haywire. When test running a program, the code that is hardest to debug is the code that you know cannot possibly be wrong and finding it fucking kills me every time.

I put my phone back down, unwilling to give myself away by my eagerness.

My fingers itch to unlock the screen, but I scratch my scruff instead, willing Yann’s attention away from me.

Resist. Resist. Resist. I repeat like a mantra.

“It’s really a neat city but you need to go there without a specific timetable, otherwise you’ll curse up and down,” Magali concurs with Leo. Fuck resistance. Resistance is futile. I nod in silent agreement like I know the fuck what they’re talking about, while discreetly sweeping my thumb over my screen, inching my phone away from the table and onto my thigh.

I look down.

“But, Yann, you really should come earlier next summer. The Montreal Jazz Fest starts at the end of June. You’d love it—”

Are you guys optioning for a remake of the Three Little Pigs?

I blame it on too much caffeine and not enough sleep, but I’m imagining them wearing pig suits and the resulting look on their faces. I slap my hand on the table, howling out an uncontainable bark of laughter loud enough that the conversation around me abruptly dies. I look up from my phone. All eyes are glued to mine.


“Uh… Email. Inside joke,” I mumble.

No one answers.

I slam back the remains of my espresso for countenance. I sit still, committing to not touching my phone for the next five minutes. Or, at the very least, until enough time has passed for me to go get a legitimate refill without raising suspicion. But instead, I fumble with the damn thing, sending it into orbit. Thankfully, Magali catches my phone just before it hits the floor deck and crashes to its untimely death.

I wipe my palms on my jeans before pocketing it with a sheepish look. “Good catch, thanks.”

“You like her like her, don’t you?” Magali asks me knowingly.

Is it that evident?

“Who?” I ask warily. If my ears had warmed earlier, now they’re on fucking fire.

She cups her hands over her mouth and stage whispers, “The girl behind me you keep peeking at.”

Shit, guess it is.

“No! Yes. Never mind.” I rub the back of my neck. Is the sun getting warmer?

Zac checks behind his shoulder for the most likely suspect, making no bones about his intentions, and zeroes in on Aurèle right away. Great. I’m ready to jump him if he so much as moves a toe in her direction.

“Go and say hi,” Magali encourages me.

“No way.” I send her a quick, panicked look. Been there, done that. Anyway, if Aurèle gives me any real crumb of attention this time around, I think I’ll be jealous of myself; the one who’s here, not the one who’s in Boston. How fucked up is that? Worse yet, knowing me, it’s more than likely I’ll give myself away in five seconds flat by tripping all over my tongue, saying something I shouldn’t, letting on that I know more than I should. Might as well come out and be done with it. Hi, I’m Olivier. But hey, don’t mind me. I’m not really here. I’m in Boston right now having a private chat with you under—almost, but not quite—false pretenses. Yeah, like that would go over well.

“Hey, maybe I know her. Do you want me to pass a note?” Magali says, her silver eyes flashing with a playful glint.

The cold wind buffeting the terrace does nothing to cool down my flaming cheeks. Hoping to disappear from sight, I promptly pull my charcoal-grey beanie down so low it now hides half my face.

“Shit,” I mutter, slouching low in my chair. “Magali, do you really know her?” I whisper anxiously.



Incandescent Series Book One; Standalone

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Incandescent Book Two; Standalone

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A paralegal by day and incurable romantic by night, Sylvie is a cross-genre, and she takes Happily Ever After very seriously. The End just isn’t in her vocabulary.

An incorrigible daydreamer, she now feeds her obsession with epilogues by concocting stories in which heroes deal with the happy from the get-go. Ready, or not. And she confesses under oath to loving every minute of it.

Sylvie lives her own Happily Ever After in the beautiful mountains of Les Laurentides in Northern Quebec, alongside her whole set of characters.

In between treks in their backyard wilderness, you can find them hanging out at

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