Daily Archives: 08/08/2016
Posted by Book Loving Pixies
Can she go from BFF TO MRS?
Find out in FOOL FOR YOU
(Crush on You Book 1) from debut author Rina Gray…
About FOOL FOR YOU
Sports journalist Melanie Foster has achieved most of her goals: Bomb.com job—check. Tomboy-to-smoking-hottie makeover—check. Convince her best friend, Damien Richards, to slide a ring on her finger and father her two-point-five kids—not so much. When she activates Operation: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, she never imagines her BFF already has plans to stroll down the wedding aisle with another woman.
Damien is in the middle of crisis mode. The non-profit for young athletes at which he volunteers is in financial trouble. He’ll pull out all the stops to rescue the organization that saved his life after his career-ending injury—even if it means sacrificing his personal happiness.
But when he finally wakes up to love and the very non-friendly feelings he’s long held for Mel, it might just be too late. Damien must convince her that he’s worth the risk and turn the tables to show her he’s the one ready to be a fool for love.
On Sale in Digital: July 18, 2016
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Tiana sat with her legs crossed on the olive-green chenille couch in a ratty T-shirt and sweats, devouring a pint of birthday-cake ice cream. Not good. Melanie’s high-strung friend had a life rule to never wear ugly lounge clothes. Only silk and sexy nightgowns touched that body.
Tiana’s scrunched, I-just-ate-bad-sushi face focused on the television, which blared an Australian accent explaining the mating patterns of insects.
Melanie plopped down on the love seat beside her friend and watched a male spider do the courtship dance. She wasn’t really in the mood to see insects get it on, but she’d play along until her reclusive friend shared what was bothering her.
After the male spider did his mating ritual, the female spun him into a tight cocoon. Didn’t know spiders were into bondage, but I dig it.
“Jesus, take the wheel!” Melanie yelled, grabbing Tiana’s wrist. “Did you just see that? He was just busting a move, and she ate him! She ate him!”
Tiana licked the back of her spoon. “He didn’t dance long enough, and he wasn’t good enough for her anyway.”
“Why are you home early, sucking down ice cream, and watching insect porn?”
Tiana rolled her eyes. “Nathaniel.”
Melanie coughed into her hand and covered a grin. Nate’s antics reminded her of a little boy that liked a girl but didn’t know how to express himself. “What did he do?”
“It’s not one big thing. It’s the little things he does to drive me crazy. Ugh! Just like in grad school.” Tiana folded her arms across her chest.
“Like … we share the same office since we work on many of the same accounts. When I’m printing something and don’t immediately get up, the copies disappear. One day he attached an air horn to my seat and switched our keyboards when I went to the bathroom.” Tiana tugged on her ponytail and huffed.
“He took control of my keyboard and pulled up a stupid clown fetish forum on my screen. Our boss came by to visit, and I … well, I almost pissed my Victoria’s Secrets!” Her spoon scraped against the ceramic bowl. “But luckily he clicked off by the time Isaac came around my desk.”
Melanie shook with laughter. “How?” She snorted. “How did Nathan find out you hate clowns?” Howling again, she clutched her stomach.
“It’s not funny! What if my boss saw the website? He would think I was some sort of freak!”
“Sorry, T.” Melanie peppered her tone with just the right amount of remorse to appease her grumpy friend. “But seriously, how on earth did he find out about the clown thing?”
Tiana scooped a big chunk of ice cream, stuffed it in her mouth, and took her sweet time answering. “In one of our grad classes, we had to write an essay about our greatest fears. I wrote about clowns.”
Rina Gray is one of the newest African American romance writers on the rise. She is also a digital marketing professional who discovered her love of writing in 2012. Writing has always been Rina’s passion, though initially, she tried to deny it. In college she served as the copy editor for the entertainment magazine and newspaper. During her tenure, she had the opportunity to interview various talented entertainers including Chris Rock and the cast from Reno-911. Rina has always been an avid reader, sneaking to read her mother’s books she had no business reading i.e. Stephen King’s The Stand, It, and Anne Rice’s various vampire series. As a pre-teen, she received a load of romance novels from a family friend and from that point on, she devoured any book related to romance or horror. When she’s not writing, she can be found with her head stuck in a book, kickboxing, or dominating game night with friends and family. Rina resides in Atlanta with her husband.
Posted by Book Loving Pixies
A Standalone Contemporary Romance Novel
New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal
Bestselling Author Penelope Ward
Release date: 8/15/2016
NEIGHBOR DEAREST CHAPTER ONE
Copyright © 2016 by
My little sister is such a drama queen. Literally. Jade is an actress on Broadway.
She clapped her hands together, applauding the students who’d just bravely put themselves out there to try out for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. “You all did such a great job today! Tomorrow we cast the roles and start our first rehearsal. This is gonna be epic!”
Jade had come out to the Bay Area to visit our family for the week and offered to volunteer at the youth center where I worked. Since there wasn’t enough time to produce an entire play, Jade decided to direct the kids in one key scene from the musical that would be performed later in the week.
I loved my job as director of the arts at the Mission Youth Center. It was just about the only thing going right in my life. The only downside was the fact that these walls were haunted by memories of my ex, Elec, who used to be a youth counselor here. That was how we met. He’d loved his job, too, until he quit so that he could move to New York after we broke up. He moved to be with her. I shook my head to shoo away thoughts of him and Greta.
Jade grabbed her purse. “I need to go back to your place to use the bathroom and have a quick bite.”
I’d just moved into a new apartment that was only a few blocks away from my job. The lease had finally run out on the place I’d been renting with Elec across town. Even though my ex sent me his half of the rent for the remainder of our lease after he’d moved out, I couldn’t wait to vacate that place; every corner of it reminded me of him and of the miserable months that followed our break up.
My place was right in the south central section of the Mission District. I loved the culture in my new neighborhood. Produce bins and a variety of cafes lined the streets. It was also a mecca for Latin culture, which was great, except for the fact that it reminded me of Elec, who was half Ecuadorian. Little reminders of the guy who broke my heart were everywhere.
Jade and I strolled down the sidewalk, stopping at a fruit stand so that she could buy some papayas for an afternoon smoothie she planned to make back at my apartment. We also ended up getting two coffees to go.
I bent back the opening on my coffee lid as we walked. “So, little sis, I never thought we would be in the same predicament at the same time.”
Jade had recently been dumped by her musician boyfriend.
“Yes. But the difference is, I feel like I have way more distractions in my life than you do. It’s not that I don’t think about Justin. It’s not that I don’t get sad, but my performances keep me so busy that it’s almost like I don’t have time to wallow in it, you know?”
“I told you I’ve been doing these phone therapy sessions, right?”
Jade took a sip then shook her head. “No.”
“Yeah. I found this psychologist who specializes in trauma from failed relationships, but she’s in Canada. Anyway, we do phone sessions one night a week.”
“Is it helping?”
“It always helps to talk things out.”
“Yeah. But no offense, you don’t seem any better for it. Anyway, you can talk things out with Claire or me. You don’t need to pay big bucks to talk to a stranger.”
“Nighttime is really my only time to talk to anyone. You’re performing at night, and Claire is too wrapped up in being a blissful newlywed. Besides, she’s never had her heart broken. She listens, but she doesn’t get it.”
Our older sister, Claire, married her high school sweetheart. Even though the three of us were close growing up in nearby Sausalito, I’d always felt more comfortable opening up to Jade.
When we arrived at my building, my sister stopped to sit on one of the benches in the corner of the fenced-in courtyard. “Let’s sit for a bit, finish our coffees.” Her gaze wandered across the grass to my shirtless neighbor. “Okay…who’s the hottie in the beanie defacing the property?”
“What is it with you and beanies?”
“Justin used to wear one. That’s why I love them. Isn’t that sad?”
“That is sad.”
“This from the girl who still sleeps in her ex’s shirt.”
“It’s comfortable. It has nothing to do with Elec,” I lied. It was the one thing I allowed myself from him. It made me sad, but I wore it anyway.
“So…who is that guy?”
I didn’t know my neighbor’s name, but I’d see him once in a while doing spray paint art along the wrap-around concrete wall that surrounded the property. It served as a vast canvas. His spray painting was true art, definitely not what would be considered simple graffiti. It was an elaborate mix of celestial and geographical images. This guy just kept adding different artwork to the wall gradually. It was a work in progress. I could only assume he planned to paint the entire circumference of the property, as much as the wall space would allow.
“He lives in the building, next door to me, actually.”
“What is he doing? They allow him to do that here?”
“I don’t know. The first time I saw him out here, I thought he was vandalizing the property. But no one seems to care or stop him. Every day, he adds to the mural. It’s actually quite beautiful. But it doesn’t match his personality.”
Jade blew on her coffee. “What do you mean?”
“He’s not very nice.”
“You’ve talked to him?”
“No. He’s just not friendly. I’ve tried to make eye contact, but he walks right by me. He has these two big dogs, and they’re pretty mean. They bark all of the time. He walks them every morning.”
“Maybe he’s like a savant. You know, really good with art. Or maybe he’s a genius but with limited social skills. What do they call that…Asperger’s?”
“No. He communicates just fine. I’ve seen him yelling at a few people. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have that. This guy is just not friendly. He doesn’t have Asperger’s. He’s just an ass.”
Jade chuckled. “I think you should totally stop by his place with some warm muffins wrapped up in a basket. It’s the neighborly thing to do. Maybe he’ll loosen up…or loosen you up.”
“Muffins, huh? What’s that code for?”
“Muff…muffins. Same thing. If I lived here, I’d be all over that. But I don’t live here. You do. And you totally need a distraction. I say…he’s it.”
I admired the guy’s broad shoulders and tanned muscular back as his arm moved the spray can up and down. “God, doesn’t he remind you of Elec, though? Arm tattoo…dark hair. Artistic. Basically, that’s the last type of guy I’m going for at this point.”
“So, if someone looks like or seems similar to Elec, then they’re automatically disqualified? They’re destined to do the same thing Elec did? Is that how you think? That’s just stupid rationale.”
“Maybe that’s fucked-up. But the last thing I want is to be with someone who reminds me of him in the least.”
“Well, that’s a shame, because Elec was freaking hot, and this guy…is even hotter.”
“Can you remind me why we’re discussing this? The dude doesn’t even say hello to me. He’s not signing up to be on this delusional version of The Bachelorette. He’s not interested.”
Neighbor Dearest suddenly wiped the sweat from his forehead, took off the mask covering his nose and mouth, and dumped the spray cans into a black drawstring sack. He slung it over his shoulder and just when I thought he was going to walk away and out of the courtyard, he began to walk in our direction. Jade straightened in her seat, and I hated that my pulse raced a bit.
His eyes were focused on me. I wouldn’t call it an angry stare, but he wasn’t smiling. The sunlight beamed directly into his blue eyes, which glowed and really stood out against his tan skin. Jade was right; this guy was truly gorgeous.
“Blueberry are my favorite,” he said.
Jade snorted but stayed silent, letting me take the brunt of this humiliation.
“And I’m not anti-social or a savant. I’m just a good old-fashioned prick…with supersonic hearing.”
He smirked and walked away before I could say anything.
When he was safely out of earshot—for real this time—Jade sighed. “Angry guys are the best in bed.”
“You just can’t stop yourself, can you? Haven’t you done enough damage? I’ve always told you that you’re loud when you think you’re whispering. Now there’s proof…at my expense.”
“You’ll be thanking me later when you’re screaming out in orgasm as the angry artist is Van Goh-ing down on you.”
“That’s why you love me.”
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A STANDALONE NOVEL that does NOT need to be read in conjunction with any other book.
From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a friends-to-lovers story with sexy new characters.
After getting dumped, the last thing I needed was to move next door to someone who reminded me of my ex-boyfriend, Elec.
Damien was a hotter version of my ex.
The neighbor I’d dubbed “Angry Artist” also had two massive dogs that kept me up with their barking.
He wanted nothing to do with me. Or so I thought until one night I heard laughter coming through an apparent hole in my bedroom wall.
Damien had been listening to all of my phone sessions with my therapist.
The sexy artist next door now knew all of my deepest secrets and insecurities.
We got to talking.
He set me straight with tips to get over my breakup.
He became a good friend, but Damien made it clear that he couldn’t be anything more.
Problem was, I was falling hard for him anyway. And as much as he pushed me away, I knew he felt the same…because his heartbeat didn’t lie.
I thought my heart had been broken by Elec, but it was alive and beating harder than ever for Damien.
I just hoped he wouldn’t shatter it for good.
Author’s note – Neighbor Dearest is a full-length standalone novel.
Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.
About the Author:
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 11-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.
Connect with Penelope Ward:
Additional Books by Penelope Ward
Stuck-Up Suit: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Cocky Bastard: (co-written with Vi Keeland)
Sins of Sevin:
Jake Undone (Jake #1):
Jake Understood (Jake #2):