Daily Archives: 30/03/2018

FIRST LOOK ~ Don’t Call Me Cupcake (The Holloway Girls) by Tara Sheets

A cupcake baker with magical abilities suddenly finds herself competing with the unfortunately handsome owner of the fancy new bakery across the street in Golden Heart® Winner Tara Sheets’s magical romantic comedy releasing April 24th, 2018.

Giveaway for Don’t Call Me Cupcake First Look Celebration Giveaway:

Tara is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner an Alex & Ani cupcake charm bracelet
and a paperback ARC of Don’t Call Me Cupcake.

Two (2) Runner-Up winners will receive a paperback ARC of Don’t Call Me Cupcake!

To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Direct Link:

 

Title: Don’t Call Me Cupcake
Series: The Holloway Girls
Author: Tara Sheets


Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Zebra Shout – Kensington Publishing

 

Synopsis:

There’s a very special kind of sweetness to life on Pine Cove Island …

Most families have a favorite recipe or two, handed down through generations. The Holloway women are a little different. Emma Holloway, like her grandmother before her, bakes charms into her delicious cupcakes, granting the recipient comfort, sweet dreams, or any number of good things. It’s a strange gift, but it brings only happiness. Until gorgeous, smooth-talking newcomer Hunter Kane strolls into her shop, Fairy Cakes—and Emma makes the mistake of selling him not one, but three Sweet Success cupcakes.

Hunter, it turns out, is opening a fancy new restaurant and bakery right on the waterfront—Emma’s competition. To make matters worse, the town committee has decided to split the upcoming summer festival contract between the two, forcing Emma to work with her nemesis. But she can’t afford to split her profits. The solution: create a recipe that will make Hunter leave town permanently.

The Holloway charms are powerful. But there are other kinds of magic in the world—like red-hot first kisses, secret glances, and the feeling that comes with falling truly, madly, inconveniently in love . . .


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Excerpt:

Copyright© 2018 Don’t Call Me Cupcake
Tara Sheets

“You.” A woman’s voice called behind him, and he turned to see the cupcake girl marching toward him. She was still wearing that black-and-white frilly apron. With her blond ringlets flying around her delicate face and flinty sparks in her gray eyes, Hunter felt like he was about to be attacked by a sexy Goldilocks.

He searched behind him as she approached, to make sure she wasn’t talking to someone else. “Me?”

She stopped in front of him, a little out of breath from her march down the street. Her chest lifted and fell intriguingly over the white apron lace, but her rosebud mouth was pursed tightly and Hunter took a step back. He had seen that look on women before. Goldilocks was not happy.

“Yes, you,” she said through gritted teeth. “You lied to me. You’re not a tourist.”

“Uh,” Hunter glanced around for a moment. “I’m not?”

“No, you’re not.” She stepped in close, grabbing the pastry box out of his hand. She peered inside and glared up at him in accusation. “And of course. You had to go and eat all three of them, didn’t you?”

He blinked. “But, I paid for them, remember?”

“That’s not the point. You. Ate. Them.”

“Yes,” he said carefully. Maybe Goldilocks liked to spike her morning porridge. “They were delicious?”

Ugh.” She stomped her foot and he tried not to smile. She was irritated, yes, but so damn adorable. Even if she was a little bit odd.

“You shouldn’t have eaten them because you weren’t being honest with me. You’re not just a tourist passing through. You’re the new owner of that.” She pointed to the empty waterfront building that would soon be his fancy new café and restaurant.

“Yes.” He held out his hand and gave her his best smile. “I’m Hunter Kane.”

She frowned back at him, ignoring his hand. “I know who you are. And you should have told me that before I gave you those Sweet Success cupcakes.”

“Why?”

“Because I own Fairy Cakes, and now your business is going to take away all my customers.” She looked so upset that Hunter felt a twinge of pity for her, even though she was being ridiculous. Competition was the name of the game in any industry, and restaurant ownership was no exception. “Look, I’m sorry you feel that way, but it’s just business. And why would my eating your chocolate cupcakes be a problem anyway? It’s not like I’m going to steal the recipe or something.”

“Ha,” she scoffed. “As if you ever could. My cupcakes are special, and everyone on this island knows it.”

“Oh . . . kay.” He still wasn’t quite sure what she was getting at.

“And now you’ve gone and eaten them.” She threw her hands up in the air.

Hunter frowned down at her. “Well, excuse me, ma’am. I thought that was the whole point of buying them.”

She jammed her hands onto her hips. “First of all, I’m twenty-five years old. Don’t call me ‘ma’am.’ Save it for old ladies with lapdogs.”

“Fine, Cupcake.” He shouldn’t have said it. He knew it. But something about her righteous indignation made him want to tease her. She gasped, her eyes narrowing on him like an angry feline. He was so dead.


About Tara Sheets:

TARA SHEETS is an award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Her work has earned first place recognition in literary contests nationwide and her debut novel, Don’t Call Me Cupcake, won the 2016 Golden Heart® award sponsored by Romance Writers of America®. Tara began her career as an author in the Pacific Northwest, inspired by the rain and the misty mountains and the rivers of Starbucks coffee.  She now lives in the warm, wonderful South where she can stand outside with no coat on, and she finds that pretty inspiring too.  When not writing, Tara enjoys life with her book-loving family and a book-eating dog named Merlin. She is represented by Sarah Phair at Trident Media Group.

Connect with Tara:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub



 

NEW RELEASE ~ Our Last First Kiss (Heartbreak Hotel #1) by Christie Ridgway

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Our Last First Kiss by Christie Ridgway is a BRAND NEW STANDALONE
romance and is NOW AVAILABLE! Welcome to Heartbreak Hotel!

Our Last First Kiss - Ebook
 
 

Add to your TBR

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Welcome to the famed resort, The Hathaway at Dragonfly Beach, where newlyweds come to honeymoon, where anniversary couples celebrate milestones, and where broken hearts find a place to heal.

After her best friend is jilted at the altar, maid of honor Lilly Durand whisks the bride to Dragonfly Beach and its legendary hotel, determined to help her overcome her misery. Lilly won’t admit it, but she’s hurting too. During the few days of pre-wedding festivities, a powerful attraction had grown between her and the handsome and confident best man, Alec Thatcher. Now she’ll never see him again, but she’s decided to consider that a good thing. This way her inconvenient crush can’t turn into something so dangerous as love. But then, to her dismay, she discovers Alec is just a room key away at what some call the Heartbreak Hotel.

Alec Thatcher doesn’t have the time or inclination for long-term romance. Serial dating has suited his confirmed-bachelor status just fine—until he meets Lilly Durand and his world turns on its axis. She claims to be as relationship-averse as he, but when the two of them are together he can’t recall his own reasons against commitment. Though Lilly touches his heart and soul, she’s as cautious as she is sexy. With a stubborn streak a mile long, Alec will have to exert all his powers of persuasion to give Lilly her last first kiss…


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About the Author:

Christie Ridgway is a California native and author of over forty-five contemporary romances. A six-time RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author, she writes sexy, emotional reads starring determined heroines and the men who can’t help but love them. She has a Career Achievement award from RT Book Reviews and twice has received their Reviewer’s Choice award for best contemporary romance of the year. Married to her college sweetheart, Christie lives in Southern California in a house filled with boys and pets. She writes as an escape from sports equipment, football on TV, and dog hair.

Author Links:
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RELEASE BLITZ ~ The Consequence of Rejection (A Standalone Consequence Novel) by Rachel Van Dyken

 

 

 
Title: The Consequence of Rejection
A Standalone Consequence Novel
Author: Rachel Van Dyken

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Release Date: March 26, 2018

 

Blurb

 
You know the universe is trying to tell you something when you get struck by lightning, but only after getting hit on by the elderly, almost getting run over by a semi, and running into the one who got away.
Why do they say it like that anyway?
Like I accidentally lost her when she was the one that got in the car with my best friend and left me.
The day after I proposed.
We were eighteen.
I wanted forever.
She didn’t.
It’s been ten years.
I tried to move on, tried to get married, had that same wedding crashed by my now best friend who says the only way for me to stop pissing off the universe, is to gain closure with the one woman I can’t forget.
So I do it.
I embark on a journey down memory lane that not only lands me in prison but on the receiving end of a fist fight in front of the entire town, this naturally happens after drunken pool sex, climbing the same girl’s window, and getting threatened at gunpoint by her father.
To say the universe is trying to tell me something anything, is a giant understatement.
I just hope I survive the message.
And then, I hope I survive her—again.
  
 

 

 
   
Purchase Links
 
99c for release day ONLY!
 
AMAZON: US / UK / CA / AU
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

 


Excerpt
 
Full breasts spilled over into a small black bikini that left nothing to the imagination, it barely covered nipple for that matter, and the bottoms? Well she had to keep adjusting them lets just say high school bathing suits ten years later look small. 
In the best way possible. 
Head held high she walked right by me to Max, grabbed a shot, took it, then sucked the lime he held out in front of her. 
I growled. 
Max winked at me. “Something wrong, man?”
I reached for the non existent gun at my side, which just made him grin harder as he kept handing out alcohol to parents of toddlers. 
Because thats the type of party it was. 
Almost everyone started talking about their kids, retirement, stock portfolios, vacation time, and babies. 
It was almost too depressing for words. 
I had all those things but what I’d always wanted. A family.
Babies. 
Maddy. 
She shared a sideway’s glance with me. 
I reached for her, but she pulled away and ran full speed towards the pool and did a giant canon ball. 
People cheered. 
While I watched as wet cold water ran down her curvy body, my gaze was so tranfixed on her erect nipples I’m surprised nobody pulled me aside about my current situation of arousal. 
Cold water. Fast. 
I chased after her, jumped in. 
And felt the warm buzz of alcohol fill my veins just as I popped up and saw Max follow, balls first, in my face. 
I ducked just in time so I didn’t get a fist full of balls. 
The guy only laughed once we both popped up. 
I swam towards Maddy, and tugged her against me. “Stop running.”
“I’m not.” Her breath came out raspy. “I’m just…reliving old times, isn’t that what you wanted? So we could have closure?”
Why did it feel like she was turning the tables on me. 
“Yeah,” I said slowly, “But—“
Her kiss was swift. 
Hard. 
Fast, and oh so very punishing as I gaped into her mouth and pinned her against he side of the pool. 
Music filled the air out of nowhere from somewhere outside, it pounded into my ears the way I wanted to pound into her. 
I grinned against her mouth as she wrapped her legs around my waist. 
And then Reid cast a shadow over us and started pouring vodka over our heads. 
Maddy tilted her head back and opened her mouth while I leaned in and licked it off her chin. 
People cheered. 
“Guys!” Someone yelled. “Keep it down, someones going to call the cops!”
“Cops?” Max laughed loudly. “I am the law, bitches!” The music blared. “Plus, we already got our cop here.” He pointed while I took another shot. 
People cheered. 
And then Maddy squeezed her thighs.  
Yeah the cops were coming alright. 
 

 

 


Also Available
 
 
AMAZON: US / UK / CA / AU
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 
 
AMAZON: US / UK / CA / AU
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 
 
 
AMAZON: US / UK / CA / AU
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited
 


 
 


Author Bio
 

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. 

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
 
You can connect with her on Facebook or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. And make sure to check out her website.
 
 
Author Links
 


BLOG TOUR ~ Murder Notes (Lilah Love #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

 

 

Title: Murder Notes

Series: Lilah Love #1

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date: March 27, 2018


New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones’s heart-pounding thriller of a woman’s secrets—and a past that’s about to come out of hiding…
 
As an FBI profiler, it’s Lilah Love’s job to think like a killer. And she is very good at her job. When a series of murders surface—the victims all stripped naked and shot in the head—Lilah’s instincts tell her it’s the work of an assassin, not a serial killer. But when the case takes her back to her hometown in the Hamptons and a mysterious but unmistakable connection to her own life, all her assumptions are shaken to the core.
 

Thrust into a troubled past she’s tried to shut the door on, Lilah’s back in the town where her father is mayor, her brother is police chief, and she has an intimate history with the local crime lord’s son, Kane Mendez. The two share a devastating secret, and only Kane understands Lilah’s own darkest impulses. As more corpses surface, so does a series of anonymous notes to Lilah, threatening to expose her. Is the killer someone in her own circle? And is she the next target?


 
I scan the ocean, expecting it to turn to blood, but it simply crashes to the shore.
 
I turn to the house and take a step, then stop abruptly, a shadow flickering by the house. A shiver runs down my spine. There it is again. Another shadow. Someone is there. It’s then that I flash back to being on this very sand, with Kane grabbing my arms and saying, “I’ll take care of it.” And I let him, and did so without asking questions, until it was too late to change the outcome. Because I was weak that night and he was strong. But I am not weak anymore.
 
I pull my weapon and start running for the house, wind in my hair and face, my heart thundering in my ears, and I don’t stop until I’m staring at the blood splattered all over the patio glass, some kind of note pinned in the center. Adrenaline surges through me, but I am in my Otherworld now. I retain my cool. I walk to the patio door, using the end of my shirt to open the door, and then I systematically search every inch of the house. When I know I’m alone, I walk to my bag, pull on gloves and then walk back outside, yanking the note off the door. Returning back inside, I lock the door and pull the blinds and then I open the note. At the top is the alphabet, pasted in paper letters, with an X across the letter A. The note reads:
 
A is for the Apple a day that keeps the doctor away. But a doctor couldn’t help him, could he?
 
I KNOW.




 

To celebrate the release of MURDER NOTES Lisa is giving away TWO Lilah Love Mugs PLUS a Kindle Fire Tablet!



Title: Murder Girl
Series: Lilah Love #2
Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date: July 10, 2018

New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones returns with the second book in her electrifying series featuring Lilah Love, an FBI profiler who doesn’t fight her dark side—she embraces it.
 
It’s Lilah Love’s job to inhabit a killer’s mind. The unapologetically tough FBI profiler is very comfortable there. But her latest case is making her head spin. It’s a string of brutal assassinations carried out across the country, each tied to a mysterious tattoo. Body by body, she’s followed the clues all the way back to her hometown. And every step of the way, the killer has been following her.
 

Here, beneath the glamour of the privileged Hamptons community, is a secret long buried but never forgotten. It’s bigger than Lilah. It’s powerful enough to escape the reach of the FBI. And it’s more personal than anyone can imagine. Because it’s hiding in Lilah’s own past. To fight it, she’s forced to turn to her lethally tempting ex, Kane Mendez. He’s an expert at bringing out Lilah’s darkest impulses. If she plans to survive, she’s going to need them.

Amazon US
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Amazon CA

Add to Goodreads




New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.
 
In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling DIRTY MONEY and WHITE LIES series. Presently, Lisa is working on her Murder Girl/Lilah Love series to be published by Montlake.
 

Prior to publishing Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

 

BLOG TOUR ~ LONG SHOT (A Hoops Novel) by Kennedy Ryan

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“A heartbreakingly romantic tale about true love and inner strength. You will never forget it.”

Kristen Callihan, New York Times Bestselling Author

LONG SHOT, a deeply emotional, thought-provoking standalone
love story from Kennedy Ryan is available NOW!

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Synopsis

A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA…

Think you know what it’s like being a baller’s girl?

You don’t.

My fairy tale is upside down.

A happily never after.

I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.

I was a fool, and his love – fool’s gold.

Now there’s a new player in the game, August West.

One of the NBA’s brightest stars.

Fine. Forbidden.

He wants me. I want him.

But my past, my fraudulent prince, won’t let me go.


AN USE THIS ONE

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: 

Amazon Universal: 



Excerpt:

“Iris?” August’s frown, the concern on his face, in his voice, remind me where I am. “Baby, you okay?”

I blink down at him dumbly, swallowing my tears, eating my memories whole and digesting a nightmare from long ago. I nod, my lips a cold, wobbly curve.

“Kiss me,” he whispers, his eyes so tender, so intent.

I remember a magical night under the stars, under a streetlight on the eve of greatness. A night filled with laughter and confidences, pregnant with promise. And I see him so clearly, my prince, asking for a kiss.

And I do.

I kiss him like the world might end tonight because I’ll never take this for granted. Not his kindness, when I’ve known cruelty all too well. Not his tenderness, when I’ve been handled roughly in the past. Not his love, when I’ve been possessed and owned and mistreated.

He thaws me with his kiss, my prince, and I melt into him. We’re chest to chest, with August’s number crushed between us. I take his cock in my hand, aligning our bodies, and two become one in a carnal slide of flesh. I anchor myself by my elbows hooked around his neck, and we kiss until I’m dizzy and our breaths tangle in a cloud of bliss. Under the jersey, his palm spans my back, digging into the naked flesh as our hips lock and roll and grind. My body clenches around him, and we pray, we curse, we moan, we mate like our bodies were made for this moment.

Ours is a love that reimagines—that peels back the sky at high noon searching for the stars, collecting them like shells in a bucket. We bathe in stardust, drink from the Milky Way, and dance on the moon. We pierce the firmament, peer into infinity, and tread on time and space. There is no before. There is no after. Now gives birth to forever. This moment may die, but this love never will. Time is not a line. It’s a circle, and we, August and Iris, we stand at the center.


“A STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND READ THIS NOW kind of book.
Don’t hold your breath, this story will steal it from you.”

J. Sterling, New York Times Bestselling Author



Add To Goodreads:

LONG SHOT TEASER BT.jpg

Join the LONG SHOT March Madness Party for giveaways all month long!



About Kennedy RyanKennedy Ryan

Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Atlanta families living with Autism, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as an advocate for families living with autism.

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RELEASE BLITZ ~ NUDES by Sarah Robinson


The audiobook of NUDES by Sarah Robinson is LIVE!

Title: NUDES

Author: Sarah Robinson

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

About Nudes:

Praised by number one New York Times best-selling author Lauren Blakely as “Passionate, emotional and uplifting!”, contemporary romance author Sarah Robinson brings listeners a new stand-alone novel set in the glamorous hills of Hollywood and tackling challenging themes like the intersection of sexuality and female empowerment.

Ben Lawson is making a comeback….

After a few tabloid headlines, they think they know me. They don’t know a damn thing. As CEO of a movie production company, I’ll show them who I really am when we hit it big at the box office. My ex thought her smear tactics would ruin me, but I’m unbreakable. Rising from the debris, I swore I’d never let a woman distract me like that again. But then, my leading actress walked on the set and changed everything.

Seductive, sexy, and unapologetic, Aria Rose could break me. I wanted to help her, protect her…love her. Instead, I destroyed her.

Aria Rose is baring it all….

I knew better. I knew not to trust another Hollywood heartthrob with a reputation like his. He was my boss and became my ruin. I should have stayed far away from him. Ben Lawson promised me the world. He even promised me his heart. But he destroyed everything – my heart, my career, us.

If you enjoy Nudes, preorder the next book in the series, Bare, about Aria’s younger sister, coming 2018!



GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!

AUDIO

 

Other Formats:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA
Barnes & Noble
| iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Signed Paperback | Universal Links | Goodreads
Author Website

 


Exclusive Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Aria woke with a jolt, looking around the dark bedroom. As her senses slowly began to adjust, she looked for the source of whatever had disturbed her. Her cell phone vibrated against the surface of her nightstand, the screen lit so brightly it cast a square light onto the ceiling above.

Yawning, Aria grabbed for it. She glanced over at the man in bed next to her, her heart filling with warmth at the sight of his sleeping form.

Finally focusing on her phone, she realized she had dozens of missed texts, calls, and emails.

“What the hell?” she whispered to herself, sitting up.

Aria, are you awake? WAKE UP NOW.

Don’t look at the news. We need to talk. 911.

Is that you on E! News? Did you allow that?

OMG, ARIA! WHAT THE HELL?

What did you do?!?! This is career suicide!

Her heart began to race, panic swarming her every cell as she quickly clicked out on a website link her best friend sent her. A photo popped up, and then another, and another, and another, and Aria knew exactly what she was looking at.

Herself.

Nude.

Aria could barely breathe, trembling as she searched social media and entertainment news sites. The photos were everywhere. She was everywhere. Her breasts, her body, her love life on full display for the world to see.

It would have been bad enough if they’d just been images of her posing, but these were pornographic. These were her in her most intimate moments with a man she’d…

A sob stuck in her throat. Did he do this?

She looked at the man still sleeping beside her, fear gripping her heart.

This couldn’t be happening.


CHAPTER ONE

Two Months Earlier

“Wait until you meet our lead.” The heavyset producer’s eyes glinted with excitement as he spoke. He brought a sandwich up to his lips, taking a bite and continuing around a mouthful of food. “She’s only had small roles up until this film, but she’s up-and-coming. No doubt about it. Aria Rose is poised to take the world by storm come Oscar season.”

Ben didn’t reply, too distracted watching the producer trying to wipe a blob of mayonnaise off his tie. Arthur Atwood was a large man with a messy comb-over and an ill-fitting suit, which must have been a deliberate choice since Ben knew Arthur made a handsome salary.

Is he licking his tie?

His new right-hand man was actually licking mayonnaise off his tie. Not a good sign. Ben made a mental note never to ask Arthur to have a meeting over lunch at his desk again.

“Bugger, it’s in there good,” Arthur muttered in his thick English accent, dropping his tie and slapping his hands on his knees. “All right. Enough of that. Ready for a tour of the studio?”

“Very,” Ben replied, balling up the parchment paper his own sandwich had been wrapped in and tossing it into the wastebasket beneath his desk. He stood, rolling his shoulders and stretching his neck from side to side.

They’d spent the morning touring the corporate offices on the lot of Shepherd Film Studios where Ben would be officially starting in two weeks as the company’s new chief executive officer. He had agreed to come in on Friday to tour everything and meet the crew on their final day of filming—but the pressure was already on.

One of the oldest movie production companies in Hollywood, Shepherd Film Studios was well respected, but struggled to adapt to new changes in the industry—the rise of streaming services, quicker distribution on the internet, and other changes that appealed to younger generations.

Maguire Industries had recently purchased the studio and placed Ben in charge to fix that. He had one year to prove to the board at Maguire that he could turn Shepherd Films back into a thriving production company or they’d dismantle the company and sell it off for profit.

He was Shepherd Films last resort, and thank goodness, too. No one else in Hollywood was desperate enough to throw him a lifeline. Being an embarrassing public spectacle for the last two years had been by far one of the biggest setbacks in his professional life to date—and his personal life was to blame.

Fucking divorce.

“Have you seen any of her movies?” Arthur held the door to the office open for him, and together they headed down the hallways of the main offices. “She’s a bombshell—literally one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever seen.”

“Aria Rose?” Ben replied, racking his brain for a mental image of the actress. “I’ve seen a few. Very pretty. She’s very talented but never been a lead.”

Scarlet’s Letters is her first starring role, and she’s perfect for it. We can watch the dailies from today’s filming, and you’ll see what I mean. We were really lucky to score her for this film.”

Ben had wondered about that, too. Aria wasn’t necessarily A-list, but she was an up-and-coming fan favorite among millennial and younger generations. Her social media attention was nonstop, and there was an almost cult following to her that had made Hollywood execs begin to take notice. Yet, he’d seen the budget this morning. She was being vastly underpaid for this film, and he wasn’t sure why.

They passed the guards at the front desk of the main offices and stepped out into the sun. “How did your team manage to sign her?” Ben asked.

“Sheer luck, I’d gather. She was following the script around—or so I heard. Determined to be part of it, though I can’t say why exactly. The script is great—historical World War II romance with a Hester Prynne theme—and we’re already getting some Oscar buzz from it. Still, it’s a long shot, and it’s nothing like her previous films.”

Ben pulled a pair of sunglasses from his suit pocket and placed them over his eyes. The bright Los Angeles sun was beating down on them as they climbed onto a golf cart to traverse the large lot to the studios. “Sounds like we’re the lucky ones, then.”

“You’ve got that right,” Arthur agreed, taking the driver’s seat since Ben was still mostly unfamiliar with the area.

A few minutes later, their golf cart pulled up outside a large warehouse-type building that read STUDIO E in large black letters across the top. Ben climbed out and followed Arthur to a small door off to the side, a red light lit above the door.

Arthur pointed to the light. “That means they’re filming, so not a peep.” He placed a finger to his mouth, indicating they needed to be quiet.

Ben nodded, and they entered the building only to be immediately shrouded in darkness. It might be his first day at Shepherd Films, but Ben was no stranger to movie sets and felt immediately at ease as they carefully made their way over to where the camera crew was.

Ben’s father, Roger Lawson, was a highly sought after cameraman who’d taken a career most people overlooked and became the best. He’d taught Ben to do the same—excel in everything by putting his whole heart into every project, no matter how small or large. As a young boy, he’d spent many a summer day with his father at work, learning the business of not only filming, but creating movies, in general.

Newly thirty years old, Ben had spent the last decade putting his father’s words into practice, rising through the ranks to become one of the hottest names in film production. He only wished his father was still alive to see his ascent, or at least, he had wished that until his ex-wife smeared his name through the tabloids during their divorce.

Never fall in love with an actress. The one rule his father had told him before he died that Ben had ignored. Lesson learned.

“Am I to be punished for helping a fellow human being?” A strong female voice broke through the silence around them.

Ben stepped around a crowd of onlookers to see the set. Behind him was an entire crew, and not a single dry eye. The emotion on everyone’s face surprised him. Following their attention to the main set, he saw the set was a bedroom. Sitting on the edge of the bed was a tall, broad-shouldered man with his head in his hands, wearing a soldier’s uniform from the 1940’s.

In front of the downtrodden soldier was a statuesque blonde, her hair flowing down her back in one long, chunky braid. Pieces of her golden mane escaped the braid, framing her face and highlighting her soft, pink cheeks. Pale blue-gray eyes brimmed with tears as she folded her hands over her heart.

“I won’t lie, James,” she continued, her voice softer now. “I can’t.”

The soldier suddenly stood, gripping the woman by her upper arms. “You have to lie, Anna. Your life is at stake—my life, our life. You’ll be imprisoned, and everything we’ve dreamt of will be over.”

She steeled herself, her jaw tightening. “If this is real…if our love is real…then we’ll survive this. Without the lies, the tricks, the falsehoods. We can survive this, James.”

Ben felt a swelling in his chest, a lump in his throat. He wasn’t even sure what the storyline was about, and yet, he was captivated by the woman in front of the cameras. Her presence was powerful…she was powerful.

“No, Anna.” He dropped her arms and stepped back, a look of disgust on his face. “We can’t survive this. Not if you choose their lives over mine…over ours.”

The blonde shook her head slowly, her hand now on her stomach as if she might be sick. “You can’t mean that, James. You can’t make me pick between loving you and my purpose in life.”

“It’s them…or it’s me. Now or never, Anna.”

Ben focused on the actress’s face, expecting to see her acquiesce to the steely-delivered ultimatum. Instead, her chin pushed up and she inhaled deeply. Everything about her posture and stance screamed strength, and yet, in the exact same moment, those blue-gray eyes ached with pain. Ben nearly forgot he was watching actors because her portrayal was so genuine…she was so genuine.

“Goodbye, James.” Her voice was gentle, but resolute.

The soldier’s nostrils flared angrily, before he slowly shook his head. “Goodbye, Anna.” With that, he walked out of the door and left her standing alone in the bedroom.

She waited a moment, staring after him. Her hand slowly lifted to her lips, covering her mouth as a loud sob ripped from her throat. In an excruciating display, her body dipped forward slightly before completely crumpling in on itself. She fell against the edge of the bed, sobbing into its sheets, as the lights on set dimmed.

“Cut!” the director yelled. “Holy fuck. That was amazing, Aria!”

The blond actress pushed up off the bed, smiling and wiping the tears from her cheeks. Everyone in the studio erupted into applause, and Ben joined in. She deserved every second of it after that performance.

A surge of excitement ran through Ben’s body—he could do this. With acting like this, there was no way their movie wouldn’t be a success. There was no way he wouldn’t be able to bring this studio success within the year with a film like this.

“Hey, Russell,” Arthur called out to the director and ushered Ben over to him. “Meet our new studio head, Ben Lawson.”

Ben extended a hand to the grungy looking man with long, curly black hair to his shoulders. “Good to meet you, Russell.”

“Please, call me Russ. I’m Russ Rains, director. I’m sure you’ve heard of me.” He donned a cocky smile. Metal and bracelets around his wrists made a clanking sound as they shook hands—a not too unusual fashion choice in this city.

“I have,” Ben admitted, though he didn’t really like this man’s ego already. It was certainly nothing unusual in Hollywood, and Ben had met the type many a time before. Russell Rains was a legitimately well-known director with several big box office hits under his belt, though it had been many years since his last. “Your work is amazing, Russ.”

“Thank you, Benji,” Russ said with an obnoxious chuckle. “Come on. Let me introduce you to our leads.”

“I’ll meet you back at the office,” Arthur told Ben. “Have fun on set!”

Ben followed Russell onto the bedroom set where the actress he’d been so captivated by was hugging the soldier who’d just broken her heart.

“You were amazing, Travis,” she said to him, pulling back from their embrace to smile at him.

Something inside Ben stirred—irritation, anger? He wasn’t sure, but he didn’t like seeing the man’s arms around the beautiful blonde.

“Sweet pea, come meet our new studio head,” Russ called out to Aria, who visibly bristled at his demand. Ben made a mental note to ask about the director’s dynamic with the actors later. “This here is Benji.”

Ben Lawson,” Ben corrected the director, extending his hand to the woman.

“Aria Rose,” she replied, taking his hand with a gentle squeeze. Her fingers were small and warm around his, and there was something sad about letting go. “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Lawson. This is my co-star, Travis Peters.”

The soldier shook his hand next. “Good to meet you, sir.”

“Please, call me Ben,” he instructed them both. “Travis, you were fantastic. And, Aria, I have to admit that your performance just now was incredible. I was unbelievably moved.”

Her pale pink cheeks darkened as she looked down at her hands. “Thank you.”

“I have no doubt this movie will be phenomenal.”

Russ slapped a hand on Ben’s back. “Hell, yeah. That was our last scene, so we’re officially wrapped.” The director stepped away from them and yelled to the entire crew. “It’s a wrap, fuckers!”

Ben didn’t even cringe at the man’s abrasiveness this time.

The crew clapped and cheered, and everyone was hugging and high-fiving each other. A swarm of people came onto the bedroom set to congratulate Aria, pushing Ben backward as he watched her gracefully accept their praise.

In fact, he couldn’t take his eyes off her, and it only had a little to do with how unbelievably attracted he was to her. As he stepped to the side, he watched how she smiled, laughing and embracing her co-workers. It was captivating. Aria commanded a room, not just when she was acting, but as herself. Her eyes danced and shone as she spoke to the crew and other actors, her smile wide and transformative.

He felt drawn to who she was, not just what he saw, and it was intoxicating. Though, what he saw was certainly breathtaking. Gorgeous wasn’t enough to describe this woman, or the way her long neck dipped into thin shoulders and a deep collarbone. Her breasts pushed against the dark red dress she was wearing that highlighted her hourglass silhouette, and her golden braid hung down over her shoulder with a weight and visible softness he’d never seen before.

Someone bumped Ben’s shoulder as they rushed in her direction, bringing Ben back to reality. What the fuck am I doing? He was barely six months out of a long divorce and had sworn off women entirely for now. And an actress? That was not happening. No way would he repeat his previous mistake twice. Not to mention that he was her boss, essentially, and that it would be a major conflict of interest. That was even assuming she was single and interested in him, which…

Why am I even thinking about this? Ben shook the thought from his head, unsure when the last time was that he’d ever felt this foggy-headed over a woman.

Aria’s laughter peeled through the air just then, melodic and joyous. Ben swallowed hard, shoving his hands in his pockets and heading for the door. He had to get out of there. Now.

He wouldn’t let himself fall for another actress, not even one as beautiful as Aria Rose.


BLP REVIEW ~ Tracy

I really like Sarah Robinson’s books and I was intrigued by the blurb for Nudes, it being a little different from Ms R’s previous stories. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it was a good read.

I loved the message behind the story, it’s a very real and sad fact of current life – and not just in Hollywood. 
Ben and Aria had a pretty instant connection regardless of the fact that neither were looking for a relationship having both been recently burned. I liked how they were together but would have enjoyed a more of a build up in their relationship and gods, what is it with crossed wires and lack of communication?!? (that’s a bit of a bug bear with me in stories even though I know it’s necessary at times)

As I said, the story was a good read and one I would recommend but, for me, it was a short read (it only took me a few hours to finish) and I felt there was a little something missing – I can’t quite put my finger on what it is exactly, but a touch more depth would, again for me, have made this a great read! 

I’m giving Nudes 3.75*.




About Sarah Robinson:

Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of the Washington, DC area and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in forensic and clinical psychology. She is newly married to a wonderful man who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiasts as she is. Together, they own a zoo of rescues including everything from mammals to reptiles to marsupials, as well as volunteering and fostering for multiple animal shelters.

Subscribe to her newsletter at http://www.subscribepage.com/sarahrobinsonnewsletter

Visit the author’s website for more information about Sarah and her books: http://booksbysarahrobinson.net/

 

Connect with Sarah:

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |


 Enter Sarah’s Giveaway:

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RELEASE BLITZ ~ Her Perfect Affair (Matched to Perfection) by Priscilla Oliveras

Rosa Fernandez isn’t impulsive, but she’s had a long-time crush on dreamy Jeremy Taylor and it’s time to take action. When their situation gets complicated, all they’ve worked for seems threatened.
Can forever really grow from just-one-night?

Find out in this sweet friends become lovers title releasing March 27 from Kensington Publishing.

Her Perfect Affair Blitz Giveaway:

Priscilla is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner a prize pack containing a $50 Amazon Gift Card, an XL shirt featuring the book cover, a Spanish fan with Priscilla’s website, and a coffee mug and coaster with Priscilla’s logo. Two (2) Runner-Up winners will receive an eCopy of His Perfect Partner (Matched to Perfection #1)! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Direct Link:

Title: Her Perfect Affair
Series: Matched to Perfection
Author: Priscilla Oliveras


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Zebra Shout – Kensington Publishing


Blurb:

The Fernandez sisters have always had big dreams, and the talent and drive to pursue them. And in this sunny, spicy new series, each one will discover that success is that much sweeter when love follows . . .

Rosa Fernandez doesn’t act on impulse—she’s the responsible one, planning her career with precision, finally landing a job as the librarian at conservative Queen of Peace Academy, confining her strongest emotions to her secret poetry journal. But she’s been harboring a secret crush on dreamy Jeremy Taylor, and after one dance with him at her sister’s wedding, Rosa longs to let loose for the first time. She deserves some fun, after all. So what if she doesn’t have a shot with Jeremy, not with his wealthy pedigree and high profile lifestyle. But one dance leads to one kiss, and soon Rosa is head-over-heels . . .

The adopted son of a prominent Chicago lawyer, Jeremy has a lot to live up to—especially with his birth father in prison—the perfect example of a bad example. With a big promotion and a move to Japan in the works, Jeremy is worlds away from settling down. But sweet, steady Rosa is a temptation he doesn’t want to deny himself, at least for now. Yet when their simple fling turns complicated, everything they’ve both worked for is threatened—except the red-hot intimacy they’ve found together. Can forever really grow from just-for-now?

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes


Excerpt:

Copyright© 2018 Her Perfect Affair  Priscilla Oliveras

“Buen provecho,” the old man murmured.
She gave him a shy smile of thanks as she reached for the proffered champagne flute, then sidled away from the bar.
Jeremy fell into step alongside her and her heart rate blipped with glee.
“What did he say when he handed you your drink?” he asked. “Good something, right?”
She nodded, remembering Jeremy’s recent decision to start learning Spanish. “Literally it means, ‘enjoy your meal,’ but in this sense, it’s more like, ‘enjoy.’”
“Well then”—leaning closer to her, he clinked his flute against hers—“buen pro-pro—”
“Provecho,” she finished, her belly flip-flopping at his chagrined smile.
They walked a few more steps before she worked up the courage to ask, “So, um, where’s your date?”
The tall blonde who’d been his plus-one was the epitome of old money and high class, a glaring reminder that Jeremy came from a wealthy, established Chicago family. Rosa, on the other hand, came from a small town on the Island, her parents having transplanted from Puerto Rico to the Humboldt Park area of Chicago when they were first married, then later to Oakton in the suburbs.
She and Jeremy, not to mention his date, weren’t quite the same pedigree.
“Cecile?”
“Uh-huh. Is she your . . . ?” Rosa let her voice trail off, wondering what his response might be.
“Family friend. I mean, we dated years ago, but decided we’re better as friends.”
Rosa breathed a soft sigh of relief.
“Anyway, she ditched me a while ago.” Jeremy brushed it off like his date leaving him behind didn’t bother him. “Her parents are hosting a charity event over on Michigan Avenue and she wanted to put in an appearance.”
“You didn’t want to go?”
“And miss this fun?” He jutted his chin out at the people dancing to a well-known merengue hit. Couples packed the floor, some more seasoned and coordinated than others, but all having a great time.
They reached an empty table and Jeremy pulled out a chair for her.
“I haven’t seen you out there,” he said. “How come?”
He sat down to join her, his muscular thigh inadvertently brushing against hers. Tingles of awareness danced a cha-cha down her leg.
“Um, well.” Hyper-attuned to his nearness, it took Rosa a second to find her words. “This is more Yazmine and Lilí’s scene. I guess I tend to be a much better party planner than a partygoer.”
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that.” Jeremy’s lips quirked as he slid her a teasing glance. “I seem to recall you play a mean game of charades.”
Rosa laughed, remembering Lilí’s birthday this past spring. It’d been their first family celebration since Papi’s death, so Lilí had kept it an intimate affair at home with the three sisters; Tomás; his six-year-old daughter, Maria; Jeremy; and a few other close friends.
She and Jeremy had wound up on the same charades team. That night, they’d been on a similar wavelength or something, quickly guessing each other’s clues before anyone else.
Lilí had cried foul play.
Yaz had dubbed them the dynamic duo.
Rosa had soaked up the shared moment, their uncanny connection. Later, she’d composed a few verses about it in her private poetry journal.
“By the way, Yaz mentioned how you stepped in to help so she wouldn’t stress as much today. Everything turned out great.” The pleasure in his bright smile, directed right at her, made Rosa’s pulse skip.
She ducked her head, embarrassed by his praise. “It wasn’t that much.”
“Right,” Jeremy answered, his tone dripping with disbelief.
She peeked at him from under her lashes. At some point in the evening, he’d shed his suit jacket and rolled up his shirt sleeves, revealing his muscular forearms. As always, she was drawn by his ruffled dark blond hair and square jaw. But even more so by his friendly eyes and the easy camaraderie they shared.
He took a swig of his champagne, eyeing her over the rim.
What did he see when he looked at her?


Other Books in the Matched to Perfection series:

His Perfect Partner

Ad executive Tomás Garcia shouldn’t even be thinking about his daughter’s alluring dance teacher, Yazmine Fernandez. Burned by a shattering divorce, he’s laser-focused on his career and giving his young daughter, Maria, the secure home she deserves. Plus, he’s certain that with her talent, Yaz will be leaving Chicago and heading back to Broadway as soon as she can. But Yaz’s generous spirit and caring concern are sparking a desire Tomás can’t resist and doesn’t want to let go . . .

For Yaz, good-looking workaholics like Tomás simply can’t be part of her life ever again. She owes it to herself to get back her confidence and fulfill the dreams her papa could not. She’s glad to spend time with Maria and taste the family life she feels she can never have. And she’s sure that she and Tomás can keep their attraction under control because there’s so much at stake. But each unexpected intimacy, each self-revelation, makes the fire between them grow hotter with every step and every risk to their hearts . . .

Now a double finalist for the 2018 RWA RITA Award — Best First Book and Contemporary Romance: Mid-Length categories!

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

ON SALE for $0.99 at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes


About Priscilla Oliveras:

PRISCILLA OLIVERAS writes sweet contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Proud of her Puerto Rican-Mexican heritage, she strives to bring authenticity to her novels by sharing her Latinx culture with readers. Her debut release, His Perfect Partner, and the second book in her Matched to Perfection series, Her Perfect Affair, both earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Since earning an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, she serves as English adjunct faculty at her local college and teaches an on-line course titled “Romance Writing” for ed2go. Priscilla is a sports fan, a beach lover, a half-marathon runner and a consummate traveler who often practices the art of napping in her backyard hammock. To follow along on her fun-filled and hectic life, visit her on the web at http://prisoliveras.com/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/prisoliveras or on Twitter via @prisoliveras.

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