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BOOK TOUR & GIVEAWAY – Craved by a Wolf (Fated Mates #20) by Felicity Heaton

New York Times best-selling paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton is here today for the book tour of her new paranormal romance release, Craved by a Wolf, the latest release in her popular Eternal Mates world.

There are now twenty books in this series, but don’t worry, you can dive right on in with Craved by a Wolf, or start at the very beginning with Kissed by a Dark Prince, which is 99c at all retailers right now. Binge-read to your heart’s content!

If you love big worlds packed with detail and every paranormal species imaginable, together with hot alpha heroes and strong heroines bringing them to their knees, then this series is definitely for you. Plus, each book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!

About the Book

Craved by a Wolf (Eternal Mates Paranormal Romance Series Book 20)
Felicity Heaton

Hella is one witch who is done with relationships. Having rid herself of a clingy nymph, she’s determined to stay single and savour everything her fae town in Geneva has to offer – with no strings attached. The trouble is, it turns out breaking up with a king isn’t as easy as she’d thought. Her ex just sent a legion to kidnap her and take her to the faerie realm of Lucia.

And he wants to make her his queen.

Grant MacKinnon is one wolf shifter who prefers a quiet life. His home in a glen in Scotland, his small wolf pack, and fine whisky is all he needs. The trouble is, a witch in the fae town in Fort William just cursed him to die if he doesn’t find his fated mate and bring her to her. Now he craves a female he’s never met, one he was convinced didn’t exist, and he refuses to believe she’s really his one true mate… until he sets eyes on the beautiful blue-haired lass.

And his wolf instincts howl that she was made for him.

And when he realises she’s in danger and another male wants her as his queen, MacKinnon will stop at nothing to protect her and claim her as his mate.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.au
Apple Books USA | Apple Books UK | Apple Books Canada | Apple Books Australia | Apple Books NZ
Barnes and Noble | Kobo Books | Google Play

Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win one of five signed paperbacks and swag packs at the Inflamed by an Incubus book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on May 2nd.

Enter now: https://www.felicityheaton.com/craved-by-a-wolf-shifter-romance-novel.php

Excerpt

MacKinnon twitched and whipped towards the lake to his left as the air there shifted, suddenly growing cooler. His claws punched long from his fingertips, ready in a heartbeat, and didn’t retract even when he saw the towering jet of water that rose high into the air and thundered down into the lake around one hundred feet out. A fountain. It resembled the one in the nearby mortal town of Geneva.

In fact, the whole fae town resembled Geneva, as if someone had copied it building for building. Although, this immortal town was much smaller than the one topside. It was just as bright and elegant though, with warm sunshine that beat down on the pale sandstone pavement and reflected off the balconied buildings to his right.

Several of them were hotels, and he had been tempted to call into one and secure himself a place to stay, but when he had approached the doorman, the male had looked aghast and Kin had caught his reflection in the revolving door.

Since then, he had been keeping his head down, deeply aware of the way many of the townsfolk paused to stare. He had never felt so conspicuous. He glared at a trio of black-haired females who stood by the shore, their violet eyes and pointed ears betraying their breed as much as their antiquated corseted dresses did. They all stared at him and only one of them looked curious. The other two looked disgusted.

Sure, he was a big male, and he probably had a face like a smacked arse right now because his mood was still deep in a ditch and showed no sign of improving thanks to the attention he was attracting, and his throat looked like someone had used it as a punchbag, but there was really no reason for all the finely dressed males and females to gawp at him.

He levelled a black look at the trio of elves, causing them to turn away.

He heaved a sigh as he looked ahead of him and saw only more nobles, coming and going along the promenade as if it was the fashionable thing to do. The gods only knew it probably was in a town like this one. It reeked of wealth.

Kin denied the urge to keep his head down as he walked, tipped his damned chin up and shoulders back instead, because he wasn’t going to be intimidated or cowed by these noble folk.

His gaze narrowed on a group of pointy eared males ahead of him, ones who wore green leather trousers and white shirts beneath a matching jerkin. Gold glittered around their wrists and adorned their ears, and their finely boned features settled into scowls as they caught sight of him. Kin scowled right back at them, barely leashing the urge that surged through him and had his claws itching to rip into their flesh, to wipe the haughty smirks off their fae faces.

Nymphs.

He growled through his clenched teeth, battling memories that bubbled to the surface. A darkened room. Candles bursting to life. Fae nobles forming a ring around him, seated on opulent gold and velvet chairs as servants scraped and bowed to them.

The crack of a whip.

Pain echoed down his spine, a ghost of his past that continued to taunt him whenever he let the memories come, whenever he wasn’t strong enough to deny them and they slipped free of the box he had locked them away in. It would be days before he had fully rid himself of them, freeing himself of their torment.

The sensible side of him said to move on, to ignore the nymphs because they couldn’t provide him with the information he needed and, therefore, they didn’t matter. The side of him that had been born in that dark part of his past, that refused to be tamed, rose to crush it and he pivoted towards the blond males, unable to stop himself. His claws lengthened further and his fangs bit into his gums as he strode towards them, rapidly crossing the span of flagstones that separated them. His breathing quickened, deepened, sending vital oxygen to his blood as he geared up for a fight.

One of the nymphs noticed him approaching and tapped another on the arm, and before Kin could kick off and grab at least one of them, the whole group had disappeared. Kin stopped where they had been and glared at the rippling blue water of the lake, breathing hard and struggling to rein in his anger and the urge to lash out at everyone who moved behind him. He fixed his focus on the water, staring beyond the surface to pick out the flora and fauna that called the lake home. He tracked a school of small fish, bewitched by how their silver sides made them flash whenever they changed direction and how they moved as one, in perfect symphony.

The scent of herbs and metal filled his nostrils.

MacKinnon turned and looked over his shoulder, seeking the source of it. He pivoted when he spotted two witches strolling along the street. They paused in front of the window of one of the stores.

He crossed the broad stretch of pavement to them, not failing to notice how their slight shoulders tensed beneath their plain black dresses as he closed in. He glanced at his reflection in the window they faced, locking gazes with the one on the left, and swallowed to wet his throat as he ran his hand over his wild dark hair.

“Excuse me, lasses, I was wondering if you could tell me where I could find a witch named Hella.” He made a point of stopping a good six feet from them, attempting to show them that he wasn’t a threat with his body language as well as his gentle tone of voice.

They turned to face him as one, ran an assessing gaze down him and then spoke to him.

In German.

Their tone wasn’t even close to gentle.

It was abrasive, with a dismissive note.

Before he could try again, they hurried away from him.

Kin growled at his reflection in the clothing store’s window, baring his fangs, because he must have asked at least two dozen witches about Hella now and none of them would tell him. He doubted they didn’t know her. There was always a glimmer in their eyes, a spark that betrayed them and said they knew exactly where to find the female he was seeking.

They just didn’t want to tell him.

He took in his appearance. Taller than most witches by a good foot and a half. Probably three times their slender weight in muscle. Scruff on his face. Unkempt hair that looked exactly how it should given how many times he had clawed, raked and shoved his fingers through it in frustration over the last few hours.

Eyes that were currently more gold than grey because his wolf side was at the fore, his temper way beyond his control.

And a pretty black and purple bruise across his throat.

He could hardly blame the witches for not wanting to tell him where to find one of their own.

Kin huffed. Maybe if he schooled his features a little and tried to appear more approachable and less homicidal then they would speak with him.

He doubted it.

Witches were quite protective of their own, but it was worth a shot.

He tried out a few faces, attempting to appear charming as he smiled at his reflection, and probably looking like he was losing his mind. A shiver skated down his spine and his wolf instincts growled at him that someone was watching him. He shifted his gaze to the left, catching the reflection of the three females who lingered a few feet behind him. Pretty wee lasses. All of them wore provocative leather corsets and mini-skirts in glaring colours, designed to draw the attention of males to them.

Succubi.

They sidled over to him and he turned to face them, flashing them all a warm smile that had their eyes brightening. Maybe he could get information on Hella from someone other than a witch. Witches did business with other immortals after all. Chances were high that several people in this town would have gone to Hella for a potion or spell.

The tallest of the succubi, a delicate pink-haired beauty who stood a good foot shorter than him despite her stiletto boots, offered a smile in return and stepped ahead of her sisters. She paused only inches from him and stroked a small hand down his chest as she faux-purred at him.

“You look like you need to let loose,” she murmured, her voice like honey, sweet and tempting him to dip his head and have a taste of what she was offering.

He kept his spine straight and resisted her allure, letting her feather her fingers over his chest to the open vee of his dark grey Henley. She teased the strip of flesh there, her glittering blue eyes growing hooded.

“Been a while since we had one as strong as you in this town. Visiting someone?” She grazed her fingers across the dip between his pectorals.

The shorter of the other two came up beside him and stroked her hand down his forearm and pushed the long sleeve of his top up to reveal skin.

She leaned in and licked it, and groaned. “He tastes like sunshine.”

“No tasting,” the third one barked and pulled her off him, shoving her aside. She grinned wickedly. “At least not unless I can get a lick of this pop too.”

“Lasses, there’s plenty o’ me to go around.” Kin held his hands up and smiled.

The three succubi sank into each other on a sigh.

“Did you hear that voice?” Pink-hair said with a dreamy smile at her sisters.

The shorter, brunette female swayed towards her. “Did I? When was the last time we had a Scot?”

“Makes me ache just hearing it. Do you think he knows how to put it to good use? I could probably feed off him just talking to me!” The older of the three, a pretty button-nosed blonde, edged her hand towards him.

Kin grinned down at them, aware they were saying whatever it took to lure him under their spell and make him part with his coin, but enjoying it nonetheless. “I’m here on business, but perhaps I could be enticed to take a small break from my hunt; if you would be so inclined to help me.”

“Be so inclined?” Pink-hair swayed towards him now, hunger lighting her eyes. “Darling, I’ll do whatever you want if it will get you into my bed for the night.”

Our bed,” Brunette snapped.

“Yes, our bed.” Blonde licked her lips.

All three of them sidled closer, crowding him as they gazed adoringly at him, as if he had just fallen out of Heaven or a dream. Their scents swirled around him, fogging his head a little, and he focused his mind, on his guard against them because he had no intention of parting with his coin or indulging these succubi in any way.

Mostly because he would probably end up parting with his life.

As strong as he was, he wasn’t sure he could handle three succubi feeding on him.

He drew down a breath as he tried to decide how to ask them about Hella and the fog in his head grew thicker as an intoxicating scent filled his lungs.

Like a blend of fresh rain on heather moorland faintly spiced with cinnamon.

Kin breathed deeper, unable to get enough of the scent, and his muscles clamped down on his bones as his blood heated. His wolf side lunged to the fore and his fangs lengthened, his claws emerging as hunger rolled through him, fiercer than he had ever felt it before.

It was a trick.

A power the succubi were wielding to pull him under their spell and into their bed.

Only when he bent his head to sniff their necks and scent them, it wasn’t any of them who smelled so enticing.

He groaned as his cock stiffened in response to the scent as it grew stronger and seemed to invade every cell in his body and hijack it. His head clouded more rapidly, thoughts blurring and fading to the background as instinct stole control. He desperately scanned the crowd on the promenade, seeking the source of the scent.

And froze when his gaze landed on a stunning, blue-haired lass with emerald eyes.

A chill skated down his spine and his shaft went hard as stone.

It was her.

She was the source of the scent.

She was his fated one.

He felt it in his bones. His soul. This female had been made for him, was meant for only him, and she would be his. He shoved the succubi aside, unaware of them now, the world narrowing down to the beautiful lass fate had created for him.

Hella.

MacKinnon drifted towards her, powerless to resist her pull. The need to be close to her was strong and she hadn’t even noticed him yet. How desperate would he be to be near to her, pressed against her and holding her in his arms when she did see him? The urge to gather her to him was already overwhelming, his awareness of the world coming back as instinct growled that his female was parading down a busy street in a black dress that highlighted her figure.

Drawing the eyes of other males.

She stiffened, her body locking up tight.

Was she aware of him?

He tracked the path of her gaze as she tossed a look over her shoulder.

To a group of bare-chested nymphs.

Her panic hit him like a shockwave, rocking him back on his heels, and he growled and kicked off as the dozen blond males made their move, launching towards her. He wasn’t sure what his female had done to deserve the wrath of a witch or a pack of nymphs, and he didn’t care. Every fibre of his being howled at him to protect her and he would do just that. He charted an intercept course, shoving men and women aside, not caring where they landed as he locked his gaze on the two nymphs leading the charge.

He sensed the female move.

Felt her fear.

Instinct demanded he go to her, had him twisting on his heel and barrelling into two shifter males. The black-haired men went down hard and he leaped over them, ignoring their yells, his gaze wild as he sought the witch.

A larger nymph had her in his clutches and was holding her tightly despite her attempts to break free.

Kin snarled and gnashed his fangs when her fear cranked up a notch and he spotted the reason why.

The bastard had cuffed her.

The bright silver band of metal around her delicate wrist glinted in the sunlight as she desperately struggled.

Kin grabbed a female and pushed her out of his way, into a group of males, his heart hammering as the other nymphs reached Hella.

Her green eyes shone with terror as she looked up at the male who held her, one who towered as tall as Kin and probably weighed as much in muscle. Not that it was going to stop Kin from tearing the male a new one and teaching him the error of his ways.

No one touched his fated female.

Kin cocked his fist as he lunged towards the bastard, aiming at the back of his head, determined to knock his teeth out from behind.

He threw the punch as soon as he was close enough.

And hit nothing but air as the fiend teleported.

Taking his wee witch with him.

Rage burned up Kin’s blood and he couldn’t hold back the feral howl that rolled up his throat, tossed his head back and let loose, pouring all his fury into it as his spine bowed forwards, his claws like talons as he dragged his hands down to his sides and every muscle in his body tensed.

Black fur swept over his skin and he itched all over, his bones aching as anger had him close to shifting, the need to track his female bringing his wolf to the fore. He managed to find the strength to deny it and clung to his mortal form as he twisted towards the succubi who had been flirting with him.

They were huddled together in front of the shop still, a sea of fallen men and women between him and them, all of which looked ready to tear him a new one as he stalked through them, heading for the succubi.

“Where do the nymphs live?” he snarled as soon as he was close enough to his prey, and when none of them answered him quickly enough, he shot his hand out and gripped the throat of the pink-haired one. He dragged her against him and flashed his fangs in her face. “Tell me where the nymphs live in this town.”

Her eyes widened and she shook her head, her hands coming up to grip his arm as she choked.

“Not here.” The brunette pressed her hands against his chest, trying to push him away. “They don’t live here.”

“Lies,” he spat, because he had seen other nymphs during his search for Hella. They had to have a building or two here in the town somewhere, a place they called home. He snarled, unable to hold it back as he thought of his female at their mercy.

Nymphs were sexual predators, using their beauty and charms to seduce unwitting females. He had seen the breed at work with his own eyes, had watched them pull even unwilling women under their spell, convincing them to surrender to them.

The blonde sank her little claws into his hand, drawing blood and earning herself a glare. “They bore the royal seal. Hella will be in Lucia by now. Let her go!“

Hella.

The confirmation that the ethereal blue-haired female had been the one he had come to find shook him, had his grip on the succubus relaxing against his will as he struggled to keep his mind on the hunt and off how beautiful Hella was.

Was she really his mate?

He shook that thought away with a growl, unwilling to trust his instincts. The feeling she stirred in him was a fabrication, a lie meant to make him do as the witch wanted and a method of punishing Hella for whatever sin she had committed against the one who had cursed him.

He would be a fool to allow himself to believe Hella was his fated one.

Yet he couldn’t stem the need to find her and save her from the nymphs.

Kin shoved the pink-haired female at her companion. “Lucia? Where is that? Somewhere in Switzerland?“

Pink-hair laughed and he had half a mind to grab her and choke her again for mocking his ignorance. She rubbed her throat. “Lucia isn’t a town. It’s not even a country.”

He flexed his fingers, tired of dancing around the answer, because he needed to be moving. He needed to find the nymphs who had taken Hella from him and take her back.

She noticed his subtle threat and blurted, “It’s the faery realm.”

“Fuck,” MacKinnon bit out.

First another country. Now another realm. Add the fact that his wolf instincts had recognised Hella as his fated one and it was all becoming too much. He missed the uncomplicated nature of his home in the Highlands already, ached to return to the clan and rest atop his favourite spot, taking in the rolling moorland that embraced the munros and waiting for the gloaming, when a sense of magic and wonder filled the air.

His mother had held him on her lap many times as a pup to tell him the gloaming was when the faeries came out… in that brief moment between day and night.

Between light and darkness.

Now he was expected to go to a place of faeries and he was unsure what to expect when he got there. There were other stories about fae-kind. Darker stories. The ancient books in his possession, passed to him by his mother, were filled with tales of the seelie and unseelie, and their eternal war.

The thought of stepping into their realm had him hesitating, lingering in the mortal one, where he was safe.

But the vision of his female being held against her will, shackled and stripped of power, and the lingering scent of her that swirled around him had him gearing up for a battle.

He couldn’t bear the thought of her in danger, so he would place himself in the path of it by pursuing her into another world.

Kin flexed his fingers into fists.

He’d had to fight for everything he had ever wanted.

It looked as if this time would be no different.

If it was war the nymphs wanted, it was war he would give them.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.au
Apple Books USA | Apple Books UK | Apple Books Canada | Apple Books Australia | Apple Books NZ
Barnes and Noble | Kobo Books | Google Play

Books in the Series

Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (99c right now!)
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar
Book 5: Craved by an Alpha
Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat
Book 7: Taken by a Dragon
Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness
Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death
Book 12: Turned by a Tiger
Book 13: Tamed by a Tiger
Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger
Book 15: Unchained by a Forbidden Love
Book 16: Avenged by an Angel
Book 17: Seduced by a Demon King
Book 18: Scorched by Darkness
Book 19: Inflamed by an Incubus
Book 20: Craved by a Wolf
Book 21: Bewitched by a Vampire (Coming 14th June 2022)

I FLOVE a story involving a shifter and when it’s a centuries old wolf shifter, with a growly Scottish accent, I’m all in!!

I’ve been intrigued by Hella since we met her in Fenix’s book…. That we knew she was in some sort of trouble, as well as dealing with a big wolfy shifter who she didn’t really know what to do with had me looking forward to her story. I really liked that she was feisty, clever, cheeky, determined but helluva stubborn – that she had gotten herself into some kind of tight spot made me wonder just which one of those traits was the cause.

When we first encounter Grant MacKinnon he too has found himself in a bit of a tight spot…. An unknown witch has crushed his ego in front of an audience in the fae town he was visiting, but to boot, she’s just cursed him to die, oh yeah, she also informed him he has a fated mate who he has to find. Thus starts a journey and adventure that Kin never imagined himself on.

This pair were perfect together if only Hella could for once trust a guy to like her for herself and if Kin could stop putting his foot in his mouth..

I loved that Kin’s accent was more pronounced depending on circumstances and events…. Personally when I’m tired, annoyed or a tad tipsy, my Glaswegian accent is most definitely more noticeable….
It was fun seeing the scenes that were previously in Inflamed by an Incubus but from Hella’s/MacKinnon’s POV.

Craved by a Wolf was actioned packed, had suspense, humour and tons of heat.
I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating…. Regardless of how many books into the Eternal Mates story arc we get, Felicity has the ability to keep things interesting engaging and fresh, as well as piquing our excitement for the next book and fated couple in the series.

I cannot wait for Night and Lilian’s book ~ Bewitched by a Vampire!!

About Felicity
Felicity Heaton

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling London Vampires series. Seven sexy and sinful Greek god brothers can be your new addiction in the Guardians of Hades series. Or how about four hot alpha shifter brothers in her Cougar Creek Mates series? Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

RELEASE BLITZ – Scammer Girl by Michelle Dayton

Jo is a professional online romance scammer and Jamie is The Conscience of Silicon Valley. They don’t trust one another, and when they meet in person, they quickly discover that not everything appears as it seems. Fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne will love Scammer Girl, a spicy enemies to lovers romance.

Blurb

Five years ago, Jo Harper did a bad thing. Dumped, injured, and in crippling debt, Jo did what any desperate woman with a PhD in psychology and above-average computer skills would: become an elite, undetectable online romance scammer. Now Jo and her team of four young women bring in enough cash to keep them securely afloat. Their targets? Married cheaters.

Jamie March, Bay Area royalty known as “The Conscience of Silicon Valley,” hates every aspect of online crime, especially those who defraud people. And when it appears that his brother is the victim of a sophisticated romance scam, he can’t stand idly by.

What’s weird though, is that when Jo and Jamie meet…they don’t hate one another. Not at all. He makes her laugh and feel alive again. She challenges his intellect like no other. But they can’t trust one another, right? And you can’t fall in love with someone you don’t trust—or can you?

Add to Goodreads Here!

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Buy Now On Your Favorite Retailers!

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Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Michelle Dayton

Chapter One

It is a truth universally acknowledged that to trick a rich man out of a large sum of money, one must be very clever and very patient.

​In the hotel coffee shop, I stopped drumming my fingers on the table and with great effort stilled my twitching foot. I’d been born clever, but the whole patience thing was taking a lot longer. 

​Across the room, Heather sat serenely, her rolling suitcase beside her, nose buried in a book on the politics of Silicon Valley. Her thick, dark hair was pulled into a high ponytail and the tortoiseshell glasses perched on the edge of her tiny nose gave her a studious air. She wore a tattered gray Boston Red Sox T-shirt that dwarfed her in an adorable way.

​She looked perfect. It had taken me forever to come up with the character’s exact look, but it was going to work. I just knew it. The team had made solid progress with our new San Francisco targets; I estimated we’d hear from half of them within the next week, which was pretty typical. But nabbing this one would make the road trip an unqualified success.

​“How’s the book?” I murmured. The miniscule mic, invisible below my dress’s collar, transmitted to an equally covert bud in Heather’s ear. 

​“Incomprehensible,” Heather muttered without moving her lips. “Did you actually read this?”

​Blech. I grimaced. “Every word, unfortunately. He’s babbled about it non-stop on LinkedIn.”

​I looked between the shop’s door to the lobby and its door to the street. Since he lived in a building around the corner, he’d most likely enter from the street. Glancing down at my watch, I sat up straighter. It was 8:45 a.m. In the past year, Linc Townsend had posted three times before 9:00 a.m. on his Twitter page that the only proper way to start a Friday morning was with a flat white from this particular coffee locale. 

​There! The door to the street swung open, revealing a tall man in his late thirties. His trademark white-blond hair was cropped close to his head. “Showtime,” I whispered to Heather. “Turn slightly so that the book is more obvious and he can see your shirt.”

​Heather took a sip from the cup on her table and angled herself to face the counter directly. She raised the book so that it rested on the table, the front cover obvious. Then she pushed back her shoulders; the logo on her shirt floated above the book. 

​Townsend strode to the register and smiled at the barista. “My usual.” After paying, he walked to the edge of the counter to wait for his drink. Damn it, he was pulling out his phone. If he got immersed in scrolling, he might not look up. He might not see her at all. 

​My gaze lit on the tray of lids, pitchers, and sugars at the edge of the counter. “Get up and get some milk for your drink,” I whispered. “Bring the book.”

​Heather stood, her eyes still looking down at the pages. Then she transferred the book to one hand, keeping her finger inserted halfway, the picture of someone who couldn’t bear to lose her place. She picked up the coffee cup with the other and glided across the shop, looking very much the intense grad student she was pretending to be.

​“Excuse me,” she said softly to Townsend without looking at him. She put her cup on the counter and poured milk with the same hand, propping the book on the counter with the other.

​As he moved a foot away to allow her some space, he gave a fleeting look at her face and at the book on the counter. 

​I grinned. Five, four, three, two …

​“What do you think of this book?” he asked Heather, tapping the hardcover. “I’m very familiar with it.” I bit my smile under control and waited for Heather’s opening line. I’d worked hard on it. 

​Heather looked up at Townsend, hazel eyes wide as if he’d startled her. Then she let her brow furrow and her mouth fold into a cute purse, as if she were seriously considering the question. “It’s uneven,” she finally said, meeting his gaze directly. “Some chapters are engaging and thought-provoking. But others are much less impressive.” 

​Nodding to herself as though her opinion was the final word on the matter, she gave him a small dismissive smile and took her coffee and book back to her table. I suppressed a laugh. Heather was such a pro. I might write the lines, but Heather always nailed the delivery.

​Townsend gaped at her, his mouth slightly parted. His gaze traveled from the beat-up sneakers on her feet, up the length of her faded jeans, and rested on the Red Sox T-shirt. Then he looked at Heather’s face, once again absorbed in the book. His gaze softened on the glasses and ponytail. 

Gotcha. I had agreed with one of Andie’s key assessments from her deep dive into Linc Townsend’s life: even though high school was twenty years in Townsend’s past, he was still nostalgic about the bespectacled brunette beauty he’d dated his senior year. Before she dumped him on her way to Harvard.

He was so distracted that the barista had to say “Linc” twice when his flat white was ready.

​Here we go. Adrenaline pulsed through my veins. I cleared my throat, ready. Townsend hesitated for only a moment before crossing the room and sitting, uninvited, in the other chair at Heather’s table. She looked up, annoyance clear on her face. “Wh –ah, can I help you?”

​His words transmitted clearly through the mic clipped to Heather’s bra. “You’ve intrigued me. I want to know which chapters you found worthwhile and which were lacking.”

​Taking a deep breath, I spoke as quickly and clearly as I could. Heather was used to the ventriloquist act, but if I flubbed a word, she would sound unnatural. “I enjoyed the chapters about how Silicon Valley types are extreme idealists. How life is just a matter of discovering great ideas through conversation, innovation, and education.” I paused so Heather could catch up. As soon as Heather spouted “education,” I started again. “But I think the book’s conclusion that Silicon Valley is a libertarian-like ideology within the Democrat Party—well, that’s a bit of a stretch.”

​Heather delivered the last sentence flawlessly and raised her eyebrows. “Satisfied?”

​Linc Townsend set his flat white on the table and leaned forward. I waited for a quick lecture of approval, especially since, as the creator of a successful tech start-up, he’d been quoted at length in the parts of the book that Heather said she liked.

​But he asked her an important question before mansplaining. “What is your name?” He offered a manicured hand across the table.

We’d hooked him already.

Buy Now!

Amazon →https://amzn.to/3mfc7up

iBooks→https://apple.co/3CgjYNX

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About Michelle Dayton

There are only three things Michelle Dayton loves more than sexy and suspenseful novels: her family, the city of Chicago, and Mr. Darcy. Michelle dreams of a year of world travel – as long as the trip would include weeks and weeks of beach time. As a bourbon lover and unabashed wine snob, Michelle thinks heaven is discussing a good book over an adult beverage.

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RELEASE BLITZ – Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

Title: Things We Never Got Over

Author: Lucy Score

Release: January 13, 2021

Genre: Romance

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59817761-things-we-never-got-over

Buy Links ( ):

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3tzb391

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/31PMDwh

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3tko1Y0

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3GnpWP3

Blurb:

Knox is a badass, bar-owning barber who prefers to live his life the way he takes his coffee: Alone. Well, except for his basset hound, Waylon. He doesn’t tolerate drama (Knox, not Waylon. Waylon loves drama.). Especially not when it comes in the form of a stranded runaway bride.

Naomi answered her estranged–some would say evil–twin’s call for help, arriving in rural and rough-around-the-edges Knockemout, Virginia, ready to be the good sister as usual.

Too bad her evil twin hasn’t changed at all. After helping herself to Naomi’s car and cash, Tina leaves her with something unexpected. The 11-year-old niece Naomi didn’t know she had. Dun dun dunnnn!

There are reasons why Knox doesn’t do family drama or high-maintenance women who actually believe in all the bullshit trappings of romance. But since her life imploded right in front of him, the least he can do is help Naomi out of her jam. Even if the uptight good girl is a gigantic pain in his ass. As soon as she stops getting herself into new trouble, he can stop dragging her into his bed and go back to his peaceful, solitary life.

At least, that’s the plan until the trouble turns to real danger.

Chapter One

Worst. Day. Ever

Naomi

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into Cafe Rev, but it sure as hell wasn’t a picture of myself behind the register under the cheery headline “Do Not Serve.” A yellow frowny face magnet held the photo in place.

First of all, I’d never set foot in Knockemout, Virginia, let alone done anything to warrant a punishment as egregious as withholding caffeine. Secondly, just what did a person have to do in this dusty little town to have a mugshot hanging in the local cafe?

Ha. Mug shot. Because I was in a cafe. Gosh, I was funny when I was too tired to blink.

Anyway, thirdly, it was an incredibly unflattering picture. I looked like I’d had a long-term threesome with a tanning bed and cheap eyeliner.

Right about then, reality penetrated my exhausted, dazed, bobby-pinned-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life head.

Once again, Tina had managed to make my life just a little bit worse. And considering what had gone down in the last twenty-four hours, that was saying something.

“Can I help…” The man on the other side of the counter, the one who could give me my precious latte, took a step back and held up hands the size of dinner plates. “I don’t want any trouble.”

He was a burly guy with smooth, dark skin and a shaved, nicely shaped head. His neatly trimmed beard was snow white, and I spotted a couple of tattoos peeking out of the neck and sleeves of his coveralls. The name Justice was stitched on his curious uniform.

I tried my most winning smile, but thanks to an overnight road trip spent crying through fake eyelashes, it felt more like a grimace.

“That’s not me,” I said, pointing a finger with a wasted French-tip manicure at the photo. “I’m Naomi. Naomi Witt.”

The man peered at me with suspicion before producing a pair of spectacles from the front pocket of his coveralls and slipping them on.

He blinked then gave me a head-to-toe scan. I saw the realization begin to hit.

“Twins,” I explained.

“Well, shit,” he murmured, stroking one of those big hands through his beard.

Justice still looked a little skeptical. I couldn’t exactly blame him. After all, how many people actually had an evil twin?

“That’s Tina. My sister. I’m supposed to meet her here.” Though why my estranged twin asked me to meet her in an establishment where she clearly wasn’t welcome was another question I was too tired to ask.

Justice was still staring at me, and I realized his gaze was lingering on my hair. Reflexively, I patted my head, and a wilted daisy fluttered to the floor. Whoops. I probably should have looked in the mirror at the motel before I set foot in public looking like a disheveled, unhinged stranger on her way home from a role-playing festival.

“Here,” I said, reaching into the pocket of my yoga shorts and thrusting my driver’s license at the man. “See? I’m Naomi and I would really, really like a gigantic latte.”

Justice took my ID and studied it, then my face again. Finally, his stoic expression cracked, and he broke into a wide grin. “I’ll be damned. It’s nice to meet you, Naomi.”

“It’s really nice to meet you too, Justice. Especially if you’re going to make me that aforementioned caffeine.”

“I’ll make you a latte that’ll make your hair stand on end,” he promised.

A man who knew how to meet my immediate needs and did it with a smile? I couldn’t help but fall just a little bit in love with him right then and there.

While Justice got to work, I admired the cafe. It was decked out in what looked like manly garage style. Corrugated metal on the walls, shiny red shelves, stained concrete floor. All the drinks had names like Red Line Latte and Checkered Flag Cappuccino. It was downright charming.

There were a handful of early morning coffee drinkers seated at the small round tables scattered throughout the place. Every single person was looking at me like they were really not happy to see me.

“How do you feel about maple and bacon flavors, darlin’?” Justice called from the gleaming espresso machine.

“I feel great about them. Especially if they come in a cup the size of a bucket,” I assured him.

His laugh echoed through the place and seemed to relax the rest of the patrons who went back to ignoring me.

The front door opened, and I turned, expecting to see Tina.

But the man who stormed inside was definitely not my sister. He looked to be in more dire need of caffeine than I was.

Hot would be a decent way to describe him. Hot as hell would be even more accurate. He was tall enough that I could wear my highest pair of heels and still have to tilt my head up to make out with him—my official categorization of male height. His hair was in the dirty blond range and was cut short on the sides and swept back on top, which suggested he had good taste and reasonable grooming skills.

Both of those criteria landed high on my List of Reasons to be Attracted to a Man. The beard was a brand-new addition to the list. I’d never kissed a man with a beard and I had a sudden, irrational interest in experiencing that at some point.

Then I got to his eyes. They were a cool blue-gray that made me think of gun metal and glaciers.

He strode right on up to me and stepped into my personal space like he had a standing invitation. When he crossed tattooed forearms across a broad chest, I made a squeaky sound in the back of my throat.

Wow.

“Thought I made myself real clear,” he growled.

“Uh. Huh?”

I was confused. The man was glaring at me like I was the most hated character on a reality TV show, yet I still wanted to see what he looked like naked. I hadn’t exhibited such poor sexual judgment since I was in college.

I blamed my exhaustion and emotional scarring.

Behind the counter, Justice stopped mid-latte creation and waved both hands in the air. “Hold on now,” he began.

“It’s okay, Justice,” I assured him. “You just keep making that coffee, and I’ll take care of this…gentleman.”

Chairs pushed back from tables all around us, and I watched as every last customer beelined for the door, some with their mugs still in hand. None of them made any eye contact with me on their way out.

“Knox, it’s not what you think,” Justice tried again.

“I’m not playing any games today. Get the fuck out,” the Viking ordered. The blond god of sexy fury was rapidly plummeting lower on my sexy checklist.

I pointed at my chest. “Me?”

“I’ve had enough of your games. You got five seconds to walk out this door and never come back,” he said, stepping in even closer until the tips of his boots brushed my exposed toes in their flip-flops.

Damn. Up close, he looked like he’d just stormed off a marauding Viking vessel…or the set of a cologne commercial. One of those weird artsy ones that didn’t make any sense and had names like Ignorant Beast.

“Look, sir. I’m in the midst of a personal crisis and all I’m trying to do is get a cup of coffee.”

“I fucking told you, Tina. You are not to come in here and harass Justice or his customers again, or I’d personally escort your ass out of town.”

“Knox—”

The bad-tempered, sexy man-beast held up his finger in Justice’s direction. “One second, bud. Looks like I gotta take out the trash.”

“The trash?” I gasped. I thought Virginians were supposed to be friendly. Instead, I’d been in town barely half an hour and was now being rudely accosted by a Viking with the manners of a caveman.

“Darlin’, your coffee’s up,” Justice said, sliding a very large to-go cup onto the wooden counter.

My eyes darted toward the steamy, caffeinated goodness.

“You even think about picking up that cup, and we’re gonna have a problem,” the Viking said, his voice low and dangerous.

But Leif Erikson didn’t know who he was messing with today.

Every woman had her line. Mine, which was admittedly drawn too far back, had just been crossed.

“You take one step toward that beautiful latte that my friend Justice made especially for me, and I will make you regret the moment you met me.”

I was a nice person. According to my parents, I was a good girl. And according to that online quiz I took two weeks ago, I was a people pleaser. I wasn’t great at doling out threats.

The man’s eyes narrowed, and I refused to notice the sexy crinkles at the corner.

“I already regret it, and so does this whole damn town. Just because you change your hair doesn’t mean I’m gonna forget about the trouble you’ve caused here. Now get your ass out the door and don’t come back.”

“He thinks you’re Tina,” Justice cut in.

I didn’t care if this ass thought I was a serial killing cannibal. He was standing between me and my caffeine.

The blond beast turned his head toward Justice. “What the hell are you saying?”

Before my nice friend with the coffee could explain, I drilled my finger into the Viking’s chest. It didn’t go very far, thanks to the obscene layer of muscle under the skin. But I made sure to lead with the nail.

“Now you listen to me,” I began. “I don’t care if you think I’m my sister or that weasel who jacked up the price of anti-malarial drugs. I am a human being having a really bad day after the worst one of her life. I do not have it in me to stuff down these emotions today. So you’d better get out of my way and leave me alone, Viking.”

He looked downright bemused for a hot second.

I took that to mean it was coffee time. Side-stepping him, I picked up the cup, took a delicate sniff, and then shoved my face into the steaming hot life force.

I drank deeply, willing the caffeine to perform its miracles as flavors exploded on my tongue. I was pretty sure the inappropriate moan I heard came from my own mouth but was too tired to care. When I finally lowered the cup and swiped the back of my hand over my mouth, the Viking was still standing there, staring at me.

Turning my back on him, I flashed my hero a smile and slid my credit card across the counter. “You, sir, are an artist. What do I owe you for the best latte I’ve ever had in my life, Justice?”

“Considering the morning you’re having, darlin’, it’s on the house,” he said, handing my license and credit card back to me.

“You, my friend, are a true gentleman. Unlike some others.” I cast a glare over my shoulder to where the Viking was standing, legs braced, arms crossed. Taking another dive into my drink, I pulled my emergency twenty-dollar bill out of my pocket and tucked it into the tip jar. “Thank you for being nice to me on the worst day of my life.”

“Thought that day was yesterday,” the scowling behemoth butted in.

My sigh was weary as I slowly turned to face him. “That was before I met you. So I can officially say that as bad as yesterday was, today beat it out by a slim margin.” Once again, I turned back to Justice. “I’m sorry this jerk scared away all your customers. But I’ll be back for another one of these real soon.”

“Looking forward to it, Naomi,” he said with a wink.

I turned to leave and smacked right into a mile of grumpy man chest.

“Naomi?” he said.

“Go away.” It felt almost good to be rude for once in my life. To take a stand.

“Your name’s Naomi,” the Viking stated.

I was too busy trying to incinerate him with a glare of righteous anger to respond.

“Not Tina?” he pressed.

“They’re twins, man,” Justice said, the smile evident in his voice.

“Fuck me.” The Viking shoved a hand through his hair.

“I worry about your friend’s vision,” I said to Justice, pointing at the mug shot of Tina.

Tina had gone bleach blonde at some point in the past decade-plus, making our otherwise subtle differences even more obvious.

“I left my contacts at home,” he said.

“Next to your manners?” I quipped. The caffeine was hitting my bloodstream, making me unusually feisty.

He didn’t respond with anything other than a heated glare.

I sighed. “Get out of my way, Leif Erikson.”

“The name is Knox. And why are you here?”

What the hell kind of name was that? Was it a hard Knox life? Did he tell a lot of Knox Knox jokes? Was it short for something? Knoxwell? Knoxathan?

“That’s none of your business, Knox. Nothing I do or don’t do is your business. In fact, my existence is none of your business. Now, kindly get out of my way.”

I felt like screaming as loud as I could for as long as I could. But I’d tried that a couple of times in the car on the long drive here, and it hadn’t helped.

Thankfully, the beautiful oaf heaved an annoyed sigh and did the decent, life-preserving thing by getting out of my way. I swept out of the café and into the summer swelter with as much dignity as I could muster.

If Tina wanted to meet up with me, she could find me at the motel. I didn’t need to wait around and be accosted by strangers with the personalities of cacti.

I’d head back to my dingy room, take every last pin out of my hair, and shower until the hot water ran out. Then I’d figure out what to do next.

It was a solid plan. It was only missing one thing.

My car.

The bike rack in front of the coffee shop was still there. The laundromat with its bright posters in the window was still across the street next to the mechanic’s garage.

But my car was not where I’d left it.

The parking spot I’d squeezed into in front of the pet shop was empty.

I looked up and down the block. But there was no sign of my trusty, dusty Volvo.

“You lost?”

I closed my eyes and clenched my jaw. “Go. Away.”

“Now what’s your problem?”

I turned around and found Knox watching me intently, holding a to-go coffee cup.

“What’s my problem?” I repeated.

I wanted to kick him in the shins and steal his coffee.

“Nothin’ wrong with my hearing, sweetheart. No need to yell.”

“My problem is while I wasted five minutes of my life getting to know you, my car was towed.”

“You sure?”

“No. I never have any idea where I park my car. I just leave them everywhere and buy new ones when I can’t find them.”

He shot me a look.

I rolled my eyes. “Obviously, I’m being sarcastic.” I reached for my phone only to remember I no longer had a phone.

“Who pissed in your Cheerios?”

“Whoever taught you to express concern for a person did it wrong.” Without another word, I stalked off in what I hoped was the direction of the local police station.

I didn’t make it to the next storefront before a big, hard hand locked around my upper arm.

It was the sleep deprivation, the emotional rawness, I told myself. Those were the only reasons I felt the jittery zing of awareness at his grip.

“Stop,” he ordered, sounding surly.

“Hands. Off.” I flailed my arm awkwardly, but his grip only tightened.

“Then stop walking away from me.”

I paused my evasive flailing. “I’ll stop walking away if you stop being an asshole.”

His nostrils flared as he stared up at the sky, and I thought I heard him counting.

“Are you seriously counting to ten?” I was the one who was wronged. I was the one with a reason to pray to the heavens for patience.

He got all the way to ten and still looked annoyed. “If I stop being an asshole, will you stay and talk for a minute?”

I took another sip of coffee and thought about it. “Maybe.”

“I’m letting go,” he warned.

“Great,” I prompted.

We both looked down at his hand on my arm. Slowly he loosened his grip and released me, but not before his fingertips trailed over the sensitive skin inside my arm.

Goose bumps broke out, and I hoped he wouldn’t notice. Especially because, in my body, goose bumps and pointy nipple reactions were closely related.

“You cold?” His gaze was most definitely not on my arm or shoulders but my chest.

Damn it. “Yes,” I lied.

“It’s eighty-four degrees, and you’re drinking hot coffee.”

“If you’re finished mansplaining internal temperature, I’d like to go find my car,” I said, crossing my free arm over my traitorous boobs. “Perhaps you could point me in the direction of the nearest impound lot or police station?”

He stared at me for a long beat, then shook his head. “Come on then.”

“Excuse me?”

“I’ll give you a ride.”

“Ha!” I choked out a laugh. He was delusional if he thought I’d willingly get in a car with him.

I was still shaking my head when he spoke again. “Let’s go, Daisy. I don’t have all day.”

Author Bio:

Lucy Score is a Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author. Small town contemporary rom-coms are her lady jam and she enjoys delivering the feels with a huge side of happily ever after.

Her books have been translated into several languages, making readers around the world snort laugh, swoon, and sob. Lucy lives in Pennsylvania with the devastatingly handsome Mr. Lucy and their horrible cat.

In her spare time she enjoys sleeping, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and reading all the romance novels in the universe.

Social Media Links:

http;//facebook.com/lucyscorewrites
http://instagram.com/scorelucy
http://twitter.com/lucyscore1
http://lucyscore.net

RELEASE BLITZ – Fastball (Stadium #3) by S.A. Clayton

Title: Fastball
Series: Stadium #3
Author: S.A. Clayton

Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Date: August 20, 2021

BLURB

Fastball- Noun: A pitch thrown at or near a player’s maximum velocity

Neither Josh nor Harper knows what their relationship would become, but over time they’ve relied on each other to pick the other when the world seems to want to keep them apart.

Nothing is ever easy when it comes to love and when secrets are revealed, relationships will be tested and the pressure might just become too much.

Their love is strong, but sometimes these things need to turndown so something better can rise from the ashes.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57061446-fast-ball

PURCHASE LINKS

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UK: https://amzn.to/3soVkq5
CA: https://amzn.to/3g8iqwh
AU: https://amzn.to/3AJv1Os
B&N: https://bit.ly/2W0iojl
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3m2M6im
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3ANgMIl

EXCERPT

Chapter One: Harper

A Rolodex of pictures continues to filter through my brain. Over and over again I see image after image of Josh and me, all in different stages of undress, all extremely revealing and embarrassing.
This happens every night.
Falling asleep has become harder and harder because my brain doesn’t shut off the possibilities of who is doing this to us and why it keeps getting worse and worse. Every night Josh holds me, whispering encouraging words in my ear as I pretend to fall asleep. Does he know I fake it until he drifts off behind me? Probably not, but right now I try every trick in the book because those pictures are haunting me and nothing I do seems to quiet the storm inside my head.
After a few hours, I drift off, waiting for the haunting dreams to start. The ones where the pictures leak, where Josh loses everything and in turn, I lose the best thing that’s ever happened to me. But tonight is different. Tonight’s dream morphs from a nightmare to a flip-book of the worst horrors of my childhood, and before long I’m knee-deep in one of the worst nightmares I’ve had in decades.
I shoot up out of bed, soaking in sweat and shaking. My eyes struggle to adjust to the darkness as I try and find something to ground myself to this reality. The pads of Josh’s fingers graze my back and I jump at the contact.
“Shh, sweetheart, it’s just me.”
I look over, the exhausted look in his eyes evident, yet the worry creeps through enough for the guilt to set in. I take a deep breath, trying to calm down as I struggle to get the remnants of the dream off my skin.
“It’s okay,” I lie. “I’m fine.”
I don’t say anything else as I get out of bed and make my way out of Josh’s bedroom and into the kitchen. I don’t turn on any lights, letting the glow of the moon through the windows cast an eerie film over the space. The darkness of the dream starts to surround me as I shudder, trying to shake the image of my father’s lifeless body from my brain. I stayed here tonight because I wanted to see Josh before he went to practice tomorrow, and now I’m regretting it. I haven’t had a nightmare like that for months. I honestly thought they were gone for good, but now the realization that I have to explain to Josh what happened settles in and my stomach plummets. I try and shake the feeling as I get myself a glass of water, leaning back against the counter as Josh walks into the room.
My eyes catch the clock above the stove. Three a.m., great.
“You should go back to bed, it’s too early for you to be up,” I mutter.
Josh’s eyes never leave mine as he sits down at the island, his fingers intertwining as they rest on the cool granite. We sit in silence for a few seconds before I take another drink and place the empty glass in the sink.
“You’re not leaving that spot, are you?”
He just shakes his head, his eyes pleading for me to say something, anything that will allow him into this moment. Yet the effects of the dream still linger and the idea of talking about this shakes me to my core.
“Sweetheart, I need you to talk to me. I know this is hard, but I want to help you and I can’t do that if I don’t know what I’m up against.” My eyes cast down, feeling the weight of his gaze as I play with the edge of the counter. “Harper.” He doesn’t sound mad, he sounds concerned and it’s that distinction that propels me to the empty seat beside him.
Without saying a word, I sit down, leaning my head against his shoulder as his arms encase my body, sending a sense of warmth through my veins.
“This memory isn’t something I talk about… to anyone,” I admit.
He says nothing, his arms tightening as his lips brush my temple. “You can tell me as much or as little as you want. I just want you to let me in. I hate that I can’t fix this…”
I take a shuddering breath, realizing how long I’ve waited for someone to say those words to me.
“You won’t be able to fix this, Josh. Trust me. Years of therapy haven’t gotten rid of the nightmares.”
He leans back, our eyes meeting and the sense of helplessness that surrounds me is almost overwhelming, so I do the one thing that seems to always calm me down. I lean in and lightly kiss his lips, basking in their softness and I steel myself for what’s about to come out of my mouth.

ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 Hardball – FREE for a limited time!

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#2 Curveball – $1.99 for a limited time!

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B&N: https://bit.ly/3AROcpv
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Apple Books: https://apple.co/3AE9ruO

AUTHOR BIO

S.A. Clayton lives in a small town outside of Toronto, Canada with her husband and her scary large collection of books that seem to take over every room.
She has worked on both sides of the publishing industry, both in a bookstore and for actual publishing companies. Although she loved both for different reasons, she found that writing was her true passion and has spent the last few years breaking into the industry as best she can.
She is a lover of all things romance and began her writing journey in her late twenties. Since then, she has immersed herself in the romance genre and couldn’t be happier.
When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys binging a great Netflix show (Stranger Things anyone?), baking (because who doesn’t love cookies!) and spending time with her family.


AUTHOR LINKS

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/S-A-Clayton/e/B07ZBN2KDR
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saclaytonauthor
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SAClaytonReaderCorner
Twitter: https://twitter.com/saclaytonauthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saclaytonauthor
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/s-a-clayton
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19006786.S_A_Clayton
Newsletter: https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5f38043408206800261eba86

BOOK TOUR – Stolen by her Bear (Black Ridge Bears #1) by Felicity Heaton

New York Times best-selling paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton is here today for the book tour for Stolen by her Bear, the first book in her brand new bear shifter romance series, Black Ridge Bears! The Black Ridge Bears series is all about the growly neighbours of the shifters in the Cougar Creek Mates series and is part of the Eternal Mates world. You can find out more about the world at http://www.felicityheaton.com/

If you love sizzling shifter romances featuring hot alpha heroes and strong heroines bringing them to their knees then this series is definitely for you. Plus, each book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!

About the Book

Stolen by her Bear (Black Ridge Bears Series Book 1)
by Felicity Heaton

Saint is a bear shifter on the war path. He just wants to sleep the winter away, but his rowdy neighbours in the remote Rocky Mountains valley have other plans. When the cougar shifter brothers refuse to keep the noise down, he reacts on instinct, kidnapping a beautiful female who smells like sweet berries and tempts him like no other – a female who happens to be mated to one of the brothers.

Holly’s first taste of freedom isn’t going as planned. Escaping her family to join in the winter wedding celebrations at Cougar Creek with her friend Ember sounded fantastic, until a grouchy bear shifter grabs her – a gorgeous male who rouses instincts in her that are startling and powerful, igniting a fierce need to growl and stake a claim on him. A gorgeous bear who might be her fated mate.

Can Holly resist the hungers Saint awakens in her? And when Saint realises his mistake about her identity, can he convince the stunning Holly to give him a second chance?

Purchase Links

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.au
iBooks USA | iBooks UK | iBooks Canada | iBooks Australia | iBooks New Zealand
Barnes and Noble | Kobo Books | Google Play

Excerpt

Saint turned his frown on the snow that reached almost as high as the deck, had to be at least three feet deep where it had accumulated against the underside of his raised cabin. His gaze tracked across the undulating snow that stretched between him and the thick forest of lodgepole pines and spruces.

This was going to be one shitty walk.

Putting it off wasn’t going to make it any nicer though, or make his mood any better.

He wasn’t the only grouchy bear on the property either. He glanced to his right at Knox and Lowe, could see by their faces they were as pissed as he was by the disturbance. Having the three of them tired and grumpy would only make all of them worse in the long run, would bring out the bear in them and cause them to bicker and fight, destroying the peace they normally enjoyed. So as much as he despised the thought of dropping down into three feet of snow, he was going to have to do it.

Gods, he was glad Rune and Maverick had gone to Vancouver for winter as they always did, the two of them travelling to a bolthole they shared there. Neither of them was the sort of bear to sleep the months away, preferred to be awake through winter, but like him, they didn’t like snow. Saint had once made the mistake of convincing them to stay at Black Ridge for winter, had denied the urge to sleep so he could stay awake with them.

It hadn’t gone well.

They had made it to December before Rune and Maverick had gotten into a brawl so bad he had feared they would kill each other, and then all three of them had holed up in their individual cabins until the snowmelt. It had been the longest damned winter of Saint’s life. He hadn’t been able to sleep, had stayed awake to make sure Rune and Maverick made it to spring.

He scrubbed a hand over his beard, hoping like hell things didn’t end up that bad this time. If they couldn’t get back to sleep, ended up having to stay awake, then he wasn’t sure he would be able to keep his cool and smooth the edge of his own mood to maintain order within their makeshift pride.

As it was, he was itching for a fight.

If Knox or Lowe tried to start anything, just looked at him the wrong way, he was liable to blow his top.

Knox kicked the snow off his deck, grumbling, “I’m tempted to go deal with whoever is making all that noise.”

“Rein it in, or I’ll be tempted to deal with you,” Lowe muttered as he finished pushing the last of the snow off his own deck, piling it up around the thick wooden pylons that raised the cabin off the ground.

It wasn’t like the usually laid-back Lowe to be grumpy. Normally, the ash-blond bear took things as they came, rolling with whatever life threw at him without worrying too much. Saint blamed Knox’s mood. It was his brother’s agitation that had Lowe on edge too.

Lowe always got like this whenever Knox was fired up, felt a need to weigh in and have his twin’s back.

“I’ll go see what the deal is.” Saint turned away from them and murmured under his breath, “Just got to get through this crap first.”

He huffed and took the first step down from his deck, forced himself to keep going when the next one was hidden by snow. His pride needed him to do something, and he would do it. He would make the cougars shut up so he and his kin could get back to sleep, and when he woke, all the snow would be gone.

He held on to that fantasy, filling his mind with images of green grass and warm sunshine as he trudged down the steps. It shattered as he fumbled for the final step and slipped, had to grab the railing behind him and brace himself to avoid falling on his backside.

Saint growled as he pushed away from the steps and waded through the deep snow, heading for the forest that would lead him to Cougar Creek. He glared at the field of white as it sparkled, the weak sunlight reflecting off it enough to almost blind him. As it was, it made his eyes water again, and that moisture felt as if it was turning to ice in his eyes.

There was nothing magical about winter.

He huffed and snarled as he pushed forwards, ploughing a path through the snow. At least he wouldn’t get as cold and damp on the way back, after he was done murdering whoever had woken him and his kin.

If he somehow managed to rein in the urge to spill blood, maybe the fresh air and struggling through the snow would tire him out enough that he could sleep when he got back to his cabin.

He finally reached the dense forest, where most of the snow clung to the branches of the pines and firs, keeping the amount on the ground down to less than a foot. He picked his way through the fresh snow, careful not to snag his boot on a root or rock because falling flat on his face in the snow would probably be the match that lit the fuse of his temper.

Saint breathed a little easier as he reached an animal track, a path through the forest that had been kept clear of snow by the constant back and forth of the local ungulates. His muscles began to relax, the tension that had stiffened them during the walk through the icy snow fading as he picked up pace.

When he neared the invisible boundary between Cougar Creek and Black Ridge, he slowed and fell silent, his breathing levelling out as he moved with stealth into the trees, veering off the track. His ears twitched as he listened, the only sound that of distant birdsong and animals moving through the trees. No laughter. No voices.

His breath fogged in the air as he slipped from tree to tree, peering ahead of him through the trunks and low branches and the scrub, seeking a sign of life as he drew closer to Cougar Creek. His palms began to sweat as his heart drummed a faster, harder rhythm against his ribs, as he honed his senses and searched for danger, in case it was hunters who had come to the cougar territory and they were the ones laughing.

Overjoyed by capturing or killing a shifter.

He spat on the ground, cursing the hunters. They had taken too many from his kin.

Had taken too much from him.

He had barely matured, had only just passed a century old when the mortal hunter organisation Archangel had executed a raid on a nearby underground fae town. His parents had been there, had tried to escape and hadn’t made it out alive.

Last year, a helicopter had circled over Black Ridge, heading back to Cougar Creek, and Saint had heard the distant gunfire. Part of him had wanted to go and check it out, to see if Rath needed help.

The rest, the alpha in him, had made him stay at Black Ridge in case there were more hunters in the forests and his pride needed him.

He tipped his head up and dragged in a slow, deep breath as he pushed those memories aside, focusing on the present in case it was hunters. He couldn’t let himself get swept up in the past, had to stay alert and aware of his surroundings and any danger that might be lying in wait for him.

Saint scented the air, trying to catch something that would tell him what to expect ahead of him.

He froze, locked up tight as he caught a scent, as warmth spread through him in response, roused a hunger in him that was powerful and commanding.

He dragged in another breath, aching for another delectable hit of that scent. And it was delectable, like sweet berries, and utterly feminine.

Which was enough to set him on edge.

Females didn’t stay at Cougar Creek in winter.

Saint veered off course again, unable to stop himself from tracking the scent through the forest, curiosity gripping him and filling him with a need to find the owner of it. His mouth watered, the hunger clenching his gut growing fiercer as the scent grew stronger. Ahead of him, the bushes and trees gave way to man-made clearings, openings in the forest where small cabins had been constructed.

He huffed.

Cougar Creek.

He stealthily inspected the two cabins he could see, keeping his distance from them. Snow had fallen through the canopy of the forest and was thick on their roofs, and it was pristine on the decks, untouched. No one was staying in them.

Saint banked left, heading down towards the river, to a cabin he knew was there. The raised L-shaped wooden lodge sat at the head of a fifty-foot clearing in the forest, one that stretched down to the creek.

He remained in the shadows of the trees as he moved towards that river, giving the place a wide berth. He eyed the deck and the steps and the ground just beyond them. Someone had cleared the snow away. The place belonged to one of the three brothers of Rath, the alpha of the pride, and it was usually empty over winter.

Looked as if the male was staying this time.

Was he responsible for the ruckus that had woken Saint and his kin?

He sharpened his instincts again and frowned as he sensed more than just Rath and one brother at the Creek. He pinpointed at least five other people, most of them close to the main clearing. One of them was bound to be the female Rath had mated with last year, one Saint had seen for himself a few times.

He thought her name was Ivy, was sure he had heard the alpha cougar call her that a few times when she had been photographing bears near the river. The female was human, and not the only one at the Creek either.

The bastard Storm had a human female of his own. Saint had caught her in the woods last year when she had been running from the male and had scared her witless. He regretted what had happened now, but he had been in a foul mood, his bear at the fore. Their run-in had happened only a week after the Archangel helicopter had come and the need to protect his kin had been strong, fierce enough that he had viewed her as a threat.

Saint had figured Gabi for a huntress, still thought she was a member of Archangel and one day Storm was going to wake up to find a blade in his heart.

He backtracked up to the two empty cabins and headed past them into another area of dense scrub that provided cover as he moved towards the heart of Cougar Creek.

His ears twitched.

Voices.

He eased lower and peered through the bushes and trees towards the clearing. Stilled as he spotted two males and a female in an area that had been cleared of snow near the top of the long sloping strip of green that formed the centre of the cougar’s territory. The felines had been busy. It looked as if they had cleared snow in a patch roughly sixty feet in all directions from the front of Rath’s cabin. That cabin sat nestled among the pines and spruces, its back to the forest that covered the base of the mountain, facing the clearing and the creek at the bottom of it.

What were they up to?

Rath straightened and planted the tip of his snow shovel against the ground, leaned on the handle of it as he pushed his thick black hat up and wiped his brow. He pulled his dark green scarf down and undid the top fastening of his black winter jacket.

“We taking a break now?” the male with him growled, a hint of warmth and teasing in his tone as he set down his own shovel and tugged at the blue scarf wrapped around his throat. Like Rath, he wore a black protective coat and matching hat, and irritatingly kept his back to Saint so he couldn’t make out which brother he was. “Only been at it an hour. Still a lot more snow to clear.”

Rath huffed and scrubbed a hand down his face, over a thick dark beard. “Remind me again why we’re doing this.”

The big male chuckled, the warmth in his voice lingering. “Love, apparently. Not sure why I got pulled into shovelling duties though. Storm should be here, clearing the way for this ceremony. Where is he anyway?”

This time, Rath was the one who chuckled, his grey eyes brightening with it. “Where do you think?”

The male shook his head. “I have half a mind to go bang down his door, but I don’t want to get an eyeful. Flint could at least have offered to help, but he’s about as useful as Storm.”

Flint and Storm weren’t present then, which meant the big male with Rath was Cobalt. Cobalt was a mad bastard. Saint had never seen a cougar fight like he did, as if he had nothing left to live for.

Rath and Cobalt were as big as each other, packed with muscle and good fighters, but if it came to a one-on-one fight, Saint could take them. Provided they didn’t resort to low blows like their brother Flint.

He shuddered at the memory, his balls aching. It had taken him weeks to heal them after the male had run his claws over them during a brawl. He still hadn’t forgiven the cougar, wanted a piece of him, and Storm, for the scars they had given him. A low growl curled up his throat, his blood running hot despite the cold, and he wanted to unleash it but bit it back instead. As much as he wanted a fight, he wanted to sleep more.

Besides, he couldn’t let his foul mood get him into a brawl right now when his body was still recovering from a month-long sleep. He would probably lose and that would only make his mood worse.

Saint drew down a steadying breath and stilled as the delicious scent of berries hit him again. It was weaker now, but still warmed him, roused a hunger to hunt the owner of that scent and see her for himself.

The door of the cabin behind Rath opened and a female came out, wrapped so heavily in winter clothing that he couldn’t make out much of her face between her colourful striped scarf and woollen hat, or her figure through the thick cream coat and brown ski pants.

He knew her scent though.

Ivy.

In fact, he knew most of the scents of the females belonging to the brothers. He had put Gabi’s scent to memory when he had captured her, and he had done the same with Yasmin’s when Flint had come to Black Ridge looking for a fight in order to impress her.

Maybe he had imagined the sweet scent in the woods.

Berries were his vice after all.

He loved them and found them impossible to resist.

“Come warm up for a few minutes.” She looked at her mate and then at Cobalt.

Both males nodded and let their shovels fall into the thin layer of snow, and Rath waited for Cobalt to reach him before they both started towards the cabin.

“Does Ember want to drop in for a warming drink too?” Ivy said with a look at Cobalt.

Ember. Saint wasn’t familiar with that female.

“She went for a walk.” Cobalt tugged his black hat off, revealing mussed blond hair. “But she’ll be back in time for the practice run.”

Rath glanced at his brother. “Did your certificate come through?”

“Yup. I’m officially ordained.” Cobalt flashed a grin at him and chuckled. “That’s not something I ever thought I would be. Not many cougars out there needing this sort of thing.”

Saint watched them go inside, debated going to the cabin and speaking to Rath, but fatigue was rolling up on him, his eyelids feeling heavy again as the fresh air lost its effect on him and his bear instincts growled at him to go back to sleep. He knew what the noise was now. It wasn’t humans or danger, just a bunch of irritating cougars celebrating something. That should be enough to calm the instinct to protect himself and his pride, and allow all of them to get back to sleep.

He rose to his feet and turned away from the cabin, picked his way to the animal track and followed it back towards the Ridge. Maybe he would fix himself some food before he hit the sack again, something to take the edge off his hunger and tide him over while he slept. He was clearly hungry.

Because he was fantasising about sweet juicy summer berries again.

Could smell them stronger now.

He frowned and slowed his pace, lifted his head and drew down a breath. The scent was stronger. His mouth watered, heat suffusing him, and he pivoted on his heel, was tracking the smell of berries before he realised what he was doing.

Saint dropped to his haunches when he spotted a lone figure ahead of him, near the frozen river.

A female.

He dragged down a breath, every inch of him locking up tight as he caught her scent.

Sweet berries and a hint of vanilla.

He scented something else on her too. She was cougar. Was she Ember? Did she belong to Cobalt?

Saint told himself to go, but found himself easing lower instead to observe her. Silent. A predator.

She tilted her head up as she turned, raised her gloved hand to cover her eyes as she peered at the canopy. Birds sang there but he paid them no heed, was too arrested by the sight of her.

Raven hair spilled from beneath her dark purple woollen hat, cascading over a form-fitting weatherproof coat in the same colour, and grey eyes with a strong hint of emerald sparkled as rosy lips curled into the semblance of a smile.

His heart started at a hard pace, drumming against his ribs as his blood heated.

She was beautiful.

A need to stand and go to her pounded inside him and he struggled to deny it, to remain where he was and merely observe her, studying everything about her. Like the fact she had to stand at least a foot shorter than his six-seven, and looked as if she weighed nothing more than a feather. There was a delicate sense of beauty about her, with her porcelain skin and the hint of pink on her cheeks, and he lost himself in watching her, the world around him fading away.

Until there was only her.

Her slender shoulders suddenly stiffened, her smile disappearing as she tensed and went still.

She had sensed him.

Saint lingered, wondering what she would do. Run away or stay?

Seconds seemed to stretch into an eternity as he waited, as her grey-green eyes slowly took in the forest.

Strange disappointment flooded him when she suddenly turned on her heel and walked in the direction of Cougar Creek, her pace brisk, boots chewing up the frozen ground beneath the pines.

Saint stared after her.

Driven to follow.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.au
iBooks USA | iBooks UK | iBooks Canada | iBooks Australia | iBooks New Zealand
Barnes and Noble | Kobo Books | Google Play

Books in the Series

Book 1: Stolen by her Bear
Book 2: Rescued by her Bear – Pre-order Now
Book 3: Saved by her Bear – Pre-order Now
Book 4: Unleashed by her Bear – Pre-order Now
Book 5: Awakened by her Bear – Pre-order Now

BLP REVIEW – Tracy

One of my favourite things about the first book in a new series by Ms Heaton is the world-building.

Getting to know the characters, the setting, a bit of their history (which will without doubt be developed further with each book in the series)

Stolen by her Bear was a great introduction to the bear shifters of Black Ridge, with the added interest of crossover threads from the Cougar Creek Mates and Eternal Mates books, another two read worthy series from Felicity.

We had met Saint previously in the Cougar Creek series but the impression we have of him from there to what and who he really is was quite different.

Though still not acceptable, the reasoning behind his earlier behaviour was understandable once you got a glimpse of his past.

Holly was a new character who is a cougar and friend of Ember (who we met in Craved by her Cougar).

I liked Holly, she was feisty, a lot different from the other cougars and doesn’t feel quite right in her own skin…. Until she meets Saint.

Starting with a case of mistaken identity and a kidnapping, through realising they are fated mates to issues that could keep them apart, Stolen by her Bear was a great read and I’m looking forward to book two in the series – we were briefly introduced to the heroine of Lowe’s book toward the end of SbhB.

A definite recommended read, especially for fans of shifter/PNR stories.

About Felicity
Felicity Heaton

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling London Vampires series. Seven sexy and sinful Greek god brothers can be your new addiction in the Guardians of Hades series. Or how about four hot alpha shifter brothers in her Cougar Creek Mates series? Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the Eternal Mates series.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

RELEASE BLITZ – The Grumpy Player Next Door (Copper Valley Fireballs #3) by Pippa Grant

RELEASE BLITZ

Title: The Grumpy Player Next Door
Series: Copper Valley Fireballs #3
Author: Pippa Grant

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 8, 2021

BLURB

An enemies-to-lovers / sports / grumpy-sunshine / neighbor romance

I, Tillie Jean Rock, am not in love with my brother’s teammate. Sure, he might have those biceps and that “I am the grouchiest of grouchy bears” smolder, and he might shovel snow off his driveway next door wearing nothing but boxer shorts and rubber boots, and he might be running a side business feeding all the stray goats in town, but studliness is only skin-deep.

And I might flirt with him every chance I get, but I swear it’s only to annoy my brother.

And him.

Because Max Cole?

Under all of those glorious muscles and chiseled cheekbones and searing glares beats the heart of a heartless devil.

I could no sooner fall in love with a guy who treats me like a kid, and judges me at every opportunity, and sets an army of garden gnomes loose on my yard, than I could fall in love with my grandfather’s pet parrot.

But I can definitely annoy him. I can one hundred percent get on board with annoying him.

That’s what you do when you don’t like your neighbor, right?

But you know what they say about love and hate…

It’s a very thin line.

Especially when the real reason I’m not in love with Max Cole—that he’s incapable of love—might not be true at all.

The Grumpy Player Next door is a fun-filled enemies-to-lovers romcom featuring a ray of sunshine on a mission, an athlete who’s only grouchy around her, and an epic prank gone wrong. It stands alone and comes complete with small-town shenanigans, a goat who’s not nearly as wise as his name suggests, and proof that sometimes, love is the best kind of vengeance.


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57489596-the-grumpy-player-next-door

PURCHASE LINKS

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Free in Kindle Unlimited

Also available in paperback: https://amzn.to/3dL77sW


EXCERPT

There’s a fine art to revenge, and today, I am arting the hell out of it. I’m talking cackles of glee, evil cartoon overlord-style, rubbing my hands together while bouncing on my toes. Reminding myself to shut up because my brother will be home from his morning workout any minute now, and I don’t want to tip my hand when he doesn’t know I’m waiting for him here in his house up on the mountainside.
You would think he would’ve learned to engage his security system more often by now.
But he hasn’t, which means I’m here, armed and dangerous and ready, and I’m cackling with glee all over again.
I know, I know. Is this really how you want to pay him back for having a box labeled “dildos” delivered to you at your parents’ house in the midst of all the pre-wedding activities for your other brother last week?
Yes, actually.
Yes, it is.
It’s payback time.
Also?
I have zero doubt Cooper will have mad respect that I’m doing this.
Sort of like while I was pissed when he replaced my coffee beans with roasted goat poop before he left for spring training nine months ago, I very much respected that he pulled it off, even if I wasn’t pleased at having to admit that that was the prank that took him over the top to win in our annual off-season prank war.
But this winter?
This winter, my brother Cooper “Stinky Booty” Rock is going down.
The universe told me so. Why else would it have hand-delivered that video into my social media stream to inspire me right after I finished figuring out where to donate an unopened box of dildos?
I cackle again.
And then I slap my hand over my mouth.
He’s home.
There’s his dark head, bent toward the knob, beyond the tempered glass panel beside his front door. He’s dressed in Fireballs red, which is more orange than it is red, and he’s probably worn out from lifting at the gym.
Yesterday was cardio day.
I know, because he ran past Crusty Nut, our dad’s restaurant where I’m the manager five days a week, at least two dozen times without stopping in once to say hi.
I haven’t seen him since the wedding several days ago, which either means he’s avoiding me and the revenge he knows I owe him, or he has a stick up his butt and has forgotten the little people.
Or, possibly, he’s distracted, in which case, he needs this.
I squat into position at the top of the stairs, as hidden as I can be while still seeing my target, Nerf blaster locked and loaded, waiting while he fumbles with his keys.
For the record?
It’s not easy to hide at the top of a curved staircase. I’m on my belly now, half-angled behind the wall of the hallway to his guest bedrooms, peering between the slats of the banister, hoping all my target practice pays off.
Steady, TJ. This is what you trained for.
The lock clicks.
I flatten myself lower and take aim.
The door swings open.
Dark hair in the foyer. Go go go.
I squeeze the trigger, sending a rapid blast of modified foam darts at the six balloons floating in the space above the door.
The needle sticking out barely an eighth of an inch in the tip of the first dart connects. One helium balloon pops. Then two more, followed by the fourth and fifth. The sixth shifts after getting hit, like it’s a tough guy balloon. It’s the ninja of balloons, and it doesn’t want to participate in my dastardly plans today, but that’s okay. The other balloons are bursting in a sparkly, shiny, beautiful pink glitter spray that’s splattering on the walls, exploding from its nylon shell and raining down like a spring shower, coating the walls, making the air sparkle, and dusting all that dark hair as Cooper’s lifting his head. “What the—”
And in the span of a heartbeat, before he can finish that sentence, I realize my mistake.
My terrible, horrible, very bad miscalculation.
If I were a superhero, I’d be sucking all that glitter into my lungs and redirecting it into my brother’s bedroom, which is likely what I should’ve done in the first place—hindsight, right?—but I didn’t. This was so much more dramatic and didn’t risk me having to find out which local he’s screwing around with in his spare time, as she’d be coated in glitter too after rolling around in his sheets, except my prank has failed.
It has failed spectacularly.
Oh my god,” I gasp.
That’s not Cooper.
That is so not Cooper.

ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 Jock Blocked

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#2 Real Fake Love

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AUTHOR BIO

Pippa Grant is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes romantic comedies that will make tears run down your leg. When she’s not reading, writing or sleeping, she’s being crowned employee of the month as a stay-at-home mom and housewife trying to prepare her adorable demon spawn to be productive members of society, all the while fantasizing about long walks on the beach with hot chocolate chip cookies.


AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pippagrantromance
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ThePipsquad
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ReadPippa
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/pippagrant
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/pippa-grant
Website: http://www.pippagrant.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/pippa.grant

RELEASE BLITZ – Unbound (Cursed Trilogy #1) by USAT Best Selling Author Betty Shreffler writing as Betty Legend

Title: Unbound
Series: Cursed Trilogy #1
Author: USAT Best Selling Author Betty Shreffler writing as Betty Legend
Genre: Reverse Harem Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 5, 2021
BLURB
I had no idea how beautiful and terrifying my life was about to become.
Living as an independent artist in New York, I was soon faced with the new knowledge of my powers, a curse, and how bonding with five sexy-as-sin supernaturals would break that curse.
One by one they found me—Fae, Warlock, Demon, Wolf shifter, Vampire.
I’m their mate.
Their equal.
Their perfect match.
The one to unbind them from their curse.
Heart, body, and soul, I’m meant to be theirs. Theirs to share. Theirs to love.
From the beginning, they warn me of my fate. The stronger our magic bonds; the greater the chance evil will find us.
These incredible beings will give their lives to protect me, no matter the sacrifice, but I’m not willing to lose any of them.
They’ve stolen my heart and I’ll do whatever it takes to break the curse and stop the one who’s coming for us.

The Cursed Trilogy is a reverse harem paranormal romance series and includes:
Unbound
Unleashed
Unveiled

From the Author: If you like steamy, paranormal romances with humor, action, and a badass heroine who owns the hearts of five powerful and scintillating supernatural men, then this series is for you!

PURCHASE LINKS
$2.99 for a limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited


TRAILER

EXCERPT
Chapter One
Selene
Rolling into the coffee shop parking lot, I put my motorcycle in neutral and drop the kickstand. Unclipping my helmet, I hang it on the right handle and head inside for a warm dose of liquid caffeine. Last night, I woke up at three a.m. Unable to sleep, I started painting the image from my dream. Each dream I have is as fantastic as the next, but this one was especially intricate in detail. In the dream, blue fire swirled around me as if it had an essence of its own. From my fingertips, I wielded its power. The possibilities of what I could do were limitless. My brush stroked ravenously, bringing the vivid images of color to life on canvas. When I collapsed back in bed, exhausted, my eyes returned to the painting. Staring back at me was a resemblance of myself—exquisite and eerie. My eyes, an electric blue, share the same shade as the fire. Looking into those luminous orbs, there’s a secret she holds, a power she’s eager to unleash.
Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion my dreams are my mind’s escape from our boring reality. Being adventurous and curious has led me to research many subjects, particularly the supernatural. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve come to anything of the former has been from movies, books, and art.
With my turn to order next, I rattle off my request to the barista for a cappuccino and a muffin. She takes my name and I leave the counter in search of a quiet corner. Dropping my backpack on the cushioned bench at my favorite window spot, I pull out my tablet and sketch pad. My email inbox is filled with ads for painting tools and, of course, makeup because I’m addicted to it, as well as adventure tour ads to feed my inner adrenaline junkie. Skipping over the ads, I click on an important email from Susan, the art gallery director of the 369 Studio Gallery, one of the swankiest galleries in New York. It took me two years to get a show there. I breathe a breath of relief when all her email includes is a confirmation that my art has been delivered and, tonight, they’ll begin preparation for my show tomorrow.
“Selene.”
Raising my head to the call of the barista brings my attention to a stunning man at the counter. Beneath a gray beanie is a messy mop of blonde hair with curls peeking out the bottom of his hat. Sunkissed golden skin is visible outside of his blue, short-sleeve shirt, white shorts, and leather flip flops. Not only is he handsome, but his beachwear causes him to stand out among the regulars. He’s definitely not from New York. He probably just flew in from a beautiful island on his private plane. Ugh, why can’t I meet a man like that?
Gathering my cappuccino and muffin, I catch beach stud eyeing me. Eyes as beautiful and blue as a turquoise ocean meet mine. A flutter of excitement and attraction shoots through me, drawing my lips into a curve. Beneath his heart-stopping eyes is a strong jaw, lips you want to kiss, and the kind of eyelashes women pay to glue on their lids. His features leave him in two categories—model or actor.
Not wanting to turn our moment into something awkward, I turn away from his golden angelic face, releasing a breath and all the butterflies with it. Back at my table, I peel away the wrapper from my muffin. Taking a bite, blueberry flavor bursts in my mouth and soothes the hunger pains in my belly. One of the things I like most about this coffee shop is the cute designs they make in the cappuccinos. Today, mine has five white leaves that are disbursed as my lips form over the edge of the mug.
Three tables down, beach stud is sitting alone with a cappuccino and laptop. As if he senses me ogling, he angles his head and pierces me with those sparkling ocean eyes. To be nice, his lips upturn in a kind smile. I’m sure he’s used to women staring.
Returning my attention to where it belongs, I shoot an email off to Susan, thanking her for the work and preparation she’s doing to ensure a smooth art show. The second email I send is to my cousin, Rachel, and my mother, Claire. It’s been a couple of weeks since I updated them on my activities, and I know they’ll be excited about the art show. With those emails sent, I turn off the tablet and reminisce about my vivid dream. More details come to mind, and I doodle on my sketch pad. Several minutes later, the image of a man with a scar on his cheek is looking back at me. I’m left wondering about the cause of that scar, then chuckle aloud at my ridiculous thoughts. The man is a figment of my imagination, yet I’m thinking of him as a living being. I need a boyfriend, I work too much, and now, I sound like my mother.
Gathering my belongings into my backpack, I swing it over my shoulder and head out to my motorcycle.
“Selene.”
I’m halfway to my motorcycle when I hear my name called with male bravado. Turning toward the voice brings me face-to-face with beach stud. Taking a step back, I finger the mace bottle dangling from my backpack. Just because he’s handsome doesn’t mean he’s not a threat.
“How do you know my name?”
The left side of his jaw flexes as he smiles. “I heard the barista call your name.”
“Oh, right. What can I do for you?”
“I’d like to ask you out for coffee, but since we both just finished a cup, how about dinner?”
Is that a hint of an accent I hear? Irish maybe? My eyes sweep up and down, taking in his tall height, toned arms, and broad chest. Can this guy get any more attractive? I’m guessing he wins over every woman he sets his alluring eyes on.
“You’re tempting, honestly, very tempting, but I don’t do flings or one-night stands, and you look like you won’t be here in New York very long.”
Beach stud reaches out and snags my wrist as I turn away. My gaze whips to his hand, and he immediately drops it.
“You’re right, I won’t be here very long. I’m here on business for two weeks, but I would love to have someone local show me the best of New York.”
“What makes you think I’m local?”
“Just a guess.” One hand slips into a pocket while the other rests on his beanie and rubs his head. “Are you always this hard on men when they ask for your company?”
“For my company?” Laughter shakes my shoulders and curls my lips. “Around here, when men ask for a woman’s company, he wants to pay her for sex.”
A pink hue fills his cheeks. “That’s not what I’m asking for. I prefer sex to be consensual and for there to be passion.”
Goosebumps pebble on my arms as those words leave his lips. Goodness, it’s painfully obvious how attracted I am to him.
“All right, enough of the sex talk.” Pulling a business card out of my back pocket, I hand it to him. “I don’t give out my number to people I just met, but I’ll be at an art show tomorrow at the 369 Studio Gallery. Meet me there, and I’ll show you around town after. That work?”
Beach stud pockets my card with a triumphant grin. “It does. I’ll be there.”
“Great. What’s your name?
“Griffin Hughes. It was a pleasure to meet you, Selene.”
“I’ll decide if I feel the same tomorrow.” I give him a smirk, and he laughs.
“I have my work cut out for me then, don’t I?”
As I walk away, I raise both hands in the air. “Just giving you the full local experience.”
Griffin remains there, glistening in the sun like a golden statue, watching me get on my motorcycle and ride away.

COMING SOON
Releasing March 26
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Releasing April 9
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


AUTHOR BIO
I’m a USA Today and International Bestselling Romance Author. Betty Legend is my pen name specifically for my paranormal and fantasy romance books. If you would like to view my romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels, they are available at: https://bettyshreffler.com/
I write what I like to read which means my stories are sexy and suspenseful, with hot alphas, kickass heroines, and twists you don’t expect. If I’m not writing or doing book events, you can find me creating cover designs, snuggling with my dogs watching a movie, sipping wine behind a deliciously steamy book, or enjoying the outdoors on my motorcycle.
Let’s keep in touch! www.bettylegend.com
AUTHOR LINKS

CHAPTER REVEAL – The Mountain Man’s Runaway Bride (Matrimony Alaska #2) by L. Nicole

Title: The Mountain Man’s Runaway Bride
Series: Matrimony Alaska #2
Author: L. Nicole
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance
Release Date: December 30, 2020
BLURB
Running away from her wedding seemed like the perfect option, until the best man decides to chase her. 
When Ash Grayson agreed to stand in as best man at his friend’s wedding, he was only doing it to get a glimpse at the single women in the crowd.
He never thought that the one catching his eye would be the bride to be.
Dixie Sutton was beautiful—long flowing black hair, huge doe eyes, with curves a man could drive for miles.
And those are just a few of the things that Ash likes.
Ash’s friend might be mad as hell when Dixie stops the wedding, but Ash?
He’s determined to chase down the runaway bride and make sure she stays in Alaska with a ring on her finger.
His ring.
Welcome back to the town of Matrimony, Alaska. A town full of Mountain Men looking for the women of their dreams. I’m bringing you back in town just in time for the New Year. Ash has plans to ring out 2020 happily ever after style.
Please note this book is a standalone, safe, drama free, and tied up in a pretty bow.
PRE-ORDER LINKS
99c for a limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


CHAPTER
I stroll along the street, grimacing a bit at all the twinkling lights. Matrimony has definitely over-delivered on Christmas. It never fails to happen, every year, as soon as we finish eating turkey, they get busy. Maybe I’m a grinch, but I don’t find anything about it that amazing. If anything, it reminds me of how solitary my life is. If it wasn’t for Birk, his family, and Rowan, I wouldn’t have much human interaction at all. 
Which means the last thing I want is to be surrounded by Christmas. The only consolation I have right now is that I’m not going to be in town for long. I just came into town to grab up supplies at the hardware store to fix a burst pipe. 
I’m not a plumber, but I can get the job done. Here in Alaska, you have to be self-sufficient. The weather is as harsh as you see on the television. There can be months during the winter where you can’t even leave the house due to the weather. I’m usually stocked, but I had to go fix Mrs. Crabtree’s water line a few times this past week. I used what I had stocked up as a result, and I don’t want to find myself completely out in case of an emergency. 
A friend of mine, Fred, is the local plumber. He is usually around to help Mrs. Crabtree and others, but he took his wife on a vacation to Hawaii for their anniversary and aren’t expected back until after the holiday, so I’ve tried to help some of the older residents where I can during my time off. It’s not like I have a family to go home to after working all day in the lumber yard. 
After I stock up on the plumbing supplies, I want to do some errands. I’m determined to pick up a generator for the Crabtrees. Theirs is toast, and I know they live on a tight fixed income. Mr. Crabtree’s medicine probably takes half of what they draw. They don’t realize I pay attention, but I do. 
I’m so caught up in making a mental checklist, that I don’t notice the petite woman coming toward me, until I barrel into her. As soon as I reach out to keep her from falling on her backside, my world changes. It feels like I touch a live electrical wire. Sparks fly and my heart flips in my chest, making all my senses go on high alert. 
Her perfume wraps around me first. It’s a sweet mix of oranges and some type of flower. Immediately I want to breathe more of it in. It’s a reminder of spring, which happens to be my favorite season. I’m overly aware of our proximity, my bigger frame towering over her, the soft curviness of her body, the way she feels when I touch her…. 
I clear my throat as she sputters an apology. If I had trimmed my beard this morning, she would have seen my smirk. But when her eyes meet mine, I know I’m in trouble. Something deep in my gut tells me she is mine. 
It’s an unusual feeling for me. I’d like to say it’s because I’m desperate to find a woman to live my life with, because I do want that. Living in Matrimony means there are definitely more men than women. But it’s not purely that, because even the women in Matrimony that are single hold little appeal for me. Truthfully, I just never knew what I was looking for until just now. Apparently, it was a soft, petite, curvy woman with chestnut hair and beautiful brown eyes. I stand looking at her, completely shell shocked. She brushes her hair back from her face, giving me a view of her soft features. My eyes dart down to her full lips, which are lush, glossy perfection, before traveling back to the beautiful, brown, doe eyes that captured my attention first. 
“Are you alright?” I ask, seeing a slight red mark on her face where she took most of the hit. I have the strongest urge to reach out and touch the spot, and even ache to kiss it. The need is almost so powerful that I do it, but I control myself, barely. I don’t make a habit of scaring tourists, and don’t want to start now. 
“I’m fine, are you okay?” she asks, her voice reminding me of the warmth of the sun, it’s that potent. Then, she smiles. I suck air into my lungs at the hunger that hits me. I never thought an attraction could be this powerful and happen this quickly. My friend Birk said that’s how he felt about his Aggie, but I just laughed, thinking he was over embellishing. 
Clearly I was wrong. 
“Yeah,” I respond with a grin of my own. “Of course, I would be better if you let me take you to dinner. I mean, it’s the least I can do for almost running you over.” I’ve never been accused of being a Casanova, but I’m hoping she says yes. Surely she feels this attraction between us. I can’t be the only one experiencing it… Can I? 
I reach out and touch her again, unable to stop myself. I find myself gently moving her towards the building beside of us, and out of the way of another passerby. There’s this strong urge to protect her and shield her. I can’t explain it, but it feels right. The way she looks up at me as I touch her makes me wonder what she’s thinking. Is she struggling as much as I am? How would she react if she knew I was wondering what she looked like underneath the bulky winter clothes she was wearing? She’s gorgeous, all curves with her soft, wavy hair that was brown, but also looked as if it had been kissed by the sun. Her creamy golden skin beautiful and soft… 
I shove my hands into the pockets of my coat to stop myself from touching her yet again. 
“I’d like that—” she says, and I feel joy push through me so quickly that it steals my breath. Then, a fallen expression comes over her face and she shakes her head no. “Wait, I don’t know what I was thinking just now. I can’t…” The regret that flashes on her pretty face gives me pause. I immediately want to put the smile back on her beautiful lips. 
“Why not?” I ask. A no wasn’t the answer I’d hoped for, and clearly she was going to say yes. She just looks at me, sad, but as if she’s searching for the right words. Just then someone slaps me on the back, making me jump. I was lost to anything and everything around me but this woman. I turn to see Kerry, owner of the bar and restaurant in town. We’re friends. I’m not as close with him as I am Birk and Rowan, but he’s a good guy. I worry about him being around the girl I’m talking to, because he’s been on the hunt for a woman for a while now. He even put the moves on Birk’s Aggie once. 
Kerry’s last woman did him really dirty, but he says he’s not cut out for the single life. Still, I can’t exactly demand he leave me and the girl alone. Plus, he should be safe. He’s getting married next week to some woman he met on the internet. I think he’s even convinced Rowan to try that route. I couldn’t do it. I want sparks to fly between me and the woman I’m going to claim. Sparks like the ones I’m sharing with the girl beside me… 
“I see you had the luck of meeting her first,” Kerry says, smiling at me. 
“Huh?” I ask, confused and feeling like I’m missing something. I turn to look at the girl beside me. I could introduce her to Kerry, mostly so I can finally get her name. She might have changed her mind about dinner, but I’m not giving up. There’s an attraction between us, and I’m positive she feels it too. 
When I turn, she’s dropped her head down, staring at her boots. Her hair has fallen from her hood, and it fans out over her face, sheltering her. My heart hurts when I look at her. God, she’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a woman. I feel like the Man upstairs might have been watching me and sent a miracle my way. When she looks back up her gaze goes from Kerry to me. I don’t think it’s my imagination now that the regret is thick on her face, it’s almost as thick as the color on her cheeks as she blushes as if she’s embarrassed. 
“Ash, this is Dixie. Dixie, this is Ash,” Kerry says. I feel my brow crinkle, and I swim in the confusion of Kerry introducing me to the girl of my dreams and then, a second later reality slams into me with the weight of a ton of bricks. 
Dixie. 
Kerry’s mail-order-bride was named DixieIt’s all anyone has been talking about in the bar for the last month. I heard about it whenever me and guys from the lumberyard dropped by for a beer in the evenings. 
“You’re Dixie?” I asked, my throat feeling raw. 
“That’s her,” Kerry responds. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there to meet you, Dixie. I was held up at the bar. Let’s bring this over to the Heifer for a warm drink and some food.” 
I’m not sure why I felt compelled to follow Kerry and Dixie. Maybe I was legitimately suffering from shock. Maybe, I’m just a damn fool. 
Kerry and I each pick up one of Dixie’s bags as she trails wordlessly behind Kerry, looking anywhere but back at me. I watch her though. She needs two steps to Kerry’s one. I slow down, taking her elbow in hand, just in case she slips on the ice. Even the most weathered residents could take a tumble if they weren’t paying attention. I do that because I am an idiot, and I can’t resist. Dixie looks up at me in panic. The confusion on her face is painful to look at. She should be mine. I feel that in my bones. 
But she belongs to Kerry.


ALSO AVAILABLE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited


AUTHOR BIO

L. Nicole likes to write quick romance stories that are safe, hot, and easy reads to take you away from reality.


RELEASE BLITZ – Accidental Sugar Daddy by Kaci Rose

Title:
Author:
Genre:
Release Date: November 19, 2020
BLURB
AN ACCIDENTAL MEETING.
AN UNCONVENTIONAL OFFER.
AN UNDENIABLE ATTRACTION… 
Ellie wasn’t looking for a Sugar Daddy. The second she realized she had accidentally stumbled into a mixer of Sugar Babies looking for daddies, she started for the door. Then the sizzling hot guy at the bar caught her eye. What started as a simple dinner date turned into an offer too tempting to resist. Join him at work events and social gatherings for one month—no sex involved—and make enough money to ease the burdens she faced as a single mom. Surely she can resist her attraction to him for one month… 
As far as Owen was concerned, Ellie was a complete mystery. She agreed to his offer, yet hated for him to spend any money on her. It didn’t add up… until he discovered she was a mother. He wasn’t looking for an insta-family, yet the more time he spends with Ellie and her kids, the more he wants them in his life.
Can what started as a business arrangement shift into more? Or will their unconventional start ruin a chance for a beautiful forever? 
This is a VERY Steamy, Billionaire, Sugar Daddy Romance. No Cliffhangers.
As always there is a satisfying Happy Ever After.
If you love steamy romances with insta love, hot love scenes, and billionaires, then this one is for you.
This is steamier then any book I have written to date. You have been warned

EXCERPT

Chapter 1

Ellie

We all have that one friend; you know the one you would call to help you bury the body at three am. Well, who do you call when it’s their body you plan to bury?
See she is the reason I’m in a mixer full of older men, and one of which just told me the real reason everyone is here, details said friend left out. But let’s start at the beginning.
“Ellie just go. It’s a night out and some free booze.” My best friend Mia says.
“I have the girls, they have homework and need dinner,” I say.
I’m a single mom to two amazing girls. Allie who is seven and Becca, who is five. Their dad, my ex-husband, was my high school sweetheart. Then one day he walked out when Becca was almost two. He disappeared for a year and then I received divorce papers.
Still, he gave me no reason and he saw the girls just once right before the divorce was final. He has every other weekend visitation, spring break, and two weeks in the summer but hasn’t used a day of it. Child support comes on time every month though, thank God for small favors.
Mia knows all this. She knows I’m working to cover all our bills and while we are paying everything on time, one mess up and we would be in trouble. I have three-hundred dollars in savings and survive on my job at the coffee shop bakery and child support.
I don’t go out, there is no money to do so. This is why Mia suggested the mixer so I could get out of the house. Apparently, this is where guys who aren’t looking for commitment are finding someone to have dates with and they pay for it all.
It sounds too good to be true or like there is a catch, but Mia swears there isn’t, and Mia is my person, so I trust her.
To be honest, I’m not sure how she convinced me to go, it’s all still a blur but I’m here. Mia is with the girls and I’m nursing a glass of wine standing off to the side taking it all in. There are guys sixty and older, there are some guys my age in their mid-twenties and everything between.
But the girls are what catch my eye. They are all the same. Super skinny, tan, perfectly done blond hair, manis and pedis. Most look younger than me and they are flirty, basically the version of a trophy wife.
The word gold digger crosses my mind.
They are the opposite of me.
I have a little weight to me, I’m a mom of two after all, that flat stomach disappeared seven years ago. I’m not pale white, but I’m not super tan either. I’m five feet five inches and while these girls are wearing dresses that leave little to the imagination, I’m in dressy dark jeans, my favorite dress top, and heels.
The girls here all have the blond hair from a bottle while my hair is my natural chestnut brown. They have makeup on and perfect contouring,; I have mascara and lip gloss. I don’t fit in here.
I decide I’m going to finish my drink because it was free and then bail. This is not my thing and not one person has even tried to talk to me. I finish off my wine and set it down. I gather my purse, but before I can turn to leave, a husky deep voice fills the air.
“You look like you are about to leave,” he says.
I turn to see a man over six-foot-tall and he looks to be in his mid-thirties judging by the laugh lines. He has dark hair and sparkling blue eyes. He’s huge, like muscles for days huge. He has money,I can tell with his perfectly tailored suit and the Rolex on his wrist.
I smile, “That’s because I am. A friend suggested I come here tonight, but I don’t know, this isn’t my kind of dating,” I say looking around.
“Dating…” he says, “Did your friend say what kind of group this was?”
“Just that the guys would be older, and I needed to get out of the house.” I roll my eyes and he laughs. A husky laugh that has my stomach clenching and shivers running across my skin.
“Can I get you a drink? I would love to talk to you, and I think your friend left out some details,” he says and extends his arm toward a table off to the side.
I hesitate. At the very least he does have my interest and he isn’t bad looking. Okay, that is an understatement, this man is sexy as hell when he laughs and smiles.
Plus, I need to know if Mia’s death will be quick or slow.
He must see my hesitation. “Just one drink and let me explain. Then you can leave, I won’t stop you.”
I take a deep breath and nod. We then sit at a table off to the side and out of the way, but still have a full view of the room. I study him and see him looking at me too.
“I’m Owen,” he says.
“Ellie,” I nod.
He takes a sip of his drink and then leans toward me resting his arms on the table. He points across the room.
“All these men have money and lots of it. What they don’t want, is a relationship. The commitment, the feelings, the sticky stuff. Many want company, dates to events, someone to enjoy a meal out with, maybe a movie. Some just want a beautiful woman on their arm,” he says.
“Like a trophy wife.”
He laughs. “Yeah kind of, but without the marriage and with no strings. If there is a connection, they’re willing to pay the girls for their time.”
Well, that catches my attention and I sit up straight.
“Like a hooker? Sorry, that is not me.” I can’t help the disgust in my voice.
He touches my hand gently. And sparks shoot up my arm and my hand feels like it’s on fire. I wonder if he feels it too.
“No sex is involved unless both parties agree. If a relationship is agreed upon these girls get paid for each date the guy takes them on, they get a monthly spending allowance, gifts, vacations it all varies from person to person.”
“So, like a Sugar Daddy?”
“Pretty much,” he grins.
I look at him thinking that this is why he is here. I don’t get it. He is attractive and damn sexy so why would he need to pay for a date? What do I have to lose?
“Well, why are you here?” I ask him.
“Ahhh,” he says with a sparkle in his eye. He looks away over the crowd and takes another sip of his drink.
“Relationships are messy, feelings, breakups. I run a very successful company and need dates to events, charity functions, and also, I like to go out, try new places to eat, see movies, and it kind of sucks doing that alone. I found many women were just after my money when I was looking for something real.” He takes another sip of his drink. “After being emotionally drained, having both my work performance and my company suffer just for someone who only wanted money, I figured why not call a spade a spade. I have people who have families who depend on the success of the company, on me and I take that very seriously. So, I figured I can get the dates and company I want while being open about my motives and giving the women what they want. It’s been a pretty good deal before.”
“So how many ‘relationships’ have you had like this?” I ask.
“Three that lasted more than a month and one that went over a year.”
“Why end it if it was going so well?”
“Everyone including her expected an engagement. While I have no problem with the arrangement, when or if I do get married, I plan for it to be for love, not to someone who is in it for what it can do for her. Call me old- fashioned, but marriage is a sacred thing for me.”
I nod and sip my drink in silence looking at the crowd with new eyes.
“You’re different than the other girls here,” he says.
I laugh, “Why because I don’t dye my hair and my tits are real?”
He laughs so hard it causes people nearby to actually stop and stare, which causes my face to warm slightly.
“I wasn’t thinking along those lines, but that’s a good point. You are very real and blunt, and I can tell you aren’t into all this.”
“Yeah well, I don’t have time to sugar coat things and if I had known what this was, I never would have shown up. As it is, my friend will need a SWAT team to protect her when I get home.”
“Would an arrangement like this be so bad for you?”
I pause and then point to an older gentleman at another table well past his seventies with a walker next to him.
“What like him? He’s looking for a sexy nurse for sponge baths. So not interested.”
He gives me a soft smile never taking his eyes off me. Then his face goes serious.
“Well, what if it was me asking?”
I look him over and shake my head and start to stand up.
“You don’t want me, but I bet the blond at the bar would be more than willing though.” I know I need to leave before he goes and tries to pick her up cause watching that would suck. I grab my purse to leave.
“Will you please just hear me out?” he asks. “What harm can come from hearing what I have to say?”
I look at him wondering if I really want to hear it. I guess if nothing else this can be a funny story on the next horrible date I go on. I don’t answer right away, so he continues.
“What if I sweeten the deal and buy you dinner? No strings attached. We talk and worst case you get a nice meal out of it and head home to slaughter your friend with my lawyers’ card in your hand for when she goes missing.” He raises his eyebrow and I laugh.
When was the last time I found someone who can keep up with me?
“Okay dinner, but I’m driving my own car.”
“Okay,” he says. “There is a bistro less than five minutes from here that just opened a few weeks ago I’ve been wanting to try.”
I nod, “I’ll follow you there.”
We end up at a little bistro that has modern touches and is done up in creams with lime green accents. I’m actually surprised I like the decor.
Owen gets us a seat in the back while I’m looking around. The place is pretty packed, so I’m surprised when we get right in.
He places his hand on my lower back and guides me to the table. Normally this would make me uncomfortable on a date, but for some reason, it has the opposite effect with Owen.
Owen pulls out my chair for me and is the picture of a perfect gentleman which is very refreshing.
We pick up our menus and he says, “Order anything you like, drinks, appetizers, desserts, and don’t hold back”
Well, okay then. I order a glass of wine. I look around at the people at tables near us and at their plates of food.
I try to match up what they are eating with what’s on the menu and my eyes go wide. Seventy-five dollars for three skimpy slices of steak on a small scoop of mashed photos and some fancy sauce. This place is out of its mind.
I sigh, and he hears it.
“What?”
“Nothing.” I keep looking at the menu.
“No come on, don’t hold your opinions back now.”
I lean in so I can lower my voice. “You really think a place like this is worth your money?”
“I haven’t eaten here yet, but everyone is saying good things and the chef is from Washington D.C. and has cooked for the president.”
“Yeah, I bet he didn’t rip him off,” I say
“What do you mean?” He asks.
I point to the plate of the woman next to us.
“Seventy-five dollars for three slices of steak? You can get a twenty-ounce steak cooked perfectly and melts in your mouth for less than that elsewhere.”
He shakes his head and smiles, “Let’s give it a fair shake, yeah? Don’t look at prices, let’s try the food and see if it measures up.”
“Okay,” I hesitantly agree.
We order an appetizer of crab cakes that aren’t actually too bad, but I have had better ones.
“So, let’s not beat around the bush,” I say. “Get to talking.”
“Upfront, are we?” he says.
“Yes, remember I speak my mind.”
There is a twinkle in his eye at that.
“I like you because you are different, you hold your own in a conversation, you can make me laugh, and you have opinions. I guess I like that this isn’t your thing, and you aren’t being what you think I want, you are just you.”
“Yes, well I’m not a bullshitter, never have been. I tend to be too blunt sometimes and put my foot in my mouth more than I’d like to admit. But I’m real, what you see is what you get. I don’t like games. Games hurt too much,” I say.
He looks at me seriously. “Yes, I agree, I don’t do games either.” He pauses and his tone softens, “Look, I’d like to do a trial run with you. One month.”
I laugh, “You’ll run screaming after a week, trust me.”
He just smiles. “One month, either of us can walk away, no questions asked. If after a month we agree it works, then we do a contract.”
I look at him and study him as he talks. “What does this all entail?”
“Well, I’d like dinner once a week with you just like this, maybe a better restaurant,” he pauses and smiles. “As I said, I like trying new places. That means drinks, dinner, maybe a movie, or an event downtown. Several hours of your time. I pay you three-hundred dollars a date and cover all expenses on said date. Say every Friday night. You are free to say no to any others during the week, but Friday night would be a must.”
I stare at him, thinking. Three-hundred dollars more than pays for a babysitter if Mia or my mom aren’t available and that’s an extra $1200 a month. The money could build up my savings account and give me some breathing room.
He continues, “Over the next month I have three functions on my schedule. These are longer nights and require socializing, proper etiquette, dress, hair, makeup, etc. I pay five-hundred dollars a night for these. I cover your dress, hair, makeup, and anything else needed for the event. At the moment everything is in town, but I have had out-of-town events mostly for a weekend where I’d need you to come along. We’ll negotiate that beforehand. You will also be given a one-thousand-dollar line of credit for clothes and a two- monthly allowance to be on call for last minutes dates.”
When he said that I almost choked on my wine. Did I just hear him right?
“Two-thousand dollars a month allowance?” I ask.
“Yes, to pay your bills, buy things you need. It’s an incentive to drop plans when I ask for last minute dates.”
“And what do you expect on the physical end from this?”
He smirks. “When we are out, it will be just like tonight. I’ll open the doors, pull out your chair, guide you with my hand on your back, or place your arm in mine and even hold your hand.” He pauses, letting me take it in.
“At the big social events there might be some kisses on the cheek and dancing, but you are not required to kiss me or sleep with me and if you’re ever uncomfortable, you say so. But you do have to make it look like you enjoy my company, and we are on a real date and have a real relationship,” he says.
I take another sip of my drink and think. Twelve-hundred dollars for one date a week to get out of the house, no kids. Fifteen-hundred dollars for three events and a two-thousand-dollar allowance is four-thousand dollars in one month. That’s more than I make in a month with child support. Plus, there is an option to make more with other dates.
I could take fewer hours at work this month, spend some time with the kids, chaperone Allie’s field trip, and write my book. Then when this is all over, sell the clothes and make a little more to put in the bank.
“And at any time, I can be done if this doesn’t work. Even mid-date?” I ask.
“Yes, and you can keep the full allowance amount and any money and clothing allowance for the month. If the month works and you agree to a contract, then things are a bit stricter, but we can negotiate all that when the time comes.”
It doesn’t sound like a bad deal, almost too good to be true.
“I don’t even know your full name,” I say.
“Owen Garrett.”
I pull out my phone and type it in.
“Are you Googling me?” he asks and smiles, clearly amused.
“Umm yeah, I need to know my chances of this ending with me being butchered in your backyard.”
He grins again as our dinner shows up. He ordered scallops and I ordered the sliced steak.
“You aren’t on any of these trendy diets, are you?” I ask, eying his plate.
“No why?”
“Because I like burgers, fries, and steak, all things meat and carbs.”
“Good to know,” he says over his drink glass with a hint of amusement in his voice.
We talk a bit about the food, how small the portions are, and we even swap a bite off each other’s plate.
“So, chances of you being slaughtered and buried in my back yard?” he asks.



AUTHOR BIO

Kaci Rose runs on coffee, chocolate, and Oreos. She writes the type of romance books she wants to read. 
Kaci loves her book boyfriends with tattoos, muscles, beards, and a little dirty.
AUTHOR LINKS



RELEASE BLITZ – The Director (Chicago Bratva #1) by Renee Rose

Title: The Director
Series: Chicago Bratva #1
Author: Renee Rose
Genre: Dark Mafia Romance
Release Date: October 30, 2020
BLURB
NO ONE TAKES WHAT’S MINE.
The lovely attorney kept a secret from me. 
A baby she’s been carrying since Valentine’s night. The night we were thrown together by the roulette wheel. She never contacted me. Meant to keep me in the dark. 
She’s about to find out what happens when you cross a bratva boss. 
Punishment is in order. Sequestering until the birth. 
And I’ll use that time to win her surrender. 
Because I don’t just plan to keep the baby– 
I plan to make his mother my bride. 
And it would be much better for both of us if she were willing.


PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
*B&N coming soo


EXCERPT
“Don’t scream.” He barely speaks it. Just a low intonation from the shadowed figure in my armchair. 
My heart stutters and thuds painfully when I identify him, one elegant leg crossed over the other, lounging back like he owns the place. 
He unfolds his large form from the chair with grace. 
“Wh-what are you doing here?” I catch the back of the sofa with my fingertips to steady the swoop of the room. Damn blood volume. 
He doesn’t answer, just saunters toward me with a devilish smirk in place. Like he knows everything that’s about to happen and enjoys that I don’t. 
Damn Russian. 
“I came to get what’s mine.” He advances slowly. 
The floor stops tilting enough for me to take my hand away from the couch and jab it into the purse still slung over my shoulder to find my phone. I might be able to call 911— 
Ravil catches my wrist and takes the phone away, pocketing it. 
Or not. 
He divests me of the purse, which he drops on the floor by the satchel. 
If he looked angry, if his touch had hurt me, I’m sure I would have screamed. At least, that’s what I tell myself. 
In reality, I’m trapped in his azure gaze, memories of how he commanded my body so masterfully the last time we were together flooding back. 
I find indulgence in his eyes… not rage. Only a hint of danger. 
I put a hand protectively over my belly and take a step backward toward the hall. 
He catches my wrist again and pulls me back. Places my palm back on the sofa. “I liked you where you were, kotyonok.” 
Kotyonok. His pet name for me. 
Kitten
He picks up my other hand and puts it on the back of the sofa, and I have no doubt why he enjoyed this position. I’m perfectly presented for a spanking. He presses down on the backs of both hands, his body crowding mine from behind. “Don’t. Move,” he murmurs against my ear. 
I instantly rebel, pulling one hand up and away. 
“Hmmm.” He’s patient. He catches my hand and pins it down again. “No safe words for you this, time, kitten. But I’ll be gentle.” 
He bands one arm around my waist and splays his hand over my growing belly. “You shouldn’t have kept this from me.”


AUTHOR BIO
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RENEE ROSE loves a dominant, dirty-talking alpha hero! She’s sold over a half million copies of steamy romance with varying levels of kink. Her books have been featured in USA Today’s Happily Ever After and Popsugar. Named Eroticon USA’s Next Top Erotic Author in 2013, she has also won Spunky and Sassy’s Favorite Sci-Fi and Anthology author, and The Romance Reviews Best Historical Romance. She’s hit the USA Today list seven times with various anthologies.
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