Category Archives: Chapter preview

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.

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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.

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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
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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

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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.

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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.


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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.


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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.
Sign up to receive a FREE ebook: https://subscribepage.com/alphastemp
AUTHOR LINKS


TEASER REVEAL – A RECKLESS NOTE (The Brilliance Trilogy #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

 

A RECKLESS NOTE

The Brilliance Trilogy #1

by Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date: June 23rd

 

Add to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48570822-a-reckless-note

Read the First Four Chapters Here:
https://www.lisareneejones.com/a-reckless-note-first-four-chapters.html

 

PREORDER TODAY!!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3e1kVNJ
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/RecklessNote
Apple: https://apple.co/34pvt4o
Nook: http://bit.ly/34pLTtA
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2pAlvOO

Blurb:
I’m drawn to his passion, his talent, a darkness in him that somehow becomes my light, my life. I know he has secrets. I don’t care. Because you see, I have secrets, too.



Pre-Order Contest:
To celebrate the launch of Lisa Renee Jones’ brand-new Brilliance Trilogy, she’s hosting a massive PRE-ORDER CONTEST! There are 14 grand prizes to win, and EVERYONE receives two sexy cut scenes from Dirty Rich Betrayal: Love Me Forever!

GRAND PRIZES TO WIN:
$50 Gift Card to the Retailer of the Winner’s Choice
10 Purple Chris Merit Paintbrush Pens
A Set of Savage Mugs (red mug and green mug)
2 Special Edition Signed Hardbacks of A Reckless Note

ENTER HERE → https://www.lisareneejones.com/brilliance-trilogy-pre-order-contest.html


 About the Series:

A Reckless Note (book one) – June 23, 2020
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3e1kVNJ
Apple: https://apple.co/34pvt4o
Nook: http://bit.ly/34pLTtA
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2pAlvOO

A Wicked Song (book two) – August 18, 2020
Amazon: http://mybook.to/WickedSong
Apple: https://apple.co/2NAiB4E
Nook: http://bit.ly/2r2v5u1
Kobo: http://bit.ly/34nJEa4

A Sinful Encore (book three) – September 22, 2020
Amazon: http://mybook.to/SinfulEncore
Apple: https://apple.co/2JHJX7R
Nook: http://bit.ly/2JKITQB
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2PIwEaW


About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series.

In addition to the success of Lisa’s INSIDE OUT series, she has published many successful titles. The TALL, DARK AND DEADLY series and THE SECRET LIFE OF AMY BENSEN series, both spent several months on a combination of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling lists. Lisa is also the author of the bestselling WHITE LIES and LILAH LOVE series.

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

Connect w/Lisa:
Newsletter http://lisareneejones.com/newsletter-sign-up/
Bookbub http://bookbub.com/authors/lisa-renee-jones
Amazon https://amzn.to/2MoWosB
Twitter https://twitter.com/LisaReneeJones
Instagram http://instagram.com/lisareneejones
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/LisaReneeJones


EXCERPT REVEAL – MY FAVORITE SOUVENIR by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

My Favorite Souvenir

A Contemporary Romance Novel

New York Times Bestselling Authors Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Release date: 4/27/2020

EXCERPT REVEAL:

“Good afternoon. You’ve reached the Four Seasons Resort, Vail, Colorado. How may I direct your call?”

I took a deep breath. “Hi. I checked out early this morning. My reservation was for ten days, but I only wound up staying two nights. Is there any chance you might still have my room available? Or any room, for that matter? My flight was canceled because of the storm.”

“Let me take a look. What’s your last name?”

“Appleton.” I shook my head. “Actually, the reservation was under Ellis. My fiancé’s last name.” Or ex-fiancé. But I’d let her call me Mrs. Ellis at this point if it meant I could have a place to sleep tonight.

“Give me one moment and I’ll check.”

“Thank you.”

I sat down in the lobby of the Best Western, the third hotel I’d been to in the last two hours. It was dumb of me to check out this morning. Though, at least I was consistent. After making the bad decision to go on my previously planned honeymoon alone, I’d brilliantly decided to check out only two days into the trip…without looking at the weather report for Vail. When I arrived at the airport, I had no idea that a blizzard was on the way. But the airline had assured me my flight was still scheduled as planned. And they’d kept their word right up until five minutes before we were supposed to board, when they announced a two-hour delay. Two hours turned into three, and three turned into five, and when we hit six hours of sitting on uncomfortable plastic seats outside the gate, they finally admitted it wasn’t going to happen. Every other flight had been canceled by then. And now, every hotel seemed to be full.

“Hi, Mrs. Ellis?”

I cringed at being called that, but answered anyway. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry. After you checked out, your room was rebooked. We’re actually sold out for the night because of the storm.”

I sighed. Of course you are. “Okay. Thank you.”

This was just my luck lately. I called four more hotels, until one said they might have a few rooms available. Apparently they had guests that hadn’t checked in yet and were in the process of making calls to confirm whether they would still be arriving today.

Rooms would be freed up on a first-come, first-served basis. So I decided to take a chance and head on over. It was already seven o’clock at night, and there was no point in sitting here anymore. Surprisingly, Uber was still running, even though the airport had called it quits hours ago.

Out front, the snow was coming down hard. A giant SUV with snow chains on the tires pulled up in front of the door. I couldn’t check the license plate or get a look at the make and model of the vehicle since it was covered in snow, so I walked over to the car and motioned for the driver to roll down the window.

“Are you Hazel?” the older woman behind the wheel asked.

I smiled. “Yes.”

“Heading over to the Snow Eagle Lodge?”

“Yes, please.”

Even though the next hotel was only two miles away, it took fifteen minutes to get there. By the time we pulled up, the conditions were almost white-out. It couldn’t be safe driving in this anymore.

“God, it’s really terrible out here,” I said as I pulled up the hood of my jacket. “Be careful driving tonight.”

“Oh, I will, honey. The next place I’m driving is home. I only picked you up because you were on my way. Good thing you’re at your hotel now. No one is going to be on the roads tonight anymore.”

Great. This place really better have a room for me.

As I climbed out of the SUV, a gust of snow smacked me in the face, despite the fact that we were parked under the building’s overhang. The wind made it look like someone had shaken a snow globe, hard. Inside the hotel, I wiped flakes from my eyelashes and glanced around the lobby.

Oh no.

This didn’t look good. A line of at least thirty or forty people snaked five rows deep, waiting to get to the reception desk. I sighed and wheeled my luggage to behind the last person. More than half an hour later, I finally reached the front.

“Hi. I called earlier, and the person I spoke to said some rooms might become available, that you were going to contact guests who hadn’t showed and see if they were still coming?”

The woman nodded with a frown. “Yeah. I can put you on our waitlist. But we’re still making calls, and to be honest, it’s not looking too good.”

My shoulders slumped. “Okay. Well, I guess please add me to your wait list.”

The woman lifted a clipboard and set it down on the counter. She thumbed through a few pages and turned it to face me, pointing at the next available line, which was two from the bottom of the page. “Just add your name and cell phone number.”

I scribbled both and let the pages above the one I’d been writing on fan back into place. Noticing the sheet at the top looked just like the one I’d signed, five or six pages down, I glanced through all the papers. There had to be at least a hundred names and telephone numbers.

“Are these all on your waiting list?”

The hotel clerk nodded.

“How many people haven’t checked in?”

“I think about a dozen.”

Oh God. This really wasn’t good. But maybe people had just added their names and left, like in a packed restaurant. Maybe the bulk of people ahead of me on the list had found other hotels.

Turning around, whatever hope I’d talked myself into immediately deflated.

Every seat in the lobby area behind me was taken. Some were even sitting on the floor, leaning against their luggage. With very few options, I wandered over and found an empty space on a carpeted area of the floor, not too far from the concierge desk. Though I knew it was futile, I took out my iPad and continued to search for a hotel with availability. Even if I found one, getting there would be a miracle on its own at this point.

The nearby concierge desk had been empty while I scrolled and made calls, but now two women walked over. One I recognized as the manager, since I’d spent a half hour staring at the people behind the front desk while I’d waited in line. The other had on a nametag and held a clipboard. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation from where I sat.

“These seven we still haven’t reached,” the manager said. “All of the other rooms have been checked in, or we’ve reallocated them to people from the waiting list.”

The employee flipped through the pages and looked around the full hotel lobby.

“Jeez. And this storm is supposed to stick around for days.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a guy standing on the other side of the concierge desk. His back was to the ladies talking, but he craned his neck, and I thought he, too, might be eavesdropping. Figuring he was probably just as bored as me, I went back to my iPad search—until a few minutes later when I noticed him scribbling something with a pen on the inside of his hand.

What the hell is he doing?

He wrote for a few seconds and then seemed to go back to eavesdropping. The manager had walked away, leaving the employee to make her phone calls. She hung up from one call and dialed again.

“Hi. This is Catherine from the Snow Eagle Lodge. I’m trying to reach Milo or Madeline Hooker.”

The minute she said the names, the eavesdropper scribbled on his hand again.

Catherine continued leaving her message. “I just wanted to confirm whether you’d still be arriving this evening. Your reservation is guaranteed, so we’ll hold it as long as you need. However, if the storm has perhaps caused a change in your travel plans, we do have a long wait list of guests who could use the two rooms you have booked. My number here is 970-555-4000, if you could please return my call at your earliest convenience. Thank you.”

The same thing went on with the next two calls. Catherine left a message and the eavesdropper scribbled. Curious about what he was up to, I kept my eye on him. After the hotel clerk finished making her calls, she went back to the front desk. Eavesdropper picked up his backpack and casually strolled down a nearby hallway. I leaned to watch where he was going, and he eventually pulled up his hood and exited out a side door I hadn’t even noticed was there.

I thought it was odd, but I figured the show was over.

But a few minutes later, a guy with the same ski jacket walked through the front lobby door. He pulled his hood down, and I got a look at his face for the very first time.

Damn, he was handsome. Medium brown hair that was kind of shaggy and needed a cut, full lips, hazel eyes, and tanned skin. His warm skin tone really stood out against the pasty color of most people in Colorado this time of the year, including me. It was a shame I loathed men right now, because he was seriously gorgeous. He dusted some of the snow from the shoulders of his jacket and went to wait in line. It was much shorter now, with only two men in front of him, mostly because people weren’t braving the storm anymore. I had no idea what possessed me to do it, but I decided to get up and wait behind the guy. Maybe I was imagining things to keep myself entertained, but I had the distinct feeling he was up to something.

When it was his turn at the front desk, I moved as close as I could to listen without seeming like a stalker.

“Hi. I’m checking in,” the man said.

“Great. What’s your last name, sir?”

He cleared his throat. “Hooker. Milo Hooker.”

I squinted. The guy was totally full of shit. I knew it!

The unsuspecting hotel clerk punched a bunch of keys on her keyboard and smiled. “I have your reservation right here. Two rooms for two nights, breakfast included. Is that right?”

“Uhhh…” The guy nodded. “Yeah. I booked two rooms. But it turns out I’m only going to need the one.” He looked over his shoulder. “Looks like you won’t have a problem filling the other one, though.”

She smiled. “No, we definitely won’t. I’ll just need a credit card and a picture ID please, Mr. Hooker.”

I waited. This was the moment of truth. If he wasn’t actually Milo Hooker, he was going to have to make up some excuse.

The guy reached into his front pocket like he was going to pull out his wallet. For a second, I thought I might’ve been wrong, but then he pulled out a wad of cash.

“I lost my wallet on the slopes today. Luckily, I had some cash sent over through Western Union before the storm got too bad. Can I just pay cash?”

The young woman hesitated. “You don’t have any ID at all? I’m not supposed to check people in without photo identification.”

Fake Milo poured on the charm. He leaned forward and showed off a set of cavernous dimples. “We could take a selfie together?”

The woman giggled. She actually giggled. “Let me just check with my manager.”

She disappeared into the back and returned with the manager a few minutes later.

A crazy idea popped into my head. She said there were two rooms… I made a spur-of-the-moment decision and approached the counter.

“There you are, Milo.” I rested my hand on the guy’s shoulder. “My flight was canceled. I hope they still have our rooms.”

Fake Milo turned and looked at me with his brows furrowed.

He was going to blow it if I didn’t do something, so I turned my attention to the two hotel employees. “My brother and I booked rooms here for two nights, but I was trying to get out before the storm. Obviously I had no luck. I spent the entire day in the airport. Please tell me you still have my room? I’m dying for a hot bath.”

Milo looked at me, then the hotel employees, then back at me. I smiled and arched a brow. For a second, I almost felt bad for the guy. He looked so bewildered. Since he still seemed to be at a loss for words, I figured I should continue talking. “We went skiing early this morning and had our backpacks stolen. Between that and the storm coming, I figured it was a sign that I should get back home early. Apparently Mother Nature had other plans. We should have two rooms—Milo and Madeline Hooker. Someone actually just left me a message on my cell asking us to confirm. Her name was Catherine, I believe.”

The desk clerk nodded. “That was me. The storm has a lot of people stranded here unexpectedly without rooms, so we were checking in with guests that hadn’t arrived yet.”

The manager looked back and forth between Fake Milo and me. “We’ll have to take a hundred-dollar deposit for incidentals on each room since you don’t have a credit card.”

I smiled. “Of course.”

She nodded to her employee. “Check them in. It’s fine.”

The man next to me still had his mouth hanging open. So I dug into my purse, being careful not to show my wallet, which was supposed to have been stolen, and scooped out all of the cash.

“How much are the rooms?” I asked the clerk.

“Let’s see. With tax, they come to three-hundred-and-forty-two dollars each, for the two nights, and then we have to collect the hundred-dollar deposit.”

I didn’t think I had that much cash. I counted the money in my hand and slid it over in front of Fake Milo. “Can you spot me forty dollars? You know I’m good for it, bro.”

“Uh, yeah. Sure.”

After we paid and got the room keys, we walked side by side to the elevator bank in silence. It wasn’t until we were alone and the elevator doors slid shut that Milo turned to me. “What the hell just happened?”

I laughed. “We just got rooms, that’s what happened.”

He shook his head. “But who are you?”

“I noticed you standing near the concierge desk and eavesdropping while she called the guests who hadn’t arrived yet.” I reached forward and took the man’s hand, opening it to display blue ink. “You wrote down the names of the guests. I thought it was odd, so I followed you to the front desk to see what you were up to. When you made up that bogus story about losing your wallet so you could justify not having any ID, I knew you were full of shit.” I shrugged. “When the woman said there were two rooms on the reservation, I saw an opening and took it.”

“How did you know I’d go along with it?”

I smiled. “I didn’t. But that’s what made it so much fun!” I covered my chest with my hand. “My heart feels like it’s trying to ricochet out of my ribcage at this moment. It’s been a long time since I did anything risky like that.”

His eyes roamed my face. I got the feeling he still wasn’t sure what to make of me, even though I’d just explained what I’d done. He looked down at my lips, which were still curved in an excited smile.

“Why is that?”

My forehead wrinkled. “Why is what?”

“Why’s it been a long time since you’ve done anything risky? It looks to me like you enjoyed it.”

I blinked a few times, not having expected a question that would tug at my heartstrings, and my smile fell. “I don’t know. I guess I kind of turned into a different person over the last few years.”

Fake Milo’s eyes locked with mine. We’d gone from pulling off a crazy stunt and laughing, to an odd seriousness. His eyes flickered to my lips and back once again.

“That’s a shame. You have a great smile.”

Warmth spread through me, and I couldn’t seem to unlock my eyes from the stranger’s—at least until the elevator dinged and the doors opened on the third floor.

“This is us,” he said. “Rooms 320 and 321.”

“Oh. Right. Okay.” I stepped out and followed the signs to our rooms. Since we were, of course, family, they’d put us right next to each other. We stood a few feet apart as we opened our respective doors. As my lock unlatched and I turned the handle to go inside, something dawned on me.

“I almost forgot! I owe you forty dollars for the room.”

He smiled. “Don’t worry about it.”

“No, don’t be silly. I just didn’t have enough cash and didn’t want to hand the woman a credit card when we weren’t supposed to have ID. I’ll just throw my bag in the room and go downstairs to find an ATM. They must have one somewhere.”

“I thought you couldn’t wait to take a hot bath, or was that part of the act?”

I laughed. “No, it actually wasn’t. I wasn’t lying when I said I spent the entire day at the airport. A hot bath sounds pretty amazing right about now. But I can grab your cash first. It won’t take me long.”

Fake Milo scratched at the stubble on his chin. “I’ll tell you what. I’m going to take a quick shower and then go downstairs to the bar for a drink. Take your bath. You can find me there afterward to give me the money.”

“Okay.”

We looked at each other for a moment.

“Alright, well, enjoy your soak, sis.”

I smiled. “Thanks, Milo. I’ll see you later.”


PURCHASE LINKS:

Audio pre-order ➜ https://smarturl.it/zh98t8

Paperback pre-order ➜https://fave.co/2WSz22e

Add to Goodreads here ➜https://fave.co/2T0vXcS

Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list and be the first one notified when it goes live!https://www.subscribepage.com/2FreeBooks



BLURB

My planned trip for two unexpectedly turned into a trip for one. Rather than let my breakup get me down, I packed my bags and decided a week at a luxury resort was just what I needed.

But one calamity after the next, and suddenly I was stuck without a hotel room, along with a few hundred other people.

It looked like my fancy vacation was about to turn into me sleeping on the hotel lobby floor.

Until I overheard a gorgeous man pretending to be someone he wasn’t in order to steal a reservation from a guest who hadn’t shown up yet.

When I realized there were two rooms, instead of calling him out, I pretended to be his sister. That’s how the story of “Milo and Maddie Hooker” began.

We were the Hookers.

My depressing trip quickly made a U-turn into an adventure.

My fake brother spent the next few days showing me around his hometown.

When it was time to leave, neither of us really wanted to go yet.

So, instead of flying back to our respective homes, we ventured on a road trip.

At every stop, we’d pick up souvenirs.

But as hot as our chemistry was, we never crossed the line.

Milo knew I’d just come out of a tough relationship and didn’t want to mess with a vulnerable woman.

So instead, at the end of our trip, we made a pact to meet again in three months.

It was always my intention to meet him.

But when I got back home, reality hit in a big way.

And I worried I may have lost my handsome stranger forever.

Was there a place for him in my future?

Or had the memory of him just become my favorite souvenir?


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

PENELOPE WARD:

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

PENELOPE’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/penelopewardauthor

Facebook Private Fan Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps/

Instagram:

@penelopewardauthor

http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor/

Twitter:

VI KEELAND:

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

VI’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook Fan Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/vi.keeland

Website:

http://www.vikeeland.com

Twitter:

@vikeeland

Instagram:

@Vi_Keeland

http://instagram.com/Vi_Keeland/



RELEASE BLITZ – MAKING YOU MINE by Melissa Foster

🔥🔥 HOT NEW RELEASE 🔥🔥

Making You Mine by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster is LIVE! One-click today!!

BOOK BLURB

Knox Bentley never liked the pomp and circumstance that came with being wealthy. He’d distanced himself from his pretentious family and their fortune as a young adult and found his own path to success. But even with the world at his fingertips, he realizes something is missing, and after a long stay overseas, he finally knows exactly what it is.

His no-strings-attached hookups with Aubrey Stewart, an exquisite and stubbornly independent blonde, are no longer enough for him. They connect on every level, but Aubrey is a fierce businesswoman with a new movie channel on the horizon and no time for much else. She is the deal he can’t close, the precious jewel even his billions can’t buy. Now that he’s back in the States, he’s determined to show her that what they have goes beyond the bedroom and finally make her his.

You may have met LWW Enterprises billionaire Aubrey Stewart in ANYTHING FOR LOVE, and her friends-with-benefits lover (Graham Braden’s business partner), Knox Bentley, in TRAILS OF LOVE. If not, don’t worry! Like all of my books, their story may be enjoyed as a standalone! Buckle up and enjoy the wildly romantic, fantastically fun, ride!


Add to your Goodreads TBR:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45306340-making-you-mine

Read First Chapter:

https://melissafoster.com/making-you-mine-sneak-peek/
 
BUY LINKS
KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/MYM_Kindle
APPLE: http://smarturl.it/MYM_Apple
KOBO: http://smarturl.it/MYM_Kobo
NOOK: http://smarturl.it/MYM_Nook
GPLAY: http://smarturl.it/MYM_GPlay
PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/MYM_Pb
Audio book pre-order coming soon
Amazon – https://smarturl.it/MYMa_Amazon
Apple – https://smarturl.it/MYMa_Apple
Audible – https://smarturl.it/MYMa_Audible
 


SERIES BUY LINKS:

Series Buy Links:
EMBRACING HER HEART (Book 1)
KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/EHH_Kindle
iBOOKS: http://apple.co/2vDGJbO
KOBO: http://smarturl.it/EHH_Kobo
NOOK: http://smarturl.it/EHH_Nook
GPLAY: http://bit.ly/2gLs8IZ
PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/EHH_Pb
Also in Audiobook
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/EHH_Amazon
Apple: http://smarturl.it/EHH_iBooks
Audible: http://smarturl.it/EHH_Audible
 
ANYTHING FOR LOVE (Book 2)
KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/AFL_Kindle
iBOOKS: http://apple.co/2wkOgQ2
KOBO: http://smarturl.it/AFL_Kobo
NOOK: http://smarturl.it/AFL_Nook
GPLAY: http://bit.ly/2gr852M
PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/AFL_Pb
Also in Audiobook
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/AFL_aa
Apple: http://smarturl.it/AFL_aib
Audible: http://smarturl.it/AFL_aud
 
TRAILS OF LOVE (Book 3)
KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/TOL_Ki
APPLE: https://apple.co/2FU6RoA
KOBO: http://smarturl.it/TOL_Ko
NOOK: http://smarturl.it/tol_n
GPLAY: http://bit.ly/2HPyRKF
PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/TOL__Pb
Also in Audiobook
Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TOLa_Amazon
Apple: http://smarturl.it/TOLa_Apple
Audible: http://smarturl.it/TOL_Audible
 
WILD, CRAZY HEARTS (Book 4)
KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/WCH_Kindle
APPLE: http://smarturl.it/WCH_iBooks
KOBO: http://smarturl.it/WCH_Kobo
NOOK: http://smarturl.it/WCH_Nook
GPLAY: http://smarturl.it/WCH_GPlay
PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/WCH_Pb
Also in Audio Book
Amazon: https://smarturl.it/WCHa_Amazon
Apple: https://smarturl.it/WCHa_Apple
Audible: https://smarturl.it/WCHa_Audible
 
Pre-order today!
 
SEARCHING FOR LOVE
KINDLE: http://smarturl.it/SFL_Kindle
APPLE BOOKS: http://smarturl.it/SFL_Apple
NOOK: http://smarturl.it/SFL_Nook
KOBO: http://smarturl.it/SFL_Kobo
GPLAY: http://smarturl.it/SFL_GPlay
PAPERBACK: http://smarturl.it/SFL_Pb
 


TEASERS



 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented–perfect beach reads for contemporary romance lovers who enjoy reading about wealthy heroes and smart, sassy heroines.
 
AUTHOR LINKS
Website: http://www.melissafoster.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MelissaFosterAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Melissa_Foster
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3023973.Melissa_Foster
Newsletter: http://melissafoster.com/newsletter/
BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/melissa-foster
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melissafoster_author/


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