Category Archives: Excerpt

BLOG TOUR – No Time To Lie (Masters & Mercenaries) by Lexi Blake

A race against time.

A race for love.

No Time to Lie, an exciting second chance romance in the Masters and Mercenaries: Reloaded Series from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake is out now!

A grandmaster of lies and deception

Drake Radcliffe has spent half his life in the shadows. Recruited by the CIA when he was barely out of high school, Drake doesn’t know how to have a normal life. While most people his age were playing sports or video games, he was playing spy games with the world’s most dangerous adversaries. It has been a life filled with thrills and adrenaline, but it’s also been lonely. All that might change when a mistake from Drake’s past rears its ugly head and he’s forced to face the only woman he ever loved—the one he’d vowed to stay away from.

A beacon of love and compassion

Taylor Cline committed the cardinal sin in her world—she fell for another operative. Drake was everything she wanted in a man, until he broke her heart. She had one unforgettable night with him and then he never looked back. Her future threatened and family in ruins, she shut down and moved on, hoping to never see him again. Just as she is beginning to put it all behind her, a critical assignment puts her under his authority and right back in his arms.

A deadly mission that brings them together

From the wilds of Wyoming to the glittering cities of Europe, Drake and Taylor must race against time to uncover the truth and expose an evil organization. The stakes couldn’t be higher. If they fail, the world could crumble. If they succeed, they could finally have everything their hearts desire.

Download your copy today!

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Keep reading for a look inside No Time To Lie!

Drake’s attention was completely focused on her. “I think I want to be honest and upfront with you. I’m attracted to you, Taylor, and I think you feel the same.”

She felt a jolt of heat power through her. “Even if I was, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Can I ask why?”

She didn’t sense any threat from him. With any man who hit on her, she had to assess the potential of him taking rejection poorly. She didn’t think Drake was one of those guys. The last couple of days had made her comfortable with him. “I don’t think it’s smart to get involved with someone I work with.”

“You don’t work with me. From what you’ve said, you won’t be with the Agency for much longer.”

“Yes, and you will be,” she pointed out.

A thoughtful expression came over his face. “That’s kind of what makes it workable in my mind. I can’t tell anyone what I do. That makes for difficult relationships. You already know, and it won’t surprise you that I don’t talk about my work. You won’t get upset if I have to be gone for a couple of weeks without notice. I have a hard time making connections to people, but it was easy with you. Even if you’re not interested in me in a physical way, I hope we can be…friends.” He said the word like it didn’t quite make sense to him. Like it was a foreign word on his tongue. 

There was no way for her to deny the electricity between them. She wasn’t sure she even wanted to. That inner voice kept getting stronger. 

What would be the harm in seeing if it could work? You might get an orgasm or two out of it. He’s not saying he’s going to walk at the end. He’s actually saying he wants to see you outside this cabin. Why not try?

She was a careful woman. She’d learned that lesson from watching her father throw himself into deadly situations again and again. 

But what was she risking? He was right. It was hard for her to connect. She’d had a couple of boyfriends over the years, and she had to hold back so much of herself to even have a chance at making the relationship work. She couldn’t talk about what her father did, couldn’t mention her own work. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have no secrets between them?

“Did I make you uncomfortable?” Drake asked. “Because we can pretend like I didn’t say anything. This snow is going to stop soon, and I should be out of here in a couple of days.”

She reached for his hand. “You didn’t make me uncomfortable. I’m glad you were honest with me. The last couple of days have been…nice.”

A slow smile spread across his face, and he threaded his fingers through hers. “Nice? Awful sexual tension is nice to you?”

“I wouldn’t say awful. Anticipation can be fun.” It was good to know she hadn’t been the only one who felt the heat between them.

“Are you saying yes?” Drake asked. 

Did she want to let him walk out of here and never know what it felt like to be in his arms? They’d been thrown together for a reason. It couldn’t be some random thing that they’d met again. She would hate herself if she didn’t give it a shot. 

In a couple of months she would be out of this life and might be able to find some kind of normalcy. Maybe it was time to take a chance. 

“Yes,” she said. 

“Then come here and let me kiss you and tell you how the night’s going to go,” he said in a commanding tone. 

Her whole body responded. She moved, standing and twisting so she sat on his lap. “How is my night going to go, Drake?”

One big hand cupped the nape of her neck while his other arm wound around her waist. “Let’s find out.”

About Lexi Blake

New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. Since starting her publishing journey in 2010, she’s sold over three million copies of her books. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance novels that she found success. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings.

Connect with Lexi

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Website: https://www.lexiblake.net

BLOG TOUR – Gotta Be Bayou (Badges of the Bayou #1) by Erin Nicholas

How do you get over a woman you never should have been, ahem, under in the first place?

Gotta Be Bayou, an all-new grumpy-sunshine, small town romance from New York Times bestselling author Erin Nicholas is now available!

Just when FBI special agent Spencer Landry had decided to forget about investigative journalist Maxine-Max-Keller and their one hot night together, there’s a threat made against her and Spencer’s protective instincts get all riled up. Again.

So now they’re shacking up on the Louisiana bayou and pretending to be in love so he can keep Max safe until the guy is apprehended.

Considering their chemistry and that he can not stop thinking about the gorgeous-and-doesn’t-know-it, smart-mouthed, bold-and-yet-vulnerable redhead, this could be a fun few days, right?

Nope. She’s all wrong for him.

And she hasn’t forgotten he can be kind of a jerk.

Sure, the naked-times are great, but he told her exactly what he wants— a bubbly, sweet school teacher who bakes him brownies and loves to cuddle—and Max ain’t it.

Max not only doesn’t bake, no one has ever called her sweet. And cuddling? Shudder.

Plus his bossiness is super annoying for someone who’s been taking care of herself all her life. But now they’re stuck together and dammit, besides being hot and very good with his mouth, Spencer is pretty irresistible with baby goats, little kids, and attempts at baking. And don’t forget alpha-protective. All of which makes her stomach feel very swoop-y. No wonder her clothes keep falling off.

But this is a temporary situation and they’re only faking it. So falling for the guy is a terrible idea.

She really should have kept that in mind.

Read today!

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Keep reading for a look inside Gotta Be Bayou!

She’d fallen asleep on him.

Literally. 

Well, her feet were on him anyway. Actually, her legs from the knees down. 

She’d started just propped against the opposite end of the couch, with her crossword puzzle book open on the arm. She’d mostly focused on the puzzle, but he’d noticed her smiling and even laughing a couple of times at the TV. 

Eventually, she’d propped her head on her hand and just watched. Then her eyes started drifting shut. Then her head was on the arm of the couch. 

But when she wanted to get comfortable, she got comfortable. 

She’d scooted down to rest her head on the couch cushion and stretched out. Including putting her feet in Spencer’s lap.

He’d had to catch her heels in his hands to keep her from kicking him in the balls.

And then he’d just held her feet, rubbing his thumbs along the arches of her feet, and absorbing the sound of her contented sigh and loving the way she cuddled deeper into the couch. 

He’d wanted her to feel safe and be comfortable and relaxed. 

Mission accomplished. 

The woman was sound asleep.

At 8:30 p.m.

The episode ended and Spencer realized he didn’t remember a thing from what he’d watched. He’d been paying attention to Max. 

Of course he’d started with the way her soft cotton shorts molded to the curve of her hips and ass. The way the matching tank hugged her waist and breasts. There was no way he could have ignored that. He was drawn to this woman and the part that didn’t confuse him was his attraction to her body. 

Now, having those sweet curves within touching distance again and barely covered, absolutely drew his attention. But with her asleep, and him unable to really do anything, he also had the chance to simply study her up close. 

Her eyelashes were pale and had a reddish hue. Of course they did. She was a redhead. But he’d never thought about the color of a woman’s eyelashes before. Now he was fascinated. Did she wear mascara? He was going to have to pay attention to see the next time she was awake. 

She stirred, shifting, moving her feet against his hands and he stroked a hand up one calf. It wasn’t perfectly smooth. There was just a slight prickle, but he didn’t mind at all. In fact, he wanted to feel that against his thighs and hips as she wrapped her legs around him. It was real and he wanted to feel her legs in every stage from freshly shaved to haven’t-had-a-chance-for-days.

Wow, she was truly asleep. He should make her go to bed. 

“Max?” he asked softly.

She didn’t even wiggle.

“Max?” he asked a little louder, squeezing her foot gently. 

She just breathed in deeply, then out. 

He should just carry her into bed. He could just scoop her up and take her into the bedroom. 

Spencer shifted her legs so he could stand. Then he leaned over. She was on her side, so he pushed gently against her shoulder, rolling her to her back. She went with a sigh, one hand moving to rest on her chest. Perfect. Spencer slid an arm under her knees and one behind her back. 

And everything was great until he started to lift.

She came awake suddenly. She kicked her legs, flailed her arms, and her head lifted instinctively to look around. Her forehead hit Spencer in the chin. Hard.

His head snapped back and his teeth clamped down on his tongue. 

“Fuck!” he swore in surprised pain.

“Ahhh!” she yelled. 

She was still kicking and waving her arms and he unceremoniously dropped her one foot back onto the couch cushions. 

“Max! It’s me!”

She kicked out, her shin connecting with his thigh. 

That fucking hurt too. 

“Max!” He pinned her arms down against the couch. “Max! It’s Spencer!”

Her eyes were wide and not fully focused.

She just yelled again. “Ahhhhh!”

Dammit. The cottage next door was going to think they needed to call the cops. 

Which was Zander. 

Spencer did not want Zander showing up here, grinning and smirking and writing up a report about how Spencer had tried to sweetly carry Max to bed and she’d thought he was attacking her. 

“Maxine!” he said sharply, putting a leg across hers to keep her from kicking and, against his better judgement, placing a hand over her mouth. “Stop it. It’s me.”

Her eyes flew to his as he put his face directly in front of hers. 

“It’s Spencer.”

She suddenly went still. Her gaze focused and she stopped moving and he felt her pull in a long breath. 

He waited another few seconds, making sure that she realized who was holding her down.

Slowly he removed his hand. “Okay?” he asked.

She drew in another long breath and blew it out. She nodded. “Yeah.”

“Holy shit, Max.”

“What happened?”

“You were sleeping like the dead, so I decided to carry you into the bedroom. And you turned into the Tasmanian devil.”

“Well, I’m not used to people picking me up in the middle of the night.”

That made him chuckle. “It’s not even 9 p.m.”

“Well… still.” 

He liked that she was at a loss for words. That was unusual.

Slowly, he became aware of the fact that he was pinning her to the couch. With almost his entire body.

In spite of the fact that she’d been fighting off an intruder in her imagination and he’d been fearing for his manhood, his eyes, nose, and jaw, it didn’t take long for his body to register that this felt really nice.

The couch was big enough for the two of them to lie together. He wasn’t entirely on top of her, but almost half of him was pinning more than half of her to the cushions.

“I, um… didn’t mean to squash you. Self-preservation instinct.”

She smiled. “You’re not squashing me.” Her voice was soft and a little breathless.

Their gazes locked. “I did this, honestly, to keep you from hurting me or yourself. But mostly me.”

She wet her lips and nodded. “I believe you.”

“So, I could probably get up now. You seem a lot more calm.”

“Funny, I don’t exactly feel calm.”

His heart kicked against his rib cage. A moment ago she’d been ready to claw his eyes out. The moment before that she’d been so deeply asleep that she hadn’t realized he was even there. But now, her gaze was hot and she was breathing fast, and she was definitely not wearing a bra with this pajama set. 

Spencer’s entire body responded. “You fell asleep really fast. And very deep,” he said, his voice husky.

“I often fall asleep on the couch. Never that deeply, though. I guess I felt really safe with you.”

Damn, he liked that. He felt the corner of his mouth curl. “Until I tried to pick you up.”

“Sorry. Instinct.”

“Honestly the cop part of me is very glad that your instinct is to fight hard when someone does something unexpected.”

“Good.” She gave a little nod. “I guess that means you just need to be sure I’m expecting anything you do.”

He nodded slowly and his gaze dropped to her mouth. “Good idea. For instance, if I was going to kiss you, I should make sure that you knew that.”

She nodded. “Right.”

“Max.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m going to kiss you.”

“Good.”

BLP REVIEW – Tracy

***

A prequel to Gotta Be Bayou, book one of the Badges of the Bayou series

She’s so not his type. But he’s been thinking about her for almost a year now.

He needs to figure out a way to get over her.

Though kissing her at their friends’ wedding probably isn’t it…

FBI agent Spencer Landry is looking for a sweet, bubbly sunshine at home to balance out all the darkness he sees in his work.

Investigative journalist Max Keller is anything but. 

Oh, she’s gorgeous, and funny, and smart. But she’s also quirky and sarcastic, loves crime scenes, and can’t bake a brownie to save her life.

They’re never going to work out.

He really should stop kissing her.

So this will be the last time.

Maybe. 

Available at the following retailers:

DIRECT FROM ERIN WITH BONUS CONTENT

AMAZON

AMAZON UK

APPLE

BOOKSNOOK

KOBO

GOOGLE PLAY

About Erin Nicholas

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Erin Nicholas has been writing romances almost as long as she’s been reading them. To date, she’s written over thirty sexy, contemporary novels that have been described as “toe-curling,” “enchanting,” “steamy,” and “fun.” She adores reluctant heroes, imperfect heroines, and happily ever afters.

Erin lives in the Midwest, where she enjoys spending time with her husband (who only wants to read the sex scenes in her books), her kids (who will never read the sex scenes in her books), and her family and friends (who claim to be “shocked” by the sex scenes in her books).

Connect with Erin

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RELEASE TOUR – The Hometown Dilemma by Julie Archer

In THE HOMETOWN DILEMMA by Julie Archer, when Jaime Harlow returns home in hopes of starting over, she is forced to rethink her plans, and an old friend from college, Wade Dempsy offers to help, leaving her second-guessing everything.

Old times, new feelings – and one stormy night – are all they need to ignite the desires they never realized existed.

Fans of The Lawton Ridge Series by Kennedy Fox will devour this must-read swoon-worthy, return to hometown romance from the Meet Cute Book Club Series.

Read Now!

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3oS0RF3

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Jaime

Who says you can’t go home?

Coming back to Abbott Ridge and starting over was my plan. But, just like everything in life, plans change. Especially when the interior design reality tv show I dreamed of being a part of gets canceled before filming even begins. Now I’m stuck without a job and forced to rethink how I’ll start my own company.

Insert, Wade Dempsey.

Owner of Dempsey’s bar, and one of my closest friends from college. He immediately offers me a temporary job working with him, like old times.

It’s an offer I can’t refuse. Oh, and did I mention that my new boss is even sexier than I remember?

Things between us are going great…until a call from New York presents me with a new offer that has me second guessing my stay in Abbott Ridge.

Wade

Home is where the heart is.

I’ve spent my whole life in Abbott Ridge, running in and out of my family’s bar until I was finally old enough to take over. Now I’m in charge, but it’s a struggle to keep the place from going under. I need fresh ideas to compete with all the fancy bars and clubs popping up downtown.

Insert, Jaime Harlow.

Having Jaime back behind my bar seems like a good place to start. She’s an inspiration and a breath of fresh air, in more ways than one.

Old times, new feelings – and one stormy night – are all we need to ignite the desires I never realized existed.

When New York calls for Jaime and the only future I’ve known goes up in flames, we find ourselves faced with a huge dilemma that threatens our new found relationship. Can we really make this work when right now it feels like we can’t even see eye to eye? There’s only one way to find out.

The Hometown Dilemma is a standalone, return to hometown romance that is part of the multi-author series, Meet Cute Book Club. Escape with this swoon-worthy collection of romances where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters.

Excerpt

Copyright 2022 @ Julie Archer

A wave of calm familiarity swept over me. Being back home for good, after being away for many years, had given me doubts and butterflies. I’m sure there were some people who would think coming home meant failure, when I very much saw it as the opportunity to start something new.

“I think it’s a really brave thing you’ve done,” Cami admitted, saying what I’d been thinking. “To walk away from a secure job and take a chance on something you have no control over.”

She may have been four years younger than me, but she was wise beyond her years. However scared I was about the decision I’d made, in my heart it was the right one. Sure, I could have stayed in a job with a nice company in New York, bumbling along with no real career plans, but I needed something to excite me, something to stretch and challenge me.

And trying to get a place on the next series of Interior Nirvana was the catalyst.

Walking away from a steady job to try and start my own freelance interior design business had been something I’d agonized over for months. But the more I turned up to work for other people, the more I knew I wanted to do it for myself. While Abbott Ridge might not have had the same level of clientele as the big city, there were enough businesses and families who would want professional help when it came to design.

“Thanks, sweetie, I appreciate your support. Not everyone is of the same mindset. Mom, for one.”

When I’d told her about my plans, she had gone ballistic. Even though she hadn’t exactly been in our lives over the past five years, the same amount of time I’d been in New York, I still kept her posted on what was going on.

“Ugh, you don’t have to tell me. You’d have thought you were going to jail for a serious crime, not trying to make something of your life.” Cami screwed up her nose. “Of course, it’s great for me too because I’m not on my own now. Wade and I split up.”

“Oh, Cami! When did that happen?” I reached out to grab her hand. “You should have told me.”

Cami had been dating Wade Dempsey on and off for about three months, since I’d last been home for a fleeting visit. He was six years older than her, so secretly I wasn’t surprised it hadn’t worked out. They were at totally different stages in their lives. Cami was still all about having fun and not thinking about the consequences. Wade had more responsibilities; he ran Dempsey’s bar in town and from what I’d heard, his father wasn’t in the best of health, which put a lot of strain on the family business. I’d worked with Wade at the bar while we were in college and we’d grown to be close buddies, although once I’d left for New York we hadn’t been in contact much.

She shrugged. “We weren’t that serious really. He’s not as much fun as I thought he was going to be. I barely saw him because he was at the bar all the time.”

“Well, I’m still sorry to hear you’ve split up.” I smiled. “But was he really the right guy for you? He always was a terrible flirt.”

“Yeah, he was.” Cami wrinkled her nose. “Think about it though, Jaime. The Harlow sisters out on the town together. Abbott Ridge watch out!”

Given the plans I had for starting my own business, there was little time for going out on the town. Not to mention saving every spare dollar I had, I had big plans to buy an apartment or house to use as my portfolio for the show.

“I don’t know about that, Cami.” Stalling, I sipped my own drink. “I might not have time.”

“Come on, all work and no play makes Jaime a very dull sister.”

Ha, I may be the older sister, but there was no way on earth I would let Cami say I was dull. Maybe it was time to step out of the comfort zone and have some fun before getting down to business.

About Julie Archer

Author of contemporary romance featuring rock stars, small towns, a healthy dose of angst, some steamy times and always a happy ever after!

When not writing, I can usually be found binge watching teen drama series on Netflix, or supporting Spurs from my armchair, and running around after my two feline children, Corey and Elsa.

Follow me on Facebook or Instagram, see my latest releases on Amazon or drop me an email, juliearcherwrites@gmail.com.

Real Angst. Real Romance.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub | Website | Newsletter | Amazon

About The Meet Cute Book Club Series

Escape with the Meet Cute Book Club where meet-cutes don’t only happen between the pages of romance novels and members find their own happily ever afters. 

Eight single women bound by their love of books take a monthly break from real life to lose themselves in the chapters of romantic fiction. From friends to lovers to fake relationships and more, each story features a brand new couple and their journey to find love from an amazing lineup of authors including Louise Lennox, Tracy Broemmer, A.M. Williams, Mel Walker, RJ Gray, Rebecca Wilder, Julie Archer, and Kate Stacy. 

These eight standalone romances are packed with meet-cutes, heat, and of course a happily ever after!

This promotional event is brought to you by TheIndie Pen PR

RELEASE TOUR – Downfall by Evelyn Sola

Maxwell’s new personal assistant, Summer, is the opposite of what he finds attractive, yet she consumes his thoughts. Will a business trip alone together be their downfall, or will they finally realize that their happily ever after is closer than they think? Readers who enjoy spicy romances will devour Downfall by Evelyn Sola, a steamy, age-gap, office romance.

Read Now! 

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Summer Madison is the opposite of everything Maxwell Sutton finds attractive in a woman. And yet, here he is, fighting powerful feelings for the new personal assistant his brother hired while he was out of town. 

Everything about her is wrong, yet his thoughts are consumed with nothing but her. Determined to do anything he can to stay away from her, Maxwell develops a no fraternization clause to the company policy. 

But rules and logic only last for so long. 

When the attraction between the two of them becomes too much to contain, Maxwell finds himself violating the very policy that he put into effect. Now that he’s had a taste, he knows he can never say no to her again. 

Will a business trip alone together be their downfall, or will they finally realize that their happily ever after is closer than they think?

Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Evelyn Sola

His brown eyes are like storm clouds when they collide with mine. If I could, I’d take a step back. But I can’t. I stand there in the back of the room like a lonely gazelle in a room of lions, unable to find her footing to run. David waves over to me and gestures at a chair, only the chair is too close to the other Mr. Sutton. 

I swallow nervously and want to look away from him but can’t seem to make a move until I’m forced to. I turn my head and look towards the door, ready to make a quick exit, but my hand goes limp, and the legal pad slips from between my fingers. I want nothing more than for the floor to swallow me up when I bend down to pick it up. I just know someone is looking at my butt. When I stand, I run a hand over my ass as if that would somehow make it less conspicuous. I feel everyone’s eyes on me as I walk to the front of the room, almost as if I’m walking the plank, not walking to the chair that my boss is generously offering me.

The other Mr. Sutton’s eyes follow me the entire time, but I’m proud of myself for avoiding his gaze. And for not falling flat on my face. I want to cover my body with my hands. If I thought David Sutton was handsome, he is nothing compared to his brother. Dark eyes, short, perfectly trimmed beard, dark hair without a trace of gray. If he was my type, he would be a wet dream. It’s almost as if I can feel his thoughts just from his eyes. He’s fighting for calm right now. He needs order and structure and thinks he can find it here in the office. I don’t know how I know that about him, but I do. It’s like an electrical current is between us by the time I take my seat. It’s as if I’m on display, and I can feel his eyes looking down at me. I make the big mistake of looking up, and our eyes clash. His nostrils flare, and he opens his mouth to say something, only to close it again. 

I quickly turn my head and start writing on my legal pad, but my heart is beating so fast I know everyone else can hear it.

About Evelyn Sola

A Boston native, wife, mother, and wine enthusiast. If she’s not writing, thinking about writing, you will find Evelyn with a book in her hands. While a new publisher, she’s been writing for years, and she will continue to write for many years to come.
Evelyn is obsessed with assertive and confident men who will stop at nothing to get their woman. Her stories are filled with love, passion and humor.
She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two daughters.

Connect with Evelyn

Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/evelyn.sola.374

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Amazon  → https://www.amazon.com/Evelyn-Sola/e/B0855QJGYX

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

EXCERPT REVEAL – The Rules of Dating by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Title: The Rules of Dating
Authors: Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 19, 2022

Excited about Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, The Rules of Dating?
Check out this SNEAK PEEK!

Crash!
Shit. Billie and I looked at each other. A devilish smirk spread across her face…and then she turned and bolted.
I looked around. The coast seemed clear, so I ran as fast as I could while pushing a heaping cart full of crap. For the last hour and a half, Billie had been picking things out and holding them up to show me. If I agreed, she chucked them over her shoulder for me to catch with the cart. I’d been zigging and zagging, trying to scoop up all the merchandise she threw as I followed her around—both of us laughing like school kids the entire time. That is, until I missed that last toss and a glass bowl shattered on the floor.
IKEA was a giant maze, and both of us kept running, turning left and then right, until we finally arrived in the warehouse portion of the store, which was right before the checkout line. Billie leaned over with her hands on her knees, huffing and puffing.
“I think we’re in the clear,” she said.
“Pretty sure I would’ve rather paid for the twelve-dollar bowl than make a run for it. This cart is so full, it almost tipped like ten times.”
She laughed. “Did we get everything we need?”
“I’m not sure. But we definitely bought a lot of shit we don’t need. Like I think we could have done without the motorized ice cream cone spinners. The tenant can lick their own ice cream.”
Billie grinned. “Those are for me and Saylor. They light up, too!”
I snorted. “Come on, let’s check out before I’m completely broke.”
While we loaded everything onto the conveyor belt, I lifted my chin toward the in-store restaurant located just after the cashier stations. “You still up for meatballs?”
“Uh…hello? It’s the only reason I came.”
I clutched my hand over my heart. “Oww, that hurts. And here I thought you came for the company.”
After we were all checked out, I wheeled the cart over to a table for two in the corner of the restaurant. “Why don’t you stay here with the stuff, and I’ll go get us some meatballs.”
“Okay. But can you get me a drink, too, please? I’m so thirsty.”
When I came back, I set two big plates of meatballs on the table.
“Did you forget the drinks?” Billie asked.
I grinned and lifted a finger. “Actually, I didn’t. I brought them.” My gym bag from earlier had been lying on the bottom shelf underneath the cart since we walked in. Taking it out, I unzipped and started to unpack. “Wine, madame?” I held a bottle of merlot over one arm, showing the label like a maître d’.
Billie cracked up. “You brought wine with you? I thought it was strange when you took your duffle bag into the store. But I figured maybe your wallet was in it and stuff.”
I shrugged. “What choice did I have? You won’t go out with me, so I have to make the best out of our undate at IKEA.” I unloaded two plastic wine glasses, white cloth napkins, and a candleholder with a red candle.
Billie picked up the candle and examined it before raising a brow. “A winter village scene?”
I shrugged. “They’re Christmas candles. I only had an hour to get out of the house with a four-year-old. Don’t judge.”
The looks we got from the people around us as we ate meatballs by candlelight were pretty comical. I was also pretty sure it was against the rules to have an open flame in IKEA, let alone an open bottle of wine, but evidently the people behind the counter hadn’t read the employee rule book to be certain. Either way, the smile on Billie’s face made it all worthwhile. After we were done eating, I blew out the candle and started to pack up.
“You know…” Billie shook her head. “I think you just snuck a date into our undate.”
I shoved the cork back into the top of the wine bottle and zippered it into my duffle. “I did not.”
She squinted at me. “I’m pretty sure you did. What’s the difference between what we just did and a date? We shared a candlelight meal with wine and cloth napkins.”
I leaned down and whispered in her ear. “The difference is, you don’t get to come at the end.”
When I pulled back, Billie’s jaw was hanging open. I freaking loved that she looked so affected. She swallowed. “Is that the way all your dates end?”
I shook my head back and forth slowly. “No, but it’s damn straight the way ours would.”

Copyright © 2022 Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland

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BLURB

It all started when I hosted a little party for a bunch of new friends.
Though “friends” might not be the right word since the invitees were all the women I’d found out my boyfriend was talking to behind my back. When the guest of honor walked in—aka my now ex—things took a turn…
Unfortunately, a stranger witnessed the whole blowout. I was in a mood that night and ended up giving this gorgeous guy an attitude, too. As if my night could get any worse, before he stormed off, he informed me he was actually my landlord.
Colby Lennon, along with three of his friends, owned the building where my tattoo shop was located. He and I were total opposites. He wore a tie, oozed confidence that came with years of women falling at his feet, and wasn’t afraid to say what he wanted, which lately—was me.
I hated that I found myself attracted to him. Especially since I was supposed to be on a self-imposed dating hiatus. Yet the two of us couldn’t seem to stay away from each other. We started hanging out, as friends. I even went as far as making rules for what he’d dubbed our “undates.”
But eventually, our explosive attraction became too much to bear, and we broke our resolve. I let my guard down and started to really fall for Colby.
Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn’t prepared for where I’d wind up when the ride was over.
All good things must come to an end, right?
Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.


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 thirty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

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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 are currently translated in twenty-seven languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in the US, Germany, Brazil, Bulgaria and Hungary. Three of her short stories have been turned into films by Passionflix, and two of her books are currently optioned for movies. 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.

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Well Played

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BLIG TOUR – Ending the Game (The Risks We Take Duet #2) by Bella Matthews

Ending the Game, an all-new forbidden new-adult second book full of heat and heart in The Risks We Take Duet from bestselling author Bella Matthews is available now!

Nobody warned me what it’s like to look back with regret. To be left wondering, What if…?

I’ve never been that guy. The one who questioned his choices. Who didn’t have a purpose.

If I wanted something, I worked harder than everyone else and made it happen.

I had my life planned out until Carys Murphy changed the game.

She was my best friend’s little sister long before she became my stepsister. Loving her was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. But not all love stories have happy endings.

With the risks higher than ever, and the flames rising around us, can we find our way back?

Or will we crash and burn?

Download your copy today!

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Excerpt

When I find room 309, the door is cracked open, so I knock quietly before walking in. What I see is a sucker punch to the gut. Carys is curled up in a recliner, wearing a tank top and sweatpants, with a tiny little baby lying against her chest in nothing but a diaper and a big pink bow. My heart screams mine, while my brain screams run.

Her eyes are closed, and she’s humming a soft song while both the baby and Emerson sleep.

When I close the door behind me, Carys’s eyes slowly open, and a tender smile spreads across her gorgeous face. Every ounce of hurt I hold over this woman washes away in an instant, and I want nothing more than to wrap her in my arms. But that can’t happen now.

“Hey,” she whispers.

I take a step closer and stare in wonder at the tiny baby. “Hey. How are you doing?” I ask just as quietly.

“Well,” she whispers, smiling, and my entire body relaxes. “I’m not the one who gave birth, so I’m doing pretty well. A little tired.” She shrugs. “And my hand may never quite heal from the insane hold Em had on it last night, but . . .” She angles herself to give me a better view of the sleeping baby. “Little Miss Elodie was worth it.”

“She’s beautiful.” I trace a finger gently along her tiny arm, and her fingers spread wide open, startled. “She looks like Linc,” I whisper in awe.

“Wait until she opens her eyes. They’re all Emerson. But everything else is all her daddy.” Sadness creeps into her voice as she adjusts Elodie and stands from the chair. “Do you want to hold her?”

I shake my head. “I don’t want to break her.”

Carys laughs at me. “You won’t break her, Coop. Sit down, and I’ll lay her in your arms.”

I hesitate for a moment before sitting down and then hold still as Carys carefully transfers a sleeping Elodie into my arms. The baby roots around for a minute until she gets comfortable, then yawns so big, I half expect her jaw to come unhinged. Her warm skin is soft under my hand, and for a moment, I forget about the shitstorm currently surrounding us.

Forget that I’m furious with the woman in front of me.

Forget that Linc isn’t about to walk through that door and hold his daughter.

But that peace is short-lived.

Carys takes a step back and covers her mouth with her hands. “You look really good holding a baby, Cooper.” Pain laces her voice, and the vise around my heart tightens.

“I never cared about that, Carys. We could have adopted. We could have fostered. We could have used a surrogate.” She closes her eyes, but I don’t stop, making sure to keep my voice calm and quiet so I don’t wake Elodie or Emerson. “We could have had as many years together as we wanted before we had to figure it out. But we would have figured it out together because I loved you.”

She gasps just as I realize what I said.

“Loved.” She holds my eyes as tears well in hers. “Past tense.”

“We can’t do this here, Carys. It’s not the—”

“No,” she cuts me off. “You wouldn’t talk to me at the hospital. You wouldn’t even look at me yesterday. Don’t tell me now’s not the time, unless you’re ready to tell me when that time will be. I need to talk to you, Cooper. I still love you. I always have, and I always will. I shouldn’t have taken away your choice when I did. I was so wrong to end things. You have to believe me.”

Her words loosen the tightness I’ve been holding onto for a month, but there’s nothing I can do about them now. “Believing you isn’t the issue, Carys. Trusting you . . . That’s a different story.” Saying the words feels wrong, but if I want to keep her safe, I need to keep her at a distance while we figure this shit out.

Carys flinches and steps back as if I physically hurt her. She runs her hands through her hair and turns away for a moment. When she turns back, a determined glint dances in her green eyes. “You can be as angry as you want, Cooper Sinclair, but I love you, and I know you love me too. So be pissed. Be hurt. Be as mean to me as you want. I’m not going anywhere this time. I’m not making that mistake again.”

The spark I love in this woman is firing in a million vibrant colors as she fights for us.

I just wish she’d have done it sooner.

About Bella

Bella Matthews is a Jersey girl at heart. She is married to her very own Alpha Male and raising three little ones. You can typically find her running from one sporting event to another. When she is home, she is usually hiding in her home office with the only other female in her house, her rescue dog Tinker Bell by her side. She likes to write swoon-worthy heroes and sassy, smart heroines with a healthy dose of laughter thrown in.

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RELEASE BLITZ – Downfall by Evelyn Sola

Maxwell’s new personal assistant, Summer, is the opposite of what he finds attractive, yet she consumes his thoughts. Will a business trip alone together be their downfall, or will they finally realize that their happily ever after is closer than they think?

Readers who enjoy spicy romances will devour Downfall by Evelyn Sola, a steamy, age-gap, office romance.

Blurb

Summer Madison is the opposite of everything Maxwell Sutton finds attractive in a woman. And yet, here he is, fighting powerful feelings for the new personal assistant his brother hired while he was out of town. 

Everything about her is wrong, yet his thoughts are consumed with nothing but her. Determined to do anything he can to stay away from her, Maxwell develops a no fraternization clause to the company policy. 

But rules and logic only last for so long. 

When the attraction between the two of them becomes too much to contain, Maxwell finds himself violating the very policy that he put into effect. Now that he’s had a taste, he knows he can never say no to her again. 

Will a business trip alone together be their downfall, or will they finally realize that their happily ever after is closer than they think?

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Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Evelyn Sola

I take the opportunity to check out Summer’s backside. I was right. That is one juicy ass. And a wide set of hips that need to be grabbed by both hands. Lord, I don’t even care for ass and hips. I like breasts. And ever since I had my first girlfriend at seventeen, every woman I’ve ever been with had one thing in common. I’m a sucker for a natural blonde, especially one with blue eyes. Summer Madison is so far from my type, she’s not even on the same map. 

But I can’t take my eyes off her, and I hate myself for it. I can imagine what she looks like underneath those clothes. Tight, lithe little body with an ass the shape of an apple. God, I wish I could bite into it right now. That thought takes me by such surprise, I wonder who the hell I am. 

She starts to whisper something to Olivia, but Olivia looks up, sees me, and lets out a loud gasp of surprise. Summer’s body tenses, and her mouth stops moving. 

She knows I’m here. And she knows I’m watching her. The temperature in the room is suddenly too hot, and I curse myself for putting on this three-piece suit today. Olivia sits down on her chair and busies herself with her computer. Summer slowly turns around and her eyes immediately clash with mine. 

She juts out her chin in defiance as soon as she sees me. I make it a point to scoff loud enough for her to hear. I hold her stare until she finally turns back to Olivia. She whispers something to her before walking away without giving me another look. 

My work here is done. She hates me, and that’s just the way I want it. Part of me hates her too for making me feel unbalanced. For these crazy feelings she stirs inside of me when she’s not the type of woman I would look at. She’s a twenty-three-year-old child, barely a woman. 

On her way to her desk, she misses a step and drops the legal pad she’d been carrying. Maybe she isn’t as unaffected by me as she likes to pretend. She finally disappears behind a pillar at the end of the hall. 

About Evelyn Sola

A Boston native, wife, mother, and wine enthusiast. If she’s not writing, thinking about writing, you will find Evelyn with a book in her hands. While a new publisher, she’s been writing for years, and she will continue to write for many years to come.
Evelyn is obsessed with assertive and confident men who will stop at nothing to get their woman. Her stories are filled with love, passion and humor.
She currently lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and two daughters.

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BLOG TOUR – Off the Record (Storyhill Musicians series#3) by Annmarie Boyle

Off the Record by Annmarie Boyle is out now! Check out the release festivities and be sure to get your copy today!

Title: Off the Record

Author: Annmarie Boyle

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Off the Record:

Ever since the day her life flipped upside down, Bridget Hayes obeys a carefully crafted plan. And it works. Or it did. Until the night of her brother’s wedding, when she throws out all her rules—in spectacular fashion and finds herself in bed with one of her brother’s bandmates. What had she been thinking? She caved to the one thing she can’t control—her longtime crush on a tall, charismatic, ginger of a man . . . who also happens to BE ONE OF HER BROTHER’S BEST FRIENDS.

Blake Kelly knows two things for sure: happily-ever-after is a myth and Bridget Hayes is risk personified. Doesn’t matter that he’s been attracted to her since her brother uttered the words, “Meet my sister.” Getting close to her could blow up the band. And the band is his family. He can’t risk it . . . no matter how much he wants a repeat performance.

Armed with a pact—tell no one—they return to their regularly scheduled lives. Because in a city of nine million people, what are the chances they’ll bump into each other anytime soon?

Nada. Zip. Zilch.

That is, until a rescue pup named Destiny turns out to be less dog and more cupid in a fur coat.

OFF THE RECORD is the third book in the award-winning Storyhill Musicians series.

Mix two secret crushes, a splash of sports romance, and the complications of dating your brother’s best friend and you have this witty steamy contemporary romance about two people figuring out if the risk is worth the reward.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

An image flashed before Bridget’s eyes. A vision of the one thing she’d never been able to control. A crush that, no matter how old she got or how many people she dated, never fully subsided. And she hated that. She played by the rules, in control of every aspect of her life—except this one stupid thing. Plus . . .

​Bridget lowered her voice as deep as it would go and said sternly, “One does not hook up with any member of Storyhill.”

​Kal rolled her eyes. “Is Andrew the boss of you?”

​Bridget folded a pair of black leggings and a tunic and tucked them neatly on top of her jumpsuit. “No,” she scoffed. “But it’s likely still good advice.” While her personal life was none of her big brother’s business, she didn’t need to go looking for trouble.

​Kal held up a pair of shoes to the tunic and, evidently satisfied they matched, tucked them in Bridget’s suitcase. “How would Andrew even know? He’ll be far more interested in his own wedding night than anything you get up to.”

​Bridget dropped to the bed with a sigh. “Why are you not letting this go?”

​Kal lightly tugged at the ends of Bridget’s hair. “Because you’ve had this crush for YEARS. Maybe a good shag would get him out of your system once and for all.”

​Or make it worse. 

Bridget rubbed at the tension gathering between her eyes. “And how do you propose I do that? Walk up to him at the rehearsal dinner, tap on his elbow, and say, ‘My best friend thinks it’d be a good idea for us to sleep together. You in?’” 

Kalisha laughed. “I would pay so much money to hear you say that.”

Old Bridget might have done something like that, but new Bridget? No way. New Bridget understood that most risk was not worth the reward. “Yeah, well, that is not happening. For so many reasons. Not the least being, he’s one of my brother’s best friends.”

Catching Up with the Series:

Love Me Like A Love Song

Don’t Let the Music Die

Fine Tuned

Friday at the Blue Note

About the Author:

My love affair with words has spanned a lifetime. I raced to high school English class and left home in pursuit of a degree in Journalism. I have been lucky enough to write copy for Fortune 500 companies and charities like the Ronald McDonald House. For nearly a decade, I owned my own communications company, and now, with the publication of the Storyhill Musicians series, my dreams of being a fiction author have come true. And I hope I can spend the rest of my days dreaming up stories.

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BLOG TOUR – Resisting the Grump (Mount Macon #1) by Ashley Munoz

Once upon a time he broke me, and for that, I refuse to fall for him again.

Resisting the Grump, an all-new small-town romantic comedy full of heat and humor from bestselling author Ashley Munoz is available now!

Stalking the town recluse wasn’t exactly wise. 

Davis was five years older than me…antisocial and temperamental. And there was the little fact that he didn’t know I existed. 

Still, I gave him my heart, and he crushed it.

So I picked up the pieces and ran away to New York City. I had a plan that kept my heart intact for four years.

But one phone call changed everything. 

Returning home meant facing the past…and the man who ruined me. 

I had hoped that the mountain had swallowed him whole. Alas, as I set out to help my parents, I discover he’s not only alive and well, but that they apparently love the jerk. 

He has no idea that we have a past, which is both a relief and salt in the wound.

I promise myself I’ll ignore how his eyes linger on me, or the way his touch feels like a live wire, and I’ll remember that once upon a time he broke me and for that I refuse to fall for him again.

But I can’t control that he seems to be falling for me this time.

Download your copy today!

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Excerpt

“Can I kiss you, Rae?” he whispered, moving along my skin. 

Shaking my head, my throat bobbed. “No.” 

“You don’t seem like the kind of girl who likes to be asked, so I’m just going to do it.” 

“Try it and see what happens,” I smiled wickedly.

He stared at me, a tiny smile lifting in the corner of his mouth. “You can’t resist me forever.” 

“Watch me.” I glared defiantly, hating that he’d called out something that simmered so close to my core. 

His body pressed against mine for a second longer then it vanished. “I think I’ll kiss you when you’re least expecting it. Maybe in church or something.” 

“Why bother with this ruse? I overheard you talking that night in the garage. I know my dad asked you to place the order, and I know you think I’m too much work to befriend.” My palms went flat against the brick, so I could somehow find balance.

His stormy glare cut through me, as if I were a cold stick of butter and he was the searing knife, just pulled from the fire.

“You misheard…or at least misunderstood.” 

Tilting my head, I asked, “Did he tell you to place the order and lie to me?”

Without a single hitch in his voice, or flicker in his gaze, he answered. “Yes.” 

“Then I don’t know what’s left to—”

His grip returned to my waist as his body pressed into mine, pushing me tighter against the brick at my back. 

“You misunderstood…I don’t want to be your friend, Rae, and you are a lot of work, but if you haven’t noticed, work doesn’t scare me off. I like work. I like trouble. You’re a fucking delicious mixture of both, and please understand me when I say this”—he lowered his head, his lips just barely a breath away from mine—“I like kissing you.”

About Ashley Munoz

Ashley resides in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her four children and her husband. She loves coffee, reading fantasy, and writing about people who kiss and cuss.

Connect with Ashley

Website: https://www.ashleymunozbooks.com/

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3MOeXAW

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RELEASE BLITZ – Off the Record (Storyhill Musicians series #3) by Annmarie Boyle

Off the Record by Annmarie Boyle is out now! Check out the release festivities and be sure to get your copy today!

Title: Off the Record

Author: Annmarie Boyle

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About Off the Record:

Ever since the day her life flipped upside down, Bridget Hayes obeys a carefully crafted plan. And it works. Or it did. Until the night of her brother’s wedding, when she throws out all her rules—in spectacular fashion and finds herself in bed with one of her brother’s bandmates. What had she been thinking? She caved to the one thing she can’t control—her longtime crush on a tall, charismatic, ginger of a man . . . who also happens to BE ONE OF HER BROTHER’S BEST FRIENDS. 

Blake Kelly knows two things for sure: happily-ever-after is a myth and Bridget Hayes is risk personified. Doesn’t matter that he’s been attracted to her since her brother uttered the words, “Meet my sister.” Getting close to her could blow up the band. And the band is his family. He can’t risk it . . . no matter how much he wants a repeat performance.

Armed with a pact—tell no one—they return to their regularly scheduled lives. Because in a city of nine million people, what are the chances they’ll bump into each other anytime soon?

Nada. Zip. Zilch.

That is, until a rescue pup named Destiny turns out to be less dog and more cupid in a fur coat.

OFF THE RECORD is the third book in the award-winning Storyhill Musicians series.

Mix two secret crushes, a splash of sports romance, and the complications of dating your brother’s best friend and you have this witty steamy contemporary romance about two people figuring out if the risk is worth the reward.

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Exclusive Excerpt:

“Blake, I need you to pick up Bridget at the airport.”

A shiver ran down Blake’s spine at the mention of Andrew’s sister. And not the cold kind. The so-warm-if-you’re-not-careful-you-might-get-burned kind. “You want me to pick up Bridget?” Andrew had spent years discouraging Blake’s interaction with his sister—loudly.

“Not really.” Andrew grimaced. “But everyone else already has an assigned task, and Grace promised to make our wedding night very boring if I let my little sister take an Uber.” 

“Little” was an interesting way to describe Bridget Hayes. At thirty-four years old, six feet tall, and one of the youngest basketball executives in the league, little would be the last word Blake would choose. Stunning or accomplished seemed better places to start.

Andrew scrubbed his fingers through his hair. “Just remember—”

Blake blew out a breath. “Yeah, yeah, she’s off limits. I heard you the first hundred times.”

“I was going to say it takes her some extra time to get from the gate to baggage claim. She’s still, um, fragile.”

Little and now “fragile?” Had Andrew paid any attention to his sister over the past decade? Ten years was a long time to still be treating her like she might break. But maybe he shouldn’t judge, he didn’t have any siblings, didn’t have any first-hand experience with family dynamics. 

“But, Blake,” Andrew said, pushing a finger into Blake chest. “What you said, too.”

Nick picked up the tray of favors and chuckled. “Don’t worry Andrew, gingers are very few people’s cup of tea.”

“I think you got some bad data, my friend.” Blake ran a hand down his chest and winked. “Red heads are the world’s unicorns and who couldn’t use a little more magic in their life?”

Catching Up with the Series:

Love Me Like A Love Song

Don’t Let the Music Die

Fine Tuned

Friday at the Blue Note

About the Author:

My love affair with words has spanned a lifetime. I raced to high school English class and left home in pursuit of a degree in Journalism. I have been lucky enough to write copy for Fortune 500 companies and charities like the Ronald McDonald House. For nearly a decade, I owned my own communications company, and now, with the publication of the Storyhill Musicians series, my dreams of being a fiction author have come true. And I hope I can spend the rest of my days dreaming up stories.

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