Category Archives: Excerpt

BLOG TOUR – Alpha’s Revenge by Renee Rose & Lee Savino

What if this is more than desire?

What if Fate matched me with this human, and she’s my mate?

Alpha’s Revenge, an all-new steamy and action-packed paranormal romance from USA Today bestselling authors Renee Ross and Lee Savino, is available now!

I learned the hard way what it’s like to lose people you love.

As an alpha, I vowed never to let that happen again.

That means keeping my focus. Never letting my guard down.

And, most of all, staying away from civilians – i.e. humans.

But the feisty chocolatier has me breaking my own rules. 

The beautiful female tests my patience… and all my control. 

I should stay away. I can’t protect the pack if I succumb to my desires.

But what if this is more than desire?

What if Fate matched me with this human, and she’s my mate? 

If I don’t claim her, I’ll lose it all in the worst possible way.

Start reading today!

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Excerpt

“Adele.” Rafe catches my elbows to steady me as I bounce off his immovable form.

I’m more flustered than a misstep calls for, but it’s only because my nerves were already ragged over asking Rafe for a job, and now that I’ve decided I don’t actually want the job, I feel somehow caught.

“Rafe,” I manage to say. Don’t be nervous. Imagine him naked.

Trouble is, I imagine Rafe naked far too much.

He’s still holding my elbows, standing far too close. Rafe’s not as Hollywood good-looking as his brother Lance, who recently knocked up my friend Charlie. His hair is darker. His eyes are green. Lance is charming in that laidback, lazy smile kind of way. Rafe is the opposite. No charm. Definitely not laidback. There’s a ruggedness and ferocity about him that makes being around him feel terribly dangerous.

Dangerous, intense, and… exciting.

He’s the kind of guy you’d want on your side, not against it. Last week, when my business partner turned up dead, Charlie got kidnapped, and I was picked up by the police for questioning, I learned exactly how powerful it is to have a guy like him in my court.

So I’m already beholden to Rafe.

Something I hate. Don’t trust a man …

“I—um—I was just leaving.”

“You were?” His brows go down, gaze sweeps over me. “It looks like you just got here.” His eyes snag on my high heeled boots. “You walk in the snow in those?”

“Yes?” Why did I make that sound like a question? Something about his surly black brows makes me uncertain. I clear my throat and try again. “Yes, of course.”

“You need to be more careful. Those boots aren’t good in the snow.” And there it is, the most annoying thing about Rafe. He orders everyone around. The fact that he’s always in fatigue pants and a gray or army green Henley doesn’t lessen his drill sergeant vibe. Neither does the way he stands and looks down on everyone, like a general inspecting his troops and finding us all wanting. I think it’s great he had a military career—when I first met him, I thanked him for his service—but he’s not the boss of me!

I’m tempted to declare that and stomp my boots like I’m four, but that won’t help him take me seriously. Or land me a job.

“Are you meeting someone?” Rafe asks.

“No. Um, yes. Ah—” I shake my head. I’m on the spot here, not sure whether to flee or beg. Neither idea appeals.

Of course, he doesn’t make it easy for me. He releases my elbows to put his hands on his hips, like I’m in trouble, and now I have to answer to him.

Screw this. I can’t work for him.

“Nothing. Nevermind. I have to go.” I try to move past him, but he moves to block my path.

“Hang on a second. Were you here to see me? Or did something happen?” He scans the restaurant with a scowl, as if to identify some mystery offender who was rude to me.

Shoot. Maybe I am supposed to ask him for a job. I mean, here he is, insisting I explain myself.

“Rafe, I—”

At the sound of his name, his gaze snaps back to mine, locking and honing in. When I nervously lick the lip gloss off my lips, his gaze dips to my mouth. A hungry expression comes over his face.

God, I’m hungry, too. And not for food.

Every time I’m near this guy, a slow thrum of awareness tunes up between my legs. His big body, hard and solid with muscle, his dark hair and eyes… I gaze up at him, and it’s all too easy to imagine what it would be like to be underneath him. He’d probably order me, as bossy and dominant in bed as he is out.

And wouldn’t that be delicious?

No, no, no. I absolutely do not want Rafe, naked and looming over me, telling me what to do. That would be terrible.

Gawd, my panties are soaked. Time to get this conversation back on track. I take a second to remember how much Rafe annoys me and raise my chin.

“Honestly?” I say. “I came to see if you, um, still needed help. You know, in the kitchen. I’m, ah, not going to be able to reopen The Chocolatier at the moment.”

Rafe goes still, his brows angled together in concern.

It’s way more of a reaction than I expected from him. I don’t know what I thought he’d do—blow me off or tell me to fill out an application. But instead, he grabs my hand and draws me further into the Grille. “Come here,” he says gruffly.

Meet Renee Rose

USA Today Bestselling Author Renee Rose loves a dominant, dirty-talking alpha hero! She’s sold over a 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 Romance Reviews Best Historical Romance. She’s hit the USA Today list ten times with her Chicago Bratva, Bad Boy Alpha, Wolf Ranch books, and various anthologies.

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Website: https://reneeroseromance.com/

BLOG TOUR – Dragon Unbound (Dragon Kings novella) by Donna Grant

She challenges him in all the right ways.

Dragon Unbound an all new scorching hot Dragon Kings Novella from New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant and 1,001 Dark Nights is available now!

In a new story brimming with sizzling heat and untold mysteries, New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant brings together a devilishly handsome Dragon King and a woman who dares to challenge him.

He’s never been tempted…until her.

Sexy. Mysterious. Dangerous. He’s an immortal Dragon King bound by ancient rules and eternal magic. Cullen has one objective: find and destroy the evil that threatens the new home of the dragons. Just when he’s closing in, he’s ambushed and finds a stunning warrior woman fighting alongside him. No amount of magic could prepare him for the beguiling lass who spurns his advances and defies him.

From the moment Tamlyn takes a stand against her kind, she’s had to fight one perilous battle after another. Staying alive in an endless struggle, and the lines between good and evil are blurred with every encounter. She’s always stood alone—until she comes to the aid of an irresistibly handsome stranger. Cullen will force her to face truths she’s been running from…even as enemies plot to destroy them both.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Excerpt

“Who are you?” he asked, his blue eyes wide with fear.
“Tamlyn. I’m here to help you.”
He glanced at the door. “No one can help me.”
“I climbed this wall for you. We can go down together, or you can stay here and see how things turn out.”
He shook his head before she finished. “I don’t want to stay. But…”
“I know,” she said softly. “It’s scary. There’s a chance we won’t make it. But it’s a choice you alone can make.”
He lifted his chin, his slim shoulders squaring. “I’ll do it.”
“Good lad,” she said with a wink. “I’m going to get into place. I need you to climb out and onto my back. Be sure to close the window.”
He glanced down and then nodded jerkily.
“You can do this,” Tamlyn told him.
That seemed to bolster him. She flexed her fingers and hoped she would be able to maintain her grip with his added weight. Tamlyn held onto the sill and dropped down, using her arms to hold her until she got both her footholds.
“All right. Come on,” she urged.
The boy climbed out and scooted to the edge of the sill on one side of her. He closed the window behind him.
“Good,” she said with a nod. “Now, get onto my back. Use my body however you need to, but make sure you have a good hold on me. Just be careful not to choke me.”
The instant he told her that he was in place, she began climbing down. She hadn’t gotten very far when she realized that she would never be able to hold them both. Her fingers were slipping, and her arms were shaking so badly she could barely move them.
And then she lost her grip.
Air rushed past them as they plummeted to the passageway below. Just before they hit, they jerked to a stop. Somehow, they hung suspended in midair for a heartbeat before falling the last few feet. The impact jarred her, but nothing like what could’ve happened.
She sat and turned to the boy. “Was that you?”
He shrugged. “Maybe.”
“Thank you.” She jumped to her feet. “Come on. We’ve got to get out of the city.”
Those at Stonemore didn’t know who was rescuing the children, but each time she came to the city, there was something else that hadn’t been there before. This time it was the soldiers in the forest. What would be next? They would catch her eventually. Until then, she would save as many as she could.
She took the boy’s hand and turned to retrace her steps. The only way out was to go down, and that meant walking across the empty square again. She kept a tight hold of the boy while also making sure their steps were easy and casual. One of the nearby soldiers turned to look at them. He started toward them, but another soldier told him to forget them. No doubt those two would be in trouble shortly, but she couldn’t let her thoughts linger on that. By her reckoning, everyone who didn’t stop the sacrifices was complicit.

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About the Author

Donna is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a hundred novels. Her most popular series is the breathtaking Dark King (aka Dragon King) series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.
In addition to her novels, Donna has written short stories, novellas, and novelettes for digital-first and print release. She has been dubbed as giving the “paranormal genre a burst of fresh air” by the San Francisco Book Review. Her work has been hailed as having “deft plotting and expert characterization” by Publisher’s Weekly and “sizzling” by RT Book Reviews.
She has been recognized with awards from both bookseller and reader contests including the National Reader’s Choice Award, Booksellers Best Award, as well as the coveted K.I.S.S. Award from RT Book Reviews.
Donna travels often for various speaking engagements, conferences, and book signings. She is also a frequent workshop presenter at national conferences such as RT Book Lovers Convention and Thrillerfest, as well as local chapters.
Born and raised in Texas, she also has ties across the border in Louisiana. Growing up with two such vibrant cultures, her Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding. She is never far from her faithful 80 pound dog, Sisko, or her cats. She can often be found at the movies or bookstore. Or buying makeup. And shoes.

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Website: https://donnagrant.com

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RELEASE BLITZ – Things We Never Got Over by Lucy Score

Title: Things We Never Got Over

Author: Lucy Score

Release: January 13, 2021

Genre: Romance

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

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Blurb:

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter One

Worst. Day. Ever

Naomi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Twins,” I explained.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wow.

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

“Uh. Huh?”

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

I blamed my exhaustion and emotional scarring.

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

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

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

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

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

I pointed at my chest. “Me?”

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

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

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

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

“Knox—”

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

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

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

My eyes darted toward the steamy, caffeinated goodness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He looked downright bemused for a hot second.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Naomi?” he said.

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

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

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

“Not Tina?” he pressed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My car.

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

But my car was not where I’d left it.

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

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

“You lost?”

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

“Now what’s your problem?”

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

“What’s my problem?” I repeated.

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

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

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

“You sure?”

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

He shot me a look.

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

“Who pissed in your Cheerios?”

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

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

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

“Stop,” he ordered, sounding surly.

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

“Then stop walking away from me.”

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

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

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

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

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

“I’m letting go,” he warned.

“Great,” I prompted.

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

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

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

Damn it. “Yes,” I lied.

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

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

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

“Excuse me?”

“I’ll give you a ride.”

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

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

Author Bio:

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

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

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

Social Media Links:

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

COVER REVEAL – The V-Card Diaries Series by Lili Valente

The V-Card Diaries Series
Author: Lili Valente

Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Kelly Greer
Photos: Wander Aguiar

#1 Scored – Releasing March 1

Begging my brother’s best friend—aka NHL superstar, Ian Fox—to help me ditch my V Card wasn’t part of my “make it big in NYC” plans.

But after years of being “cute little Evie,” I’m tired of waiting for Mr. Right. I’m ready for Mr. Right Now, and Ian is everything I’ve ever wanted in a first time. He’s kind, funny, confident, and has a legendary…stick.

Seriously, his stick has its own page of search results, complete with gray sweatpants shots hot enough to make even a clueless virgin drool.

And yes, my brother will murder us if he finds out, but we’re both grownups.

We can keep a secret. We have to since I just landed an art therapy job working with his troubled team.

All we’re doing is a little practice. (Or…ehembig practice.)

Too bad my heart didn’t get the memo.


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59961266-scored


PRE-ORDER LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/3JyKp5A
UK: https://amzn.to/3qAguRO
CA: https://amzn.to/3sVmNSH
AU: https://amzn.to/3JAtUpp
B&N: https://bit.ly/3pIRZCK
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3eGXmfl
Apple Books: https://apple.co/32WNZFB
Google Play: https://bit.ly/32ZKtus

EXCERPTS

#1

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ian this nervous, not even before the championship game his senior year of high school, when he knew NHL scouts were up in the stands, ready to break his heart or make his wildest dreams come true.
Ian isn’t an anxious person.
He’s steady, chill, and confident.
To see sweat beading on his forehead as he moves to stand in front of the darkened television, studying the small stack of notecards in his hand is disarming.
Is he really this stressed about teaching a bunch of virgins how to make a love connection?
Or maybe it’s the fact that his best friend’s little sister just offered him her V-card on a platter.
The inner voice has an excellent point.

#2

“No good comes from insomnia scrolling or reading articles about sugar.” I head into the kitchen, fetching the stepladder from beside the fridge.
“And what about withholding funny texts from one of your best friends?” Jess tosses casually over her shoulder. “Any good come from that?”
“It was nothing,” I say, collecting the small Tupperware container from under the pile of empty coffee bags we’re collecting to earn a free sock cap. “Just a goofy thing. Not worth sharing.”
She hums thoughtfully. “Right. And I wasn’t secretly hoping to be teacher’s pet and get Ian’s monster cock to sledgehammer through my V-card.”
I tumble off the stepladder in surprise, sending the cookies flying as I reach out to catch myself on the lower cabinets before I crush my tailbone on the tile.
“You okay?” Jess calls out.
“I’m fine,” I say, my heart still racing.
“And the cookies?”
I glance over to see the Tupperware container still closed though it has rolled halfway into Cam’s giant tennis shoe. “Also fine, but what are you… How did you…”
“Nothing gets past me,” Jess says. “You should know that by now. I appear to see nothing, but I see all. Like the Eye of Sauron.”

#2 Screwed – Releasing April 19

My best friend’s older brother excels at many things—being a bossy grump, a jerk, and…this hopeless virgin’s fake fiancé?

I need a guy who understands that this is all pretend, and who better than a man who can’t stand me—and vice versa? Besides, Derrick is the kind of cocky, confident, successful dude bro my gram will adore.

We’ll convince my ailing grandmother I’m not going to die alone, Derrick will honor that favor he owes me, and we’ll part ways as enemies with NO benefits.

It’s a rock-solid plan…until it isn’t.
Turns out I may have made a slight miscalculation.

Now Derrick is charming my family, sweeping me off my feet, and making me want crazy things.

Suddenly, I think I might actually want him to be my first and maybe…my only?

Yeah, I’m screwed.
So bleeping screwed.


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59962192-screwed

#3 Seduced – Releasing June 7

Last night I made out with a gorgeous, funny, quirky older woman. Today I learned she’s the new executive chef at my restaurant. AKA my new boss.

Yep, that’s the hot mess I’m in at the moment.
But the chemistry between Beth and me is even hotter.
The problem? She’s a single mom focused on helping her little girl adjust to life in the big city. Dating right now—especially a co-worker—is asking for trouble.
So, what’s my next move? Seduce the hell out of the woman, of course.

I may still technically be hanging onto my V Card, but I know how to drive a woman wild in bed.
Even more importantly, I know I’m the kind of man Beth’s looking for. I love hard, keep my promises, and I’ll put her and her daughter first.

And then I learn the real reason she’s been holding me at a distance…

Most men would be scared away. Me?
I’m even more determined to prove I can make this wounded woman’s dreams come true.



GOODREADS LINK:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59962210-seduced

#4 Sparked – Releasing July 26

Eight years ago, Sam Baxter and I were best friends and the goofiest computer nerds to matriculate from our swanky high school.

We also made a pact to meet up and get busy if one or both of us were still virgins by our twenty-fourth birthdays.

I assumed that was a silly pinky swear we’d both forgotten about untilSam shows up at my twenty-fourth birthday party. He no longer needs a V-Card puncher, but he’s ready and willing to help me out.

Boy is he ready…

Gone is the lanky kid with glasses who made me snort-laugh when we played video games. In his place is a sex god with massive biceps, designer clothes, and a smolder that transforms women to quivering puddles of lust.

I’m out of my league with this new Sam.
But I’m also every bit as drawn to him as I used to be.

So, when he dares me to give him three dates to prove he can be trusted to rock my world, I agree. What do I have to lose aside from my V Card?

Oh, right. My heart…


GOODREADS LINK:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59962230-sparked

AUTHOR BIO

Author of over forty novels, USA Today Bestseller Lili Valente writes everything from steamy suspense to laugh-out-loud romantic comedies. A die-hard romantic, she can’t resist a story where love wins big. Because love should always win. She lives in the Northeast with her two big-hearted boy children and a dog named Pippa Jane.

Lili also writes naughty serials as Everly Stone. Learn more at www.lilivalente.com.

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLiliValente
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lilivalenteromance
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lili_valente_ro

BLOG TOUR – The Surprise Seduction (Landry Love #5) by Amy Alves

The Surprise Seduction, an all-new angst-filled age gap, accidental pregnancy romance from Amy Alves is available now!

After years of secretly pining for Garrett Caldwell—the grumpy and elusive hot town doctor—he finally looks my way.
As my best friend’s older brother, he said I was too young and completely off-limits. But I felt the heat of his lingering gaze, the spark beneath his hesitant touch.
Maybe it was only once, and maybe that was exactly what we agreed to, but that one scorching night had consequences that will tie us together for the rest of our lives.
Suddenly he claims to want more, and I can’t keep the doubt from creeping in. Because building a relationship based on his obligation would break me.
The whole town is talking, but I’m stronger than the girl they remember.
So I guard my heart against the one man who has the power to destroy it.

Download your copy today!
FREE in Kindle Unlimited
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3lVOQNK
Amazon Worldwide: https://mybook.to/surpriseseduction

Add to Goodreads→ https://bit.ly/3yonwfR

Excerpt

PROLOGUE

Nine Years Ago

ARIA

“You’re only eighteen, Aria.”

I bite my lip and give him a coy smile. “Aw, you remembered. Cute.”

Aria.”

Dr. Coldwell,” I mimic, matching his chastising tone.

“It’s Caldwell. Does Chloe know her supposed best friend doesn’t even know her last name?”

“She knows I like to give her brother shit for always giving me the cold shoulder.”

“I don’t give you the cold shoulder. I simply ignore your little games.”

“It’s not a game, Doc. You know you’re hot. I know I’m hot. What’s wrong with a little flirting?” If he ever flirted back, I might actually pass out.

“You are practically still a minor, and I’m a grown man. I’ve reminded you of this before. Many times.”

“I’m technically an adult now. Regardless, I have a boyfriend—kind of. So our beloved interactions are really just harmless fun.”

One day, I’d also appreciate other kinds of fun. What if when I came home from college in the winter, Garrett suddenly noticed me in the same way I’ve been noticing him, and we snuck out to his car to get just naked enough to have a lot of fun? A girl can dream . . .

“Are you listening to me?” Garrett asks, snapping me out of my little daydream.

He pinches the bridge of his nose and mutters under his breath.

“Were you by chance asking what you could do for me today? Because I was going to suggest you join your sister and me for a beach day. Food, drinks, and a nice float down the creek. Chloe was saying you’re barely around anymore, and she misses you. I promise not to hit on you more than five times.”

“Zero times, Aria. You will hit on me zero times.”

God, he’s so easy.

I scrunch my face in what I hope is adorable confusion. “That doesn’t seem possible. Do you even know me?”

“Unfortunately, I’m starting to learn some things.”

He shakes his head and storms away.

I reach out to stop him, but he swerves away like I’m contagious. I’m a confident girl, but Garrett definitely tests that some days.

“Wait! You know I’m kidding. Well, mostly. I do want you to come to the beach with us today. I’ll keep all flirty thoughts and Garrett hassling antics to myself. I’ll also make sure only to look and not touch.” I hold my hands up innocently while my eyes inadvertently check him out again.

“Goddammit,” he mutters. Opening the door to the side entrance of the house, he shouts, “Chloe! Get your friend away from me.” He escapes through the door, and I let it roll off my back.

I do have fun teasing and flirting with Garrett whenever I see him, but today wasn’t about seeing if I could ruffle his feathers. It was about Chloe. She misses her brothers, and soon, we’ll be moving to San Jose for school so she’ll probably end up seeing even less of them. She’s had it rough lately with all the town drama revolving around her and her ex-boyfriend. So if my messing with Garrett and arranging activities or acting foolish makes my beautiful friend laugh or smile, I’m all over it.

I pop my head back into the house.

“So you’re coming, right?” I shout in the direction I think he went.

“Who’s coming where?” Chloe asks, stepping into the kitchen with her beach attire already on.

“Garrett is coming to the beach with us! He needs some relaxation. He’s really looking forward to it.”

Garrett comes striding back into the room and leans one muscular shoulder against the wall. Oof, those shoulders.

“Aria says you’re coming with us! Eek! I’m so excited. I didn’t think you’d want to spend the afternoon with a bunch of loud, obnoxious teenagers.” She jumps in excitement and gives him a quick side hug.

I move in for my turn but find my advances thwarted when a large palm presses against my face. His arm is locked straight, keeping me several feet from embracing his lean, tall, rock-solid form.

Oh well. Can’t blame a girl for trying.

Chloe giggles. “Aria, leave him be. He’s not as into displays of affection as you are.”

Here’s the other thing I’ve decided to do as Chloe’s best friend: not tell her that my playful interactions with her brother—the ones she finds amusing because of how different we are and the guaranteed reaction I get out of her stoic, much older brother—are not as innocent as she thinks.

I’ve developed a deep, gnawing, unwavering infatuation with my best friend’s brother, but I can’t tell her. I can barely admit it to myself.

It’s not worth telling Chloe for several reasons. First, because I don’t intend to do anything about it. Second, I’m pretty sure I have zero chance with the guy. And not just because he’s nearly ten years older than me or that we are complete opposites. The disinterested vibe he puts out—and frequently vocalizes— abundantly clear. Sometimes, I wonder if he knows I’m not just messing with him.

“Grab your Speedo, handsome. I’ve already told some of the girls that you’re coming, and I need to deliver on the eye candy.”

“Don’t be gross.” Chloe’s nose wrinkles in disgust before turning to her brother. “No one is going to ogle you, Gar. You’re practically thirty.”

Oh, sweet, naive Chloe. All of our friends think your brothers are hot.

Even my boyfriend.

“I’m not practically thirty, squirt. I’m in my mid twenties.”

And looking fine as all hell.

“Twenty-seven is closer to thirty than it is to twenty,” Chloe argues. He scowls playfully before a sweet, amused smile sweeps across his face, making my insides turn to mush.

Garrett doesn’t have your typical hot-guy allure. He has this quiet, brainy, reserved quality to him that draws me in like a moth to a flame. And I am ready to burn.

If only he’d look at me as anything other than his little sister’s ridiculous, wildly inappropriate, flirty best friend.

One day . . . one day, he’s going to beg for my affection. Until then, I’m going to experience a little love and live a whole lot.

Meet Amy

Amy Alves lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two crazy cute kids. She is a romance-obsessed reader, a lover of wine and fuzzy socks, and a loather of laundry. She loves contemporary, paranormal, and rom com romance—her kindle always has a long list of books waiting to be read.
Amy writes contemporary romance with a hint of rom com fun. Tropes you can expect to see are: second chance, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and fake relationships.

Connect With Amy
Website: https://bit.ly/397wG4Q
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3zfyYt4
Instagram: https://bit.ly/3k8YCLK
BookBub: https://bit.ly/2XiFa6c
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Tik Tok: https://bit.ly/2XcbrvP

BLOG TOUR – Matchmaking Mischief by Denise Grover Swank and A.R. Casella

He needs to go away. Which means someone needs to matchmake him.
And I’m just the girl for the job.

Matchmaking Mischief, an all new opposites attract romantic comedy with the perfect grumpy hero from New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank and USA Today bestselling author A.R. Casella is available now!

Willow

There are certain expectations when you’re born into a multigenerational family of matchmakers, which is why I fled my hometown and tried to build a life of my own.

But it turns out matchmaking is hard to quit, and I can’t stop trying to match the customers at the bakery I manage—including my boss and the tea shop owner next door—even though I’m hopeless at love.

So it seriously crimps my style when Alex Hunter starts coming around, working on his book at the bakery. He’s hot, grumpy, and thinks romance is a dirty word. Worse, he keeps distracting our customers.

He needs to go away. Which means someone needs to matchmake him.

And I’m just the girl for the job.

Alex

I’m a writer who can’t write, and lo and behold, I meet a matchmaker who’s allergic to love.

Me being me, I fall for her.

Most of the people in this town seem insane, but I have to turn my frown upside down and show Willow Mayberry that matchmakers deserve love too.

Read today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3CLn8ZE
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/MismatchingMis
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3FJbKz6
Nook: https://bit.ly/3HLRRJz
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3cEmGBM
Google Play: https://bit.ly/3CK0Wif

Excerpt

“Thank you for today,” she says quietly.

“There’s nothing to thank me for,” I say. “I enjoyed it…”

She gives me a pointed look.

“Well, obviously, except for the part where you had to go to the emergency room, although I won’t deny that I liked looking at your ass.”

If she’d been holding a dish, she would have dropped it. “You looked?!” 

“No,” I say, laughing a little at the horror on her face. “Not when she pulled your shorts down to give you the steroid shot. Those are some shorts though.”

She looks embarrassed, and I can’t have that, so I say something stupid. “You know, someone told me you think I’m so sexy, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all day.”

“Who told you that?” she asks, blanching. “Nicole? I barely know her.”

You did,” I say, reaching for her hand. “When you were high on Benadryl.”

She doesn’t pull away. My heart is pounding now—I can hear it in my ears—and I pull her to me. “You said I should be with someone bold and sexy,” I say into her ear. Her body is against me now, her breasts pressing into my chest, the curve of her hips under my hands, and that delightfully messy hair is in the vicinity of my nose, so I can take in her scent—citrus and vanilla. Sunshine.

“I guess I said a lot of things,” she says, her voice muffled. She’s looking down, and I can’t have that either, so I tip her chin gently so she’s peering up at me. Her eyes…they’re like a storm, but one feeling punches through: lust. She wants me too.

Thank God.

You’re bold,” I say. “You’re sexy as hell. Talking to you makes me feel like I’m in Narnia.”

“What?” she asks, clearly taken off guard by that. Me and my big mouth.

“It’s just…time changes when we’re together, or even when we’re just talking. It slips by without seeming to. I could talk to you for hours without noticing time is passing. It’s like stepping through that wardrobe door, and—”

And I shut the hell up because she’s lifting up on her toes. With my heart soaring in my chest, I lean down and claim her mouth, gentle at first—a getting-to-know-you kiss—but her lips are so soft yet hungry, and a little sound escapes her throat. I’m suddenly ravenous for her.

Add Matchmaking Mischief to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3cFkPws

Start the series today and free in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3yxZbnH
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/Loveatfirst

About Denise Grover Swank
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in her own mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

Connect with Denise
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3gLPdF2
Instagram: https://bit.ly/31QjfmL
Twitter: https://bit.ly/3gOHyFR
Stay up to date with Denise, join her newsletter: https://bit.ly/3gLPtnu
Website: https://bit.ly/3hRjcNl

About A.R. Casella
USA Today bestselling author A.R. CASELLA is a freelance developmental editor by day, writer by night. She lives in Asheville, NC with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a variable number of fish. Her pastimes include chasing around her toddler, baking delicious treats, and occasional bouts of crocheting. Any Luck at All, co-written with New York Times bestselling author Denise Grover Swank, is her debut novel.

Connect with A.R. Casella
Facebook: https://bit.ly/3gOsV5v
Website: https://www.arcasella.com/
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zhUaQB
Instagram: https://bit.ly/35gehAA

EXCERPT REVEAL – The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland

Title: The Summer Proposal
Author: Vi Keeland

Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 10, 2022

Excited about Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, The Summer Proposal?
Check out this SNEAK PEEK of CHAPTER 1!

CHAPTER 1

Georgia

“What can I get you?” The bartender set a napkin down in front of me.

“Ummm… I’m meeting someone, so maybe I should wait.” 

He rapped his knuckles against the bar. “Good enough. I’ll keep my eye out and stop back over when I see someone join you.” 

But as he started to walk away, I reconsidered. “Actually!” I raised my hand like I was in school.

He turned around with a smile and arched a brow. “Change your mind?”

I nodded. “I’m about to meet a blind date, so I wanted to be polite, but I think I could use something to take the edge off.”

“Probably a good idea. What are you drinking?”

“A pinot grigio would be great. Thank you.”

He came back a few minutes later with a hefty pour and leaned his elbow on the bar. “So, blind date, huh?”

I sipped my wine and let out a sigh as I nodded. “I let my mom’s seventy-four-year-old friend Frannie set me up with her grandnephew to make my mom happy. She described him as ‘a smidge ordinary, but nice’. We’re supposed to meet here at five thirty. I’m a few minutes early.”

“First time letting someone fix you up?”

“Second, actually. The first was seven years ago. It took me this long to recover from it, if that tells you anything.”

The bartender laughed. “That bad?”

“I was told he was a comedian. So I figured, how terrible could it be going out with someone who makes people laugh for a living? The guy showed up with a puppet. Apparently his comedy act was as a ventriloquist. He refused to speak to me directly—wanted me to talk only to his dummy. Who, by the way, was named Dirty Dave, and every other comment out of its mouth was obscene. Oh, and my date’s mouth moved the entire time, so he wasn’t even a very good ventriloquist.”

“Damn.” The bartender chuckled. “Not sure I’d give another blind date a chance after that, even after a few years.”

I sighed. “I’m sort of regretting it already.”

“Well, if anyone comes in with a puppet, I got you covered.” He gestured toward a hallway behind him. “I know where all the emergency exits are, and I can sneak you out.”

I smiled. “Thanks.”

A couple sat down on the other end of the bar, so the bartender went to help them while I continued to stare at the entrance. I’d purposely taken a seat in the back corner so I could watch the front door, hoping to get a look at my date before he saw me. Not that I planned to ditch if he wasn’t handsome, but I didn’t want him to read disappointment on my face if I felt any. I’d always been terrible at masking my feelings.

A few minutes later, the restaurant’s door opened and a drop-dead gorgeous guy walked in. He looked like he belonged on a men’s cologne ad, probably emerging from crystal blue Caribbean water. I got excited, until I realized he couldn’t be my date. 

Frannie had described Adam as a computer nerd. And pretty much any question I’d asked her about him, she’d answered, “About average.”

How tall is he? About average.

Is he handsome? About average.

Body type? About average.

This guy was tall, with broad shoulders, big, blue bedroom eyes, a chiseled jawline, dark hair that was sort of messy, but totally worked for him, and even though he was wearing a simple dress shirt and slacks, I could tell he was buff underneath. Frannie would have to be crazy to think anything about him was average.

Oh.

Oh! 

Well, she was a little…different. Last time I went to Florida to see Mom, we went to lunch with Frannie, and she’d glowed orange from an excessive amount of self-tanner she’d bought on the Home Shopping Network. She also spent all afternoon telling us about her recent road trip to New Mexico to attend a UFO convention in Roswell. 

But even with that factored in, this guy didn’t look like a computer nerd. Nevertheless, his eyes scanned the room, and when they met mine, he smiled.

Dimples. 

Deep ones.

Oh, Lord. My heart did a little pitter-patter. 

Could I be this lucky? 

Apparently it was possible. Because the guy headed right toward me. I probably should’ve played it cool and looked away, but it was impossible not to stare.

“Adam?”

He shrugged. “Sure.”

I thought that was a bit of an odd response, but his smile widened, and those cavernous dimples seemed to turn my brain to mush.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Frannie. My mom is friends with Georgia.” I shook my head. “Sorry. I mean, I’m Georgia. My mom is friends with Frannie.”

“Nice to meet you, Georgia.” 

He extended his hand, and when I placed mine in it, mine felt really…small.

“I have to say, you are definitely not what I was expecting. Frannie didn’t describe you very accurately.” 

“Better or worse?” 

Was he joking? “She may have described you as a nerd.”

He sat down on the stool next to me. “I usually don’t admit this when I first meet a woman, but I do have a Star Wars action figure collection.” He reached into his pocket and pulled something out. “In fact, I almost always have one on me. I’m a bit superstitious, and they bring me luck.” 

Adam unfolded his big hand to reveal a tiny Yoda. He leaned over and set it on the bar in front of me, and a hint of cologne wafted through the air. Smells as good as he looks. There had to be something majorly wrong with him. 

“Women tend to not like Star Wars for some reason,” he said. “Or a grown man carrying around an action figure.” 

“I actually like Star Wars.”

He put his hand over his heart. “A beautiful woman who likes Star Wars? Should we skip the formalities and just grab a flight to Vegas to get married?”

I laughed. “Maybe, but first promise me you aren’t into ventriloquism.”

He crossed his heart. “Star Wars is as bad as it gets.”

The bartender came over to take Adam’s drink order. I was surprised when he asked for a Diet Coke.

“You’re not going to join me for a cocktail or a glass of wine?”

He shook his head. “Wish I could, but I have to work later.”

“Tonight?”

He nodded. “Yeah. I wish I didn’t. But I actually need to get out of here in a little while.”

I’d thought we were meeting for drinks and dinner, but perhaps Frannie had gotten that wrong. 

“Oh, okay.” I forced a smile. 

Apparently Adam saw right through it.

“I swear I’m not making that up. I do have to work. But I definitely would love to stay. Since I can’t, is it too early to say I’d love to see you again?”

I sipped my wine. “Hmmm… I’m not sure about that. Normally, I get to know someone on a first date, so I can weed out the serial killers and nutjobs. How am I supposed to know you’re not the next Ted Bundy if you’re running out of here?”

Adam stroked the scruff on his chin and looked at his watch. “I have about fifteen minutes. Why don’t we cut the small talk and you can ask me anything?”

“Anything?”

He shrugged. “I’m an open book. Take your best shot.”

I gulped my wine and turned in my seat to face him. “Alright. But I want to watch your face as I grill you. I’m terrible at hiding lies on mine but great at reading others.”

He smiled and turned, giving me his full attention. “Go for it.”

“Okay. Do you live with your mother?”

“No, ma’am. She doesn’t even live in the same state. But I do call home every Sunday.”

“Have you ever been arrested?”

“Public indecency in college. I was pledging a fraternity, and me and a bunch of other guys had to walk through the center of town naked. A group of girls stopped us and asked if any of us could hula hoop. Everyone else kept walking. I figured they were all too chicken, so I stopped. Apparently, the guys weren’t afraid; I was just the only one who didn’t see the cop coming out of a store a couple of doors down.”

I laughed. “Can you actually hula hoop?”

He winked. “Only naked. You wanna see?”

The smile on my face widened. “I’ll take your word for it.”

“Shame.” 

“When was the last time you had sex?”

For the first time, the smile on his face wilted. “Two weeks ago. Are you gonna hold that against me?”

I shook my head. “Not necessarily. I appreciate the honesty. You could have lied and said a while ago.”

“Okay, good. What else you got?”

“Have you ever been in a relationship?”

“Twice. Once in college for a year, and then I dated a woman for eighteen months, and that ended two years ago.”

“Why did they end?”

“College, because I was twenty and…it was a crazy time in my life. And the woman I dated a few years back, because she wanted to get married and start a family, and I wasn’t ready.”

I tapped my pointer to my bottom lip. “Hmm… Yet you just asked me to go to Vegas and marry you.”

He grinned. “She didn’t like Star Wars.”

We were both too busy laughing to notice a guy walk up to us. I figured he must have known Adam, so I politely smiled and looked to him. But the guy spoke to me.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but are you Georgia Delaney?”

“Yes?”

He smiled. “I’m Adam Foster. Frannie showed me a picture of you, but it was from a costume party.” He motioned to the side of his head, twirling his hand around in a circle. “You were dressed as Princess Leia, with your hair all pinned up on the sides, so you looked a little different than you do now.”

I furrowed my brow. “You’re…Adam?”

The guy seemed just as confused as I was. “Yes.”

Now this man looked like what I’d been expecting: worn, brown tweed jacket, cropped hair parted to one side—sort of the average Joe that worked in the IT department at your office. But…

If he was Adam, then who was this?

I looked at the guy sitting next to me for an answer. Though that’s not what I got.

“Did you really dress as Princess Leia for a Halloween party?” 

“Yes, but…”

Adam, or whoever the hell the guy sitting next to me was, put his finger over my lips and turned to the man who was apparently my date. “Can you just give us a minute?” he asked.

“Umm…sure.”

As soon as average Adam walked away, I laid into hot Adam. “Who the hell are you?”

“Sorry. My name is Max.”

“Do you make a habit of pretending to be someone else?”

He shook his head. “I just…I saw you sitting at the bar through the window when I was passing by, and you had such a pretty smile. I came over to introduce myself, and it was clear you were here to meet someone else. I guess I sort of panicked that you weren’t going to talk to me since I wasn’t Adam. So I went with it.”

“And what if my date hadn’t showed up? Would you have pretended to be Adam on a second date?”

Max dragged a hand through his hair. “I didn’t think that far ahead.”

Normally catching a date in a lie would make me angry, but finding out Max wasn’t Adam was more disappointing than anything. We’d had great chemistry, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed so much meeting someone new. 

“Was every answer a lie? Do you even like Star Wars?”

He held up both hands. “I swear. The only thing that wasn’t the truth was my name.”

I sighed. “Well, Max, thanks for the entertainment. But I don’t want to keep my real date waiting.”

He frowned, but nodded and stood. “It was nice meeting you. I guess asking for your number would be stupid right about now?”

I gave him a look. “Yes, it would. Have a good night, Max.”

He looked at me for a few seconds, then slipped a bill out of his wallet and tossed a hundred on the counter. “You, too, Georgia. I really enjoyed meeting you.”

Max took a few steps away, but then stopped and walked back. He again took out his billfold, only this time he peeled off what looked like a ticket of some sort and placed it on the bar in front of me. “I’d really love to see you again. If your real date turns out to be a dud or you change your mind, I promise I will never tell you another lie.” He pointed to the ticket. “I’ll be at the hockey game over at the Garden at seven thirty, if you would consider giving me another shot.”

What he said seemed heartfelt, but I was here to meet another man. Not to mention, I was really disappointed. I shook my head. “I don’t think so.”

With a sullen face, Max nodded one last time before walking away. I didn’t have time to process everything, but I felt a strange sense of loss when I watched him walk out the door. Though as soon as he disappeared from sight, my real date was next to me. 

I had to force a smile. “Sorry about that. We, um, just had some business to wrap up.”

“No problem.” He smiled. “I’m just glad that guy wasn’t hitting on you, and I didn’t have to defend your honor. He was a tank.” Real Adam sat down. “Can I order you another wine?”

“That would be great. Thank you.”

“So…I take it you’re a big Star Wars fan?”

“Hmm? Oh, because of the costume.”

Adam pointed to the bar. “And the little Yoda.”

I looked down. Max had left his Yoda figurine behind. I guess he hadn’t been lying about being a Star Wars fan, considering he carried an action figure in his pocket. At least I hoped it wasn’t just a prop he used when he told strangers tall tales at bars and lied about his name. 

***

Real Adam talked about artificial intelligence—a lot. 

I tried to get my head back in the game after the Max letdown, but I knew before my actual date and I had finished a drink at the bar that this would be our only date. Adam was a nice-enough guy; there was just no connection, physical or mental. I wasn’t into computers or Bitcoin, which seemed to be a big thing for him, and he wasn’t into any of my hobbies, such as hiking, traveling, and watching old black-and-white movies. He didn’t even enjoy going to the movies. Who doesn’t love bingeing on popcorn and a gallon of soda while watching a big screen? Not to mention, when I told him about my work, he said he was allergic to flowers. 

So when the waitress came by with a dessert menu, I politely declined.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t like a coffee or something?” Adam asked.

I shook my head. “I have to work in the morning. Having caffeine after noon keeps me up all night. But thank you.”

He nodded, though I could tell he was disappointed. 

Outside the restaurant, he offered to share a cab, but I only lived eight blocks away. So I extended my hand to set the tone for the end of the evening.

“It was very nice to meet you, Adam.”

“You, too. Maybe we can…do this again sometime?”

It was so much easier to be upfront and tell a guy there wouldn’t be a second date when he was a jerk. But I always struggled with the nice ones. I shrugged. “Yeah, maybe. Take care, Adam.”

It was late April, but the cold weather just wouldn’t relent and allow spring to start this year, and a gust of wind blew while I waited at the intersection at the corner of the restaurant. I shoved my hands into my pockets for some warmth, and inside, something pointy pricked at my fingers. I slipped it out to see what it was. 

Yoda. 

His plastic ears were tapered to points, and there was a tiny chip on the left one. I’d forgotten I’d stuck him in my pocket when Adam and I had moved from the bar to a table. Looking down at him, I sighed. God, why couldn’t your owner have been my actual date tonight?

It had been a very long time since a man gave me the warm fuzzies in the pit of my belly—not since the day I’d met Gabriel. So maybe finding Yoda in my pocket was a sign? The light changed, and I walked a few more blocks, lost in thought. 

Did it really matter that he’d pretended to be Adam? I mean, if he was telling the truth, he only did it so I’d talk to him. Let’s face it, if he had walked over and introduced himself as Max, I wouldn’t have invited him to sit down. I would have been polite and told him I was waiting for my date, no matter how gorgeous the man was. So, I couldn’t really say I blamed him…I guess.

I stopped for another red light at the crosswalk on 29th Street, this time at the corner of 7th as I made my way down to 2nd Avenue where I lived. While I waited, I looked to my right, and the neon lights of a sign hit me. Madison Square Garden. Now that was definitely a sign—quite literally. Between Yoda and walking right past the place Fake Adam had said he’d be…perhaps it was more than that.

I checked the time on my phone. Twenty after eight. He’d said he would be there at seven thirty, but I was sure the game took a few hours. Should I?

I nibbled on my lip as the light in front of me turned green. People on both sides of me started to walk…but I just stood there, staring down at Yoda.

Screw it. 

Why not?

What do I have to lose?

The worst that could happen was that our initial connection fizzled or it turned out lying was one of Fake Adam’s hobbies. Or…the spark we’d had might lead to just the distraction I was looking for. I wouldn’t know unless I tried. 

For the most part, I was pretty conservative with my choices in men. And look where that had gotten me. I was a twenty-eight-year-old workaholic, going on blind dates with my mom’s friend’s relatives. So screw it—I was going.

Once I made the decision, I couldn’t wait to get there. I practically jogged to Madison Square Garden, even in my heels from work. Inside, I showed my ticket to an usher standing at the entrance to the section listed, and he showed me to my seat. 

As I walked down the stadium stairs, I looked around and noticed I was pretty overdressed. Most of the people had on jerseys and jeans. There were even a few shirtless guys with their bodies painted, and here I was wearing a cream silk blouse, red pencil skirt, and my favorite Valentino pumps. At least Max had been pretty dressed up. 

I hadn’t noticed the row number on the ticket before handing it over to the usher, but the seats must’ve been decent because we just kept walking down toward the ice. When we hit the very first row, the usher extended his hand. “Here you go. Seat two is the second one in.”

“Wow, first row, directly in the middle on the fifty-yard line.”

The guy smiled. “In hockey we call it center ice.”

“Oh…okay.” But the seat next to the one he’d shown me to was empty, and Max was nowhere in sight. “Did you happen to see the person sitting in the seat at the end?” I asked.

The usher shrugged. “I’m not positive, but I don’t think they’ve arrived yet. Enjoy the game, miss.”

After he walked away, I stood looking down at the two empty seats. This was one outcome I hadn’t thought about: I might get stood up. Actually, would it even be considered standing someone up if the other person didn’t know you were coming? I wasn’t sure. But I was here, so I might as well take a seat and see if Max showed. He’d said he had to work, so perhaps he was running late. Or maybe he was already here, just in the men’s room or in line for a beer. 

A woman sat on the other side of me. She smiled as I settled in. “Hi. Are you here to watch Yearwood? He’s on fire tonight, already slashed two in the net. Too bad they’re probably not going to be able to hold onto him for next season.”

I shook my head. “Oh. No, I’m actually meeting someone. I’ve never been to a live hockey game before.” Just as I said it, two guys slammed into the glass wall directly in front of me. I jumped, and the woman next to me laughed as they skated away.

“That happens a lot. You’ll get used to it.” She reached out her hand. “I’m Jenna, by the way. I’m married to Tomasso.” She pointed to the rink. “Number twelve.” 

“Oh, wow. I guess I’m sitting next to the right person for my first game.” I put my hand to my chest. “I’m Georgia.”

“Anything you want explained, Georgia, you just let me know.”

For the next twenty minutes, I tried to watch the game. But I kept looking around to see if Max was coming down the stairs. Unfortunately, he never did. By nine o’clock, it was pretty clear I’d wasted my time. Since I had early meetings tomorrow morning, I decided to call it a night. The game clock showed less than a minute until the end of the second period, so I figured I’d wait until then so I wouldn’t be blocking people’s views as I climbed the stairs back up to the exit. These hockey fans seemed pretty into the game. 

When the clock hit nine seconds, one of the guys scored a goal, and the place went crazy again. Everyone jumped up, so I did the same, only I used it as an opportunity to slip on my jacket. I leaned to the woman next to me and yelled. “I don’t think my date’s coming, so I’m going to head out. Have a good night.”

But as I turned to leave, something caught my attention on the Jumbotron. The player who’d scored held his stick up in the air celebrating, and a bunch of the guys on his team were whacking him on the head. His helmet covered most of his face, but those eyes… I know those eyes. The player took out his mouth guard, waved it in the air, and smiled right at the camera.

Dimples. 

Big ones.

My eyes went wide. 

No…it couldn’t be.

I continued to stare at the screen with my mouth hanging open until the guy’s face was no longer on it. 

The woman next to me finished cheering. “See? I told you he was on fire. If this is your first game, you’ve picked a good one to watch. You don’t see a lot of hat tricks in a single period. Yearwood is having his best season ever. Too bad the rest of his team isn’t.”

“Yearwood? That’s the name of the guy who just scored?”

Jenna laughed at my question. “Yup. Team captain and arguably the best player in the NHL these days. They call him Pretty Boy for obvious reasons.”

“What’s his first name?”

“Max. I figured you knew him, since those are his seatsyou’re sitting in.”


★★★

Excited? We are too!

RELEASING JANUARY 10th!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The first time I met Max Yearwood was on a blind date.
Max was insanely gorgeous, funny, and our chemistry was off the charts. He also had the biggest dimples I’d ever laid eyes on.
Exactly what I needed after my breakup.
Or so I thought…
Until my real date arrived.
Turned out, Max wasn’t who I was there to meet. He only pretended to be until my real date showed up.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Before he left, he slipped me a ticket to a hockey game a few blocks away, in case things didn’t work out on my actual date.
I tossed the ticket into my purse and went about trying to enjoy the man I was supposed to meet.
But my real blind date and I had no connection.
So on my way home, I decided to take a chance and stop by the game.
When I arrived, the seat next to me was empty.
Disappointed again, I decided to leave at the end of the period.
Just before the buzzer, one of the teams scored, and the entire arena went crazy.
A player’s face flashed up on the Jumbotron. He was wearing a helmet, but I froze when he smiled.
You guessed it: Dimples.
Apparently, my fake blind date hadn’t invited me to watch hockey with him, he’d invited me to watch him play.
And so began my adventure with Max Yearwood.
He was everything I needed at the time—fun, sexy, up for anything, and only around for a few months since he’d signed with a new team three-thousand miles away.
Max proposed we spend the summer helping me forget my ex. It sounded like a good plan. Things couldn’t get too serious when we had an expiration date. Right?
Though, you know what they say about the best-laid plans.


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AUTHOR BIO

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-six 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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RELEASE BLITZ – Beauty and the Assassin by Nadia Lee

Title: Beauty and the Assassin

Author: Nadia Lee

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

Release Date: January 7, 2022

BLURB

Angelika

A sociopath has stalked me mercilessly for eight years. It’s only a matter of time before he kills me. Until I meet Tolyan.

He bursts into my life like a god of vengeance, seething with raw power and danger, trained to protect—or kill. He has a scowl for the world, but for some reason, he’s gentle with me and the combination of deadly power leashed only for me makes my heart flutter.

One night, he kills a man and I realize he’s the answer I’ve been searching for, if I can convince him to help.

Tolyan

Ten years ago, a man murdered the mother of my child. It’s time he pays. And I’ve finally found what he wants—Angelika.

Those wide innocent eyes and a smart mouth that makes me laugh are things I love about her. But she’s going to be my perfect bait, willing and obedient. All I have to do is not fall for her…

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59781239-beauty-and-the-assassin

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Free in Kindle Unlimited

EXCERPT

“Look, I know I sound crazy, but please. I’m not.” Her words come out fast and desperate. “My stepbrother’s a psychopath. He’s been harassing me, and the police say they can’t do anything until he does something more physically threatening. Apparently, playing mind games doesn’t count. He has to do something concrete.” 

That’s always the case. Mental torture is far superior, and it’s much harder for law enforcement to deal with, especially when the target keeps moving. It’s virtually impossible to build a case among so many different jurisdictions. That’s one reason the most prolific serial killers generally kill across state lines.

Roy Wilks is a cunning little jackal. It’s so simple to break a person. And you don’t even have to touch them to do that.

Just look at this girl. She wouldn’t be asking a man she barely knows for help if she hadn’t been driven almost to her breaking point. For all I know, she might be broken already.

“I can pay you,” she adds. “I have some money saved up. Just in case.” Just in case I need to hire somebody to take my brother out is what she really wants to say.

I raise my eyebrows. The last time I checked, she had nine thousand and fifty-six dollars and twenty-two cents in her bank account. According to the statements over the years, she’s been saving a little bit at a time, despite working minimum-wage jobs. 

It came with sacrifice. She doesn’t go to movies, doesn’t go out, doesn’t buy anything except the bare essentials—clearance-rack clothes and shoes—and she eats only what’s cheapest. Given her reaction last night, I’m pretty sure she skips meals when she can.

The notion puts a nasty taste in my mouth. People who don’t need killing should eat.

“I can give you all of it,” she says, then nods for emphasis. “It’s all yours.”

“I don’t want your money,” I say.

Her chin comes up as fire sparks in her whiskey gaze. “Look, it’s not a small amount. I have almost ten grand.”

“I don’t care if you have ten billion.”

Her fingers tighten. Her hand is barely large enough to circle half my forearm, but she’s trying her best to hold on to me.

For a reason I can’t quite identify, I like that. And because I like it, I want to be a jerk about what she’s saying even though I’m going to say yes at the end anyway. I don’t want her knowing how much I enjoy this small contact.

Before I can say anything, her mouth firms. “Okay. I hate to have to use this, but… I know what you did last night.”

“You do?” 

She nods.

“Everything?”

“Everything.”

I give her a purposefully salacious smile. “I should update my security. I didn’t know you were watching me masturbate in the shower.”

Her face flushes.

I let my smile grow wider. “I came hard. Twice. Hope you enjoyed it. If I’d known you were watching, I would’ve—”

“No!” She hunches her shoulders as though just realizing how loud she was. “I meant,” she hisses, “I saw you at the house. The man in the news today who supposedly committed suicide. You…suicided him, didn’t you?”

Suicided. When did that become a verb? “You were there? At the house?” 

“Yes.” She tries for a hard-bitten stare.

This is an amusing turn of events. I didn’t expect her to attempt to blackmail me. What’s next? Trying to strangle me into submission? She just might, from the desperation in her eyes. Whatever she got in the package from her stepbrother freaked the hell out of her.

Strangely enough, I want her to try to put her hands on my bare skin, even if it’s around my neck. Of course I’m too tall for her to strangle me while standing, so she’d have to pull me down to the ground, then straddle me, her inner thighs pressed tightly against my sides. As she strained—futilely—her hot breath would fan my face, her eyes burning into mine. When I’d had enough, it’d be child’s play to flip her over, watch her gasp while she was spread underneath my much bigger and stronger body. And I’d enjoy the realization dawning in those whiskey eyes that she was utterly in my power.

“I’m very willing to go to the police.” Her words break my thoughts.

I almost laugh. She honestly believes she was good enough to tail me without my noticing. Either she’s lost her better judgment, or she’s too desperate to think clearly.

“And I’ll tell them everything I saw,” she says, her hands in tight fists.

I let out a soft sigh. Her threat is about as serious as a kitten smacking a lion with its tiny paw. “And after I fed you dinner last night.”

Her throat works as she swallows. She shifts her weight and looks like she wishes she could sink into the concrete. Ashamed, aren’t you, little fawn? You have a functioning conscience. A liability in my business.

“That’s…different.” She can’t meet my gaze. Her face is red, too.

She’s cute. “Ah, yes. Say thank you for the sandwich, then run to the cops and put the man in jail. Two very different activities.”

“I don’t want to do that.”

“I don’t know what kind of person you think I am, but I’m not for hire. I’m too busy with my job at the foundation as an assistant.”

Confusion crosses her pretty face. She probably thought I worked in security. Cute. Very cute.

I pull out some money from my pocket, then smack it square into her hand. “Here. Take this and buy yourself something nice.”

“Ow!” She gasps, but not because I just placed three hundred bucks in her hand. “What did you…?” she says numbly. She tries to look at her hand, but her legs start to fold.

I catch her and pick her up, like Prince Charming carrying his Cinderella. She grows increasingly limp, her eyes unfocused. “Wha…”

“Don’t worry.” I smile. “The needle’s very thin. You won’t even find the hole when you wake up.”

—–

“I could strip, too.”

And talk to him while he’s sitting there naked? Given how shameless he is, I doubt he’d cover himself. No. He’d sit there, one ankle over the other knee, and smoke his cigar and sip his water, like he has the world at his feet.

“That’s…okay,” I say finally.

“If you’re certain. Just let me know if you change your mind. I wouldn’t want a guest feeling uncomfortable.”

If you wanted me to feel comfortable, you’d give me my clothes back! But the words stay trapped in my mouth. Right now, that isn’t the point.

The point is, I’m in his home. Under his control. I could put up the best fight of my life, but it would be about as effective as a mouse fighting a panther. I really wish I’d been able to snag a knife from the kitchen.

“So. Now that you can’t just run off to the authorities when you hear answers you don’t like, talk. Tell me why you came to me.”

AUTHOR BIO

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nadia Lee writes sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Born with a love for excellent food, travel and adventure, she has lived in four different countries, kissed stingrays, been bitten by a shark, ridden an elephant and petted tigers.

Currently, she shares a condo overlooking a small river and sakura trees in Japan with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading books by her favoriteauthors or planning another trip.

Stay in touch with her via her website, http://www.nadialee.net, or her blog http://www.nadialee.net/blog

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BLOG YOUR – Change With Me (a With Me in Seattle novella ~ 1,001 Dark Nights) by Kristen Proby

Change with Me, an all new and stunning Hollywood romance filled with white-hot chemistry from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby and 1,001 Dark Nights, is available now!

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes an all new novella set in her beloved With Me In Seattle series…

Zane Cooper. Hollywood royalty. Fourth generation superstar. He knows what it is to be one of the biggest celebrities in the world. And how lonely that title truly is. When scandal hits, his career hangs in the balance, and Zane flees LA for Seattle, laying low with his newly married best friend. Things will eventually blow over, and he’ll have his life back soon enough.

Aubrey Stansfield arrives in Seattle excited to start a new job, and eager to settle into her new home. But when she arrives at her rental, Aubrey’s sure she’s imagining things because the uber sexy Zane Cooper is unpacking in her new bedroom. Thanks to a rental snafu, and unwilling to relocate on such short notice, Aubrey and Zane are thrust into being roommates.

Aubrey is about as average as a woman gets, so what could the megastar possibly see in her? She tells herself she’s not interested, despite their undeniable chemistry. But Zane is very persuasive, and soon Aubrey finds herself playing house with the most recognized man on the planet. Deep down, she knows it’s all a fantasy. He’ll head back to his posh lifestyle soon and leave her behind. No way could she fall in love with him.

But love doesn’t always follow the rules…

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Grab your copy today, exclusively on Amazon!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3xoGhO1

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ChangewMe

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3yozaqj

Sneak Peek!

“Who are you?”

My heart jumps, and my stomach jolts as I spin and see a man walk out of the master bath. He’s tall. He’s frowning.

And he looks familiar.

“The question is, who are you?” Why did I leave my purse—and my mace—in the kitchen?

“You’re in my condo,” he retorts.

“No, you’re in my condo,” I reply and cross my arms over my chest, trying to look mean. “This is two-oh-three A. Mine. If you’re going to murder-death-kill me, I’m going to ask you to take today off and do it to someone else because I’ve had a long drive, and I need to get ready for my new job. Now, see yourself out.”

Is that me, sounding all calm and collected?

I’m never this calm. Or collected.

Seattle is clearly good for me.

“I hate to burst your bubble,” the stranger replies, “but I’m not leaving. I leased this place, and I’m moving in today.”

“But.” I frown. “I leased this place. And I’m moving in today.”

I stomp out of the bedroom and head straight for the kitchen, opening my bag to retrieve my phone.

I also set my mace on the counter, just in case.

“I can show you the lease.”

“Same,” he replies. “Landlord fucked up.”

I blink, open my mouth, then close it again.

“What’s in here?” He opens my pink box and surveys the goods. “These cake donuts are my weakness.”

Before my eyes, he grabs one and takes a big bite.

“So now you’re stealing my house and my food?”

“I didn’t steal anything,” he says with a full mouth. “Well, except the donut.”

“You’re going to have to move,” I inform him. “I already paid for the first month and the security deposit.”

“I paid six months in advance,” he says, swallows, and then smiles. Suddenly, I know exactly where I’ve seen him before.

This is Zane Cooper. The actor. The celebrity.

He must see the recognition in my eyes because his go ice-cold.

“I can’t afford to find a new place,” I inform him. “It took me a month to find this one. And it’s perfect for me. It’s less than six blocks from the school I’ll be teaching at, so I can walk every day. And it’s furnished. Plus, it’s close to the water.”

“Definitely perfect,” he agrees.

“Oh my God, why are you here?” I demand and prop my hands on my hips. “You’re a gazillionaire. You could literally go anywhere. Why do you want my condo?”

“I’m not a gazillionaire,” he says and crosses his arms over his chest. “I’m more of a trazillionaire.”

“Pretty sure that’s the same thing. So, go build your own building and live in it.”

“Nah.” He picks a piece of donut out of his teeth and shakes his head slowly. “I don’t think I will. I’ll stay here.”

I blink at him and start to feel helpless. My savings is in this place. I don’t have enough left to rent anything else.

And I don’t have time. I start work in just three days.

Part of me wants to cry, but I’ll be damned if I let this hoity-toity movie star see me upset.

So, I do the only thing I can think of.

I prop my fist on the opposite hand in a challenge of rock, paper, scissors.

“What are you doing?” he asks, raising one sexy eyebrow.

“The adult thing,” I reply primly. “Best out of three wins?”

He blinks twice, looks from my hands to my face and back again, then shrugs one muscular shoulder and assumes the position.

“Fine,” he says. “I’m going to win—wait. What’s your name?”

“Aubrey,” I say and lick my lips. “Aubrey Stansfield. And you’re Wyatt Earp.”

His lips twitch into a half-smile. “I only played him on TV.”

I chuckle and say, “Ready?”

“Go,” he says, and we thump our fists three times.

I land on scissors.

He fists for rock.

Damn it.

“Let’s go again,” Zane says.

One. Two. Three.

I land on paper.

He chooses rock again.

I grin, and his blue eyes smile back.

There’s a reason Zane Cooper is the hottest sex symbol in the world. Good God, I might combust just from standing next to him.

All the more reason to get him out of my house.

“Last one,” I say. “Go.”

One. Two. Three.

I land on paper again, assuming Zane only knows how to use rock.

But he forms scissors.

I breathe deeply and reach for my last damn donut.

“That’s mine,” he says, and I whirl on him.

“This is mine,” I reply hotly. “I stood in a bloody line in Portland for it, just this morning. I drove all the way here from Arizona. I’m tired. I’m a little scared. And now I have you in my house, and you won’t leave. Even better than that, you just stole it out from under me.”

“I won it,” he reminds me. “Fair and square. The donut, that is.”

I stop and frown at him. “Huh?”

“I won the donut. In the rock-paper-scissors game.”

“I was playing for the condo, Wyatt.”

He barks out a laugh. “Not me. I want that donut.”

About Kristen Proby

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series. 

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

Connect with Kristen Proby

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RELEASE BLITZ – Don’t Cry Over Spilled MILF (G.D. Taylors #4) by Willow Aster & Laura Pavlov

Title: Don’t Cry Over Spilled MILF
Series: G.D. Taylors #4
Authors: Willow Aster & Laura Pavlov

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2021

BLURB

A hot, sexy playboy and a gorgeous single mother who wants nothing to do with him.
Buckle up, Susannah Brighton. Gus is coming for you. No pun intended.

Susannah
I make my living writing romance.
I prefer my heroes to remain fictional.
But Gus Taylor is better than anything I could have dreamed up.
Sexy and funny and dauntingly handsome.
My little girl and I have been on our own for a long time and that’s the way I want to keep it.
But Gus Taylor makes me question everything I believe.

Gus
I’m a good-time guy.
I’ve always worn the title with pride.
But from the moment Susannah Brighton moves next door, I’m a goner.
And she’s got a little girl.
In the beginning, I think she’s just a mom I’d like to—forget about it.
All that’s changed now that I know Susannah and her angelic daughter.
I’ll do whatever it takes to win her over.
Because when you know, you know.
And I plan on writing myself into her happily ever after.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57196952-don-t-cry-over-spilled-milf

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EXCERPTS

#1

“I don’t want to have dinner with you tonight. That’s it.” She takes a step back and claps her hands together a few times as if she’s brushing off some crumbs. “I am happy to pay you for the job with a dinner here at the apartment with Olive as we negotiated. But a date is not going to be payment.”

I gasp. “I’m not a whore. I want to take you out to dinner because I’m attracted to you, not because I expect payment.”

I turn and storm toward the bookshelves because now I’m offended. And I don’t get offended.

Aside from my disdain for olives, I’m an even-keeled dude. And I don’t need to beg for a date. I have a slew of ladies dying for me to take them out.

“I wasn’t saying you were a … prostitute,” she says, and her tone is much softer now.

I don’t turn around even though I’m dying to, because I like that she’s being nicer now.

I have no shame in my game if making her feel guilty gets her to sway my way.

“It’s fine,” I say, as I run my hands along the wood, giving her a nice look at my oversized hands. They happen to match certain other body parts. I sniff the air, frowning. “I don’t smell cookies either. Clearly, you don’t keep your end of the bargain.”

“You had cookies yesterday,” she huffs and I grin at the bookshelves. She is so fun to rile up.

“Today’s a new day,” I say quietly. “And since you’re not agreeable to dinner tonight and you’re making me wait until Friday, and I don’t want your money, I would take a cookie or five today. I deserve something today, don’t I?”

#2

“She’s coming. Hop back in the elevator so it will look like it just stopped to let you off.” I see her walking toward the building and I hurry into the elevator, yanking my brother back on.

“Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?”

“Do not make me tell Mom that you won’t help me. Put on a smile, and say something nice to me when she gets on, and pump me up,” I say, as the doors close, and then I hit the button to reopen them just as she steps in the lobby.

“See ya, brother,” I shout a little too loud.

“Uh, yes. I will see you at the office, you smart, strong man,” Spence says and I close my eyes with irritation. Dude can’t play a role if his life depends on it.

Susannah chuckles and waves at him as she moves to get on and he moves to get off.

“Hello, ma’am. I’m Spence.”

Jeez, dude. How did he even land a girl like Emma? The dude has no game.

“Hi. I’m Susannah.” Her gaze finds mine and I turn on the smold intensity like I’m going for a motherfucking Oscar. I mean, I feel it down to my core. I am owning my inner Briggs.

“Nice to meet you,” Spence says, and I push the button to close the door and flip him the bird when her back is to me.

“You too,” she calls out, before moving to the other side of the elevator and turning to face me.

“How are you, pretty girl?”

She studies me, and I wonder if that whole shtick is too much. That one worked for both Jacob and Daniel, so I’m confident she must like it.

“I’m fine. Are you coming from the gym?” Her gaze scans my body and it takes all I have not to break out in a Dirty Dancing routine that Pen and I always do when we celebrate.

“Yep. I’ve been pumping some iron this morning,” I say. I give her the look and flex my bicep at the same time, which let me tell you, is no easy feat. We’re talking Karate Kid type of preparation to pull that off. Wax on. Wax off. Full focus. And. I. Nail. It.

She bursts out in laughter and covers her mouth.

What the fuck is she laughing at?

“Wait—are you having some sort of seizure? Do you need a doctor?” she asks, and now she’s looking at me with concern.

“No, Sweetheart. I’m just suffering from a bad case of attraction. The only one who can help me is you.”

Damn. I’m silently patting myself on the back because that shit was smooth. And Briggs never even said those words. Not exactly. I put my own Gus spin on it and made some magic.

She chuckles again, but it’s better than nothing. “Is that so?”

“That is so,” I say, moving into her space.

“What do you think you need to do about that?”

Think. Don’t blow it. She said no to dinner. No to going on a date.

“I think some coffee and a muffin might be a temporary fix.”

She sucks in a breath, and I can’t even believe this shit is working. I’ve never worked so hard for a coffee date, but I’m feeling the way she’s looking at me.

Her grey eyes search mine and I swear I stop breathing in that moment.

“Sounds fair. I am hungry. How about you go grab a shower and I’ll go reply to a few emails. And then…”

“And then we’ll grab coffee. And a muffin.” I’m standing so close to her that I can’t help myself from rubbing my nose against hers. I don’t think Daniel Briggs would do this, but Gus Taylor definitely would.

She puts her hand on my chest and pushes me back just a little. “All right. I’ll meet you in the hall in twenty minutes. But it’s not a date. I don’t date.”

“I will meet you in the hall for our non-date in twenty minutes.”

The doors open and we walk in silence until she puts her key in the door and waves. “See you in a little bit, Gus Taylor.”

Yes, you will, Susannah.

ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 Wanted Wed or Alive

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#2 The Bold and the Bullheaded

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#3 Another Motherfaker

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COMING SOON

#5 Friends with Benefactors – Releasing January 27

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AUTHOR BIOS & LINKS

Willow Aster

Willow Aster is a USA Today Bestselling author and lover of anything book-related. She lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband, kids, and rescue dog.

Website: http://www.willowaster.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/willowasterauthor
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/870978829643191
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Newsletter: http://www.willowaster.com/newsletter
Linktr.ee: http://linktr.ee/willowaster


Laura Pavlov

Laura Pavlov writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance that will make you both laugh and cry. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, mom to two awesome almost-grown kids, and dog-whisperer to a couple crazy yorkies. Laura resides in Las Vegas where she is living her own happily ever after.

Linktr.ee: https://linktr.ee/laurapavlovauthor
Website: https://www.laurapavlov.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2M3MzRv
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauraPavlovAuthor
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2464715543785142
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Pavlov/e/B07T26ZJS1
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/laura-pavlov

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