Category Archives: Excerpt

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

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

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

About the Book

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links

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

Excerpt

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

This was going to be one shitty walk.

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

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

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

It hadn’t gone well.

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

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

As it was, he was itching for a fight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was nothing magical about winter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overjoyed by capturing or killing a shifter.

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

Had taken too much from him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which was enough to set him on edge.

Females didn’t stay at Cougar Creek in winter.

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

He huffed.

Cougar Creek.

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

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

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

Looked as if the male was staying this time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

His ears twitched.

Voices.

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

What were they up to?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He knew her scent though.

Ivy.

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

Maybe he had imagined the sweet scent in the woods.

Berries were his vice after all.

He loved them and found them impossible to resist.

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

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

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

Ember. Saint wasn’t familiar with that female.

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

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

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

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

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

Because he was fantasising about sweet juicy summer berries again.

Could smell them stronger now.

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

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

A female.

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

Sweet berries and a hint of vanilla.

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

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

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

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

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

She was beautiful.

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

Until there was only her.

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

She had sensed him.

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

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

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

Saint stared after her.

Driven to follow.

Purchase Links

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

Books in the Series

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

BLP REVIEW – Tracy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Felicity
Felicity Heaton

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

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

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

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

RELEASE BOOST – The Varsity Dad Dilemma by Lex Martin

Title: The Varsity Dad Dilemma
Author: Lex Martin

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2021

BLURB

A sexy, small town sports romance from USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin!

What’s worse than having Rider Kingston, the star quarterback, give you the big brush-off because he doesn’t want to get serious? You’d probably think living across the street from him where you get a firsthand view of his hookups, right?

That’s what I thought. Until someone drops off a baby with a note pinned to her blanket that says one of those jocks—either Rider or one of his roommates—is the father. The problem? Baby mama doesn’t mention which of these numbskulls is the sperm donor.

I wouldn’t care about their paternity problems—not the slightest bit—except my brother lives there too. Which means that adorable squawking bundle might be my niece, and there’s no way I’m leaving her unattended with those bumbling football players.

They need my help, even if they don’t know it yet. Once we solve this dilemma and figure out who’s the daddy, I’m out.

I’ll just ignore Rider and those soul-searing looks he gives me every time I reach for the baby. He broke my heart three years ago. He won’t get a second chance.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55965670-the-varsity-dad-dilemma

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EXCERPT

As I walk Sienna to her car, she squeals. “Holy crap, is that Rider Kingston?”
Without my permission, my gaze slides across the street to the oversized man-child, who has the gall to be moving furniture shirtless while flexing his stupid abs. Judging by the other sweaty minions pouring out of the two story, Rider’s getting new roommates too.
My eye twitches again, and my focus snaps back to Sienna. “I thought you said you weren’t a fan of football.”
“Oh, I’m not. I can’t sit through an entire game. But I am a fan of football players.” Her gaze turns ravenous as she scans my neighbor’s front lawn. Or, likely, the glistening eight-pack Rider’s put on display. “All that testosterone. Those bulging muscles. That deep, masculine grunting. Oh yeah. Get me one of those!”
She cackles, and Rider hears it.
Of course he does.
Shockingly, he deigns to speak to me.
“Hey, Gabby,” he shouts. “How was your summer?”
I’m not sure when he decided to stop ignoring me, but that’s better than pretending we’re friends, which we’ll never be.
I close my eyes because I don’t need any reminders of his masculine beauty. And I definitely don’t need to see that sexy smirk, the one more powerful than his cannon that took the team to the playoffs last year.
No, I’m not interested in the star quarterback. Not anymore.
Turning on my heel, I wave my middle finger and march back to my house.
Laughter is all I hear as I slam the front door shut behind me.

AUTHOR BIO

Lex Martin is the USA Today bestselling author of the Texas Nights series (Reckless/Shameless) and the Dearest series. She writes contemporary romances, the sexy kind with lotsa angst, a whole lotta kissing, and the hot happily ever afters. A former high school English teacher and freelance journalist, she’s lived all over the country but currently resides in her hometown of San Antonio with her husband and twin daughters.


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Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lex-martin
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GIVEAWAY

There is a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card

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SPOTLIGHT TOUR – 5 ROUNDS by Nikki Castle

When Remy suddenly finds herself apartmentless, she’s offered a temporary place to stay, but her new roommate, Tristan, a notorious womanizer, and MMA fighter, has never been her favorite person. After one steamy encounter, the two are forced to deal with their developing feelings. Will they risk their hearts and let themselves fall in love?

Fans of Kennedy Fox and Christina Lauren will love 5 ROUNDS by Nikki Castle, an enemies to lovers, forced proximity, sports romance.

Blurb

She’s a feisty workaholic that hates his guts.

He’s an arrogant MMA fighter that can’t afford any distractions.

This isn’t the kind of fight they’re used to…

When Remy is suddenly evicted from her apartment, her best friend offers to let her crash at his house while he’s traveling for work. The only problem is, she can’t stand his roommate, Tristan. Now, they’re stuck living together for 10 days. But after the tension breaks with one very steamy night, and then again, and again… they’re forced to reexamine their long-standing enemy relationship.

While Remy struggles with her developing feelings for a notorious womanizer, Tristan has to decide if his feelings for Remy are worth it, or if they’ll distract him from his longtime goal of becoming a world champion. To make matters worse, their deadline is looming because Remy is moving out soon.

Will they risk their hearts and let themselves fall in love? Or will they go back to hating each other before they’ve even had a chance to be together?

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Excerpt

Copyright 2021 @Nikki Castle

Without thinking about what I’m doing, I step closer to him and run my fingers through his hair, trying to understand the sudden shift in his mood. His eyebrows shoot up in surprise, but he stands still and lets me play with strands of his hair. Without the tequila coursing through my veins, I never would have let myself touch him like this. But right now, I can’t find it in me to care.

“It must be exhausting being so mean all the time,” I observe thoughtfully. Something flashes in his eyes, but I can’t put a name to it, and then it’s gone just as quickly.

I turn away from him, completely oblivious to how much I just overstepped our normal boundaries. “Not to mention you would be so much hotter with just a little less snark,” I call over my shoulder. I’m too busy drunkenly fumbling with my keys in the lock to notice his eyes widen at my honest comment.

“Ha!” I exclaim triumphantly, pushing the door open and stepping inside. But before I can take more than two steps in, I feel myself being pushed to the wall, Tristan’s body pressing tightly against mine. “Hey!” I cry. His moody expression is gone, replaced with the smug face that I know so well.

“You would hate me if I was a nice guy,” he drawls.

I roll my eyes at him, trying to push him off me. “Guess we’ll never know, because you being a nice guy is as likely as me using the word ‘literally’ wrong.” He grins, knowing how much I hate when girls use the word to describe something that is very clearly not literal.

“Admit it,” he says softly, pushing me harder into the wall with his body. My breath catches as his face nears mine. “You like me the way I am.”

“I—I don’t—” my brain no longer seems to be able to form a coherent sentence. All I can do is stare into his hungry gaze and try not to picture what it would feel like if he fucked me against this wall right now.

His lips brush against my cheek, at the same time that he kneads my hips with his fingers. Every touch, every whisper of his breath, is further uncoiling the heat that’s growing between my legs.

“You don’t want someone to pull your chair out for you, or ask you what you want to eat,” he continues. “You want someone that doesn’t need your permission. Someone that will call you on your shit.” He tangles his fingers in my hair and, without warning, yanks my head back. I gasp in surprise. “You want someone that will spank you when you’re acting stupid.”

I can’t escape the whimper that slips from my lips. I squeeze my legs together, trying desperately to think of a response. But when he pulls back to wait for my reply, I know that no words could answer his unspoken question.

There are so many things that I hate about this man—he’s arrogant, and selfish, and rude. He’s a player that uses women for sex, and the only thing he actually gives a shit about is fighting. He’s the definition of self-absorbed. I should be shoving him away from me, telling him to fuck off and to stay on his side of the house for the rest of the week. I shouldn’t be thinking about what he tastes like, or how his cock might feel inside of me. I shouldn’t be wondering how hard he could make me come.

But his words remind me that the same alpha qualities that make me hate him… are also the ones that are making my knees weak.

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About Nikki Castle

Nikki Castle is a 29 year old wife and bulldog mom who writes steamy love stories about alpha MMA fighters and the women that melt their badass, playboy hearts. She spends her days working for a technology company and her evenings running a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym with her husband, who is also a retired fighter.

Nikki has been writing in one way or another since she was a teenager. She pursued an English and Philosophy degree in college, and finally decided to sit down and fulfill her longtime dream of writing an entire novel when quarantine began in 2020.

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BLOG TOUR – The Bet by Max Monroe

When it comes to life’s fun and games, always know:
The rules.
What’s at stake.
When to quit.

The Bet, an all new hilarious opposites attract standalone rom com from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe is available now!

Wise words from…well…my fortune cookie. But wise words, nonetheless.

I just wish the Fortune Cookie People had considered how hard the whole “knowing when to quit” would be to carry out when a woman like me is gambling with her feelings.

Heart-palpitating, vageen-tingling, butterflies-in-my-belly feelings for a noncommittal, hot-as-sin player by the name of Jude Winslow.

After a crazy night where we were both pretending to be someone else, I’ve found myself immersed in the fun of the fling.
The thrill.
The irresistible charm.
The pleasure of being with a man like him.

Problem is, I’m positive he’s the exact opposite of husband material, and that is a serious issue for someone who is fixated on finding her happily ever after.

I know the rules and I know the stakes, oh wise Fortune Cookie.

Now I’d just like to know how close to self-destruction I have to get before I find the will to quit Jude Winslow.

Goodness knows, when your heart is on the line, you can’t ante up your bet with an IOU.

Grab yours today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jQR9kN
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TheBetMaxM

Add The Bet to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3wN7Xw8

Excerpt

Tell me…is it ever possible to recover from the shame of having orgasmed in public—discreetly, I think—all because of the stupid exotic dancer I hired for my sister?

Because, if not, I won’t bother sharing this with my therapist when we have our next session.

“Oh my God!” Belle yells from the stall, her feet teetering on my heels as she tries to squat and hover over the toilet. I swear, if she pees on my one and only pair of Jimmy Choos, I will hex her so hard. “Did you freaking see that guy? He bent you over backward and planted a baby in your womb through your dress, I swear to Jesus.”

“Uh, yeah. I saw,” I comment on the absurdly obvious. But truthfully, I didn’t just see anything. I felt his heat and his heart thrumming in his chest and smelled the undeniably intoxicating subtlety of his cologne. I felt the stretch in my muscles as he manipulated my body left and right and sideways and upside down, all while somehow managing to make the ridiculousness of a male stripper seem sexy.

The only time I could truly say I saw, I suppose, was during the out-of-body experience I had while he straddled my body in the sixty-nine position and straight up sent me into purgatory. There I was, just hovering by the ceiling of the room like Mary fucking Poppins and the kids when they go to have tea with the loopy guy, wondering if that was really my face under his superior crotch or if it was all just a mirage.

And then I had to go and fucking orgasm, like a teenage boy in the middle of a wet dream.

I shake my head to clear it again, thanking my lucky stars that, in this situation, I was at least afforded the luxury of being a woman. No boner. No jizz-filled underwear. Just a hard twist of arousal and a pair of damp panties.

“I swear he tossed you around like a rag doll!”

“Yes, Sophie,” I say, emphasizing my name instead of hers just in case any other drunken members of our group found their way in here and into another stall while I was busy with my emotional breakdown. “I’m well aware of everything Jude, the Magic Dancer was, thank you very much.”

She flushes the toilet and swings the stall door back toward herself, stumbling out into the open area and laughing hysterically at my revamp of Puff, the Magic Dragon, one of our favorite songs as kids before cynics ruined it.

I’m glad she’s having a good time, but holy hell. I’m still shaking. And once I’m certain none of the gals from our group are in the bathroom with us, I give her the cold, hard reality.

“You owe me so freaking much, it’s ridiculous.” Pretending to be the bride at my sister’s bachelorette party when I’m not even dating anyone would surely be something Dr. Winters would see as a “setback.”

“I know I owe you, I really do, but I would have died, okay? You know I would have died. And that would really complicate your use of my Costco membership, wouldn’t it?”

I snort. “Fine. But can we switch back now? Don’t you want to enjoy the rest of the evening as the bride-to-be?”

Belle shakes her head almost violently and stands at the sink to wash her hands. She waves them obnoxiously in front of the automatic sensor several times but still never manages to turn the faucet on. I lean forward and wave my hand in front of hers, bringing it to life.

For some reason, she always struggles with that.

“No way. I’ve had a great time the whole night tonight, but I didn’t realize how much better it is when no one is paying attention to me! Maid of honor is where it’s at, and I can’t go back now that I know how good it is here.”

“Are you serious?” I snap.

“Please,” she begs, pretending to pout. “I know it’s not ideal for you, but pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top, do this for me? I’ll bake you however many cookies and cupcakes and cakes you want for the next six months.”

My sister is the baked goods goddess, and she knows I can’t resist that kind of offer.

“Fine,” I grind out. “But if I were you, I’d invest in stock for flour and butter and sugar and shit because I’m going to run your ass like a factory worker.”

“Whatever you want. John’s really good with investments, so I’ll make him figure it out.”

I laugh at her drunken seriousness—it’s too hard not to—and finally pull her into a hug so I can whisper directly into her ear. “I love you, Bells. But I also fucking hate you.”

She nods. “It’s the Sage sister way.”

“Well, two out of three,” I correct, knowing that Katelynn is the least drama-associated sister of the three of us. At five years our senior, she was always more of a “Disciplinary Board” than a defendant when it came to Sage sister arguments.

“That’s true,” Belle agrees. “I’m seriously surprised at how drunk Kate’s gotten tonight. It’s a real mom’s-night-out kind of vibe.”

I roll my eyes. “Like you should talk. You’re drunker than she is.”

“Yeah, but it’s my bachelorette,” she asserts.

Immediately, I shake my head with a fake smile. “Uh-uh. Not anymore, it’s not. Thanks to you, the glory of tonight seems to be mine.”

About Max Monroe
A duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.

Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far. ​

Connect with Max Monroe
BookBub: http://bit.ly/3bJFJJh
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Website: https://www.authormaxmonroe.com/

RELEASE BLITZ – The Varsity Dad Dilemma by Lex Martin


Title: The Varsity Dad Dilemma
Author: Lex Martin

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2021

BLURB

A sexy, small town sports romance from USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin!

What’s worse than having Rider Kingston, the star quarterback, give you the big brush-off because he doesn’t want to get serious? You’d probably think living across the street from him where you get a firsthand view of his hookups, right?

That’s what I thought. Until someone drops off a baby with a note pinned to her blanket that says one of those jocks—either Rider or one of his roommates—is the father. The problem? Baby mama doesn’t mention which of these numbskulls is the sperm donor.

I wouldn’t care about their paternity problems—not the slightest bit—except my brother lives there too. Which means that adorable squawking bundle might be my niece, and there’s no way I’m leaving her unattended with those bumbling football players.

They need my help, even if they don’t know it yet. Once we solve this dilemma and figure out who’s the daddy, I’m out.

I’ll just ignore Rider and those soul-searing looks he gives me every time I reach for the baby. He broke my heart three years ago. He won’t get a second chance.


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55965670-the-varsity-dad-dilemma

PURCHASE LINKS – $2.99 for a limited time!

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EXCERPT

As I walk Sienna to her car, she squeals. “Holy crap, is that Rider Kingston?”
Without my permission, my gaze slides across the street to the oversized man-child, who has the gall to be moving furniture shirtless while flexing his stupid abs. Judging by the other sweaty minions pouring out of the two story, Rider’s getting new roommates too.
My eye twitches again, and my focus snaps back to Sienna. “I thought you said you weren’t a fan of football.”
“Oh, I’m not. I can’t sit through an entire game. But I am a fan of football players.” Her gaze turns ravenous as she scans my neighbor’s front lawn. Or, likely, the glistening eight-pack Rider’s put on display. “All that testosterone. Those bulging muscles. That deep, masculine grunting. Oh yeah. Get me one of those!”
She cackles, and Rider hears it.
Of course he does.
Shockingly, he deigns to speak to me.
“Hey, Gabby,” he shouts. “How was your summer?”
I’m not sure when he decided to stop ignoring me, but that’s better than pretending we’re friends, which we’ll never be.
I close my eyes because I don’t need any reminders of his masculine beauty. And I definitely don’t need to see that sexy smirk, the one more powerful than his cannon that took the team to the playoffs last year.
No, I’m not interested in the star quarterback. Not anymore.
Turning on my heel, I wave my middle finger and march back to my house.
Laughter is all I hear as I slam the front door shut behind me.

AUTHOR BIO

Lex Martin is the USA Today bestselling author of the Texas Nights series (Reckless/Shameless) and the Dearest series. She writes contemporary romances, the sexy kind with lotsa angst, a whole lotta kissing, and the hot happily ever afters. A former high school English teacher and freelance journalist, she’s lived all over the country but currently resides in her hometown of San Antonio with her husband and twin daughters.


AUTHOR LINKS

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2DrPcUi
Website: http://www.lexmartinwrites.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLexMartin
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LexMartinsWildcats
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorlexmartin
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lex-martin
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorlexmartin
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TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authorlexmartin

GIVEAWAY

There is a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c180e03537

RELEASE BLITZ : Inked Obsession (Montgomery Ink: Fort Collins #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan


Title: Inked Obsession
Series: Montgomery Ink: Fort Collins #2
Author: Carrie Ann Ryan


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2021


BLURB

The Montgomery Ink saga from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues with a second chance romance sure to tug at your heartstrings.

When men in uniform showed up on Eliza Wilder-Strong’s doorstep, she knew her life would be irrevocably altered. She not only lost her husband, but the future she’d carefully planned. A year later, she’s looking to start over—beginning with a solo healing vacation. Only she never expects to see a familiar, tempting face along the way.

Beckett Montgomery refuses to want his little sister’s best friend—especially because she’s a widow. Yet there’s no stopping the connection between them. As the temptation to give in intensifies between them, so do the reasons they shouldn’t stay together.

Painful ghosts from both of their pasts stand in their way and sometimes it’s the living that can haunt you when you’re not looking.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54416730-inked-obsession


PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/3lD1Ipx
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Also available in audio & print

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ALSO AVAILABLE

#1 Inked Persuasion

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AU: https://amzn.to/38wdLPL
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Audio: https://amzn.to/3rfKMb5
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COMING SOON IN THE SERIES

#3 Inked Devotion – Releasing October 26

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#4 Inked Craving – Releasing February 15, 2022

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#5 Inked Temptation – Releasing July 11, 2022

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Apple Books: https://apple.co/3r69R9u

EXCERPT

“I don’t mind dancing with you, Eliza.” And I meant it, even if I was tired, and my back had started to ache something fierce. Or that every time I was near her these days, I wanted to lean down and sniff her. I’d developed an addiction to something I shouldn’t have, and I needed to quell that need damn quick.

She sighed. “Well, thanks for saving me—like everyone seems to be doing these days.”

The way she said it made me frown, but then a sliver of memory slammed into me. I pushed it away. “I don’t always save people,” I bit out, my voice cool.

She stared at me, questions in her gaze, but she didn’t ask them. Good, because I didn’t have answers for her. “Okay, Beckett. Okay.”

I didn’t save everybody. And I knew that.

The dance was slow, but I wasn’t paying attention. Didn’t see anything. Didn’t even see him. Didn’t catch that soft scent again. I just swayed as the others gave us odd looks as they danced around us. I ignored it all.

Because I didn’t save everybody. Not even myself.

AUTHOR BIO

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Fractured Connections, and Elements of Five series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over seventy-five novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not losing herself in her emotional and action-packed worlds, she’s reading as much as she can while wrangling her clowder of cats who have more followers than she does.


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://carrieannryan.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarrieAnnRyanAuthor
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carrieannryanauthor
Newsletter: http://carrieannryan.com/faq/how-do-i-sign-up-for-your-newsletter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarrieAnnRyan

EXCERPT REVEAL – Her Noble Protector (Night Storm #7) by Caitlyn O’Leary

Title: Her Noble Protector
Series: Night Storm #7
Author: Caitlyn O’Leary


Genre: Romantic Military Suspense
Release Date: July 31, 2021


BLURB

Her worst nightmare had come true—somehow she had been kidnapped and forced to kill her captor to get away.

Finally home in Arizona, Lisa Garcia was scared all the time. She jumped at every sound and shadow, too scared to even leave her home. How could someone who used to ride the rapids and trek the wilds of Alaska be reduced to this?

Navy SEAL Raiden Sato had forgotten more missions than he could remember. But this last one would stick in his mind forever. Lisa Garcia. How could he ever forget her? Tough, strong, compassionate, beautiful, the woman was a force of nature. But Raiden couldn’t help remembering how she’d been when they’d parted. She’d seemed broken. He needed to know how she was now.

When Raiden took leave to check on Lisa in Arizona, he was shocked at the woman he found. The kick-ass wilderness guide was gone, replaced by a woman still mired in trauma. She was positive that someone was out to get her. Determined to help her, Raiden was positive that he could heal her with time, patience, and perhaps even love.
But what happens when Lisa is right, and somebody really is out to get her?

This is an action, adventure, romantic, stand-alone novel.


GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58425130-her-noble-protector

PRE-ORDER LINKS

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Kobo: https://bit.ly/3wGEhBy
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3cPRhNc

EXCERPT

Lisa shot up, her eyes wide, as she struggled to breathe, struggled to get away, but something was holding her down. She tried to fight, tried to get away, then she heard glass shatter and it stopped her short.
“Goddammit!”
She focused and saw the light on in her bathroom. She always kept her light on, so she wouldn’t be scared if she woke up from a nightmare.
“Yeah, like that helped me.”
This one was bad, she went to turn on the lamp on her nightstand, and realized it wasn’t there. She blinked back tears when she realized that was what the breaking glass had been, she’d knocked it half way across the room with as she’d thrashed about. She yanked at the sweat soaked sheet. The damn thing was tangled around her like some kind of jungle vine. She kicked herself free then swung her legs over the side of the bed almost stepping in the glass.
Lisa crawled to the end of the bed, stumbled to the wall and slammed on the switch so that the overhead light turned on. She whipped her head around and sighed in relief. The two locks on her bedroom door were secure.
God, what kind of loser has locks on their bedroom door?
“Shut up!”
The nightmare was probably nothing, but maybe she had heard something. She’d already called the police three times over the last six weeks for no reason whatsoever, she wasn’t calling again. She picked up the aluminum softball bat that was beside the door, and slowly unlocked the door, and waited.
Her arms started to tremble. Lisa had no idea how long she’d been in this position, with the bat at the ready. Ten minutes? A half hour? An hour?
She was afraid to move even a millimeter to check her smartwatch. It wouldn’t matter if she did, since she had no idea when she first stood watch.
You’re such an idiot, Garcia!
She felt a tear slip through her defenses. The bat, which wasn’t all that heavy, felt like it was made of lead. Lisa felt her right hand begin to cramp, when she tried to loosen her grip so that she could relieve the pressure, she couldn’t get it to move.
She tried again.
Ahh God. Now her tense shoulders were starting tremble. She pushed herself against the wall, willing her body to move. She had to be able to swing the bat if someone came in. She had to.
She listened intently. She didn’t hear anything, but that didn’t matter. She remembered how quietly the SEALs could move. She hadn’t heard a thing when they’d come up behind the man who…who…
Lisa shook her head, willing away the memory. Willing all memories away, even the older ones that got confused with the newer ones. She pushed away from the wall and gritted her teeth.
I can do this. I can.
The bat started to lower as her shoulders lost strength. She rested the bat on her right shoulder, it wasn’t good because she would lose some of her speed when she swung, but she had no choice. Lisa heard her harsh breathing. She needed it to stop, it would tip off whoever was out there.
Breathe through your nose. You can do it.
She kept listening intently. Nothing. Or was there something.
What is it? Am I going crazy? How long have I been in this position?
Her back hit the wall as she slumped, but so did the bat, the metallic bing rang through her bedroom. Somebody was sure to have heard it. She pushed herself off the wall and tried to get back to a batter’s stance, but she couldn’t, she just couldn’t.
Her arm’s were trembling so bad, that she could barely keep them up. Lisa tasted salt and knew she was crying again. She was always crying.
Staring at the doorknob, she willed it to move so she could take the swing before she fell over, but nothing moved. It was too much. With what little strength she had left, she grabbed the doorknob and swung open her bedroom door and stepped out. The kitchen light was on, like it always was. Frantically, she looked around her home’s open floorplan and saw nothing. She raced to the front door and sagged when she saw both deadbolts were in place.
Her head swiveled on her neck as she spun to look at the door in her kitchen that led to her carport. Not only did it look closed, she could see the pizza pans resting up against them were still in place. She whimpered with relief. She swung around again to check the patio door.
She was almost positive that nobody would have gotten in through her patio they would have had to break the glass to get in, plus she had two cookie sheets and three pizza pans tipped up against the door so they would have knocked it over and she would have heard the crash, but she dashed over to the door to double check it.
Lisa gave a watery sigh when she saw that the steel bar at the bottom of the sliding door was still in place and not one single pan had been tipped over. She felt her legs start to give out, and she eased herself to the floor before she fell down.
Lisa tried to drop the bat, but her hands were too cramped to let go, she shook her arms, trying to force it to drop on the floor. It finally fell. Her hands hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. She shoved them between her knees, trying to stop the painful tingling.
It was sweltering in her house, why hadn’t she turned on the air conditioning before she went to bed? Looking around she wondered why she hadn’t done a lot of things. There were dirty dishes all over her coffee table, and some on the floor in front of her couch. She frowned when she saw three bags of groceries on her dining room table. One was tipped over, and there was a pint of yogurt and a loaf of bread peaking out. When had she ordered groceries? What was in the other two bags?
Who cares?
Lisa rested her head against the blinds on her sliding glass door, it felt a tiny bit cool. She should get up, right? She needed to keep her eyes open, if she didn’t she’d dream then there wouldn’t be a jungle, or in the back of Damon’s pick-up. Two times when she had been helpless. Utterly helpless.
Don’t close your eyes.
Please God, don’t let me close my eyes.

AVAILABLE NOW

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COMING SOON

#8 Her Righteous Protector – Releasing November 23

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AUTHOR BIO

Caitlyn O’Leary is a USA Bestselling Author, #1 Amazon Bestselling Author and a Golden Quill Recipient from Book Viral in 2015. Hampered with a mild form of dyslexia she began memorizing books at an early age until her grandmother, the English teacher, took the time to teach her to read — then she never stopped. She began re-writing alternate endings for her Trixie Belden books into happily-ever-afters with Trixie’s platonic friend Jim. When she was home with pneumonia at twelve, she read the entire set of World Book Encyclopedias — a little more challenging to end those happily.

Caitlyn loves writing about Alpha males with strong heroines who keep the men on their toes. There is plenty of action, suspense and humor in her books. She is never shy about tackling some of today’s tough and relevant issues.

In addition to being an award-winning author of romantic suspense novels, she is a devoted aunt, an avid reader, a former corporate executive for a Fortune 100 company, and totally in love with her husband of soon-to-be twenty years.

She recently moved back home to the Pacific Northwest from Southern California. She is so happy to see the seasons again; rain, rain and more rain. She has a large fan group on Facebook and through her e-mail list. Caitlyn is known for telling her “Caitlyn Factors”, where she relates her little and big life’s screw-ups. The list is long. She loves hearing and connecting with her fans on a daily basis.


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://caitlynoleary.com
Email: caitlyn@caitlynoleary.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/c5FqPv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Caitlyn-OLeary-Author-638771522866740
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/231678260651128
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CaitlynOLearyNA
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caitlynoleary_author
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Caitlyn-OLeary/e/B00KB88MSS
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/caitlyn-o-leary
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8153211.Caitlyn_O_Leary

RELEASE BLITZ – Tasty Mango by JJ Knight

Title: Tasty Mango
Author: JJ Knight

Genre: Standalone Romantic Comedy
Release Date: July 19, 2021

BLURB

Ladies, you’ve never had a first date quite like this.
He’s a billionaire.
Desperately handsome
Wildly charismatic.

In fact, a certain article of clothing of mine has gotten quite damp.
Except…
It’s not the good kind of damp.
Actually, I’m suddenly very, very wet.
Oh no.

I’ve left out something important.
I’m nine months pregnant.
Don’t ask about the father.
I’d rather forget.

But I’m sitting in the fanciest restaurant you can imagine.
Opposite the man of my dreams.
It’s our first time alone together.
The start of something spectacular.
And…
My water just broke.
___

Tasty Mango is a standalone romantic comedy about going into labor on a first date with a billionaire, the ensuing hilarity (and pushing) in a very expensive limo, and trying to manage a new relationship with the world’s most eligible bachelor while cleaning spit up out of your hair.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58340454-tasty-mango

BOOKBUB LINK:https://www.bookbub.com/books/tasty-mango-a-billionaire-and-single-mom-romantic-comedy-by-jj-knight

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/3hwrRqs
UK: https://amzn.to/3hTJLT8
CA: https://amzn.to/3i0IBFy
AU: https://amzn.to/36v8FTS
Universal: https://bit.ly/3krS77h

Free in Kindle Unlimited

EXCERPT

I’ve always pictured this moment.
Me, in a little black dress.
My hair swept into a perfect chignon.
An exclusive restaurant filled with elegant diners.

China clinks. Crystal glasses gleam on linen tablecloths.

Seated opposite me is the ideal man. Tall, dark, handsome.

Custom suit. Gold cufflinks.
He’s charming and witty.
Wildly successful in business.
And he only has eyes for me.

It could have been the greatest first date of my life.
Except.

My belly is too big to let me pull up to the table properly.

The baby is kicking like crazy for me to eat something — NOW.

And a funny trickle of wetness is forming deep in the recesses of my panties.

And not the good kind.
Am I peeing myself?

“Havannah, are you okay?” Donovan McDonald pauses, his water goblet halfway to his lips. He’s a gentleman, so he’s not drinking wine since I can’t.

His eyes are on me, his thick brows knitted in concern. His gaze dips to the table’s edge, where I’m hunched, trying to hide my bump. I’m desperately trying to appear like a normal date from the chest up.

“Perfect!” I say, keeping my voice as chipper as possible. I shift on the chair, making sure my legs are hidden by the tablecloth. I spread my knees in hopes that I can air dry.

Pregnancy is a beast.

But I have a few days to go until I’m due, and I hear first babies are always late. I’ve vowed to be nothing but chic and put together on this date. He’ll see my elegance, my poise —

Uh oh.
Another squirt of wetness slips out.

How can this be? I peed right before I came. I’m not coughing, or laughing too hard, or sneezing.

I push my cloth napkin under the tablecloth and shove it up under my dress. Sorry, fancy restaurant. I’m stealing this. It’s an emergency.

To be honest, if I had known what was about to go down, I would have left right then.

But I didn’t.

And you’re not going to believe what happens next.

AUTHOR BIO

JJ Knight is the USA Today and Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic comedy including Single Dad on Topand Big Pickle.


AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.jjknight.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjknightauthor
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/JJ-Knight/e/B00IDSRBFS
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jj-knight
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7827726.J_J_Knight
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/JJKnews

GIVEAWAY

There is a giveaway for a Mango Book Box + a $50 Amazon gift card (1 winner, open internationally)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/61c7273934

RELEASE BLITZ – 5 ROUNDS by Nikki Castle

When Remy suddenly finds herself apartmentless, she’s offered a temporary place to stay, but her new roommate, Tristan, a notorious womanizer, and MMA fighter, has never been her favorite person. After one steamy encounter, the two are forced to deal with their developing feelings. Will they risk their hearts and let themselves fall in love?

Fans of Kennedy Fox and Christina Lauren will love 5 ROUNDS by Nikki Castle, an enemies to lovers, forced proximity, sports romance.

Blurb

She’s a feisty workaholic that hates his guts.

He’s an arrogant MMA fighter that can’t afford any distractions.

This isn’t the kind of fight they’re used to…

When Remy is suddenly evicted from her apartment, her best friend offers to let her crash at his house while he’s traveling for work. The only problem is, she can’t stand his roommate, Tristan. Now, they’re stuck living together for 10 days. But after the tension breaks with one very steamy night, and then again, and again… they’re forced to reexamine their long-standing enemy relationship.

While Remy struggles with her developing feelings for a notorious womanizer, Tristan has to decide if his feelings for Remy are worth it, or if they’ll distract him from his longtime goal of becoming a world champion. To make matters worse, their deadline is looming because Remy is moving out soon.

Will they risk their hearts and let themselves fall in love? Or will they go back to hating each other before they’ve even had a chance to be together?

Add to Goodreads Here! 

Goodreads https://bit.ly/3vf8ZQv

Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon https://amzn.to/2SoF4Yy

Excerpt

Copyright 2021 @Nikki Castle

I have a lot of thoughts about Tristan, but the one thing I can’t deny is that he’s gorgeous. He’s over six feet tall and a solid 200 pounds of muscle. I know him from the MMA gym I joined because of Jax in college—and it’s an understatement to say they both look the part of a fighter. Tristan is the pretty boy of the two, with just-woke-up tousled, dark brown hair and piercing blue eyes that always feel like they’re staring straight into the secrets of your soul. His jawline is defined and he’s got just enough stubble on his face to give him a rugged look, but not enough that it comes off as a scruffy beard. His skin has a warm tan, most likely from all the shirtless runs he does around the city for his cardio workouts.

I also know from my time at the gym that he’s completely shredded from his training. Every pound of him has a purpose, his body built to be an efficient fighting machine with a low body fat percentage and muscles defined not by lifting weights, but by training with a real purpose and a fuck-ton of hard work. His dedication to the sport is unrivaled and it definitely shows in his appearance. I’ve never met a man as comfortable in his body as Tristan, and that fact coupled with the physical result of his workouts gives him an air of confidence and raw masculinity.

Basically, an effortless Adonis.

He’s also a total ladies’ man and a shameless pig. Or maybe that’s just to me, since I assume there has to be a reason why women all fall into bed with him. Either way, he and I have been at each other’s throats since the first day I stepped in the gym and he gave me directions to the ballet studio down the street.

“Of all the women I know, you’re easily the least ladylike,” he drawls.

I glare at him and push past, heading for the bathroom. “I guess that’s really saying something, huh? God knows you’ve been with half the women in this city,” I throw over my shoulder.

By the time I come out of the bathroom, he’s sprawled on the couch and back to watching whatever MMA fight he was analyzing before I pounded on his door.

“Where’s Jax?” I ask as I plop onto the loveseat next to the TV.

“Still out at happy hour,” Tristan responds without even looking at me. I notice he’s watching a UFC title fight, most likely analyzing the champ’s fighting style for his own arsenal of skills.

I glance at my phone. “Jesus, still? It’s 9pm. How much do those corporate assholes drink?” I throw my head back with a groan.

“Look, Remy—” I immediately growl at the condescending tone, knowing I’m not going to like what’s about to come out of his mouth. “I don’t mind if you hang out until Jax comes back, but could you be a doll and shut the fuck up? I’m trying to work.” He smiles sweetly. “Actually, I take that back, I do mind. Can you just wait for him in the kitchen like a good woman? Maybe make me dinner while you’re in there.”

I glare and launch a pillow directly at his head—which he deflects easily.

“I can’t believe chauvinists like you still exist in this day and age. Hasn’t the women’s movement stomped you out yet?” I snarl. Then I pause, thinking of something. “Actually, what surprises me the most is that you still find women to sleep with you. Although I doubt the women you fuck even know the definition of chauvinist, so maybe that’s my answer.”

He chuckles and gives me an exaggerated once-over. “Everybody knows your hatred for me is just a cover for how badly you want to be under me,” he says with a smirk.

Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited! 

About Nikki Castle

Nikki Castle is a 29 year old wife and bulldog mom who writes steamy love stories about alpha MMA fighters and the women that melt their badass, playboy hearts. She spends her days working for a technology company and her evenings running a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) gym with her husband, who is also a retired fighter.

Nikki has been writing in one way or another since she was a teenager. She pursued an English and Philosophy degree in college, and finally decided to sit down and fulfill her longtime dream of writing an entire novel when quarantine began in 2020.

Follow: Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

BLOG TOUR – Pause (The Larsen Brothers) by Kylie Scott

Pause, an all new emotional friends-to-lovers romance from New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott is available now!

An unpauseable new romance from New York Times bestselling, Audie Award winning author Kylie Scott!

When Anna wakes up from a coma after a car crash, she discovers life has gone on without her. Her husband has been unfaithful—with her best friend—and she’s been long since replaced at work. While her old life is a distant memory, her new life feels like an empty shell. Then she meets the stranger who saved her life during the crash, and he changes everything.

Leif Larsen—tattooist, joker, and player—has his own scars thanks to the crash that put Anna in a coma. Helping her move on from her failed marriage, and create a new life, sounds like a perfect distraction. So when he needs a new roommate, he invites Anna to begin her new life with him.

Although their lives may have been put on pause, together they just might find a way to heal.

Grab yours today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3yrNPkj
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/PauseBook
Apple Books: https://apple.co/3wbMWe0
Nook: https://bit.ly/3yomvn2
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3qQ77wX
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/3qIG2vK

Add Pause to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3ACawEn

Excerpt

Leif Larsen lives in a big old brown brick building with a sprawling dogwood out front in a cool urban neighborhood. No one answers when I press the buzzer. But according to the details on the scrap of paper the nurse gave me, I’ve got the right place. 

What to do? 

The rational response would be to give up and go home. Because hiding out in my childhood bedroom has worked out great so far (and this would be sarcasm). It’s been months since I left the house for anything other than a medical appointment. Weeks since I’ve heard from any friends. Right on cue, my cell buzzes inside my tan Coach purse. I don’t bother to look. Mom requests proof of life every hour on the hour. Not even dinner at the country club can distract her, apparently. Her parental concern for me is well past claustrophobic.

My hand clenches the iron railing against a gust of unseasonably warm evening wind. It’s been a while since I stopped using a mobility aid, but things can still feel tricky. The whole damn world does, if I’m being honest. So many things I took for granted have now been turned upside down. 

This is the problem with living the supposed dream. With having an airtight plan for your life. Meet Prince Charming and marry him. Find the perfect job. Only problem is, if something goes wrong, when reality smacks you upside the head and sends you reeling, then there’s no system for putting the pieces back together. There’s no Plan B because it never occurred to you that you’d need one. A lack of imagination on my part, perhaps.

A motorcycle pulls up to the curb and it’s like everything happens in slow motion. Something about this long, lean man just makes time want to stand still. A denim-clad leg is swung over the back of the iron beast. A helmet is removed and shoulder-length hair tumbles free. High cheekbones and perfect lips are framed by stubble and all I can do is stare.

I don’t know if I’m intimidated or turned on or what.

“Can I help y . . .” he begins. There’s the faintest spark of recognition in his eyes.

I continue to stand there frozen.

“Fuck me,” he mutters, stalking closer. His gaze slides over me from top to toe, lingering on the small scars on my left cheek from the glass. There’s no attempt made to hide his curiosity. “It’s really you.”

Nichelle the nurse described him as being a nice young man. Nothing more. Certainly nothing that would prepare me for this. And I dispute “nice.” Ripped denim, battered leather, and a Harley-Davidson motorbike are not nice.

“Never seen you conscious before,” he says, getting even closer.

I just blink.

From beneath the collar and cuffs of his leather jacket emerge colorful tattoos. Lots of them. Blue waves and black letters. Red flames and white flowers. The man is a walking, talking piece of art. My parents would be horrified. Ryan too, for that matter. Not that any of their opinions matter. I need to forge my own path. Go my own way.

“How did you find me?” he asks with a faint frown.

“Oh. Ah.” I smooth down the front of my pale blue midi-length linen summer dress. My dark hair is slicked back in a low ponytail and my makeup is simple but perfect. It’s nice having some things I can control. “One of the nurses from the ICU told me about you and I wanted to come say thank you. But maybe an apology would be more in order?”

For a moment he pauses, then he asks, “Do you want to come in?”

Good question. The fact is, I don’t know. Nor do I know how to do this. Something made obvious when my mouth opens, but nothing comes out. So much nothing for such a length of time that it’s beyond embarrassing. Dammit. Whatever it is I came here looking for, it wasn’t this. Him. Whatever.

“We’ve never properly met, have we?” He holds out his big hand. “Hi, I’m Leif.”

“Anna.” 

While I’m tentative, he shows no such reserve. Strong, warm fingers enfold my own stiff and cold ones. There’s no attempt at a dominating handshake or groping. He gives my hand a squeeze, just the one gentle squeeze, before setting me free. 

“I’d say it’s nice to meet you, but that would be weird.” He grins conspiratorially and oh my God. Everything low in my stomach wakes up and takes notice. Shame on my lady parts, but the chemical pull of the man is ridiculous. It takes me a minute to remember that I’m a married woman. Mostly. Well, somewhat anyway. I certainly have no business smiling at him like I am. My life is messed up enough without adding a crush. Perhaps it’s in reaction to me, I don’t know, but the mirth disappears and his gaze becomes serious. A little bleak even. “I still have nightmares about that day, you know?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Not your fault.”

“I shouldn’t have come.”

“Don’t, Anna. Don’t look like that. I didn’t tell you to hurt you or make you uncomfortable. I was just . . . sharing.” His expression changes again, a more subdued smile taking the place of the brief hint of trauma. Then he suddenly winks at me all flirty like. I don’t know how to react. I can barely keep up. The man is a whirlwind. “Want to come in and have a beer with me?”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“I just . . . I don’t want to remind you of things you’d rather—”

“I want you to come inside. I wouldn’t have asked otherwise.”

A drink with a pretty wild man that I have a strange sort of history with or a swift return to safety and boredom? I don’t overthink it. I don’t even hesitate. “Then yes, Leif. I’d love to.”

About Kylie Scott


Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Connect with Kylie
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XujcZh
Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2GngiQq
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OiXx3I
Twitter: http://bit.ly/391pjJM
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Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2S7cc32
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Stay up to date with Kylie by joining her mailing list:
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Website: https://kyliescott.com/

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