Category Archives: #KU

RELEASE BLITZ – My Salvation (Elite Securities #2) by Jennifer Hanks

Title: My Salvation
Series: Elite Securities #2
Author: Jennifer Hanks
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 27, 2020
Blurb
Nick Collins doesn’t believe he deserves salvation. 
He’s spent years in the FBI chasing a man under the pretense of doing what’s right when
all along, revenge has been his one true motive.   After his life takes an unexpected turn, he vows to finish his mission and finally find the happiness he’s been denying himself for years.
That happiness lives less than a minute away.

And her name is Madeline Hughes.

Maddie has the ability to bring him back from the edge of the cliff he’s been balancing on.  As his only weakness over the years, she became the one person with the power to keep the good inside of him from succumbing to the darkness. 
And together they share a secret.
A secret that drives him with an intensity unlike anything he’s ever experienced and
promises a future he never thought he could have, but first he has to prove he’s worthy.
It’s the biggest mission of his life.
But one he refuses to lose.
The town of New Hope should brace.
Because Nick Collins is finally coming home.
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Author Bio
Jennifer Hanks is the author of The Dimarco Series as well as The Elite Securities Series. Her stories are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, all with the underlying message of the power and strength in love. She’s also a sucker for a Happily-Ever-After.
Her love of reading and books in general started at a very young age and has steadily grown into a love of writing as well. She admits to being addicted to all things romance and has no plans of quitting her habit. Jennifer lives in Pennsylvania with her two children. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found with her kids at their various activities. Her house is frequently
filled with any combination of her children’s friends, nieces, nephews and a variety of pets.
Author Links


RELEASE BLITZ – Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door by Lucy Score

Title: Riley Thorn and the Dead Guy Next Door
Author: Lucy Score
Genre: Psychic Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 27, 2020
A nice, normal life. Is that too much to ask? For Riley Thorn it is. Divorced. Broke. Living with a pack of elderly roommates. And those hallucinations she’s diligently ignoring? Her tarot card-dealing mom is convinced they’re clairvoyant visions.Just when things can’t get worse, a so-hot-it-should-be-illegal private investigator shows up on her doorstep looking for a neighbor…who turns up murdered.

Nick Santiago doesn’t play well with others. Unless the “others” are of the female persuasion. Wink. He’s a rebel, a black sheep, a man who prefers a buffet of options to being stuck with the same entrée every night, if you catch his drift.

When the pretty, possibly psychic Riley lands at the top of the list of suspects, Nick volunteers to find out whodunit. Only because he likes solving mysteries not because he wants to flex his heroic muscles for the damsel in distress.

All they have to do is figure out who pulled the trigger, keep the by-the-book detective with a grudge at bay, and deal with a stranger claiming he was sent to help Riley hone her psychic gifts. All before the killer discovers she’s a loose end that requires snipping.




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.


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RELEASE BLITZ – Tackling Love (Tackling #1) by Kathleen Kelly

Title: Tackling Love
Series: Tackling #1
Author: Kathleen Kelly

Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: August 20, 2020
Blurb
Colton Anders
Quarterback for the New England Warriors.
Playboy, cocky, self-assured, used to getting what he wants.
Skye Hadley
Teacher at a high-profile private school.
Quiet, plays it safe, never break the rules.
Unexpectedly, their two worlds collide.
Colton tempts Skye one night and she throws caution to the wind, taking him home.
Unknowingly propelling herself into a world filled with fans, media, and an abundance of
unwanted attention.
The media are grueling, but their chemistry is undeniable. Vulnerable in lust, Skye wants
nothing more than to give in to her heart’s desires.

With the world watching, will Colt be able to win Skye over in this fun, sports,
romance?

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Author Bio
Kathleen Kelly was born in Penrith, NSW, Australia. When she was four her family moved to Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Although born in NSW she considers herself a QUEENSLANDER!!
She married her childhood sweetheart and they live in Toowoomba.
Kathleen enjoys writing contemporary, romance novels with a little bit of steam. She draws her inspiration from family, friends and the people around her. She can often be found in cafes writing and observing the locals.

If you have any questions about her novels or would like to ask Kathleen a question she can be contacted via e-mail:
kathleenkellyauthor@gmail.com
or she can be found on Facebook. She loves to be contacted by those that love her books. 
Author Links

RELEASE BLITZ – Home For Summer by J.W. Ashley

 

HOME FOR SUMMER

by J.W. Ashley

Release Date: August 20th

 

Add to Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53413537-home-for-summer

Make sure you enter this AMAZING giveaway from JW Ashley!!
ENTER HERE:
https://kingsumo.com/g/jfgzxw/home-for-summer-release-giveaway

 

AVAILABLE NOW!!
FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39ClAUT
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/333ZnO7
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/334i8B9
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2P3yMsr

 

 

Blurb:

Bestselling Author J.W. Ashley brings you a story full of heart, with the second book in her Home series, a standalone collection about returning home and finding redemption with those you left behind.

So there I was, half-naked and illegally swimming in the chancellor’s pool.

Hi, Kleo Turner here, and you can say I’ve made quite a few crappy decisions over the last two years. But what can I say? I spent the majority of that time attempting to party away crappy memories and drink myself into blissful ignorance (it didn’t work, by the way).

My latest fall from grace is followed closely with my return home to run my family’s summer youth camp. However, since an alcohol-loving woman with her own baggage carousel doesn’t make for the best counselor, my father informs me that he won’t be letting me run it alone…yet.

In walks Dean Lewis, massive pain in my ass and Turner Cove’s very own golden boy. He’s been running the camp in my absence and my father has decided that in order to prove myself capable, I have to work alongside him.

One wrong move, one bad decision, and I’ll be out of a future.

But this is my home. My place in the world, and I’ll pry that camp from Nerdean if it’s the last thing I do.

Sexy, broody, chip on his shoulder Dean Lewis has just become enemy number one.



About the Author:
J.W. Ashley is the author of over fifteen fantasy and contemporary romance novels. The former of which she writes as Jessica Wayne. During the day, she slays laundry and dishes as a homeschooling, stay at home mom of three, and at night her worlds come to life on paper.

She runs on coffee and wine (as well as the occasional whiskey!) and if you ever catch her wearing matching socks, it’s probably because she grabbed them in the dark.

She has always believed in the power of true love and soul mates, even if sometimes we have to work a little harder to find ours.

Jessica lives in Texas with her husband, kids, their two German Shepherd’s who think they’re cats, and a fluffy orange cat who thinks he’s a dog.

You can usually find her in her Facebook group, The Wayne-O’s, or keep in touch by subscribing to her newsletter where she shares updates as well as shenanigans she finds herself in.

 

Connect w/J.W. Ashley:

Website: https://www.jessicawayne.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJWAshley
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jwashleysredeemers
Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorjwashley
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorjwashley/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6535415.J_W_Ashley
Bookbub: https://bit.ly/2WuSkcm
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2A7QxCD
Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/SubscribeJWAshleyNewsletter



RELEASE BLITZ – Texting Titan by Kaci Rose

Title: Texting Titan
Author: Kaci Rose
Genre: Steamy Sports Romance
Release Date: August 20, 2020
Blurb
A football player, a secret crush, and the Hail Mary text that would change everything…

Avery had no idea who the mystery text came from, but she owed them a thank you. Because of their message, she showed up at a party for the football team and caught her boyfriend cheating. But the messages don’t stop there. Whoever the person she nicknamed Titan truly was, they offered her
support and friendship when Avery needed it most. Now, she finds herself longing to meet her hero face-to-face.

Denver isn’t sure if Avery even remembers the kiss they shared freshman year, but he’s thought about it every day since. As much as he wanted to be with her, family obligations pulled him away. It was torture watching her
date another member of his football team, yet he never would have intervened if they were happy. One thing he wouldn’t do was stand back and watch as his buddy cheats on her time and again. When it’s revealed that he is her mysterious Titan, Denver prays it will be the beginning of his second chance.

But his family responsibilities haven’t lessened. And her trust in football players has been destroyed. Can the pair score a touchdown into their happily-ever-after under the scrutiny of the stadium lights?

This is a Steamy, Small Town, College Football Romance. No Cliffhangers.
As always there is a satisfying Happy Ever After.
If you love steamy romances with insta love, hot love scenes, small towns, and
football, then this one is for you.  

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


NOW LIVE – All New Cocky Hero Club series

COCKY HERO CLUB
Release Date: August 16, 2020
Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward are excited to bring you the Cocky Hero Club: original works from various authors inspired by Keeland and Ward’s New York Times bestselling Cocky Bastard series.
EGOTISTICAL JERK
BY A.K. MACBRIDE
I had one goal: To learn from Sebastian Ryker.
He was an award-winning physician in his field of medicine.
A genius who could diagnose you with the barest of symptoms.
The best of the best.
Too bad he turned out to be an egotistical jerk.
Mere hours into my first day, I realized that the man I had idolized for years didn’t live up to the hype.
He was rude, arrogant, and totally full of… himself.
It was clear that my presence bothered him, that I was nothing more than an irritation.
So, why did I want to melt into a puddle whenever those dark eyes were trained
on me?
And why didn’t I listen when my head warned my heart that he’d break it in two?
I had one goal: To learn from Sebastian Ryker, not fall in love with him.
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CONNECT WITH A.K. MACBRIDE


BOSSY BILLIONAIRE
BY CHIQUITA DENNIE
Ethan West is a man of few words. He justifies nothing for no one.  He’s determined to enter the political race in New York. Not even an astute and gorgeous woman as Maya Armstrong will stop him. A bitter ex-lover blows up his playboy lifestyle to the media and tries to ruin his chances with any woman that enters his life.
Maya’s reputation precedes her on and off the screen. As the host of Spotlight with Maya, it’s her job to take people to task and hold them accountable, but when billionaire banker turned candidate, Ethan West, sits on her proverbial couch, sparks fly in more ways than one. 
They both try and prove the other wrong throughout the campaign, but a past ex’s and a one night stand may cause more drama than neither one wanted to see.
Find out what happens when two alpha personalities collide! Will their rift end his
campaign, or will it be the beginning of something much, much bigger, like romance?

Purchase Links

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CONNECT WITH 
CHIQUITA DENNIE


CONTEMPTUOUS CEO
BY K.L. MYERS

Alexander (Xander) Livingston left college with the dream of becoming CEO of his uncle’s
technology company. Nine years later, all his dreams have come true. All except for one: marrying the love of his life.
Madison (Maddie) Hightower had always been a loner until Xander came along. Devastated after he left her behind to chase his dreams, she focused all her energy on
becoming president of a digital software company – the same business Xander is
slated to take over. Even after all these years, her attraction for Xander is still sizzling and palpable. He still makes her heart sing, but she isn’t sure if he feels the same way.
Xander is interested in the merger for two reasons. The first is the potential for growth
in the digital market, and the second is a chance to reconnect with Maddie. He’s never forgotten her. She was supposed to be by his side as he climbed the corporate ladder, and now he has the opportunity to swoop in, buy the company, and have Maddie working under him. Literally.
But Maddie had a secret. One she never told Xander when he left her in California and
headed to the East Coast— a secret she never thought he’d ever uncover.
The merger of their companies will bring Xander face to face with Maddie’s life-altering
betrayal. How he handles this discovery will determine the future for both and decide the fates of these two star-crossed lovers.

ADD TO GOODREADS

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CONNECT WITH K.L. MYERS


BRITISH BLACK SHEEP
BY LAUREN SMITH
He is exactly the kind of man Brie Honeyweather swore never to love…or lust after ever again: a sexy, arrogant, British bad boy in a designer suit. Alec is the last person Brie wants to be stuck on an international flight to London with, but hey…at least they’re in first class.When their flight has to make an emergency landing in a snowstorm just before Christmas, Brie and Alec are thrown together in a single bedroom in a tiny English village. As the snowstorm rages outside, things get intense and emotions and lust run hot. Alec reminds Brie just how much she misses being with a man and how easy it is to fall head over heels too fast.

What should have been an amazing one-night stand turns into a week-long secret romance at Alec’s family estate when Brie realizes her new boss is Alec’s mother, a British countess. While Brie tries to focus on writing a Christmas book with the countess, all she can think about is getting back into bed with Alec.

She shouldn’t fall for the arrogant brit, especially when their lives are oceans apart and neither of them wants a serious relationship. But Christmas magic has a way of working miracles. Maybe Santa will bring her a happy ending after all…

ADD TO GOODREADS

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AUDACIOUS FIANCÉ
BY LIZ LOVELOCK
Years ago, he broke me.
Now he’s back with a proposition.
He needs a fake fiancée, and I’m the one he’s come to.
Audacious— that’s how I would describe him. He was my first love, my first kiss, and my
first heartbreak, from which I never truly healed.
Kane was once the man of my dreams, on paper—strong, handsome, and a complete charmer. But the problem is, he has never given a damn about anyone but himself.
I’ve never witnessed a desperate man until Kane knocked on my door with literally the
proposal of a lifetime.
I must admit, it’s ironic he’s come to me given the way things ended between us.
It’s possibly the worst idea ever, but I need the money. How do I not fall for Kane all over again and risk history repeating itself? Only time will tell.
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COCKY CARPENTER
BY MAGGIE MUNDY

A year in Australia working as a doctor sounds like a great idea to Autumn. She can
escape the cold English weather, her ex-husband and a stalker. A year to get her life back together and not have any romantic involvements.
‘Love them and leave them wanting’ is Brett’s motto. That is until he sees Doctor Autumn
Blake. This lady just might get through that tough layer he has built around himself.
Can the sexual chemistry they feel be just that, or could it be more?
Is one year long enough for these two people to forget their pasts and grab onto a chance
of love or will they lose it forever.
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Cocky Hero Club

RELEASE BLITZ – Firestorm (Everyday Heroes) by Ellie Masters


 

 

Firestorm by Ellie Masters is now live!

Don’t miss this angsty, steamy contemporary romantic suspense set in K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes World that will tug at your heartstrings and have your heart racing!

Evelyn Thornton is running from her past. Asher La Rouge is forging his future. A firestorm will unite them, but will they survive the burn?

Asher La Rouge

As CEO of La Rouge Vineyards, eldest of the infamous La Rouge triplets, and volunteer firefighter, I can have any woman I want.

People think my life is perfect.

It’s not.

I’ve been burned before.

By my ex-girlfriend.

By the demands of running the family business.

And by a wildfire which threatens the wine harvest.

With my livelihood on the line, I rush into action in my role as a woodland firefighter.

The last thing I expect to find in the inferno is a beautiful woman struggling to survive.

When sparks fly between us, they ignite a firestorm too strong to resist.

After a shoddy arson investigation implicates Evelyn in setting the destructive blaze, I’m determined to prove her innocence.

But sinister forces are determined to keep us apart. Can our love survive, or will it be extinguished along with our lives?


  
Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

US: https://amzn.to/2B72Uje
WW: mybook.to/firestorm  

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3igcBwz




Firestorm is written in New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg’s Everyday Heroes World, which is one of two KB Worlds projects. With over 100 authors, who were selected by and are working with K. Bromberg, these stories will be fan fiction at its finest—and sexiest. Devoted fans of the Driven and Everyday Heroes series will have the opportunity to revisit their favorite characters and settings. You can find out more about K. Bromberg and the KB Worlds at kbworlds.com

KB Worlds Amazon Page: https://amzn.to/3dpfvuX 
KB Worlds Facebook Group: https://bit.ly/2Vez4Aa 
KB Worlds Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2B226Mo

 


Meet Ellie

Ellie writes the kind of heart-stopping, pulse-pounding, can’t-stop-reading romance filled with all your sexy, swoon-worthy, alpha men. They have to be, because the heroines Ellie writes are strong women with take charge attitudes.

International, bestselling, multi-genre author, Ellie writes the stories she loves to read. Dark romance lover? Sweet contemporary romance? How about a romantic suspense to whet your appetite? Ellie writes it all. Don’t wait any longer, your next book boyfriend is waiting for you.

Born in the South, raised under the Hawaiian sun, Ellie has traveled the globe while in service to her country. The love of her life, her amazing husband, is her number one fan and biggest supporter. And yes! He’s read every word she’s written.
 

 

Connect with Ellie

Facebook: https://bit.ly/3kuZKrm   
Facebook Group: https://bit.ly/33KmoGm   
Instagram: https://bit.ly/3ktMvHh   

RELEASE BLITZ – Troublemaker by Kayley Loring

Title: Troublemaker
Author: Kayley Loring
Genre: Steamy Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 13, 2020
Blurb
TO: Alex Vega
FROM: Emilia Stiles
SUBJECT: Hello
Dear Mr. Vega,
I felt it necessary to follow up on today’s meeting, since we weren’t able to speak candidly in front of your son.
I was shocked to discover that you are Ryder’s dad. Given that your ex-wife will be out of the country for a while and you are currently his
primary caregiver, I’m sure you understand why we need to establish boundaries and etiquette. I think it would be best if we just pretend that we met in person for the first time today.
Your son is a very bright (flirtatious and talkative) student and since his education is a top priority for both of us, I hope I can count on you to respectfully refrain from grinning at me, using that sexy tone of voice, and undressing me with your annoyingly beautiful brown eyes if we should happen to interact with each other again in the future.
Thanks so much,
Miss Stiles

TO: Emilia Stiles
FROM: Alex Vega
SUBJECT: Re: Well, hello again…
Dear Miss Stiles,
Great to hear from you. My son’s education is indeed a top priority. As such, I respectfully agree to refrain from doing all of the aforementioned things.
However, I can’t promise to stop thinking about that kiss at the bar this summer. I’ve been thinking about it for the past month. It’s interesting how humorless and uptight you are about my son’s totally awesome personality, given that I have personally witnessed just how flirtatious and talkative you yourself can be when mildly intoxicated.
You’re so welcome,
Alex
P.S. I volunteered to be a chaperone for your next field trip. See you then.
Purchase Links
99c for a limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Audio Announcement
Releasing in September
NARRATED BY ZACHARY WEBBER
& MACKENZIE CARTWRIGHT

COVER REVEAL – Edge of Tomorrow (Arrow’s Edge MC #3) by Freya Barker

Title: Edge Of Tomorrow

Series: Arrow’s Edge MC, #3

Author: Freya Barker


Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 21, 2020
Photographer: KW Photography
Models: Darrin Dedmond & Baby John
Hosted by: Buoni Amici Press, LLC.

Solitude and motor oil meets soul food and wariness

I’m a grease-stained enigma.
A watcher, a protector, an ex-con, and a mechanic.
My name is Brick.
I’m old enough to know good things come to those who wait, and hungry enough to go after what I want.
I am a proud independent.

A nurturer, a cook, a casualty, and a grandparent.
My name is Lisa.
I’m cautious enough to keep my distance, and too wise to let a chance at love pass me by.
We seem unmatched—in race, in history, in lifestyle—but when tragedy leaves a baby in our care and a target on our backs, we discover the strength of family.

Unified.

Pre Order Your Copy Today!!

AMAZON

 

> https://ctt.ec/swU9c+ #PreOrder @Amazon #KU https://ctt.ec/34yEW+ #BAPpr “>

 


USA Today bestselling author Freya Barker loves writing about ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Driven to make her books about ‘real’ people; she creates characters who are perhaps less than perfect, each struggling to find their own slice of happy, but just as deserving of romance, thrills and chills in their lives.
Recipient of the ReadFREE.ly 2019 Best Book We’ve Read All Year Award for “Covering Ollie, the 2015 RomCon “Reader’s Choice” Award for Best First Book, “Slim To None”, and Finalist for the 2017 Kindle Book Award with “From Dust”, Freya continues to add to her rapidly growing collection of published novels as she spins story after story with an endless supply of bruised and dented characters, vying for attention!


Available in Kindle Unlimited

AMAZON

AMAZON



RELEASE BLITZ – Hooking Him (How to Catch an Alpha #3) by Aurora Rose Reynolds

Title: Hooking Him
Series: How to Catch an Alpha #3
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Blurb
Anna McAlister needs a new life. But that doesn’t mean she needs a new man. After leaving her fiancé and Chicago behind, she promises herself no dating until she finds what she’s looking for. But meeting one seriously hot and determined detective has her questioning herself.
Calvin Miller is that detective, and he’s been burned by women in the past. It’s easy for him to sleep alone and focus on his work, but the moment he lays eyes on Anna, he starts imagining sexy nights with her wrapped in his sheets. Maybe it’s time to get back out there.
But just as the attraction between them begins to sizzle, Anna’s past shows up to create trouble. And to make matters worse, a string of murders forces Calvin to juggle his new relationship and his career. His worst fear? That the two are somehow connected.
Can they find love together, or will her past and his duty sink their hopes?
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE


Excerpt
Suggestion 1
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING. DIDN’T YOUR MAMA TEACH YOU THAT?

ANNA

“Are you happy?” my friend Lucy asks, and I instinctively tighten my fingers around my cell phone as I put my bare feet up on the wooden rail in front of me. I’ve lived most of my life in the city, surrounded by skyscrapers and the constant sound of chatter and traffic, with air clogged with the scents of food and exhaust. Now, sitting on the back deck of my studio apartment in a small coastal town in South Carolina, with the ocean mere feet away, the sun warming my skin, and a slight breeze playing in my hair, I wonder how I survived in Chicago for so long.
“I’m getting there,” I answer, smiling as I watch a young family laughing and playing in the surf nearby.
“Even living in a small studio apartment and working at a bakery?” She sounds
skeptical, and I remind myself she just doesn’t understand. Like everyone else back in Chicago, she doesn’t get why I’d choose to go from making over $60,000 a year, living in a beautiful penthouse apartment, planning a wedding to a good man—who also happens to be gorgeous—to moving to a town where I know almost no one. Where I’m renting an apartment the size of my old bathroom and working a job that pays in a month what I used to make in a week.
“Even living in an apartment and working at the bakery,” I reply, keeping my tone neutral before adding quietly, “I do miss you, though.” It’s not a lie: Lucy has been in my life since I can remember. Our parents were friends, so we practically grew up together.
“I still don’t get it,” she says with a sigh, and my heart sinks. I keep hoping she will, but as the months pass, it’s becoming more and more clear that she won’t. None of my friends or family do. They don’t understand that I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to give everything up. Every day for years, I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror, disliking the materialistic, shallow woman I was becoming. Until one day I decided to do something about it.
“I should let you go. I’m sure you have stuff to do, and I promised Edie that I’d go with her to bingo.”
“Bingo? You’re playing bingo?” She laughs.
I can’t help the smile that tips up my lips. “Yeah, it’s actually kind of fun.”
“If you say so,” she says, sounding distracted, and then a moment later, a distinctive male voice in the background asks her something, and I know it’s Lance, my ex-fiancé, who’s a partner at her firm. “Sorry, I gotta go, Anna.”
“No problem,” I tell her, feeling nauseous. “Bye.” I hang up before she has a chance to reply and then sit forward, dropping my head into my hands as I think back to the look on Lance’s face when I gave him back his ring and told him that we were over. He didn’t say a word and walked away, looking devastated. The hardest part about leaving Chicago wasn’t the lifestyle I was giving up; it was losing him. Even though I wasn’t in love with him, he was my friend. For the five years we were in a relationship, he was a constant in my life, someone I depended on for support, and he was one of the few people who understood the dysfunctional relationship I had with my parents and encouraged me to take a step back from them when they hurt me with their carelessness.
Not wanting to spend the day dwelling on something that would leave me
depressed, I pull in a deep breath, expecting to inhale the fresh sea air, but
my nose wrinkles when the distinct scent of pot hits me. I open my eyes, get up
from my lounger, and stop midway across the deck when a big puff of smoke
floats up from the porch below. I walk quietly to the edge and look over the
rail, wondering if someone from the beach has decided to hide out and get high.
But then I shake my head when I see Dixie and Pearl, my landlady Edie’s best
friends, who are in their seventies, standing at her back door and sharing what
looks like a joint: an object that seems out of place, given their grandmotherly
appearance. Both women are dressed like they’re about to go golfing, in their
pastel polo shirts and khaki capris, all capped by white hair that’s styled,
like always, in an array of curls.
“Isn’t weed illegal?”
Both women jump, and Dixie, who’s holding the joint, tosses it away, yelling
“Oh shit!” while Pearl screams, searching until she finds me on the deck above.
“Anna!” Pearl says, glaring. “You scared the dickens out of me.”
“Dickens,” Dixie says with a giggle as the back door opens.
“What on earth is going on out here?” Edie asks, stepping outside wearing a
white linen outfit with her short hair feathered back from a gracefully aging
face.
“Anna tried to give us heart attacks,” Pearl says accusingly, pointing up at
me, and Edie tips her head back, smiling when she spots me.
Edie was the first person I met when I moved to South Carolina. She had an apartment for rent in her house, and when I answered the ad, she invited me over to view the space. I fell in love with it because it was right on the beach, but after spending an hour with her, I also wanted the apartment because it would give me an excuse to spend time with her. I didn’t understand why I was so drawn to her at first, but something about being in her presence made me feel hopeful. Then one night, over wine, she opened up about her past and told me about her ex-husband, who she was with for more than twenty years before she found the courage to leave him. And when she did, she found a way to be happy, even when he and her family were all sure she would come back with her tail tucked between her legs. I guess her story gave me the hope to fight for my own happiness.
“They’re smoking weed,” I inform her, waving my hand at both women.
“I have glaucoma.” Pearl plants her hands on her hips.
“Really?” I ask, and her eyes narrow on mine in challenge.
“It’s time for us to go anyway,” Edie announces.
“Found it!” Dixie shouts, and Pearl breaks her stare-down with me to turn to her friend, who holds up the joint like it’s a trophy.
“Anna.” My eyes move to Edie. “Meet us at the car. I want to get to the bingo hall before Carol so she doesn’t take our table.”
“That woman is annoying,” Dixie mutters.
“She’s such a show-off,” Pearl says, taking the joint from Dixie and wrapping what’s left of it in a tissue she pulls from her bra. “Who cares that you have five grandkids when they don’t even like you?”
“Right!” Dixie agrees while opening the door for Pearl to go inside before her.
“Meet us in the driveway,” Edie says, and I narrow my eyes on hers. “What?”
“I notice you’re not saying anything about them smoking pot. Did you smoke with
them?”
“Not today.” She winks, then disappears inside. I watch the door close behind her, unsure if she’s joking. She, Pearl, and Dixie might all be older than me, but you’d never know by the way they act and the things they say.
“Well, today should be interesting,” I sigh to myself before going into my apartment and shutting the door. I walk between my bed and the open kitchen to the closet and slide my feet into a pair of flip-flops before grabbing a plaid button-down shirt and tying it around my waist. I learned the first time Edie dragged me to the bingo hall that they keep the room a degree above freezing—something that wouldn’t have been bad if I hadn’t dressed for the heat and humidity outside. I stop and grab my keys, along with my purse, then lock up before taking the stairs down to the driveway, where Edie, Dixie, and Pearl are waiting.
“I can drive.” I hold up the keys to my Ford, and they all turn in my direction.
“Where’s the rest of your shorts?” Pearl asks, and I look down at my denim cutoffs, which are short but not any shorter than what girls wear nowadays. Still, they’re shorter than anything I would’ve worn a year ago.
“Oh, stop. If you had legs like hers, you’d show them off too,” Edie scolds, and I glance up, catching her shaking her head at her friend before she looks at me. “Anna, you drive like an old lady. You’re riding shotgun. Get in.” She presses a button on her keys, and the doors unlock.
“I don’t drive like an old lady,” I say to defend myself as I open the door to her red BMW convertible and pull the seat forward for Pearl and Dixie to get in the back.
“The last time I rode with you, you drove thirty in a fifty.”
“It was a construction zone. I was following the rules.”
“It was after eight at night. They weren’t even working.”
“Whatever.” I push the seat back into place and get in. I reach for my seat belt as she starts the engine and lowers the roof. As soon as the top locks into place, she backs out of the driveway, and I’m reaching out for the handle on the door when I hear her laugh.
“Relax, child. I’ve never gotten in an accident.”
“Really?” I glance at her quickly, not wanting to take my eyes off the road, even though I’m not the one driving.
“Well . . . maybe I should say I have never gotten into an accident that was my fault.”
“That sounds a little more believable,” I reply, then pull in a sharp breath as she turns onto the on-ramp for the highway and presses her foot more firmly on the gas. I hold my breath as she merges into traffic and then squeeze my eyes closed as she zooms forward to pass in front of a semi. I feel the car start to slow and open my eyes. I release the breath I’ve been holding as we take the next exit and stop at a red light. When the light turns green, my fingers tighten on the handle of the door, turning my knuckles white as she takes a right and presses the gas once more. I start to pray when she hugs the bumper of the car in front of us, and then my heart drops into my stomach when I hear the distinctive sound of police sirens.
“Oh shit,” comes from the back seat as Edie pulls over and places the car in park. I look over my shoulder and watch Pearl reach into her shirt, pull out a white tissue, and shove it under the seat in front of her.
Oh my God. “Was that your joint?” I shout, and Pearl glares at me.
“Just be cool. This isn’t a big deal.” Edie wraps her hand around my upper leg, and I focus on her and nod, not feeling cool at all. My leg starts to bounce as we wait for the officer to get out of his car, and by the time he gets to Edie’s window, it’s jumping like crazy.
“Edie.”
A deep voice greets us, and I turn my head, noticing first the long, masculine fingers wrapped around the top of the door, then dark jeans, a black belt with a badge attached, and a form-fitting blue button-down that’s tucked in, making it clear the guy is fit. I slowly lift my head as I take in his broad shoulders, and my heart starts to pound for a different reason when I reach his face. Holy wow, even with his eyes covered with a pair of silver aviators that look amazing on him, he’s still heart-stoppingly gorgeous. I stare at him, unsure if it’s his dark hair, sharp jaw, or full lips that have me entranced. All I know is it’s a good thing he has those glasses on. I don’t think I could handle seeing all of him at one time.
“Calvin, how’s your mom?” Pearl asks sweetly from the back seat, and he turns his head just slightly to look at her while I keep my eyes on him. Calvin—that name fits him. It makes me think of those old Calvin Klein ads with Marky Mark that my friends and I used to drool over.
“She’s good.”
“Tell her I say hello.”
“Will do.” He dips his chin before shifting his attention back to Edie. “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
“I have no idea,” Edie says. Then she asks, “Was I speeding?”
“You weren’t speeding. But I followed you onto the highway and off, and I’m a little concerned with your lack of turn signals and the way you tend to test the boundaries of your brakes when driving behind someone.”
“My car has great brakes,” she informs him with a smile.
“That might be, but I doubt you’d feel that way if the person you followed so closely had to hit their brakes and you, in turn, hit them.”
“You’re absolutely right.” She places her hand on her chest, looking surprised. “I never thought of that.”
“I’m sure.” His jaw tics, making my fingers, still on the handle, clench. “If I see you driving like that again, Edie, I’ll give you a ticket. And you and I both know you can’t have any more points on your license.”
Points? She already has points on her license?
“How many tickets have you gotten?” I blurt, and all eyes rest on me, including a pair covered with a silver tint.
“I still have my license,” Edie tells me.
“One more ticket and you won’t,” Calvin adds.
“One more ticket” meaning she’s gotten a few? “I knew I should have ignored my need to respect my elders and demanded to drive. First, Pearl and Dixie smoking a—”
“Pardon?” Calvin rumbles, cutting off the word joint, and my eyes widen. Oh crap. My mouth goes dry. I wave my hand in his direction and shake my head once more. “They were smoking a cigarette. Even at their age, they should know those things kill.” I can’t see his eyes, but I still feel them bore into mine. I shift in my seat but try to keep my expression neutral. “I’ll make sure Edie’s more careful when she’s behind the wheel.”
He acknowledges my statement with a grunt and comes out of his bent position, which forces me to tip my head back. “This is your last warning.” He taps Edie’s door before he walks back toward his car. I turn to watch him, thinking even from behind, his broad shoulders and slim waist are attractive.
“I can’t believe you were going to tell him that we were smoking a joint,” Pearl hisses.
“She didn’t and she covered for us,” Dixie mutters. “I don’t blame her for getting weird. He’s handsome, and that happens when you’re talking to a handsome man.”
“Do you think he’s handsome?” Edie asks me, and I look over at her, noting a calculating look in her eyes.
Damn.
“Of course she thinks he’s attractive. She’s female,” Pearl says from the back
seat.
“Well?” Edie asks.
“Um . . .” I shift under her stare. “He’s okay.”
“Okay?” Dixie snorts. “That man is not just okay, darling, and if you think that, you need to be checked by a doctor to confirm you actually have a pulse.”
“Whatever. Shouldn’t we go? Aren’t you the one who didn’t want to be late to bingo?”
“Fine, you win this one,” Edie says after a long moment, and then she puts the shifter in drive, flips on her turn signal, and checks her mirror. The moment she starts to pull away from the side of the road and into traffic, the car is jolted to the right, and the sounds of metal crunching and scraping fill the air.
With wide eyes and my heart pounding, I turn and meet a pair of mesmerizing blue eyes belonging to Calvin. Holy cow, we just sideswiped a cop! I drag my eyes off his and focus on Edie. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Are you?” Her eyes scan me from head to toe.
“I’m good.” I look over my shoulder and see Calvin backing up behind us, then look at the two wide-eyed women in the back seat. “Are you two all right?”
“I’m okay,” Pearl says shakily.
“Just a little shook up, but I’m okay,” Dixie replies.
“I’m going to make sure Calvin is all right.” I unhook my belt and open my door.
With my legs shaking, I walk around the back of the car, but I stop short when I see Calvin bent over and looking in the open trunk of his cruiser. Without even a glance in my direction, he booms, “Get back into the vehicle.”
“But—”
“Back in the vehicle.” He doesn’t move except to turn his head, and his eyes come to me. “It’s not safe for you to be out here.”
“I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” I tell him, and he comes out of his bent position and walks toward me slowly.
I should back away. I want to back away, but I hold my ground until he reaches out and wraps his hand around my upper arm.
“What are you doing?” I look at where he’s holding me and automatically try to tug free, but he doesn’t let go. Instead, he starts walking, forcing me to go with him. When we reach the passenger side of the car, he opens the door and urges me to sit.
“Stay,” he orders, and I blink up at him in disbelief.
“I’m not a dog you can just order to do something,” I hiss, tucking my feet into the car.
“Yeah, I know. My dog actually listens.” He slams the door and walks away, leaving me fuming.


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Author Bio
Aurora Rose Reynolds is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose wildly popular series include Until, Until Him, Until Her,
Underground Kings and Shooting Stars.
Her writing career started in an attempt to get the outrageously alpha men who resided in her head to leave her alone and has blossomed into an opportunity to share her stories with readers all over the world.
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