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BLOG TOUR ~ PAPI (an erotic true story) by J.C. Valentine

PAPI,
based on a true story
by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genres: Adult, Erotic, Short Story, Novella, Contemporary, Romance

NOW AVAILABLE! ONLY 99c!

SYNOPSIS:

A scintillating standalone novella based on a true story coming soon from bestselling author J.C. Valentine.

Dating is hard.
Especially when it’s a younger man.
Alejandro is everything I ever dreamed of:
Sexy.
Driven.
Dominant.
He’s my Spanish lover.
My every fantasy come true.
My weakness.
And he wants me. All of me. Maybe even more than I have to give.
But the way he talks to me…looks at me…touches me drives me crazy in the best way possible.
And he knows it.
He knows the power he holds over me…and he wields it like a blade…
Straight through my heart.
Everything I have, everything I am, is in his hands…
Because Alejandro is everything and nothing I expected.
He may be my downfall…
But I am more than eager to take the plunge.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE

J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! 

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BLOG TOUR ~ Blind Faith (Steel Jackals MC #2) by Nancy Haviland


BLIND FAITH
Steel Jackals MC #2
by Nancy Haviland

Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, MC

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SYNOPSIS:

After years of solitude, Tish O’Malley made the mistake of assuming happiness was finally hers. But before she can relax her guard and enjoy her protective—albeit secretive—Sergeant at Arms, another selfish choice made by her unconscionable drug-addict mother brings about deadly consequences. With Rachel conveniently tucked away behind bars, her massive debt is laid at Tish’s feet.

Josh “The Guardian” Sylvan knew when he claimed his young queen, her well-being would become his life’s purpose. When her mother’s senseless idiocy brings his estranged father’s notorious club to town, to protect Tish, Josh must consider taking out a member of the Obsidian Devils MC. Can he risk it all? Jeopardize his brothers and their families as they stand at his back, preparing to fight this personal battle?

Everything changes when Josh discovers his and Tish’s love has produced the one thing that will bind her to his side forever. Only then does indecision flee, and possessive rage takes over.

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DON’T MISS WHERE IT ALL STARTED!
GRAB YOUR COPY OF BLIND DEVOTION, BOOK #1 IN THE STEEL JACKALS MC SERIES!

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SYNOPSIS:

Nineteen-year-old Tish O’Malley has loved Josh “The Guardian” Sylvan since she was a child. When her reticent hero returns to Queen Creek after serving a three-year prison term meant for her mother, Tish is through pretending this man nearly twice her age isn’t the only happiness she’s ever known.

Will the viciously loyal Sergeant at Arms stand by his instant and brutal rejection of the woman Tish has become? Or will he give in and claim her as his young queen despite his best efforts to resist the one female who should never have made it on his radar?

*PLEASE BE AWARE: Blind Devotion was formerly released in November 2015 as HIS YOUNG QUEEN by TIFF P. RAINE. It has been revised, given a new title and cover, but it hasn’t been altered enough for any information to be missed if you don’t re-read before continuing with the books that will follow. This is the intro to the STEEL JACKALS MC series, and it’s in Tish O’Malley’s POV only. Hers and Josh’s story will continue in dual POV in BLIND FAITH, which is scheduled for release at the end of February 2017.

**WARNING: Contains drug use, profanity, and explicit sexual situations. If you’re not comfortable with frequent use of the C-words or a demanding alpha biker fresh out of prison, please skip reading this book. +18

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ABOUT NANCY HAVILAND


Nancy Haviland is an award-winning, bestselling romance (suspense, erotic, contemporary) author who writes about her possessive alpha males and their obsessively loved women from her home in Southwestern Ontario. Her greatest loves are her family and that ever-present cooling cup of coffee at her elbow.

To stay up-to-date on new releases, click the yellow button above or join her reader list
To stay in the loop, you can also visit www.nancyhaviland.com!

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BLOG TOUR ~ Wanderer (Nomad #2) by Janine Infante Bosco

WANDERER
Nomad #2
by Janine Infante Bosco

Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, MC, Romantic Suspense

#FREE with #KindleUnlimited!

SYNOPSIS:

Cobra

I’ve lived two lives.

One full of innocence and one full of sin.

I mourned the perfect life I was born into and made it my duty to chase the phantom who stole it from me.

Revenge, mayhem and loss are all I know.

I am the lone man—I am the wanderer.

The former nomad—now, Satan’s deadliest soldier.

The two worlds were never supposed to collide. Innocence and sin aren’t made to coexist yet somehow my past bleeds into the present and I find myself facing my biggest regret…I find myself face to face with her—the girl who got away.

The girl I let go.

The woman I’ll ruin if I stay.

Celeste

Our young love was marred by violence.

Our guilt destroyed us, fate tempted us but, it was he who broke us.

They say time heals all, but all time did was dull the ache of his abandonment.

Now, dressed in leather, covered in ink the boy I mourned is now a man—a man tormented by his demons.

In another life we were everything to one another.

In this life we’re strangers.

 

*NOTE* Each book in the Nomad series can be read as a STANDALONE.

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#WANDERINTOCHAOS

#THENOMADSERIES

WANDERER PLAYLIST 

 

DON’T MISS THE BIKER FULL OF DIRTY PROMISES!
GRAB YOUR COPY OF #DRIFTER, BOOK #1 IN THE NOMAD SERIES!

AVAILABLE #FREE with #KINDLEUNLIMITED!

SYNOPSIS:

 
“Stryker”
 
I’m a drifter.
A man born to ride through this world alone.
There used to be a time when I thought I was the rescuing type. I enlisted in the Marines and made it my duty—I was going to save lives.
I was going to be a true American hero.
But God had another plan.
Or maybe Satan did.
For everything I touch finds mortality.
I’m no hero.
I’m nothing.
I’m a veteran biker, a former nomad who survived war only to live in hell.
Now I ride with the Satan’s Knights of Brooklyn and I’m drifting into a different kind of chaos.
The kind that revolves around a pretty girl with intoxicating green eyes.
A girl who has the power to turn me inside out.
A girl who doesn’t need anyone to rescue her because she’s her own savior.
Until she’s not.
But a man plagued by war and the devil inside him can never be her hero.

Gina Spinelli

Strong. Independent. Fierce.
They are the three things I strived to be.
But sometimes being successful can be lonely.
Sometimes a girl just wants to be a girl and have someone take care of her.
Maybe even love her.
Sometimes the strong become vulnerable.
Or worse, the victor becomes the victim.
Sometimes we lose control or in my case it’s stripped from you.
Defeated. Broken. Haunted.
They are the three things I have become.
In my darkest hour I admit defeat.
In my darkest hour I need one person.
I need him.
Stryker.

***NOTE: DRIFTER is a STANDALONE novel. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, sensitive subjects, offensive language, and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up. ***

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ABOUT JANINE INFANTE BOSCO


Janine Infante Bosco
lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.

She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.

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RELEASE BLITZ ~ Wanderer (Nomad #2) by Janine Infante Bosco

WANDERER
Nomad #2
by Janine Infante Bosco

Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, MC, Romantic Suspense

NOW AVAILABLE!

99c (Release Day Only!)
or #FREE with #KindleUnlimited!

SYNOPSIS:


Cobra

I’ve lived two lives.

One full of innocence and one full of sin.

I mourned the perfect life I was born into and made it my duty to chase the phantom who stole it from me.

Revenge, mayhem and loss are all I know.

I am the lone man—I am the wanderer.

The former nomad—now, Satan’s deadliest soldier.

The two worlds were never supposed to collide. Innocence and sin aren’t made to coexist yet somehow my past bleeds into the present and I find myself facing my biggest regret…I find myself face to face with her—the girl who got away.

The girl I let go.

The woman I’ll ruin if I stay.


Celeste

Our young love was marred by violence.

Our guilt destroyed us, fate tempted us but, it was he who broke us.

They say time heals all, but all time did was dull the ache of his abandonment.

Now, dressed in leather, covered in ink the boy I mourned is now a man—a man tormented by his demons.

In another life we were everything to one another.

In this life we’re strangers.

 

*NOTE* Each book in the Nomad series can be read as a STANDALONE.

 

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#WANDERINTOCHAOS

#WANDERER – Excerpt

© Copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved by Janine Infante Bosco

Drawing in a deep breath, I reach for the knob, twisting it until I open the door and step into dangerous terrain. Closing the door behind me I stagger into the darkness of the room, feeling along the walls as I walk further into Cobra’s territory. A waft of stale smoke assaults my senses as I glance around the small, dated room. My roaming gaze comes to a halt, landing on the man twisted in the sheets of the bed. Tucking my bottom lip between my teeth, a wave of longing washes over me as I stare at the corded muscles of his back and all the colorful tattoos that seem to take up every inch of his skin. So many colors, so much story in each piece. As I gravitate toward the bed the urge to trace every single one consumes me.

It’s not the promise of the man I’m hooked on.

It’s the man.

It’s this incredibly mysterious man that I used to know.

“I’m not dreaming,” he mumbles into the pillow, startling me.

My knees touch the edge of his bed as his thick, raspy voice blankets me and sends a shiver up my spine. It’s not new—that voice was there years ago too. It’s the voice of sex, of carnal pleasure and the promise of bliss. It’s predatory, feral and so damn tempting.

“No you’re not.” The words are a breathy whisper, a tone he’ll recognize. One that is as sinful as his.

We’re in trouble.

So much fucking trouble.

His head slowly rises from between the pillows and his eyes slice to me, squinting as if he’s witnessing a mirage.

“Feel you in my bones, Cel,” he explains huskily before dropping his face into his pillow.

“I’m sorry, Deuce let me in. I could go, maybe—”

He rolls over on his side, the sheets twist at his waist, leaving very little to the imagination as his eyes skate over me.

“Don’t know why you’re here, don’t care too much either, but thankful as fuck for whatever brought you here, gorgeous,” he says, a lazy smirk tipping his lips as he extends a hand. “Get over here,” he demands.

I should have been prepared.

I should have known that a higher force always has a plan for us.

I should have been stronger.

I should have known he’d hook me with a look and I’d crawl into bed with him.

I should have known old habits are hard to break.

I should have known old loves never die.


#THENOMADSERIES



DON’T MISS THE BIKER FULL OF DIRTY PROMISES!
GRAB YOUR COPY OF #DRIFTER, BOOK #1 IN THE NOMAD SERIES!

AVAILABLE #FREE with #KINDLEUNLIMITED!

SYNOPSIS:

 
“Stryker”
 
I’m a drifter.
A man born to ride through this world alone.
There used to be a time when I thought I was the rescuing type. I enlisted in the Marines and made it my duty—I was going to save lives.
I was going to be a true American hero.
But God had another plan.
Or maybe Satan did.
For everything I touch finds mortality.
I’m no hero.
I’m nothing.
I’m a veteran biker, a former nomad who survived war only to live in hell.
Now I ride with the Satan’s Knights of Brooklyn and I’m drifting into a different kind of chaos.
The kind that revolves around a pretty girl with intoxicating green eyes.
A girl who has the power to turn me inside out.
A girl who doesn’t need anyone to rescue her because she’s her own savior.
Until she’s not.
But a man plagued by war and the devil inside him can never be her hero.

Gina Spinelli

Strong. Independent. Fierce.
They are the three things I strived to be.
But sometimes being successful can be lonely.
Sometimes a girl just wants to be a girl and have someone take care of her.
Maybe even love her.
Sometimes the strong become vulnerable.
Or worse, the victor becomes the victim.
Sometimes we lose control or in my case it’s stripped from you.
Defeated. Broken. Haunted.
They are the three things I have become.
In my darkest hour I admit defeat.
In my darkest hour I need one person.
I need him.
Stryker.

***NOTE: DRIFTER is a STANDALONE novel. Contains explicit sexual situations, violence, sensitive subjects, offensive language, and mature topics. Recommended for age 18 years and up. ***

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#DRIFTINGINTOCHAOS



ABOUT JANINE INFANTE BOSCO


Janine Infante Bosco
lives in New York City, she has always loved reading and writing. When she was thirteen, she began to write her own stories and her passion for writing took off as the years went on. At eighteen, she even wrote a full screenplay with dreams of one day becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild.


Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.


She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.


Website
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreadsNewsletterAmazon


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RELEASE BLITZ ~ PAPI, an erotic true story by J.C. Valentine

PAPI, based on a true story
by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Genres: Adult, Erotic, Short Story, Novella, Contemporary, Romance

NOW AVAILABLE! ONLY 99c!

 

 

SYNOPSIS:

A scintillating standalone novella based on a true story coming soon from bestselling author J.C. Valentine.

Dating is hard.
Especially when it’s a younger man.
Alejandro is everything I ever dreamed of:
Sexy.
Driven.
Dominant.
He’s my Spanish lover.
My every fantasy come true.
My weakness.
And he wants me. All of me. Maybe even more than I have to give.
But the way he talks to me…looks at me…touches me drives me crazy in the best way possible.
And he knows it.
He knows the power he holds over me…and he wields it like a blade…
Straight through my heart.
Everything I have, everything I am, is in his hands…
Because Alejandro is everything and nothing I expected.
He may be my downfall…
But I am more than eager to take the plunge.

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ABOUT J.C. VALENTINE


J.C. Valentine is the USA Today and International bestselling author of the Night Calls and Wayward Fighters Series and the Forbidden Trilogy. Her vivid imagination and love of words and romance had her penning her own romance stories from an early age, which, despite being poorly edited and written longhand, she forced friends and family members to read. No, she isn’t sorry.

Living in the Northwest, she has three amazing children and far too many pets. Among the many hats she wears, J.C. is an entrepreneur. Having graduated with honors, she holds a Bachelor’s in English and when she isn’t writing, you can find her editing for fellow authors.

Sign up for J.C.’s newsletter and never miss a thing! 

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BLOG TOUR ~ Distracting the Duke by Elizabeth Keysian

Distracting the Duke
by Elizabeth Keysian

Publication Date: February 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Historical Romance

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SYNOPSIS:

Devonshire, England, 1820

Determined to avoid the strife-filled marriage of his parents, Marcus, the Duke of Ulvercombe, wants an amenable, biddable wife, and has set his cap for a certain pretty miss. Unfortunately, her vastly opinionated, frustrating, and lamentably beautiful guardian, Lady Clara Tinniswood, keeps distracting him, tempting him to consider a far more tempestuous—and passionate—union.

Recently widowed Lady Clara Tinniswood wants only to organize a quiet new life for herself, beyond the control of any man. But one shockingly unguarded moment while confronted by Marcus’s gloriously naked body catapults her headlong into a forbidden passion and threatens to undermine all her well-laid plans.

Even if Marcus abandons his sweet ideal and surrenders to his growing desire for Clara, there’s one unalterable issue which could destroy their hopes forever…

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Keysian felt destined to write historical romance due to her Cornish descent, and an ancestral connection to the Norse god Odin. Being an only child gave her plenty of time to read, create imaginary worlds, produce her own comics, and write sketches and a deplorably bad musical for an amateur dramatics group.

Three decades spent working in museums and archaeology fired Elizabeth’s urge to write, as did living on a Knights Templar estate, with a garage full of skeletons, a resident ghost and a moat teeming with newts.

Elizabeth lives near Bath in England with her partner and cats.

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BLOG TOUR ~ Wolf Moon by Lisa Kessler

WOLF MOON
Moon#7
by Lisa Kessler

Publication Date: February 6, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select Otherworld, Paranormal Romance, Standalone, Werewolves, Enemies to Lovers

BUY:

 
 
SYNOPSIS:

As the last Pack member without a mate, Luke Reynolds has become an outsider. When he takes a job as the head horse trainer Sedona, Arizona, he’s looking forward to starting a new life. But everything changes the night he finds beautiful woman stranded on the side of the highway.

Raven Wood has been bitten and turned against her will. Luckily, her spirit is stronger than most, and she has every intention of escaping the Sedona Pack. Somehow. The sexy lone wolf who rescues her might be just the answer she’s looking for.

But the Sedona Pack Alpha has a mission, and unless Luke and Raven can stop him, they’ll lose everything.

Author’s Note: While a part of a series, each book in the Moon series, including WOLF MOON, can be read as a STANDALONE!

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ABOUT LISA KESSLER

Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.

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BLOG TOUR ~ His Fake Alien Fiancee by Patricia Eimer


His Fake Alien Fiancee
Out of this World #2
by Patricia Eimer

Publication Date: February 6, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select Otherworld, Standalone, Sci-Fi, Romance, Funny, Fake Relationship

BUY:

 
 

SYNOPSIS:

Princess Perripraxis not only has to find a fiancé—and fast—she’s got to find one who doesn’t mind that her “no makeup” face has green and purple scales. Otherwise, Daddy Dearest has plans that don’t include Perri’s compliance. Candidate Number One: Her sexy human best friend, Brandt.

Bartender Brandt Turner didn’t need all those years in the army to teach him never to leave a man behind. Or an alien princess in need of a pretend fiancé. If she needs someone to play the lovesick fool to convince her dad to let her stay on Earth, well then, he’ll let the world think Cupid finally took him out.

But Perri’s father has no intention of playing nice—and he’s not above cruel and unusual alien torture to make things go his way. But Brandt is willing to complete the mission…however far he has to go.

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ABOUT PATRICIA EIMER

Patricia Eimer is a suburban mom who has days where she feels like she’s barely hanging on. She currently lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her two wonderful kids and a husband that learned the gourmet art of frozen pizzas to give her more time to write. When she’s not writing—or shuttling her children to a hundred different places a day– she can be found trying to cook (and sometimes blowing up hard boiled eggs), reading and arguing with her dogs about plot points. Most days the Beagle wins but the Dalmatian is in close second and her mastiff puppy is making a break for the inside. Patricia meanwhile is a longshot fourth.

When she’s not writing she can be found on Facebook, at her website or blogging about her attempts at cooking and her complete inability to craft as a contributor to the Suburban Flail Blog.  She is also a connoseiur of really bad science jokes.

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BLOG TOUR ~ Worth the Wait (Kingston Ale House #4) by AJ Pine

WORTH THE WAIT
Kingston Ale House #4
by AJ Pine

Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Select, Contemporary Romance

BUY:

 

Synopsis:

I like to think of myself as a man of pleasure…I enjoy a good pint of ale, being in the arms of a beautiful woman, and living by my own rules. The only thing I try to avoid? Commitment. And I’ve got a three-year success rate to prove it.

I wasn’t planning on Grace—the beautiful, funny, totally off-limits massage therapist who keeps popping up in my life. She’s on a six-month mission to rid her life of toxins. No alcohol. No red meat. And, yeah, no men. I’m talking full-on man cleanse.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t…and the only way to keep her in my life is to live by her rules. I’ll need to prove to a woman who’s lost all trust in men that I’m worthy of her love. And do it all without so much as a single kiss.

The only problem? If I win, I’ll lose the one thing I swore I’d never give up. My heart.

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Excerpt:

Chicago Tribune: Arts and Entertainment

Saturday, December 17, 8:00 a.m.

City Dweller’s Man Cleanse Ends in Bar Brawl

By Jennifer Bloom

Popular microbrew and neighborhood eatery Kingston Ale House was home not only to owner Jamie Kingston’s wedding rehearsal last night but also to local reality television history.

Grace Bailey—daughter of the dynamic prosecuting duo behind the Law Offices of Bailey, Bailey, and Dawson (Dawson being Bailey’s older sister)—was set to end her six-month cleanse by introducing local viewers to Mr. Right, the man she’d chosen to kiss on live television after six months of no sex, last night at Kingston Ale House. Bailey had been following the tenets of the New York Times best-seller, Man Cleanse: Six Months to a Healthy, Happy You…and the Road to True Love, by Suzanne Summerville. Additionally, she’d partnered with Whitney Gaines at local news affiliate WBN to chronicle her cleanse and search for Mr. Right with the promise of a $25,000 prize if she remained steadfast in her abstinence and had her first kiss on air. The local public followed Bailey’s journey on the Facebook page set up by the station, which was supposed to culminate in a live broadcast last night. Instead the evening ended with one arrest, one trip to the ER, an impromptu press conference, but—you guessed it—no kiss.

 

Did Grace Bailey find her Mr. Right? Did she win that twenty-five grand? Or did her six-month man cleanse leave her empty-handed? The sponsored Facebook page has been deactivated, and despite numerous pleas on social media for the end of the story—including a fan page that has popped up titled Grace’s HEA (Happily Ever After)—WBN has remained tight-lipped about the situation. Additionally, as of this story going live, Grace Bailey has declined to comment as well. How do you think the story ends, Chicago? We’ll be monitoring the HEA page ourselves for any new developments.

Chapter One

Three months earlier…

Jeremy Denning strode right past the hotel desk clerk, which was saying something because she was a freaking knockout, and headed straight to the elevator. He couldn’t muster the energy to jog up the stairs to his second-floor room. His back was sore. His legs were stiff. Shit, even his brain hurt. He’d considered going for a run in the hotel’s workout room, but now he was mentally crossing that item off his list.

“Science is stupid,” he mumbled to himself like a frustrated child, even though he knew science was very, very important to the art of brewing beer. He’d admit that in thought, just in case his boss had somehow wiretapped his brain.

Shit. He was delirious.

The elevator doors opened and welcomed him in.

A host of other hotel patrons, who were nowhere to be seen seconds ago when he pressed the up button, flooded into the small compartment, pinning him against the back wall. The man in front of him was wider than he was tall, and although Jeremy could see over his balding head, he found no feasible exit route around the guy, who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a fragile-looking elderly woman with salmon-colored hair on one side and a young father wearing a baby in some sort of front backpack on the other. Would you call it a front pack? Why did everyone wear their kids, by the way?

Actually, Jeremy wouldn’t mind if someone was wearing him at this point. And no. Contrary to popular belief, his thoughts did not tend toward euphemism, regardless of today being a day that ended in y.

He pressed the heels of his hands into his eyes. He just wanted the hotel bed. A nap. Possibly some room service. Then he’d consider the whole wearing situation from the euphemistic perspective.

Seconds later, the elevator came to a stop at the second floor. The only other button lit on the number panel was six, and as if the doors were in the rear of the packed sardine can of a vessel, the sixth-floor residents all turned to see who the asshole was who took the elevator to the second floor.

“That’d be me,” Jeremy said aloud. And because there was no possible way for the folks in front of him to part in order to let him through, they all just stood there and stared at him. Even the baby.

He half expected one of them to spout, “None shall pass,” and then challenge him to a bloody duel where he’d either end up limbless or the victor. But instead the salmon-haired woman gave him the slow head shake before backing out of the elevator. The rest of the occupants followed until finally he was able to walk free.

“I have no quarrel with you,” Jeremy said to the whole lot, all with judging, narrowed eyes. Not one of them even hinted at a smile. It was like they were channeling his mother or sister.

“Black Knight?” he asked, backing down the hall as the last of them filed back into the elevator. “Monty Python? Anyone?”

A woman brushed past him from the opposite direction, a flurry of flailing arms as she speed-walked toward the elevator while simultaneously pulling her golden waves into a ponytail.

“Excuse me. Sorry. Hold the elevator, please. Going up!”

He saw nothing other than the ponytail’s near miss as the elevator doors closed behind her. Yet she left something in her wake, the scent of fresh lime. And although salmon-haired lady couldn’t see him, he mimicked her controlled head shake and laughed quietly to himself. He’d worked in a brew pub so long everything smelled like either food or beer to him.

“I’ll take the damn stairs next time,” he called out to the empty vestibule, then spun back toward the waiting hotel room doors.

“Helloooo, two-eleven, you sexy, sexy beast,” he said when he stood before his door. “We meet at last.”

It only took one swipe of his key card to open the door and approximately four seconds for him to barrel into the room and face-plant onto the bed.

“Fucking finally,” he groaned into a pillow.

Eight hours of lecture on the chemistry of brewing was enough to drive even the biggest beer enthusiast mad. Okay, fine. His boss, Jamie—and soon to be partner, if Jamie had anything to say about it—would have gotten off on a forty-minute PowerPoint detailing the humulene hop compound and isocohumulone, the isomerized hop alpha acid. And yes, Jeremy could remember those ridiculous words because the professor had droned on about them for forty minutes.

Did he mention the forty minutes? And that wasn’t even an eighth of the day.

Jamie had been hinting at wanting to dial back his hours ever since he proposed to his girlfriend, Brynn. With the wedding only three months away, the hints were getting less hint-like and more straightforward.

“Jeremy, have you ever thought about taking some serious brewing classes?” Jamie had asked a couple months ago. Because yeah, he’d dabbled. That was pretty much the story of his life: dabbling. Jamie was the brewmaster and the ale house owner, one of his sister’s oldest friends and therefore a surrogate big brother. Jamie was the grown-up. Hell, he was almost thirty. But Jeremy? Well, twenty-six was still a kid. Still time to dabble. Still waiting to figure it all out.

It was only when he overheard Jamie telling his fiancée that he was considering taking on a partner that Jeremy found himself asking, “What about me?”

The words had flown out of his mouth before he’d considered the ramifications. And before he knew it, Jamie was signing him up for lectures to see if he was up to the task. This was his first one, and Jeremy was feeling anything but.

He rolled over to his back and grabbed the television remote off the nightstand. Tomorrow would be better. First of all, the class was only four hours instead of eight. Secondly, it would be hands-on…in the lab. No more lecture. He just needed to relax and regroup.

Jeremy scrolled through the listing of cable channels, opting for halfway through the five o’clock news over the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, especially since there was an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond following the news. He fucking loved that show.

It should have registered when the anchorwoman said something about Navy Pier that he’d stumbled on a Chicago affiliate even though he was sprawled like a starfish on a bed in southern Wisconsin. But exhaustion, both physical and mental, had gotten the better of him. So when the woman at the desk said, “And now we’ll head over to Whitney Gaines with the weather,” Jeremy thought he must have started dozing off. Because Whitney Gaines didn’t live in Chicago anymore, not since she crushed him like he never thought was possible. No, she was off in some podunk town in Florida, chasing hurricanes and talking about what the humidity did to gators and shit.

“Thanks, Robin. It sure was unseasonably warm for September today!”

Jeremy sat bolt upright in his bed, those two sentences—ten little words, really—tugging him forward like a tether. There she was, that silky blond hair resting on her shoulders, a little longer than the last time he’d seen her. Then again, that was three years ago, and he’d heard that hair could do that—grow if given time. Florida must have agreed with her. She had that slightly sun-kissed look without actually being tan. Whitney Gaines cared too much about her skin to subject it to ultraviolet rays for long. And frankly, the thigh-high boots she wore with that form-fitting dress agreed with her, too.

“We’ll be closing out the weekend with a cold front, though, and you know what that means for Chicago—temperatures dropping to the low fifties and rain. Let’s take a look at the five-day forecast.”

Jeremy held up the remote in an attempt to silence the voice that all too quickly brought his past to the present. But he froze, thumb on the power button. He didn’t give a shit about the forecast. What he did give quite a few shits about was why she was taking a look at the five-day forecast. In Chicago. Where he lived. Because you don’t just turn down a guy’s proposal, move to Florida because you need to feed my ambition and find a guy who has ambition of his own, and then fucking move back and just show up on a hotel-room television.

He was dialing before he had his ear to the phone.

“Concierge, how can I help you?” a pert, female voice asked.

So many answers popped into mind.

Can you point me toward the bar and tell me the quickest way to giving zero fucks about what I just saw?

Have you ever seen that Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Yeah, can you do that to me? Make my mind all spotless?

Call my friends and family and tell them I’m moving here. Where am I again? Madison?

But instead he settled on, “Can you connect me to the spa or tell me if they have any appointments open? I know it’s last-minute, but I’ve been sitting in this lecture class all day, and I think I actually jacked up my back by not moving and—”

“Actually, sir, one of our massage therapists just had a cancellation. If you hurry up to the sixth floor, they should be able to get you right in. Shall I charge it to your room?”

Jeremy let out a long breath and shrugged. The room was on Jamie’s business credit card. What would another hundred or so hurt?

“Yes! Charge me. Sixth floor. Got it. On my way.”

He was out the door so fast, he might not have even hung up the phone. Several minutes ago he couldn’t get away from the elevator fast enough. Now he needed to put as much distance as he could between himself and what he’d just seen, and that meant going to a place where there’d be no television, where he could close his eyes and shut it all out until the memories in his head decided to shut the fuck up.

The elevator was empty this time, and he smiled in appreciation at his couple minutes of peace. When the doors opened onto the sixth floor, those couple of minutes were not cut short as he stepped into what was, apparently, peace incarnate.

He walked out onto what looked like a bamboo floor. The walls were paneled with a darker, warmer wood—fat luxurious planks that ran from seam to seam. The air was warm but not hot, slightly fragrant but not intrusive, and soft tunes piped through overhead speakers—that Irish Celtic sort of music Brynn told Jamie he should play in the ale house for Sunday brunch. But Jamie opted for baseball games on the big screens in the summer and football in the winter.

He stood in the midst of this Zen-like setting, closing his eyes as he took it all in. He almost didn’t need the massage. Just standing here would be enough.

“Mr. Denning?”

Almost.

“Yeah,” he said, his eyes blinking open as he strode toward the check-in desk. “How did you know?”

She stood, her blond ponytail swishing across her shoulders as she did.

“Your appointment just came through on the computer with a note from the concierge saying you sounded like you really needed some help relaxing, and that’s, like, what we’re all about here. Relaxing. And then you got off the elevator and had that look—you know, the one that said you did want some help getting all…relaxed. So I knew it was you.” She reached for something behind the desk and held it out toward him. He willingly accepted. “Here is a robe and slippers and a lavender eye mask if you want to rest those pretty blue peepers while you wait.” She gasped and covered her mouth. “I’m sorry. That was a little forward. You just have great eyes. And”—she leaned over the counter in his direction—“I’m totally into gingers.”

Jeremy chuckled. “Sounds like you’re still working on—”

“The whole relaxing thing?” she interrupted. “Yeah. I know.” Her smile turned a bit devilish. “But I can’t help myself when I see something I like.”

Jeremy’s eyes widened. Maybe he could forget about the blonde from his past by spending some quality time with one in the present.

“What time do you get off tonight, Kaylee?” he asked, thankful for her name tag.

She bounced on her toes and grinned. He liked her energy. “Eight,” she said.

He grinned back. “Well, I just happen to be free at eight as well. Maybe I’ll see you in the bar downstairs?”

She nodded. “Maybe you will.”

 

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BLP REVIEW ~ Tracy
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DON’T MISS THE OTHER BOOKS IN THE KINGSTON ALE HOUSE SERIES!

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Synopsis:

She’s holding out for a happy ever after.

Annie
I know where to find my happily ever after—between the pages of a romance novel. It’s why I sell books, why I blog about them, and why I’ll never get disappointed by love.So what if my brother’s best friend from high school is now a bestselling author? Or that he just blew back into town on a Harley, filling out a pair of jeans like he never did before? Or that he’s agreed to do a signing at my bookstore on such short notice? Because despite all his adoring female fans, I kind of hated his book.
 
Wes
The last time I saw Annie Denning, she was a senior in high school, three years older than me and way out of my league.
Now I’m her last-minute date to a wedding, and what started as a night of pure fun has turned into something more real than either of us anticipated.Annie is my muse. When I’m with her, my writer’s block fades away, and the words finally flow.The only problem? She wants the fairy tale—her very own happily ever after—and anyone who’s read my book knows the truth. I just don’t believe they exist.

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Excerpt:

If there was magic in words other than the ones the professionals put to paper, it was in everything he said to her tonight, and everything left unsaid yet spoken with this kiss. She felt a tender ache in her chest as his tongue slipped past her lips, his movement deliciously slow and driving her mad all at the same time. His hips pressed to her belly, and she cursed her broken shoes that would have given her the advantage of extra height. Now she moaned softly against him, rising on her toes in an attempt to slide up his hard length.

“Christ, Annie,” he whispered. Then his hands were on her hips, and he was lifting her so she now sat on the small railing. There was no way she could sit there on her own, but he pushed her knees open and hiked her skirt up to the top of her thighs, holding her there with his weight, his erection firm as she throbbed against him.

“Is this what you want?”

His voice was rough in her ear, and the only thing she could do was squeak out a small yes.

His hand slid up her thigh, his thumb skimming the seam of her panties. Oh God, did I wear good underwear? Annie thought she’d had her mind made up about Wes before he’d shown up tonight, so much so that what she had on under her dress hadn’t crossed her mind. Because no way in hell was the evening going in this direction when she’d convinced herself he was Ethan, the not-a-romance hero.

But now it was, and come heaven or hell, she did not want him to stop. She did, however, need to do a panty check before things went any further. But Wes’s lips were on her neck, hot and full of need, and one of those thumbs had just slipped under the panty seam, and Annie lost her train of thought as he swirled that thumb over her wet, swollen center.

She cried out softly, thankfully quiet enough that she still heard the ding of the elevator reaching its destination.

Wes withdrew his hands so quickly that she nearly toppled off the railing, but he caught her in his arms and even had the forethought to smooth down the skirt of her dress so her—yep—pink, Lydia Bennet YOLO boy briefs would not be on display for all hotel patrons to see. She supposed she’d have some explaining to do later, but for now she had to focus on staying upright.

The doors opened to the fifth floor and a young couple waiting to head downstairs.

 
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Six Month Rule New Cover

BUY:

Amazon:http://amzn.to/2asrIAl
Paperback: http://amzn.to/2af6xFo
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29TZDTY
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iBooks:http://apple.co/2a9sztH

Synopsis:

She created the game, but the rules are about to change.

The second I met Will Evans in his three-piece suit with that hot as hell British accent, I wanted him.

That is…until he insulted my shoes and stole my corner office.

Now I have to work side-by-side with the surly British arsehole who just set my career back six months.

It’s fine. That accent won’t get to me, no matter how sexy it sounds when he asks permission to do things professionals shouldn’t do. On the couch. In the corner office I still wish was mine.

Maybe we can’t keep our hands off each other, but I’m sure as hell not falling for a guy who lives an ocean away. Because in six months, he’s leaving for good.

I don’t do broken hearts, but you know what they say…

There’s a first time for everything.

Each book in the Kingston Ale House series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

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Excerpt:

“May I…?” he asked, his voice hoarse and expectant as he raised a palm toward one of her breasts.

She half smiled while biting her lip, then nodded, and Will brought his hand to her skin. As he made contact, they each drew in a sharp breath.

“God, Holly…”

“Say it again,” she whispered, her hands clasping around his neck.

“God, Holly?” he asked, teasing, because he knew what she meant, but he wanted her to say it one more time.

She shook her head, grinning, and gently tugged his head toward hers. “I want you to ask permission in that sexy accent of yours.”

He brought his lips to hers, not yet a kiss, but close enough to feel her breath on his skin. One hand was still on her breast, and the other had found its way to her back. Will was barely hanging on, but he wanted to do this right, put someone else’s needs first, give her what she wanted.

So he asked, “May I do this?”

He kissed her, featherlight, and she spoke softly against him.

“Yes.”

His lips moved to her jaw and her neck, and all the while he spoke sweetly against her.

“And this? May I kiss you here?”

He felt her swallow as he peppered her skin with tiny kisses, and again he heard her voice, faint yet insistent.

“Yes.”

Her breast was still cupped in his hand, and he lightly pinched the hard peak while asking, “What about this, Holly? May I do this?”

She gasped and rocked her hips against him, and he took that as a yes. God, it had been so long since he’d been with anyone like this, and the way she responded to him was enough to drive him mad. He knew this was dangerous ground, that he wasn’t just attracted to Holly physically. He should be logical here, weigh the pros and cons, but her hands had left his neck and found the button of his jeans, and that was it. Will finally put his overactive brain to rest. It was all instinct from here, because Holly Chandler responded to his impulses, and he to hers.

“May I have the pleasure, Mr. Evans?” She undid the button. “Or can I call you Billy now?”

Will scooped her into his arms and dropped her over the side of the sofa so she now lay on her back. Holly yelped with laughter as he stepped around to meet her, sitting on the edge of a cushion.

“No to Billy,” he said. Then, “You first,” returning the favor, unbuttoning and unzipping her jeans. “If I may.”

 

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BUY:

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Paperback: http://amzn.to/2af7iOJ
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2asrYz7
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29SpV7N
B&N: http://bit.ly/1SSq2xv
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1QeR2VO
iBooks: http://apple.co/1SdYliQ

Synopsis:

How far will one man go for the woman he’s loved since high school?

Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler’s best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they’ve had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on.

But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he’s ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he’s been by her side all along.

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Excerpt:

Prologue

Senior Year

(Ten years ago)

A turtleneck would hide it. It didn’t matter that it was Memorial Day weekend and the warmest day of the year so far. Brynn was going to the party. Sure it hurt to swallow, and maybe she was running a fever, but this was it. Her last chance. All year she’d promised herself she would kiss Spencer Matthews before she graduated, and graduation for the class of 2005 was in one week. Time was running out. This was it, their last hurrah before he left for school in California. There was no way she was going to miss it.

“Oh…my God. What’s wrong with your neck? Ew, Brynn. What are those bumps?”

Leave it to her sister, Holly, to notice…and with a flair of drama only Holly was capable of. She stood in Brynn’s bedroom doorway but already looked poised to make a run for it.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Brynn insisted, but even her voice was a dead giveaway. She could barely get that second word out. It sounded more like a gurgle than a word. It didn’t matter. She would power through. Spencer was going to be at the party, and he expected her to be there, too. It would have been enough if he’d just stopped by her locker to say hi, but she played his words over and over again now.

“You’re going to be at Becket’s tomorrow night, right? Promise me I’ll see you there.” It was a simple request, and Brynn was determined to comply.

Jason Becket was her class’s notorious party thrower, and tonight’s festivities were guaranteed to be epic. So, of course, she promised Spencer she was going. He was single for the first time this year, and so was she. Still. The stars had finally aligned, and nothing was going to stop her from turning fantasy into reality. Mind over matter, right? If she didn’t admit she was sick, she wouldn’t be sick.

“And your voice!” Holly continued. “You sound like the worst Kermit the Frog impersonator I’ve ever heard.”

Holly was two years younger and a typical drama student. She performed whether she was on stage or not. Tonight was no exception. And anyway, who was she to say Brynn’s voice was the worst Kermit she’d ever heard? Cut a sick girl some slack. If she was going to sound like a frog, she was going to sound like a good frog.

But she wasn’t sick. So it didn’t matter. She needed to focus, keep her eye on the prize.

“Do you know what’s supposed to happen tonight?” she asked her sister, and Holly recoiled. Did she sound contagious? It was possible her ears were clogged. Hell, everything was clogged, and everything hurt. But this was her night, and she was not contagious because she was a healthy, seventeen-year-old girl who just couldn’t swallow without the threat of tears.

Holly took a step back toward her own room. “Ugh, Brynn. It’s so cliché to like a guy like Spencer Matthews. He’s, like, too perfect. Any girl would get an inferiority complex around someone like that. Better yet, I bet he’s so good his girlfriends don’t even get mad. They get bored. I think the best guy is the one who pisses you off every now and then. Like…like Patrick and Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You!”

Life was not some romantic comedy. Holly was full of shit. Of course Spencer was perfect. That’s why she’d crushed on him the whole year, biding her time until he was single and would maybe, hopefully, look at her the way she looked at him. Today she was sure he did—or would once they found a moment alone tonight. If being a hot, smart, football-playing-marching-band drummer was a crime, Brynn wanted to be his willing accomplice. Seriously, a guy who started pregame on the field with the band—in his formfitting football uniform—and spent the rest of the game as running back…how hot was that?

Brynn attempted a groan, which really freaking hurt, but she wouldn’t give whatever plague she was carrying the satisfaction. If anything, a twenty-four-hour bug had taken up residence in her throat, which meant she was at least a quarter of the way through it at this point. She was probably already on the mend.

“Have you ever felt fireworks?” she asked.

Holly answered her sister with a roll of her eyes and slid down the wall until she sat on the floor in the hallway, still keeping clear of Brynn’s room.

“Okay,” Holly said, waving her on. “I’m comfortable. And this feels like a safe distance from patient zero.”

Brynn wanted to groan, but she thought better of what that would feel like on her throat and instead plopped down on the foot of her bed, sweat beading at her hairline.

“Fireworks,” Brynn said again. “Falling in love—knowing you’re in love because when you kiss the guy who’s the right guy…” She closed her eyes and smiled dreamily, despite how miserable she felt.

Holly took the liberty of finishing her sentence. “Fireworks?”

Brynn nodded, then opened her eyes. “That and ‘I’m a Believer’ will start playing in my head.”

“Love doesn’t come with fireworks and soundtracks filled with songs by the Monkees, not that I’ll ever understand how Mom got you obsessed with a forty-plus-year-old boy band. I think you might be delirious with fever or something.” Holly laughed. “Hey, maybe that explains your taste in music, too!”

Brynn huffed. “Whatever. You’re only fifteen. You’ve never been in love.”

Before Holly could offer a rebuttal, the front door opened, and Brynn let out a tiny whimper of relief because if there was one thing Holly could call her on, it was Brynn never having been in love, either. God, if she could just make it to the party and kiss Spencer, she knew there’d be fireworks…plus Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones harmonizing in her head, no delirium necessary.

But with the sounds of footsteps bounding up the stairs, Brynn’s dream slipped further away. It was for sure Jamie because he never knocked. He was practically a resident in the Chandler house. Jamie would take one look at her in a turtleneck and yoga pants and put the kibosh on the whole operation.

Time to rally.

Brynn pulled her hair out of the bun sitting atop her head and finger-combed the curls. Then she swiped on some lip gloss and affixed her best smile—until she tried to swallow, and her eye betrayed her with a rogue tear.

Jamie appeared at the top of the stairs and stopped in the doorway, his too-straight, sandy hair slicked back like Leo DiCaprio in the Titanic ballroom scene. Brynn sighed. She loved Titanic. Why couldn’t Rose just move over on that piece of driftwood? There was definitely room for two.

Brynn blinked a couple of times. The fever must be rising, because she could swear Jamie looked super cute tonight, and she did not have thoughts like that about Jamie Kingston.

He ran a hand through the product in his hair, and a shock flopped down over his eyes before he pushed it back again. She did not find this adorable, either. Because that would be the weirdest, looking at her best friend like that. Besides—Spencer. Spencer was the issue at hand.

“Holy shit, B. What happened to you?”

Jamie wasn’t sure whether to take a step into the room or back down the stairs. He always thought Brynn was beautiful, but she looked bad. Like, really bad. Her eyes were bloodshot and her cheeks flushed. And her swollen neck? Whoa.

She stared at him through the thick lenses of her glasses perched mildly askew atop her nose. Her wild brown curls were matted to her face, dampened with sweat. But this was just at the hairline. The rest was a tangled sort of nest-like display, which could only mean she’d just taken it down from a bun. Jamie was the only one Brynn let see her immediately post-bun, and he took a certain pride in this—even if he was here to take her to a party where she planned to kiss another guy.

“Sleepy Jean, I say this with love, but you look like shit.”

She flopped back on her bed and groaned. This was how he knew something was really wrong. He didn’t call her Sleepy Jean solely for her inexplicable love for the sixties TV band, the Monkees. Brynn really was a “Daydream Believer.” She saw opportunity in every situation and never took no for a final answer until she’d exhausted all other possibilities.

Jamie took a chance and moved toward the edge of the bed. Screw it. He sat down next to her, resting a hand on her leg.

“What’s with the turtleneck, Dieter?” He raised his brows.

Brynn laughed. At least he thought it was a laugh, but she also could have been trying to blow bubbles in mud. Sprockets was her favorite Saturday Night Live skit, another one of Brynn’s retro faves, this time from the nineties, and although Mike Myers wasn’t on the show anymore, Jamie had a stockpile of his parents’ VHS recordings for them to watch whenever the mood struck. He smiled to himself. Brynn was clearly sick, but he made her laugh, and that was something.

She sat up, tears pooled in her eyes. When she pulled the turtleneck down to her collarbone, Jamie sucked in a breath.

“Duuuuude. You’ve got mono.” The glands in her neck swelled on each side like she was a cartoon character who had swallowed a small branch that got stuck in her throat just below her head.

The tears came fast now, tears that tugged at his heart because he knew what they were for. He knew whom they were for: Spencer Matthews.

“My throat hurts so much, Jamie. I can’t even swallow.”

Okay, so maybe he was a selfish asshole. It’s quite possible the river of tears was for the extreme pain she was in. He knew what it felt like because he had had mono sophomore year, and it sucked.

He brushed a damp curl off her forehead and tried to tuck it behind her ear. But Brynn’s hair had a mind of its own and had no intention of obeying. Kind of like the girl herself.

Jamie bit back a smile.

“Mono?” Brynn croaked.

Holly was still in the hall, standing up now and, at the utterance of the word “mono,” she ran to her own room and slammed the door.

“Let me know when you’re on some antibiotics or something, and then I’ll come out!” she called from the other side.

He chuckled. Typical Holly.

“Where are your parents?” he asked, and Brynn flopped back down on the bed.

“Out,” she whined. “My dad has some work dinner thingy in the city, so they’re staying the night in a hotel.”

He looked at the pout on her lips, letting his mind wander for a few seconds. What would it be like to kiss those lips? What if he was the guy Brynn was willing to risk her health—and others’—to see?

She whimpered, and he drifted back to reality.

“Holly!” Jamie kept his eyes on Brynn while he called for her sister.

“What?”

His eyes grew wide. Holly sounded much closer than she should have, considering she was barricaded next door.

“The vent,” Brynn said, and Jamie couldn’t help but laugh.

“You guys still do that?” he asked, heading toward the wall Brynn’s room shared with Holly’s. He dropped to a squat and directed his request toward the metal slats of the vent in the floor.

“Holly?” he called, using his indoor voice this time.

“James?” she responded, and he had flashbacks to when he and Brynn were in middle school, sitting in her room doing homework while Holly and her friends giggled and squealed next door, some of them professing their love to him—through the vent, of course. Brynn had always laughed and rolled her eyes.

“Don’t they know you’re practically our brother?” she’d once said. Jamie hated that she still saw him like that now.

“Call your parents and ask if I can take Brynn to urgent care,” he told Holly.

“Okay, James.” He could hear her smile.

“And Holly?”

“Yes, James?”

“Stop calling me James.”

He smiled, too. Then he heard Holly speaking to her mom.

“Are you sure it’s mono?” she asked him.

“Pretty sure,” Jamie said. “I had all the same symptoms.”

He glanced back at Brynn, who had turned to her side to watch the back and forth between Jamie and Holly. He wondered if she had any clue what she did to him, if she knew how much he wanted to scoop her up in his arms and hold her until she felt better. And maybe after that, hold her a little more.

He lay down next to her and tilted her glasses up so he could swipe a thumb across her tear-streaked cheek.

“You’re burning up, B.” He let the frames fall softly back against the bridge of her nose.

“I know,” she whispered. “I took my temperature. But I thought if I didn’t admit how bad I felt that I could ignore it.”

He pressed a kiss to her forehead, her skin like fire against his lips. But he didn’t care, not if he could give her the smallest bit of comfort.

“You know I’d give my left arm to make you feel better, right?”

She pressed her lips together and nodded. “It’s not that big of a sacrifice, considering you’re a righty. If you really cared—” She cut her own joke short to attempt a swallow, and it only made her cry more.

“For you, Sleepy Jean, I’d give them both.”

Fuck. He was a goner. How he made it through this year without blurting out his feelings was a mystery, because when she looked at him like that, like he was the only one who could fix the mess that was her night, the words repeated over and over again in his head: I’m in love with you, B. But she’d made no secret of how she felt about Spencer Matthews since the school year started, which meant Jamie was well practiced in the fine art of holding it all in.

“Mom wants to know how high her fever is.”

Brynn tried to clear her throat, then moaned in pain before she said, “One hundred and two.”

Jamie repeated the response to Holly, then sighed as he looked at his miserable friend.

“Does she want them to come home?” Holly asked, and Brynn shook her head, her eyes still on Jamie.

“Are you sure?” she asked. “Because this is it. Our last high school party. I don’t want you to miss it, too.”

Shit. If she only knew how many other parties he would have skipped if it meant a night alone with her instead… But all he said was, “I’m sure.”

Brynn tilted her head back in the direction of the vent.

“My night and, let’s face it, my goal for the year are out the window,” Brynn said. “Tell them Jamie will take me to the doctor, and then I’ll go to sleep. They don’t need to ruin their night.”

After Mrs. Chandler insisted she speak to Brynn, Holly chucked her phone into the room and ordered Jamie to sanitize it when Brynn was done.

And that was that. Instead of taking Brynn to the final bash of their senior year, he’d take her for a blood test, maybe top off the night with a throat culture. Man did he know how to impress the ladies.

“This was supposed to be my night, Jamie,” she said after getting off the phone. “My night. And now all I want to do is chop off my own head to end the pain.”

He laughed. He couldn’t help it. She was cute when she was a mess.

“First of all,” he said. “I think the whole beheading thing might be a little more painful and a lot less practical than, I don’t know, going to urgent care? And second, this can still be your night. Just a different kind. We’ll see a doctor, get you a nice prescription for some codeine, a pint of Cherry Garcia, and a stack of Dieter tapes—as long as you still have the VCR hooked up.”

She sniffled and sat up. “Aren’t you afraid you’ll get sick?”

He shook his head. “I’d chance it to take care of you. Plus”—he gave her a knowing smile—“you’re not supposed to be able to get mono twice. I’m probably immune to your plague.” To prove it, he kissed her on the forehead, happy to show her she didn’t have to be alone tonight. But even in her state, all the kiss did was prove to him how hard it was to just be her friend.

“Okay, maybe we’ll get you a quick shower, too.” The least he could do was lighten the mood, for both of them.

She sniffled again. “Can we listen to the Monkees in the car?”

He put his arm around her, pulling her head to his shoulder.

“Anything for you, Sleepy Jean.”

And he would do anything for her, even step aside for someone else. He’d made it all the way to junior year not falling for her. It had taken him dating Stephanie Delaney to realize no other girl made him feel the way Brynn did. Though who’s to say it wasn’t always there, this thing between them? Correction—this thing between them only Jamie seemed to feel. And who was he to stand in the way of her dream? He wouldn’t be that guy, letting his feelings interfere with her happiness. They had too much history for that kind of selfishness. Brynn made her choice, and it wasn’t Jamie. But tonight the universe seemed to be on his side, postponing the torture of watching her fall for someone else. Tonight was not for Spencer Matthews. It was for Jamie and Brynn. Even if they were only friends.


ABOUT AJ PINE

aj-pine


AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, her books have the same.
When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes) and, of course, a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires and superheroes.
And in the midst of all of this, you’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago burbs.


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BLOG TOUR ~ The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood


The Rule Maker
The Rule Breakers #2
by Jennifer Blackwood

Publication Date: January 16, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

Ten Steps to Surviving a New Job:

1. Don’t sleep with the client. It’ll get you fired. (Sounds easy enough.)

2. Don’t blink when new client turns out to be former one-night stand.

3. Don’t call same client a jerk for never texting you back.

4. Don’t believe client when he says he really, really wanted to call.

5. Remember, the client is always right—so you can’t junk punch him when he demands new design after new design.

6. Ignore accelerated heartbeat every time sexy client walks into room.

7. Definitely ignore client’s large hands. They just mean he wears big gloves.

8. Don’t let client’s charm wear you down. Be strong.

9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the client. You’ll lose more than your job—maybe even your heart.

10. If all else fails, see rule number one again.

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DON’T MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE SIZZLING RULE BREAKERS SERIES!

The Rule Book
The Rule Breakers #1
by Jennifer Blackwood

Publication Date: May 9, 2016
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Embrace, Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

Starr Media Second-Assistant Survival Guide

1. Don’t call your hot boss the antichrist to his face.
2. Don’t stare at hot boss’s, um, package or his full sleeve of tattoos. (No. Really. Stop!)
3. Don’t get on the malicious first assistant’s bad side.
4. Don’t forget to memorize the 300-page employee manual.
5. If you value your cashmere, steer clear of boss’s dog.
6. Boss’s dimples are lust-inducing. Do. Not. Give. In.
7. “The elevator ate your clothes” is not a valid excuse for showing up to important meetings half dressed.
8. Don’t break seven of the rules within the first week of employment if you, ya know, are in dire need of money to support your sick mom.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the boss. See rule eight about sick mom.
10. Never forget the rules.
 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Jennifer Blackwood is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance.
She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and poorly behaved black lab puppy.
When not chasing after her toddler, you can find her binging on episodes of Gilmore Girls and Supernatural, and locking herself in her office to write.

 

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