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RELEASE BLITZ – Not Pretending Anymore by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Title: Not Pretending Anymore
Authors: Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 12, 2021
BLURB
Finding a good roommate through a classified ad isn’t as easy as it sounds.
I was starting to lose hope.
Until a knock at my door came and God answered my prayers.
Except…uh…wrong prayer, God.
I’d definitely requested the big guy find me a drop-dead gorgeous man on more than one occasion…just not as my roommate.
Declan Tate talked me into interviewing him anyway.
While he was amusing and charismatic, I wouldn’t have been comfortable living with a man, so I regretfully declined.
Then cupcakes showed up at my door—freshly baked by Declan and just as sinfully delicious as he was.
You could say he was persistent.
I eventually folded. It wasn’t like I had another viable candidate anyway.
Plus, I was interested in someone else. And Declan was into another woman. So it wasn’t like anything would happen romantically.
After he moved in, the two of us became the best of friends. We even started to give each other advice on getting our crushes to notice us.
Eventually, Declan concocted an idea: we should pretend to be a couple to make our love interests jealous.
I was hesitant, but went along with it anyway. To my utter shock, his crazy plan worked.
Now I was dating the supposed man of my dreams, and my best friend had the woman of his.
But there was one problem.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Declan.
Those feelings we were trying to fake?
Yeah…I wasn’t pretending anymore.

PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO


PENELOPE WARD
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance. 
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
VI KEELAND
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.


OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE & VI
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO

OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / APPLE BOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY / PAPERBACK

OTHER BOOKS BY VI
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / APPLE BOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY / PAPERBACK

Title: Not Pretending Anymore
Authors: Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 12, 2021

Excited about Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland’s upcoming release, Not Pretending Anymore?
Check out this SNEAK PEEK of CHAPTER 1!


CHAPTER ONE
Molly
“So, what do you do for a living?”
The woman drummed her fingers on her thigh. “I’m a musician.”
I glanced down at the renter’s application in my hand. Lyric Chords was the name listed at the top.
I bit my tongue and tried to keep an open mind. This was the twelfth woman I’d interviewed as a prospective roommate. Just because she had a few safety pins in her eyebrow and what looked like a dog collar around her neck didn’t mean I should rule her out.
“Oh. That’s nice. Are you a singer?”
Lyric shook her head. “Drummer. Do you know the dimensions of the bedroom I’ll be sleeping in? I have two sets of drums I need to fit.”
“Umm… I think it’s fourteen by fourteen. But you don’t practice at home, right? I wrote in my ad that I’m looking for a quiet roommate because I work nights.”
“I do. But no worries. I’ll practice in my room.”
My bedroom and my potential roommate’s bedroom shared a wall, so that was the end of interview number twelve. I sighed and forced a smile. “Thank you for coming. I have a few other people left to meet with before I decide. I’ll let you know.”
“Great.” The woman stood. “Also, I know your ad said two months’ rent up front, but I’m running a little short right now. Would one be okay?”
I smiled. “Sure, no problem.” Since you’re not going to be living here.
After Drummergirl, I interviewed two more candidates. One wanted her boyfriend to move into the room with her, even though my ad had specified I was only looking for a single. And the other arrived twenty minutes late, reeked of alcohol, and slurred her words…at three thirty in the afternoon.
Why in the hell was it so difficult to find a roommate in a city of almost three-million people? I needed my last interview of the day to be a miracle, or I was going to have to shell out money for another ad and start the entire process all over. And I definitely didn’t have the time or the funds for that. Rent was due in two weeks. If I got stuck paying the full amount on this place myself again, I’d be eating cat food for a month.
When my last appointment knocked right on time, I took a deep breath, looked up at the ceiling, and asked the big guy in the sky for a little assistance.
Opening the door, I blinked a few times.
Uhhh. I think you answered the wrong prayer, God.
A man stood in my hallway—and not just any man, an absolutely gorgeous one with a perfect, straight nose, cheekbones to die for, a masculine, square jaw, full lips, tanned skin, and the sexiest chocolate brown, almond-shaped eyes I’d ever seen in my life.
“Uh. Can I help you?”
He flashed a killer smile, one that I immediately suspected had made countless women remove their panties.
“Hi. I have a four-thirty appointment with Molly Corrigan.”
“You do?” I had the last application in my hand and looked down at the name on the top. “I don’t think so. My appointment is with a D. Tate?”
He extended a hand. “That’s me. Declan Tate.”
“But…you’re…not a woman.”
He smiled again. “You’re correct. Very observant. I am most definitely not a woman. But my last roommate told me I should’ve been because I use moisturizer at night and cried at the end of Marley and Me. And if I’m being honest, I also got a little watery at the end of Toy Story, so maybe I’m a bit of a wuss. Either way, I think you should consider those my positive feminine qualities.”
I was thoroughly confused. “Umm… I’m sorry. You must’ve missed that my ad said female only.”
“Actually, I didn’t. But if you’ll give me just five minutes, I think I can convince you I would be a better roommate than a woman.”
I chuckled. “Let me get this straight… You hid your first name—what did you say it was again?”
“Declan.”
“Right. Declan. Anyway, you applied to an ad for a female roommate, intentionally deceiving the person who is going to decide if you get the room by leaving your first name off. And your strategy is to convince me I don’t really know what I want in less than five minutes? Do I have that right?”
He flashed that boyish charm again. “You sure do.”
I debated how to handle the situation. On one hand, he was going to waste my time, and I had done enough of that today. But on the other, my curiosity was definitely piqued. Something about his grin told me this could be amusing. Screw it. I had nothing better to do anyway.
I opened the door wider and stepped aside, holding my hand out for him to enter. “I’m setting the timer on my phone, and I’m getting a glass of wine before you start. I like a drink while I’m being entertained.”
Declan smirked and strolled into my apartment.
I motioned to the couch. “Have a seat. I’ll just be a minute.”
When I got to the kitchen, he called after me, “Hey, Mollz?”
I turned back. “Yes?”
“How about you make that two glasses of wine?”
I chuckled. “Sure. Why not, Decs.”
I poured a couple of glasses of pinot grigio and returned to the living room.
“Here you go. Hope you like white.”
“You see? We’re perfect together already. I prefer white over red.”
I brought my wine to my lips. “Yes, perfect. A match made in heaven. I think we might even be soul mates.”
Declan showed me his pearly whites once again. He really did have a great smile, nice teeth, too. Too bad he also had a penis. I knocked back half the contents of my glass and placed it on the coffee table. Picking up my cell, I swiped to the timer app and set it for five minutes.
I showed him the screen. “You ready?”
“I’m always ready.”
I pressed start, placed the phone face up on the coffee table between us, and folded my hands. “Go.”
“Okay. Well…what’s your favorite color?”
“My favorite color?”
Declan pointed to the timer. “Time’s a ticking, Molly. I’m going to need you to not repeat questions.”
I laughed. “Fine. My favorite color is pink.”
Declan reached into one of his pant pockets and pulled out a set of keys. The keychain had a bunch of pink beads with white letters between each one. The letters spelled out his name. “Mine too.”
I arched a brow. “Did you make that yourself?”
“No. My niece, Arianna, made it for me.”
“So how do I know that isn’t just Arianna’s favorite color?”
“Good point. Let’s move on. Your ad said you work nights.”
“That’s right. I’m a nurse. I work the night shift on the maternity ward.”
“So you sleep during the day, then?”
“I get off at seven, and I try to get to sleep as soon as I get home.”
He held his hand to his chest. “I work days. I leave for the gym by six and usually don’t get home until after seven at night. So the apartment will be quiet when you need it to be.”
I nodded. “Okay. I’ll give you that that would make you a good roommate. But most people work days, so it’s not really something that makes you too special.”
“Do you cook?” he said.
“Does macaroni and cheese count?”
“I grew up in a multigenerational Italian home. My nonna taught me how to make sauce from scratch.”
“So you’re going to cook for me?”
“If that’s what it takes to get this apartment, yes.”
“As tempting as that might be, there’s an Italian restaurant around the corner that makes great food. Funny enough, it’s called Nonna’s Place, and an actual nonna makes most of my meals. Not a knockoff.”
Declan took an exaggerated breath and blew it out. He glanced at the cell on the table. “Three minutes and thirty-eight seconds. I can see you’re not going to make this easy. How about you tell me why you can’t have a male roommate so I can address that head-on. Is it because of the toilet-seat thing? Because I have four older sisters, so I’m appropriately trained. When I was eight, I made the mistake of leaving it up once, and my sister sat down where I’d accidentally left a little pee. She dunked my head in the toilet bowl before she flushed. That was the last time I left the seat up.” He held up three fingers. “Scout’s honor. It won’t be an issue.”
I smiled. “It’s not because of the toilet thing.”
“Alright. So why don’t you want a male roommate, then?”
I’d actually never given much thought to why my roommate had to be female. It just seemed natural to have another woman sharing the apartment. “Well…I don’t really have a specific reason. I would just be more comfortable living with another woman. For example, I sleep in a T-shirt and underwear. When I get up to start the coffee, I don’t get dressed. It would be weird to do that in front of a man.”
“Why?”
“Why would it be weird to walk around with my ass cheeks on display in front of a man and not a woman?”
“Yes.”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. It just would. I guess because the women I’ve lived with aren’t attracted to other women, so it doesn’t feel sexual in any way.”
“Ah. Now we’re getting to the crux of your issue. So you’re afraid of some sexual tension going on between you and me? Is it because I’m so handsome?”
“What? No! And aren’t you full of yourself, assuming I think you’re handsome, and I’m worried I won’t be able to control myself.”
“Just keeping it real, Mollz. You’re only giving me five minutes, so I’m trying to get to the heart of the reason.”
“I guess I just don’t want to feel like I have to cover up to come out of my bedroom. When I dry my hair, I wear a towel or a bra and underwear—that type of thing.”
“Would you feel you had to cover up if I told you I was gay?”
That question gave me pause. Would I? I wasn’t sure. “Are you?”
“Fuck, no. I was just trying to pinpoint your issue. Is it the fact that I’m a man, or the fact that I might admire your ass if it were on display? Sounds like it’s the latter. So let me put your mind at ease: I won’t.”
I felt oddly offended. “What’s wrong with my ass?”
He chuckled. “I wouldn’t know. I haven’t looked. You know why?”
“Why?”
“Because I’m in love with someone else.”
As insane as it was, I felt a pang of jealousy. “Oh. Well, why aren’t you moving in with her?”
“Because she doesn’t return the feelings…yet. So basically, if your concern about having a guy for a roommate is that he’s going to be checking you out, you have nothing to worry about with me. I’m a one-woman man. If you want, I can give you the numbers of some of my exes for references. I’m no cheater.”
Hmmm… “I don’t know…”
Declan looked down at the clock. Thirty-one seconds were left. “We’re running out of time, so we need to speed things up. How about if I just give you the facts you need to know?”
“That would be good.”
“I’m twenty-eight years old. I make six figures. My credit score is eight hundred and ten, and I have references from previous landlords. I’m neat and clean up after myself. I’m not home a lot, but when I am, I’m pretty quiet. I’m also damn good with a hammer.” He glanced around my apartment and pointed at a hole I’d accidentally made in the wall when I flung the closet door open too hard. “I can spackle that and put on a door stopper so it won’t happen again.” He pointed to the kitchen. “And those cabinets are pretty tall. I’m six foot one. No more having to stand on a chair to reach something on the top shelf. And—”
The timer on the stopwatch buzzed.
“Can I just say one last thing?”
“Sure. Why not?”
“I’ll share my Hulu and Netflix passwords. I have the premium Hulu account.”
I laughed. “Well, those are some pretty enticing qualities for a roommate.”
He smiled. “So I’m in?”
I sighed. “I’m sorry. While I appreciate your tenacity, unfortunately, you’re not. Though I interviewed fourteen other people today, and I have to say, you do seem like you’ll make some other lucky person a fantastic roomie.”
Declan frowned, but nodded. “I figured it was worth a shot. This is a great building, and I work right around the corner. It’s hard to find an apartment where it’s only a six-month commitment.”
“My lease is up then, and I haven’t decided if I’m going to extend or not.”
“See? That’s another reason I’d be perfect. I’m only in town for six more months.”
“I’m sorry. This is definitely a case of it’s me and not you.”
He picked up his wine and guzzled it down before standing and extending his hand. “I appreciate you giving me your time. And thanks for the pinot.”
We shook. “It was nice to meet you, Declan.”
After I walked him out, I shut the door and leaned back against it. What a shame; he really seemed like a nice guy and the best candidate I’d met by a mile. I was just about to go wallow in another glass of alcohol when there was a knock at my door. Checking the peephole before opening, I found Declan standing there.
“I forgot something important,” he said.
“Oh? What’s that?”
He took out his wallet and produced a photo of a nun. “This is my sister Catherine, and it’s not a costume from Halloween. She’s a legit nun. How bad can a person be if his sister is a nun?”
I laughed. “Is this the sister who dunked your head in the toilet?”
He grinned. “It is, actually.”
“Well, I’m not sure there’s a direct correlation between your sister deciding to dedicate her life to the church and you being a good person. Though, even if I take your word for it, it still doesn’t change my answer.”
Declan’s shoulders drooped. “Had to try. She tells me her being a nun won’t get me into heaven. Thought maybe it was good for something.”
“Goodbye, Declan.”
“Later, Mollz.”
***
“So…how’s the roommate search going?” Emma poured a cup of coffee and sat down at the small table in our break room.
I sighed. “Why is it so hard to find a normal person these days? I’ve interviewed more than a dozen people, and not one suitable candidate.”
“Did you post an ad on the employee bulletin board, like I suggested?”
I shook my head. “I don’t want another nurse or tech. It makes it weird at work if things don’t work out.”
“Maybe Dr. Dandy will apply.” She wiggled her eyebrows. “I heard he’s sleeping on Dr. Cohen’s couch until he finds a place.”
That information certainly perked me up. “Really? Will and whatshername broke up?”
“Yup. Lisa in X-ray told me Dr. Cohen told her he’s staying with him. Apparently he and the wannabe actress are finito.”
“Wow.”
Emma smiled. “Yup. And fair warning, my friend… I’m allowing a ten-day grace period for him to grieve the end of a year-long relationship. But after that, I’m going to be up your butt making sure you let the man know you’re interested. He’s not going to be on the market for long, and you missed your opportunity last time he was single. You can’t keep pining for the guy.”
Of course she was right. And while I felt elated that Will was back on the market, the thought of coming clean to him about my feelings made me want to throw up. Will Daniels—or as Emma called him, Dr. Dandy, because of his last name and uncanny resemblance to a male model named David Gandy—and I had been good friends for four years now. We’d started on the very same day at the hospital and had gone through orientation together. I’d had a boyfriend back then, and he’d been seeing a girl from med school at the time, so even though I’d always thought he was insanely handsome, things didn’t bloom until two years ago. And most of the time since then, he’d been seeing one woman or another. Emma was right that the man never seemed to stay single for long.
“He’s going to be at happy hour this Friday night,” I said. “A few of the crew from CCU are meeting up over at McBride’s. I’m curious to hear what he says about the breakup.”
“Does he know you’re looking for a roommate?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Well, he needs a place to sleep, and you need a roomie.” Emma shrugged. “Timing is everything. Maybe it’s fate and he’ll move in and take care of two of your needs.”
“I think your imagination might be getting ahead of itself. Why don’t we start by seeing if things are really over with him and whatshername? They’ve split up a few times, but he always winds up going back.”
“Okay. But I have a good feeling about you two.”
“Could you possibly have a good feeling about me finding a roommate instead? I just had to pay for another damn ad.”
Emma shook her head. “I can’t believe you didn’t find one decent candidate.”
Remembering my last interview, I said, “Actually there was one who would’ve been perfect—great credit score, neat, cooks, leaves early in the morning, and works long days.”
“So why didn’t you take her?”
“Because she was a he.”
★★★
Excited? We are too!


About the book

Finding a good roommate through a classified ad isn’t as easy as it sounds. 

I was starting to lose hope. 

Until a knock at my door came and God answered my prayers. 

Except…uh…wrong prayer, God. 

I’d definitely requested the big guy find me a drop-dead gorgeous man on more than one occasion…just not as my roommate. 

Declan Tate talked me into interviewing him anyway. 

While he was amusing and charismatic, I wouldn’t have been comfortable living with a man, so I regretfully declined. 

Then cupcakes showed up at my door—freshly baked by Declan and just as sinfully delicious as he was. 

You could say he was persistent. 

I eventually folded. It wasn’t like I had another viable candidate anyway. 

Plus, I was interested in someone else. And Declan was into another woman. So it wasn’t like anything would happen romantically. 

After he moved in, the two of us became the best of friends. We even started to give each other advice on getting our crushes to notice us. 

Eventually, Declan concocted an idea: we should pretend to be a couple to make our love interests jealous. 

I was hesitant, but went along with it anyway. To my utter shock, his crazy plan worked. 

Now I was dating the supposed man of my dreams, and my best friend had the woman of his. 

But there was one problem. 

I couldn’t stop thinking about Declan. 

Those feelings we were trying to fake? 

Yeah…I wasn’t pretending anymore.

RELEASING APRIL 12th!

PRE-ORDER LINKS
Please note: There will not be an Amazon ebook pre-order, but it will be available on in Kindle Unlimited on Amazon on release day.

Sign up for Vi and Penelope’s mailing list now and be the first one notified when it goes live!


PENELOPE WARD
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance. 
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
VI KEELAND
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.


RELEASE BLITZ – The Crush by Penelope Ward

Title: The Crush
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2021
BLURB
From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone, second-chance story of forbidden love… 
It’s natural to want the one you can’t have. And for as long as I could remember, I’d secretly wanted my brother’s best friend, Jace. 
He was six years older and always treated me like the sister he never had. 
Fast forward a decade. 
We were all in our twenties now. Jace had moved in with my brother, Nathan, and me to help us make ends meet after our parents died. 
It was just the three of us—an odd family dynamic. 
Living under our roof, Jace was as bossy and protective as ever. 
But he certainly didn’t look at me like a sister anymore. That was what made things so complicated. 
I was pretty much hot and bothered twenty-four-seven. 
And he was torn. 
The signs were subtle, at first. Like on movie night, I’d casually rest my leg against his, and he wouldn’t exactly shift away. 
Still, I assumed he would never…go there. 
Nathan would kill us. 
The knowledge of that wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable, though. 
Eventually our slow burn exploded. 
But more than the physical attraction, we’d developed a strong connection. 
We just couldn’t get caught, right? 
That sounded simple. 
Until it wasn’t. 
This is a story of forbidden love, broken trust, and an unexpected second chance.


PURCHASE LINKS


AUTHOR BIO
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling
author of contemporary romance.
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a
television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
AUTHOR LINKS
OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / APPLE BOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY / AUDIOBOOK


TEASER REVEAL – The Crush by Penelope Ward

Title: The Crush
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 22, 2021
BLURB
From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new standalone, second-chance story of forbidden love… 
It’s natural to want the one you can’t have. And for as long as I could remember, I’d secretly wanted my brother’s best friend, Jace. 
He was six years older and always treated me like the sister he never had. 
Fast forward a decade. 
We were all in our twenties now. Jace had moved in with my brother, Nathan, and me to help us make ends meet after our parents died. 
It was just the three of us—an odd family dynamic. 
Living under our roof, Jace was as bossy and protective as ever. 
But he certainly didn’t look at me like a sister anymore. That was what made things so complicated. 
I was pretty much hot and bothered twenty-four-seven. 
And he was torn. 
The signs were subtle, at first. Like on movie night, I’d casually rest my leg against his, and he wouldn’t exactly shift away. 
Still, I assumed he would never…go there. 
Nathan would kill us. 
The knowledge of that wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable, though. 
Eventually our slow burn exploded. 
But more than the physical attraction, we’d developed a strong connection. 
We just couldn’t get caught, right? 
That sounded simple. 
Until it wasn’t. 
This is a story of forbidden love, broken trust, and an unexpected second chance.



PRE-ORDER LINKS


EXCERPT
“I’m gonna grab a beer,” he said. “You want something?”
“I’ll take a beer, too.”
He chuckled. “Is it bad that I had to think for a second whether you’re legal to drink? It feels wrong giving you alcohol, for some reason.”
“You’ve dropped me off at the damn bar! How could you think that?”
“I know. It’s fucked-up.” He laughed as he walked backwards into the house. “Be right back.”
A minute later, Jace returned with two chilled bottles of Miller Lite. He popped one open and handed it to me.
“Thanks.” I took a long sip that felt great going down.
We polished off the rest of the food, and by the time I finished the beer, I felt pretty tipsy. Between the soft breeze blowing Jace’s scent my way and the buzz, I was on cloud nine.
Jace took it upon himself to clear our wrappers and napkins, stuffing everything into the paper bag. As he went back into the kitchen, he asked, “Want another beer?”
“I’d love one.”
When he returned, he set the bottle in front of me and sat back down. He put his feet up on an empty chair and leaned his head back, closing his eyes.
He sighed. “This is exactly what I needed…to chill at home.”
That made me happy. “Give your head a break tonight. You can always worry about work tomorrow.”
“Yeah. I think I’m gonna take your advice on that.”
While his eyes were closed, I was able to enjoy staring at his profile—his strong, angular jaw and slightly cleft chin, his perfect nose and kissable lips, the way the sun brought out a reddish tone in his otherwise black hair. Jace was even more beautiful with the sun shining on him.
I eventually closed my eyes as well, enjoying the breeze that offset a little of the heat. My eyes opened suddenly when I heard his chair skid against the cement.
“Fuck it.” He got up. “I’ll be right back.”
My heart raced a little. What is he doing?
A few minutes later, Jace returned in his swim trunks. They were blue with tiny anchors, a nautical pattern. Not that I was looking closely at his lower half or anything. I’d just started to make my way up to his chest when he dove into the pool, his gorgeous, hard body disappearing under the sky blue water.
He emerged and shook his head to clear the water from his hair. “You comin’ in or what?”
I got goose bumps. I hadn’t planned to, but I couldn’t resist the invitation.
“Sure.” I got up from my seat and unwrapped the towel.
Jace watched as I entered the pool. But what was he thinking?
I dove in and swam toward him, feeling more comfortable in my bathing suit now that I was submerged in the water.
He flashed a mischievous grin. “Wanna race?”
I splashed him. “Why? You think you can beat me just cuz your legs are longer?”
He cocked a brow. “There’s only one way to find out, right?”
Over the next several minutes, Jace and I swam in tandem from one end of the pool to the other. Sometimes he’d beat me to the other side, and a few times, I beat him.
Eventually, we got into a water fight. The next thing I knew, he was chasing me, then lifting me up and tossing me in the water. He did that several times. It was the most fun I’d had in a long time. I hadn’t a care in the world.
Then he lifted me up again, and I was certain he was going to toss me into the water, just like all of the other times. Instead, though, he just held me. Our eyes locked as my legs wrapped around his waist. He was going to have to drop me, because I sure as hell wasn’t climbing off him willingly. As he continued to hold me, the world seemed to stop. I could see the reflection of the palm trees in his gorgeous eyes, made luminescent by the sun. Those eyes then dropped to my lips. I could see his chest rising and falling. He swallowed hard. Holy shit. Something was happening. My heart was going a mile a minute.
And then…
“What are you doing?”
Jace dropped me like a hot potato at the sound of Nathan’s voice. My body hit the water with a loud splash.
What the hell is he doing here? My voice was shaky as I wiped the water from my eyes. “Wha…why are you home? I thought you were driving to meet that girl.”
“She canceled on me, so I came back after the job interview.” Nathan’s eyes traveled between Jace and me. He seemed suspicious.
“Oh.” I exhaled, moving a strand of hair out of my mouth. “How…how did the interview go?”
“It was okay. Too hard to tell if they’re gonna call me back, though.” He looked straight at Jace. “You guys seemed to be having fun. Didn’t realize I was missing out on a…pool party.”
Jace was silent.
I felt the need to chime in. “Jace decided to take his debut dip in the pool. We were just playing around.”
Nathan looked between us again. “I see.”
Jace finally spoke. “Well, it’s hot as all hell today. So…”
“You guys down if I make some dinner?” Nathan finally asked.
“We actually already ate,” I told him. “Jace went to Checkers.”
Nathan turned to his friend. “Since when do you eat dinner this early?”
Jace cleared his throat. “I was starving.”
“We didn’t think you were going to be home,” I said. “Otherwise, we would’ve waited.”
“I guess I’ll give you that.”
Jace got out of the water and dried himself off. He then laid out on one of the loungers, displaying his gorgeous, tanned body in all of its glistening glory. His feet dangled off the end of the chair.
Nathan snapped his fingers in front of my face. “I asked if I got anything in the mail. Earth to Farrah.”
Jesus. I hadn’t even heard him the first time.

AUTHOR BIO

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling
author of contemporary romance.
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a
television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
AUTHOR LINKS
OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD

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COVER REVEAL – Not Pretending Anymore by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Title: Not Pretending Anymore
Authors: Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative
Release Date: April 12, 2021
BLURB
Finding a good roommate through a classified ad isn’t as easy as it sounds.
I was starting to lose hope.
Until a knock at my door came and God answered my prayers.
Except…uh…wrong prayer, God.
I’d definitely requested the big guy find me a drop-dead gorgeous man on more than one occasion…just not as my roommate.
Declan Tate talked me into interviewing him anyway.
While he was amusing and charismatic, I wouldn’t have been comfortable living with a man, so I regretfully declined.
Then cupcakes showed up at my door—freshly baked by Declan and just as sinfully delicious as he was.
You could say he was persistent.
I eventually folded. It wasn’t like I had another viable candidate anyway.
Plus, I was interested in someone else. And Declan was into another woman. So it wasn’t like anything would happen romantically.
After he moved in, the two of us became the best of friends. We even started to give each other advice on getting our crushes to notice us.
Eventually, Declan concocted an idea: we should pretend to be a couple to make our love interests jealous.
I was hesitant, but went along with it anyway. To my utter shock, his crazy plan worked.
Now I was dating the supposed man of my dreams, and my best friend had the woman of his.
But there was one problem.
I couldn’t stop thinking about Declan.
Those feelings we were trying to fake?
Yeah…I wasn’t pretending anymore.
**No Amazon e-book pre-order. Will go live on/around release day and will be available in Kindle Unlimited. (Ward and Keeland’s *co-written books only* are available in KU. Their solo books are wide and not in KU.)


PENELOPE WARD
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance. 
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
VI KEELAND
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE & VI
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO
OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE
Releasing February 22
OTHER BOOKS BY VI

Find more books at 

RELEASE BLITZ – Happily Letter After by Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward

Title: Happily Letter After
Authors: Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 20, 2020
BLURB
From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes a love story about taking chances and the surprises that come with them. 
My love story all started with a letter. 
Only it wasn’t from the man I’d eventually fall in love with. It was from his daughter. A sweet little girl named Birdie Maxwell who’d written to the magazine that I worked for. 
You see, once a year my employer fulfilled a few wishes for readers. Only that column didn’t start up again for months. 
So I fulfilled some of her wishes myself. It was harmless…so I thought. Until one day I took things too far. 
While anonymously granting yet another of Birdie’s wishes, I got a look at her father. Her devastatingly handsome, single dad father. 
I should have stopped playing fairy godmother then. I should have left well enough alone. But I just couldn’t help myself. I had a connection to this girl. One that had me acting irrationally. 
Like when I showed up on their doorstep.


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VI KEELAND
Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.
PENELOPE WARD
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance. 
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism. 
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

OTHER BOOKS BY VI & PENELOPE
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK & AUDIO

Find more books at

NEW RELEASE – Summer Fling (a Summer themed short story anthology)

SUMMER IS HEATING UP!

Six FREE standalone summer themed short stories!

 

For a Good Time Call by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward 

Ever see For a good time call scribbled on the bathroom wall of a bar?  Sure you have.  Ever wonder what would happen if you had a few too many drinks and actually called the number? Well now you don’t have to wonder anymore, because I’ll tell you… It blows up in your face when you suddenly realize who Mr. Good Time is. 

 

Eternal Sunshine by L.J. Shen 

Adam Mackay is my brother’s best friend, turned Hollywood heartthrob, who is now my brand new, infuriating boss. 

Sounds complicated? You have no idea… 

 

Stay Right Here with Me by Willow Winters 

I can’t tell you how many mistakes I’ve made sitting in this very spot in this small town bar. Watching the iron doors swing closed as the broad-shouldered man who just walked in sits across from me, I already know he’s on that list of, “I shouldn’t have done that…”   

 

Damsel Dude in Distress by Helena Hunting 

I thought I was helping a damsel in distress. Turns out my damsel was actually a hot dude with some bad luck. It started with a broken down car and ended with a gross motel, an indoor campout and a set of Kama Sutra sheets. 

 

The Beach R.S. Grey 

I’m not supposed to be on vacation with my best friend’s older brother. I’ve wanted him for so long, and now we’re unexpectedly alone in a tropical paradise. Naturally, I packed a lot of bikinis, but I should have brought armor if I want to have any hope of surviving my week away with Noah Martin…or should I say, Dr. Martin. 

 

Lucky Shot by Sarina Bowen 

Rookie sports agent Bess Beringer gets a real education on the night of her first glitzy New York business dinner. But the things she learns have nothing to do with roster rules or contract negotiation. Luckily, rookie hockey player Mark “Tank” Tankiewicz is a pro-level teacher…   


 

COVER CREDIT:

Cover designer: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative



Grab your free copy today, before it goes away!

Available for only a limited time!

https://BookHip.com/HJXDKJ



RELEASE BLITZ – an all new series of COCKY HERO CLUB

COCKY HERO CLUB
Release Date: May 17, 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.
COCKY DUKE
BY ANNABELLE ANDERS
Mrs. Ambrosia Bloomington, now a widow, is ready to start a new life amongst Mayfair elites without the overarching reach of her late husband, Mr. Harrison Bloomington.  With her trunks loaded safely onto her own private carriage, she’s ready to face the world as an independent woman in Regency London.
She does not, however, bargain for cocksure Frenchman, Mr. Charles Cochran Bateman coming along and turning her very ordinary journey into the adventure of a lifetime.
She does not bargain for his laughter, his enthusiasm, nor his Joie de vie.
And blast and fiddlesticks, she certainly is not expecting to experience the sparks that charge the air between them.
And, it seems, apparently, neither is he…
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MOTHER CLUCKER
BY CAT JOHNSON
They say opposites attract, but in this case, they might just combust . . .
HEATHER
Hermosa Beach seems to be the place for throwing together unlikely opposites.
My rooster Rowdy and his new crush, Pixy the goat.
Me and the obnoxiously cocky cowboy from Texas . . .
But unlike Rowdy and Pixy, there’s no way I’m going to fall for David Strickland.
Nope. Not gonna happen. I could never be with a man so completely opposed to everything I believe . . . no matter how hot he is.
DAVID
There couldn’t be two people more different than the beautiful little tree hugger and rooster rescuer Heather and me.
We can’t agree on anything, except that we disagree on everything—some times more heatedly than other times. And believe me, things are starting to heat up between us, in more ways than one.
She’s the last thing I expected to find at an animal shelter in California. But now I found her, I have no intention of letting her go.
I just have to get her on board with that plan.

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SECRET KEEPER
BY CHRISTOPHER HARLAN

She was the fruit of a forbidden tree, but nothing in this world was going to stop me from tasting her.
My name is Dylan Murphy, and I work for the rich and powerful of an exclusive Manhattan building. Graham Morgan was my first boss,
but soon after I was working with some of the most famous entrepreneurs, business moguls, and movie stars in the city. They trusted me because I always followed the cardinal rules:
Never betray secrets. And never, under any circumstance, get personally involved.
I’d never dreamed of violating my professional mantra.
Not until she walked past me.
The look we exchanged that night set my body on fire, and I knew right then and there that no matter the consequences, she was going to be mine. But she was one of them—off limits and out of my league, but she was the kind of woman who I was willing to risk everything for.
I keep other people’s secrets for a living, but the biggest secret of all might be my own.

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COCKY CAPTAIN
BY ELLIE MASTERS
Ex-fighter pilot, Logan Reid, is exactly the kind of man I despise. He’s a cocky jet jock, a former Navy Blue Angel, and full of all the
arrogance that comes with being the best of the best.
I’m an ex-Zoomie, an Air Force tanker pilot. The rivalry between our sister services is nothing compared to that between fighter jocks and tanker pilots. We’re bitter rivals and I’m low-man (woman) on the totem pole
The last thing I need is to spend six hours at thirty-five thousand feet locked in a cockpit with the cocky captain. But I have no choice.
I’m his co-pilot, and we’re taking the CEO of Montague Enterprises, and his family, on a mini-vacation to the Grand Caymans.
We have three days on the ground before we fly back.
Three long days in paradise and he wants to spend them all with me.
I have a thing for fighter pilots.
It isn’t animosity, exactly, but rather a deep-seated dislike. They get all the glory while the rest of us sit at the butt end of their jokes and wither beneath their ridicule.
I hate fighter pilots. There, I said it. I hate the arrogant pricks with a passion.
But after one look into those magnetic eyes, and the devastating wink which follows, I’m thinking of throwing caution to the wind. What harm can come from some innocent flirting? Besides, it’s not as if my job is at risk.
I’m not prepared for the air to sizzle when he’s close.
I’m not ready for our explosive chemistry when he touches my skin.
I’m not equipped for the fallout when our three days come to an end.
And I never expected to fall in love.
But all good things come to an end.
I wasn’t prepared when I walked away.
And I wasn’t ready for what came next.
He’s arrogant.
He’s cocky.
He’s determined to get what he wants.
And he’s refuses  to let this end.
He’s fighting for a forever…with me.
But, I’m not ready for our beginning.
He’s arrogant enough to prove me wrong.

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SEXY SUIT
BY J.H. CROIX
When I met Ryan, I might’ve been trying to break into his basement.
It was for a good cause. I swear. Also, my dog broke in first.
Ryan Blake is jaw-dropping handsome, wealthy & cocky. Not quite my type. By some miracle, he doesn’t call the police on me when he catches me trying to rescue my dog. He even fetches a doctor for me. Don’t ask why.
I don’t figure I’ll see him again. Then, I do. Then, he kisses me. Once. Twice. Is three times the charm? To be honest, I swooned at the first kiss.
All swooning aside, we are seriously opposites. I wear cowboy boots and skirts. He wears suits and ties. He’s all New York City. I’m a Southern girl looking for a new start. We even talk at different speeds.
The list of things I don’t expect from Ryan is long. I don’t expect him to think twice about me. I don’t expect him to nearly bring me to my knees with a look. I don’t expect him to be so much more than I ever imagined.
I absolutely don’t expect to fall for him. So hard I’m skidding sideways just to catch my balance.
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WICKED BEDMATE
BY JENIKA SNOW

Getting fired and humiliated in front of everyone at my newly acquired secretarial job at Morgan Financial Holdings wasn’t how I’d seen my day going.
And then chaos—or maybe luck—ensured.
I was set up on a blind date, shocked that my former boss was giving me a month’s severance, and had the perfect interview lined up.
Maybe things were looking up for me after all.
And although finding a man should have been on the bottom of my to-to list, I couldn’t get Jason—the uber sexy blind date—out of my head. Sexy and confident—or maybe arrogant—he had me yearning for more with just a
smoldering look and a smirk of his lips.
But when a night of drinking leads to getting in bed with him and having the wildest, most intense night of my life, I didn’t know if I
should ask to see him again, or do the good old walk of shame.
And it’s when I walk into my interview the next day and come face-to-face with my prospective employer that the reality of my situation sinks in.
Because there, sitting across from me with that devilish smile on his face, that knowing expression of what we’d done the night before, is the one and only Jason, my supposedly one-night stand.
Looked like my humiliation wasn’t over just yet.
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LUCKY BASTARD
BY KAYLEE RYAN

Emma
When my best friend Aubrey asked me to tag along to an event with her, I never could have imagined that it would be the day that my life
changed forever.
He’s arrogant and demanding and doesn’t take a hint. Landon Barker, the quarterback for the Hermosa Beach Trojans, is a player on and off of the field. He’s got his sights set on me as his next play, but I see right through him. Aubrey says I’m overreacting, that I should give him a chance. What she doesn’t realize is men like Landon don’t fall for the girl next door. That’s not reality. She got her fairytale, although it was a long road. Not all
of us are that lucky.
Landon
She’s a friend of our new kicking coach’s wife. When I ask Chance for her number, he tells me I have to find a way to get it myself.
Nothing when it comes to Emma has been easy. She’s the first woman ever to turn me down, and that won’t do. However, as time passes, it’s about more than that. It’s about her smile, her laugh, and just spending time
with her. She thinks I’m a player, and she’s right. What she doesn’t know is that I play to win, and her heart is the ultimate trophy.
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COCKSURE ACE
BY K WEBSTER

I’m a fighter.
At least that’s what my daddy always told me.
It’s in our blood.
Hard work, hustle, and a little Hennessey is the Reid motto.
He taught me to fight for everything I wanted in life.
Take down those who threaten the dream.
My dream is to marry the perfect man.
That man is my father’s best friend and I won’t stop until I have him.
And at Daddy’s wedding in Costa Rica, I plan to make that dream finally come true.
Then, my life will be smooth sailing.
Until a chance flight with an arrogant pilot throws me off course. 
Literally. 
Camilo’s decisions affect my future, and I can’t allow anything—not even a cocksure, ridiculously hot idiot—to stand in my way.
Problem is, he fights back.
Every battle I’ve won in life, he shoots down and exposes me for the fraud I am.
Trapped in paradise with my devilishly handsome nemesis seems like one of the seven circles of Hell…and, boy, is it getting hot around here. 
He’ll strip me of my armor.
Remind me of my past.
Force me to rethink my future.
And help me live in the moment.
Will he steal my heart too?
One thing’s for sure.
This girl won’t give up without a fight.
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CLUTCH PLAYER
BY NIKKI ASH

Harper
I fell in love when I was sixteen. Landon was my entire world and I thought he would be my forever. But I was young and dumb, and with one error in judgement, I destroyed any chance of a future we could’ve had together, along with our hearts.
Twelve years later and I’m going through the motions of life, but not actually living. Which is why I let my friends, Bridget and Simon, set me up on a blind date. Turns out, it’s not so blind after all. Because the man sitting in front of me is the same man who’s held onto my heart all these years.
Landon
They call me a Clutch Player because I’m good under pressure and quick on my feet. I was also quick to fall in love. The first time it was
with baseball, the second was with Harper. And for a short time I had them both.
Until I lost Harper and all I had left was baseball.
For years, I focused on my career. I had accepted that baseball was my one true love.
Until I saw her again. I never imagined we’d ever get a second chance, but now that she’s sitting right across from me, I know there’s
no way in hell I’m going to let her go again.
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BLP REVIEW of Clutch Player ~ Tracy

Dear gods, Nikki Ash you’ve outdone yourself! I’ve literally just put my kindle down, having read this book in one sitting, through the night, as I couldn’t wait to see what was gonna happen with our lead characters.

Of the books I’ve read by Ms Ash to date, Clutch Player is without doubt my favourite. I thought the Imperfect Love series gave me all the feels but hell, this pair had me on an emotional rollercoaster….. there were tears, so many damned tears, of heartbreak, relief, happiness and joy…. – I lost track of how many tissues I went through reading this – I finished the book a snotty nosed mess, but in the best over-the-moon way!!

This was an exceptional story of first, true love and I adored Landon and Harper, they were so meant to be together and I loved watching them fight for their second chance.. their story from initial meeting, through friendship, love, it all going horribly wrong to them reconnection was well written, engaging and believable.

True love doesn’t always run smooth and choices and actions made in your youth can change lives in the blink…. reading about their mistakes hurt my heart, but sometimes you have to grow and learn to be able to be the person your meant to be!!

Clutch Player is a well written story packed with humour, heart, hurt, love and heat. That epilogue, bloody hell, I couldn’t get through it dry eyed!!

The characters are great and likeable – adults and kids – though there was one that I wanted to throat punch from around chapter one… but that’s kudos to the author for writing so well that she pulled those emotions from me for a fictional being!!

This is one of my top read of the year so far and without doubt a 5* must read book – if I could I’d give it a higher rating I would without hesitation!!!


SEXY SCOUNDREL
BY RAISA GREYWOOD

Carlina Perez is in way over her head. Unexpectedly jobless and fostering an exotic pet with an insatiable appetite, this pastry chef needs a new gig faster than she can whip up a batch of scones.  But when she’s tapped to serve as the personal chef to a haughty tabloid regular, she only considers the job out of sheer desperation. After all, Giorgio Acardi may be filthy rich and intoxicatingly handsome, but he’s also a first class scoundrel.
Giorgio Acardi has it all:  money, fame, an endless string of beautiful companions, and the respect of his colleagues and rivals. From the outside looking in, his life is perfect.
So perfect, in fact, that he’s even got his eye on a new personal chef. She’s talented and gorgeous, and it shouldn’t make a difference whether she hates him or not as long as she does the job. But there’s something about Carlina that Giorgio just can’t resist, and he hasn’t enjoyed success by backing down from a challenge.
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Cocky Hero Club

EXCERPT REVEAL – MY FAVORITE SOUVENIR by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

My Favorite Souvenir

A Contemporary Romance Novel

New York Times Bestselling Authors Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Release date: 4/27/2020

EXCERPT REVEAL:

“Good afternoon. You’ve reached the Four Seasons Resort, Vail, Colorado. How may I direct your call?”

I took a deep breath. “Hi. I checked out early this morning. My reservation was for ten days, but I only wound up staying two nights. Is there any chance you might still have my room available? Or any room, for that matter? My flight was canceled because of the storm.”

“Let me take a look. What’s your last name?”

“Appleton.” I shook my head. “Actually, the reservation was under Ellis. My fiancé’s last name.” Or ex-fiancé. But I’d let her call me Mrs. Ellis at this point if it meant I could have a place to sleep tonight.

“Give me one moment and I’ll check.”

“Thank you.”

I sat down in the lobby of the Best Western, the third hotel I’d been to in the last two hours. It was dumb of me to check out this morning. Though, at least I was consistent. After making the bad decision to go on my previously planned honeymoon alone, I’d brilliantly decided to check out only two days into the trip…without looking at the weather report for Vail. When I arrived at the airport, I had no idea that a blizzard was on the way. But the airline had assured me my flight was still scheduled as planned. And they’d kept their word right up until five minutes before we were supposed to board, when they announced a two-hour delay. Two hours turned into three, and three turned into five, and when we hit six hours of sitting on uncomfortable plastic seats outside the gate, they finally admitted it wasn’t going to happen. Every other flight had been canceled by then. And now, every hotel seemed to be full.

“Hi, Mrs. Ellis?”

I cringed at being called that, but answered anyway. “Yes?”

“I’m sorry. After you checked out, your room was rebooked. We’re actually sold out for the night because of the storm.”

I sighed. Of course you are. “Okay. Thank you.”

This was just my luck lately. I called four more hotels, until one said they might have a few rooms available. Apparently they had guests that hadn’t checked in yet and were in the process of making calls to confirm whether they would still be arriving today.

Rooms would be freed up on a first-come, first-served basis. So I decided to take a chance and head on over. It was already seven o’clock at night, and there was no point in sitting here anymore. Surprisingly, Uber was still running, even though the airport had called it quits hours ago.

Out front, the snow was coming down hard. A giant SUV with snow chains on the tires pulled up in front of the door. I couldn’t check the license plate or get a look at the make and model of the vehicle since it was covered in snow, so I walked over to the car and motioned for the driver to roll down the window.

“Are you Hazel?” the older woman behind the wheel asked.

I smiled. “Yes.”

“Heading over to the Snow Eagle Lodge?”

“Yes, please.”

Even though the next hotel was only two miles away, it took fifteen minutes to get there. By the time we pulled up, the conditions were almost white-out. It couldn’t be safe driving in this anymore.

“God, it’s really terrible out here,” I said as I pulled up the hood of my jacket. “Be careful driving tonight.”

“Oh, I will, honey. The next place I’m driving is home. I only picked you up because you were on my way. Good thing you’re at your hotel now. No one is going to be on the roads tonight anymore.”

Great. This place really better have a room for me.

As I climbed out of the SUV, a gust of snow smacked me in the face, despite the fact that we were parked under the building’s overhang. The wind made it look like someone had shaken a snow globe, hard. Inside the hotel, I wiped flakes from my eyelashes and glanced around the lobby.

Oh no.

This didn’t look good. A line of at least thirty or forty people snaked five rows deep, waiting to get to the reception desk. I sighed and wheeled my luggage to behind the last person. More than half an hour later, I finally reached the front.

“Hi. I called earlier, and the person I spoke to said some rooms might become available, that you were going to contact guests who hadn’t showed and see if they were still coming?”

The woman nodded with a frown. “Yeah. I can put you on our waitlist. But we’re still making calls, and to be honest, it’s not looking too good.”

My shoulders slumped. “Okay. Well, I guess please add me to your wait list.”

The woman lifted a clipboard and set it down on the counter. She thumbed through a few pages and turned it to face me, pointing at the next available line, which was two from the bottom of the page. “Just add your name and cell phone number.”

I scribbled both and let the pages above the one I’d been writing on fan back into place. Noticing the sheet at the top looked just like the one I’d signed, five or six pages down, I glanced through all the papers. There had to be at least a hundred names and telephone numbers.

“Are these all on your waiting list?”

The hotel clerk nodded.

“How many people haven’t checked in?”

“I think about a dozen.”

Oh God. This really wasn’t good. But maybe people had just added their names and left, like in a packed restaurant. Maybe the bulk of people ahead of me on the list had found other hotels.

Turning around, whatever hope I’d talked myself into immediately deflated.

Every seat in the lobby area behind me was taken. Some were even sitting on the floor, leaning against their luggage. With very few options, I wandered over and found an empty space on a carpeted area of the floor, not too far from the concierge desk. Though I knew it was futile, I took out my iPad and continued to search for a hotel with availability. Even if I found one, getting there would be a miracle on its own at this point.

The nearby concierge desk had been empty while I scrolled and made calls, but now two women walked over. One I recognized as the manager, since I’d spent a half hour staring at the people behind the front desk while I’d waited in line. The other had on a nametag and held a clipboard. I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on their conversation from where I sat.

“These seven we still haven’t reached,” the manager said. “All of the other rooms have been checked in, or we’ve reallocated them to people from the waiting list.”

The employee flipped through the pages and looked around the full hotel lobby.

“Jeez. And this storm is supposed to stick around for days.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a guy standing on the other side of the concierge desk. His back was to the ladies talking, but he craned his neck, and I thought he, too, might be eavesdropping. Figuring he was probably just as bored as me, I went back to my iPad search—until a few minutes later when I noticed him scribbling something with a pen on the inside of his hand.

What the hell is he doing?

He wrote for a few seconds and then seemed to go back to eavesdropping. The manager had walked away, leaving the employee to make her phone calls. She hung up from one call and dialed again.

“Hi. This is Catherine from the Snow Eagle Lodge. I’m trying to reach Milo or Madeline Hooker.”

The minute she said the names, the eavesdropper scribbled on his hand again.

Catherine continued leaving her message. “I just wanted to confirm whether you’d still be arriving this evening. Your reservation is guaranteed, so we’ll hold it as long as you need. However, if the storm has perhaps caused a change in your travel plans, we do have a long wait list of guests who could use the two rooms you have booked. My number here is 970-555-4000, if you could please return my call at your earliest convenience. Thank you.”

The same thing went on with the next two calls. Catherine left a message and the eavesdropper scribbled. Curious about what he was up to, I kept my eye on him. After the hotel clerk finished making her calls, she went back to the front desk. Eavesdropper picked up his backpack and casually strolled down a nearby hallway. I leaned to watch where he was going, and he eventually pulled up his hood and exited out a side door I hadn’t even noticed was there.

I thought it was odd, but I figured the show was over.

But a few minutes later, a guy with the same ski jacket walked through the front lobby door. He pulled his hood down, and I got a look at his face for the very first time.

Damn, he was handsome. Medium brown hair that was kind of shaggy and needed a cut, full lips, hazel eyes, and tanned skin. His warm skin tone really stood out against the pasty color of most people in Colorado this time of the year, including me. It was a shame I loathed men right now, because he was seriously gorgeous. He dusted some of the snow from the shoulders of his jacket and went to wait in line. It was much shorter now, with only two men in front of him, mostly because people weren’t braving the storm anymore. I had no idea what possessed me to do it, but I decided to get up and wait behind the guy. Maybe I was imagining things to keep myself entertained, but I had the distinct feeling he was up to something.

When it was his turn at the front desk, I moved as close as I could to listen without seeming like a stalker.

“Hi. I’m checking in,” the man said.

“Great. What’s your last name, sir?”

He cleared his throat. “Hooker. Milo Hooker.”

I squinted. The guy was totally full of shit. I knew it!

The unsuspecting hotel clerk punched a bunch of keys on her keyboard and smiled. “I have your reservation right here. Two rooms for two nights, breakfast included. Is that right?”

“Uhhh…” The guy nodded. “Yeah. I booked two rooms. But it turns out I’m only going to need the one.” He looked over his shoulder. “Looks like you won’t have a problem filling the other one, though.”

She smiled. “No, we definitely won’t. I’ll just need a credit card and a picture ID please, Mr. Hooker.”

I waited. This was the moment of truth. If he wasn’t actually Milo Hooker, he was going to have to make up some excuse.

The guy reached into his front pocket like he was going to pull out his wallet. For a second, I thought I might’ve been wrong, but then he pulled out a wad of cash.

“I lost my wallet on the slopes today. Luckily, I had some cash sent over through Western Union before the storm got too bad. Can I just pay cash?”

The young woman hesitated. “You don’t have any ID at all? I’m not supposed to check people in without photo identification.”

Fake Milo poured on the charm. He leaned forward and showed off a set of cavernous dimples. “We could take a selfie together?”

The woman giggled. She actually giggled. “Let me just check with my manager.”

She disappeared into the back and returned with the manager a few minutes later.

A crazy idea popped into my head. She said there were two rooms… I made a spur-of-the-moment decision and approached the counter.

“There you are, Milo.” I rested my hand on the guy’s shoulder. “My flight was canceled. I hope they still have our rooms.”

Fake Milo turned and looked at me with his brows furrowed.

He was going to blow it if I didn’t do something, so I turned my attention to the two hotel employees. “My brother and I booked rooms here for two nights, but I was trying to get out before the storm. Obviously I had no luck. I spent the entire day in the airport. Please tell me you still have my room? I’m dying for a hot bath.”

Milo looked at me, then the hotel employees, then back at me. I smiled and arched a brow. For a second, I almost felt bad for the guy. He looked so bewildered. Since he still seemed to be at a loss for words, I figured I should continue talking. “We went skiing early this morning and had our backpacks stolen. Between that and the storm coming, I figured it was a sign that I should get back home early. Apparently Mother Nature had other plans. We should have two rooms—Milo and Madeline Hooker. Someone actually just left me a message on my cell asking us to confirm. Her name was Catherine, I believe.”

The desk clerk nodded. “That was me. The storm has a lot of people stranded here unexpectedly without rooms, so we were checking in with guests that hadn’t arrived yet.”

The manager looked back and forth between Fake Milo and me. “We’ll have to take a hundred-dollar deposit for incidentals on each room since you don’t have a credit card.”

I smiled. “Of course.”

She nodded to her employee. “Check them in. It’s fine.”

The man next to me still had his mouth hanging open. So I dug into my purse, being careful not to show my wallet, which was supposed to have been stolen, and scooped out all of the cash.

“How much are the rooms?” I asked the clerk.

“Let’s see. With tax, they come to three-hundred-and-forty-two dollars each, for the two nights, and then we have to collect the hundred-dollar deposit.”

I didn’t think I had that much cash. I counted the money in my hand and slid it over in front of Fake Milo. “Can you spot me forty dollars? You know I’m good for it, bro.”

“Uh, yeah. Sure.”

After we paid and got the room keys, we walked side by side to the elevator bank in silence. It wasn’t until we were alone and the elevator doors slid shut that Milo turned to me. “What the hell just happened?”

I laughed. “We just got rooms, that’s what happened.”

He shook his head. “But who are you?”

“I noticed you standing near the concierge desk and eavesdropping while she called the guests who hadn’t arrived yet.” I reached forward and took the man’s hand, opening it to display blue ink. “You wrote down the names of the guests. I thought it was odd, so I followed you to the front desk to see what you were up to. When you made up that bogus story about losing your wallet so you could justify not having any ID, I knew you were full of shit.” I shrugged. “When the woman said there were two rooms on the reservation, I saw an opening and took it.”

“How did you know I’d go along with it?”

I smiled. “I didn’t. But that’s what made it so much fun!” I covered my chest with my hand. “My heart feels like it’s trying to ricochet out of my ribcage at this moment. It’s been a long time since I did anything risky like that.”

His eyes roamed my face. I got the feeling he still wasn’t sure what to make of me, even though I’d just explained what I’d done. He looked down at my lips, which were still curved in an excited smile.

“Why is that?”

My forehead wrinkled. “Why is what?”

“Why’s it been a long time since you’ve done anything risky? It looks to me like you enjoyed it.”

I blinked a few times, not having expected a question that would tug at my heartstrings, and my smile fell. “I don’t know. I guess I kind of turned into a different person over the last few years.”

Fake Milo’s eyes locked with mine. We’d gone from pulling off a crazy stunt and laughing, to an odd seriousness. His eyes flickered to my lips and back once again.

“That’s a shame. You have a great smile.”

Warmth spread through me, and I couldn’t seem to unlock my eyes from the stranger’s—at least until the elevator dinged and the doors opened on the third floor.

“This is us,” he said. “Rooms 320 and 321.”

“Oh. Right. Okay.” I stepped out and followed the signs to our rooms. Since we were, of course, family, they’d put us right next to each other. We stood a few feet apart as we opened our respective doors. As my lock unlatched and I turned the handle to go inside, something dawned on me.

“I almost forgot! I owe you forty dollars for the room.”

He smiled. “Don’t worry about it.”

“No, don’t be silly. I just didn’t have enough cash and didn’t want to hand the woman a credit card when we weren’t supposed to have ID. I’ll just throw my bag in the room and go downstairs to find an ATM. They must have one somewhere.”

“I thought you couldn’t wait to take a hot bath, or was that part of the act?”

I laughed. “No, it actually wasn’t. I wasn’t lying when I said I spent the entire day at the airport. A hot bath sounds pretty amazing right about now. But I can grab your cash first. It won’t take me long.”

Fake Milo scratched at the stubble on his chin. “I’ll tell you what. I’m going to take a quick shower and then go downstairs to the bar for a drink. Take your bath. You can find me there afterward to give me the money.”

“Okay.”

We looked at each other for a moment.

“Alright, well, enjoy your soak, sis.”

I smiled. “Thanks, Milo. I’ll see you later.”


PURCHASE LINKS:

Audio pre-order ➜ https://smarturl.it/zh98t8

Paperback pre-order ➜https://fave.co/2WSz22e

Add to Goodreads here ➜https://fave.co/2T0vXcS

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BLURB

My planned trip for two unexpectedly turned into a trip for one. Rather than let my breakup get me down, I packed my bags and decided a week at a luxury resort was just what I needed.

But one calamity after the next, and suddenly I was stuck without a hotel room, along with a few hundred other people.

It looked like my fancy vacation was about to turn into me sleeping on the hotel lobby floor.

Until I overheard a gorgeous man pretending to be someone he wasn’t in order to steal a reservation from a guest who hadn’t shown up yet.

When I realized there were two rooms, instead of calling him out, I pretended to be his sister. That’s how the story of “Milo and Maddie Hooker” began.

We were the Hookers.

My depressing trip quickly made a U-turn into an adventure.

My fake brother spent the next few days showing me around his hometown.

When it was time to leave, neither of us really wanted to go yet.

So, instead of flying back to our respective homes, we ventured on a road trip.

At every stop, we’d pick up souvenirs.

But as hot as our chemistry was, we never crossed the line.

Milo knew I’d just come out of a tough relationship and didn’t want to mess with a vulnerable woman.

So instead, at the end of our trip, we made a pact to meet again in three months.

It was always my intention to meet him.

But when I got back home, reality hit in a big way.

And I worried I may have lost my handsome stranger forever.

Was there a place for him in my future?

Or had the memory of him just become my favorite souvenir?


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

PENELOPE WARD:

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

PENELOPE’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/penelopewardauthor

Facebook Private Fan Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps/

Instagram:

@penelopewardauthor

http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor/

Twitter:

VI KEELAND:

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author. With millions of books sold, her titles have appeared in over a hundred Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twenty-five languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

VI’S SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook Fan Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ViKeelandFanGroup/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/vi.keeland

Website:

http://www.vikeeland.com

Twitter:

@vikeeland

Instagram:

@Vi_Keeland

http://instagram.com/Vi_Keeland/



COVER REVEAL ~ Just One Year by Penelope Ward

JUST ONE YEAR

(A standalone)

Release date: 2/24/2020

 

A Contemporary Romance Novel

New York Times, USA Today, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Penelope Ward

SYNOPSIS

The beginning of my sophomore year in college was off to a rough start.

On the first day of orientation, I had an altercation with an infuriating British dude.

(In the men’s room. Don’t ask.)

I got home later that night and realized that the foreign student we were expecting

to rent a room in my parents’ house was allergic to our cat.

So, the spare room went to someone else: Caleb—the British guy from the men’s

room.

And so it began…my love-hate story with Caleb Yates. Or was it hate-love in that

order?

The guy knew how to push every one of my buttons.

Sometimes I’d email him to express my aggravation and disdain.

He’d actually rewrite my own words and send them back to me.

That was the type of infuriating person Caleb was.

So frustrating.

And…

Sometimes incredibly funny and endearingly sweet.

And hot.

He eventually grew on me, and Caleb soon became one of my best friends that year.

Too bad he was headed back to England soon, so nothing could happen between

us—for so many reasons.

I definitely couldn’t fall in love with him, especially since all we had was just one

year.


COVER CREDITS:

Model: Chase Mattson

Photographer: Derick Smith

Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs


PURCHASE LINKS:

Apple Books https://books.apple.com/us/book/just-one-year/id1491516544?ls=1

Paperback https://fave.co/2QgEaIN

Goodreads https://fave.co/35S2B5Q

 

Sign up to be alerted when it goes live on Amazon here:

https://fave.co/2KoLPUN

**No Amazon e-book preorder. Will go live on/around release day.

 


BIO:

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.

She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.

With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/penelopewardauthor

Facebook Private Fan Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/PenelopesPeeps/

Instagram

@penelopewardauthor

http://instagram.com/PenelopeWardAuthor/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/PenelopeAuthor

 


OTHER BOOKS BY PENELOPE WARD:


One Book More

Another Book, Another Destiny...

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

FNM

Book Reviews and More

BookZone

~book reviews ~ mostly non-fiction ~ true crime & biographies

CJR The Brit

Book Blog

Lady Heather's Reviews

Lover of books, music, and happily ever afters.

The Romance Bibliophile

Avid Romance Reader | Blogger | Proofreader

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Chelle's Book Ramblings

Let's Talk Books

Madeline's Blog

"I'm on the hunt for who I've not yet become."

N.M. Catalano Writer/Author

Romance With A Dark Side

Lisa s Everyday Life

Life is beautiful. Its about giving. Its about family. Walt Disney

Ines Johnson

A little magic in your love story...

Hunter S. Jones

Writer ~ Author

Fearless Ophelia

Speaking Out on the Unspeakable

BE MY BOOK BOYFRIEND

Fictional characters, non-fictional feelings

...Burns Through Her Bookshelf

Voracious reader, book lover, intermittant blogger, audiologist. These things are some of me, but not the sum of me.

DPAPA's Living A Flip Flop Life

Turn Your Passion Into Your Business Online

Pink Ink

Ten authors, four countries, one blog.

After Dark Book Lovers

END YOUR DAY WITH A GOOD BOOK

Book Loving Pixies

We live to read ~ we love to read!!!!

Rumpled Sheets Blog

#Rumpled_Sheets

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