Cover Reveal, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Dear Agony -Georgia Cates

Tasty Book Tours Presents….

DEAR AGONY
Georgia Cates
Releasing March 1st, 2017

Dear Agony,

You’ve been my shadow, following me through childhood—filling my days and nights with terror and uncertainty. You cleverly disguised yourself as some form of pain or suffering as I grew into a young woman. We were unwavering companions … until I severed our ties.

I traded homelessness on the streets of New Orleans for a luxurious bed covered by the finest linens.
I traded dumpster diving for dinner in the finest restaurants.
I traded myself to a stranger—Bastien Pascal.
I have a good life within my platonic and mutually beneficial companionship with Bash.
He’s my friend. My mentor. My roommate.
Until everything changes.
I’m not supposed to get goosebumps when his hand brushes my skin.
I’m not supposed to be eager for his soothing touch following one of my nightmares.
I’m not supposed to think about what might happen if I reached out to him in the darkness.
Falling in love with him? Preposterous . . . unavoidable.
Agony, why are you back with a vengeance to rob me of this life I’ve come to love so dearly?
I’m finally happy. Don’t ruin this for me.

Always yours,
Rose

In this epic love story, Dear Agony forges a connection between an unlikely pair—a beautiful rose entwined in barbed wire and a shipwreck sinking into the darkest depths of the ocean. This agonizing romantic novel poses some gut-wrenching questions: What does a woman do when the man she loves is planning his own demise? And how far will she go to give him something to live for?

Georgia Cates resides in rural Mississippi with her wonderful husband, Jeff, and their two beautiful daughters. She spent fourteen years as a labor and delivery nurse before she decided to pursue her dream of becoming an author and hasn’t looked back yet.

When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing. When she’s being domestic, she’s listening to her music and visualizing scenes for her current work in progress. Every story coming from her always has a song to inspire it.

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Excerpt:
Bastien wasn’t lying. The man snores. Loudly.
I was awake for hours after he came to my bed. I had far too many thoughts whirling around in my head to doze off.
I’m proprietor of a sadness I hold so tightly, it’s penetrated my very being. It has wrapped itself around my heart in the form of barbed vines, warning people away. I’m buried chest deep in filth—the filth of my vile past. I’m the captain and my pain is forever my first mate.
I wake to find myself held by his strong arms. Encased in his comforting touch. Strangely, even though I’m clinging tightly to the arm wrapped around my waist, I feel . . . safe in the arms of a man. This man. It’s a first for me.
Bastien is still sleeping, his snoring proof he is unaware of our entanglement. I’m glad. I want to savor this close encounter for a while longer before I pull away.
I steal this moment like a thief, permitting myself to study his face and body without his knowledge.
His chest under my head is hard, as is his stomach beneath my hand. There’s sparse hair between his pec muscles but he has a small patch on his abdomen trailing down into the front of his pants.
I gently lift my head so I can see his face. Long, thick, dark lashes rest against his lower lids. Strong, square jawline—covered in dark whiskers, and a few sparse silver here and there, a little thicker this morning than last night. A tiny dimple in the center of his chin. Full, pink lips with a deep cupid’s bow. Straight nose, slightly asymmetrical to the right side of his face. Hmm … I haven’t noticed that until now. I bet it’s been broken. Probably playing football.
Even in sleep, Bastien’s face doesn’t completely relax. His brow remains wrinkled, the shallow crowfeet around his eyes slightly crinkled.
Lines and all, he’s handsome. Extremely so.
And stirring.
I quickly pull away and roll onto my side, my back turned to him before he fully awakens. I don’t want that awkward moment of waking and coming to face to face, forced to discuss what led him to my bed last night.
Minutes later, there’s a brief dip in the mattress and then I hear the soft click of my bedroom door closing.
He’s gone without a word.
I roll to my back and run my hand along the spot where he was lying. Still warm. Scooting closer, I press my nose into his pillow. Mmm. Woodsy. Earthy spice. Masculine.
Savoring the warmth and smell that remains in my bed after Bastien’s departure is something I shouldn’t enjoy … but I do. Very much.
Liking these things isn’t part of our agreement.
Bastien has clearly stated he doesn’t want a romantic relationship. In fact, he’s very much against it, especially with someone my age. And I refuse to ruin what we have. I like him. I think we can be very good friends.

New Release, Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Daring to Fall (Hidden Falls #2) – By: T.J. Kline

Will they let duty drive them apart or will they dare to fall?

DARING TO FALL
Hidden Falls #2
T.J. Kline
Releasing Jan 17, 2017
Avon Impulse

T.J. Kline returns to Hidden Falls with the sweet and fun story of a small-town firefighter and the stubborn woman who refuses to fall for his charms.


Emma Jordan has returned home after her father’s death to run the animal sanctuary that had been his legacy. But strange things start happening, and it seems that someone is out to shut her down, someone who doesn’t mind putting lives in jeopardy to see it through. When Hidden Falls’ sexiest fireman starts to ask questions, Emma needs to make sure his charm doesn’t distract her from keeping her dreams alive.

Ben McQuaid has an obligation as a local fireman to protect the community, even from a well-meaning wildlife veterinarian who’s in way over her head. But, it’s becoming hard to keep his loyalty to the town and his desire for the pretty vet separate. As Ben and Emma become caught in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, their feelings for each other are growing. 
Will they let duty drive them apart or will they dare to fall?

ANGIE’S REVIEW: I love a good series and Ms. Kline is delivering a very promising series with her strong writing and characters that both shatter your heart, but have you turning (swiping) the pages to see what happens next.

Emma is a headstrong woman who will do anything to save her father’s animal sanctuary, sabotagers beware. I connected with her immediately; and not at all because she’s a also a redhead with stubborn pride and fierceness (okay, so that really helped me to understand her because I’m also a fiery, stubborn redhead). Her father’s legacy, and the animals that she cares for, mean everything to her.

Ben is captivating, with a soft side that has him rescuing a kitten from a tree. I connected with him immediately because of that soft side (and come on, it’s a baby kitten!!), and how diligent he was in trying to protect Emma.

I don’t often like books with mystery//suspense, but Ms. Kline worked her magic and had me swiping the pages as fast as I can.

I love sweet, small town romances and Hidden Falls is gearing up to be one of my favorite book places to visit.

Well done, Ms. Kline. You’ve created real chemistry between Emma and Ben; friends first before romance is something that I always admire.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****
DISCLAIMER: I requested a review copy so that I could participate in the blog review tour. All opinions are my own.

T. J. Kline was bitten by the horse bug early and began training horses at fourteen—as well as competing in rodeos and winning several rodeo queen competitions—but has always known writing was her first love. She also writes under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her spare time, she can be found spending as many hours as possible laughing hysterically with her husband, teens, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California. That is, when she isn’t running around the California Gold Country researching new stories .

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“Hey, Ben, I have a favor to ask.”
Ben McQuaid rolled his eyes skyward. Of course, his brother Andrew needed another favor. Lately, Ben seemed to be the one doing the favors more often than receiving any. But, that’s what brothers did for one another, right? And with six siblings, most of them younger, that added up to be a lot of favors.
“Make it quick, I’m on my way into the fire station for my shift.”
“Good, because this is more of an official call than a favor anyway. I need you to head down to the Quinn place on Mosquito Road. Apparently, there’s a cat stuck in a tree. It seems stupid to call it in to the firehouse and drag the engine out for a cat. See? I’m actually doing you a favor and saving you all that cleaning and polishing you have to do just for driving a truck out of the garage.”
They’d be cleaning the engine anyway. Plus, without an engine, Ben had no ladder to get up the tree. “So, what you’re suggesting is that I shimmy up the tree the way I did when we were ten to get the football you and Grant would get stuck.”
Andrew’s chuckle sounded through the receiver. “Pretty much. Look, the call just came in from dispatch and you’ve got to drive by there on your way into town anyway. No sense in making it an official call.”
There was nothing about this that was a favor for Ben. “What’s wrong, is there an apple fritter with your name on it? This way you save yourself the effort of having to fill out another police report, right?” Andrew wasn’t fooling him.
“There’s that too.” Ben heard Andrew address someone else in the background. “Hey, I have to run. There’s a domestic dispute at the winery. You got this, right?”
“Yeah, I’ll take care of it,” Ben said with a sigh.
“Thanks. I owe you one.”
“One?” Ben muttered to himself as the receiver disconnected in his ear and he took the turn off onto Mosquito Road. “You owe me more than that.”
He wasn’t looking forward to this. Hollister Quinn was one of those old guys who spoke his mind, loudly and often. He’d been the first in line to protest the latest upgrades being done to spruce up their small foothill town. Said he liked it rustic, the way it’d been for years and that it should stay that way. However, now that there was talk about Hidden Falls trying to become more of a tourist attraction along the way to Tahoe, an idea that would bring higher profits for local businesses which, in turn, kept the town thriving, Quinn was complaining even more. A visit with Quinn, even to retrieve a kitten, was sure to bring a lengthy lecture about how the people of Hidden Falls were selling out. Ben rubbed the knots of tension already building at the back of his neck.
Pulling into the circular driveway in front of the Quinn house, he maneuvered his pickup between several other vehicles, none of which were Hollister’s. A crowd was already gathered under one of the tall pines in the front yard.
“Great,” the old man complained as Ben edged closer to the chaos. “Please, tell me you’re here to do something productive, not just here to gawk like everyone else. I need someone to get that damn thing outta my tree.” He pointed to where a tabby kitten yowled loudly from a high branch on the tree.
Ben squinted, following the old man’s gaze. “Are you sure that’s a cat? It doesn’t look—”
“What else would it be?” Quinn rolled his eyes before glaring at Ben and shoving him toward the god-awful howling the cat in the tree was making. “Do your job, fireman, and get that thing down.” He turned away, muttering something about the woman running the animal sanctuary down the road but Ben didn’t quite catch it and he wasn’t about to risk having the old man rip him a new one again.
“Sure thing, Mr. Quinn,” Ben agreed, wondering again why he’d wanted to be a firefighter. Sweating it out with the cattle on his parents’ ranch sounded a hell of a lot better right now than climbing a tree to get the shit clawed out of him by a frightened kitten.
He glanced around at the large group of neighbors that had come to watch, curious at the interest for a simple kitten stuck in a tree. It wasn’t a big enough deal to warrant this sort of hullabaloo. The kitten yowled louder and Ben had just lifted his foot onto the ladder Quinn had left braced against the side of the tree when Ellie Quinn, the old man’s daughter, hurried to his side.
“Ben, I’m sorry. I tried to get my dad to just leave the poor thing alone, but you know how he is.” She shot him a coy smile and her eyelashes fluttered.
Ellie was a nice woman. The same age as his younger sister and obviously interested in him. She was sweet, kind to everyone she met, a member of the local women’s shelter planning committee and generous to a fault. In fact, she was exactly what he wanted in a woman, plus she had a “girl next door” quality that made her adorable. His mother had been trying to set them up for months, reminding him that he should be giving her grandchildren before she was too old to enjoy them. The problem was, Ben wasn’t attracted to Ellie at all. He wanted to be, but every time he was around her, there was no stirring in him, no warm fuzzies like he’d had with other women. Nothing to get a rise out of him, so to speak, at all. It was almost like he wanted to continually find himself getting screwed over by crazy women. “Don’t worry about it, Ellie,” he said, waving a hand in her direction and looking up the tree. “I’ll just get this guy down and he’ll take off back home.” Ben wasn’t nearly as confident about his ability to get the cat down as he sounded but Ellie was sweet. He couldn’t blame her for her cantankerous father.
She cocked her head and gave him a confused look. “Oh. Um, okay.”
Putting one foot over the other as he climbed the ladder, trying to ignore the jeers and shouts from below, Ben pulled himself into a fork in the tree, hanging his legs over the branch as he straddled it. He could barely see the spotted fluffy coat of the kitten but, from what he could see, it was definitely young. He’d never understand how a stupid animal could get itself into a tree but couldn’t get back out. Then again, it wasn’t like people didn’t get themselves into some pretty precarious positions they couldn’t figure their way out of.
Tucking his feet under him so he was squatting on the limb, grateful for the heavy tread of his work boots, Ben reach for a thick branch to his right, using it to swing him to the V beside where the cat was hiding. The gasp from the onlookers below nearly made him laugh. Sure, falling would be painful but the fifteen-foot landing into mulch couldn’t hurt any more than the second story floor of an old farmhouse collapsing from under him during a call and dropping him into the concrete basement below. Those two fractured ribs had hurt like hell.
Straddling the second branch, he watched the kitten for a moment. The poor animal was scared out of its mind. Its big blue eyes were round with fear and, from this vantage point, he could see that it was a matted mess. Tiny claws clung to the rippled bark of the tree and he wondered how he was possibly going to convince the frightened animal to let go without his very vulnerable bare arm replacing the tree trunk under its claws.
“Here, kitty,” he called quietly. The cat turned toward him and he saw the unmistakable black tufts over the kitten’s ears. It turned away again, edging out onto the branch and he saw the stubby tail.
Holy crap, that is not a cat. It’s a freakin’ bobcat kitten.
“Shit,” he muttered. “That damn brother of mine owes me big time.”

Review: Pigs on the Ball: Fun With Math and Sports – Amy Axelrod

Description: It’s Mr. Pig’s birthday, so Mrs. Pig and the piglets take him for a round of miniature golf. And they give him his present — a new lucky golf shirt. But the new shirt isn’t lucky enough. It seems like Mr. Pig can’t make a single hole in one, while Mrs. Pig sinks every putt. Can studying the geometry of the golf course give Mr. Pig a better chance? With a free pizza prize at the end of the game, nothing can hold the Pigs back. Play ball!

ANGIE’S REVIEW: I read this with my nephew, who liked following along with the pig family’s day of mini-golfing to celebrate papa pig’s surprise birthday party as that’s his favorite sport. He loved keeping score and learning about the different shapes and how to add/subtract depending on how many times they had to swing.

What we didn’t exactly like was how the book ended abruptly; if you weren’t paying attention to the pictures, you wouldn’t understand how the story ended, which was frustrating for my nephew.

(view spoiler)

Overall, this is a great way to introduce more complicated math to young readers, as well as teach them the importance of good sportsmanship.

In my opinion, PIGS ON THE BALL is suitable for children age 9 and older.

Pre-order, Exclusive Excerpt, &Giveaway: Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) – Lauren Layne

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.

LOVE STORY

a Love Unexpectedly novel

Lauren Layne

Releasing February 14th, 2017

Loveswept



Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.
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“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and she spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.


Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.

In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!



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New Release, Excerpt, Review, & Giveaway: Sweet Southern Hearts (Willow Hill #3) – Susan Schild

a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery… 

SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS
Willow Hill Series #3
Susan Schild
Releasing Jan 10th, 2017
Lyrical Press

Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…  

When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.

Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…

This charming and well observed novel about finding the courage to love after loss will make you smile as well as cry more than a few happy tears.  Be prepared for a story of true tenderness, humor, and sometimes nail biting tension. Sweet Southern Hearts delivers all this and more.” –Holly Chamberlin, author of Summer with my Sisters

ANGIE’S REVIEW: LINNY!

JACK!

Neal.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved it, but am sad that it’s the last book in the series. I absolutely love the whimsical Linny, the ever patient – and sometimes too nice – Jack, and the typical tween Neal, who tests Linny’s patience…as well as the reader.

And don’t forget Vera. Ugh, how the heckfire did Jack manage to handle that woman? And have a child with her!!

Linny’s mother cracks me up, as does her gaggle of friends.

Though it could be read as a stand alone, I highly suggest that you read all three books in order. Linnie’s growth and strength spreads across all three. Though naive in so many ways, she never loses sight of the big picture and deserves every good thing that happens to her.

I find it hard to not give away spoilers, so this is all that I will say! The characters are easy to fall in love with and you find yourself staying up all night to finish. The writing flows excellently and there’s never a dull moment.

Ms. Schild has done her characters justice in this trilogy and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store as she moves away from Linny (*sniffles*) and into new waters.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****
DISCLAIMER: I requested a review copy of this book so that I could participate in the Tasty Books blog tour. All thoughts are my own.

Susan Schild writes wholesome and sunny Southern fiction. She likes stories about charming men, missing money, adventuresome women, sweet dogs, and happily ever afters at any age.

Susan is a wife and a stepmother. She enjoys rummaging through thrift store for treasures like four dollar cashmere sweaters and amateur watercolor paintings. She likes taking walks with her Lab mix, Tucker, and his buddies. She and her family live in North Carolina.

Susan has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and a management consultant to add authenticity to her characters.

SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS, the final book in the Willow Hill series, will be released in January of 2017. Readers can look forward to more adventures, new beaus, sinister ministers, lovebirds over fifty, a road trip for Mama and her pals, and maybe even an “I Do”…or two.
You can follow Susan on Facebook, Twitter and on her website or subscribe to her quarterly
newsletter
for inside scoop, sneak peeks and giveaways.


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Excerpt:
Linny’s heartbeat galloped under her life jacket as they shot down the rapids of the Ocasoula River. Eyes wide, she watched as their orange raft careened toward a jagged boulder, bumped it hard, and spun them toward a patch of choppy water. As the water rushed around the three of them—Linny, her new husband Jack, and their beautiful, Ms. Outward Bound–type goddess of a river guide—they dug deep and paddled hard, straining to pull through the eddy. With a whoosh, they were pulled backward down the roaring, foaming river. Linny shot Jack a panicky glance, but he was grinning exultantly and looking like he was having the time of his life. With the flick of a braid and a pirate’s smile, the guide thrust her paddle into the rapids, turned the raft around, and steered them downstream toward calmer water. Too soon to relax, though. Linny saw more rough waters ahead and tensed.
Be a shame to lose a third husband, she thought crazily and paddled harder.
The nimble-footed photographer from the outdoor center jogged along a path on the riverbank, snapping away as their raft rocketed toward the Turbinator, the Class III rapid that roiled ahead in the home stretch of the river trip. The photographer’s ponytail bounced as he raced ahead of them, taking shots as their raft bucked, dove, and finally glided through the rain-swollen Ocasoula.
Soon, a shivering Linny stood at the takeout, hugging herself and rubbing her arms. She’d been splashed thoroughly and didn’t want to think about how cold the water would have been if they’d flipped over. Though it was late June, the guide told them the water temperature was only in the midfifties. Linny found herself grinning like a fool as she waited for Jack to come back from the truck with his wallet to pay for their pictures. She’d been terrified, but she’d had a blast.
A white water rafting trip might not be high on most women’s lists of a must-do on a honeymoon, but when Linny had seen how Jack’s eyes sparkled as he reminisced about a rafting trip he’d taken when he was in his twenties, she’d said, “Let’s do it!” in an enthusiastic, practically perky voice she’d hardly recognized. In this new and complicated marriage, being a good sport and flexible as Gumby were going to ease the way. Though rafting wasn’t her thing, Jack had cheerfully gone on the vineyard tour with her yesterday and, on the drive up to the mountains, had tagged along, not looking bored, as she’d poked through vintage aprons and yellow Nancy Drew books at an antique store.
“Here you go, ma’am.” The young man held out his camera and scratched one mesh- sandaled foot with the other as he watched her view the shots he’d taken.
In perfect clarity, the fellow had caught them at the moment she and Jack got sling-shot skyward in their raft after diving down into the roiling water of that last rapid. Linny peered more closely at the picture. The photographer had captured the Carolina blue sky day, the Day-Glo orange of the raft, the lithe young goddess at the helm, and her and Jack—the glowing, sun-drenched newlyweds. Twice coming down that river they’d almost flipped and been swept into the churning waters. Linny’s teeth had chattered and she’d buzzed with adrenaline and fear, but she looked alive and exhilarated as she beamed at Jack, pure joy in her eyes. With powerful arms, he was digging away with his paddle, helping power them through. But Linny spotted two details that made her eyes well up: Jacks’ new gold band glinting in the sunlight and the look he’d given her just as the photographer had taken the shot was one of wonder and delight. He looked like he was thinking, How did I get this lucky?
“You did a great job.” Linny smiled at the young photographer.
“Thanks.” The young man blushed and pulled down the brim of his cap. He pointed to the visitors’ center. “Just give me a minute to load the pictures and you can pick the ones you want.”
“Thanks. We’ll be over as soon as my husband gets back,” she said.
He raised a hand and loped off.
Linny loved saying my husband. She’d probably said it too many times over the three days of this honeymoon. My husband and I are from Willow Hill. My husband is a veterinarian. My husband likes unsweetened tea. Linny smiled at herself. Yup, she was being obnoxious, but she didn’t care. She was so dang happy that she couldn’t stop. Well, at least for a while.
At age thirty-nine and with her streak of bad luck with husbands, the odds of her and Jack finding each other and falling in love weren’t great. Linny sent up a quick prayer of pure gratefulness. After her beloved first husband, Andy, had died of a brown recluse spider bite while cleaning out a shed for Linny—an item on the too-long honey-do lists she always kept for him—she’d been lost for so many years and thought she’d never be happy again. Then Buck the charmer came along. She should have known a golden boy driving a vintage Caddy wouldn’t be good husband material, but she’d married him anyway. He’d turned out to be trouble, but just as she was considering divorcing him, he’d up and died on her. When his aneurism blew while he was in bed with a woman named Kandi, he’d left her broke.
Linny had sworn she’d steer clear of men or die trying, and then she’d met Jack. Technically, she’d accidentally hit him in the head with a bourbon bottle while recycling at the dump. She smiled and shook her head, remembering. Most women would pretty up that how-we-met story, but Linny told people the unvarnished version. Maybe she just wanted to spread the word that second chances, fresh starts, and true love were all still possible, even at her ages. The happily ever after you yearn for just might not look the way you thought it would.
So, a few days ago in a backyard ceremony, Linny had married Jack. A small-town vet with a twelve-year-old son and an exquisite ex-wife who was just a little too chummy with him for Linny’s taste, Jack came with complications. But so had she. And today she was buoyant and happy.

New Release, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Rule Maker (The Rule Breakers #2) – Jennifer Blackwood

All her rules are about to change…

THE RULE MAKER
The Rule Breakers #2
Jennifer Blackwood
Releasing January 16th, 2017
Entangled Embrace

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.


~ Coming January 16th ~



He scrubbed his palms over his face and rested his elbows on his knees. “This was not how I saw this night going.”
“Big Valentine’s Day plans?”
He lowered his hands and looked at me like I’d just claimed I single-handedly caused the storm raging outside. “I didn’t even know that was today. Does this mean we’re each other’s valentines by default?”
I scoffed. “Not a chance.”
He chuckled. “Always so blunt. I like that about you.” He quickly cleared his throat as if he hadn’t meant to say that. “Well, non-valentine, looks like we’re going to be stuck here a while. Have anything in mind?” he said.
I decided against packing on another insult. He was being nice, and this sure as heck beat staring at the wall the rest of the night. “My form of entertainment is at 6 percent battery, so I’m open to suggestions.”
“Mine is fully charged. Want to watch something?”
“Sure.” What else did I have to do? Before I knew it, I was sitting on the bed next to him, leaning against the ornately carved headboard. Snow gusting against the window was the only sound in the room as he searched for a show for us to watch.
So quiet.
Way too quiet.
I fidgeted with my necklace, moving the small diamond back and forth on the chain. The last time I was in bed with Ryder… I didn’t even want to finish that thought, because it’d do nothing but make this situation worse. I chanced a peek in his
direction.

He chewed the inside of his cheek, swiping through our options. “This is awkward, huh?” he said.
“We’ve achieved Urkel status.”
He chuckled and scrolled through the show queue. “Would you rather watch Law and Order: SVU or Criminal Minds?”
“That is quite possibly the worst Would You Rather question ever asked.”
His eyes cut to mine. “I didn’t know I was playing a game.”
“You’ve never played it?”
He shook his head.
Lainey and I played this game all the time in college, and when we’d take road trips together. She always came up with the grossest ones. “It’s simple. All you have to do is ask the person which horrible thing they’d rather do. The harder the question, the better. Like would you rather lay in a pit of snakes, or eat questionably dead roadkill?” I pointed to his phone. “Oh, John Tucker Must Die. I like that one.
“Negative, ghost rider.” He scrolled past my suggestion. “And what the hell does questionably dead mean? Is it still twitching, or are we talking suspicious cause of death?”
I shrugged. “The interpretation’s up to you.”
“You’re absolutely no help.” He swiped his thumb across his beard and contemplated. “I guess I’d go with the snakes.”
“Okay, now it’s your turn,” I said.
“Do I really have to play? I thought we were picking a show.”
I shot him a look.
“Fine. Would you rather have me or Chewbacca as your valentine?”
“Too easy. The spider.”
He put his hand to his heart. “You wound me.”
“Stop being such a baby.” I swatted at his chest and immediately pulled my hand back. Nope. Would not go there. “Okay, would you rather not be able to see or talk for a
month?”
He answered instantly. “See.”
“Right. You’d probably go nuts if you couldn’t open that big mouth of yours.”
His lips twitched. “You’re one to talk.”
“Excuse me?”
Okay, I did have a tough time keeping my thoughts on lockdown outside the office, but that was my own cross to bear.
“Don’t even try to play it off like you’re innocent.”
I’d dated a lot of losers in the past, most who hadn’t even bothered to get to know me, but even after only hanging out a few times, Ryder had me pegged. He was perceptive. I saw the look in his eyes whenever I dealt with Jason. His attention focused solely on me was unnerving. “Jerk,” I sputtered.
“Now I know you’re holding back. You can do way better than that.” He scrolled through his phone again. “How about Die Hard?”
“Are all your show selections about death? I’m starting to worry I made a mistake coming over here.” My lips pulled into a smile and I quickly extinguished it. God, I wanted to hate him.
“Fine.” He
continued looking at the Netflix queue. “Would you rather eat sushi from a taco stand, or lick an airplane armrest?”
“Good one. Sushi.” I pointed to his screen. “How about 10 Things I Hate About You?”
He shook his head and chuckled. “Are all of your suggestions going to not-so-subtly tell me you hate me?”
I smiled sweetly. “Maybe.”
“Just think, most people would find this to be a romantic escape. Two people, stuck in the mountains on Valentine’s Day,” he said.
“We’re Hallmark movie material, all right,” I deadpanned.
“Okay, fine. How about The Walking Dead?”
“Your show picking powers have been officially revoked.” I grabbed the phone from his hand.
“Hey!” He grabbed for the phone, and I held it out of reach. “You’re going to regret that.” Within seconds he was on top of me, playfully pinning me to the bed, his strong hands circling my wrists. Air evaporated from my lungs as our gazes connected.
I was immediately transported back to that night.
Tell me what you want, Zoey. Tell me what you need from me.
I swallowed hard. That was months ago, and those words still haunted me from time to time.
Because he did exactly that, gave me what I wanted and needed. Repeatedly.

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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New Release, Excerpt, Review, & Giveaway: To Tempt a Viscount (Entangled Nobility #1) – Naomi Boom

Get Tempted by this Debut Historical Romance!

TO TEMPT A VISCOUNT
Entangled Nobility #1
By: Naomi Boom
Releasing January 13, 2017
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Lady Laura Rosing knows two things: first, she will marry for love, and second, she detests rakes. When she meets Lord Gavin Farris, she understands immediately that he fails both her criteria, and worse yet, he is an absolute cad who refuses to leave her be.

Lord Farris has always appreciated women and cannot understand why Lady Laura is so resistant to his charms. While pretty, she is not his usual type, but something about her intrigues him. Much to his chagrin, he finds himself desperately in love with her, but he may be too late. His adamant refusal to marry just might have planted her firmly in the arms of another.

 
ANGIE’S REVIEW: I am a huge fan of regency era books, leading ladies who aren’t afraid to stay true to them, and authors who aren’t afraid to step out of the box and introduce more modern aspects to their romances.

And who doesn’t love a rogue who bucks tradition and refuses to do what he’s told? They make the perfect leading men who fall the hardest.

I can’t wait to read more by Ms. Boom as her writing style flows smoothly, leaving you captivated, and turning the pages as fast as your eyeballs can read a page.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****
DISCLAIMER: I requested a digital copy of this book in order to participate in the blog tour through Tasty Books. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Naomi Boom is an author with a newly-discovered love for writing. Her inspiration struck when she was searching for the perfect historical romance novel to read. Nothing sounded appealing, so she decided to write her own. That one novel has morphed into a series, and hopefully many, many more.

She currently resides in Kansas with her family but has her eyes planted on an acreage in eastern South Dakota. Once her husband retires from the United States Army, they will return to her home state where she will continue to pursue her passion.

Excerpt:
Perfectly nice? That is how you view me? What happened to dangerous?”

“You have hardly been deserving of the title.”

He sent her a piercing gaze and asked, “You do realize you are now in a perfectly acceptable social class, don’t you?”

“I always was in an acceptable social class, but what does that have to do with anything?”

The pair rounded a corner of the maze and were now located outside of view of the house. “I could not behave the way I wished when I thought you belonged to a lesser class. Now I can.”

“As a gentleman…” Her words were cut short as Lord Farris captured her in his arms. His lips descended on hers, engulfing her and chasing away all thoughts.

New Release, Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Falling for the Best Man (Sisters of the Wishing Bridge Farm #1) – Amanda Ashby

He’s the best man and her secret fling; who said being a wedding planner was easy?

FALLING FOR THE BEST MAN

Sisters of Wishing Bridge Farm #1

Amanda Ashby

Releasing Jan 9th, 2017

Entangled Bliss


What’s worse than running into your ex-hookup at the airport? When said ‘hookup” is the best man for the most important wedding of your career, and he’s on the hunt for a fake girlfriend. Between a hysterical bride and a wedding party gone wild, wedding planner Emmy Watson can’t afford any more disasters if she wants to save her beloved Wishing Bridge Farm. Which is why she puts the best man on lockdown. Unfortunately, he also happens to be the one guy who can make her forget everything except the way his kisses make her feel.

All Christopher Henderson needs is a fake girlfriend to convince his bosses that his bad boy reputation is a thing of the past so he can land his dream job. What better place to find said companion than at a wholesome vintage wedding? The only thing he didn’t count on was seeing Emmy, the woman who dumped him.

The one he hasn’t been able to get off his mind.

There’s no denying the spark between them, but he’s a globetrotter and she’s a homebody, and falling in love is something neither of them has in their plans.

ANGIE’S REVIEW: A beautifully crafted sweet, hometown romance, Falling for the Best Man tackles when Emmy’s past catches up to her in the form of ex-fling, Christopher, being the best man in the wedding event she’s hosting at the family farm she grew up on.

The chemistry between Emmy and Christopher is flirty and their romance steadily grows and matures at a believable pace.

This mostly clean romance is told from the dual viewpoints of Emmy and Christopher and is definitely a book you want to pick up and read on these brutally cold winter nights, or for a fun read on the beach! (I’m looking at all of you southerners and those who live across the pond!)

This is a stand alone book in a series, but has a HEA ending. It sets up the next book in the series for Emmy’s siblings perfectly.

ANGIE’S RATING: ****

DISCLAIMER: I requested an advanced copy in order to participate in the blog review tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by receiving said review copy.

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia, but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture.

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed in the New York Public Library Stuff for the Teen Age.

Because she’s mysterious, she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.




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Excerpt:
“Emmy,” he countered, trying not to be distracted by the delectable sight of her chest rising and falling. “One dance. That’s all I’m asking. For old time’s sake.”
Emmy’s lips twitched, and Christopher could almost see the two sides of her battling before the carefree smile he recognized from their time together in New York appeared. It changed the shape of her face and brought everything about their first meeting slamming into his mind. She stood up, so close that his skin prickled with desire.
“Fine. One dance.”
“Great.” He led her to the small wooden dance floor to the left of where the jazz band was playing. Lewis and Miranda were in the middle, and fanned out all around them were the rest of the bridal party, but all Christopher could see was Emmy.
The music pulsated around them, and even the pale yellow moon above swayed to the beat. He sucked in a breath and pulled her toward him. It was a mistake, and his lungs were filled with the smell of her freshly washed hair and the evening clematis climbing up the crumbling brickwork of the courtyard walls. His arms tightened around her waist, and her bunched, tense muscles seemed to relax as she melted into him. The rest of the world disappeared, and all he was conscious of was her pounding heart as it pressed against his.
This was the woman he’d met two years ago.
And it seems I’m just as helpless around her as I ever was. Which is either a good thing, or a very, very bad one. The verdict’s still out.
As if reading his mind, she turned her face up to him, a soft, suggestive smile tugging at her full mouth. Desire flared through him, and if they were anywhere else he would’ve kissed her without a second’s hesitation. He forced himself to return her smile and simply enjoy the way her body molded his.
It wasn’t until the lead singer announced the name of the next song Christopher even realized the music had stopped. Emmy was the first to recover, and she stepped away, her face flushed and her eyes not quite meeting his.
“Um.” She licked her lips. “I’m not sure that was such a good idea.”
“I hate to disagree with you, but I think it was an excellent idea. And one that should definitely be repeated. You can’t deny that there’s still something between us.” Christopher tried to pull her closer as the next song started, but she folded her arms firmly in front of her. Ironically, it highlighted the soft curves of her body.
At this rate I’m going to need a fire engine to cool me down.
“I’m serious,” she insisted before letting out a soft sigh. “You’re right. There is still something between us, but there’s nowhere it can go. I want to save the farm, and you want to go visit every strange nook and cranny in the universe. Don’t you see? Nothing’s changed.”
“My hair’s longer,” Christopher said, but it was obvious by the way Emmy had pushed her lips into two compact lines, she wasn’t in the joking mood. “I know you like to be organized, and I get that, but aren’t you over thinking this? I mean, shouldn’t we be having the fun first and then move on to the serious conversations about why it would never work?”
“I’m sorry.” The muscles around her jaw tightened. “I think we should just be friends.”
“Friends that do friendly things together? Like dancing?” he asked in a hopeful voice.
“How about friends that help other friends ensure the groom’s brother doesn’t do anything he might regret?” she countered.
Christopher winced. Ouch. He’d been friend-zoned. Logically, she had a point. She hadn’t changed her mind, and he wouldn’t change his, which meant it was for the best.
If only someone could inform my body of the situation.

New Release, Excerpts, & Giveaway: Dear Jane – Marissa Clarke & Properly Groomed – Boone Brux

Two New Novellas for ONLY $.99 each

DEAR JANE
An Animal Attraction Novella
Marissa Clarke
Releasing January 9th, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck

Jane Dixon is a dating disaster. Flammable tablecloths and broken arms are just a typical evening for her unlucky companions. No wonder Jane never gets past a first date. But luckily her co-worker and new bff says he’s got loads of friends who’d date her more than once. If only she could stop thinking about how much fun he was to hang out with. And she’d never dropped a bucket of ice on his junk. Win.

 All attorney Eric Blackwell has to do to make junior partner is not screw anything up for six weeks, which seems like a slam dunk until he finds himself matchmaker to the office “One Date Wonder” aka the boss’s daughter. It’s hard to stay focused when setting up the hottest girl he’s ever met with everyone but himself. Maybe he could just set her up with all the wrong men, and keep his hands off his new friend… Yeah. His promotion is toast. 

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Excerpt for Dear Jane: After dropping off his briefcase in his office, Eric made his way to the end of the hallway and knocked on Jane’s door, flowers in hand.
He felt ridiculous. Sort of like he had before his prom in high school, only Jane wasn’t going to dance with him and the flowers were from someone else. Still, this was a chance to actually speak to her and that was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. He was about to make her day with a clearly expensive bouquet of flowers from another man. His chest tightened. So did his grip on the vase. He was beginning to think pathetic wasn’t a strong enough descriptor.
“Come in,” she called.
When he opened the door, she didn’t look up from her computer screen, clearly engrossed in whatever she was reading. Brow furrowed, she tapped the end of a pen on the side of her monitor. Holy shit, she was beautiful—intensely focused with the sun from the wall of windows making her hair shine like gold. He’d never been this close to her before and found himself a little overwhelmed, which was ridiculous. He was head of an entire team at one of the most prestigious law firms in New York City. Nothing should overwhelm him. Get it together, Blackwell.
When she finally looked up, her eyes widened and she pushed to her feet behind the huge, shiny desk. “I’m sorry. I thought you were Marcie dropping something off.”
“Well, I am… Not Marcie, but dropping something off.” Great. Just great. He groaned inwardly at how ridiculous his first words ever spoken to this woman were.
Her large blue eyes flitted from his face to the flowers and back again.
“These are for you,” he said, awkwardly holding them out.
“Oh…um…” She circled her desk, moving closer. “Wow. Thanks.”
“I’m Eric Blackwell.” He cleared his throat. “From Mergers and Acquisitions.”
She smiled, flashing straight, white teeth. “Yeah, I know.”
She knew? His heart hammered harder, which seemed impossible. He cleared his throat again. “Marcie was swamped and asked me to deliver these for her.”
“Oh…” She glanced at the flowers, her smile fading slightly.
“Yeah, she had a bunch of stuff come in at once, and I was already heading this way, so…”
She nodded. “That was nice of you. Thanks.” With her hair pulled into a knot on the back of her head, her eyes looked huge.
Eric placed the vase on her desk, taking a deep breath. Shit. She even smelled good. Maybe it was the flowers. “These are nice. You must have an admirer.” And his morbid curiosity wanted to know who it was so he could direct his irrational jealousy appropriately. He pulled the envelope from the arrangement and handed it to her, hoping not only to extend his time this close to her but also get some intel.
He gritted his teeth as she pulled out the card. This level of interest was incontestable proof that he was working way too hard and playing way too little. Since his break up with Shannon almost a year ago, he’d done nothing but work. No wonder being this close to a woman was the highlight of his day. He had to fix this. Quick.
No. He needed to hold tight until after he made junior partner. That had been his goal from the start. It was important he get that promotion. The money would be nice, but really, it was all about the security, something he never had growing up.
Jane’s face clouded as she studied the card. “Who does this kind of thing? What kind of…” She waved a hand in an exasperated motion. “What kind of jerk uses a romantic gesture as a way to deliver a message like this. Really?”
And here he’d thought dropping off the flowers would associate him with something positive in her mind. Today sucked.
“I thought I’d gotten a date right for once, you know what I mean?”
Nope. Not a clue. How could a woman like this—obviously smart since she worked at one of the premier law firms in NYC, and gorgeous on top of that—get anything wrong on a date? Eric had an overwhelming urge to hunt down and beat the shit out of the prick who sent those flowers.
When she turned, her eyes brimmed with tears. Not the stream down your face kind, but controlled and held in. Oh God, not tears. They made him feel helpless and “holdy.” That’s what his mother had called it. His solution for tears was to hug, which he absolutely under no circumstances could do to Jane Dixon. The image of holding her soft body against his harder one, made him… well, harder. He clasped his hands behind his back to keep from taking Jane in his arms. “I’m sorry. I…”
She blinked, pushing the tears back before they could fully form. “No, I’m sorry. You were just doing something nice for Marcie. You had no idea you’d been thrown in the room with the One-date Wonder.”
“Maybe I should—” He stepped backward toward the door.
She threw her hands up. “Seriously, how I can screw it up every time? Every. Single. Time.” She paced to the edge of her desk. “Do you know that I haven’t had a second date since I graduated law school?”
His day had just gone from pathetic to surreal. All he could do was shake his head.
She paced to the potted plant in the corner and then back to her desk. “Oh yeah. Loads of first dates. Never a second. And you know what?”
Hopefully that was rhetorical, because no way in hell could he possibly guess what would come out of her mouth next.
“I’m so done. I’m never going to find a guy to ask me out twice. I should swear off men forever. Men suck. Dating sucks.” She took a shuddering breath. “I suck.” And then one of the tears she’d held back this whole time escaped—only one—as she stood perfectly still and silent.
As if on auto-pilot, he crossed to her and folded her in his arms like he’d done with his mother so many times in his life. This wasn’t anything like those hugs, though, and his body made that fact painfully clear as she circled her arms around his waist under his jacket and leaned her cheek against his chest. And it was definitely her and not the flowers that smelled good.
After a few seconds, Eric’s heart hammered so hard he was certain Jane could hear it. There wouldn’t be enough lifeboats in the world to save Operation Smooth Sailing if he continued to rub his hands up and down his boss’s daughter’s back. Reluctantly, he loosened his grip, pulled away to create some space between them, and gave her shoulder an awkward, platonic pat.
“Sorry.” She straightened his lapel and brushed it, stepping back to arm’s length. “I…” She took a deep breath. “…got a little emotional on you there.”
Eric remained frozen in place, only a couple of feet from her, completely clueless what to do or say. He needed a how-to manual for this kind of thing.
She leaned against her desk, facing him. “I’m so frustrated.”
Ditto.
“I mean, why can’t a guy just go out on a date without an agenda or strategy? And why are women held to a different standard?”
Rhetorical. Please let that be rhetorical. He tried to look somewhere else, but couldn’t draw his gaze away from her hands as she fiddled with the necklace that disappeared into her cleavage behind her silk blouse.
“If a guy spills ice water in his date’s lap, she wouldn’t hold it against him forever. She wouldn’t send him flowers with a Dear John letter attached. Am I right?”
Ice water in his lap might be just the ticket right now, Eric decided, finally pulling his gaze away from the freckle on her neck peeking out from under her silk collar. “No. Uh… I mean, yes. Yes, you’re right.” Right in so many ways it made him dizzy. Coming to her office had been a mistake. It had to be the ten months of abstinence in combination with the ridiculous hours he’d been putting in leading up to this merger, and the stress of blowing his promotion this close to his annual review that had him in this state.
“I guess I’m just scared I’ll never find a guy who’ll go out with me more than once. It’s kind of a joke in my family. My three brothers are married and I can’t even get a second date.”
“Maybe it’s just that you’re going out with the wrong guys. I know lots of men who would give anything to go out with someone like you.”
“You do?” Her eyebrows rose, her expression hopeful.
“Sure.” He could think of one in particular, but sadly there was that non-fraternization clause he’d signed when he was hired.
“Ohmygod, you’re the best, Eric!” She held out her hand. “You’re on.”
What the hell? He accepted her extended hand, and she gave it a vigorous handshake.
“I’m free on Fridays after seven.” She scribbled on a Post-It note on her desk. “Give one of your friends my number, and we’ll set up a time.”
He took the slip of paper. “O—kay.”
She smiled. It was a huge smile that lit up her entire face, like the sun coming out. “Great. You’re the best. Really, you are.”
Oh yeah. He was the best for sure. The best at mucking everything up. He finally had Jane’s phone number and now he was tasked with finding another man to give it to. Perfect.
“Oh. And I have another favor to ask.”
Maybe this could turn around.
She held up a finger and wagged it. “No lawyers. I will never date one. Ever. I’d rather stay single the rest of my life.”
Nope. No turning this disaster around.
Numb, and not exactly sure how he’d gone from up-and-coming attorney to flower delivery boy to Jane Dixon’s personal dating service, Eric shuffled out the door and down the hallway to the safety of his office. This time, he closed the door.


PROPERLY GROOMED
Wedding Favors #3
Boone Brux
Releasing January 9th, 2017
Entangled Lovestruck

Playing house just got real…

When Joya Bennett wakes up after her brother’s wedding, half-naked and lying next to her lifelong crush, she’s mortified. OMG, did she try to jump his bones? Worse, did she succeed? Intending to lay low and housesit for her brother until the
embarrassment fades, she sneaks away before he wakes up.
What she didn’t plan on is having company.

Lincoln Fisher doesn’t do relationships, but if he did, his friend’s little sister would be the one to tie him down. Good thing Joya had one too many drinks
during the reception or he’d have crossed a line. Her brother would kill him if he found out all the places Linc wanted to kiss the sexy, auburn-haired beauty.

And now they’re stuck in the same house. For two weeks.

She’s off-limits. And he needs to keep it that way, even if the heat building between them is hot enough to blow off the roof…

Each book in the Wedding Favors series is a stand-alone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.

Book #1 Bridesmaid Blues
Book #2 Random Acts of Marriage
Book #3 Properly Groomed


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AMAZON | B & N | ITUNES | KOBO

Marissa Clarke is a multi-award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens.

She lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa’s heart) with an iron paw.

Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA.

To receive updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe to her newsletter.


Amazon Best Selling Author Boone Brux’s stories range from high fantasy to humorous paranormal.

Having lived all over the world, and finally settling in the icy region of Alaska, she’s always looking for the next adventure. It’s not unusual to find Boone traversing the remotest parts of the Alaskan bush, gathering information for her stories. No person or escapade is off limits when it comes to weaving real life experiences into her books or blogs.

Join Boone’s V.I.P. Club and be first to hear about new releases, events, free read, contests and giveaways, and so much more. Sign up for her newsletter and stay informed. 


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Excerpt for Properly Groomed: Joya retrieved the spare from the hook and headed for the guest bedroom. “Linc?”
“Yeah?” he said, his voice coming through the bathroom door.
“Do you have a key to the house?”
“Yeah.” The door opened, and amidst the cloud of steam and smell of aftershave stood a near-naked Linc. A white bath towel hung low around his waist, and his body glistened from his shower. “Why? Do you need to borrow it?”
“Uh.” Her eyes followed a droplet of water as it fell from a strand of black hair, ran down his shoulder, and slid over his muscled chest. The urge to lick the droplet—and the rest of the water—from his body pushed her forward, but she held the key in front of her like a cross against a vampire. “No. Um. I have my own, but thanks.”
“Thanks.” He looked at the key, but when she didn’t leave, he smiled. “Joya?”
“Yeah?” She couldn’t stop staring at him—at his body—his fabulously touchable body.
“Was that all?” He hesitated before taking a step toward her, bringing him way too close. “Or was there something else you wanted?”
Just one touch. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it? A light brush, maybe more like a caress… Her eyes drifted to his face. “What?”
He took the key out of her hand and dropped it on the floor. It hit the tile with a loud clink. “Was there something else you wanted to give me besides this?”
Was there ever! Moreover, there was a big something she’d like him to give her—several times. Her gaze darted to the key on the floor and back up to him. She needed to walk away. Now. Why wouldn’t her feet move? And why had he gotten even closer?
He grinned.
Wait a second.
Why that sexy, arrogant, son of a…
You.” She jabbed at his chest. “I know exactly what you’re doing, and you can just cut it out. I’m not one of those girls that’ll just swoon at your feet in the face of all…this.” She waved at his naked, glistening chest. And shivered, damn it. “So if you don’t mind, I think it’s best you get back to…” She couldn’t have stopped her blatant visual inspection of his body if her life had depended on it. “…getting dressed.”
With that, she pivoted and practically sprinted down the hall, away from all his tempting nakedness. Another encounter like that and her resolve would roll over and toss its skirts in the air for him.

Cover Reveal: Way Back Into Love (Love, #1) – Veronica Thatcher

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favorite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favorite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them. She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. You can reach Veronica through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Gmail.

Cover Reveal

Way Back Into Love (Love, #1)

Author: Veronica Thatcher

Cover Designer: Notion Press

Publisher: Notion Press

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 20, 2017

Goodreads

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.
Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind?

Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.

Hosted by readinginsarahscorner@gmail.com


Pre-Release Giveaway: Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) – Lauren Layne

Over the course of one wild road trip, 
feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.
LOVE STORY
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing February 14th, 2017
Loveswept

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.


Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 

Hobbies include cocktail
hour, a designer purse addiction, and dry rosé.

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Excerpt, Playlist, Meet Emma, & Giveaway: In Your Arms (For Your Love #2) – Shannyn Schroeder

A KNIGHT IN SHINING LEATHER…

IN YOUR ARMS
For Your Love #2
Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing Dec 27th, 2016
Zebra Shout

A KNIGHT IN SHINING LEATHER…

Sean O’Malley has never tried to hide who he is. He shows it in the motorcycle thrumming between the legs of his tight jeans…the shaggy hair that falls in his gorgeous eyes…the wicked gleam in his smile when he asks Emma out for a drink. Sean is a rebel, a bad boy, and a ton of fun: exactly the kind of guy she’s sworn off forever.

Emma isn’t just the prim kindergarten teacher she appears to be. And somehow Sean can tell. As soon as he pulls up to her overheated car he knows that a fast bike and a cold beer will fix her rotten day better than compliments or a bubble bath. Her straitlaced exterior and her wild heart light him up. But Emma wants to escape her past and settle down—and if her desk jockey dates don’t understand where she comes from, at least she doesn’t worry about them bringing her back.

One weekend of intense connection can’t change the paths Sean and Emma have chosen. But with a little space to be themselves together, maybe the rest of the world can wait…



Meet the Heroine (In Your Arms)– Emma Long

I had a great time writing Emma Long. She came to me in pieces a while ago as a character. I thought about a Kindergarten teacher who normally has a potty-mouth, but limits how many times a day she can swear (five) and the rest of the time, she improvises (fudge monkey). At first I had no reason why she was like this or any of the rest of her backstory, but I wanted to know.

As I started thinking about Sean O’Malley, I knew she would be a good fit for him. The O’Malley boys use the word “fuck” in every other sentence, so pairing Sean with a woman who really tries not to swear would be fun.

But as I got to know Emma, there was so much more to her. She has an older brother, Nicky, who is completely unreliable. She was raised by a single mother, Brandi, who wasn’t the best provider. The only thing that Emma could count on as a kid was birthday cake on her birthday. As she says, it’s the one thing her mom got right. So now, birthday cake is comfort food for Emma.

Emma grew up as a wild child. School was hard, so she charmed her way through. Once she got out of high school, she worked random jobs, often at the same bars where her mother worked. The party lifestyle suited her.

Until they were evicted (again). Then Emma decided she wanted more out of life. In order to make that happen, she needed to change. She went back to school and became a teacher. She’s now the responsible member of the family and her brother and mother rely on her.

Emma wants everything she didn’t have growing up. She wants a husband, kids, and house with a backyard. She needs something she can count on and she’s working her ass off to make that happen. Unfortunately, she tends to be drawn to guys who don’t fit the bill.

When she meets Sean, she knows he’ll be great for a night, or maybe even a weekend, but she can’t count on him for the long haul. Or can she?

Don’t miss the other FOR YOUR LOVE titles!

Playlist for In Your Arms by Shannyn Schroeder

For a few years now, I’ve been developing my process for writing a book, especially since I’m not a plotter. I can’t outline a book before I write. One of things I do that I find really helps ground me in a book is having a playlist. I create the playlist before I ever write a word. I choose songs based on what I know about the characters and the arc of the story. Sometimes I choose songs that still fit by the time the book is done, other times, not so much. Once the playlist is created, I listen to it almost nonstop before writing (to the point of annoying my children) and every time I sit down to write.

It’s been almost a year and a half since I drafted In Your Arms and I have to say this is one of the best playlists I’ve ever created. It still holds up for the characters and the book. It’s also one of my favorite lists. It’s mostly fun and upbeat, just like the book.

If I had to choose just one song to represent the book as a whole, it would have to be Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon. It’s all about being attracted and belonging together, but she holds back and he knows it. Running a close second would be Bad Enough for You by All Time Low because Sean knows that Emma loves his bad boy side. It’s what she’s drawn to, and she doesn’t really want him to be nice to her.

Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon | Bad Enough for You – All Time Low | All I Wanna Do Is You – Bon Jovi | Stay with Me – Sam Smith | We’ve Got Tonight – Bob Seeger | Lonely Tonight – Blake Shelton | I Need You – Saving Abel | Touch – Josh Abbott Band | Free Me – Joss Stone | Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now – Joss Stone | Head Over Feet – Alanis Morissette | Stand Here with Me – Creed



Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.

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Excerpt:
The blast of air-conditioning hit them as the automatic door swung open. Emma paused, looked up and around, and turned toward the bakery. Sean followed. She kept walking, and he stopped by the coffee cakes. A chocolate-chip cake sounded good.
“What about this?” He held up the plastic container.
“Uh-uh. It needs to be birthday cake.”
Sean held on to the coffee cake but followed her to the refrigerated section. She looked at the display for a minute before choosing one. As great as Emma seemed, she sure had some weird quirks. She picked out a round cake with Happy Birthday written in blue handwriting. Red, yellow, and blue icing balloons decorated the edge.
Emma said nothing. With the cake in hand, she turned toward the register. Although she quickly offered answers to his questions, she wasn’t like other girls he knew, who would fill silence with any kind of pointless chatter.
“You okay?” he asked when they got to the self-checkout.
“I will be.” She scanned her cake, and he jumped in to scan his too before she could finish the transaction. Then he swiped his card to pay.
“You didn’t have to buy my cake.”
“I know I didn’t have to, but if I have a crappy day and someone buys me a beer, that beer tastes even better going down.”
His answer got the reaction he’d hoped for. A smile. Emboldened by her smile, he pushed on. “So why does it have to be birthday cake?”
She sighed and he thought she might not answer. “Birthday cake was the one thing my mom got right when I was a kid.”
He waited, hoping she’d explain, because how could anyone mess up store-bought birthday cake? They walked through the automatic door, and the heat of the afternoon swamped him.
“You met her. Even with that brief encounter, you can probably tell Brandi is far from a stellar mom. A lot of things were uncertain when I was little. But birthday cake was something we could always count on. It didn’t matter where we were living or even if she had a job, Mom made sure we had birthday cake on our birthdays.”
“It’s weird now that you mention it. I guess I always took birthday cake for granted. In my family, we’re all adults and we still make a trip to Blackstone’s to get a birthday cake.”
“For me, birthday cake is comfort.” She leaned over and bumped his shoulder as they walked. “I keep some in my freezer because you never know when you’re going to have a bad day.”
“Seriously?”
“Well, it’s not like I buy a cake and eat it all by myself in one sitting. It would be a waste to throw it out, so I cut it into pieces and freeze it.”
The walk back to his house was too quick. Sean liked Emma talking about herself. He didn’t know how he’d even managed not to realize how much he missed having a girlfriend. Then he remembered that every girl at some point pushed for something more than he wanted to give. He wasn’t about to put a ring on anyone’s finger. That kind of commitment would ruin his easygoing lifestyle.

Prelease Sale, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Romancing Dr. Love (Sterling University #1) – Rebecca Heflin

It’s all about the chemistry.

ROMANCING DR. LOVE

Sterling University #1

Rebecca Heflin

Releasing March 7th, 2017

Dr. Samantha Love says it’s all about the chemistry. A brainy psychology professor and researcher, Sam has based her entire academic career on the theory that what we call love is simply a chemical reaction. She is currently running a study to prove that her compatibility blood test reveals perfect matches—sort of like an organ donor, but for relationships. No romance required.

Along comes sexy literature professor, Dr. Ethan Quinn, who says it’s all about the romance. He thinks the pretty psychology professor has taken love and all its mysteries and reduced it to something as romantic as a cholesterol test, and he sets out to prove her theory wrong.

When Ethan signs up for her study, Sam discovers to her horror, that according to her compatibility test, they are a perfect match. Sam faces an existential crisis over her career and her research. If she believes in her science, shouldn’t it follow that she believes Ethan is her perfect mate? And if she doesn’t believe he’s her perfect mate, doesn’t that bring into question her research? Her compatibility test? Her reputation? And her very career?
As Sam struggles with her dilemma, Ethan pursues her with all the romantic tactics in his arsenal. Will Sam’s theories succumb to his challenge? Or will Ethan lose the battle for Sam’s heart?

** SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE ONLY .99 CENTS **

Rebecca Heflin is an award-winning author who has dreamed of writing romantic fiction since she was fifteen and her older sister snuck a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’ Shanna to her and told her to read it. Rebecca writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance. When not passionately pursuing her dream, Rebecca is busy with her day-job as a practicing attorney.

Rebecca is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, and Florida Writers Association. She and her mountain-climbing husband live at sea level in sunny Florida.

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Excerpt:
“No, no, no. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening,” Samantha Love muttered as she gently banged her head against the steering wheel.
She turned the key again. Nothing. Not even a wheeze. This was the icing on the cake of her otherwise craptastic day.
A bead of sweat trickled down her back. And another one between her girls. God, she hated boob sweat.
When she’d taken the research and teaching position at Sterling University in North Georgia last fall, she’d never have guessed the summer would be so hot.
Throwing open the door of her car to let in even more stifling heat, she searched for the lever to pop the hood. Finally locating it, she pulled it, then walked around to the front of the car. As if she knew what to do.
Just as she leaned under the hood to jiggle some wire thingies, she heard, “Dr. Love? Do you need some help?”
She let out a startled squeak hitting her head on the underside of the hood. “Ow!” Rubbing the offended spot, she turned and saw Ethan Quinn standing there looking all adorable. Not to mention manly.
Dammit. Why did it have to be him? “No. I’m fine.” Yeah, right. For all her parents’ preaching on women and self-sufficiency, she didn’t know a dipstick from a spark plug when it came to cars. She turned back to the mystery parts under the hood.
“You need a jump.”
“I beg your pardon?” She spun, hand on her hip.
“Your battery.” He pointed in the direction of her open hood. “It probably needs a jump.”
“Oh. Right.” Of course he meant her battery. What else would he be talking about?
“I have jumper cables in my car. I’ll have you going in a few minutes.”
“He’ll have me going in a few minutes,” she mumbled under her breath as she watched him walk to the far corner of the parking lot. Tall, athletic build, dark-wash jeans, white button-down shirt. And that hair. Tousled espresso-brown waves just brushing the top of his collar. “He’s already got me going,” she said to herself.
He tossed his messenger bag in the car and climbed in. And, of course, his car started. Because that’s what cars did. They started when you turned the key. Then they blew cold air, so you didn’t have to stand in the mid-July Georgia heat. Unless they dated back to the Stone Age like hers. Another bead of sweat trickled between her breasts.
She released a wistful sigh. Bet the AC felt good.
He pulled his recent model American-made car around to face hers and then got out to pop the hood. Walking around to the trunk, he opened it and grabbed a set of jumper cables, looking like he knew what he was doing.
Good thing somebody around here did.
“It’s a hot one today,” Ethan commented, as he connected one of the clamp doohickeys to what she assumed was the car battery. His sleeves were rolled up over his forearms, displaying muscles with a light dusting of hair.
Clamping the other end of the cables to his own battery, he then returned to her car. When he walked past her, his cologne wafted to her nose, temporarily erasing her angst at being in his presence.
Then he touched his hand to her back. And the anxiety returned tenfold. “Stand clear.” He leaned into the gaping mouth of the car and attached the remaining clamp, throwing a spark.
“All right. Let’s see if we can get this baby going.” He climbed into the driver’s seat of his car and turned it on.
“Give her a try,” he hollered over the din of his car’s running motor.
Sam dropped into the front seat and turned the key. The older-than-dirt engine tried but couldn’t work up enough energy to turn over.
“Hold on,” Ethan called, then revved his car. “Okay, try her again.”
Her car wheezed then reluctantly cranked a couple of times before coming to life.
Ethan was at her door, leaning over, hands braced on the roof. “Great. Let her run a bit, then I’ll disconnect the cables.” A bead of sweat trickled down his temple. “My AC’s on full blast. Why don’t you sit in my car until yours is ready to go.” He stepped aside to give her room to get out.
Sam felt as wilted as week-old lettuce, so against her better judgment she took him up on the offer.
He opened the front passenger door of his shiny black Lincoln MKS—such a gentleman—and she sank into the leather seats and stuck her face in front of the vent. God, it felt good. The door closed with a solid thunk. Resisting the urge to wipe away the boob sweat, she settled for drying the perspiration on her face and neck.
The car dipped as Ethan took a seat on the driver’s side before shutting the door and closing out the rest of the world. Music played softly in the background—something popular. The intimacy of being alone in the car with Ethan washed over her.
“I’d offer you something cool to drink, but I don’t have anything.”
She realized she hadn’t said a word in the last five minutes. “Thank you.”
“No thanks necessary. You’d do the same for me.”
“No, I wouldn’t.” She smiled. “I don’t know a thing about cars.”
He nodded as a grin split his face. “Well, from the looks of your battery, you’re going to need a new one. I can follow you to Burt’s Automotive. He can have a replacement installed in fifteen minutes.”
She shook her head. “Thanks, but I don’t want to put you out in any further.”
“It’s no trouble. Besides, if you go straight home, I don’t think she’s going to start for you in the morning.”
“Oh.” That would not be good.
“She should be juiced up enough to get you to Burt’s. Stay here until I unhook the cables.” Ethan got out of the car and set to work.
She’d steered clear of Ethan Quinn since the day she was introduced to the rest of the college faculty. The moment they shook hands she’d felt a connection. And from the look on his face, he’d felt it too. That flood of adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin one feels when there is a strong physical attraction.
Relationships were complicated, but getting situated at a new university was already complicated enough.
No. Being in close proximity to Ethan Quinn was a bad idea. So as much as she hated to leave the cool comfort of his car, she jumped out and got in her rolling oven before he could say otherwise.

Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: The Rule Maker (The Rule Breakers #2) – Jennifer Blackwood

All her rules are about to change…

THE RULE MAKER
The Rule Breakers #2
Jennifer Blackwood
Releasing January 16th, 2017
Entangled Embrace

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.


~ Coming January 16th ~



He scrubbed his palms over his face and rested his elbows on his knees. “This was not how I saw this night going.”
“Big Valentine’s Day plans?”
He lowered his hands and looked at me like I’d just claimed I single-handedly caused the storm raging outside. “I didn’t even know that was today. Does this mean we’re each other’s valentines by default?”
I scoffed. “Not a chance.”
He chuckled. “Always so blunt. I like that about you.” He quickly cleared his throat as if he hadn’t meant to say that. “Well, non-valentine, looks like we’re going to be stuck here a while. Have anything in mind?” he said.
I decided against packing on another insult. He was being nice, and this sure as heck beat staring at the wall the rest of the night. “My form of entertainment is at 6 percent battery, so I’m open to suggestions.”
“Mine is fully charged. Want to watch something?”
“Sure.” What else did I have to do? Before I knew it, I was sitting on the bed next to him, leaning against the ornately carved headboard. Snow gusting against the window was the only sound in the room as he searched for a show for us to watch.
So quiet.
Way too quiet.
I fidgeted with my necklace, moving the small diamond back and forth on the chain. The last time I was in bed with Ryder… I didn’t even want to finish that thought, because it’d do nothing but make this situation worse. I chanced a peek in his
direction.

He chewed the inside of his cheek, swiping through our options. “This is awkward, huh?” he said.
“We’ve achieved Urkel status.”
He chuckled and scrolled through the show queue. “Would you rather watch Law and Order: SVU or Criminal Minds?”
“That is quite possibly the worst Would You Rather question ever asked.”
His eyes cut to mine. “I didn’t know I was playing a game.”
“You’ve never played it?”
He shook his head.
Lainey and I played this game all the time in college, and when we’d take road trips together. She always came up with the grossest ones. “It’s simple. All you have to do is ask the person which horrible thing they’d rather do. The harder the question, the better. Like would you rather lay in a pit of snakes, or eat questionably dead roadkill?” I pointed to his phone. “Oh, John Tucker Must Die. I like that one.
“Negative, ghost rider.” He scrolled past my suggestion. “And what the hell does questionably dead mean? Is it still twitching, or are we talking suspicious cause of death?”
I shrugged. “The interpretation’s up to you.”
“You’re absolutely no help.” He swiped his thumb across his beard and contemplated. “I guess I’d go with the snakes.”
“Okay, now it’s your turn,” I said.
“Do I really have to play? I thought we were picking a show.”
I shot him a look.
“Fine. Would you rather have me or Chewbacca as your valentine?”
“Too easy. The spider.”
He put his hand to his heart. “You wound me.”
“Stop being such a baby.” I swatted at his chest and immediately pulled my hand back. Nope. Would not go there. “Okay, would you rather not be able to see or talk for a
month?”
He answered instantly. “See.”
“Right. You’d probably go nuts if you couldn’t open that big mouth of yours.”
His lips twitched. “You’re one to talk.”
“Excuse me?”
Okay, I did have a tough time keeping my thoughts on lockdown outside the office, but that was my own cross to bear.
“Don’t even try to play it off like you’re innocent.”
I’d dated a lot of losers in the past, most who hadn’t even bothered to get to know me, but even after only hanging out a few times, Ryder had me pegged. He was perceptive. I saw the look in his eyes whenever I dealt with Jason. His attention focused solely on me was unnerving. “Jerk,” I sputtered.
“Now I know you’re holding back. You can do way better than that.” He scrolled through his phone again. “How about Die Hard?”
“Are all your show selections about death? I’m starting to worry I made a mistake coming over here.” My lips pulled into a smile and I quickly extinguished it. God, I wanted to hate him.
“Fine.” He
continued looking at the Netflix queue. “Would you rather eat sushi from a taco stand, or lick an airplane armrest?”
“Good one. Sushi.” I pointed to his screen. “How about 10 Things I Hate About You?”
He shook his head and chuckled. “Are all of your suggestions going to not-so-subtly tell me you hate me?”
I smiled sweetly. “Maybe.”
“Just think, most people would find this to be a romantic escape. Two people, stuck in the mountains on Valentine’s Day,” he said.
“We’re Hallmark movie material, all right,” I deadpanned.
“Okay, fine. How about The Walking Dead?”
“Your show picking powers have been officially revoked.” I grabbed the phone from his hand.
“Hey!” He grabbed for the phone, and I held it out of reach. “You’re going to regret that.” Within seconds he was on top of me, playfully pinning me to the bed, his strong hands circling my wrists. Air evaporated from my lungs as our gazes connected.
I was immediately transported back to that night.
Tell me what you want, Zoey. Tell me what you need from me.
I swallowed hard. That was months ago, and those words still haunted me from time to time.
Because he did exactly that, gave me what I wanted and needed. Repeatedly.

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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Promotion, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Bad Boys After Dark: Dylan (Bad Billionaires After Dark #2) – Melissa Foster

One night and too much tequila might change their lives forever.
BAD BOYS AFTER DARK: DYLAN
Bad Billionaires After Dark #2
Melissa Foster
Releasing Dec 21st, 2016
World Literary Press

Sinfully sexy bar owner Dylan Bad has a thing for needy women. He’s a savior, a knight in shining armor, and his mighty talented sword has no trouble bringing damsels in distress to their knees. Enter Tiffany Winters, a gorgeous cutthroat sports agent who wouldn’t let a man help her if she was hanging onto a ledge and he was her only hope. One night and too much tequila might change their lives forever. The question is, will either one survive?
Don’t miss the BAD who started it all!


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, perfect beach reads, and always family oriented.


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Excerpt:
With her phone pressed to her ear, Tiffany Winters ducked out of the rain and into the Kiss, an eclectic Manhattan bar, to return calls and take care of a mountain of text messages that had piled up during her dinner meeting. She listened to her client’s wife explain why she didn’t want her husband traveling too often to endorse a hotel chain Tiffany was planning on pitching to him next week. Her client had already nixed any mention of his family in the advertisements, and reducing his travel would make it an even harder sell.
“I hear your concern, Allison,” she said as she sat on a barstool. “If you and Matt decide this isn’t the right thing for your family, we’ll turn our efforts in another direction.” As a sports agent, dealing with significant others was part of the job, a part Tiffany enjoyed and other agents rued. Sure, some wives assumed their husband’s success granted them the power to be overly demanding. Ass kissing was part of the game. Sometimes she wished she could give the meeker wives lessons in how to be tough. Teach them to have balls as big as their husbands’ and come right out and say what they meant instead of beating around the bush with bullshit hypotheticals. She reminded herself often that not every woman grew up in a testosterone-laden house with two competitive older brothers and a father who won the Heisman in college and went on to play pro sports—a house where mincing words didn’t cut the mustard.
“You missed the wedding.”
The deep male voice drew Tiffany’s attention from her phone call to the fine specimen of a man standing behind the bar. He looked like he’d just stepped off a Hot Guys in Suits Pinterest page. His tie hung loosely around the collar of his white dress shirt, which was open three buttons deep, revealing a smattering of dark chest hair, a rarity nowadays, when so many men manscaped every inch of their bodies. Tiffany preferred a man to look like a man, which included hair in all the right places. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, exposing heavily corded forearms, and his jacket hung casually from two fingers over his left shoulder. Her fingers itched to send the last few buttons—and that jacket—flying to the floor. The guy’s chiseled jaw and dark eyes were movie-star classic, and his dark hair was thick enough to hang on to. She’d had a long, hard day, and he looked like he could provide a long, hard, pleasure-filled night.
Perfect.
Holding his gaze, she spoke into the phone as he laid his jacket across the bar, giving her the impression he wasn’t the bartender, but rather a guest who’d happened to wander back there. “Allison, I’ll see what else I can come up with and get back to you. Right. Okay, hon. Thank you.” After ending the call, she responded to the stud behind the bar. “Wedding? Who gets married at a bar?”
“My brother, for one.” He nodded across the room to a group of men and women who were holding their glasses up in a toast.
She zeroed in on one she recognized as her tall, dark colleague. “Mick Bad is married?” The high-powered attorney was a workaholic like her, and he’d been unattached two months earlier, when they’d worked together on a deal for one of her clients. She’d never understand couples who claimed to fall in love practically overnight. Love was a crutch for weak people who needed someone else to lean on. Except Mick Bad had never needed anyone to lean on. She wondered if his new bride was pregnant.
“The one and only.” Hot guy’s eyes took a long, luxurious stroll down her body, lingered on her breasts, then roamed north, hovering around her mouth, before finally meeting her gaze. He flashed a wolfish grin full of sinful promises.
“Dylan Bad at your service.”
Pushing thoughts of her newly married colleague’s expedient nuptials aside, she focused on his very available brother. A definite player, which was fine with her. She had no time—or interest—in anything but a quick hookup, and the six-two or -three stud had already shot to the top of tonight’s fantasy list.
“What’s your pleasure?” he asked with more than a hint of innuendo.
“Surprise me.” She watched him turn to prepare her drink and checked out the way his dark slacks hugged his perfect ass. It had been a long time since she’d found a man this attractive. But Mick Bad’s brother? That spelled trouble.

Excerpt & Review: More Than Friends (Kendrick Place, #1) – Jody Holford

Owen Burnett planned on a quiet, easygoing Christmas, hanging out with his best friend and neighbor, Gabby Michaelson. So when his mom pressures him to come home for the holidays, he tells a little white lie…that he’s spending the holidays with his new girlfriend. But when his family shows up unexpectedly, Owen pulls the best friend card and asks Gabby to play his fake girlfriend.
Gabby’s been hopelessly in love with her best friend Owen for what feels like forever, but playing his “fake” girlfriend when the entire boisterous Burnett clan visits is easier said than done. The more she tries to deny the attraction between them, the more obvious their chemistry becomes. But even though she’s not the only one feeling it, putting their friendship on the line is a risk she can’t take.


Excerpt:
He rolled to his side, once again adjusting his arm so he could prop himself up on his elbow. His other hand moved to Gabby’s waist, stroking the skin that had been taunting him for the past two nights. He could see the shine of her eyes in the dark. He felt her against him, everywhere. Her scent curled inside him. She was part of him and he hadn’t taken any time to realize what that actually meant.
“Owen?” Her voice was a whisper.
“There isn’t anything about you I would change.” He wanted to say more. He wanted to say the words that were tumbling inside his brain and his heart, words he’d held back or buried. But right in that moment, he wanted something more.
Bringing his hand to her face, he smoothed his thumb across her lips. He heard, felt, her breath quicken as he inched closer, until looking into her eyes began to consume him and he had to let his own close. His mouth touched hers—not for show or because anyone expected it, but because he needed to kiss her, needed to trace her lips with his tongue and memorize the taste of her. Of Gabby.
Her hand moved up his chest, around the back of his neck and into his hair where her fingers gripped, tightened, like she was afraid he’d get away. There was absolutely nowhere he’d rather be. Using his tongue and his teeth along the column of her neck as he’d wanted to earlier, his fingers drifted down, lowering the strap of her tank top. He nipped at her jaw, trailing kisses back up to her ear, telling her she was perfect.
She was everything. She was his.
How the hell could he have missed this? And how would they ever go back to the way it had been before?


Jody Holford is a multi-published author who has a soft spot for happily ever after. So much so, she tattooed the words on her arm. She’s a mom and a wife, a friend, sister, daughter, teacher, and book-lover. Her stories have a little bit of heat and a lot of heart. And maybe, some swoon-worthy moments that will make you smile.

ANGIE’S REVIEW: Winter is my favorite time of year to read as there’s nothing more satisfying than curling up in front of the fireplace (or a fake fireplace for that matter…) with a cup of hot tea (or wine…) and a comfortable blanket and forget the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

More than Friends is a well written story that moves at a steady pace. I didn’t feel myself being dragged through the mire or being bored mindlessly while navigating through the developing relationship changes that Owen and Gabrielle (Gabby) experienced. While Gabby was in love with OCD “O”(O is her nickname for him), he had no clue. As time goes by, Owen realizes that he feels more than just friendship love for Gabby. His parents? They’re completely in love with her. By the time he decides to come clean with everyone so that there are no more secrets, he ruins everything spectacularly and I enjoyed watching him have to make amends.

There are two subplots that I hope are teasers of what’s to come in other books. Otherwise, they’re being included in the overall storyline for this book doesn’t make much sense. I NEED to know what the heckfire was up with Jake and just what IS Wyatt’s deal?!

Angie’s Rating: ****

Disclaimer: I requested a review copy so that I could take part in the blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Please Note: Though this is a mostly clean book with no open door love scenes, there is mild profanity. If you are a person of faith, you may want to either skip this book or be forewarned. Suitable for those over the age of 17.

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