THE MOON SHINES RED by Pamela Sparkman

Paranormal Romance Standalone

GRIN AND BEARD IT by Penny Reid

Winston Brothers Series #2

HARD RULES by Lisa Renee Jones

Dirty Money Series #1

THE HARD COUNT by Ginger Scott

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.

WILDER by Rebecca Yarros

The Renegades Series #1

Friday, February 24, 2017

Release Blitz with Review and Giveaway: Meant to Be by Melody Grace




Title: Meant to Be
Series: Sweetbriar Cove #1
Author: Melody Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 24, 2017



Blurb

Come take a trip to Sweetbriar Cove: the small town where true love is guaranteed.

Poppy Somerville believes in happily-ever-after. It’s the reason her romance novels have won devoted readers all over the world – and why she’s broken off her engagement just weeks before the wedding instead of settling for less than true love. Escaping to her aunt’s beach cottage in Sweetbriar Cove, Poppy is looking for inspiration to break her writer’s block and finish her new book. She just wasn’t counting on the handsome, gruff contractor making such a racket next door…

Cooper Nicholson doesn’t believe in soul-mates. He thought he’d found his forever once, and the world proved him wrong, so when the cute brunette comes storming over and demands he keep the noise down, romance is the last thing on his mind. But his new neighbor is full of surprises, and soon, their chemistry is too hot to ignore.

As they grow closer, they discover fiction has nothing on the plot twists life has in store. But will Cooper find a way to let go of the past and risk his heart again? And can Poppy find her happy ending – on and off the page?

Find out in the new sweet and sexy small-town romance from New York Times bestselling author, Melody Grace!

The Sweetbriar Cove Series:
#1 Meant to Be – Feb 2017
#2 All for You – May 2017
#3 The Only One – August 2017







Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
GOOGLE PLAY






Author Bio


NYT bestselling author, a SoCal transplant, and sexy romance junkie ;) I never say no to ice-cream...



Author Links

Poppy Somerville is a believer of happily ever afters, soulmates, and fairytale romance. In fact, she makes her living off of providing these things to others. As a romance writer, she has always stood firm in the ideals she promoted. She may not have had a life altering kind of love or been swept away with passion like in her books, but she knew that they were out there somewhere. When she breaks things off with her fiancé and flees to her Aunt's beach home in Sweetbriar Cove, she isn't so sure of anything anymore. Her doubts are causing an unfortunate case of writer's block, and she's hoping that a change of scenery and solitude will help her sort out her head.


What if the love in her books were just fiction? What if she’d thrown her shot at happiness away on a fantasy?


Cooper Nicholson is the owner and contractor of the house next door, making an ungodly amount of racket from the moment she arrives. After storming over to give him a piece of her mind, she realizes that they are already well acquainted. During her summer visits as a child, he used to pick on her and call her pipsqueak to her everlasting annoyance. It seems he's going to continue his habit of ruffling her feathers as an adult as well.

Cooper has no animosity towards her, in fact he finds her pretty cute, if a bit delusional. As far as he's concerned, the type of love she writes about is unrealistic and misleading. The loss of his father and his mother's abandonment have left him bitter to the concept of love. But his main issue ended up being that he wasn't able to make his one serious relationship work. He laid all the blame for the break up on himself for years, simply because she told him that "A relationship shouldn't be so hard" before giving up on him. I can understand being hesitant to try again, but his self-recrimination didn't really make sense to me.

A reluctant attraction grows and moves towards flirtation. But she is just fresh from a broken engagement, and he's still hung up on the mistakes of his past. Not only that, but once her book is completed, she has no reason to remain in town. They tried keep their boundaries in place, but they soon found that things don't always work out as planned.


He’d lost his mind even reaching for her in the first place, but damn if it hadn’t been the best ten seconds of temporary insanity he could remember.

I could empathize with Poppy, I thought her struggle to have faith in her career after her failed engagement was a valid one. She also wasn't one to pity her own situation, she didn't lick her wounds for long before she was working to overcome her setback. Cooper was a bit gruff at first, but her influence soon softened him up and brought out his more affectionate side. I thought their drive-in date was really cute and really enjoyed their interactions with some of the townspeople.

Overall, I did like the first installment in the Sweetbriar Cove series, I just didn't love it. I'm used to some considerable heat and butterflies from this author and in this case I wasn't completely feeling the spark. Additionally, the conflict at the end left a little to be desired.

(view spoiler)

I will admit that these two had me feeling a tad underwhelmed. Despite my few frustrations, it was still a sweet little light read. And this new set of characters certainly intrigued me enough to follow future installments so I will be keeping the next in line on my radar.


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Release Blitz with Giveaway: A War Like Ours by Saffron Kent

A War Like Ours

by Saffron A Kent Publication Date: February 24, 2017 Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance




A liar…
Three weeks ago, James Maxwell’s wife died in a car accident, but he hasn’t been able to tell his five-year old daughter the heartbreaking truth behind her mother’s death. Instead, he packs them up and leaves for a summer resort in upstate New York to spend a few peaceful weeks and to gradually break the news. But a spirited and outspoken maid at the resort has figured out his secret. A hater… After witnessing her mother’s violent death at the hands of her stepfather, Madison Smith has turned aimless and bitter toward the world—men, in particular. Her dead-end job at the local resort and her convenient girlfriend barely keep Madison from falling apart. When she meets James, however, she’s driven to protect his child from the darkness she sees inside him. A forbidden kiss… But Madison doesn’t expect to find that very darkness irresistible. Drowning in guilt and memories, neither does James expect to be drawn to the sharp-witted woman who has made his life miserable. When their tempers flare, a brutal kiss triggers a need that blurs the lines of hate and desire. As their lust spins out of control, they must decide if their attraction is worth fighting for or if love is the real enemy. Please Note: This book is intended for mature audience. 18+ ONLY.


About Saffron A. Kent

Romance Writer and Reader. Coffee Addict. White Russian Drinker. Imaginary Ballet Dancer. Wanna-be Poet. Lana Del Ray & Gillian Flynn Worshiper. My stories are grey-shaded and NC-17. I write what I love to read. And what I love to read is always twisted and angsty and emotional. My characters desperately need therapy. They tend to kiss a lot too, among other naughty things. I LOVE to chat with readers about reading and writing so come follow me!

Giveaway: http://bit.ly/2mhbDmK

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cover Reveal: Chasing Christmas by Jill Shalvis

CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE - banner    

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes the next sexy, standalone novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series...

    CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE - cover

About CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE:
Meet cute...
Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.
Make merry...
Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spencer immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?
…and hope for a miracle.
Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime

Pre-Order CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE in ebook or paperback, releasing 9/26/17

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo| Barnes & Noble

Add to your Goodreads

      EXCERPT: The bathroom door opened, and even better than his fantasy, Colbie emerged from a cloud of steam, her willowy body wrapped in one of his towels, her exposed skin gleaming and dewy damp. Her hair had been piled on top of her head, but wavy strands had escaped, clinging to her neck and shoulders. He couldn’t tear his gaze off of her. There was just something so uncalculated about her, so . . . natural and easy. She was like a beacon to him, which was both crazy and more than a little terrifying. Clearly not seeing him against the wall, she moved with an effortless grace to the suitcase she’d left at the door. Bending low enough to give him a near heart attack, she rifled through her things, mumbling to herself that she should’ve researched more about how to be a normal person instead of how to kill someone with an everyday object. “Do you kill a lot of people, then?” Spence asked. “Motherforker!” she said with a startled squeak of surprise, whirling to face him, almost losing her grip on the towel. Five days a week, Spence worked out hard in this gym. Mostly to outrun his demons, but the upside was he could run miles without losing his breath. But he lost his breath now. And that wasn’t his body’s only reaction.    

Heartbreaker Bay graphic

And don’t miss the previous books in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE, ONE SNOWY NIGHT and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, now available! Grab your copies HERE!

Jill Shalvis - headshotAbout Jill Shalvis: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.      

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Cover Reveal: Mister Moneybags by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

 

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Authors Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward have teamed up once again to bring you another chance meeting, another Cocky Bastard who will charm his way into your heart on April 10th, 2017.

  IMG_5273
Photographer: Maurizio Montani
Model: Richeli Murari
Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, r.b.a. designs
     

I met Bianca in an elevator.

She was on her way to interview me when we got stuck.

The beautiful, raven-haired reporter assumed I was a delivery guy because of the way I was dressed.

She had no clue I was really Dex Truitt, the wealthy, successful businessman she’d dubbed “Mister Moneybags”—her afternoon appointment.

Bianca told me how much she hated Dex’s type—snobby, over educated, silver- spooned men who didn't appreciate the simple things in life.

So, after the elevator finally started moving again, I cancelled the interview and let her believe I was someone I wasn’t—a bike messenger named Jay. I loved the way she looked at the fake me and didn't want it to end.

I began dating her as “Jay”—all the while letting her interview the real me over email.

I didn’t expect that our chemistry online would be just as hot.

I didn’t expect the mess I’d gotten myself into.

I didn’t expect that Jay and Dex would fall in love with her.

And she was falling for two men.

Only, both men were me.

And when she found out, we were both going to lose her.

Nothing could have prepared me for that day. And I certainly wasn't prepared for what came after.

All good things must come to an end, right? Except our ending was one I didn't see coming.

 

Add to Goodreads

Read the First Chapter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/h8c4d2_MMB

 

PRE-ORDER

iBooks exclusive ebook pre-order | Amazon paperback

**No Amazon ebook preorder. Will go live on Amazon on release day. **

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

  MisterMoneybagsBookCover5x8_BW_264          



  Author photoVi Keeland is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in twelve languages. She resides in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.   Website | Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram    

  Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels. Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.   Connect with Penelope Ward Facebook Fan Group | Facebook | Website |Twitter | Instagram    



Other books from Vi Keeland & Penelope Ward:

Cocky Bastard

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc

iTunes: http://apple.co/1PffE2J

B&N: http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO

Stuck-Up Suit

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1S3LnpZ

iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57

B&N: http://bit.ly/29vrQhV

Kobo: http:// bit.ly/1RJdUif

Playboy Pilot

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2d5I5rS

iBooks: http://apple.co/1Wb06Cf

Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1



Other books from Vi Keeland:

Standalone novels

Egomaniac

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/b1gi74

iBooks: http://apple.co/2fIsmvC

B&N: http://smarturl.it/t4ohsv

Kobo: http://smarturl.it/azmhq9

Bossman

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6

iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX

B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2

Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I


The Baller

Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG

iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller

B&N: http:// bit.ly/BarnesBaller

Kobo: http:// bit.ly/KoboBaller

Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)

http://www.amazon.com/Left-Behind-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00OJM92LI/

First Thing I See

http://www.amazon.com/First-Thing-See-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00AWXY3HG

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-thing-i-see-ms-vi-keeland/1114703332

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)

Beat

http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123 https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

Throb

http://www.amazon.com/Throb-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00SS2RYBU

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)

Worth the Fight

http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Fight-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00FLG5B9S

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight

Worth the Chance

http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Chance-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00I2UKQOK

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

Worth Forgiving

http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Forgiving-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00MWL78EG

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving

The Cole Series (2 book serial)

Belong to You

http://www.amazon.com/Belong-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BUTCXLE/

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You

http://www.amazon.com/Made-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00DPWVKS6

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you


Other books from Penelope Ward:

Mack Daddy:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kWzE1S

iTunes: http://apple.co/2iNrIPj

B&N: http://hyperurl.co/aiypfj

Kobo: http://hyperurl.co/r3hv19

RoomHate

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TksrpE

iTunes: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7

B&N: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL

kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW

Stepbrother Dearest

Amazon http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg

ITunes: http://bit.ly/YER0mT

B&N: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG

kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

Neighbor Dearest

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aS8BPa

iTunes: http://apple.co/29mC6L8

B&N: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY

Sins of Sevin

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3

iTunes: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg

B&N: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE

kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

Jake Undone (Jake #1)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC

iTunes: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8

B&N: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6

kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

My Skylar

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F

iTunes: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR

B&N: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi

kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Jake Understood (Jake #2)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves

iTunes: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC

B&N: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z

kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

Gemini

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE

iTunes: http://apple.co/1QTaONj

B&N: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD

kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu

Release Blitz with Review: Royally Matched by Emma Chase

RM-FB-on-sale-5    
  Royally-Matched-3D-bookSome men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap. He’s not handling it well. Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own: Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition. A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart. While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye. The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor. But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight. As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.    

Kindle | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | Nook | B&N Paperback | Kobo | BAM | IndieBound

    RM-FB-on-sale-6       RM-FB-on-sale-3

  Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine. WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER | TWITTER | GOODREADS




To me, this was the perfect fairytale romance. I liked the first book, Royally Screwed, but I LOVED everything about this follow up. The perfection of how these two worked together was indescribable. They illustrate so well why opposites attract couples can be the best kind to read. Henry's devilishly sexy teasing was such a fitting counterpart to Sarah's blushing and easily flustered character. He was spontaneous and the life of the party whereas she liked predictable and avoided socializing.

Ever since we met Sarah in the previous book, I was curious about her background. The episode she had in the bar hinted at some sort of trauma and I knew that the was more than just the invisible girl in the corner. Plus, nerdy heroines are kind of my book crack and she had that written all over her. The fact that she turned out to be a librarian, a book lover, and compared real life people and situations to classical fictional characters made her incredibly endearing.


When we get a glimpse of what Sarah is hiding under her shy exterior, I just fell in love with her even more. Her skill in aikido, her sass and sense of humor that she only lets out with a trusted few, and her strength of character really made her shine.

Henry was the naughty charmer of the family. He's such a wicked tease, used to breaking the rules and having fun. But underneath it all he has the heart of a true leader. When the responsibility of his country's well being is suddenly handed to him, he's completely unprepared.


So what is his answer to this adjustment period? Well, starring in a reality show of course. For one month, he's pushed and prodded by the production team to wine and dine a group of women to be his potential royal match. But it's the quiet girl with the book in her hand that attracts him from the start.


I’m starting to think of it as the Henry Effect, because he makes me feel so many . . . things. Safe and wild and maybe just a little bit mad all at once. Henry makes me want to take a chance. On new experiences. And on him.


Ahhh, this guy gives you all the best feels. He starts out just enjoying his ability to shock and unsettle Sarah, but soon discovers that he enjoys their quiet times together. He's free to be himself around her, and in doing so, brings out her hidden depths. Their late night talks, playing guitar in her bedroom and getting to know one another were so sweet. And he really handled her social anxiety with care and sensitivity. These two were adorable. Their banter had me completely engaged throughout, flipping the pages with a huge smile on my face. This is Emma Chase at her finest in my humble opinion.



“Corrupting the good ones is my favorite pastime.” Oh yes, definitely a Willoughby. I hug my book to my chest. “I’m not corruptible.” His smile broadens. “Good. I like a challenge.”


We really see Henry gain in confidence and shed his careless ways. He matures into the type of man who is a source of strength for his country and the woman he loves. Sarah has always been courageous in how she handled the horror of her past, but her experiences and relationship with Henry help her to grow more self-assured in facing her fears. I adored these two together. It was such a flirty, fun read that on top of it all burned up the pages. Emma Chase gives good romance, I couldn't have asked for more.


I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul—mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is . . . she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blog Tour: Lost in Between by K.L. Kreig

lostinbetween_banner_blogtour

Lost in Between by KL Kreig is LIVE!
"Clear a space on the top shelf of book boyfriends….there’s a new man claiming a top spot and his name is Shaw Mercer." - Totally Booked Blog

bk1-lost-in-between-e-book-cover

BUY NOW
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2jrcvHk
Amazon UK: goo.gl/mbEQTt
Amazon CA: goo.gl/2NwFgK
Amazon AU: goo.gl/naMzS8
Kobo: goo.gl/7kEB1A
iBooks: http://apple.co/2lktls8
Nook: http://bit.ly/2k3eldb

lostinbetween_teaser1-2

Blurb:
We all have one. A price. That magic number that will get us to agree to do anything, be anything. Don’t sit on your gold-plated high horse and say you don’t because you do. Everyone does. Each of us has something we covet enough that we’d sell ourselves to have it. What’s my tipping point, you ask? Apparently a cool quarter mil will do the trick. What does one do for 250 large, you wonder? Anything the infamous, gorgeous playboy of Seattle wants. For the next four months I’ll be Shaw Mercer’s arm candy, his beck and call girl, his faux girlfriend. I’ll be his to command, mold, push and pull in any direction he sees fit. I’ll fight falling into bed with him. I’ll fight falling in love with him even harder. I’ll fail at both. And when my past and present collide in the most unexpected of ways, I’ll learn that while one man’s love for me has never died, the only man’s love I really want will never be mine.
CHECK OUT THE TRAILER!




ADD TO GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/2h3ekbT


lostinbetween_promo2

Excerpt:
As long as Noah and I have known one another and as close as we are, he’s far from an open book. He holds some of life’s secrets so close to the vest, he’ll likely take them to his grave. So how he knows Ms. Randi Deveraux of La Dolce Vita is still a mystery he won’t divulge.

When he told me his plan and showed me the picture of the woman who’d play my love interest for the next several months, I was immediately drawn to the her, but it took me a few seconds to realize why.

It was her.

My spicy little Goldilocks.

The one I haven’t heard from.

The one I haven’t been able to get out of my fucking head for the past eight days.

The one my cock involuntarily gets hard for in the dark of night.

The glossy-colored print I stared at for long minutes was a complete contradiction to the fiery woman I’d met.

On paper her exterior was flawless. Not one sculpted eyebrow out of place. Striking blue eyes rimmed with the right amount of shadow, liner, and mascara that made them alluring but not slutty. Pouty lips painted a deep shade of maroon, lined impeccably so the stain didn’t seep, then glossed enough in the middle to draw your attention to their fullness. Hair curled into loose ribbons that fell over her shoulders and down her slim back.

But while the outside was practiced perfection, the inside screamed dead. Not damaged, not broken or bruised, but lifeless. This beautiful creature went through the motions. She moved through life without living. I don’t know how I saw it, or why, but I know it wasn’t a product of my overactive imagination. This woman’s pain was rooted deep but she put on an award-winning façade that told the outside world otherwise.

I saw the same thing when I stared into her fierce eyes under the cover of my sunglasses days ago, but I also saw something else. Smoking embers buried under piles of ash. God help me, but for some reason I want to be the man who stokes those smoldering cinders until they spark into a burning inferno, bringing her roaring back to life.

Standing before her now, I’ve no doubt I’m the igniter, the single match needed to wake her from the living dead.

“Summer, is it?” I close the door behind me and move to the couch, gesturing for her to sit.

She doesn’t. She just blinks rapidly like she’s seeing a ghost. That makes me smile for some reason.

I know the name she’s using is fake. I hate it. Not the name, per se, but the fact that I don’t know her real one. I told Ms. Deveraux my circumstances and my concern around using a fake name. The press will eventually find out and it’s best if we’re up front in the beginning rather than if they dig, thinking we’re hiding something. That would be disastrous. She agreed but told me the decision was up to Summer. If she agreed to my terms, I could plead my case. If not, then her anonymity was still protected.

“You don’t look like a Summer,” I say casually as I take a seat and cross my legs.

Although in a way she does. She’s hot and sultry and I’ve no doubt she’s nice and moist in the place I’m dying to drive my cock. Jesus, she is absolutely mouthwatering. And she has the sexiest fucking voice I have ever heard. It’s no wonder I can’t stop thinking about her.

She crosses her arms and cocks a hip in irritation. “Is that so? What do I look like then?”

Mine.

Why that disturbing word pops into my head, I haven’t a clue. She is yours temporarily, though. If she agrees.

“How is your neck by the way?”

That seems to catch her off guard because her cocky bravado falters. “Uh…fine. It’s fine.” She unconsciously reaches up to palm it. My fingers itch, wishing they were on her skin instead. I still remember the electricity that ran down my arm when I touched her before. It set my cock on fire and it hasn’t stopped burning since. “You’re lucky, you know. I could be wearing a neck brace right now and be lawyered up.”

“And you’d still be just as beautiful.” I ignore the lawyer comment. I know it’s just a dig. When she blushes and looks away, my grin gets wider and I allow myself a few seconds to absorb her, head to toe. I find myself zeroing in on that tiny diamond stud in her nose, now catching the light. I first noticed it when she pounded on the window of my Rover calling me names. I generally find them childish, yet on her, I find myself incredibly turned on by it.

“Why don’t you take a seat?” On my lap would be preferable.

Defiant eyes snap back to mine. “Hit and run anyone else lately?”

“Hit and run?” I chuckle. “I didn’t hit and run you. I took accountability.”

“Yeah. After I dumped car parts into your lap, it was pretty hard to deny it any longer.”

Hell. This woman is full of restrained passion. She just needs someone to help her unleash it in a very controlled manner.

“Why haven’t you called about your car? Change your mind on whose fault it was?” I’m goading her, but Hot. Damn. The sparks firing from her are overly addictive.

“Oh, it was your fault, all right,” she snaps. “And I’ve been…busy.”

“Yes, I can imagine you have a very full schedule.” I sound more sarcastic than I intend, but the thought of her with other men makes me feel exactly the way I felt when I thought of Noah with her. 

Her lips thin. She’s madder than a hornet. I’m harder than a two by four.

“Why are you here, Drive By?”

Drive By? I laugh at her feisty spirit. God, I want to kiss her. Feel her tongue sparring eagerly with mine. See if she tastes of rage and raw energy.

“I was under the impression you were agreeable to meeting with me.”

When Noah set this up, I insisted on three things.

One: it take place in Ms. Deveraux’s private home with her alone. There’s no way in hell I will be caught on film coming and going from her “business.”

Two: I meet with Ms. Deveraux in advance and work through the contractual details to my satisfaction. Let’s just say I now feel comfortable we have a mutual interest in keeping this arrangement buried deep.

And three: I be allowed to personally meet with “Summer” before she signs the contract. Surprisingly, that was the toughest piece to negotiate. Seems Ms. Deveraux is very protective of her, or maybe she’s that way with all of her employees.

Everything I have done to secure her has deviated from Ms. Deveraux’s normal course of business, but this situation is far from normal. It’s reckless at worst. Precarious at best.

“How did you find me?”

Sheer, dumb luck.

“I’m very resourceful.”

Her forehead creases. “This is a mistake.”

She turns to leave and I panic. True blistering panic sears through me at the thought she’s about to walk through that door and I may never see her again. I don’t know her real name. I don’t know how to contact her and if this meeting goes south, I know I won’t get anything further about her from Randi Deveraux. If she walks out on me now, I highly doubt she’ll give me the time of day when she finally does call Dane about her car.

I don’t know why I care that I spend the next few months with her and only her so damn much. I just do.

“Wait,” I plead.

She stops but doesn’t turn. I have no idea what possesses me, but I close the distance between us until I’m a whisper away. Our body heat plays off each other, growing hotter by the second.

“You haven’t even listened to my proposal,” I say against her ear.

Her breath kicks up. Good. She’s not unaffected by me, and that will play into my hand nicely.

“You can get someone else,” she replies softly, without conviction.

Drawing her long hair off her shoulder, I let my finger feather across her bare flesh. It’s soft and silky. She shivers. I suppress a moan. Fuck, I want her so much. It makes no sense.

“I don’t want anyone else,” I tell her truthfully, keeping my voice low.

“Why?” she breathes.

I don’t know why. I have no idea what it is about her that draws me in. I wish I did. I need to stop it. I should end this right now—look at a dozen other pictures and pick a woman whose very presence doesn’t twist me into knots and make me have thoughts I’ve never had before. Thoughts that make me uncomfortable. It’s unnerving.

But, fuck me. I can’t. There is just something different about this woman and I won’t rest until I find out what it is.

“Have a seat. Just hear me out. Please,” I tack on sincerely.

She stands motionless and I wonder what her next move will be. My hands curl into fists as I restrain myself from throwing her over my shoulder and hauling her to my house. I think she could benefit greatly from a hard hand and a red ass. I have a feeling she might even enjoy it.

When she floats effortlessly to one of the velvet-covered chairs, I release a veiled breath. Picking up the contract from the edge of Ms. Deveraux’s desk, I make myself comfortable across from her and place the paperwork on the table separating us. Her eyes drop to it but she makes no move to pick it up.

“So what’s your proposal, Mr. Knowles?”

“Mr. Knowles?”

“That’s your name, right? Dane Knowles. Wildemer & Company?”

Amused, I rest my elbows on my knees and grin at her. “No. Dane is my assistant. I told you to call him and he’d take care of the damage to your death box.”

“Death box?” She sounds offended.

“Do you know what the safety rating is on that little tin can you drive?” When she opens her mouth to respond, I talk over her. “Five point seven out of ten. You’re basically driving around in your own steel coffin.”

I expect a hot retort or for her to leave in a huff. What I don’t expect is a genuine, breathtaking smile that lights up her face like summer and makes my cock knock uncomfortably on my zipper in a futile attempt to reach her. My God, she’s trying to kill me already.

“Are you a walking Kelly Blue Book of safety ratings, Mr.…?”

“I have a vast array of useless Trivial Pursuit knowledge up here,” I retort with a smirk, finger pointing to my temple. I’ll never admit that I looked it up after our little accident. She could be seriously hurt in that ridiculous miniature box on wheels that somehow passes for a fucking car. Hell, had I hit her any harder, she would be in the hospital. “And I’m Shaw. Shaw Mercer.”

“Shaw Mercer,” she repeats slowly like she’s tasting my name for the first time. Savoring every consonant and every vowel. Fuck. I sit back and cross one leg over the other to hide my rock-hard erection.

“Any relation to Preston Mercer?”

I nod, impressed that she tied me back to my father instead of referring to me as one of Seattle’s most eligible bachelors. She’s intelligent and up on politics. I like that. Immensely. If you ask three-fourths of the residents of Seattle, they wouldn’t be able to tell you how many branches of government there are, something that’s taught in middle school, let alone who the mayor of Seattle is.

“So why is the mayor’s son…here?”

Her eyes are locked on mine, waiting on an answer.

When she swallows I follow the delicate line of her neck down to the swell of her breasts that peek out from the light pink strapless flowing dress she’s wearing like a fucking Greek goddess. One flick of my finger and I could find out the color of her areolas and the size of her nipples before I draw one into my mouth for a sample. My mouth waters at the thought.

The conversation that Ms. Deveraux and I had earlier about expectations sits hard in the pit of my stomach. On one hand, I was relieved to get confirmation she doesn’t sell herself, only her “time,” but now that I’m sitting here in front of her, I won’t rest until she lets me explore every square inch of not only her perfect body, but her complex mind. I want to know her like no one else has.

When our gazes connect again I’m sure mine is full of unmistakable heat. Hers definitely is.

She clears her throat and straightens her back. “I think you have the wrong idea about what it is I do.”

“I don’t,” I state plainly.

“I don’t sleep with my clients, Mr. Mercer.”

Oh, but you will. We both know our ingredients are explosive.

“Women would pay to have sex with me, not the other way around.”

She huffs a laugh as a wry look crosses her face. “Then what is it you need if not a good fuck?”

I chuckle and when I lean forward she straightens her spine. I love that even the simplest of movements I make in her direction affect her, just like she does to me. “Is that what I’ll be missing with you? A good fuck?” I won’t be missing a damn thing. She will be mine in every conceivable way. I know it and so does she.

“Not just good. Life altering,” she banters smoothly.

Now it’s my turn to smile slowly. What I wouldn’t give to throw her up against the wall and show her just what a life-altering fuck really is. For what seems like forever we stare at each other in some sort of weird silent challenge where we’re waiting to see what move the other will make.

Shaking myself out of her spell, I pick up the papers and hand them to her.

“What’s this?”

“Your employment contract.”

“All the paperwork is handled through Randi.”

“I want a little extra insurance.”

She quickly flips through the five-page document before lifting her eyes. “Nondisclosure agreement? This is sounding very fifty shades-ish. And just so you know, if I find any mention of hard limits or safe words, that’s a deal breaker.”

I can’t help but laugh loudly.

“I’m not kidding,” she says, her voice stern.

“Trust me, Goldilocks, if I could have gotten that past your warrior she-devil, I would have.”

Her eyes narrow, but I see a little twitch at the corner of her mouth so I forge ahead, making a mental note to invest in handcuffs and a flogger. Or six.

“The duration is for approximately the next four months. Ten hours a week, maybe more, maybe less, depending on my schedule. You may be required to travel and you will be available at all times when I need you, day or night. You will attend social events, fundraisers, business dinners, and family functions. You will be photographed and it’s only fair to warn you, you will likely be hounded by the press but I’ll try to shield you as much as possible.”

She regards me quietly. I wish I could tell what’s spinning around in that pretty little head of hers. A corner of my mouth tips when she says, “Reelection is just around the corner.”

Not a question and I don’t answer, but score another point for her.

For not the first time I wonder if this little plan of Noah’s will backfire, taking us all down in a curl of hot flames. She figured out what I was doing within two minutes. Lianna would be a far safer, more believable choice. But there’s also an undeniable, powerfully charged connection between us that will be hard for people to refute.

“And what is my role, specifically?”

Deciding I don’t care if this entire thing blows up in my face because that means I won’t get what I want—which is her—I stand and step around the table, holding out my hand.

When she tentatively sets hers in mine, I help her up and wrap one arm around her waist.

Pulling her close, I relish in the hitch of her breath. Cupping her cheek, I savor the baby-fine skin under the pad of my thumb. I take a deep breath, drinking in her delicately floral scent. She’s intoxicating and my head is already spinning.

“What are you doing?” she whispers, her small hands going to my chest.

Dipping my head, I trail my nose along her jaw, stopping so my lips brush her ear. “Making sure we have chemistry.”

She mutters a curse under her breath I know I’m not meant to hear before stuttering, “Wh…why?” 

Fuck, if she only knew the dirty things running through my head right now.

“Because, my wide-eyed little pretty, you’re going to play my new love interest. My girlfriend. My serious girlfriend.” I emphasize the word so she understands what she’s getting herself into. I won’t pay her to be in my bed but that doesn’t mean she won’t end up there anyway.

“I…I haven’t agreed to anything yet.” Her breathlessness is testing me and she’s only about half an inch away from finding out exactly how much.

Walking into this meeting, I had already agreed to what I thought was a generous offer with her boss, madam, keeper, whatever she’s called. But after the last fifteen minutes, I’ve decided I will pay whatever it takes to have her. To own her. I think I would give away my own soul.

Framing her face with both hands now, I lean in until my mouth is a hairsbreadth from hers. Her eyes fall to my lips. I feel her wariness, but I also feel her hunger. She parts her lips and I watch with a deep ache in my groin as her tongue darts out to moisten them in anticipation of my kiss.

I restrain from slamming my mouth to hers, taking what I want. What she wants me to take, regardless of how she’s trying to refute me.

“But you will. Everyone has a price, Summer. What’s yours?”

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About the Author:

As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption. Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).

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