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Blog Tour: Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

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Blog Tour: Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

OUR LAST DAYS IN BARCELONA by Chanel Cleeton

Berkley Trade Paperback Original | On Sale May 24, 2022

When Isabel Perez travels to Barcelona to save her sister Beatriz, she discovers a shocking family secret in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s new novel.

Barcelona, 1964. Exiled from Cuba after the revolution, Isabel Perez has learned to guard her heart and protect her family at all costs. After Isabel’s sister Beatriz disappears in Barcelona, Isabel goes to Spain in search of her. Joining forces with an unlikely ally thrusts Isabel into her sister’s dangerous world of espionage, but it’s an unearthed piece of family history that transforms Isabel’s life.

Barcelona, 1936. Alicia Perez arrives in Barcelona after a difficult voyage from Cuba, her marriage in jeopardy and her young daughter Isabel in tow. Violence brews in Spain, the country on the brink of civil war, the rise of fascism threatening the world. When Cubans journey to Spain to join the International Brigades, Alicia’s past comes back to haunt her as she is unexpectedly reunited with the man who once held her heart.

Alicia and Isabel’s lives intertwine, and the past and present collide, as a mother and daughter are forced to choose between their family’s expectations and following their hearts.

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Excerpt

As I sit on the flight from Palm Beach to Barcelona, wondering what possessed me to embark on this misguided adventure, it’s the look in Nicholas Preston’s eyes from our conversation a few days earlier that I remember most. There was no doubt that this was what he wanted, that he was worried about Beatriz as I was, but given their breakup and his desire to respect the boundaries they’d set, he was reluctant to involve himself, choosing instead to appeal to my romantic and sympathetic nature so I would do his bidding for him.

It’s a move Beatriz would make in a heartbeat, and it’s crystal clear how two people could be both utterly perfect for each other and impossibly doomed.

It’s been my experience that relationships are often about balance: one person tends to be the star, and the other is there to support them, to play those all-important background roles of advice and support. And sometimes, maybe, the roles shift a bit, although in my reality it has been almost entirely the man who is held in such a place of honor and esteem. Knowing my sister as I do, and her inevitable draw to the limelight whether intentional or otherwise, I can’t see her playing the role of the-woman-behind-the-man while Nicholas Preston ascends to political greatness. And I can’t imagine a man with such political ambitions and connections being happy throwing it all away for a life of relative obscurity.

If Beatriz is in Barcelona nursing a broken heart, the big sister in me wants to be there for her.

The flight is uneventful, the last hours passed staring out the window, questioning the decision to send me rather than Elisa as the family envoy, weighing the odds of Beatriz being happy to see me against the far more likely possibility that she’ll be less than enthused.

“I have a four-year-old,” Elisa pointed out when I suggested she would be more successful and welcomed by Beatriz. “How am I supposed to leave for Spain? Do you suggest I take Miguel with me?” She laughed at that, and given how energetic my nephew is, I can’t quite blame her for not wanting to bring him on an international flight to Europe by herself.

In the end, after much prevarication, and a fair dose of pleading with Thomas, who thought it both unseemly for his wife to travel by herself and has always harbored a strong dislike for Beatriz and her reputation, he reluctantly acquiesced, giving me a week away.

Armed with the return address on Beatriz’s letters to Elisa, a bit of money, my suitcase, and little else, I step off the plane when it lands at the airport in Barcelona and hire a taxi to take me to Beatriz’s home.

After a few initial minutes of conversation in Spanish, the driver leaves me to my own devices, and I stare out the window of the cab as he makes the twenty-minute journey, my gaze on the city.

I thought of dialing Beatriz’s number from the airport, warning her of my arrival before I showed up on her doorstep, but any attempts to call her before this trip have been met with silence, and I must admit I worried a bit that if Beatriz did answer the phone this time, she might tell me to turn back around and return to Palm Beach.

The farther we get from the airport, the more congested the city becomes, and I realize we’re near the center of Barcelona now.

Beatriz’s return address from her letter is a smart building on Las Ramblas with a beige stone facade and little balconies with red wrought iron railings. The taxi lets me off right before it.

It’s the sort of place I can imagine Beatriz living—elegant with a dash of whimsy. I can envision my sister leaning over the balcony railing, her dark hair billowing around her as she calls out good-naturedly to pedestrians, her laughter ringing down Las Ramblas. It is quintessentially Beatriz, both the privilege seeped in living in one of the city’s most desirable locales and the slight bohemian bent a city like Barcelona thrives on: art, music, and culture seemingly on every street corner.

It is a far cry from my life and the one our mother wanted for us in Palm Beach; no doubt, much of the allure for Beatriz was escaping to a place where there is anonymity in the crowded streets and bustling pace, where the need to see and be seen does not reign paramount.

But still, it raises the ever-important question that has been on my mind since Elisa first told me Beatriz had left:

Why?

Why Barcelona?

And given the environs where she’s chosen to live, who is funding this adventure?

A list of names of apartment residents is affixed near the building entry. I scan the directory until I settle on a “B. Perez.”

I set my suitcase down on the ground and lift my gloved hand, my heart pounding as I press the buzzer next to Beatriz’s name.

Excerpted from Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton Copyright © 2022 by Chanel Cleeton. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. 

Blog Tour: TEMPEST by Ketley Allison

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Blog Tour: TEMPEST by Ketley Allison

She’s not safe — especially not from me.

Tempest, an all-new compelling dark enemies-to-lovers standalone romance from bestselling author Ketley Allison, is available now!

I shouldn’t want her. I shouldn’t crave her.

She’s not safe — especially not from me.

I know the trouble that comes with people running from the shadows. I know the danger of getting involved with those who deal in secrets. I make those problems go away.

Hitman. Fixer. Whatever.

The biggest mistake I made was choosing to keep my little sister and her best friend, Ardyn Kaine, safe after their friend was murdered.

Ardyn is quiet, soft, and fragile. She spends her evenings studying in her dorm’s common room at the historic Titan Falls University — near where they once burned witches. They say the walls of TFU can talk, but I don’t believe in things I can’t see.

All the blood is on my hands, but Ardyn is the only thing that keeps me up at night.

She might hate me.

But I hate her more for the lies I have to tell.

One thing I know for certain — Ardyn isn’t safe from me.

I’m her nightmare.

Tempest is part of the Briarcliff and Winthorpe dark academia bully worlds, but it is not necessary to read any previous books. Tempest can be read as a complete standalone!

Grab your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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Excerpt

Ardyn

I’m used to operating in Mila’s shadow. Come to think of it, Clover’s, too. But there’s something about this guy that makes his dismissal hard to swallow. Probably because I don’t even get that much from him. I’m less than a ghost, not even requiring the close inspection of a mite on his bedspread. Since I was nine, I’ve been trained to be invisible. I was able to accept it until I met him. A gorgeous, witty, charismatic boy who made friends with everybody and had every single girl he came across becoming stupid for him. Including me. I was obsessed with watching him, amazed at his easy confidence and a little light-headed every time he unleashed a smile. Never at me, since I was usually hiding somewhere in the shadows stalking him, but always nearby.

And I hate myself for it.

A black car rolls up to the curb, anything but covert. Due to Barry’s love of cars, I’m able to immediately tag this one as a Lyken Hypersport. Rare, only 7 in the world, and of course this dude owns one of them.

The tinted passenger window rolls down, taking my bedraggled reflection with it. 

In its place is a silhouette who melts out of the luxury interior’s shadows, his angles cutting through the dark as seamlessly as sharpened weapons.

I gulp.

Yes, for nine years I was able to accept being invisible.

Until I met Tempest Callahan.

About Ketley
Author of Romantic Suspense, New Adult and mature Young Adult novels.

Ketley Allison has always been a romantic at heart. That passion ignited when she realized she could put those dreams into words and her soul into characters. Ketley was born in Canada, moved to Australia when she was thirteen, to California when she was twenty, and finally to New York to attend law school, but most of that time was spent sitting in coffee shops and wine bars thinking of her next book.

Her other passions include coffee, wine, Big Macs, her cat, and her husband, possibly in that order.

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Blog Tour: DESPERATELY SEEKING A DUCHESS by Christi Caldwell

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Blog Tour: DESPERATELY SEEKING A DUCHESS by Christi Caldwell

What happens when an impoverished duke with a reputation for being a rogue collides with a strong-willed heiress who wants to explore the world? An unlikely friendship . . . and unexpected passion.
 
Cailin Audley does not fit in with Polite Society. A life spent among the working class taught her to value her independence in a way no newfound fortune or glittering ballroom could ever erase. When a major misstep sees the new heiress whisked away to the English countryside, Cailin soon realizes the vexing lengths her family will go to see her settled. But having risked her heart once before, Cailin has no interest in the men of the ton—especially not the frustratingly charming Duke of St. James.
 
Courtland Balfour, the Duke of St. James, devoted brother and notorious rogue, despises what he must become—a fortune hunter. With the ducal coffers drained by his late spendthrift of a father, Courtland knows his duty lies at the altar, and he will do anything to ensure a future for his siblings. Just his luck that the one lady who could make this new fate bearable, who enflames him like no other, is the one woman who wants nothing to do with him or his title.
 
When an act of desperation inadvertently lands him and Cailin at the heart of another scandal, Courtland knows better than to waste his chance. Surely he can convince Cailin to love him?

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EXCERPT

Courtland gave his head a wistful shake, as for the first time since he’d arrived, he felt a frisson of . . . guilt, about asking anyone to give up the comfort of obscurity here for the garish opulence that was the Town.

Ace whinnied noisily, and Courtland absently stroked the loyal creature between the eyes. His nostrils flaring, Ace arched his head back into that favorite-of-his touch.

From the corner of his eye, Courtland caught a faint flutter, and he swung his attention to find a person watching him.

The less-than-furtive figure in the cottage pressed her forehead against the glass.

“It appears we have company,” he murmured, patting Ace once more. “Which isn’t terrible, as it means the sooner I finish, the sooner we’re free to return to London.”

Ace gave a toss of his head in clear equine disapproval.

“It appears we are of like opinions then, on that score,” Courtland said, winking at his horse.

Once again, those curtains parted slightly, and a young woman peeked through the crack in the fabric.

Enormous, saucer-sized blue eyes, filled with mistrust, met Courtland’s gaze.

The sister, then.

He grinned. “Good afternoon,” he called, and sketched a bow. “I’m here to speak with Mr. Audley.”

Judging by the stretch of silence to follow, the young woman was anything but impressed. Alas, while he was on the other side of a doorway, without a line of sight to his quarry, she was afforded an unhindered view that put Courtland at a distinct disadvantage.

Giving Ace another pat, Courtland started down the walkway.

“Stop there!” she shouted, a healthy dose of anger and suspicion freezing him halfway down the path.

Anger and suspicion, both of which, as a duke, he was unaccustomed to being greeted with.

“What do you want?” she called, her voice muffled by the oak panel.

What did he want? Or what did he need?

A fortune.

Security.

His siblings settled.

All of which indirectly accounted for his being here.

Bringing himself back to the matter at hand, Courtland offered another smile and held his empty palms up. “I want nothing more than to speak with your brothers . . . or you,” he cajoled, using soothing tones meant to bring her outside.

At last, the wood panel swung wide, affording him his first full, unobstructed view. And Courtland went absolutely motionless.

Oh, hell.

The young woman, with her full, ivory-hued cheeks and golden blond hair, had the height of a child, but the hardened stare of a woman some three decades her elder. Unfortunately for Courtland, that flinty stare was leveled at him.

Along with her ancient-looking firearm.

Reflexively, Courtland’s palms went flying up in surrender.

The late summer sun glinted off the end of the barrel. That enormous weapon looked all the more enormous when held as it was by one of her spritely size.

He swallowed hard and cursed long and harder inside his head.

The young woman flicked a derisive glance over Courtland’s person, before settling it upon his face, her gaze bored; and his ears went hot, as for the first time in his life he knew what it was to have a woman find him lacking.

“Why does it not surprise me at all that a fancy London fellow like you would come here issuing orders to me?” she drawled, the lyrical, lilting quality of her voice in almost farcical juxtaposition to the threat hanging on her words, and the very real threat of murder she directed his way.

Courtland kept his smile firmly affixed, and when he spoke, did so in the careful, placating tones he used with his easily riled younger sisters. “Perhaps had you taken a moment to hear me out and discuss the business that brought me here, then I wouldn’t have had to issue them, Miss Audley.”

Her flaxen eyebrows went shooting up. “Are you . . . challenging me?” The rifle wavered on her arm.

Oh, bloody hell. He was usually better at speaking to the fairer sex. Much better. It should so happen that the one time he failed to charm would likely land him a bullet in the chest-and a swift end to his miserable existence.

“Well?” she demanded, dipping slightly and adjusting the weapon on her arm.

He winced. “I believe you’ve already determined that I was challenging you, and as such, it hardly seems necessary to confirm with a verbal statement, Miss Audley.” He bit out each syllable, giving up on the gentle warmth he’d previously attempted.

She lowered the rifle slowly, and he took heart. “Now,” he said, taking a step forward. “If you would be so good as to lower your weapon all the-“

A loud report thundered in the afternoon quiet, cutting off the remainder of his words, and he flew back, hitting the ground so hard the air was sucked from his lungs.

Bloody hell. This was how he would end his short reign as duke-by taking a bullet straight to the chest.

Excerpted from Desperately Seeking a Duchess by Christi Caldwell Copyright © 2022 by Christi Caldwell. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christi Caldwell is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sinful Brides series and the Heart of a Duke series. She blames novelist Judith McNaught for luring her into the world of historical romance. Christi lives in Charlotte, North Carolina where she spends her time writing and being a mommy to the most inspiring little boy and empathetic, spirited girls who, with their mischievous twin antics, offer an endless source of story ideas. Learn more online at christicaldwell.com.

Photo Credit to Kimberly Rocha

Blog Tour: Bloody Cruel Psycho by Lucy Smoke

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Blog Tour: Bloody Cruel Psycho by Lucy Smoke
He came looking for Ace, but he found me instead…

Bloody Cruel Psycho, an explosive dark college romance in The Bloody Duet from USA Today bestselling author Lucy Smoke, is available now!

A life for a life … will kill the both of us in the end.

Clover

I know nothing of the Sickness at Eastpoint University. I know only the backroads that slip past the southern beaches and the gators that make their way onto the swamps shores. Until him. Until the killer known as Braxton Smalls finds his way into my stilted trailer on the coast of Port Charlotte.

He came looking for Ace, but he found me instead…

Braxton

I’m a monster. Always have been. Always will be. The only people I’ve ever given a shit about are my boys and their girls. No one hurts my family, and knowing that someone has … and that they’ve gotten away with it plagues me.

Ace Volkov will pay for what he put Avalon through and if I have to use his most precious weakness to draw him out, I will.

She thinks she can bargain for his life with her own, but I mean to show her that there’s nothing I won’t do to see my vengeance through to the end.

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Excerpt

“You want to bend me and break me, Braxton Smalls.”

“And you’re going to let me,” he shoots back. “All for him.” He spits out the last word like it’s a curse.

I shake my head. “To an extent, Brax,” I warn him. “You think you have me cornered because I agreed to fuck you in return for you not tearing ass after Ace, but understand this much.” I lean up on my elbows and stare back at him. He grits his teeth as his hands ball into fists. “I’m the swamp rat you picked up. I have not been catered to my whole life like the women you were raised around. I am my own person and when someone pushes too far, I let them know. You have rights over my body, Brax, but that’s as far as it goes.”

Braxton’s arms drop to his sides and before I know it, his hands are around my waist as he rips the towel away from my body and turns, shoving me up against the outside glass of the shower. “You think your body is all you’re giving me, Clover?”

I swallow hard. “Yes.” I turn the small lie into a silent prayer.

His wide mouth curves into a vicious smile. “Then you have nothing to fear.”

About Lucy
Lucy Smoke/Lucinda Dark suffers from severe wanderlust and enjoys people watching to find her next character. Who knows, maybe you’re in one of her stories as well.

Author of new adult, reverse harem, and dark romance, Lucy Smoke/Lucinda Dark switches between subgenres, but focuses the primary themes of her novels on strong heroines and romance.

She lives and works in the south with her beloved puppy, Hiro, and enjoys teasing the life out of her all of her friends.

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Blog Tour: Ruthless Sinner by Erika Wilde

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Blog Tour: Ruthless Sinner by Erika Wilde
She’ll do anything to destroy his family.

Ruthless Sinner, an all-new, sizzling hot mafia romance from New York Times bestselling author Erika Wilde, is out now!

Dark, dangerous mafia soldiers like Marco Russo were made men, but luckily for me, they weren’t made for marriage. Which made my job of seducing him so much easier.

It was supposed to be a simple undercover operation. One that required me to work in a strip club in order to get close to Marco and do whatever it took to coax him to spill his family’s secrets. Our attraction was undeniable, so establishing a relationship with him was the easy part. Enticing him to share sensitive information took far more finesse.

But during all those steamy nights we shared I learned enough to take down his family. I also made the stupid mistake of falling for the enemy and now I was going to have to make a choice.

My head or my heart.

My job or my love.

My end or my beginning.

Because once Marco realized who I was and how I’d deceived him, he’d have a choice to make, as well.

To let me live . . . or to kill me to prove his loyalty to his family.

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Keep reading for a look inside Ruthless Sinner!

Marco was waiting when I stepped back out into the alley after work, only this time he was leaning against his motorcycle.
Oh, my God. I knew he had one but we’d never ridden it together. My legs trembled, my body already getting hot at the thought of that machine between my thighs, molded to Marco’s back as we rode…
“Nice ride,” I said, walking over and running a hand along the leather seat. “Where are we going?”
“Just a little place I know,” Marco said, and tossed me a helmet.
I put it on, and didn’t bother asking if he was going to wear one, because clearly he wasn’t. I shook my head. “Y’know, I can see why your dad worries about you.”
Marco just smirked, swung his leg over the seat, and straddled the bike. “Hop on.”
“I hope you’re not trying to impress me,” I warned him as I slid behind him and wrapped my arms around his waist, “because the opportunity to do that passed about a month ago.”
That was a total lie. I was definitely impressed by the motorcycle and I was prepared to be impressed by whatever else he had planned, but there was no way I was going to let him know that. I didn’t want him to think I was easy. Even though it had already been a month and I could probably let myself relax by this point.
Still, the thrum of arousal and anticipation that shot through me as he hit the throttle was unreal. I held on tightly and pressed my face to the back of his shoulder as we took off, out of the alley, onto the deserted late-night street.
Wherever he was taking me, I knew I’d like it. For all his fancy toys, Marco didn’t like to make a big deal of things. He wasn’t about taking me out to a fancy restaurant. Instead he took me to his favorite random ice cream shop. I liked that. I was ready for the low-key thing he had planned.
And in the meantime, I really loved pressing myself against him as we rode this motorcycle. I could feel his back muscles shifting and flexing underneath me, the firm feel of his abs against my hands as I kept my arms wrapped around him. When I rested my cheek against his back, his body sheltered me from the wind, so I could just watch the flurries of blurred light as we sped past buildings and out of the city.
At last we stopped at a hilly park that was high up, and had a great view of the bay. Marco stopped the motorcycle and got off, offering me his hand.
I looked around. “Why are we here?”
Marco rubbed at the back of his neck, like he was nervous. Big bad Marco Russo, nervous? The idea was endearing.
“This is one of the areas my family bought outside of the city,” he explained. “One of the ways we maintain our strength in the mafia and the legitimate business world is focusing on charity efforts. It gives us a good reputation with people, helps us with our public image. Vincent’s new wife, she’ll pick her own charities she wants to work with, where her focus is, but my mom was all about community outreach and the environment so she built a lot of parks. Like this one.”
He gestured towards a sign I hadn’t noticed before. It dubbed the place Marco’s Park and below it had a few lines explaining who built the park and in what year.
I looked at him in surprise. “This one’s yours?”
“Yeah, we all have one. Mom liked to name them after people in her life. And I think she knew that we all needed a place to go and breathe. I don’t know if Vincent goes to his park a lot, but I like to come here when I need to get out of the city and just chill.”
“But you love the city.” New York City was vibrant, pulsing with life, and so was Marco.
“Most of the time.” Marco leaned back against his motorcycle and looked out over the city, its lights gleaming like so many fireflies. “But what I do for the family… I see the dirty side of the city. The grime, the blood, the ugly. Sometimes I gotta get out and take a few deep breaths away from it all.”
“I understand,” I said softly. Working in the FBI wasn’t the glamorous catching of bad guys like you saw on television. A lot of the time I didn’t know if we were really the good guys or if there were only shades of gray. “Thank you for bringing me here.”
Marco gave me a small, soft smile, and it tugged at my heart.
“Who knew the bad boy with a motorcycle had such a soft side?” I added, trying to ignore that feeling in my chest and hoping to get myself back onto safer emotional ground.
“Hey, I’ve got layers,” Marco protested with a smirk. “And you can’t say you don’t like the motorcycle. I saw your face light up when you saw it.”
“Well,” I admitted, feeling there was no harm in telling him, “I’ve always had a bit of a thing for bad boys.”
“Congratulations then, you hit the jackpot.” He winked at me.

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Meet Erika Wilde
Erika Wilde is a New York Times Bestselling author. She is best known for her super sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series, and has also co-written the Dirty Sexy Series and the Book Boyfriend Series with Carly Phillips, her best friend and writing buddy for the past twenty years. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she’s not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit her website at http://www.erikawilde.com and sign up for her mailing list for updates and news!

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Release Tour for the Wilder Trilogy by Ali Dean

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Release Tour for the Wilder Trilogy by Ali Dean

She’s a rising tennis star from a family of con-artists. He’s a football hotshot and devoted to his family. When her path crosses with his family’s, he’s immediately suspicious, and she’s determined to keep her secrets, despite their sizzling chemistry. Fans of Ivy Smoak and Tijan will love this addicting, edge-of-your-seat sports romance.

Buy Now or Read for FREE with KindleUnlimited!

Wilder Games

It’s match point in the most important tennis match in my life, and nothing can distract me. Nothing, that is, except the sight of Jude Wilder sitting in the stands with his little sister on his lap. He’s never watched me play. Never even noticed me before. And yet his eyes are on me now. I know what he must be thinking. I’m not just an outcast, I’m a social pariah thanks to my family being the town’s most notorious con artists. Jude is on the opposite side of the spectrum. Not only is he accepted, he’s worshipped. I’m nobody to him, and yet I’ve got this chance to impress him.

As it turns out, he isn’t at all impressed when I win the match, and I’m worse than a nobody to him. Jude thinks I’m a threat to his family. This should alarm me. It should scare me. Jude in protective mode is hot, all right, but I can’t afford to be on his radar. I’ve got one year to secure a college scholarship. It’s hard enough keeping a low profile with my tennis success, and the last thing I need is Jude Wilder of all people drawing more attention my way.

Especially if it’s hostile.

Even if I like it.

Wilder Match

One second, the future of my tennis career is brighter than ever; the next, nothing is certain. Nothing, that is, except that I won’t be swinging a racket anytime soon. Jude Wilder wants to come to my rescue. I don’t need rescuing, even if it’s offered by the one guy who ignites a fire inside of me like I’ve only ever felt on the tennis court.

I’ve done things on my own my entire life, and I won’t let this setback steal my independence. Only, it’s not so easy to turn Jude away when he’s determined to help me. I want him, but I don’t trust him enough to let him in. Then again, if I can keep his savior complex at bay, he might just be the perfect distraction while I’m sidelined. It’s not like he’s going to stick around for long, and I can always cut him out of my life when I need to. That is, if I don’t fall in love with him first.

Wilder Play

The addicting, edge-of-your seat Wilder trilogy concludes with this final installment filled with

sports, romance, and characters you’ll obsess about. Enjoy this fast-paced binge-read and its

twisty, unpredictable plot!

I’m back on the tennis court, but the rest of my life is a hot mess. My mom stopped paying my bills, and I

just discovered the reason for it: she’s dead. I’m about to get kicked out of my apartment – the same

one that’s been broken into twice – if I don’t pay rent soon. My sister is still lurking about, up to no

good. And someone is leaving messages telling me to break up with Jude.

He’s back from football camp and didn’t forget about me while he was gone. Jude’s seen the reality of

my life, and he isn’t running away. Instead, he’s demanding I open up to him more, even though I’ve

already made myself more vulnerable with him than with anyone else in my life. I keep telling myself it’s

for his own good to keep secrets from him, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s more about protecting my

heart than it is about proving my independence.

We’ve fallen hard and fast, and it’s up to me what happens next.

The man who’s come to deliver the news about my mom is about to tell me who my father is, and I have

a feeling my world is going to get turned upside down. Should I take Jude’s hand and bring him along for

the ride? And if I do, will having Jude beside me make me weaker, or stronger?

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Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Ali Dean

“That would have been your first kiss?”
She shrugged. “Yeah.”
“You’re seventeen?”
Her eyes finally met mine, and I could see the relief there. She was glad I hadn’t pushed about the “other stuff” she’d referred to, which only made me more curious about it.
“So? I’m too busy with school and tennis, and now college applications and work, to hang out with people.”
“You really think you led him on? That’s fucked up, Karis. He was the one who kept touching you all territorial-like all night, and you never responded.”
“Should I have pushed him away? Told him to stop? I mean, he wasn’t groping me or anything.”
“Pretty sure you did give him a few shoves at the ping pong table.” I raised my eyebrows and she laughed softly.
“Only because I wanted to win and he kept screwing up.”
“Karis, guys should be able to read women’s signs. Anyone looking at you two would have seen that you weren’t into him like that. But Ferris has it bad, and he’s ignoring it or in denial. Telling himself it’s because you’re inexperienced or something.”
“So I should have told him to back off or pushed him away earlier if you hadn’t shown up? Even though it would have made it awkward when I saw him at BTC, which is practically every day in the summer?”
“You would let a guy kiss you, your first kiss, so you didn’t hurt his feelings?”
Karis laughed again and the rage beating inside me dimmed slightly. “Okay,” she conceded. “You’re right.”
“You didn’t have any trouble pushing me away the other night,” I reminded her. And she’d been turned on, I hadn’t misread that. She’d liked how my body felt crowding hers.
“Yeah well, you were pissing me off. I didn’t have to worry about hurting your feelings.”
“If I tried to kiss you now, what would you do?”
She rolled her eyes like she didn’t think I was serious. “I need to get to bed, Jude. I’ve got to be up at 5:30 in the morning.”
“Seriously?”
“Yes,” she said on a long sigh, moving to the bed. See? She had no problem walking away from me.
I found myself following her as I remembered that look in her eyes as she ran her finger along her lip in the hallway. The way her chest rose and her eyes dilated. The deepening blush. Her husky voice. It hadn’t been for Ferris. She felt this between us. I wanted to be Karis Jackson’s first kiss.

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About Ali Dean

Ali is a USA Today Bestselling author of girl power sports romance books, with enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. She has always loved to read, especially when there’s a happily ever after, but found that there weren’t enough books out there featuring girl athletes. So, she decided to work on that. Like the heroines in her books, Ali is an athlete, with running and skiing her favorite sports these days. Ali hails from Vermont and now lives in her own happily-ever-after in Colorado with her husband, two sets of twins (yes, you read that correctly) and golden retriever Pancake. When she’s not pursuing an outdoor adventure, Ali’s less healthy passions include ice cream, coffee, and beer.

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Blog Tour: Gossamer in the Darkness: A Fantasyland Novella by Kristen Ashley

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Blog Tour: Gossamer in the Darkness: A Fantasyland Novella by Kristen Ashley

Gossamer in the Darkness, an all-new magical novella in the Fantasyland Series from New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley and 1,001 Dark Nights, is available now!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new story in her Fantasyland series…

Their engagement was set when they were children. Loren Copeland, the rich and handsome Marquess of Remington, would marry Maxine Dawes, the stunning daughter of the Count of Derryman. It’s a power match. The perfect alliance for each house.

However, the Count has been keeping secret a childhood injury that means Maxine can never marry. He’s done this as he searches for a miracle so this marriage can take place. He needs the influence such an alliance would give him, and he’ll stop at nothing to have it.

The time has come. There could be no more excuses. No more delays. The marriage has to happen, or the contract will be broken.

When all seems lost, the Count finds his miracle: There’s a parallel universe where his daughter has a twin. He must find her, bring her to his world and force her to make the Marquess fall in love with her.

And this, he does.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

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Excerpt

She sat across from him at his breakfast table in the conservatory, the beams of the sun gilding her hair, her face aimed to the windows, watching the birds at their bath.
He was dressed, but she was wrapped in his dressing gown. It was too big for her. But it was all they had for the now as he refused to button her into a gown she’d worn just the day before. He’d sent word to Corliss to have her maid, her apparel and her toilette directed to his townhome so she could face the day fresh, preparing to do so there.
More importantly, this also meant he got to keep her longer.
“Stop watching me,” she told the window. “It’s ridiculously romantic. I’m melting in a puddle over here.”
He grinned at his coffee cup, his attention remaining on her over the rim as he took a sip.
She turned in the midst of this, watched his actions, and her gaze heated yet again.
“You’re a walking, talking, eating, drinking-coffee, sex-god hero from a romance novel,” she groused.
“I love you think that, though I’m perplexed as to why this seems to put you in a foul mood,” he noted, returning his cup to its saucer.
“I can’t jump you over the table due to your injury, that’s why,” she explained.
He raised a brow. “Did I not prove my creativity this morning?”
“The bit where you were on your knees could have torn your stitches.”
The tone of her response communicated she was now being very serious.
“Again, darling, I’m fine,” he said in the same tone.
“How worried should I be about this bordello woman you’ve angered?” she asked.
And there it was.
“You shouldn’t worry at all.”
“Loren—”

About Kristen Ashley
Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.
Kristen’s novel, Law Man, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Romantic Suspense. Her independently published title Hold On was nominated for RT Book Reviews best Independent Contemporary Romance and her traditionally published title Breathe was nominated for best Contemporary Romance. Kristen’s titles Motorcycle Man, The Will, Ride Steady (which won the Reader’s Choice award from Romance Reviews) and The Hookup all made the final rounds for Goodreads Choice Awards in the Romance category.

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Blog Tour: Save Me by Vi Carter

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Blog Tour: Save Me by Vi Carter
He’s angry.
Damaged.
He hates me.
He wants me.

Save Me, the jaw-dropping conclusion to the Broken People Duet, a dark new adult romance from bestselling author Vi Carter is available now!


Jared
They say love and hate dance together along the same line.
My feelings for Layla don’t dance on the line; they destroy it.
It’s been seven years since she disappeared without a trace.
And now she’s back, but things have changed—I’ve changed.
I’m no longer the Jared she remembers, the boy who wanted to protect her.
I’m very much my father’s son, and I take what I want, and what I want is Layla.
But this time, I’m keeping her forever.


Layla

Seven years—that’s how long it’s been since I’ve seen him.
After painstakingly putting myself back together, I’m finally ready to start a life without his memory chasing my every step.
Imagine my surprise when my new beginning leads me straight back to him.
Only he’s not the boy I remember.
He’s angry.
Damaged.
Hiding secrets that want to destroy him.
He hates me. He wants me.

I’m not sure I’ll survive the man he has become. His demons threaten to destroy us both.

***Part Two of the Broken People Duet***

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About Vi
When Vi Carter isn’t writing dark romance books, that feature the mafia, are filled with suspense, and take you on a fast paced ride, you can find her reading her favorite authors, baking, taking photos or watching Netflix.
Married with three children, Vi divides her time between motherhood and all the other hats she wears as an Author.
She has declared herself a coffee & chocolate addict! Do not judge.

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Release Tour: Whiskey Dream by Taryn Rivers

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Release Tour:  Whiskey Dream by Taryn Rivers

Nothing will stop Rosalie from making her dream come true in Whiskey Falls, not even Erick, the sexy modern day viking who’s pursued her since she arrived in town. When a gang war breaks out, Rosalie is put in danger. Can Erick keep her safe and break down her walls keeping him out? Readers who enjoy Brynne Asher and Layla Frost will love this spicy, alpha hero, new girl in town, small town romantic suspense.

Buy Now or Read for FREE with KindleUnlimited!

Blurb

Dreams can’t come true if you’re dead.


Rosalie
After spending my life fulfilling someone else’s dream, nothing will stop me from making my own come true in Whiskey Falls.

Not my parents who want me safely ensconced back home in Minnesota.

Not the sexy modern day viking who’s pursued me since I arrived.

And certainly not the gang trying to take out my sister and me.

They’re about to learn the hard way: I may act like a wallflower, but this rose has thorns.


Erick
Since the day I met her, she’s intrigued me.
The hippy florist with secrets in her eyes and walls built so high, I can’t help but want to scale them.

She resists me at every turn, making me work for what I want.

Just when I start making headway, Whiskey Falls becomes ground zero for a gang war.

Suddenly, unlocking the mystery of her isn’t my main objective.

Keeping her alive is.

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Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Taryn Rivers

I walk him to his truck, where things get awkward—at least for me. After completely screwing up our date, now I’m shoving him off. I stand here, shuffling my feet, staring at the ground. “Sorry I fu—messed up our date.”

His finger catches me under my chin, and I look up straight into a pair of amused blue eyes. “You can make it up to me tomorrow night. No dogs this time though. Your sister can watch them.”

I hold my hand up. “Erick, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

He shakes his head. “You have no intention of even trying to see if we’re good together, do you?” He doesn’t sound mad at all. If it’s possible, he looks even more amused.

I narrow my eyes at him. He’s not taking me seriously at all. “I don’t have time for a relationship right now. I have a business to build up, a sister whose life is imploding, and a nephew to spoil. There’s no room in there for an overbearing alpha male. So no matter how hard you try, you won’t make me budge.”

A wide grin forms across his face. “Challenge accepted.”

Oh, crap. Before I can get another word out, he pulls me into him tight. His hands cup my head, fingers tangle in my hair, and his mouth comes down on mine.

I gasp in surprise, and he immediately takes advantage. He slides his tongue in and it brushes against mine, lightly at first. I freeze, but then my hand automatically curls into his shirt. That’s when he goes in for the kill. It’s not a rough, overwhelming kiss. Instead, he sips at my mouth like he’s savoring it. It’s soft and seductive.

Very seductive.

My eyes close, my head tilts for a better angle and I melt into him as desire pools in my belly. This is good. No, not just good, it’s better than I imagined it would be, and I knew it would be fucking amazing.

With one last stroke of his tongue, he breaks it off. Leaning back, he grins.

“Six o’clock, Rosalie.”

He turns and hops into his truck. With a wink, he starts it and I step back.

He reverses and then is gone, leaving me standing here speechless.

As I watch his taillights disappear around the bend, my hand reaches up and touches my lips, still warm and tingly from that kiss.

I just had to challenge the Viking warrior. I’m going to be screwed, both figuratively and literally. And after that kiss, I’m not sure I care.

Buy Now or Read for FREE with KindleUnlimited!

About Taryn Rivers

Taryn Rivers lives in central Arkansas with her extremely patient husband and her golden retriever, Patton. When she’s not writing, she’s kicking back with her husband at the lake, eating her weight in fried cheese curds and fish fry while visiting family in Wisconsin, or she’s guilting her children into coming to see her. She loves reading, coffee, wine, and her family, not necessarily in that order.

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Blog Tour: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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Blog Tour: Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-Mills
“A sexy, fun romance from an author who always delivers.” —Kirkus Reviews


Beauty and the Baller, an all-new moving and smoking hot fake relationship standalone romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is available now!

An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?

Fall in love today FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
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About Ilsa Madden-Mills
Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

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