RSS Feed

Category Archives: Excerpt Reveal

Here’s Your First Look at Denise Swanson’s DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS!

From New York Times best-selling author Denise Swanson comes DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS and here’s your First Look! Join us for a first peek at this this sweet and sexy romance. Don’t miss the excerpt and enter to win a signed set of Delicious Love books and nine will win eARCS of DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS

Title: Dangerously Delicious

Author: Denise Swanson

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: Self-published

Series: Delicious Love #2

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Marco Thorne was hired by Club Wilde’s owner to open up the newest, most outrageous venue yet. He is absolutely certain that he can handle all the competition Las Vegas has to offer until his overbearing boss contracts with Lions and Tigers and More sanctuary to have live exotic animals present in the jungle-themed club. Still, he has no choice but to go along with his boss’s idiotic scheme, even if he thinks it’s the worst idea he’s ever heard.

Dr. Sage DeSantis’s entire life is devoted to keeping the animals under her care in the sanctuary healthy and happy. After the sanctuary’s owner announces that he’s renting out some of Sage’s babies to Club Wilde, she’s sickened that they will once again be exploited.

When Marco and Sage meet, the chemistry between them nearly knocks them off their feet. Although they both have experiences in their past that make them leery of love, and Sage is determined to guard her heart, Marco is all in. But will Marco be able to convince Sage to give them a chance?

Add to Goodreads http://bit.ly/2O3368p

Find out more at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Denise Swanson

“Marco Thorne?” The words came out breathy and Sage filled her lungs. Finally, she exhaled and asked, “Are you Nico’s brother?”

“Yes, I am.” Marco’s tone was suddenly guarded. “Do you know my brother?”

“Only through his wife.” Sage realized that Marco’s hand was still extended and she hastily shook it. “Deanna is my best friend.”

“You’re Sage?” Marco asked. “I don’t think I ever heard your last name.”

“Small world.” Sage smiled.

Maybe this wouldn’t be as bad as she feared. Surely, Nico’s brother would be reasonable. Maybe she could even convince him that having wild animals in a crowded nightclub was a bad idea.

Marco slowly released her fingers and they stood staring at each other. Sage wasn’t sure how long they stood there before Marco cleared his throat.

“Would you like a drink before we get started?” He gestured to the bamboo bar. “Water, soda, maybe something a little stronger?”

Sage’s mouth was dry—probably from hanging open as she gazed at the Greek god in front of her—and she said, “I’ll take a Diet Coke if you have it.”

“Coming right up.” Marco walked over, stepped behind the bar, and grabbed a glass. After filling it with ice, he held it under the dispenser. “So how long have you and Deanna been friends?”

“Since our freshman year in college.” Sage nodded her thanks when he leaned over the bar and handed her the soda. Did you attend their wedding? I couldn’t believe they couldn’t wait a couple of days for me to fly from here to Chicago.”

“Yeah.” Marco grabbed a bottle of water for himself and twisted off the cap. “There wasn’t much to see. They stood in front of the judge, he said a few words, and that was it.” Marco lifted the Dasani to his mouth. “There wasn’t any of the usual shit. Definitely not worth the airfare.”

“I’m an only child.” Sage stared into her glass of soda. “So it would have been nice to see my best friend get her happily ever after.”

“My mother has been planning a huge surprise reception with all the trimmings for their one-year anniversary. Now that the happy couple is spending a month here instead of just a week, Mom is moving the reception to the big LV. ” Marco moved closer to Sage. “I’ll make sure that you’re there for that.”

“Actually, I’ve already received an invitation,” Sage said. “And I can’t wait.”

“Good.” He brushed his thumb along her jaw. “That’s good.”

Sage shivered. Something swirled around her and it felt like the air after a lightning storm—fresh, but with a hint of lingering danger. Her heart thudded against her chest, tension winding tighter and tighter as Marco’s thumb seemed to brand her skin. Her girly bits stirred in response and hormones she thought were in deep hibernation had her body going places that terrified her.

Her reaction to his barely there caress must have shown on her face, because a flagrantly sexy, oh-so-smug expression gleamed hungrily in Marco’s molten gold eyes. He put his water bottle down on the bar and brought his other hand up to cup her cheek.

His lips hovered a millimeter above hers and Sage couldn’t believe she wanted him to close the gap. They’d only known each other for about ten minutes. There was no way she should be thinking about kissing him.

Enter to win a signed set of Delicious Love books + Nine will win eARCS of DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

About Denise Swanson:

New York Times Bestseller author Denise Swanson was a practicing psychologist for twenty-two years. She writes the Delicious Love and Change of Heart contemporary romance series, as well as the Scumble River, Devereaux’s Dime Store, and Chief-to-Go mysteries. Her books all feature small-town heroines with lots of heart.

Denise’s books have been finalists for the Agatha, Mary Higgins Clark, RT Magazine’s Career Achievement, and Daphne du Maurier Awards. She has won the Reviewers Choice Award and was a BookSense 76 Top Pick.

Denise Swanson lives in rural Illinois with her husband, classical composer David Stybr.

Follow:  Website | Reader Group | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub | Pinterest

Get Your First Look at FEELS LIKE FALLING by Elle Keating!

Here’s your FIRST LOOK at FEELS LIKE FALLING by Elle Keating! Join us as we get our first peek at this dark and emotional romance. Check out the excerpt and enter to win a bundle of books from the Dangerous Love series!

Title:  Feels Like Falling

Author: Elle Keating

Release Date: November 13, 2018

Publisher: Self-published

Series: Dangerous Love #5

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Luke McGinnis is the responsible, quiet older brother. The loving son who enjoys working side-by-side with his father at the winery they co-own. At twenty-nine years old, Luke is a success story, the rags-to-riches kind. That’s what people see. Not the ugly past he fights to keep buried… a past that keeps him from really living.

Peyton Matthews is a household name. As a model, her face has been on the covers of countless magazines and she now has more money than she will ever know what to do with. But that smile she flashes for the photographers and the media is just an illusion. That pretty package everyone envies has been her armor, her protection, and she doesn’t want anyone to find a chink in it… especially not the winery owner who looks at her like he knows the dark secrets she keeps.

Add to Goodreads https://bit.ly/2N9H7fH

Find out more at: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Listen to the FEELS LIKE FALLING playlist on Spotify now! https://spoti.fi/2ND6ypi

FELLS LIKE FALLING Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Elle Keating

“Did I do something wrong?”

Luke didn’t turn and look at her. He just continued to poke that fire when he said, “No.”

“Are you angry that I ruined your plans with Gabe last night?” It was a lame question. But really, Peyton didn’t know what else she could have done wrong, so whatever…as long as she kept him talking.

“No.”

No. That was all she was entitled to. His one-word answers drove her crazy, especially since he didn’t seem to have any problem spending over ten minutes alone with Tasha talking or…maybe he didn’t spend that time engaging in conversation because maybe they were too busy…

“Did you fuck Tasha?”

He dropped the poker, sending it crashing to the floor. He picked it up, propped it against the brick fireplace and faced her. “No.”

“But she asked you to…to fuck her. Didn’t she?”

“Yes.”

Peyton should have been happy and ridden out that wave of relief, but she wasn’t. His admission that he had just shot down Tasha, one of the sexiest supermodels in the world, only brought on more questions. Questions she really had no business asking. But what did she really have to lose? He had already seen her at her worst. Covered in sand and puke, she imagined that she had looked like a real keeper. So she fired away.

“Are you married?”

He took two steps toward her. “No.”

“Have a girlfriend?” Her voice wavered a bit. She had been more confident when he had been across the room poking the damn fire, but now he was drifting toward her, causing her to lose her nerve.

Three more steps. “No.”

“Oh.” That was all she could get out. She had done a lot of embarrassing things in her life, like when she had taken a header off the catwalk at a major show, or when she had a serious wardrobe malfunction and unintentionally flashed hundreds of people her ass. And then there were those photos of her that were posted on social media before she had gotten her shit together. But this moment right here. This claimed the number one spot. “I get it. You’re just not interested…in me.”

Or maybe he senses what you are…

He made the distance between them disappear with two strides. His hands gripped her waist as he pinned her against the wall of windows at her back. “Do you honestly believe that I’m not attracted to you?”

His breathing was labored like hers and she was fighting to regain her composure. Trapped in his arms, his heated eyes searching hers, she fumbled for words. “I…I don’t know what you’re thinking. What you want.”

He swallowed hard and that vein near his temple pumped ferociously. His right hand tightened around her waist and his left cupped her cheek. “What do you want from me, Peyton?” he asked, his voice strained. He sounded as if he was in pain. And that’s when she felt something rock-hard press against her core. She didn’t need to look down or see the outline of his bulge to know that he was huge. She could feel it…every fucking where. “Say it,” he demanded.

“I want you to kiss me…please.”

Enter to win one of three Dangerous Love Book Bundles!

(includes, Thrill of the Chase, Cut to the Chase, Wanting More, & Back to the Start)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

About Elle Keating:

Elle Keating is the author of romance novels with sexy heroes and fierce females. Her first book, Thrill of the Chase (Dangerous Love, #1), was published by Forever Romance’s digital imprint, Forever Yours, in 2015. Cut to the Chase (Dangerous Love, #2) soon followed. Most recently, Elle self-published Wanting More (Dangerous Love, #3), Back to the Start (Dangerous Love, #4) and the standalone novel, Keeping His Commandments.

When Elle isn’t torturing her heroes and heroines (don’t worry, there’s always a happily ever after), she is a public school administrator and enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 children in New Jersey. For more on Elle and her books, visit ellekeating.com.

Follow:  Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub | Instagram

First Look: Quick Fall by Michelle Dayton

Get Your First Look at QUICK FALL by Michelle Dayton!

Here’s your FIRST LOOK at QUICK FALL by Michelle Dayton! Join us as we get our first peek at this spicy, yet sweet opposites attract romance. Check out the excerpt and enter to win a gift card and advanced reader copies!

Find out what happens in QUICK FALL by Michelle Dayton, when sparks fly between Justin Tracy, the eternal ladies man, and his new tenant, Maddy Trainor, a feisty single mom.  It was supposed to be uncomplicated fun and sexy times … it wasn’t supposed to be love. Fans of Christina Lauren and NO MORE MR. NICE GUY by Amy Andrews will love this spicy and sweet opposites attract romance.

Title: Quick Fall

Author: Michelle Dayton

Published: October 8, 2018

Publisher: Self-published

Series: Tracy Brothers #2

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Justin Tracy, the perennial life of the party, is used to being teased by his friends about his success with the ladies.  Not that he’ll ever get serious with one.  Why should he?  His life is absolutely perfect the way it is. But at his brother’s bachelor party, a drunken bet about his womanizing skill gets a little out of control. Before he knows it, his friends have invited his new tenant – a woman he’s never even met – to go to his brother’s wedding with him.

Single mom Maddy Trainor has just moved back to Chicago, ready to reclaim her life and conquer the city.  Maddy’s determined to get her new business off the ground and build a happy home for her son, Teddy.   She didn’t expect a gorgeous landlord, but ogling Justin Tracy is definitely a bonus to her new apartment.

Justin intends to apologize to Maddy for the out-of-the-blue wedding invitation and get gone, but his new neighbor turns out to be funny, whip-smart, and sexy as hell.  Why not take her to the wedding for real?  Just as friends, of course.  To Maddy, the wedding – one night of champagne and dancing with a self-admitted Peter Pan – sounds like amazing no-strings fun.  But the sparks that blaze between the two of them can’t be contained to one night.  And two people who think they have life figured out are about to realize they know nothing about love …

Add to Goodreads Here!  

Pre-Order Now: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Quick Ride Excerpt

Copyright © 2018 Michelle Dayton

Justin caught Maddy in his arms just as she turned to head back to their table. “Not so fast,” he said. “May I have this dance?”

Her cheeks were flushed from the exercise, and her eyes glowed like candles again. “Absolutely.”

He pulled her close. So close he could smell the shampoo she’d used on her hair. She moved her hands up and down his biceps before settling them lightly on his shoulders. He gripped her hips, loving how they swayed back and forth beneath his touch.

Everything felt so good that half the song passed before he spoke again. “You looked great out here,” he murmured into her hair.

She tipped her head back. “I told you I love to dance.”

He moved his hands from her hips to her lower back so that she was pressed even tighter against him. Then he whispered in her ear, “You did not tell me, however, how sexy you look while doing it.” Bizarrely, on their own, his lips traveled down and pressed a kiss to the skin beneath her earlobe.

What the hell was he doing? He was never into PDA. Occasionally, he’d put his arm around a woman or give her a teasing kiss on the cheek—the kind that came with a smacking sound effect. He didn’t even usually hold hands.

But here he was, in public, with his mouth on Maddy’s skin. And it wasn’t a dry peck either. His lips wanted to explore. His tongue was dying to taste her. Briefly, he let it.

She shivered against him, moved her own hands higher so they were locked around his neck. “Some things you just have to find out for yourself.”

The words were a throaty chuckle, said with the cadence of a confident woman. He went hard as a rock.

Pressed so tightly against him, she could hardly fail to notice. Would she pull away, deflect, pretend they weren’t rubbing against each other as much as physically possible in public?

She didn’t. In fact, she did something between a whisper and a moan, stood on her toes, and kissed his throat.

Jesus. “When this song ends, you’re going to have to shield me as we walk back to our table.” His voice was a desperate laugh. “You’ve put me in a … complicated position.”

She squirmed against him, making it worse. “Really?” she said innocently, arching an eyebrow. “This position seems fairly simple to me.” She laughed, low in her throat. “I’m guessing you know positions that are a lot more complicated.”

Meet Justin’s older brother, Garrett Tracy!

FAST RIDE is on sale for $.99! Grab your copy today!

Buy Now: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

Enter to win a $15 Amazon gift card and eARCs of QUICK RIDE!

10 will win copies!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

About Michelle Dayton:

There are only three things Michelle Dayton loves more than sexy and suspenseful novels: her family, the city of Chicago, and Mr. Darcy. Michelle dreams of a year of world travel – as long as the trip would include weeks and weeks of beach time. As a bourbon lover and unabashed wine snob, Michelle thinks heaven is discussing a good book over an adult beverage

Follow Michelle:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | BookBub

Excerpt Reveal: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

HWN-SBPRBANNER-ExcerptReveal.jpg

Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay #6
Release Date: September 25, 2018

HWN high res cover copy (1).JPG

Synopsis:

Who needs mistletoe?

Most people wouldn’t think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn’t most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she’s been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that—but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once . . .

Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don’t mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he’s shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly’s brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can’t believe he’s drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who’s the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he’s ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas.

Pre-Order Today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2AUOaTF
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2vt20Yc
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2MtoY7T
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2OhyFXu
Paperback: https://amzn.to/2Mw1oYl

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2vxyP6a

HWN-Teaser1.jpg

Excerpt:

Joe looked behind him to make sure they were alone. “Molly and the old lady elves. What’s really going on with that?”

“Have you tried asking her yourself?”

Joe grimaced. “Look, she doesn’t belong out there doing what we do, okay? She’s … amazing, but too soft to do it.” He shook his head. “She’s always been that way, far too tender-hearted for her own good, dragging home strays, wanting to save the world. She’ll believe any sob story given to her. She loves too hard. She’ll get taken advantage of doing what we do—“

“Don’t,” Lucas said. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“Don’t belittle her. She’s not a little kid anymore, Joe. Nor is she incompetent. Far from it. In fact, she’s smart as hell. Look, a lot of bad shit happens to all of us, and our experiences have made us hard. Cold. But not her. She’s special, and stronger than both of us put together.”

This got a moment of surprised silence from Joe. And since Lucas didn’t want to fight with him, he rose and grabbed his laptop for their meeting.

“What’s going on between the two of you?” Joe asked.

Lucas turned back. “You asked me to get involved. I’m involved. And you know what? Out of all the things she loves, she loves you the most. Instead of trying to hold her back, do you know what you should be doing? You should be doing the job you asked me to do. You should be training her, letting her fly, and stand at her back while she does.”

Joe was stunned. “This is all just a phase for her, why would I do that?”
“It’s not a phase. And you should do it because she would do it for you,” Lucas said. He then walked out of his own office, doing his best to shrug off his irritation at Joe.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.

Jill lives with her family in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters (Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is mostly coincidental). She does most of her writing on her deck surrounded by more animals than humans. Which is quite astonishing considering she’s a city girl who was plucked from the wilds of L.A. to the wilds of the Sierra’s. Most of her books come from a combination of hard work, cookies, and hot guy pics, and not necessarily in that order.

Jill often travels to reader weekends & conventions where she LOVES getting to meet and hang-out with readers. The only problem being she tends to get lost in her hotels. So if you ever see Jill Shalvis roaming the halls, someone please return her immediately.

Connect with the Author:

Website: http://jillshalvis.com/
Tumblr: http://jillshalvis.tumblr.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JillShalvis/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jillshalvis/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JillShalvis/
Newsletter: http://jillshalvis.com/faq/newsletter/

Chapter Reveal: Restless Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

The Montgomerys just got hotter… RESTLESS INK by Carrie Ann Ryan releases September 18th, but you can read part of the first chapter now! Check it out below and preorder your copy now!

About RESTLESS INK

Available September 18, 2018

The Montgomery Ink series continues with the so-called sensible sister and the one man she never should have fallen for.

For Thea Montgomery, baking isn’t only therapeutic, it’s also her dream job. She’s worked countless hours keeping her bakery afloat, and now that it’s where she wants it to be, she’s ready to expand and take the next step. When it comes to work and her family, she’s on top of her game. Her personal life, however, is a different story.

When Dimitri Carr isn’t teaching and hiding his ink under long sleeves to keep the bosses happy, he’s trying to be the best brother and friend he can be. After his divorce, he’d thought he would lose Thea from his life forever because she’s his ex-wife’s best friend. But now that he’s free, and the two of them realize they want to keep their friendship. Then he finally sees what he’s been missing all this time.

But there are more problems than the fact that Dimitri is Thea’s best friend’s ex. And when accidental touches and flirtations aren’t enough for either of them, and they’re finally ready to take the next step, they’ll find out exactly what that cost is for crossing that line. And will need to find the strength to face it.

RESTLESS INK releases September 18th – preorder your copy now!

✦Amazon http://amzn.to/2xykEQ9
✦iBooks http://apple.co/2hj9JDL
✦B&N http://bit.ly/2P5bKAa
✦Kobo http://bit.ly/2hiqorn
✦Google Play http://bit.ly/2MoqgEm
✦Amazon Paperback https://amzn.to/2P1YNHl
✦Audiobook https://adbl.co/2P1YP1V

Read part of the first chapter of RESTLESS INK!

Thea Montgomery flopped down on the bed and knew that tonight was the first and last time she’d sleep with Roger. She never should have slept with a man name Roger anyway. He was just as dull as his name suggested. She’d gone into date number six thinking that maybe he wasn’t as bad as he seemed and wondering if maybe her standards were set too high. After all, not every Roger could be Roger Federer— the king of Rogers and the court.

She’d liked this Roger, at least she’d assumed she did. She’d thought that if she worked harder, they’d have more than just their small attraction. And because she liked sex, and she thought she liked Roger, she’d slept with him. He let out a pleased sigh beside her, and she held back a sigh of her own— of a very different kind.

This had been a mistake. But not her first, and probably not her last.

Damn it, Thea, get your act together.

Okay, that wasn’t fair. She was the sensible Montgomery. The one that joked about sex with her sisters but rarely had it. She’d been too busy starting her business and far too picky to jump into bed with just anyone. And since it had taken six dates with Roger to get to this stage, she figured she really wasn’t jumping. It was more like a gentle hop.

But there’d been nothing hopping in bed with Roger tonight, and now she hated that she sounded so callous about it. Even to herself. He was sweet. He was nice. And… he had no idea what he was doing with his hands or his tongue. And she had a feeling if she were to tell him something along those lines— even gently— and try to show him what she wanted, he’d be one of those guys that pushed back, blaming it on her.

It had happened once or twice.

Okay, four times, but seriously, some guys needed to watch a little less anal porn and a little more cunnilingus. It wasn’t that hard.

Roger turned over at that moment and reached out to pat her stomach. She winced since that wasn’t the most romantic thing in the world, but then again, nothing about what had just happened could be classified as romance. Ugh, now she felt bad, but there was nothing she could do with her feelings except feel them. Her family had taught her that.

And she really shouldn’t be thinking of family lessons while naked in bed with a man she wasn’t going to see again.

“So… nice, eh?”

Dear God.

“Sure. It was great.” She could hear the false note in her tone, but she wasn’t sure he could. She hated herself just a bit that she hadn’t had any fun, but she’d thought that maybe if she tried hard enough, things would work out.

Apparently, there just wasn’t enough chemistry between them, and she probably should have figured that out before she got into bed with him, but she’d thought there’d been enough.

“I have an early day tomorrow, but I’ll walk you out.”

She barely held back a slow blink. Walk her out? Why didn’t she just leave money on the table on her way to the door?

She sat up, using the sheet to cover herself since she didn’t really feel like baring herself more than she already had and pasted a smile on her face. She’d wanted to leave anyway, but now she felt as though she had to. As if she weren’t good enough for him to even want to talk to beyond patting her on the stomach like a dog who’d learned a new trick and wanted some love.

Hell, she needed to get out of there before she got angry and said something she would regret. Because before this moment, Roger had been nice. Maybe too nice. Perhaps that niceness had covered up his bad sex and selfish ways.

Now, she really needed to get out of there. He sat in bed, looking pleased with himself as she put on her panties while still hiding under the sheet. She slid into her dress, not bothering with her bra since she couldn’t do that one-handed.

And even as she clumsily tried to dress behind the sheet, he lay there. Watching her. Why had she thought he was nice?

Oh, because he had been. But not the kind of nice she needed in her life.

Finally, she dropped the sheet since she now wore her panties and dress. She quickly stuffed her bra into her tiny purse, the straps hanging out, slid her feet into her heels, and wrapped her jacket around herself. She’d dressed up for this date and had thought it might lead to something more.

Boy had she been wrong. “Don’t bother locking the door on your way out. I’ll get up and do it soon. Wore me out, you know?” He winked, and Thea knew she needed a shower— and maybe a bath, too.

A hot one that would take off the first layer of her skin because she was never going to get the feeling of him off her.

What had she been thinking? Roger?

Jesus, she needed to take a hard look at her life and maybe never go on another date with a man because she’d seriously never felt this humiliated. It didn’t matter that she’d taken her time, done her research on him, and had wanted to make sure she liked him before she went to bed with him. It hadn’t been enough.

Men were slime, and Roger was the slimiest.

“Yeah. Sure. Bye.”

“Thanks for tonight, babe. I’ll call you.”

“Don’t bother,” she whispered as she walked away, her middle finger in the air. It was possible he couldn’t see it, but it was still warranted.

“Don’t be that way, babe,” he yelled from the bedroom where he still hadn’t moved, but she ignored him, closing the front door softly behind her. As much as she wanted to slam it, she wouldn’t give him the pleasure of her showing any emotion beyond coldness.

Because she was Thea, the ice bitch who played with icing in her bakery. She knew what her exes had said before, and now Roger would just be another of those who thought her cold or something along those lines.

Whatever, she was done with men.

She got into her car, threw her purse onto the passenger seat, and made her way to the grocery store. She was so freaking mad, she didn’t even want to bake. That’s when she knew that something was wrong, and if she didn’t get some sugar soon, she would break— and that wasn’t something Roger deserved. And because she didn’t want to do something she loved, she knew she was right at the level where she’d start crying in her car, and she refused to do that.

So, she’d go to the store, pick up some ice cream, then eat the whole pint before she went to bed. Alone. Because, of course, she would be alone. Why wouldn’t she be?

“Ugh,” Thea whispered to herself, annoyed at her train of thought. She hated self-pity, but being tossed out after a particularly bad bout of sex had kind of sent her over the edge into the land of meh.

As soon as she parked, she leapt from the car, purse in hand, and made her way into the twenty-four-hour market. Hopefully, she’d be in and out quickly, and no one she knew would see her do her version of a sugar-loaded walk of shame.

Of course, that’s when her heel broke.

Because… of course, it did.

Nothing good ever came from lack of orgasms.

Fuck this night.

Fuck it hard.

Fuck it harder than she’d been fucked.

Though that wouldn’t be hard, because… Roger.

She picked up the broken part of her heel and limped her way to the frozen food section. She’d be damned if she left without her sugar. Now, though, she’d buy five pints because it was just that kind of night.

Thea was just deciding between the low-calorie fake ice cream and the good old-fashioned heavy cream version when a familiar voice called her name. “Thea?”

Why not tonight? Seriously. Why wouldn’t this man be right by her after everything that had happened already? Seemed about right.

She rolled her shoulders back and turned to Dimitri, her best friend’s ex-husband and Thea’s friend, as well. If she were going to meet anyone in a grocery store after what had turned out to be a horrible date while wearing a broken heel, her version of the walk of shame outfit, and messy bedhead hair that tumbled down her shoulders in dark waves, it might as well be him.

“Hey, Dimitri.”

Dimitri. The man had once been in her life just as much as Molly had. Thea had been friends with both of them and had even known the two separately before they started dating. She’d also refused to take sides during the separation and then after the divorce. Of course, it had always been Molly who wanted Thea to take a side. Dimitri stayed quiet, clearly hurting from the breakup at the time and the changes in his life. He’d tried to keep his friendship with Thea soon after the papers had been signed and even a few months following that, but Thea had always felt awkward because of Molly. Now, she had a feeling she’d made the wrong choice because Dimitri was her friend too, and she’d lost him.

She looked over the line of his jaw, the bend on his nose from where he’d broken it in a bar fight in college— a scuffle that had been about protecting a friend and not because of too many drinks. He wore a cotton shirt under his leather jacket that clung to his wide chest, and jeans that molded to his thighs— not that she was looking at his legs. She knew he had a large tattoo on one quad that was part of his family history, words in Cyrillic that she’d never been able to decipher. He also had a grouping of trees on his forearm and wrist that made a half-sleeve that he’d said reminded him of his family’s home. He was a fourth-generation American and had never been to the place his family hailed from, even his last name wasn’t Russian, but he’d always loved his ink.

That much Thea remembered about him, even though she hadn’t set eyes on him in a month— though it felt like far longer. His brow rose as he studied her, his gaze traveling down her dress to her broken heel. It wasn’t like she could hide anything.

“Are you okay?” He didn’t smile as he said it. In fact, he looked angry, really angry. “Do you want me to take you somewhere? To talk?”

She blinked, confused. “What are you talking about? I’m fine.” Well, she would be fine once she had her ice cream and a long bath, but she didn’t need to tell him the details.

Dimitri moved closer and lowered his head so he could whisper in her ear. She ignored the heat of his breath on her neck. Apparently, she was having an off night if she were even thinking about that at all.

“Your dress is on inside out underneath your coat, you have a broken heel, your hair looks tangled, and your bra is in your purse. Are you sure you’re okay? Did someone attack you? I’ll take you out of here right now and do whatever you need. Just let me help.”

Dear. God.

There had to be a better word than mortification for what slid through her right then. If there were a hole opening up anywhere around her, she’d freely jump into it. She’d forgotten about her damn bra and could now clearly remember the straps dangling from her purse. And because she’d been trying to keep the sheet over herself, she’d put on her dress incorrectly, and hadn’t noticed because she just wanted out of Roger’s place.

Could this night get any worse?

She shouldn’t even tempt the fates with that question. She just hoped they hadn’t heard her think it.

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

Chapter Reveal: P.S. I Miss You by Winter Renshaw

Amazon

Melrose,

The first time I met you, you were a stranger. The second time, you were my roommate. The third time, you made it clear you were about to become the biggest thorn my side had ever known.

You sing way too loud in the shower and use all the hot water.

You’re bossy as hell.

You make my life all kinds of complicated.

But no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop thinking about you.

And truthfully … I can’t stop wanting you.

I was going to tell you this. I was going to sit you down, swallow my pride, hang up my noncommittal ways and show you a side of me you nor anyone else has ever seen before … but then you dropped a game-changing bombshell; a confession so nuclear it stopped me in my tracks.

How I didn’t see this coming, I’ll never know.

Sutter

P.S. I miss you..

Melrose

I’ve been a dog-walker on an episode of Will & Grace.
A bakery shop owner in a Lifetime movie.
Ryan Gosling’s kid sister in an indie flick that never saw the light of day.
Victim #2 in a season eighteen episode of Law & Order: SVU.
But today I’m faced with my most challenging role yet; a camera-less reality show called Girl with Lifelong Crush on Best Guy Friend starring Melrose Claiborne as … Melrose Claiborne.
Standing outside Nick Camden’s Studio City bungalow, I straighten my shoulders, smooth my blonde waves into place, and press my index finger against the doorbell. The heavy thump of my heart suggests it’s going to fall to the floor the second he opens the door—but I’m hopeful the butterflies in my stomach will catch it first.
He has this effect on me.
Every. Single. Time.
And that’s saying something because it takes a lot to make me nervous, to throw me off my game. But my crush on him has only intensified over the years, growing stronger with each unrequited year that passes.
But last night, out of nowhere, Nick called me—which was strange because Nick never calls. He only ever texts. He’s so against calling, in fact, that he has his ringer permanently set to “off’ and his voicemail box has been full for the last six and a half years.
“Mel, I need to talk to you tomorrow,” he’d said, breathless almost. There was a hint of a smile in his tone, giddiness. “It’s really important.”
“Nick, you’re scaring me,” I told him, half wondering if someone slipped something into his drink and he was drugged out of his mind. “Just tell me now.”
“I have to tell you in person. And I have something to ask you, something crazy important,” he said. “Oh my god. This is insane. I’m so damn nervous, Mel. But as soon as you get here tomorrow, I’ll tell you. I’ve been wanting to tell you about this for a long time, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t until now. But now I can. And I can’t fucking wait. This is huge, Mel. This is … oh, God.”
“Nick …” I paced my bedroom floor, my left palm clasped across my forehead. In nearly two decades of friendship, I’d never heard Nick so worked up before. “Can’t you just tell me now?”
“Come over tomorrow. Around three,” he’d said. “This is something that needs to be done in person.”
I ring his doorbell again before checking the time on my phone. Stifling a yawn, I rise on my toes and try to peek inside the glass sidelights of his front door. Knowing Nick, he probably got sidetracked or ran out for burritos and got caught up in conversation with someone he knows.
Then again … he was pretty insistent about talking to me in person at three o’clock about this “major” thing. I can’t imagine he’d space this off.
All night, I tossed and turned, trying to wrap my head around what this could possibly be, how I could know someone for so long and fail miserably trying to get a read on them.
Growing up, Nick lived next door, and the two of us were inseparable from the day he first moved into the neighborhood and I found him by the creek trying to capture bullfrogs—which I promptly forced him to set free. By the end of the day, we both realized our bedroom windows aligned on the second floors of our houses, and by the end of the week, he gave me a walkie-talkie and told me I was his best friend.
When we were ten, he gave me a friendship necklace—like the kind girls usually give to other girls. He gave me the half that said “best” and wore the “friend” half but always tucked it under his shirt so no one would give him any shit—not that anyone would.
Everyone loved Nick.
It wasn’t until the summer after seventh grade that Nick hit a growth spurt and everything changed.
His voice got deeper.
His legs got longer.
Even his features became more chiseled and defined.
It was like he aged several years over the course of a couple of months, and I found myself looking at him in ways I never had before. And when I closed my eyes at night, I found myself thinking about what it’d be like if he kissed me.
Almost overnight, I’d gone from running next door with a messy ponytail to see if he wanted to ride bikes … to slicking on an extra coat of Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers and running a brush through my hair any time I knew I was going to see him.
Suddenly I couldn’t look at him without blushing.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one who noticed Nick’s head-turning transformation.
Nick’s door swings open with a quick creak and I don’t have time to realize what’s happening before he sweeps me into his arms and swings me around the front porch of his rented bungalow.
“Melly!” He buries his face into my shoulder, squeezing me so hard I can’t breathe, nearly suffocating the swarm of butterflies in my middle.
I breathe in that perpetual Nick scent, the one that always feels like home. Like the faintest hint of bar smoke and cheap fabric softener and Irish Spring soap.
Growing up in Brentwood, the son of a successful screenwriter and composer, Nick could’ve had it all—materially and professionally. His parents had connections that would put Steven Spielberg to shame.
But all he ever wanted was to be a regular guy who got by on merit, and I adored that about him.
“Look at you,” he says when he puts me down. His hands are threaded in mine as his ocean gaze scans me from head to toe. “I haven’t seen you in months.”
Three months, two weeks, and five days—but who’s counting?
The last time we hung out was on my birthday, and there were so many people at the bar, I barely had a chance to say more than two sentences to him all night. We’d made plans to get together the following weekend, but his band booked a gig in Vegas and I was leaving to film a Lifetime movie in Vancouver the day before he was coming back.
Life’s been consistent that way, always pulling us in separate directions at the most inconvenient of times.
“You find the place all right?” he asks as he leads me inside. The scent of Windex and clean laundry fills my lungs, and a folded blanket rests over the back of a leather chair in the living room.
I chuckle at the thought of Nick tidying up before I got here. He was always a slob growing up. Case in point? One year I tripped over a pair of his Chucks as I entered his bedroom and almost knocked my front teeth out on a messy stack of vinyl records. His empty guitar case caught my fall, but the next day he bought a shoe organizer.
“I did,” I say, glancing around his new digs. Last time I saw him, he was living in some apartment with four roommates in Toluca Lake. The time before that he was shacking up with a fuck buddy-slash-Instagram model named Kadence St. Kilda, but that was short-lived because the girl ultimately wanted exclusivity, and that’s something Nick’s never been able to offer anyone—that I know of. “When did you move here?”
“Last month,” he says. “I’m subletting from my drummer’s cousin.”
The sound of pots and pans clinking in the kitchen tells me we’re not alone, but I’m not surprised. Nick has always had roommates. He’s painfully extroverted. Guy can’t stand to be alone for more than five minutes but not in the clingy, obnoxious sort of way. More in the charismatic, life-of-the-party, always-down-for-a-good-time sort of way.
I follow Nick to the living room, and he points to the middle cushion of a cognac leather sofa before slicking his palms together and pacing the small space.
“Nick.” I laugh. “You’re acting like a crazy person … you know that, right?”
His ocean gaze lands on mine and he stops pacing for a moment. “I’m so fucking nervous.”
“You don’t have to be nervous around me. Ever.”
“This is different.” He stops pacing for a second. “This is something I’ve never told you before.”
Oh god.
My heart flutters, and some long-buried hope makes its way out in the form of a smile on my face, but I bite it away.
I’d never admit this out loud, but last night a very real part of me believed this entire thing centered around Nick wanting to tell me he has feelings for me, that he wants to date me.
The idea is absurd, I know.
Things like this don’t happen out of nowhere.
I’m not naïve and I’m not an idiot. I know the odds of my best friend going months without seeing me and suddenly professing his love for me are slim to none, but I’ve tried to come up with alternate theories, and none of them made sense because Nick’s never been nervous around me for any reason.
Ever.
What else could possibly make him nervous around me other than a heartfelt confession?
Crossing my legs and sitting up straight, I say, “Come on. Spit it out. I don’t have all day.”
He cups his hands over his nose and mouth, releasing a hard breath, and when he lets them fall, I find the dopiest grin on his face.
His eyes water like a teenage girl with a backstage pass to a Harry Styles concert.
Nick tries to speak but he can’t.
Oh my god.
He’s doing it.
He’s actually telling me he likes me …
“Melrose,” he says, pulling in a hard breath before dropping to his knees in front of me. He takes my hands in his, and I swear my vision fades out for a second. “You know when we were kids and we used to tell each other everything?”
“Yeah …”
“There was something I never told you,” he says, eyes locked with mine. “I guess … I guess I was afraid to say it out loud. I was afraid this thing I wanted so bad, this thing I wanted more than anything I’d ever wanted in my life, wasn’t going to come true. And I thought that by admitting it, I was only going to jinx myself. So I kept it to myself, but I can’t anymore. It’s too big. It’s eating away at me and it has been for years. But it’s time. I have to tell you.”
He’s rambling.
Nick never rambles.
His trembling hands squeeze mine and then he rises, taking the spot on the couch beside me. Cupping my face in his hands, he offers a tepid smile that’s soon eaten away by his own anxiety. “This is insane, Melrose. I can’t believe I’m about to tell you this.”
My mouth parts and I’m milliseconds from blurting out something along the lines of “I’ve liked you since we were kids, too …” but I bite my tongue and let him go first.
“You know how I have my band, right?” he asks, referring to Melrose Nights, the band he founded in high school and named after me.
I nod, heart sinking. No … plummeting.
“What about it?” I ask, blinking away the embarrassed burn in my eyes.
“My dream, Mel, was always to hit it big,” he said. “Like, commercially big.”
My brows lift. This is news to me.
He was always about the indie scene, always so against the big music corporations that controlled every song the American people were played on the radio.
“Really?” I tuck my chin against my chest. “Because you always said—”
“I know what I always said,” he cuts me off. “But the more I got to thinking about it, the more I thought … I just want my songs to be in the ears of as many people as possible. And it’s not even about becoming famous or having money, you know I’m not about any of that. I just want people to know my songs. That’s all.”
I swallow the lump in my throat and glance toward a wood-burning fireplace in the corner where a crushed, empty can of Old Milwaukee—Nick’s signature beverage of choice—rests on the mantel next to what appears to be a crumpled lace bra.
Guess he forgot a few things when he was straightening up …
“Okay, so what are you trying to tell me?” I ask, squinting.
“We got signed …” his mouth pulled so wide, he looks like a bona fide crazy person right now, “… and not only that, but we’re going on tour with Maroon 5.”
I try not to let my rampant disbelief show on my face, but something tells me I’m failing miserably. He reads my expression, searching my eyes, and his silly grin fades.
“You hate Maroon 5,” I say.
“I used to hate Maroon 5,” he corrects me. “Anyway, the act they had fell through last minute, so they got us. We leave next week.”
“Next week? For how long?”
“Six months.” His callused hands smack together. “Six months on the road with one of the biggest music acts in North America.”
He says that last part out loud, like he’s still in disbelief over this entire thing.
Which makes two of us.
“Wow, Nick … that’s … this is huge. You were right. This is some big news,” I say. Everything is sinking. My voice. My heart. My hope. “I’m so happy for you.”
I throw my arms around him, inhale his musky scent, and squeeze him tight. There’s a pang in my chest, a tightness in my middle, like that indescribable sensation that washes over you when you know something’s about to change and things will never be the same again.
But I meant what I said. I am happy for him. I had no idea this was what he wanted, but now that he’s shared this with me, I am thrilled for him. He’s my best friend, my oldest friend, and all I want is for him to be happy.
Plus, he deserves this.
Nick is insanely talented.
Music.
Lyrics.
Singing.
Playing.
Producing.
Mixing.
It all comes natural to him. Keeping it under wraps on some lowdown indie scene would be doing a disservice to the rest of the world.
“I get that this is huge, Nick, but I’m curious … why couldn’t you tell me this over the phone?” I ask. “Why’d you make me drive all the way out here just so you could tell me in person?”
Nick leans back, studying my face as he rakes his palm along his five o’clock shadow. “Because I have a favor to ask you …”
Lifting one brow, I study him right back. He’s never asked me a single favor as long as I’ve known him (excluding those times he wanted me to talk to girls for him in middle school or steal him an extra Italian Ice at lunch).
“See, I’m taking over this guy’s lease,” he says. “I pay fifteen hundred a month for my half of the rent. Plus utilities. You know what a cheap bastard I am, right? I just don’t want to throw that money away over the next several months, and I don’t want to stick Sutter with my half of the rent and everything because that’s just shitty.”
“Sutter?” I ask.
“Sutter Alcott. My roommate,” he says. “Cool guy. Electrician. Owns his own company. You’ll like him. Anyway, I know you’re living in your Gram’s guesthouse, but you’re the only person I know who’s not locked under a lease, so I thought mayyyyybe you might want to help me out for a few months? As a favor? And in return, I’ll … I don’t know. I’ll do something for you. What do you want? You want a backstage pass to a Maroon 5 concert? You want to meet Adam?”
“You’re already on a first name basis with Adam Levine?” I ask, head cocked.
Nick smirks. “Not yet. But I will be.”
“I don’t know …” I pull in a long, slow breath. “What about Murphy?”
“We’ve got a fenced-in yard,” he says, pointing toward the back of the house. “He’ll love it here.”
“What about your roommate? Would he be cool living with a stranger?” I ask.
“Totally.”
“And you’re sure he’s not a serial killer?” I keep my voice low, leaning in.
Nick chokes on his spit. “Uh, yeah, no. He’s not a serial killer. Lady killer? Sure. Serial killer? No way.”
Our eyes hold and I silently straddle the line between staying put and saying yes to this little favor.
My cousin-slash-roommate, Maritza, recently moved out and got a place with her boyfriend, Isaiah, so it’s just Murphy and I in the guesthouse now. It gets quiet sometimes. Lonely too. And Gram’s on this travel-the-world kick lately. One week she’s home, the next week she’s in Bali for twelve days with her best friend Constance or one of the Kennedys.
A change of scenery might be nice …
“I’ll do anything, Mel. Anything.” He clasps his hands together and sticks out his bottom lip, brows raised.
Dork.
“Begging’s not a good look for you. FYI,” I say.
“Okay, then what’s it going to take for you to say yes?” His hands drop to his lap.
I try to speak, but I don’t know what to say.
“See,” Nick says. “You don’t even have a good reason to turn me down.”
He’s right.
I can’t blame it on the location because it isn’t out of the way. I can’t blame it on my dog. I can’t blame it on a lease. I can’t blame it on money because fifteen hundred a month is exactly what Gram charges me for rent, because free rides aren’t a thing in the Claiborne family.
But aside from all of that, I know Nick would do this for me if I ever needed him to.
Shrugging, I look him in the eyes and smile. “Fine.”
A second later, I’m captured in his embrace and he’s squeezing me and bouncing like a hyper child. With one word, I’ve unearthed a side of Nick I never knew existed.
“I freaking love you, Mel,” he says, hugging me tighter. “I love you so much.”
I expected to hear those words today … just didn’t think I’d hear them in this context.

Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.

And if you’d like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here —> http://eepurl.com/bfQU2j

Author Links
Goodreads Facebook  Amazon

Excerpt Reveal: Wrecked for You by Kristin Mayer

WFY promo banner 1

Releasing September 10th… GET READY!

Wrecked For You
by Kristin Mayer

My life was set.

In five months I would be engaged to a man I didn’t love.

In fifteen months I would marry someone who didn’t love me.

It was a carefully calculated script thought out by those who had the most to gain. The same people who thought happiness came from money.

Everything was going according to plan until I met Hayden Foster. Now, I have to find a way to escape this life—my prison.

🔹Read book 1, Intoxicated by You (standalone): https://amzn.to/2OPmAtM

Add to your TBR today! http://bit.ly/WreckedForYouTBR

Teaser #1
EXCERPT REVEAL

Another streak of lightning flashed across the sky. The storm was getting worse. There was no way I’d be able to fly home tonight. Air traffic control would never clear us with the stalled front coming in.

Now or never.

I opened the car door and walked up the pathway that led straight to the front door. The heavy rain quickly soaked through my jeans. I’d found a raincoat on the plane, but it did little to keep me dry. The wind was whipping the water around every which way. Once I got to the door, the covered porch helped shelter me some.

I took a deep breath and then knocked three times.

Stay calm. Whatever happens, at least you’ll know.

The door opened, and warm light spilled out into the darkness. My word, she’s beautiful. There she stood in her jeans and light pink T-shirt with her blonde hair pulled up into a bun on the top of her head. It was hard not to pull her to me and kiss the life out of her.

Her startled eyes met mine. She’d been crying. Seeing her red, blotchy eyes and tear-streaked cheeks slayed me. My fists clenched, and I reminded myself not to rush this. Kory’s lip quivered. Only a couple of feet separated us, but they felt like the width of a canyon.

I began to speak, but she beat me to it, her voice sounding sadder than I remembered. “Hayden, what are you doing here?”

Shit. Thunder roared through the skies and my heart plummeted. That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for.

Unsure how to respond, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “Why did you leave?”

There were a million other things I wanted to ask, like why she was upset, but her question threw me. If things were over, I wasn’t going to put myself out there even more.

She looked around outside before pulling me in the house. I stumbled at the sudden movement but caught myself. The door slammed shut, and in the next moment, Kory threw her arms around me, holding me as if her life depended on it. Without another thought, I wound my arms around her, inhaling her sweet vanilla scent. This was the greeting I had hoped for.

This felt right.

Kory let out a sniffle before saying, “You came for me. You actually came. When I needed you the most, you came.”

I held her tighter. “I’m sorry it took so long. The way things happened with us and how you left did a number on my head.”

She pulled back, and fresh tears filled her eyes. “You have to go back to Alaska and forget you ever met me. You can’t be here.”

38752974_234283637228177_7623718107479015424_n.jpg
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Kristin tries to live life to the fullest during every moment. She loves to travel, meet new people, and mark items off of her bucket list.
She loves to hear from her readers by email at kristinmayerwrites@gmail.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKristinMayer/, on Twitter @author_Kristin, and on Instagram at kristin.mayer.

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM