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Category Archives: Romantic Suspense

New Year. New Reading Challenge.

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New Year. New Reading Challenge.

It’s that time of year again! As you know, there is nothing more that I love than challenging myself when it comes to the books I read. Whether it’s a new author, series, a genre that takes me out of my comfort zone or being able to tackle some books that have been on my tbr for far too long; I live for a good reading challenge. In the past few years, I stepped up my game not only with the books that I read but also by attempting to clear out that never-ending to-read list. As always, my challenges have been hard, but a ton of fun at the same time.

For 2023’s Reading Challenge, I really wanted to once again challenge myself and kick my never-ending to-read list’s butt!! And I am more than ready for the challenge……

Re-Read a favorite book
A book by an author new to me
A Contemporary Romance
A New Adult Read
A Biker Novel
A Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
A Sports Romance
A Romantic Comedy
A book chosen for its cover
An Accidental Pregnancy Romance
An Older Brother’s Best Friend Romance
A Holiday Romance (any holiday)
A Forbidden Romance
A Billionaire Romance
A Jilted Bride Romance
A Workplace Romance
A Fake Relationship
A Marriage of Convenience
My Favorite troupe
A book with a red cover
A Book with a One-Word Title
A Book with a pink cover
A Book with an illustrated cover
A book set in a different country from where I currently live.
10 books on my TBR
6 New Releases
A Rock Star Romance
A Book picked by a friend
A Dark/Taboo Romance
A Historical Romance
A Reverse Harem Romance
An Enemies to Lovers Romance
A book that will make you Ugly Cry
A book with an Age Gap
A book with Friends to Lovers
A book with a Blue cover
A Book with a White Cover
A Book with no people on the cover
A Book that will be made/has been made into a movie/tv show
A Diversified Read
A Romantic Suspense
A Book with a black cover
A book, where the main character is/, was in the military
A Small-Town Romance
A First Responder (Police Officer/Firefighter/EMT)
A Second Chance Romance
A Dystopian/Science Fiction Romance
A Grumpy/Sunshine Romance
A book with a yellow cover
2 Books that’s been on my tbr for 3 years or more
A Book with a Purple Cover
A Book by my favorite author
A Royal Romance
A book with a Cowboy on the cover
A YA Book
An Insta-Love Romance
An Opposites Attract Romance
A Forced Proximity Romance
A Romance With A Bearded Man On Cover
A Fighter/MMA Book Romance
A Bad Boy Romance
A Bully Romance Romance
A Mafia Romance
A Gothic Romance
A Stand-alone Novel
Finish A Series I Started
2 Novellas
3 Duets
1 Box Set

5 Books I Already Own Per Month

COVER REVEAL: A Stop in Time by RC Boldt

RC Boldt has revealed the cover for A Stop in Time!

Releasing: February 21, 2023

Cover Design: Hang Le Designs

I’ve been an outcast my whole life. If my scars don’t scare people away, my attitude certainly will.
I don’t know what I am or how I got the power to stop time. What I do know is, there are far too many questions I need answers to.
When I cross paths with a local gang member, his presence unravels a part of my past I never knew existed.
At every turn, danger leaps closer, and I realize that stopping the killer will mean losing everything—including the first man I’ve ever loved.
But I should’ve known better. We were never meant to be anything more than a brief stop in time.

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon: Coming Soon! 

Apple Books: https://apple.co/3OkkFMo

Nook: https://bit.ly/3OceZE7

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3b8sCFu

Google Play: https://bit.ly/3OfCuMi

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3E7MVj4

 Meet RC Boldt

 RC Boldt is a USA Today bestselling author currently living in part of the Costa Rican jungle with the love of her life and her mini-me.

If you’re in the mood for some killer mojitos or can’t recall the lyrics to a particular 80s song, she’s your girl.

Connect with RC Boldt

Website: http://www.rcboldtbooks.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14543027.R_C_Boldt

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Kq1H9C

Facebook: http://bit.ly/RCBoldtFB

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BBBReaders/

Instagram: http://bit.ly/RCBoldtIG

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authorrcboldt

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/RCBoldtBB

Verve: https://ververomance.com/app/rcboldt

Release Blitz with Review: Where Love Lies by M.N. Forgy

Release Blitz with Review: Where Love Lies by M.N. Forgy

RELEASE BLITZ

Title: Where Love Lies

Author: M.N. Forgy

Genre: Thriller Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 24, 2022

BLURB

Feeling completely sapped of life, Rain and her daughter move to the suburbs of Fairview, where white picket fences, welcoming neighbors, and immaculate green lawns make her forget the pain she’s running from. Settling into her new life, she can’t stop thinking about the guy who wrecked her car. He’s charming, says the right things, and crashed into her life right when she needs it the most. It’s only natural Mr. Handsome presents Rai with a big, shiny rock to make it picture perfect.
Then a new neighbor moves down the street. Menacing sleeves of tattoos, a permanent scowl, single with no kids—he doesn’t belong in this family-friendly community.
People are whispering.
Doors are staying locked.
Secrets are being shared.
Heart pleasing love doesn’t exist here. It digs a grave and lies in it, whispering untold truths. The quaint town of Fairview isn’t so safe anymore—and neither is Rain.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60532559-where-love-lies

PURCHASE LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/3ezwS39
UK: https://amzn.to/3yIjOPJ
CA: https://amzn.to/3yPq1cB
AU: https://amzn.to/3MCtdOm

Free in Kindle Unlimited Also available in paperback: https://amzn.to/3TaiywK

MY REVIEW

Where Love Lies is an intriguing thriller that will keep you guessing right until the very end…

When we first meet up with Rain and her daughter Paige, Rain is looking forward to a fresh start in a new town. But when Heston literally crashes into her life, he turns her entire world upside down and gives her way more than what she bargained for.

Where Love Lies is a book best to go in blind with. It starts off as your typical second-chance romance but is filled heavily with mystery and intrigue. The author did an amazing job setting the stage and pulling her readers into the story. I for one couldn’t put this book down and found myself completely immersed in the story. I had to know what would happen next and really enjoyed trying to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together.

If I had to make one complaint, it would be that I thought the ending was a bit rushed. It felt like certain things escalated too quickly and I think if there had been a few more chapters, it would have made the ending feel and flow better.

All in all, this book was an enjoyable thriller that certainly kept this reader on their toes. Even though I had an issue with the overall ending of the story, it’s still a solid read and I’m glad to have checked it out.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

AUTHOR BIO

M.N. Forgy is an International best seller, best known for her romantic biker stories. Living in the country with her family she often finds herself outside reading or writing most of the time. She started creating stories at a young age but never took it seriously until years later, as a stay-at-home mom, she opened her laptop and started writing again. As a role model for her children, she felt she couldn’t live with the “what if” anymore and finally took a chance on her character’s story. So, with her iced coffee in hand and the family dog sharing her seat, she continues to create and please her readers.

AUTHOR LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8110729.M_N_Forgy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-MN-Forgy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mnforgyauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MNForgyAuthor

Website/Newsletter: http://www.mnforgy.com

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authorm.n.forgy

Release Tour for Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle

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Release Tour for Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle

Sara tries to heal as she navigates college life and her relationship with Scott. A missing persons case creates a distraction from her own problems, and Sara uncovers a secret that rocks her to her core. When the odds are stacked against her and there is nothing left to lose, can true love endure? Readers who love April Wilson will enjoy Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle, a new adult, romantic suspense.

Read Now!

Blurb:

Traumatic events follow in the footsteps of Sara Browne’s life. On a wobbly foundation, she attempts a new start, with Scott by her side. Trying to navigate a relationship and college life, Sara struggles, looking for ways to heal. She latches onto a story about a student named Carrie Stevens who went missing the year before. As a diversion from her own problems, Sara obsesses over Carrie and what happened to her. She digs deeper, unleashing a terrible secret that rocks her to the core.

Add to Goodreads!

Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Tricia T. LaRochelle

I pried my laptop from my backpack, powered it up, and typed the words, “Carrie Stevens, Commonwealth University.” Within seconds, several article headlines flashed onto the screen, along with some random pictures below them. None of the women in the photos looked anything like Carrie, so I clicked on an Instagram link instead, where I found a treasure trove of images. The first thing I noticed was Carrie’s short, blue hair and thick makeup. This girl wasn’t the all-American-poster girl I had seen at the press conference at the Student Union Building earlier, although there were similarities: her eye color was the same and her facial structure. I scrolled through a picture of Carrie kissing a guy with greasy, long black hair—a wild party exploding in the background. I found another pic of Carrie holding a shot glass in the air, her eyes bloodshot. The last one I saw included Carrie smoking a tightly wrapped cigarette. I peered closer, maybe not a cigarette.
At that moment, Amy entered through the door. When I didn’t look up, she stopped short.
“What are you doing?” She leaned over my shoulder. 
“That’s Carrie Stevens.” I glanced over at Amy. “She looks much different, doesn’t she?”
Amy furrowed her brow. “Who? Oh, you mean the girl who went missing? The one from the press conference?”
I nodded. “Yeah, weird, huh?” I pointed haphazardly over the screen. “It looks like she’s changed a lot since her high school graduation photo was taken. She could be your sister, Amy.”
“Why, because she dyed her hair and put on some makeup?” Amy shrugged, before crossing my room and plopping down on my bed. “She looks better if you ask me.”
“Well … yeah. It’s not a bad look. It’s just different. Do you think they questioned Henry—you know when Carrie went missing?” I turned to look at her.
Amy squinted at me. “Who?”
Oh my God, Amy, how could you forget HIM?
I raised both hands in the air, exasperated. “You know. Henry—the man you were just screaming at.”
Amy’s face opened, showing clarity. She nodded. “Oooooh, you mean, Norman Bates. Yes, I’m sure they did. Why?”

About Tricia T. LaRochelle

Since she was a little girl, Tricia T. LaRochelle has been obsessed with tragic love stories. No
beach reads for her. Bring on the grit with a double side of turmoil. She likes to feel the character’s anguish as they fight to overcome obstacles to be together. Growing up in central
Vermont, she has seen her share of tragedy but remains a hopeful romantic. She now lives in
central Virginia where she continues to foster the possibilities of how love can conquer all.

Flickering Heart is the first book in the Sara Browne Series. Stay tuned for updates and announcements on Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for her email list at TriciaLaRochelle.com.

Follow: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Release Blitz for Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle

Release Blitz for Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle

Sara tries to heal as she navigates college life and her relationship with Scott. A missing persons case creates a distraction from her own problems, and Sara uncovers a secret that rocks her to her core. When the odds are stacked against her and there is nothing left to lose, can true love endure? Readers who love April Wilson will enjoy Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle, a new adult, romantic suspense.

Buy Now or Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Blurb

Traumatic events follow in the footsteps of Sara Browne’s life. On a wobbly foundation, she attempts a new start, with Scott by her side. Trying to navigate a relationship and college life, Sara struggles, looking for ways to heal. She latches onto a story about a student named Carrie Stevens who went missing the year before. As a diversion from her own problems, Sara obsesses over Carrie and what happened to her. She digs deeper, unleashing a terrible secret that rocks her to the core.

Add to Goodreads Here!

Excerpt

Copyright 2022 Tricia T. LaRochelle

An ear-piercing scream …
Someone grabbed my shoulders and shook me, lifting my torso off the mattress.
What is happening?
A voice rang out. “Sara. Wake up!”
I startled as light filtered in through my eyelids. I couldn’t fathom where I was or when. Then the nightmare resurfaced. Oh, God. Is it him? My mind was locked in another world, one where l was running down hallways, trying to hide, a shadowy figure always close. Too close. Danger lurked around every corner …
Scott’s voice broke through the haze. His hands were warm and embracing, his tone frantic. “Wake up, babe.”
I forced my eyes open and focused on the face in front of me. My heart raced, sending perspiration to my chest, my body encased in an uncomfortable sweat. I took a few long blinks, allowing Scott’s distressed blue eyes to come into full view. I tried to swallow, but my mouth was beyond parched. That dream—that horrible dream still plagued my mind. Even though I was awake, the trauma still felt very real.
Painted bloodshot red, Scott’s eyes were wide with worry, his brow creased. “You were having a bad dream. Are you okay?”
He smoothed my hair back, his breath coming in short pants, like one does when startled awake.
“Was I talking in my sleep?” Then I remembered the scream. Did that come from me? My gaze traveled around Scott’s fraternity room, orienting myself with the soccer player and sports car posters that decorated his walls, his bookcase full of loose papers and notebooks, his dresser, and his futon. Everything was in its place. Even his PlayStation, which sat atop a beat-up old coffee table, brought me an unexpected feeling of comfort. I wasn’t in an old decrepit dream house full of cobwebs, mold, and terrifying darkness, and he wasn’t coming after me. It wasn’t real. For a moment, I felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz—Scott was my Auntie Em—my beacon back to safety.
“You were screaming.” Scott slid a hand down his unshaven face.
So it was me. My scratchy throat confirmed it.
“It was just a dream. You’re okay, now.” A lingering doubt played at the edges of his words. He pulled me into his arms and held me there. The stubble growing on his cheeks bristled against my neck as I inhaled a hint of musk that had collected in his soft golden curls from his late-night shower. God, I had missed that smell just as much as I had missed those strong arms that always made me feel so safe.
I glanced at the clock, realizing we had only been asleep for a few hours. The dark circles shadowing Scott’s eyes were a testament to that. We had spent most of the night wrapped in each other’s arms, fully clothed and grateful. Whenever I dozed off, I’d startle myself awake, fearing he was gone … again.

About Tricia T. LaRochelle

Since she was a little girl, Tricia T. LaRochelle has been obsessed with tragic love stories. No
beach reads for her. Bring on the grit with a double side of turmoil. She likes to feel the
character’s anguish as they fight to overcome obstacles to be together. Growing up in central
Vermont, she has seen her share of tragedy but remains a hopeful romantic. She now lives in
central Virginia where she continues to foster the possibilities of how love can conquer all.

Flickering Heart is the first book in the Sara Browne Series. Stay tuned for updates and announcements on Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for her email list at TriciaLaRochelle.com.

Follow: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Review: The Revenge (The Insiders Trilogy #3) by Tijan

Review: The Revenge (The Insiders Trilogy #3) by Tijan

The Revenge is the taut, edgy, sexy, explosive conclusion to The Insiders trilogy by New York Times and USA Today bestseller Tijan!

Bailey and Kash were used to living in the shadows. Now they are thrust into the public eye. Together, they can do anything, but undeniable danger and seemingly insurmountable challenges threaten the love and passion that binds them.

1. Bailey is reeling from the greatest loss she has ever suffered.

2. Enemies are closing in.

3. Even bigger secrets and twists are coming to light.

Win or lose, for Bailey and Kash, everything is on the line.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase on Amazon

MY REVIEW

Finally! The epic conclusion we’ve been waiting for. I have been hooked on Kash and Bailey since the very first book and have immensely enjoyed their journey. And let me tell you, The Revenge is everything fans of The Insiders series have been waiting for.

The Revenge picks up right where the doozy of a cliffhanger from The Damaged left off and this book leaves no stone unturned. If you had questions, you better sit down and buckle in because you are not ready for the answers. This book had so many twists and turns it left my head spinning. I was kept on my toes and left to roll with the punches. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.

Kash and Bailey once again stepped up to the plate and showed, us readers, why we should root for them. Their loyalty and love for one another continues to knock my socks off and I know there is no storm these two can not weather.

There is so much I wish I could say right now, but I’m keeping my lips sealed. All I can tell you is to get ready. You thought the other books in this series were intense, but you haven’t seen anything yet. The Revenge pulls out all of the stops and leaves readers with the most satisfying and well-deserved ending. I loved everything about this book from beginning to end and look forward to seeing what this author has in store for us readers next.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via St. Martins Press and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Rules of Engagement by Stacey Abrams, writing as Selena Montgomery

Review: Rules of Engagement by Stacey Abrams, writing as Selena Montgomery

Love is a game of chance in this romantic suspense novel by New York Times bestselling author and American politician and activist Stacey Abrams, writing under her pen name, Selena Montgomery.

Dr. Raleigh Foster, an operative for a top-secret intelligence organization, knows that her undercover work has its risks. So she doesn’t hesitate when asked to infiltrate Scimitar, the terrorist group that has stolen lethal environmental technology. But when she’s assigned a partner—brooding, sexy Adam Grayson—to pose as her lover, Raleigh discovers that the most dangerous risk of all…is falling in love.

Adam blames himself for the botched mission that got his best friend killed by Scimitar, and he believes that Raleigh may have contributed to the man’s death. But the closer he works with his alluring partner, the more his suspicions turn to trust—and intense desire. Now, as he and Raleigh untangle a twisted web of secrets and lies, the tension mounts between them…until their masquerade as a couple proves too tempting to resist.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase on Amazon

MY REVIEW

This is my first book by this author and it certainly won’t be my last one. Rules of Engagement is a thrilling and intriguing romantic suspense novel that will keep you glued to the pages right till the very end.

Having never read anything by this author before, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was getting myself into and I have to say I was surprised in the best possible way. This story is well-written and intriguing. It hit the ground running and captured my interest immediately. The chemistry between Raleigh and Adam was palpable and lept off of the page. I loved their banter and the pull between them and totally dug the enemies to lovers vibe.

Rule of Engagement is so much more than a romance. It’s a story filled with danger and intrigue. It will leave you wondering who is telling the truth and who can be trusted. I loved the mystery, the suspense, and of course, the romance.

All in all, I thought this was a great read and am really glad to have checked it out. I’m looking forward to discovering more books from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

COVER REVEAL- Where Love Lies by M.N. Forgy

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COVER REVEAL- Where Love Lies by M.N. Forgy

COVER REVEAL

Title: Where Love Lies

Author: M.N. Forgy

Genre: Thriller Romance/Romantic Suspense

Cover Design: Tall Story

Release Date: September 28, 2022

BLURB

Feeling completely sapped of life, Rain and her daughter move to the suburbs of Fairview, where white picket fences, welcoming neighbors, and immaculate green lawns make her forget the pain she’s running from. Settling into her new life, she can’t stop thinking about the guy who wrecked her car. He’s charming, says the right things, and crashed into her life right when she needs it the most. It’s only natural Mr. Handsome presents Rai with a big, shiny rock to make it picture perfect.
Then a new neighbor moves down the street. Menacing sleeves of tattoos, a permanent scowl, single with no kids—he doesn’t belong in this family-friendly community.
People are whispering.
Doors are staying locked.
Secrets are being shared.
Heart pleasing love doesn’t exist here. It digs a grave and lies in it, whispering untold truths. The quaint town of Fairview isn’t so safe anymore—and neither is Rain.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/60532559-where-love-lies 

PRE-ORDER LINKS

US: https://amzn.to/3QbER3y
UK: https://amzn.to/3JkuEzg
CA: https://amzn.to/3JoBSCI
AU: https://amzn.to/3Q5d0BQ 

AUTHOR BIO

M.N. Forgy is an International best seller, best known for her romantic biker stories. Living in the country with her family she often finds herself outside reading or writing most of the time. She started creating stories at a young age but never took it seriously until years later, as a stay-at-home mom, she opened her laptop and started writing again. As a role model for her children, she felt she couldn’t live with the “what if” anymore and finally took a chance on her character’s story. So, with her iced coffee in hand and the family dog sharing her seat, she continues to create and please her readers.

AUTHOR LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8110729.M_N_Forgy 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-MN-Forgy 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mnforgyauthor 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MNForgyAuthor 

Website/Newsletter: http://www.mnforgy.com 

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@authorm.n.forgy 

Cover Reveal for Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle

Posted on
Cover Reveal for Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle

Join us for the cover reveal of Revive by Tricia T. LaRochelle. Fans who love romantic suspense will sink their teeth into this steamy, new adult romance. Keep scrolling for more details about the second installment in the Sara Browne Series.

Title: Revive

Author: Tricia T. LaRochelle

Release Date: 09/29/2022

Genres: New Adult Romance/Romantic Suspense

Page Count: 342

Trope: Finding Courage/Overcoming Trauma/Breaking Free From Guilt

Traumatic events follow in the footsteps of Sara Browne’s life. On a wobbly foundation, she attempts a new start, with Scott by her side. Trying to navigate a relationship and college life, Sara struggles, looking for ways to heal. She latches onto a story about a student named Carrie Stevens who went missing the year before. As a diversion from her own problems, Sara obsesses over Carrie and what happened to her. She digs deeper, unleashing a terrible secret that rocks her to the core.

Add to Goodreads Here!

About Tricia T. LaRochelle

Since she was a little girl, Tricia T. LaRochelle has been obsessed with tragic love stories. No
beach reads for her. Bring on the grit with a double side of turmoil. She likes to feel the
character’s anguish as they fight to overcome obstacles to be together. Growing up in central
Vermont, she has seen her share of tragedy but remains a hopeful romantic. She now lives in
central Virginia where she continues to foster the possibilities of how love can conquer all.

Flickering Heart is the first book in the Sara Browne Series. Stay tuned for updates and announcements on Instagram, Twitter, or sign up for her email list at TriciaLaRochelle.com.

Follow: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

This promotional event is brought to you by Indie Pen PR

Release Blast: A Perfect Lie by Lisa Renee Jones

Posted on
<strong>Release Blast: A Perfect Lie by Lisa Renee Jones</strong>

Title: A Perfect Lie

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Release Date: August 9, 2022

ABOUT A PERFECT LIE

Secrets. Lies. A man. There’s always a man. And there’s always a truth to be told. 

I’m Hailey Anne Monroe. I’m twenty-eight years old. An artist, who found her muse on the canvas because I wasn’t allowed to have friends or even keep a journal. And yes, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m that Hailey Anne Monroe, daughter to Thomas Frank Monroe, the man who was a half-percentage point from becoming President of the United States. If you were able to ask him, he’d probably tell you that I was the half point. But you can’t ask him, and he can’t tell you. He’s dead. They’re all dead and now I can speak.

READ THE FIRST FIVE CHAPTERS OF A PERFECT LIE FOR FREE!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3SBk63l

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3BJKGkN

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3PQVEsN

Apple: https://apple.co/3SmX7Zu

Nook: https://bit.ly/3zV1UKw

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3zQBxoZ

Google: https://bit.ly/3OYOFwu

BUY A PERFECT LIE

Amazon: http://mybook.to/APL

Apple: https://apple.co/31koAF7

Nook: https://bit.ly/3wnxLjP

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2Y7PvTx

Google: https://bit.ly/3bAHPwg

EXCERPT

“Can I join you?” he asks, motioning to the table.

There’s interest in his eyes, the kind a man has for a woman, but who knows, maybe it’s real or maybe it’s not real. Maybe he knows who I am and sees a path to power and fame. The way Tobey wanted me for money and power, right up until the moment I’d called his number aka his agenda; thus, he has not called me since I left. Maybe Harvard will lie even better than Tobey did. Maybe Harvard will at least kiss better than he did, and the lies would taste like temptation rather than convenience. At least then, if I’m used, I’ll enjoy being used.

Whatever the case, it’s clear I might actually be angry with Tobey and that aside, the interest that Harvard has shown in me, must be controlled before my Denver sanctuary is destroyed. “You can join me,” I say, “but only because I’m trying to save the rest of the place from the attorney in the house.”

I am pleased when Harvard laughs, where Tobey would have scowled, proving that Harvard has a sense of humor, which is rare for those in my life. I’ve barely completed this thought when he moves forward and claims the seat next to me, not across from me, settling his briefcase on that chair instead. In the process, his leg brushes my leg and for the briefest of moments, I’m transported back to the place that I’m now trying to forget: to Austin, to Drew’s leg next to mine, his wink, and I do now what I did then. I jerk back. If Harvard notices he doesn’t react. “Since we haven’t been formally introduced,” he says, resting his naked hands on the table. “I’m Logan. Logan Casey.”

“Logan Casey,” I repeat trying to ground myself in the present, at least for now, but some part of me is still swimming in that memory, which naturally has me wondering if this man is a shark in the water around me. “Two first names,” I add. “Sounds like your parents fought over who got to pick your first name. Did they draw straws for which choice became your middle name?”

“You’re actually right on target,” he says, laughing again, and it’s a nice, masculine laugh, and oddly this thought feels familiar while Logan does not. “No one has ever guessed that,” he adds. “My mother won the name war. The women always win. Speaking of names. Do you have one?”

“Hailey Anne Pitt,” I say, “and in my house, my father won the name war.” Because in my father’s world, I add silently, the women don’t win the wars. At least, not that he knows, not in an obvious way. I’ve learned this well.

“Well then, Hailey Anne Pitt,” he says, “what’s a Stanford girl like you, doing in a place like this? You’re a long way from school.”

I’m smacked in the face with a lesson I’ve long ago learned and forgotten with this man; strangers do not always remain strangers and all offhanded remarks can come back to haunt you. “That was a joke,” I say, shutting the door connected to my real life, and a path that leads to my father. “I hate attorneys, remember?”

He narrows his eyes on me, and for no reason other than instinct, I believe he’s looking for a lie that he won’t find. I’m simply too well-taught from birth, too skilled at being more than one person to allow such a detection. Well that, and the fact that I really do hate attorneys, which is why I’ll be a good one.

“That was a joke?” he confirms.

“Yes,” I say. “Are you amused?”

“Yes, actually. I am. What does a lawyer-hating smart ass like yourself do for a living?”

“When not busy taunting those who went to law school,” I say. “I’m an aspiring artist.” Both honest answers, if you put a “was” in front of the “aspiring artist” which I’d thought that I’d come to terms with, but the knot in my stomach says I have not.

Logan motions toward the art room. “Your career explains why you ended up here.”

“I guess it does,” I say, as this place serves me well to reconnecting to the Pitt part of my life, which is a place I really need to be right now, for all kinds of reasons.

“Are you good?” Logan asks, as if he’s read my mind.

My father’s words answer him in my head. Art is useless unless you’re famous, he used to say often, because of course, it was inconceivable that I might be good enough to be famous. “Art is like movies and food,” I say, shoving aside that bad memory. “Good is subjective.” I don’t give him time to reply. I ping the conversation back toward him. “What kind of law do you practice?”

“Corporate,” he says, and this time he pings back to me. “Do you live in the neighborhood?”

“Yes,” I say simply. “Do you?”

“I bought a building a few years ago where I live and work which means this is my home turf, and why I know you’re new here.”

“I am,” I say and since he’s clearly going to ask for details, I quickly preempt with an on-the-fly story. Actually, it’s the suggested story, Rudolf included in my file. “I came here for a job, and my new boss owns a house he’s rented to me for dirt cheap.”

“And what does an artist do but create art for a living?”

“I’m working for a private art acquisitions firm. I now hunt for treasures for a living.” This lie is actually my dream job that I’ve never been allowed to entertain. 

The horror flick loving waitress delivers my coffee and brownie. “Thank you,” I say, because every politician’s daughter has manners beaten into her.

“No problem,” she says, “but if you come to your senses and want a better version of that coffee, just shout.” She eyes Logan. “I already know you want a crappy tasting coffee, on endless pour and a chocolate chip cookie. Coming right up.”

“Thanks, Megan,” he says, giving her a wink that I don’t classify as flirtatious, just friendly, and Megan is gone.

“Obviously you’re a regular,” I comment, “and they even like you.”

“And they like me,” he confirms, “despite knowing I’m an attorney.

“Because you’re good looking and use it to your advantage.”

He arches a brow. “You think I’m good looking, do you?”

“Oh, come on,” I say, crinkling my nose. “Everyone thinks you’re good looking. I’m simply stating a fact. We use what we have and those of us that are smart, know what we have.” I move on from what is really quite inconsequential. “Why work here, not at home, or in the office?”

“I find I get a lot of work done with a cookie, coffee, and no access to streaming television,” he explains.

No one in my D.C. crowd would make an admission of being human and distractible. Some people in my situation might take comfort in that fact, but I don’t. Logan’s an attorney, and my gut, which I’ll confirm with research, says he’s a powerful one, the kind that radiates toward my father. Maybe that’s a coincidence and maybe it’s not. Maybe he’s testing how well I execute my cover story. The possibilities are many. Though in all fairness to Logan, perhaps I’d lean toward his innocence, if not for the laundry list of recent events such as Tobey being gay and the FBI agent, who is likely working for my father, that I slept with to prove I was a) still desirable and b) not a killer.

ABOUT LISA

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones writes dark, edgy fiction to include the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT series and the crime thriller The Poet. Suzanne Todd (producer of Alice in Wonderland and Bad Moms) on the INSIDE OUT series: Lisa has created a beautiful, complicated, and sensual world that is filled with intrigue and suspense.

Prior to publishing Lisa owned a multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by the Dallas Women’s Magazine. In 1998 Lisa was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a cat that talks too much, and a Golden Retriever who is afraid of trash bags.

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