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Review: Luca (Ruin & Revenge #2) by Sarah Castille

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Luca Rizzoli was nearly destroyed by a brutal betrayal that cost him his family. Now a ruthless crime boss in the city of sin, he lets nothing touch his frozen heart–until a smoldering encounter with a beautiful stranger ignites his passion. One night isn’t enough for a man who takes what he wants, but his mysterious temptress has slipped away.

For two years police detective Gabrielle Fawkes has lived for revenge. But a night of indulgence with a sexy stranger changes everything. Powerful, charming, and deliciously dangerous Luca, has his own private reasons for offering to help her pursue the drug lord who killed her husband. There’s a lot Luca isn’t telling her and the more she finds out the less she wants to know.

When Gabrielle becomes the target of the drug lord she has vowed to hunt down, she must do the unimaginable: place her life in a mobster’s hands. To save her, Luca must break his Mafia ties–or risk losing Gabrielle forever.


My Review

Ugh! This was such a great read! Luca is dark, thrilling, gritty and sexy as hell. It was everything that I could possibly want in a mafia style book.

Told from multiple points of view, Luca follows the story of Luca and Gabrielle. Ever since her husband was murdered, Gabrielle has had a thirst for revenge. It’s all she’s lived and breathed. What she never planned on was Luca. You see Gabrielle doesn’t date, but meeting the charming and sexy Luca has her questioning everything. He turns her inside out in the most delicious way. But Luca harbors some very dangerous secrets. You see, there is more to Luca than meets the eye. He is ruthless and takes what he wants. These two couldn’t be more opposite if they tried. Will Gabrielle get the revenge she’s always wanted? Will she be able to handle Luca’s secrets? How much will Luca be willing to sacrifice in the name of love? You’ll just have to check this book out for yourself to find those answers and more….

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was pulled in from page one and couldn’t help but be intrigued by Luca and Gabrielle. They made the most unlikely pair and I think that was part of what drew me to them. I mean Gabrielle is a cop and Luca is a Crime Boss. Any type of relationship between the two of them should be forbidden and doomed from the start. But, just being around these two, you could just feel the sparks between them. You knew that what they had needed to be desperately explored. A fire like theirs would not just fizzle out. So, if they wanted to be together, they would have to defy all the odds. Luca fought to be with Gabrielle. His loyalty and family values tested. And Gabrielle, her thirst for justice put her in more danger than she could ever imagine. With danger lurking around all the corners, lines will be blurred and crossed, and the most surprising twists will stop you in your tracks.

Luca was a thrilling and exciting addition to Ruin & Revenge Series. It has just the right mix of action, danger, mystery, suspense, sexy good times, romance and of course some crazy twists and turns. I really enjoyed spending my afternoon getting lost in this mafia romance and look forward to seeing what lies ahead next in the Ruin & Revenge Series.

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

Blog Tour with Review: The Gun Runner by Scott Hildreth

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Title: The Gun Runner
Author: Scott Hildreth
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mafia Romance, Military Romance, and Erotic Romance
Release Date: Aug 8, 2016

The first book in a seductive new series from Scott Hildreth, the #1 Amazon bestselling author of BRAWLER and HARD CORPS. 

Tripp

Once, I took down terrorists on the front lines as a marine.
Now I’m in the business of bad.
I’ve sold guns to people others might not approve of.
I’ve eliminated the criminals, the lowlifes and the thugs who’ve tread on my turf.
And I looked the Sicilian Mafia boss in the eye and told him to f*** off.
No one tells me no, unless it’s their last word.
I didn’t just act the part of bad—I lived it. Then she stumbled into my life.
I tried to stay away from her. Tried focusing on moving my merchandise. But one smile from Terra was like a shot to the heart.
She’s mine now. And no one threatens what’s mine.

Terra 

I’ve seen a lot of terrible things in my life.
I grew up around lies and deception, and I ran away from all of them.
Until I met him.
I knew he was corrupt. I knew he was dangerous.
I should have stayed away, but my attraction to him, my needfor him, overrode my logic.
Now I love him.
If he finds out who I am, we’re done and I’ll be nothing.
I never wanted to be the Mafia princess they tried to make me, but mia familia had other plans. And what mia familia wants…it gets.
Only Michael Tripp can save me.

Tripp and Terra’s story continues in Book Two of Mafia Made, The Game Changer.

My Review

“When I’m with you, nothing else matters. When nothing else matters, the world around me dissolves, leaving only you. And. Nothing. Else. Matters.”

“Life isn’t perfect baby, and it never will be. But a bad day with you will always be better than my best day at war.”

The Gun Runner is the first book in an exciting new series by Scott Hildreth and is told from dual points of view. The Gun Runner follows the story of Michael and Terra. Michael is a former marine. He used to save the good guys and is now selling guns to the bad ones. He doesn’t take anything from anyone, especially Italian mob bosses….Terra has lived a life that most would be terrified of. She is untouchable, the daughter of a dangerous mobster. When she meets Michael, she can’t help but be drawn to him. He is everything that she’s always wanted. There’s only one problem….He can’t know who she is. Terra wants Michael to get to know who she is and fall in love with the real her and not get caught up in her identity…..

Now, if you know me, then you know that I don’t read a ton of books by male authors. That being said, Scott Hildreth is an author that has a ton of buzz surrounding him. When I heard about The Gun Runner, I just knew I had to read it. The synopsis sounded right up my alley, so I gave it a try. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I did.

Told from dual points of view, The Gun Runner is fast paced, sexy, exciting and filled with danger. This story pulls you in from the very first page and captivates you the entire time. This is a book that you can easily devour in one sitting. It will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to see how things will play out.

I loved Michael and Terra from the moment I met them. Michael was tough and didn’t take crap from anyone. I loved the way that he was with Terra and appreciated how he wanted to make sure what they had was worth investing time in before he just jumped into bed with her. Terra was just plain awesome. She was badass and wasn’t afraid of anything. She is the type of woman that will go after what she wants. Put her together with Michael and those two are an explosive combination. One, that I could not get enough of.

The Gun Runner was an exciting and entertaining read. It’s well written and filled with action, suspense, secrets, lies and lots of sexy good times. This book doesn’t really end with a cliffy, but it definitely ends in a way that will leave you begging for more and dying to know what will happen next. This is my first book by this author and I for one can not wait to see what he’s got up his sleeve next for Michael and Terra.

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

Born In San Diego California, Scott now calls Wichita, Kansas home. Residing in Kansas with his wife, Jessica, and six children, he somehow finds twelve hours a day to work on his writing. A hybrid author who has published more than two-dozen romance and erotica novels, his three book series through Harlequin is due to start release with the first book in summer 2016.
Scott has spent his entire life pushing boundaries, and his writing is no exception. Addicted to riding his Harley-Davidson, tattoos, and drinking coffee, he can generally be found in a tattoo shop, on his Harley, or in a local coffee house when not writing.
Loyal to the fans and faithful followers who allowed him to make writing a full-time career, Scott communicates with his followers on Facebook almost daily. He encourages his readers to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Cover Reveal: Empire by Rachel Van Dyken

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The seventh book in the internationally best selling mafia series as it follows Sergio Abandonato, cousin to one of the most powerful families in the mafia, and an ex FBI agent hell bent on redeeming his name and forgetting the fact that he used to share it with someone long gone. This is the rest of Sergio’s story.

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empire smash cover art

I have lost everything.

My purpose

My love

My soul

Death knocks on my door, I want to answer, but every time I reach for the handle — the promise I made her brings me back.

So I breathe.

I live.

I hate.

And I allow the anger to boil beneath the surface of a perfectly indifferent facade. I am broken, I don’t want to be fixed.

But the Empire is crumbling and it’s my job to fix it.

My job to mend the pieces that were scattered over thirty years ago.

A trip to New York, only one chance to redeem a lost part of our mafia family.

The only issue is, the only way to fix it, is to do something I swore I’d never do again.

An arranged marriage.

Only this time,

I won’t fall.

Or so help me God, I will kill her myself.

My name is Sergio Abandonato, you think you know my pain, my suffering, my anger, my hate?

You have no idea.

I am the mafia.

I am the darkness.

Blood in. No out.

ADD TO GOODREADS

PRE-ORDER

AMAZON |iBooks | B & N | Smashwords | Amazon UK |Amazon AU | Amazon CA

EXCERPT

Sergio looked ready to strangle me. “No. I don’t believe I asked for an annoying little sister, but if that’s what you’re offering, please don’t let me stop you. Just know, I won’t hesitate to put you over my knee if you get out of hand.”

The minute the words left his mouth. I froze.

He froze.

The taxi driver stared little laser like holes into the rearview mirror.

And Sergio leaned toward me.
I swallowed as tension swirled around us.

He gripped me by the chin and turned my head to the side, his lips brushing my ear. “It’s like you have a death wish.”

“You wouldn’t do it.”

He pulled back as both of his eyebrows shot up, and then he looked down, like he had spotted something.

I followed the direction of his gaze and let out a little gasp as a gun dug into my stomach.

“It’s been directed at you for the last four minutes,” Sergio said through a practiced smile. “I meant what I said. Listen well. I keep my word. Kiss me, and blood will be spilled.”

“Y-you’re a crazy person!” I hissed, shoving at his chest. “And I wasn’t going to kiss you!”

“Sure you weren’t.” He put the gun away. “Good talk though, right? Oh look, the movie theater.”

To say that I scrambled out of the car like a kid running away from her kidnapper would be a gross understatement, but the minute my feet hit the pavement, I paused.

My body told me to run.

The guy had pulled a gun.

On me.
I didn’t even watch violent movies.

Every book in this series is a stand alone except Elude and Empire….

Read and find out why people are obsessed with this made man and the woman who changed him.

eludeTwenty-Four hours before we were to be married–I offered to shoot her.
Ten hours before our wedding–I made a mockery of her dying wish.
Five hours before we were going to say our vows–I promised I’d never love her.
One hour before I said I do–I vowed I’d never shed a tear over her death.
But the minute we were pronounced man and wife–I knew.
I’d only use my gun to protect her.
I’d give my life for hers.
I’d cry.
And I would, most definitely, lose my heart, to a dying girl—a girl who by all accounts should have never been mine in the first place.

I always believed the mafia would be my end game–where I’d lose my heart, while it claimed my soul. I could have never imagined.

It would be my redemption.
Or the beginning of something beautiful.
The beginning of her.
The end of us.

Amazon | iBooks | Nook

rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com.

NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

Review: Against The Wall by Jill Sorenson

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Fans of Katie McGarry, Simone Elkeles, and Tammara Webber will love Against the Wall! As teenagers, they fell for each other despite the odds. But now that Eric and Meghan are all grown up, they’re reunited by fierce passion and dangerous secrets.

Eric Hernandez is the bad boy of every schoolgirl’s fantasies—and every mother’s nightmares. But after serving time for manslaughter, he’s ready to turn his life around. He just needs a chance to prove himself as a professional tattoo artist. The one thing that keeps him going is the memory of the innocent beauty he loved and left behind.

Meghan Young’s world isn’t as perfect as it looks. The preacher’s daughter is living a lie, especially now that Eric is back. Tougher, harder, and sexier than ever, he might be the only person she can trust. But there’s no telling what he’ll do to protect her if he learns the truth, and that’s a risk Meghan won’t let him take. And yet, back in the arms of the troubled boy with the artist’s soul, Meghan can’t help surrendering to the man he’s become.


My Review

So, I’m just going to keep this review short and sweet. This is another one of those books that is going to be hit or miss. You’re either going to love it or you’re going to hate it.

For me, I thought Against The Wall was ok. I really liked the idea of the story. The synopsis really had my curiosity going, so I was excited to check it out. I loved that Against The Wall was told from dual points of view. I thought the story itself had a lot of potential. The characters were intriguing.

However, I didn’t realize that there was another book prior to this one. Now, most of the time, I am able to follow stand-alone series’ really well, but with this one, I felt like I was missing something. Yes, this is Meghan and Eric’s story. But, I felt like I was missing a key part to their story and their connection. So, it made things a little harder for me. That being said, I will say that Meghan and Eric had some good chemistry. You couldn’t deny the feelings they had when they were around each other and they did share quite a few steamy moments.

Like I said, this book was an overall ok read. It had some things that I liked and some things that I didn’t. This is my first book by this author, and even though I didn’t love it, I do feel that there is a lot of potential there and would be open to reading another one of her books in the future.

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

Review: Target on Our Backs (Monster In His Eyes #3) by J.M. Darhower

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The best way to keep your word is never to give it.

Not long ago, in a chapel in Vegas, I swore to love Karissa for the rest of my days. But nobody’s promised an infinite number of tomorrows. Nobody’s promised forever. Sometimes, all we have left is today.

Carpe Diem
Seize the day.

It should’ve been over, we should’ve been happy, but people are making it hard for me to live in peace. I’ve got so much blood on my hands they’ll never be clean, and somebody out there seems to want me to pay for it. Happily Ever After always comes at a cost, one any real man would be willing to pay. But that doesn’t mean I’m just going to roll over and accept these consequences.

Because when it comes to the woman I love? The life I’ve fought for?

Nobody is safe.


My Review

“At some point, every part of me became every part of that. The life isn’t just something I lived….it was how I survived. It infused itself into everyone one of my cells, infecting every mitochondrion. It’s in my blood and my bones, and unless you drain me dry and rip me to pieces, you’ll never rid me of all of it.”

“I’ve lied, and stolen, and cheated. I’ve taken lives and assaulted men. I’ve gotten what i wanted through coercion, through intimidation, using force when necessary. I always win.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I was over the moon when I found out that there would be more Naz and Karissa. I could not wait to get my hands on Target on Our Backs and I gotta tell you, it does not disappoint.

Now, I can’t say too much about this story because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But, if you know me, then you know I’ll let you know what you’re in for. Target on Our Backs sucks you into the story from the very first page. From the very first page, you are consumed. You might as well cancel all of your plans for the day because you will not want to put this story down. And me; I totally devoured this book.

As a fan of Naz and Karissa, I will never say no to more of their story. And this final installment certainly lives up to its predecessors. Things have never been easy for this pair. Their love is one for the books and is gritty and intense. They are so wrong for each other, yet oh so right. Their connection so strong, so palpable. I love every moment spent with the two of them.

Target on Our Backs is well written and entertaining. It is just as dark and gritty as the first two books. The conclusion to Naz and Karissa’s story will keep you on the edge of your seat, holding your breath, just waiting to see how it will all play out. You will find yourself wondering if it is possible for our two main characters to get that HEA they desperately need.

Target on Our Back is filled with action, romance, suspense and mystery. There is danger lurking around every corner. And the hits just keep coming, right until the very end. I loved every single thing about this story and could not have been happier with the way this series has ended. My only complaint is that I have to say goodbye to Naz and Karissa. But, if I have to do it, I’m pleased with the send off they were given. Fans of this series, you will not be disappointed with this epic conclusion.

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

Blog Tour with Review: Outside The Lines (On The Run #1) by Lisa Desrochers

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Outside the Lines

Release date: January 19

As the oldest son of a Chicago crime lord, Robert Delgado always knew how dangerous life could be. With his mother dead and his father in prison, he’s taking charge of his family’s safety—putting himself and his siblings in witness protection to hide out in a backwater Florida town.

Fourth grade teacher Adri Wilson is worried about the new boy in her class. Sherm is quiet and evasive, especially when he’s around his even cagier older brother. Adri can’t help her attraction to Rob, or the urge to help them both in whatever way she can.

But the Delgados have enemies on two sides of the mob—their father’s former crew and the rival family he helped take down. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds them. And if Rob isn’t careful, Adri could end up in the crossfire…

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24381363-outside-the-lines

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AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1GTTrYH

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/outside-the-lines/id990116492?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

BARNES & NOBLE: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/outside-the-lines-lisa-desrochers/1122676504?ean=9780698409538


My Review

“I want to be his lifeline–to pull him out of the dark pit he’s living in and help him see the light inside him…”

“She was my meant-to-be, and I’m not letting go.”

“You are the key to my soul. Electricity to my bulb. I was made for you, and you were made for me. I can’t think of anything more meant to be than that.”

One of the first things that drew me into this story was the synopsis. I mean, family on the run with a sort of forbidden romance quality to it. How could I say no?

Outside The Lines was a really intriguing story. The story-line was refreshing and I thought that it was well written. I was curious about the characters and wanted to know more about the Delgado family. I will say that this story did start off pretty slow. It definitely took me a while to get into it. However, once I got into the story, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. I loved seeing Rob and Adri together. Adri came into Rob’s life at the best possible moment. She was so good and kind; totally not like the women that Rob normally goes for. She made him want to open up and try to be a better man. She made him see that there was more to life than the life that he was living. And Rob, I loved him. He was such a great older brother. You could tell that he really cared about his family and would do anything to protect them. He didn’t want to fall for Adri, but his heart didn’t really give him a choice. And boy, does Rob ever make you swoon!! The only problem: Rob is hiding his past from Adri. Now, Rob’s got his reasons and no matter how hard you try to run from your past, it always has a way of catching up with you. That is just one of the obstacles these to face on their road to HEA.

Overall, I think that this series is off to a great start. I did have some issues with the pacing, but not enough that it took away from my enjoyment of this story. Outside The Lines had just the right amount of danger, action, drama and romance. This is my first book by this author and I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of her stuff in the future. Like I said, I think this new series is off to a really good start. I’m looking forward to learning more about the other siblings and I’m really curious as to where the story will go next.

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


EXCERPT

Chapter 2

Adri

“Is this straight?” Dad asks, peering in the mirror across from the front door and messing with the badge on the breast pocket of his blue shirt.

There is almost no crime on our little island because Dad is legendary for taking down drug rings and poachers, but when it comes to the little things, like pinning his badge on straight, he still needs help.

That’s why I’m here.

When Mom died last spring, I came back from Jacksonville so I could live at home and help Dad. He and Mom were high school sweethearts and married not long after graduation. He’s always been taken care of. I don’t want him to be alone.

I move to where he is and turn him, unpinning the badge and straightening it. I smooth his salt and pepper hair off his forehead and stretch up on my toes to kiss the smooth patch of cheek above the line of his beard. “I seriously doubt they’re going to send the Chief of Police home for a dress code infraction.”

“We’ll see,” he chuckles, giving my blond ponytail a gentle tug. “You ready for your first day influencing the youth of Port St. Mary?”

I was over the moon when I got the call three days ago that Mrs. Martin had had surgery and they needed a long-term sub for her class. Not that I’m happy they hacked out her gallbladder or anything, but her loss is my gain, so to speak.

I come from a long line of educators. Mom was my first grade teacher. Both of her sisters, her father, and her grandfather taught as well. You could say it’s in my DNA. I resisted it for a while, thought I wanted to go into finance, but by my junior year at Clemson I had to finally admit to myself teaching was what I really wanted to do. I changed my major to Education and finished my credential just before Mom died.

Since her death, it’s felt even more urgent to me to teach—like maybe following in her footsteps will somehow keep her spirit alive. But Port St. Mary and the surrounding communities are small, and teaching jobs are pretty scarce. I was afraid I was going to have to try elsewhere come fall. This was a prayer answered…which makes me a little afraid I might have had something to do with poor Mrs. Martin’s gallbladder flaring up. And now it’s starting to feel like one of those “be careful what you wish for” scenarios.

I rub my sweaty palms down my slacks. “What happens if they hate me?”

Dad wraps me in his arms and squeezes me in a bear hug, crushing the air out of my lungs. “They’re going to love you, punkin. Your mom would be so proud of you right now,” he says, a catch in his voice. “I hope you know that.”

I swallow back the lump in my throat and look up at him. I can’t even remember the last time he’s brought her up out of the blue like this. “I know, Dad, but thanks for saying so.” He lets me go and I shoulder my messenger bag. “Time to face the music.”

We step out the back door to where my old electric blue Chevy Lumina is parked in the driveway, next to Dad’s only slightly less conspicuous cruiser. Dad watches as I slide in and turn the key. The engine chugs but doesn’t turn over.

I blow out a breath and pop the hood. By the time I grab the monkey wrench on the floor of the passenger side and get out of the car, Dad already has the hood propped up and is looking over the engine compartment.

“Don’t mess with Frank, Dad.” I point my finger in a circle at the guts of my poor Frankencar. Me and my best friend Chuck rebuilt most of the insides from junkyard parts when we took auto shop our senior year in high school. “It’s a delicate balance.”

He grins and steps back, his hands in the air. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

I will always love Frank—he was my first—but I know I need a new car. Dad’s offered me Mom’s T-Bird, but I’m twenty-three. I’m supposed to be responsible for myself at this point. And besides, I’d rather he sold Mom’s car and put the money towards his retirement. Even though Port St. Mary is pretty sleepy most of the time, everyday he goes to work, I worry.

I reach between the radiator and the engine and give the alternator a sharp rap with the wrench, then slip back into the driver’s seat. When I turn the key, Frank chugs twice, same as always, then rumbles to life.

Dad ducks into the cruiser and gives me a little salute as I pull out.

Port St. Mary Elementary is only about two miles from home. It takes a grand total of eight minutes to drive there. Technically, it’s a one-room schoolhouse. The tiny twelve-space parking lot butts up against an octagonal building, which, in fact, is just one big room inside. In the exact center of the building are the bathrooms and storage closets, and from there, folding accordion partitions section off each wedge of the octagon. Each wedge is a grade level, kinder through sixth, and a multipurpose room. To the right of the parking lot is a doublewide “portable” that houses the school offices and small staff room. Behind that, children are already gathering in the playground, which is really just a weed-infested lot with a slide and jungle gym that has been there since before I started kindergarten here.

When I walk around the octagon to the door marked with a big yellow four and step inside, it’s like deja vu all over again. Mrs. Martin (she told me to call her Pam when we talked on the phone about the lesson plan yesterday, but I can’t bring myself to) has had the same posters on the walls since the dawn of time. The presidential chart ends with Reagan. She had already been teaching fourth grade in this same classroom for, like, twenty years when I had her.

I move to her desk, to the right of the door, and set my bag on it. And that’s when I see the note from Principal Richmond.

A new student.

I brush my palms down my slacks again, a fresh jolt of nerves twisting my insides into knots. I was already going to be way over my head with a classroom full of nine-year-olds fresh off Christmas vacation and all sugared up on candy canes.

I look over the instructions. Sherman William Davidson needs his reading comprehension assessment, writing and grammar evaluation, and his math skills worksheet completed by the end of the week.

I blow a wisp of hair off my forehead and unpack my toothpaste and toothbrush, my journal, and a few of my favorite colored pens into Mrs. Martin’s desk, careful not to displace her things too much. I’m just pulling the assessments for the new kid from the file cabinet when the classroom door opens. I hear Principal Richmond’s gravel voice before I turn around. “…and his classroom is here. We just got word a few days ago that our regular fourth grade teacher is out on medical leave, but Sherman will be in good hands with Ms. Wilson. She’s a very capable substitute.”

I take a deep breath as I turn and hope he’s not lying.

I substituted five times during fall semester. For the most part, everything went great until I subbed for Mrs. Yetz’s eighth grade class the week before winter break. Somehow, what started out as a math lab on probability devolved into a liar’s dice tournament, complete with money changing hands. I wasn’t sure they’d call me back after that.

But when I see Principal Richmond waddle his round frame through the door, I straighten the scarf I tied over my favorite teal sweater and try to look as confident in what he said as he does.

“Ms. Wilson,” he says, waving me over. “This is your new student, Sherman.”

Sherman is a wiry little thing with unruly brown hair and clothes that hang off him a little. He looks as if he’d vanish into himself if given the chance.

“He goes by Sherm,” the man standing next to him says.

I look up into some of the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen. Heavy dark brows curve over irises the color of honey with burgundy flecks through them. Thick brown waves are loose around a strong face with angled cheekbones, and a square jaw covered in two-day stubble. Set in flawless olive skin are lips so firm and red they make me forget the frown that’s turning them down slightly at the corners. He’s just so…gorgeous, like something out of a magazine or a movie. And he’s tall—well over six feet of broad shoulders tapering to narrow hips under his blue button-down shirt. The tails are loose over pressed jeans that fit him just so. Everything about him is tailored and cultured and nothing like any of the year-rounders who live on this bumpkin island. But it’s not just the way he looks. A blend of confidence and something else I can’t identify but makes him feel a little intimidating wafts off him with the spicy cologne I keep catching hints of. He’s nothing like anyone I’ve ever met, even at Clemson.

I feel my jaw dangling and snap it closed, pulling myself together long enough to extend an arm. “I’m Adri.”

Principal Richmond clears his throat, and when I flick a glance his direction, I know my ogling didn’t go unnoticed. His brow is deeply furrowed and his frown curves so low it makes him look like one of those marionettes, where their chin is a whole different piece of wood than the rest of their face.

My eyes bulge and I shift my outstretched hand to Sherm. “I mean, Miss Wilson. Welcome to Port St. Mary, Sherm.”

The boy just looks at me with sad eyes the color of his…father’s?

My gaze gravitates back to the guy towering over me. Could he be Sherm’s dad? He looks way too young to have a nine-year-old. He also looks all business. There’s nothing soft or nurturing in his cold, sharp gaze as it flicks around the classroom, silently assessing.

“What’s on the other side of those partitions?” he asks Principal Richmond.

“The third and fifth grade classrooms,” he answers.

The guy’s eyes continue to scan the room. “He’ll spend all day in here?”

The principal nods. “Except when he’s on the playground.”

“Is there security on campus?”

Principal Richmond looks momentarily perplexed, rubbing his round stomach as if he’s thinking with it. “Not as such. We have yard monitors during recess and lunch, and the teachers are responsible for the children when they’re here in class.”

“What about lunch?”

“He can bring his own lunch, or buy a bag lunch from Nutritional Services for three dollars. Either way, if it’s nice weather, the children eat outside at the picnic tables. On rainy days, we open the partitions and they eat inside as a group.”

The guy reaches into his pocket, but Principal Richmond holds up his hand to stop him when he comes out with a thick wad of cash. “We don’t allow students to carry money on campus. When we’re done here, I’ll take you to the office and have you purchase a scan card for Nutritional Services.”

The guy nods, then moves to the door and jiggles the knob. “The exterior doors are left unlocked?”

“During school hours, yes.” Principal Richmond answers, moving to my desk and shuffling through the papers I pulled for Sherm.

The guy’s full lips narrow into a tight line and he scowls at the door. He spins and starts toward the door in the back of the room, leaving no stone unturned.

I wipe my hands down my slacks again and decide just to ask. “So, you’re Sherm’s father?”

His feet stall on the chipped linoleum and he seems to finally notice I exist. “Brother,” he answers, and that one word seems to carry the weight of the world with it as it falls from his mouth.

His eyes make a slow sweep of my face, and as they trail down my neck, the front of my sweater, over my hips and down my legs, I’m frozen in place, paralyzed by the intensity of his gaze.

Principal Richmond shoves some papers in my face, breaking the spell. “You still have fifteen minutes until the bell. Maybe you can get Sherman started on these.”

“Um…” I grab the papers out of his hand as Big Brother blinks, some of the thickest lashes I’ve ever seen hiding those incredible eyes. “Yeah. We’ll do that…”

Principal Richmond guides Big Brother to the door. “Let’s get out of their way and let them get started. I’m sure Sherman will have a positive experience here. Children his age tend to adjust quickly,” he’s saying as the door swings closed behind them.

OTLteaser5

Author Bio:

lisaauthor

Lisa Desrochers is the author of the USA Today bestselling A Little Too Far series and the YA Personal Demons trilogy. She lives in northern California with her husband, two very busy daughters, and Shini the tarantula. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places and then take her by surprise. Connect with her online at http://www.lisadwrites.com/, on her blog at lisadesrochers.blogspot.com, on Twitter at @LisaDez, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LisaDesrochersAuthor.

 

Series Cover Re-Reveal: Broken Series by Maegan Abel

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Series: Broken series
Author: Maegan Abel
Release Dates: January 2014 – September 2015
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Zane Tishler moved in with his brother after his nightmare divorce to find that his brother had taken in a “stray”, a punk chick with a bad attitude. Liliosa Cortez found a place to start over in a city built for hiding. But when her roommate’s brother moved in she pegged him for a pretty boy with enough baggage to fill a semi and major hostility toward women. But now, after two years, Lili and Zane have become best friends and the perfect “wingmen.” They’ve developed a system for tagging and bagging tourists. No strings attached. They are partners in crime who have managed to have the time of their lives in the City of Sin.

Life would be perfect if they could keep it this way, but a new player in the game makes both Lili and Zane face the feelings they had not been prepared to notice. What happens when dangerous shadows from a forgotten past find their way into the neon spotlights? What happens when the fuse is lit on all those emotions they have deeply buried?

Can they survive the explosion or will the backlash tear them and everyone they love apart?

When two pasts become one present in the searing Nevada heat…
When two realities collide under the lights of Vegas…
When two lives are threatened due to secrets and lies…

What do you do when you find out your perfect world is Perfectly Broken?

Liliosa Cortez has spent years hiding from her past. Unfortunately, no one can hide forever. Now, she’s forced to admit her mistakes and make a decision. Does she let those around her in to help, or go at it alone? Conquer her demons head-on, or remain by Zane’s side while he fights his own?

Zane Tishler is a master at avoiding the difficult parts of his past. He learned early in life that charm will get you a long way in the world and deception is easier than hard truths. Sometimes, old habits die hard. When his past mistakes start making continuous reappearances, he is faced with some of the most crucial decisions he’s ever made.

It took a near-tragedy for Zane and Lili to admit their feelings for one another. If they could survive that explosion, wading through the debris left by the past should be a breeze, right?

When you have secrets, they can rip ragged holes in the ties that bind even the strongest relationships. When you know the secrets you keep make you a monster, one unworthy of love, you hold a power that can tear you apart from the inside… and take down those closest to you in the process.

What do you do when realize you’re Unforgivably Broken?


 

Before Perfectly Broken, before a beautiful relationship can start, the bond that solidifies who Lili and Zane are together must form. Beginnings are always the first step in building something stunning, something undeniably perfect… 

The first holiday…

Things are tense between Zane, Lili, and Tish. They’re all still adapting to living in the house, Zane’s divorce has just been finalized, and he’s pissed off at the world. A bright light, however, shines in his world of darkness. Will the person he’s hated since their first meeting be the one to help him turn things around?

The second holiday…

One year later, we find a much more settled family. Zane and Lili are falling into a pattern, learning to trust and lean on one another, but one wrong move, just the tiniest of slips, could ruin what is finally feeling solid for the both of them.

The beginning of tradition…

New Year’s Eve brings a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean and begin again. Knowing your history, and where you come from, might be all that keeps you going when your whole world falls apart.

The strength of the holidays, family, new beginnings, and acceptance, is how their broken pieces begin to glue themselves back together again, if only for a little while…

“What the fuck was that tonight?” he asked. His voice was low and controlled but his grip on my arm told me he was still pissed.
“What was what?” I countered, tugging against his hand. I didn’t fight to break it, just to remind him that he had ahold of me. His fingers loosened, but he didn’t release me.
“You know what. You were being a fucking cockblocker for no reason. What the hell is up with you?” His tone, and the fact that he’d adapted this habit of talking to me like I was one of the guys, was really starting to wear on me. Add that to the fact that I’d gotten the second threat on my job because he couldn’t keep it in his pants and I’d had enough.
“All I did was point out the obvious. You’re the one who’s unconcerned with anything aside from how fast you can stick your dick in someone,” I replied, tugging against his grip again, this time wanting space. He released me, his eyes narrowing as he opened his mouth to speaking. I continued before he could, steamrolling over his protest. “Don’t even try to deny it. It’s the only reason you even go out. And honestly, it’s sad. A chick who I can only imagine you had to gag to even get it up made your night a success. Congratulations on that. Really. It’s quite an accomplishment to fuck someone who probably had the jizz of her last partner still drying on her panties. If she even bothered to wear any.”
Zane stared at me, eyebrows raised. “Finished?”
“Yup.” I lifted my chin.
“Have you ever tried it?” he asked, leaning against the wall.
“I ran back through our conversation in my head. “Tried what?”
“Casual sex,” he answered, crossing his arms over his chest.
“You’d be surprised by what I’ve tried,” I said, my tone arctic. He tilted his head, his expression questioning. “Don’t even think about asking.”
A slow grin spread across his face. “You can’t drop a bomb like that and expect me not to ask.”
“Just because I don’t flaunt it and fuck a different person every night doesn’t mean I don’t have ways to take care of my needs,” I clarified, wishing I hadn’t brought up the subject as flashes of last night with Tony played through my mind.
“A fuck buddy?” He laughed. “You’re telling me you have a fuck buddy?”
Irritation raged through me like wildfire. The laugh was degrading and I couldn’t decide whether it was because I had a fuck buddy, or because he found the idea that I could have a fuck buddy so hilarious. Either way, he was pissing me off. “I’m telling you that who I fuck is none of your business.”
His expression cooled instantly. As if someone flipped a switch, all of his previous humor wiped away. “Exactly.”
If only it were possible for eyes to wage war…

 

Zane Tishler has never been the All-American picture of happiness. Every time he seems to get his feet under him, someone or something has to rip away his chances at healing. His girlfriend and son are missing after a devastating fire that left the home they shared in ruins, along with his life. How long can someone cling to hope without the two most important people in their life?

Liliosa Cortez has always been a runner. It’s how she’s survived for as long as she has. But, there comes a point when you just can’t run anymore. Lost in a world darker than she ever could’ve imagined, she has to figure out how to live with the choices she’s made — in her past and now. She has to act fast if she’s going to save the people she loves. That’s what matters. Even more than her own life.

Zane and Lili were finally finding their very own happily ever after when tragedy struck. What happened the day of the fire? Where are Lili and Conner? How can Zane and their family deal with this deep of a loss?

What happens when your world is turned upside down and guilt eats at you during every waking moment?

What do you do when all hope fades and leaves you Silently Broken?

Maegan despises writing about herself in the third person. She also hates touting her accomplishments like she thinks she’s really done anything special…
Now that we got that out of the way, I’ll tell you what you need to know. I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I went back to school in my late twenties and studied Stage Production Technology. I now work full-time in the alterations shop of a major department store and part-time backstage in the various theatres around the area.
I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age and the top goal on my list of things to accomplish in my life was to write and publish a book. During the summer of 2013, while working backstage on The Lion King, I read eleven books in four weeks. I read my first New Adult book and was introduced to a genre I felt I could totally relate to. The idea for Perfectly Broken and the character of Lili was born backstage during that time.