New: Sanctuary Island Value Edition by Lily Everett

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Lily Everett’s Sanctuary Island Series Value Edition
Now Available with New Jacket and Low Price!

Amazing Praise for Lily Everett’s Sanctuary Island Series:
“I didn’t read this book, I inhaled it. An incredible story of love, forgiveness, healing and joy. “
—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Sanctuary Island is a novel to curl up with and enjoy by a crackling fire or on a sunny beach. It’s a beautifully told story of hope and forgiveness, celebrating the healing power of love.”
—Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Willow Lake series
“A heartwarming, emotional, extremely romantic story that I couldn’t read fast enough! Enjoy your trip to Sanctuary Island! I guarantee you won’t want to leave. “
—Bella Andre, New York Times bestselling author of The Sullivan series
“I loved it! A rare find.” —Lori Wilde, New York Times bestselling author of The First Love Cookie Club

About SANCTUARY ISLAND

(St. Martin’s Paperbacks; ISBN 978-1-250-09615-9; December 6, 2016; $5.99)

When Ella’s sister decides to reunite with their estranged mother, Ella goes along for the ride–it’s always been the two Preston girls against the world. But Sanctuary Island, a tiny refuge for wild horses tucked off the Atlantic coast, is more inviting than she ever imagined. And it holds more than one last opportunity to repair their broken family–if Ella can open her carefully guarded heart, there is also the chance for new beginnings.
Grady Wilkes is a handyman who can fix anything…except the scars of his own past. When he accepts the task of showing Ella the simple beauties of the island that healed him, he discovers a deep sense of comfort he thought he’d lost. But now he must convince the woman who never intended to stay that on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible–forgiving past mistakes, rediscovering the simple joys of life, and maybe even falling in love.
About SHORELINE DRIVE

(St. Martin’s Paperbacks; ISBN 978-1-250-09616-6; December 6, 2016; $5.99)

Dr. Ben Faulkner is a veterinarian on warm, welcoming Sanctuary Island, a refuge for wild horses. Though he’s dedicated his life to healing animals and rescuing the ones no one wants, Ben is nursing deep wounds of his own. After tragedy tore his family apart, he gave up his dreams of finding happiness long ago…until Merry Preston arrives on the island. Vivacious, friendly, and instantly loveable, Merry is everything Ben is not. She’s also nine months pregnant and attempting to carve out a new life for herself and her unborn child.
Though Ben tries to keep his distance, when a raging storm cuts them off from the mainland, he’s forced to help bring her new baby into the world. It’s a harrowing experience that leaves him with one great certainty: I want these two to be my family. Seeing his opportunity, he makes a dramatic proposal to the young mother: a marriage of convenience. If Merry marries him, he’ll draw up a contract naming her son as his heir and promising to provide for them both. But as they’ll learn, love is more than a business proposition…and it’ll take all the magic hidden in Sanctuary Island to turn Ben’s proposal into something real and lasting.
About HEARTBREAK COVE

(St. Martin’s Paperbacks; ISBN 978-1-250-09617-3; December 6, 2016; $5.99)

Sheriff Andie Shepard may be new to Sanctuary Island but, like everyone else who comes here, she’s already fallen under its healing spell. Andie is determined to leave her mistakes behind her and make this scenic haven her home. But she just might have to change her plans—as well as open her heart—when an unexpected visitor shows up on her doorstep…
Caitlin is the ten-year-old niece Andie never knew she had. Silent, wary, and shy as can be, Caitlin only responds to the horses that run wild across the island. Andie has no idea how to deal with Caitlin—until Sam Brennan enters the picture. A tall, handsome loner who rehabilitates abused horses, Sam is able to help Caitlin break out of her shell. But that’s not all: He finds a way to touch something deep in Andie’s soul, opening her up to the healing power of love. Together, these three lost souls must face the darkness in their past to build a brighter future. Because here, on Sanctuary Island, anything is possible…
About the author:

Lily Everett grew up in a small town in Virginia reading Misty of Chincoteague and Black Beauty, taking riding lessons, and longing for a horse of her own. Sadly, her parents gave her a college education instead–but she never forgot what the world looked like from the back of a horse. She currently lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes full-time. Her books include Sanctuary Island and The Fireside Inn.

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Coming Soon: On the Line by Victoria Denault

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On the Line by Victoria Denault
Publication Date: December 6th, 2016
Publisher: Forever Yours
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Synopsis:

He had total control of his game–until she changed all the rules . . .
As one of the best players in the NHL and the “golden boy” of the league, Avery Westwood knows he has to keep his cool–on and off the ice. His whole life is a carefully constructed image of perfection for the media and his brand sponsors. Of course, that means he can never let his true feelings show. But when it comes to the sexy sister of his former teammate, Avery might be willing to make an exception . . . even if it means breaking all his own rules.

As far as Stephanie Deveau is concerned, having a thing for Avery is the equivalent of psychological napalm. Très bad idea. Then he moves in next door, all sexy smiles and a deliciously hot body that she can’t resist. Something’s happening between them–it’s intense, a little (a lot) out of control, and real. Only Avery doesn’t know everything about Stephanie’s past. And the one exception to his rule might just be the one girl who could destroy his career.

 

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

 

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2gC1sFp
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2fKr7OP
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fGb8Or
Nook: http://bit.ly/2fvlENf
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fGf7ue
Google: http://bit.ly/2gDBEtW

 

About the Author:

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. Before focusing on writing novels, Victoria was a journalist and a stand-up comic. She’s also an avid hockey fan who cheers more than one team and has a thing for play-off beards. Victoria grew up in Montreal, Canada but has lived in many major cities across North America. She spent her childhood summers in Maine and adult summers in Spain. She’s now happily settled in Los Angeles with her husband and their two chubby Chihuahuas.

 

Connect with Victoria:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorvictoriadenault/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BooksbyVictoria
Amazon: http://amzn.to/29PrTFH

 

 

Coming Soon: Closer by Mary Elizabeth

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This book? I can’t even… Mary has wrecked me once again and I suspect it’s going to last for months. If you love Dusty, watch out for Teller Reddy. He’s more than wrecked. He loves.
When I can pick up my pieces, I’ll write a better review.
ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL RELEASE DAY
 Gabriella Mason is damaged.

Teller Reddy is wrecked.

Misery loves company, and that’s exactly what Ella gets the afternoon her path crosses with Teller’s: the misunderstood premed student who instantly becomes her lifeline when she moves to Los Angeles, an attempt at escaping her heartbreaking past.

In the beginning, Lonely and Defensive complete each other. But in the end, their relationship is like broken glass—cutthroat and jagged.

Calling it off before they kill each other, Ella and Teller decide to “just be friends” despite the intensity that binds them together. It’s a delicate foundation rocked by tragedy, effectively destroying the illusion they’ve so carefully built.

Unable to deny what’s between them any longer, this is what happens when wrecked and damaged collide and close is still not close enough.

 


Closer by Mary Elizabeth
 

Amazon Exclusive Preorder
2.99 | Reg. 3.99

 

 

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Cover Reveal: It Started with a Kiss by Melanie Moreland

  Title: It Started with a Kiss
By: Melanie Moreland
Publication Date: January 23, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Designer: Monark Designs

Are you interested in receiving a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review on Goodreads/Amazon?

You can sign up – HERE

It started with a kiss.
Then it became so much more.
Love at first sight.
Avery Connor doesn’t believe in it.
But what about love at first kiss?
A favor for a friend. Kiss a stranger and walk away.
But what if that favor, and that stranger, prove to be the turning point of her life?
What if that kiss leads to something more?
Dr. Daniel Stewart is certain it will.
He is determined to make her see him. To feel what he feels.
To have the effects of that kiss last forever.

A story about taking a chance, opening your heart to the moment, and falling in love.

~~PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW~~

New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.

While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.

Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.

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Cover Reveal: It Started with a Kiss by Melanie Moreland

Cover Reveal
It Started with a Kiss
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cover Designer: Monark Design Services
Release Date: January 23, 2017
New York Times/USA Today bestselling author Melanie Moreland, lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-seven-plus years and their rescue cat Amber. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them.
While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip.
Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.
It started with a kiss.
Then it became so much more.
Love at first sight.
Avery Connor doesn’t believe in it.
But what about love at first kiss?
A favor for a friend. Kiss a stranger and walk away.
But what if that favor, and that stranger, prove to be the turning point of her life?
What if that kiss leads to something more?
Dr. Daniel Stewart is certain it will.
He is determined to make her see him. To feel what he feels.
To have the effects of that kiss last forever.
A story about taking a chance, opening your heart to the moment, and falling in love.

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Amazon Bestseller: To Die For by Jess Molly Brown

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Amazon.com

Released on November 10th, 2016, To Die For reached #2 on the Amazon Bestseller List, #5 in Amazon Short Stories and #5 in Amazon Young Adult New Releases.

Summary:

No one knows how the plague began. Now, touching is forbidden. Every person is a carrier. One accidental caress brings death.

But love transcends every ill, doesn’t it?

Once, there was a pair of beautiful souls. Elle and Robbie couldn’t obey the rules. They were the last, and the first, and the means to a cure. This is their story. It is no less vital for its brevity, for love is unending.

Someday, those who are Unblemished will form a new history thanks to Robbie and Elle.

A Post-Apocalyptic Romance, prequel to The Unblemished

 

Vintage close up portrait of a passionate couple

Excerpt:

It all began with craving a lithe finger to trace her lips. Like magnets, Elle and Robbie were attracted inexorably. Seated at their mahogany work stations, separated by an expanse of desktop, she’d watched him remove his glove to scratch his forehead. Robbie’s neat, rounded nails and elegant fingertips had never sported calluses, or a paper cut, or dirt. She coveted them. Madness. Across the desk, he recognized her absorption, flexed his hand and clenched it shut.

“I can’t do this anymore, Robbie.”

“I know.” A voice as old as the world. Blue eyes: pristine twin pools to drown in. “What are we going to do?”

Muscles, ligament, bone: how she longed to explore his warm hand. “Better . . .”

He waited.

“Better to have loved and lost . . .”

She traced her soft lips and smiled, warm to the marrow of her bones.

About the Author:

Jess red sweaterDon’t be fooled by the seeming tranquility, Jess is scheming. There are a lot of characters in her head and all of them want out.

She edits for professional authors and is always tutoring somebody. She got her start eight years ago, in fan fiction, and is proud of it.

Four great kids, one husband *coughbiggestkidofallcough* and two dogs ensure that the house is always messy. The garden’s overflowing with blooms, but weedy. The grass always needs cutting, provided it’s not buried beneath snow. She lives in Canada, eh? The dogs are walked, the kids get fed, the hubbs hasn’t killed anybody yet, the books Jess reads she reviews, and somehow, the people in her head manage to make it into stories. Occasionally, she embarrasses her kids by doing Zumba in front of their friends. It’s just how she rolls.

Come join her quest for world domination at http://www.jessmollybrownauthor.com

Author links:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/jessmollybro…
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jess.molly.3
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jmollyfanfic

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Review: Listen to Your Heart by Sydney Logan

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Title: Listen to Your Heart
Author: Sydney Logan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: T.M. Franklin
Release Date: November 19, 2016

 

Blurb

Skye Douglas has made a career out of helping brides plan the wedding of their dreams—even if she’s bitter when it comes to her own love life. Instead of risking her heart again, Skye prefers to spend her free time with her nephew—a little guitar prodigy who shares his aunt’s obsession with 80s metal hair bands.

Then she meets Caleb, the guitar teacher, and Skye suddenly finds herself unable to think about anything except the guy’s Def Leppard T-shirt and his bright blue eyes.

Caleb Lynch has waited all this life for a girl like Skye.

Too bad he’s engaged.

The fake engagement to his best friend seemed like a good idea at the time—after all, it’s her mom’s dying wish. But now he’s met someone he might actually have a future with, and Caleb’s not sure how understanding Skye will be if she learns the truth.

Then Caleb meets his wedding planner, and his entire world is turned upside down.

When Skye realizes she’s broken the cardinal rule of wedding planning by falling for the groom, will she listen to her head . . .or her heart?

 

Links
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B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS
Excerpt

Caleb stands and offers me his hand.“Dance with me?”

I hate to dance . . . almost as much as I hate to date. But this is, without a doubt, the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to me.

“Okay.”

Caleb’s eyes never leave mine as he leads me to the dance floor. Pulling me close, he drifts his hands up my arms and along my shoulders until I’m flush against him. I encircle his waist with my arms as we sway to the music.

Then the most amazing thing happens.

Caleb leans his forehead against mine and starts to sing.

And I melt. Absolutely, positively melt right there in his arms.

Correction. This is the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to me.

Caleb’s deep blue eyes burn with emotion as he sings softly to me. I don’t care that we probably look ridiculous and cheesy. I don’t care that the waitress will most likely slash my tires. I don’t care that he’s singing slightly off key. I don’t even care that my best friend is going to scream bloody murder when I tell her about this moment.

I don’t care about any of it, because I’m here.

With him.

It’s exciting.

It’s terrifying.

Suddenly too overwhelmed with everything, I close my eyes.

“Please look at me,” he whispers, and because I’m completely under his spell, I obey.

“Caleb, I . . .” my voice drifts off.

Everything’s just too intense. It’s too much. And I don’t know what to say.

“You feel it, too?”

The insecure girl in me wants to ask what he means, but the woman in me knows. Of course I feel it, and I have no idea how to answer him. I decide to go with the truth.

“I do.”

My Review

Whew, where to begin? I just loved this. Well, when do I not love one of Sydney Logan’s books? I’m a fan. She gives me all the feels.

These characters and situations present so much nuance. Sky and Caleb—above all else—are affectionate, kind and responsible people. Their inner code places their morals above all else. Old-fashioned values are challenged by a modern world, which is one of my favourite inner conflicts. Both characters must learn that they can bend a little without forsaking their self-respect.

Reviewers have been comparing this book to The Wedding Planner. Those who love that movie will discover that Caleb is far a more likeable man, because he’s not sticking to his engagement out of duty, rather, out of genuine affection.

Speaking of movies, this would make a great one. Five stars.

Author Bio
Sydney Logan writes heartfelt romances that feature strong heroines and the heroes who love them. In addition to her novels, she has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. Sydney holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and spends her days surrounded by kids and books. A native of East Tennessee, she enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.
Author Links

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Chapter Reveal: Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell

 

 
Coming November 28th
Exclusive iBooks pre order:
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At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.

***

To the reader: Contents includes love, sweetness, naughtiness, honey, champagne, and an HEA. Safe.


Chapter 1
Jimmy


She’s got a hell of a left hook, and her jab is no joke either. It’s hard to tell what she really looks like, with the big blue rubber mouth guard between her teeth and the black padded headgear covering her jaw and cheeks. But I know this: I want to get my hands on that body. Her tight pink tee is low cut and skin tight, and across her breasts are the words: “NOBODY’S PUSSYCAT.”
A cold draft blows in from the window, making goosebumps ripple up her arms. A thin stream of sweat runs down into her cleavage, and then I watch her nipples tighten. Christ. With little bounces, she heads back to her corner and bends over for her water bottle. Stretchy black leggings and no panty line.
Fuuuuuck.
The buzzer dings and we square up. She holds her gloves up to her face, ready to go. They’re bubblegum pink with white cuffs; the girliest weapons I’ve ever seen.
But never mind the gloves. It’s those eyes that have me. Shit, those eyes. This crazy deep green. Packers’ green. Jets’ green. Green like cash. Green that could make a guy go right out of his mind.
Pow goes a jab into my stomach and I double over, tasting my Gatorade from an hour ago. Before I can breathe, before I can even get up my gloves to slow her down, she pelts me hard with a cross to my sternum that knocks the wind straight out of me. I gasp for air and stagger back into the ropes.
“Jesus Christ,” I moan. “Who are you?”
Her eyes light up in this smile. This beautiful fucking smile that I feel way down inside. Then she bounces on her toes and smacks her gloves together out in front of her. Whap, whap. “I’m Mary!” she says around her mouth guard. “And you’re slow!”
Cute. But, yeah…no. Nobody talks to me like that. Nobody. I hurl myself off the ropes, colliding with her in the center of the ring, skin against skin now. I press into her sexy shoulder with my bicep, feeling the sweat between us. She nails me in the gut again; a solid, low-slung straight, and I think, I can’ t hit a girl, can I?
No. Fuck, no.
So I stretch my arm between us, the padding of my glove holding her steady right below her collarbone. She swings for me but I’m a foot taller and she doesn’t stand a chance. “Jerk!”
Obviously.
But on the upside, now I can really get a good look at her the way I want to; close up, but not so close that she’s pummeling me. Her legs are solid and I can even see that little curve of her hipbones barely showing through her leggings. I let my eyes follow the line of sweat to her inner thighs, to that wet, hot place where everything comes together. Fuck. I want my hands on that place. I want to feel the softness and the strength. I want to know the taste of that sweat. The way that softness gives under my tongue.
Ding goes the buzzer. I push her away, padded knuckles to her shoulder. She spins and gets into her corner, so I do the same.
I grab my water bottle and squirt it into my mouth, watching her all the time. She’s fucking beautiful, this one. Fucking gorgeous. The woman of dreams. Of fantasies.
From a pink Nalgene, she takes one big gulp, two, and a little water dribbles down her lips, rolling in drops down her throat. Her eyes stay right on mine. Her chest heaves. Her eyes flash. Her lips tighten. And that’s when it happens. She peels off her T-shirt and tosses it to the floor so that the only word showing is PUSSY.
Ding.
Her body is fucking perfect. I mean perfect. I moan into my mouth guard and I look her up and down. Lean but not thin. Sexy and strong. A fighter’s body. A woman’s body. A body strong enough to take everything I want to give it. And then some.
She turns to set down her water bottle, bending at the waist. And that’s when I see it. The tattoo. It’s a ribbon of black lace that runs in a beautiful, feminine line down her back from right shoulder to left hip, curving down into her pants. Tough as hell, pretty as can be. And with the sexiest tattoo I’ve ever seen in my life.
Stick a motherfucking fork in me. I’m done.
“Nice ink,” I tell her as we square up again.
“Thanks,” she says, leaning in to my shoulder.
“I’ve never seen one like it.” I hook my arm around her again and pull her in. I smell something familiar. I can’t place it. She slips free and moves behind me. For one second, all I can hear is her shoes on the mats.
“I rebelled when I turned 30. It was either this or a tramp stamp.”
“Of what?” I pivot so my face is close against hers.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” She smiles tight around the mouth guard. Her glove comes through the air, cutting through the noise of the gym. Whooosh.
I get my right hand up just in time to block her with my glove. The impact rolls down my forearm like I’m nothing but Jell-O.
She lets another jab fly but misses me—barely—and I slip around behind her. The hair at the nape of her neck is curly and wet, and a long dark braid runs down her back. That strip of wet fabric at the top of her pants, dark with sweat. “Why are we fighting?” I growl as I get closer. “Why aren’t we out drinking? Making trouble? Fucking around? Let me take you out.”
She spins to face me, her eyes wide open, surprised. “You wanna drink with me?”
“Hell yes, I do. And a lot of other things.”
“You want me? Fight me.” She fires her bubblegum pink cannons at my stomach with a one-two combination that makes me feel like I’m nothing but a 283-pound heavy bag.
I try to get in a left cross, but she’s way faster than I am and comes up from under with a hook straight out of Manila.
That one got me in my brainpan, in my marrow. “Fuck that,” I snarl.
“Atta boy!”
No way. Nobody atta boys me. I’m Jimmy Goddamned Falconi. I’m nobody’s boy. Never.
“Atta girl.” I nudge her in the shoulder with my chest.
Around her guard, she says, “You fight like you’re in molasses. But you’re strong. You some kind of athlete?”
At first, I’m about to laugh. For about one second, I think I might be on Candid Camera or something. I mean, I can’t walk to the bathroom on an airplane without someone asking me to sign a cocktail napkin. I can’t get through Costco without someone asking me to sign their shopping list. Some kind of athlete?
I’m Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi. Quarterback for the Chicago Goddamned Bears. I’m somebody.
But there’s zero recognition in her eyes. No flicker of the fangirl. No sign she’s playing it cool either. To her, I’m just a guy getting his ass kicked by a girl in pink gloves.
“Hello?” She presses into my chin with a slow uppercut from the right.
I snap out of it. I don’t even know how to answer her. I play quarterback for the Bears. Ever heard of them? Or maybe, Ever heard of football? America’s Game? Fuck. I wouldn’t even know how to start. I’ve never had to explain it. People just know. “Yeah, I like to work out.”
“Then act like it,” she says, all piss and vinegar, and puts her guard back in her mouth. Wham comes that jab into my gut. Pow goes the straight to my pecs. I loop one arm around her and pull her body in close, hooking the back of her neck with the crook of my elbow. I pull her closer, tighter, both arms around her, to get a feel for her…but also to give myself a goddamned break.
She struggles a little, trying to squirm free, but I see the smile on her face, the crinkle of the skin at her eyes.
I pull her head closer to mine. I must be twice her weight; no way is she going to get free now. We are the welterweight and the super heavyweight. Wrong class totally. But then she wedges her forehead in against my chest. I watch her wind up, her biceps flexing, and, boom-boom-boom.
Every time she connects, I lose a little more air and groan, “Fuck-fuck-fuck!”
“Atta boy!”
Fuck. That.
So I keep her pinned and she starts fighting harder, which makes me want to hang on to her more. I press my nose against her head. In her thick brown hair, I can smell her shampoo, her conditioner. Coconut.
While I’m distracted by that smell, thinking of sunscreen and ukulele music and drinks with umbrellas and her on a beach, she slips out from under my arms and pops up in my face.
Well, shit.
“What, you chicken? Gonna hit me back? Or do you want to dance around for an hour or two? Because I can totally do that. I just have to go home to feed the dog.” Whap-whap go her padded fists.
Oh no, no way. No way am I going to let a pretty little thing talk to me like that. I sniff hard and man up.
I give her a jab. A hook. A cross.
And she blocks me every damned time. Blocks me like she’s fought me before, or like she’s known all along what I’ll do when it comes down to it.
Fucking wax-on-wax off, one-two-three.
Pow-pow go her gloves into my side, and fuck. I think I feel those it in my spleen. Enough. Enough. Anger boils up through me like cheap vodka after a long night.
I’m Jimmy Falconi. And I’m gonna make this girl know my name.
I crack my neck side to side and get serious. I suck air through the holes in my mouth guard and get my fists up. I edge her into the corner and those eyes flash at me. She’s sweating hard and her mascara is smudged. Her hair is mussed and her skin is slick. It makes her look dangerous. Angry. I’d like to smudge that mascara a little more. In bed. Immediately.
But first, I’m going to show her who’s boss.
The more she works herself up, the hotter she gets. That’s when something catches my eye. There’s something written on the white cuffs of her gloves. All fuzzy, written in black marker:
On the right glove: HERE COMES…
On the left:…TROUBLE!
Whomp.
She nails me in the jaw with a haymaker, and my molars shake. “Come the fuck on,” I growl back at her, with my glove pressed to the side of my face.
She smacks her gloves together, and lowers her chin. “Are we sparring or chatting? Hit me!” Bounce, bounce, bounce. Butterfly, bee. Whap, whap, whap. “I’m not going to break!”
I work my jaw open and closed a few times thinking, Okay. Fine. Fine. I didn’t think it was going to go like this, but I can roll with a hostile defense, sure. Wouldn’t be the first time. I give her the old elevator stare—up, down, up again—and get stuck on her belly button for a little too long. But then I get a game plan together. I figure I can hit her in the stomach. Not too hard, not hard enough to hurt her, but hard enough to let her know who’s in charge here.
Which would be me. Me, pussycat. Me.
Nudging the edge of her shoulder with my glove, I drive her backwards. Our eyes lock and I get this…this…prickle all through me.
This woman.
This one. Right here.
I want her. So fucking bad.
The fucking gym with its ten phones playing mariachi goes silent. The guys by the cooler egging her on go silent. It’s just her and me and the sweat dripping between us. Soft skin, sparkling eyes. She smells like a summer day and she’s looking at me in a way that no woman has ever looked at me. Ever.
Like she’s gonna own me and she knows it.
Which is bullshit.
She gives me a little lift of her chin and tightens her lips around the guard. She wipes her nose with her glove and then lowers her head. “Come on! You going to fight or are you just going to screw around?”
With my left hand, I jab her softly in the stomach. With the right, a play-hook to the jaw. I raise her chin on my glove so her eyes come up to mine. Then I pull her close, my arm around the back of her neck again. “You wanna screw around?” I say into her ear.
Bam, another hit to the stomach. “I haven’t even gotten started,” she answers.
Fuck it.
She wants to play? Fucking fine. I’ll play. I’ll play hard. I square up. But she gives me this eye. This champion eye. A winner’s eye. Cocky like no eyes I’ve ever seen before. Tom Brady doesn’t have anything on this kind of cocky right here. My luck, this girl’s some UFC champion. Christ.
But I can take her. Yeah, I sure fucking can.
Probably.
I decide on a straight jab; a no-fail straight jab that I plan just hard enough to send her reeling but not hurt her, not actually injure her. I know the punch. It works in bar fights and brawls on the field. An all-American move. As I wind up, everything slows down. I’m 6’6”, 283 pounds, and I throw a football for a living. When I wind up, I wind up. As I do, she ducks, fast as fucking lightning. Greased. Elegant. Lethal. So as my arm is powering through the air, as my momentum gets caught behind 12-ounce training gloves, she pops back up like a goddamned whack-a-mole.
Those eyes flash again and she smiles so hard I can see her dimples.
Dimples. Oh, fuck.
I watch her shoulder tighten, her tricep pucker, and that’s when she lets me have it for real.
The punch comes from left to right, blocking out my view of everything. I don’t see the Mexican flag on the wall. I don’t see the graffiti mural over the windows. Nope. The universe turns bubblegum pink.
It doesn’t hurt, not at first, and as I’m flying backwards, airborne, I have just enough time to think to myself, I wonder if this is what a knockout punch feels like…
Before everything flickers to black.
AP new -about the author.jpg
Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.
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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: To Die For by Jess Molly Brown

Surprise! I’m releasing a short story without too much fanfare. I’d have liked to give you another novel this year but life’s been kinda nuts. My published friends have always said they don’t have time to write. It’s true. No, it doesn’t make sense until you’ve been there.

Anyhoo, this is a little story I wrote in 2014 after my son had open heart surgery. The plot has nothing to do with that, but maybe it explains why I wrote a tearjerker. Yeah, had to get out the angst, eh? And I was tired of hospitals for my kid’s sake. That’s the genesis of this story.

The chief reason I love being an Indie is that I don’t like to stick to one genre. This one’s different, even for me. Yes, it’s a sad story. But it’s only the prelude to the bigger work, which is a triumphant tale. I don’t even know how long the story will be yet, because Harlan hasn’t told me. He’s the protagonist of The Unblemished, and he’s most definitely going to save the world. I think he and his allies are going to take three books to do that. It may be two, it may be four. I don’t know yet. But it’s going to be a shocking ride. Many of you know I tend to write sagas. I do hope you’ll come along on this journey with me!

I’d like to thank T.M. Franklin for my cover. She sent me four sample covers, just so you know. I hope to end up needing all of them. But this cover is perfection. My friend T.M. does gorgeous work. You can see more of it here.

Without further ado, let me present To Die For: a Prequel to The Unblemished.

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GENRE: Post-Apocalyptic Romance

RELEASE DATE: Saturday, November 12th, 2016

SUMMARY:

No one knows how the plague began. Now, touching is forbidden. Every person is a carrier. One accidental caress brings death.

But love transcends every ill, doesn’t it?

Once, there was a pair of beautiful souls. Elle and Robbie couldn’t obey the rules. They were the last, and the first, and the means to a cure. This is their story. It is no less vital for its brevity, for love is unending.

Someday, those who are Unblemished will form a new history thanks to Robbie and Elle.

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EXCERPT:

It all began with craving a lithe finger to trace her lips. Like magnets, Elle and Robbie were attracted inexorably. Seated at their mahogany work stations, separated by an expanse of desktop, she’d watched him remove his glove to scratch his forehead. Robbie’s neat, rounded nails and elegant fingertips had never sported calluses, or a paper cut, or dirt. She coveted them. Madness. Across the desk, he recognized her absorption, flexed his hand and clenched it shut.

“I can’t do this anymore, Robbie.”

“I know.” A voice as old as the world. Blue eyes: pristine twin pools to drown in. “What are we going to do?”

Muscles, ligament, bone: how she longed to explore his warm hand. “Better . . .”

He waited.

“Better to have loved and lost . . .”

She traced her soft lips and smiled, warm to the marrow of her bones.

 

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Review + Giveaway: Black + White Flowers by Rachel Robinson

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Meet Smith and Carina in Black & White Flowers,

the first standalone in The Real Seal Series

by Rachel Robinson.

“Nothing is fair in love and war.”

NOW AVAILABLE!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2e58OzS

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2eMmjbp

iBooks: http://apple.co/2cJ6DnW

Nook: http://bit.ly/2f0E1J0

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2dV6eku

 

Synopsis:

Carina Painter lives a life she created in between the pages of her bestselling novel. At least, that’s what she outwardly portrays. A heart-rending childhood followed by an abusive engagement leaves her broken in all ways possible. A chance encounter provides the fork in the road she so desperately desires.

Navy SEAL Smith Eppington is fighting the war of his lifetime. One that isn’t fought with weapons and highly sought intelligence. It’s a battle to remember his past. The accident that scarred seventy five percent of his body, and stole the life of his best friend also seized parts and pieces of his memory. When an author asks to interview him for a fiction novel, he’s ready to pour his heart out no matter the cost.

The friendship that blossoms between Smith and Carina is something extraordinary. It’s a living, breathing love story about finding yourself, change that is out of your control, grasping what you can, and letting go of everything else.

In a twist of kismet, remembering could destroy everything, but fiction may be what saves the day. A friendship built on new truths and a relationship torn apart by old lies collide in a poignant novel by International Bestselling Author, Rachel Robinson.

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Excerpt:

Shrugging, he pulls me into his warm, shirtless body and yanks the quilt back up to our necks, his hands now wandering over my body. “Sleep is the very last thing on my mind right now.” His gaze burns into mine and his hands find the hem of my nightshirt. His lips twitch. “You wear so little to bed. I can’t help myself,” he says. With a featherlight touch his fingertips stroke the side of my thigh up to the string of my panties. He hooks a finger in and drags his finger underneath it, teasing himself. Teasing me, too. “It took all of my self-control to go to sleep with this much of your bare skin in touching proximity.”

I blush. Big time. Everything below my waist cries out for attention in one wild rush of excitement. It’s been too long. But it’s more than that now because everything before this has been lukewarm. “What did you do at work last night?” I ask before all important thoughts flee my mind in favor of his touch—something that scrambles my brain cells. “Why did it take so long?”

His face changes. His hand stops on my hipbone and he grabs it, his fingers encompassing the whole side of my body. Breathing in and out makes his hand move with me. It’s warm. It’s demanding. “It’s nothing for you to worry about,” Smith replies.

I shake my head. “When people say stuff like that typically there is almost always something to worry about, but you don’t want to worry the person. Do you see how counterintuitive that is? Now I’m worried because you told me not to worry.”

He sighs and then pulls the covers over his head and disappears under the blankets. In a fast maneuver that tickles and makes me pull away in mock protest, he makes his way between my legs. With the edge of the quilt in my hand I lift it to see his smiling face between my knees. “You’re trying to distract me,” I say. Pressing my lips into a firm line, I try to hold a serious face. “Smith Eppington. You better tell me what I want to know.”

Smith takes the sides of my panties and pulls them down and off my body with one fierce tug. It’s playful, but so damn hot at the same. Some noise exits my mouth and it makes him smile, his good side wider than his bad. I shake my head. “Is it working?” he asks, then kisses the inside of my right thigh. “Are you distracted?” His warm breath on my skin clenches my core. He drags his lips up and down, inching his way higher.

I adjust my legs and try to calm my breaths. “I don’t see how I can’t be distracted with my underwear on the floor and your head between my legs. I don’t forget,” I say. Tapping the side of my head, I finish, “I’m like an elephant.”

He licks the inside of my left thigh and runs his hands under my nightshirt up and down the sides of my rib cage. I shiver. Tipping my head back, I close my eyes.

“An elephant isn’t what I want to think about right now,” Smith growls. “I’d ask you how you like this, but I honestly don’t care. I’m starving for you. You’re wet. I smell you.” With his lips pressing against my skin, and the disappearance of my panties, he’s turned into a lust crazed man. A man I’ve wanted to meet since I first laid eyes on him.

 

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My Review:

There are some things about this story that I adore. Carina may be abused but she refuses to be cowed. I really liked that Smith still bears the consequences of his wartime injury, yet remains employed and isn’t discarded. I like the themes of loyalty and honour. I like the long term girlfriend from whom he grows distant. And I really enjoyed Moose and the other Seals.

I love the name Eppington, but found myself a tad confused for a bit as to whether Smith or Eppie was the given name. Once in a while the dialogue was a bit distracting. Not enough to spoil the story–which is a wild ride. There’s quite a bit of domestic violence which may trigger some readers. Last, it was a long time before the meaning of the title was revealed.

A time or two, I wanted to give Eppie a smack upside the head. He’s such a lovely guy but once fixed on his duty, he doesn’t deviate. That might have had quite the impact on those he loves.

Still, a fascinating story with an unusual pair of leads. Four stars.

 

rachel-robinson
Rachel grew up in a small, quiet town full of loud talkers. Her words were always only loud on paper. She has been writing stories and creating characters for as long as she can remember. After living on the west coast for many years she recently moved to Virginia Beach, VA.

Stalk Rachel here:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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