Cover Reveal: Cats & Dogs Part 1 by Jess Molly Brown

 
   Title: Cats & Dogs – Part 1
By: Jess Molly Brown
Publication Date: October 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
#cats&dogsrelease

Young veterinarian Nathan Brooks spent every childhood summer with his neighbor’s granddaughter Julia Hart. As a small boy, he’d been impressed by her attack on him with a plastic bat after his border collie attempted to eat her kitten. He knew he’d marry her someday. Childish spats evolved into something sweeter until suddenly, cats and dogs didn’t seem so incompatible.

But Nathan’s mother succumbed to cancer and his father and brother took solace in addiction. For Nathan, golden days grew few, and far between. Cast out of his home, Nathan had to make his own way in the world. For the first year, he managed to keep everything together. The year after that, his life fell apart and he left behind the only girl who ever mattered.

Three years after Nathan left her, Julia Hart is living in her grandmother’s house next door. Nathan has returned home to open his own practice.

They have a lot of unfinished business.

Evidently, neither has been able to move on. But what can he offer her? They haven’t spoken since the day he walked out with no explanation, and Julia’s not about to let bygones be bygones. Not after she’s spent three years shoring up the walls around her broken heart. Besides, he’s not exactly convinced he’s the best bet.

But fate has a way of knocking down walls when it gets good and ready. Even if Julia and Nathan are not.

This is the first of two novellas containing animal antics and a second chance romance. Partial proceeds will be donated by the author to children’s cancer charities.

Don’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.

A best-selling author, she edits for professional authors and is always tutoring somebody. She got her start ten years ago, in Twilight 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 https://www.jessmollybrownauthor.com

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Review + Giveaway: My Image of You by Melanie Moreland

 
  Title: My Image of You
By: Melanie Moreland
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Random House LLC/Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
#myimageofyourelease

A globe-trotting bad boy chases the one that got away in this addictive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Contract.

My name is Adam Kincaid, and I’m the best at what I do. After losing my parents, I decided to follow in their footsteps, and now I’m the most daring freelance photographer in the world.

Maybe some think I’m a loner, but I don’t care. All that matters is the shot: braving danger and devastation in search of a single image with the power to tell someone’s story. But as good as I am, accidents happen—and thank god for that, because it’s what leads me to her. . .

Alexandra Robbins. My nurse. My savior.

With her fiery red hair and crystal-clear blue eyes, the camera loves her . . . and I have to have her. We soon find that we’re perfect together. We just fit, physically and emotionally. And yet something isn’t right. Something from her past is haunting her, and no matter what I do to help her break free, I lose her.

Today is the day I try to win her back. Not only do I need an explanation, I need her in my bed once again. I don’t just want a damn picture—I want her. Because what we have is a love that never fades away. . .

MY REVIEW:

This is an exciting adventure and I loved it. Adam has a naughty sense of humour and a reckless streak. Alexandra is quiet with a kind heart. He and Alexandra aren’t much alike; opposites attract. But she brings out all his best qualities.

An event from Alexandra’s past is haunting her, thanks to certain people who won’t let it go. It wakes up Adam’s protective streak, which is swoon-worthy.

There are tons of sub-currents running through this novel. I think it’s my favourite Melanie Moreland novel to date. Five stars.

“There are so many things I want to do with you,” I assured her, and licked my lips as I stared at her, my voice husky. “To you.”

“Tell me,” she insisted, her fingers curled into fists at her sides.

I stepped behind her, wrapping my arm around her waist and pulling her to my chest. I smoothed my fingers up her arm, trailing them along her skin. Small goose bumps broke out, pebbling the surface as I dropped my head down into her neck, kissing and swirling my tongue. “I’m going to explore you—everywhere. I’ll touch and discover every part of you. I want to know what makes you gasp, what drives you to distraction. I’ll find out what I can do to make you groan and beg me to take you. I’ll know your body better than you do.” I drew her skin between my teeth, biting and sucking. “I want to kiss you . . . taste you everywhere.” I slipped my hands under her shirt, teasing the softness of her stomach and side, stroking upward until my hand cupped her breast lightly. “I bet you taste different all over. Sweet some places”—I dropped my hand down, running it along the edge of her waistband—“musky and tangy others.”

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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Coming Soon: Eye Candy Halloween Anthology

 

A frightfully good time! Dive into these Halloween novellas from bestselling authors Tijan, J. Daniels, Helena Hunting, Bella Jewel and Tara Sivec. Featuring stories set in the worlds of their popular series.

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Eye Candy by Tijan, J. Daniels, Helena Hunting, Bella Jewel and Tara Sivec

Publishing Date: September 5th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tijan’s Fallen Crest crew are back for a weekend of mischief that takes a sinister turn; all four couples from J. Daniels’ Alabama Summer series gear up for Halloween in their own sexy ways, with a special surprise at the end; Helena Hunting’s characters from Shacking Up plan a Halloween gala that features a few ghouls and witches; Bella Jewel brings the chills and thrills in her suspenseful take on Halloween night; and Tara Sivec gathers the Holiday family together one last time as they try to make this ghostly holiday one to remember—or one they’d rather forget…

Cozy up with a mug of hot cider on a dark night and fall under the spell of this Halloween anthology!

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Read Today!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2vBbPp8

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

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

Nook: http://bit.ly/2wvgOV4

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2sicBW0

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2wxfl14

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2vB9dHW

About the Authors:

Bella Jewel is a USA Today bestselling author of over 18 e-books, including the popular Alphas Heart eOriginal series with St. Martin’s Press. She lives in North Queensland where she’s working on her next novel.

Tijan is a New York Times Bestselling author of the Carter Reed Series, the Fallen Crest Series, and the Broken and Screwed Series among others. She lives in north Minnesota.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author and the Best Indie Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards in 2014. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.

J.Daniels is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Sweet Addiction series, the Alabama Summer series, and the Dirty Deeds series. J grew up in Baltimore and resides in Maryland with her family.

Connect with the authors:

Bella Jewel: http://bellajewelbooks.com

Tijan: http://www.tijansbooks.com

Tara Sivec: http://tarasivec.com

J. Daniels: http://authorjdaniels.com

Review: Mercy by Debra Anastasia

 

 

 

Title: Mercy
Author: Debra Anastasia
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 21, 2017
Blurb
He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn’t keep him from coming out.
My street name is Mercy, but I never show any. Except for her. I watch Becca, though she doesn’t know. She saved me a long time ago; the day my father killed my mother. Her bravery turned her into a target.
My father holds a grudge and knife with the same proficiency, and Becca is the focus of his hatred. And I’m the only monster who can save her.
Purchase Links
$2.99 for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Trailer
My Review

Every time I read one of Debra’s books and think it’s the one I love best, she produces something new I love even more.

A young man called Mercy inhabits the shadows. He’s separated himself from humanity and never lets anyone in. There’s just one problem: he’s in love with a girl who doesn’t even know he exists.

Anyone who loves Beckett from Poughkeepsie is going to love Mercy. I think I love him more than Beckett. I think I love him more than the Phantom of the Opera. Mercy works against the bad guys. He deserves the best and has little chance of getting it, but there’s this aura of hope around him that just won’t quit. Perhaps it’s a very light dose of the hopeful romantic. Whatever it is, I want more of it. Five stars.

 

Author Bio
Debra Anastasia likes to write from her heart, her soul or her butt. The genres she dabbles in are examples of that. There are two paranormal romances in the Seraphim Series and now four contemporary romances
in the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series and a stand alone in the same genre, Mercy. Fire Down Below and Fire in the Hole, Booty Camp Dating Service and Beast complete her comedy repertoire. The Revenger, a dark paranormal romance, is finally in the light, and the last, a novella called Late Night with Andres, is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. 
Debra lives in Maryland with her two kids, husband of twenty years and two dogs. The king of the house is clearly the tuxedo cat that is the size of a small donkey. Find about her latest adventures on DebraAnastasia.com
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Review: Sperm Donor Wanted by S L Romines

 

This story is intended for mature audiences due to HEAVY PROFANITY and ADULT SEXUAL CONTENT.

Check out this hilarious new release from romcom writer Author S L Romines. If you enjoy naughty comedy and have the sense of humour of a 14-year-old boy, you don’t want to miss this story.

Sperm Donor Wanted is the ridiculous new romantic comedy by Author S L Romines and it’s now live! So, come on over to the goofy side and get your hillbilly on while you cackle like a wild hyena as you get lost in the story of Gia and Roman and the crazy band of idiots they call friends.

My Review:

It’s always wonderful to see a fanfic author make a big splash in the world of published books, and this book has done very well today, hitting Amazon’s top five in its genres. My congratulations to Ms. Romines.

This story totally delivers on its promise. It is goofy, crude and lewd and absolutely hilarious. I laughed aloud several times and could not tell my children what tickled me. Really, this is much more of a comedy romance than it is an erotica but it definitely qualifies as both.

You will love Gia and Roman. Gia is a woman who knows what she wants: a baby of her own. The first male that pops into her head as a suitable candidate to contribute to this project is her high school crush, Roman. She doesn’t stop to consider why he’s at the top of her list.

Roman has a bad rep with his family. They think he’s some sort of ne’er do well. But he proves to be something entirely different. I won’t say more than that, or it will give away half the fun.

This is a zany read that will appeal to readers of Debra Anastasia, Helena Hunting and Katherine Stevens. Five stars.

 

Synopsis:

/noun/:

White ribbon-like goop that shoots from a dude’s bologna pony when he blows his load.

Also referred to as: super jizz, funky spunk, baby batter, splooge, baby gravy, jerk sauce, salty surprise, penis pudding, nut butter, pecker snot, red eye surprise, tittie dressing, etc…

Call it what you want. All I know is I need it. All of it. A fully loaded turkey baster or a bucket chock full, it doesn’t matter. I need the love liquid, and Roman Blake is just the dude for the job.

When I realized that the woman ditched in front of my house was in fact Gia Avery, it was literally a blast from the past kinda moment. But it was when I found out why she was here that made me nearly lose my shit.

This is the crazy, out-of-bounds, totally insane, whacked out to the core, piss your pants, make-your-mama-scream, funny as hell story about Gia and Roman and what it means to take sperm donation to a whole other level.

Author’s Disclaimer: This book is stupid. No, seriously. It’s stupid, and I think I may have even lost a few brain cells in the process of writing it. It’s downright moronic. You have to be a special kind of person to appreciate this level of dumb. This book is absolutely not intended for the uptight, unhappy, snooty, humor-lacking folks out there. If you do not have the sense of humor like a pack of teenage boys or if you’re missing your funny bone, you should seriously look elsewhere for a more intelligent kind of read because this hot mess is not for you. But if you’re anything like me and find shit funny just for the sake of finding shit funny then you are my spirit animal.

Read Over 1 Million Times Online Worldwide as Sperm Donor Wanted by OzellaMarie.

This story has been re-worked, scrubbed, polished and douched and has been turned into an original fiction for your reading enjoyment!

Happy Reading,

S.L. Romines aka OzellaMarie

This story is intended for mature audiences due to HEAVY PROFANITY and ADULT SEXUAL CONTENT.

Available on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2uIAS9q
CA: http://amzn.to/2uPstgh
AU: http://amzn.to/2vIwc0a
UK: http://amzn.to/2wfed3Y

Author Bio:

S.L. Romines is a Romantic Comedy author that lives in a small town in Central California, and if you blink you just might miss it. She resides on a ranch with her family which she lovingly refers to as the funny farm. Between getting dish pan hands, listening to three bickering teenagers, pretending that she’s a gourmet chef (her family would like to disagree), and trying to tune out the sound of twenty-seven deranged Guinea fowl, somehow she finds the time to write about crazy characters that even make her laugh till she cries.

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Review: So Good by Nicola Rendell

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.

 

Max

As I unlocked the door to my houseboat, I heard it. At first, it sounded like a duck paddling, but then I heard something else—a panting, or a gasping. For a second, it died down. It didn’t worry me, really, because the docks were full of weird noises, and boats were noisy as fuck. But I turned the deadbolt turned, the sound got louder and more frantic. Whatever it was, it didn’t sound good and it sure as hell didn’t sound like a duck. I let my work belt slide off my shoulder onto the deck, and looked down in the water, gripping the taffrail. There in the shadows, gasping, paddling, and panicking, I saw something small and wet and terrified.
​Holy fuck. It was a dog. A tiny, drowning dog.
​Fully clothed, boots on, I jumped into the water off the sternside. I plunged in deep, submerged in a world of shadowy barnacle-crusted dock pilings and chains holding anchors far below. Holding my breath and looking up toward the sunshine, through the bubbles that came down with me, I saw it. No bigger than a chicken, and kicking hard. I breaststroked toward the dog, aiming to come up right below it, but the salt water stung my eyes, and I closed them out of reflex. When I surfaced, it had gotten a few feet away. It was just a tiny thing, soaking wet, sucking in terrified breaths. It doggy-paddled in circles, slipping down into the water so that only its nose was above the surface. I did one strong breaststroke, but it was in full flight-or-fight mode, absolutely fucking petrified, and it paddled away from me, slipping out of my grasp. With one more big stroke, I had it, and I scooped it up into my arms to held her up out of the water, the way people do when the hold babies in the air. I saw it was a girl, her tummy soft and much less furry than the rest of her. Her big black eyes bugged out for an instant, and then…
She went limp in my hands. Lifeless, with her feet dangling down, her tongue hanging out. Her eyes were closed. On my palm, I couldn’t feel a heartbeat where I was sure there should have been one thrumming along.
​Fuck. Fuck.
​I gave her a shake, but she dangled like a rag doll.
I held her out of the water, keeping her in a tight bicep curl over my shoulder. Carefully, I maneuvered under the jetty that led to my boat. I got a toehold on the old dock ladder, rusty and unsteady. Using one hand to climb up, and using both boots like climbing picks, I emerged from my boat’s shadow and out into the sunshine of the dock. I laid her down on her back, supporting her lifeless body. With every passing millisecond, my heart fucking broke more and more. I could not let this happen. I could not let her die. I pulled myself up all the way and knelt beside her. She was flat on her back, with no signs of life at all. Her arms were limp at the wrists, and her paws dripped onto the dry wood beneath her. Still, her tongue hung out. Still, her eyes were shut. Still, she wasn’t breathing.
Somewhere, buried deep in my memory, I remembered learning the basics of canine CPR. I felt like maybe it was in my lifeguard class when I was in high school, but I didn’t fucking know and it didn’t fucking matter. All I knew was I had to do something, and fast. So I did. I wrapped my fingers around her tiny muzzle and brought my lips to her leathery nose. I blew gently, and as I did I felt her chest swell up. I held my own breath and prayed for anything, any sign of life, but there was nothing. Lightly, with the tips of my fingers, I did compressions on her soaking wet fur. One. Two. Three. And then I did another breath. One. Two. Three.
“Come on, little lady,” I whispered, and rolled her onto her side. I gave her a few pats, firm but not too hard. She was absolutely tiny—from scruff to tail, hardly bigger than the span of my hand. I rolled her over onto her back again and gave her one more breath, all the while going through the paces of what the fuck to do if this didn’t work. I had no goddamned idea whatsoever where the vet was. Did we even have a vet? Would she survive that long? What the fuck was I going to do?
But as I started the next set of compressions, she coughed. She actually coughed, like a tiny person, a gasping choking hack, accompanied by a few mouthfuls of water spilling out onto the wood planks.
Holy shit.
I froze with my hands just above her tiny body. Her strange, buggy eyes opened up and she started panting hard.
“Hey, hey!” I scooped her up in my arms, cradling her to my chest. I could tell by the way she was so limp against me that she was exhausted. Keeping her close to my body, to keep her warm and safe, I scratched the fur at the back of her neck, her tail started to wag. But she was also shivering hard, and I didn’t like that one bit.

 

 

 

MY REVIEW:

Oh, man. I am such a sucker for a hot guy with a little dog. And not only does he adopt that little dog, he’s saved it from drowning? Swoon.

Max is such a nice guy. He deserves the best in a woman. Who’d have thought that would be his best friend, Rosie?

Rosie, incidentally, has inherited an elderly cat from hell. I think half the fun in this story is the mayhem caused by Julia Caesar.

Rosie and Max are two down to earth people navigating some unusual waters. I really liked this couple. Five stars.

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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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Review: Cutlass by T.M. Franklin

 


 

 

CUTLASS by T.M. Franklin is NOW AVAILABLE!

Title: CUTLASS

Author: T.M. Franklin

Genre: Historical Adventure/Romance

Release Date: August 7, 2017

A quest for vengeance.
A high-stakes treasure hunt.
An attraction they both try to deny.

Convinced One-Eyed Jack Tremayne killed her father and stole his prized cutlass, Sarina Talbot sneaks aboard the pirate’s ship to exact her revenge. To her surprise, she’s met by a declaration of innocence and an offer of help. She doesn’t trust him, and he doesn’t trust anybody. But they need each other to catch the killer and beat their enemies to a hidden cache of Aztec gold.

They’re not the only treasure-seekers, however, and there’s a traitor in their midst.

Caught between Crown ships and enemy pirates, Sarina and Jack discover a prize greater than gold as their uneasy alliance leads them on the adventure of a lifetime.

 

Cutlass

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Google Play

To celebrate the release of CUTLASS, Enchanted Publications is hosting a MASSIVE Treasure Hunt! You could win eBooks, Gift Cards, and other amazing prizes.

The Grand Prize includes a Kindle FIRE, a signed copy of Cutlass, a Keep Calm and Say AAARRRRHH t-shirt, and some other fun swag – PLUS you could win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Join the fun all day August 7th at TinyURL.com/CUTLASSTreasureHunt!

MY REVIEW:

Have ye seen Jonathan Tremaine? I know he’s not with Davy Jones because that Franklin wench wrote a book about him. Ye bet I read it! I’m lookin’ for the scurvy dog. Bastard owes me coin. And he took my parrot, too.

Aye, I come from a long line o’ pirates. They sank ships off the English coast. Can’t help bein’ one meself.

One-eyed Jack? Ohh, ye’d best not be callin’ him that to his face.

Southern Carolinas, ye say? Aye, I’ll be lookin’ there.

Aye, the man owes me money and I’m wantin’ it. More’n that, I’m missin’ my Sweetpea.

Ach, no, ye bilge rat! That’s the parrot! Although Tremaine can swash me buckle anytime he wants.

Hey! I’m old, not dead!

Man shivers me timbers. No, not much chance o’ that happenin’ since that Smith wench came around him, though. What, Smith? Name’s Sarina. She’s got her iron round his ankle. Tough little birdie. I think she may just be able to tame him if anyone can. Mixed blessin’ for her, what with all the enemies he’s got.

What? Oh, aye he’s me enemy. If ye see him, tell him he owes me and I’ll have my due. And read that book about him. That Franklin wench has a way with words. I’d pay her five dubloons for it if I had it. But I don’t. Yet.

I’ll find ye, Jonathan Tremaine…

T.M. Franklin writes stories of adventure, romance, & a little magic. A former TV news producer, she decided making stuff up was more fun than reporting the facts. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards. She’s since written four additional novels and several best-selling short stories…and there’s always more on the way.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

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Chapter Reveal: So Good by Nicola Rendell

 

 

 

 

Coming August 7th

 

 

 

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AP new - synopsis.jpg

On the roof of a house outside Truelove, Maine, master carpenter Max Doyle looks down through a skylight and sees the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. She’s naked, she’s gorgeous, and everything about her is perfect, down to the ball-busting tattoo of a rose that wraps around her hip. But it isn’t just any woman making his knees buckle. It’s his best friend, Rosie Madden. And as he stands there, mesmerized and precariously close to toppling off the roof, he knows he’ll never, ever be able to look at her the same way again.

Rosie can’t help but notice that Max is suddenly acting very strange—lots of long stares, totally tongue-tied, and not at all like the slightly cocky hunk she’s proud to call her best friend. She can’t figure it out, until later that night when Max rescues her from the world’s worst date, challenges her to a game of pool, and shows her just exactly what she’s got him thinking about. Repeatedly.

But life is complicated. Rosie’s cat, Julia Caesar, wants to eat Max’s dog Cupcake for an afternoon snack. A dream job threatens to pull them apart. And another glance through the skylight changes everything, one more time. Yet try as they might, they can’t go back to being just friends, because falling in love with the one you’ve always adored?

It feels so good.

 


1
Max

I wasn’t planning to see her naked—I swear to God, I wasn’t. The day was a scorcher, one of those godforsaken New England summer days that makes a guy wonder how he ever said fuck you to winter. I stood on the roof her house, three stories above the Maine woods, with a far-off view of the ocean. It was pretty, yeah, like the kind of shit real estate companies put on complimentary calendars. But in that heat, it was like standing on top of a goddamned toaster, turned all the way to burnt. I could feel that shit in my socks, straight through my work boots. At my feet was a stack of shake shingles, old school, to replace the ones that were missing. Her house had a few slow leaks, and one over her bathroom that made the ceiling look like a huge Rorschach test. She said it definitely looked like a rose in bloom, I said it definitely looked like Batman. But I told her hidden meanings wouldn’t make shit for difference when the ceiling collapsed into the tub, so there I was. Fucking miserable work, but I was glad to do it. Glad to do anything for her—anything she needed at all.
In the forest on every side around the cottage, the cicadas screeched. It sounded like a needle squeaking off a record player. I knelt down by the stack of shingles, using my utility knife to score a line through one to fit a nearby gap. I snapped it with my hands and tossed the scrap end off the edge of the roof. A trickle of sweat ran down my forehead, and I wiped my face with my forearm. One droplet got away, sparkling in the sun. It caught my eye, and I watched it fall, as it landed on the skylight window with a splat.
​And that was when it happened. Boom.
​There she was, right under me. She couldn’t have been more than six feet away, but she felt even closer. I had a direct line of sight down into her gorgeous, soft cleavage, bright and pure in the sunshine. Maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the surprise of seeing her, but at first I didn’t really process that it was Rosie at all. My dude brain said, I want that woman.
​Then my regular brain said, Don’t be an asshole, man. It’s Rosie. Have some respect.
Respect I definitely had, but of course I’d thought about seeing her naked before. She was so fucking beautiful that any man would have thought about it. Sometimes, like right then looking down into her dress, I couldn’t fucking help it. Sometimes we’d be out doing something ordinary, like eating dinner, or I’d be changing her oil, or she’d be teaching me to do shit I should have learned at some point in the last 34 years, like iron a dress shirt without screwing up the collar, and I’d catch myself watching her cleavage rise and fall as she breathed, or thinking how nice her legs were, and I’d think, Holy hell.
Now she was directly underneath the skylight. The angle of the sun cast my shadow down the roofline, away from the skylight, so I didn’t give myself away. Like that, I watched her. I gave in to my dude brain and just took her in. Her light brown hair glinted, and a beam of light caught the curve of her shoulder.
That was when the goddamned striptease started, beginning with the left strap of her sundress.
Her movements were graceful, sexy, sassy—the sway of her hips, the shake of her shoulders. I realized I might be in real fucking trouble, because I loved that sexy sass. It wasn’t normal Rosie-cute. It was naughty, like nothing I’d ever seen her do before. I liked it so much, I couldn’t look away. She shimmied out of her sundress, and it fell to the floor in a pool at her feet. No big deal, I tried to tell myself. I’d seen her in her bikini a thousand times. This was no different from that.
Except it was, because then she reached around to undo her bra. Before I could tell myself Don’t look, dude. It’s Rosie, don’t look, it was too fucking late. The straps slid down off her shoulders, and for one perfect second got caught on her nipples, swinging in the air before falling to the floor.
Holy…
I pressed my clenched fist to my mouth and groaned into my hand. All my blood was leaving my head. The roofline was getting wobbly.
It wasn’t like I didn’t know her curves; we’d spent whole summers on the beach—I knew her shape and her softness, I knew her lines and her freckles. Every curve of Rosie Madden was sacred in my book. Fucking douchebags on the beach giving her eyes had to answer to me and my eyes, right behind her. She did that to me—I was one punch away from defending her honor, always. But this? This was different. Seeing your best friend in a bikini at a clam bake is one thing. Protecting your best friend from assholes with wandering eyes is part of the guy-girl best friend creed. But seeing your best friend, absolutely naked in her bedroom, without knowing she can see you? That was a different deal.
…Shit.
Part of me knew I should keep my eyes off of her. She thought she was in private, I had no business spying. Anyway, I didn’t want to be that guy. I hated that guy. But the other part of me, fuck. The other part of me was nothing but want.
Then she bent at the hips, and time slowed down, like some kind of stop-motion Jackie Chan kung fu sequence. All the cicadas went silent, at least in my head they did. The wind stopped blowing through the trees. It was just her, and her perfection, in the sunshine underneath me. I felt like I was on one of those glass-bottomed boats, looking at a world I never knew existed.
She tossed her bra aside, and it landed on her neatly made bed. She shimmied out of her panties, shaking her ass as she did. I growled into my fist, and that’s when I went down into a crouch.
Because as she shimmied I saw it in a V above her ass. My kryptonite. A skimpy thong.
All these years, all these decades, I’d had her pegged for cute cotton panties—pastel polka dots, thin stripes, shit that was sweet and sensible. But I was so fucking wrong. Black. Strappy. Tiny. Not sensible at all. Now it was in a rolled-up ball at her ankles. Using her toes, she plucked her panties from the floor, and caught them on one finger.
Fucking A.
She was completely naked, not a thread on her. Every thought I’d ever had got sucked out of my brain, like dishwater down the sink drain. What was left was only one true thing, and it wasn’t about her ass, or her skin, or her breasts. It was the one thing I think I’d always known but never let myself feel. Until that moment.
She is the most beautiful woman in the world.
Part of the reason I thought that was, yeah, obviously, she was fucking stunning, every inch of her straight out of a dream. Not just my dream, either. Guys would slow down on Main Street to give her the elevator stare, and I’d quietly crack my knuckles and give them don’t-you-fucking-dare stares. But the other part, the part that wasn’t in my gut but that was in my heart, was that I fucking adored her. Adored her so hard it hurt.
She crouched down to pick up her dress, lifting the delicate straps with her small, sweet fingers. She pivoted, so I had a view of her other side of her body for the first time. There it was.
The tattoo.
I groaned again. I wasn’t prepared for this shit; three stories up, that body was dangerous. It was a rose tattoo, snaking around her hip, on the milk-white skin that was always under her bikini bottoms. The part of her I’d never seen. It was serious ink, real art, not some namby-pamby temporary tattoo or some amateur shit she might’ve gotten in an hour at a tattoo parlor on a dare on a cruise to Puerto Rico. It was complicated, detailed, and artful. Multiple visits to some tattoo artist, touching that creamy skin—goddamn.
It took every fucking ounce of strength I had, but I did manage to look away. I felt as disoriented as if I’d been sucker punched. Not cotton—lace. Not cute—hot. Not my friend—my fucking fantasy.
She was so important to me, such an integral part of my world, that I’d never let myself think of her as more than what she was. She was like running water, or electricity, or the sunshine itself. She was one of those things that was perfect exactly as it was, and one of those things only an idiot would want to change. I never looked at her and thought, I wish I could have more of her than I do already. That would be like thinking, I wish I could turn that cold glass of water into a swimming pool. Or, I wish electricity came through the air. Fuck that noise. Perfect things are perfect things, and Rosie Madden was a perfect goddamned thing, from the tips of her toes to the freckles on her nose. And that rose, holy fuck, that rose.
I was strong, but not that strong, and I let my eyes move down again. She’d disappeared from view, mostly, except for the edge of her ass. I watched her rifle through her closet, and a few dresses fluttered onto her bed. On her bedside table, I caught a glimpse of the picture she always kept there, of the two of us together. The memories flew back at me like a runaway train. The first time I’d ever seen her was the day my parents and I moved to Truelove, at the start of middle school. The first time I ever saw her, she was volunteering at the community gardens. She had a smudge of dirt on her cheek, and I thought she’d looked super badass. I’d helped her dig up carrots and had been too fucking tongue-tied to say a goddamned word.
That’s how I felt, all over again times a thousand.
I’d never made a move. She’d cried on my shoulder through a line of guys who were never good enough for her. Jocks and pricks and a brief and seriously unfortunate stint with a guy who was a drummer for a reggae band who I hated so much it made me grind my teeth. But I never said shit about it. She was perfect even when she made mistakes. Tips of her toes. Freckles on her nose.
Never mind that rose. Like Banksy took on a temple.
One more time, I glanced down. Now she was sitting on her bed, and I saw that dark V shadow between her thighs. Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. I watched her put on a pair of red panties. Equally skimpy, equally not-sensible, equally ball-busting. They were only tragic because they hid the parts of her I’d never seen before.
Christ. All. Mighty.
As the world started to spin, I realized fixing the shingles could wait. I’d been working on old houses long enough to know that if you found yourself on a dangerously sloping roof and felt like you might be less than 100% on the ball, you needed to reconsider your game plan. I needed to get my shit together—that body had me totally fucking derailed. So I made my way down the roof, basically bouldering down backward. I focused on my grip, and my steps, like a climber coming down from Everest without enough oxygen. When I got to the gutter, I worked my way around the corner, standing on the eave, and hooked my leg over my ladder, making sure to put one foot after another and keep a tight grip on every rung.
When I stepped off the ladder, I grabbed a bottle of water that she’d left for me and filled up my palm and then splashed my face. My sweat stung my eyes through the droplets of water, and I rubbed away the tears. I heard the hinges on the screen door creak. “All done?” she asked.
I opened my eyes. They stung like hell, but I didn’t give a fuck. There she was, in a dress I’d seen before. Striped and sweet. But now I knew the secret. There were red panties under there. Red. Cherry red. My eyes fell on that part of her hip that I knew was inked.
“Max?”
I managed somehow to snap out of it. “Sorry. Getting there. Spotted something weird with the skylight.”
Rosie cocked her head. “Were you up there? Above my room?”
Awesome, dude. Smooth. “Just noticed it out of the corner of my eye.”
“I don’t like you being on the roof.” She pursed her lips. “Too steep. Promise you’ll get some ropes up there or something? Promise?” She reached out and put her hand to my arm, her fingers with their short pink nails pressing into my tanned skin. I had a quick but totally unavoidable image of her gripping my forearm in a very different situation. I want that. So fucking…
Oh, for fuck’s sake.
When I didn’t answer—I knew that if I opened my mouth the first words out would be You. Me. Right Now.—she looked up at the roof and squinted into the sun. She peered suspiciously up at me and shifted her nose, kind of like a bunny. Adorable. She wasn’t very tall, so whenever she looked at me she had to lift her chin, which used to be cute. But now looked…like everything I’d ever wanted. “Have you had too much sun?”
​I was vaguely aware that she’d said some words, but I wasn’t hearing them because I realized that I couldn’t see her bra straps, so that had to mean she was she was wearing a strapless…
Knock. That. Shit. Off. “I’m good.”
“Mmm.” She nodded and furrowed her delicate eyebrows, which had never looked so pretty as they did at that moment. I didn’t even know eyebrows could be pretty. They’re eyebrows, for fuck’s sake. But suddenly I felt like for the last ten years, I’d been looking at her through a standard definition television, with a shitty cable connection. Now someone had handed me an HDMI cable, and she was in 1080 dots per inch. Christ.
“Lemme make you a sandwich. You’re acting strange.”
Rather than answer her, I dumped the remaining half a bottle of water over my head, like Andre Agassi used to do between break points at the French Open.
“Ham? Or turkey? I’ve got both. Or chicken salad!” She clapped her hands together, compressing her cleavage. “Do you want a pickle?”
She means an actual pickle, you fuckwit. “Surprise me,” I told her, and dragged my eyes off the curve of her cleavage. I grabbed the bottom of my T-shirt and pressed it to my eyes. I had to get out of there. I needed a cold shower, or a call from my tax guy, or an unexpectedly urgent trip to the DMV—anything to stop myself seeing her stark naked every goddamned time I looked at her. Anything to get my mind off that ink.
As I wiped my face, she cleared her throat, and I dropped my shirt. “What?”
She pressed her lips together and rocked back on her sandals. “Nothing!”
I followed her eyes and glanced down at my fly, but the stallion was still in the barn. “Come on,” I said, finding myself smiling right along with her. “What are you looking at?”
“Just…” She swallowed hard. “Looking good there, champ.” She glanced at my stomach, where I’d shown her my bare abs. She made a fist and gave me a mock punch, soft and sweet. “That P90X is working great for you.”
Here we go again with the fitness videos. For everything else she was—beautiful, smart, funny—she was also a fucking ball-buster sometimes. She’d worked up this whole narrative that I spent my nights with Tony Horton on my houseboat, getting cut and doing reps while I drank protein shakes with a straw straight from the blender. It was her only explanation for why I didn’t have a girlfriend. P90X it had to be, she’d said. Or maybe, she’d whispered like a co-conspirator, “Jazzercise.” Now, though, I had a better idea than ever about why I was so picky: not a single woman held a candle to her. I’d been fucking blind to it, but now the mist had burned right off. “I’ve never even seen the opening sequence. Never have. Never will.”
“They’re streaming now!”
​“Christ.”
Rosie snorted and made a long wheeeeee. “Sure. Surrrrrrre,” she said, stifling her giggle. “One ham-and-turkey, coming right up.” She spun on her sandals and disappeared into the house. Hips swinging. Red panties invisible, but not to me.
Not anymore.

 

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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.
Author Links

 

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Review: Cookie Cutter by Jo Richardson

 
Title: Cookie Cutter
Author: Jo Richardson
Publication Date: July 20, 2017
Publisher: Enchanted Publications
#cookiecuttertour

Iris Alden & Carter Blackwood couldn’t be more different.

Recently divorced, newly-employed, cookie-baking, PTA super mom Iris likes her life neat & organized, while house-flipping Carter’s itchy feet means he never stays in the same place for very long.

When Carter purchases the home across from Iris to renovate it for a quick sell, he has no intention of putting down roots. He certainly doesn’t plan on getting involved with the local community, let alone the town committee mom.

But life doesn’t always coincide with what we think we want.

When an unexpected family crisis pulling Carter back to the city, & Iris’ ex-husband doing his best to sabotage anything resembling a new life for her & their teenaged daughter, Iris & Carter soon find, love isn’t always sweet.


AMAZON UK – https://goo.gl/xyqLPP
AMAZON CA – https://goo.gl/WKMouw

 

MY REVIEW:

I’ve read this before, so it’s awesome to have the opportunity to review it. I think I’ve read it four times now.

I relate to Iris far too easily. For one thing, I have a teenager who’s much like her daughter. We have, sadly, many of the same conflicts. Finally, I have a tribe. It may be an imaginary tribe, but I’m for sure part of Iris’s tribe.

Iris is a somewhat awkward, stubborn, determined, overworked, underpaid mom. Unlike me, she’s divorced. The ex is a douche. But someone more likeable is waiting in the wings.

Carter Blackwood shows up next door to flip a house. Most people find him amiable, but he seems to get under Iris’s skin. He enjoys getting on her nerves a bit too much for her liking. After all, why should she surrender to her attraction? He isn’t planning to be around very long.

The cast in this novel is highly entertaining, from the old girls who play poker, to Paul the neighbor. Lots of laughs to be found here, along with some very tender moments. This is a great summer read. Five stars.

A movie fanatic, a writer of stories, a lover of life.

I grew up in Maryland with four siblings, three parents and an endless number of cousins within the vicinity – but it was too cold up North for this thin blooded girl. Today, I live in Florida with my two girls and a husband who shares my same sense of humor and basic take on life as we know it.

Life is too short to put dreams on the back burner.

I write both contemporary and paranormal stories that include mystery, suspense, humor, action, romance, and anything else I can think up.

Author Links

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/JoRichardson
Website – http://www.jowrites.weebly.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jowritesfics
Twitter – @JoFictionFreak

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