Review + Excerpt: Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

 

Blurb:

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

Excerpt:

“I went out with her as a favor.”
She grimaces. “Wow, that’s some favor.”
“She’s not that bad.” I’m not sure why I’m defending Brittany, other than it seems to irritate Ruby.
“She called me a slut!”
“Well, you were kissing me, so . . .” I have to bite back the smile at her incredulity.
She points her spoon at me, her annoyance clear. “You kissed me.”
I shift an arm behind my head. “You didn’t put up much of a fight.”
Her mouth drops open and snaps shut just as quickly. It’s the same reaction I got out of her the other day when I brought the same thing up at the restaurant. Her eyes narrow into slits. I bet she’s a real firecracker when she’s angry. I sort of want to push her buttons just to see what happens when she goes off. I bet angry fucking with her would be incredible. I wonder if she’s a hair puller, or a biter, or a scratcher. Wow. That got dirty fast.
She narrows her eyes. “We are not talking about this.”
“About you kissing me back? I wasn’t going to bring it up, but now that we’re on the subject—”
“Consider it un-brought-up.” Her cheeks flush.
I can’t help myself. I keep pushing. “No way. You as much as admitted that you kissed me back, right there. You opened the door. I’m walking through it. Why would you kiss a complete stranger?”
“I said I wasn’t talking about this.” The pink in her cheeks rises to the tips of her ears.
This is way too much fun. She’s got one hell of an angry glare going on. “I’m leaving you in my house for more than a month, alone. I need to be certain you have sound judgment.”
“I’ll have you know my judgment is usually very sound. However, when an incredibly attractive man surprises me with his tongue in my mouth, the most logical response is to kiss back.”
“You think I’m incredibly attractive?”

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2i7RiBV
PRINT: http://amzn.to/2jt15zN
Nook: http://bit.ly/2j60eqA
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2j0Yug3
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ifH11F

My Review:

Oh, man. I’m a sucker for a man with pets and Bancroft loves his little critters. The fact that he’s an athlete makes it even better. Enter Ruby.

I really relate to Ruby. She does eccentric things like talk to photographs. I do that, too. And of course, she talks to the animals. Ruby and I can be besties. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that we’re so much alike.

Ruby and Bane have this flustered canary vs. cat-with-the-creamy-whiskers dynamic going on. It made me laugh out loud. Maybe Ruby is quirky, but she’s such an interesting character to stare at. On top of that, she’s really sweet. Five stars.

Author Bio:

Helena Hunting is the author of The USA Today and NYT bestselling PUCKED Series. She lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes everything from romantic sports comedy to new adult angst.

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Review: Turn the Page by Sydney Logan

 

Synopsis:

Sex. Drugs. Rock and roll.

Life in the fast lane is nothing new to Corbin James.

After completing his second stint in rehab, Corbin heads home to Riverview, determined to leave the music world behind and focus on his family, his songwriting, and his sobriety.

Crippled with debt but determined to make it on her own, Jolie Daniels pours her heart and soul into the town’s bookstore. When Corbin finds his debut album in Jolie’s discount bin, sparks fly between the pretty bookstore owner and the rock star musician.

Corbin knows he’s nowhere near good enough for a sweet girl like Jolie . . .

But he wants to be.

When a record label approaches Corbin with the chance to make a musical comeback, he doesn’t think twice before saying no. He’s ready to settle down, and he wants to do it with Jolie. However, when her beloved bookstore is threatened with foreclosure, Corbin finds himself signing a contract that will take him away from home and back on tour for three months.

Can Corbin resist the temptations of the tour? Or will the loneliness of the road resurrect all the demons he’s worked so hard to bury?

Buy on Amazon

My Review:

As usual, this Sydney Logan story delivers a satisfying, warm hug.

I like the characters. Jolie has lots of spunk and Corbin is steady, a bit insecure and hoping to be accepted back into the family fold. He works hard to manage his addiction. I never felt he was going to fall back into unhealthy habits. His dedication is too great.

As well, I enjoyed the settings. This small town seemed like a lovely place to make a home. Four stars.

Author Bio:

Sydney Logan writes heartfelt romances that feature strong women and the men who love them. In addition to her novels, she has penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul. She is a Netflix junkie, music lover, and a Vol for Life. Sydney and her husband make their home in beautiful East Tennessee.

To learn more about Sydney and her books, visit her online at www.sydneylogan.com.

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Cookie Cutter by Jo Richardson

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

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

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

Review + Giveaway: Survive by the Team by Cindy Skaggs

 
  Title: Survive By The Team
Series: Team Fear #3
By: Cindy Skaggs
Publication Date: June 23, 2017
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Mayhem Cover Creations
#survivebytheteamreveal

The wild ride continues in this highly addictive series.

Mandi Gault never met a man brave enough to openly date a mortician, so when a good-looking man with twelve-pack abs invites her to dinner, she’s not asking any questions. Too bad he’s trying to kill her.

Danny Gault died in a conspiracy threatening Team Fear–his defunct military team–so when Gault’s sister winds up in the hospital, former teammate Dean Stills is forced to leave the safety of the team’s compound. He recognizes her attacker as a member of a rogue military unit with orders to eliminate Team Fear. Now they’re on the run while they unravel why Team Echo wants her dead.

As the danger escalates, they share a wild night of down and dirty fun that would put a blush on a corpse, but Stills made it clear it was one and done. Now he must decide if he’s brave enough to forget about vengeance and live.

Military trained, medically enhanced, designed to kill. The surviving members of Team Fear are out of the military and in a world of secrets, lies, and cover-ups in this fast-paced romantic suspense series by Cindy Skaggs.

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!
AMAZON US – http://amzn.to/2sERcTL
AMAZON UK – https://goo.gl/BtfPk6
AMAZON CA – https://goo.gl/0opbbv

My Review:

Every Team Fear novel seems better than the last. I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite. Ms Skaggs’ own military background ensures a taste of authenticity.

The fact that our heroine is a mortician is just icing on the cake. Sure, she’s seen corpses before, but maybe not when they’re so fresh.

Stills doesn’t seem like this group’s likely candidate for romance, either. So when this pair falls together, it’s guaranteed to absorb your interest. Five stars.

Team Fear #1
AMAZON UK – https://goo.gl/wYPfqk
AMAZON CA – https://goo.gl/2q2elT
Team Fear #2
AMAZON UK – https://goo.gl/6QiAmv
AMAZON CA – https://goo.gl/QTu8Or
Her socks snagged on the raw floorboards as she followed. “Are you sure you don’t feel fear?”
“Absolutely.”
“Then why are you backing away from me?”
Hell if he knew. He’d been dying to touch her. Taste her. Dead center of the attic, he stopped and she walked straight into him. Her body was flush against his. Her curves turned his mind to mush. Doing the right thing no longer mattered.
He cupped her neck. So fragile.
He rubbed a knuckle along her jawline. So soft.
“This is a mistake,” he warned. The flutter of her pulse beat against his hands.
“If we’re going to make a mistake,” she said, lifting onto her tiptoes, “better make it a good one.”
“Hell yeah.” That was a philosophy he could get behind. It was too late to keep things platonic, but she needed to understand what she was getting into. Bracing a hand on either side of her face, he forced her to look at him. “I set the pace. I lead.”
She swallowed. “Is there any other way?”
“Not with me.”

Cindy Skaggs grew up on stories of mob bosses, horse thieves, cold-blooded killers, and the last honest man. Those mostly true stories gave her a lifelong love of storytelling and heroes. Her search for story took her around the world with the Air Force before returning to Colorado.

Now she’s turning her lifelong love of storytelling into a career she loves. She has an MA in Creative Writing, three jobs, two kids, and more pets than she can possibly handle. She also plays the flute, makes crazy-good sculptures out of tortilla dough, and can wrangle the neurotic dog without getting mauled. Find her as Cindy Skaggs, Writer on Facebook, @CLSkaggs on Twitter, or www.CSkaggs.com to sign up for her newsletter.

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Chapter Reveal: Country Nights by Winter Renshaw

 

 

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Sixty country days and sixty country nights—that’s all I wanted.

I needed to get away from the city, away from the hot mess that had become my life.

When I stumbled upon my childhood home on RentBnB.com, I took it as a sign, cleaned out my life savings, and hightailed it to the only place that ever meant something to me, a place I hadn’t seen since a lifetime ago.

Only when I arrived to the familiar South Dakotan farmhouse, I was met by a brooding, we-don’t-take-kindly-to-strangers cowboy by the name of River McCray, who insisted this was his house and most definitely not a rental property.

I’d been internet scammed.

And that cocky, smart-mouthed stranger had the nerve to make me a humiliating offer: I could stay in his house for the next two months rent-free, but I had to work for him.

He’d be my boss. And my roommate.

With no money and nowhere else to go, I agreed. But nothing could have prepared me for the tension, the attraction, and the bombshell revelation that changed … everything.
Coming June 27th


Leighton

“Babe, I’m not done yet.” My fingers press into the back of his arms as his naked body unsticks from mine. My lips, parted and breathless, wait for his to return, craving the heat of his tongue as I bask in the early Arizona sunrise peeking through our curtains.
Grant pushes himself away from me, rolling to the cold side of the bed. The contents of his climax spill from the unsatisfied ache between my thighs.
“Thought I told you.” He offers a two-second apologetic smile. “I’m meeting a client at eight. Have to go in early.”
I glance at the vintage alarm clock on his nightstand. There’s more than enough time.
“Five more minutes?” I roll to my side, my swollen lips curling into a slow grin as I trace my fingertips along the crumpled sheets between us. “Please? That’s all I need.”
He smirks, like he thinks I’m being cute, and then he walks around to my side of the bed. Bending to kiss my forehead, he drags his thumb along my lower lip and exhales through his nose.
“Here,” he says, reaching toward my bedside table. Pulling the top drawer open, he fishes through the contents before retrieving my purple vibrator, a relic from the early days of our relationship when I was still trying to be the girl I thought he wanted me to be. A plan that backfired and then some. “This ought to help.”
If there were more light in our bedroom this morning, he’d probably be able to see the color draining from my face.
“You don’t want it?” he asks, pausing for a beat before placing it on the bed to my left.
I can’t answer.
I’m speechless.
Ever since Grant finished law school at NYU and made partner at his uncle’s prestigious law firm in Scottsdale, he’s become self-involved, self-obsessed, and disgustingly self-centered. It’s all about him, all of the time.
I didn’t want to see it.
I didn’t want to believe it.
All this time, I made excuses for him, convincing myself it was a phase. Convincing myself one of these days I’ll get the old Grant back …
… the one with the charming smile who couldn’t keep his hands off me …
… the one I fell in love with fresh out of college …
…the one who was obsessed with me, seeing to it personally that my happiness was above all else …
… the one who almost made me forget about the ones before him and not think twice that there might ever be one after him …
Grant strides toward the en-suite bathroom, his tight ass flexing as he moves, and I listen as he flushes the toilet a moment later. The shower begins to spray. My eyes move to the vibrator. I refuse to touch it.
And besides, my mood has miraculously vanished.
Twisting the diamond engagement ring on my left finger, I run my fingertip along the sharp edges of the glimmering brilliant-cut stone.
It was supposed to symbolize his commitment to me. Hope for the future. Infinite love that never ends.
Peeling myself out of bed, I wrap the percale sheets around my body. Suddenly the idea of standing naked before him feels awkward and vulnerable in a way I’ve never felt around him before. As I make my way to the bathroom, I clear my throat and feel the creep of nervous heat as it blooms up my neck.
He turns to me, rinsing suds from his eyes as his fingertips massage his thick, sandy blond hair. “You want to get in?”
“I don’t want to be with you anymore.” I didn’t rehearse the line. I didn’t ponder the decision longer than the time it took me to walk from the bed to the en-suite. Sliding the diamond ring from my finger, I place it gently next to the sink.
Grant scoffs, pressing the glass shower door open and sticking his head out. “Leighton.”
I shrug before tucking a messy strand of dark hair behind one ear, unable to meet his gaze because although my head knows the man standing before me is different from the one I once knew, my heart knows no difference. As soon as he leaves for work, I’ll clean myself up and pack my things.
I’m not sure where I’ll go, but I’ll figure it out. Anyplace would be better than sticking around here like Grant’s personal doormat.
“All because I didn’t give you an orgasm?” He laughs. He isn’t taking me seriously.
Shaking my head, I say, “It’s not that.”
He rinses the soft white suds from his body, steps onto the mat, and wraps a white towel around his waist, tucking it at his hip. The scent of cedar wood shower gel permeates the muggy air, suffocating my senses as his hands circle my waist.
Spinning me to face him, he cups my chin in his right hand.
“Talk to me,” he says, focused. “What’s this about? What’s going on here?”
“You’ve changed.”
He rolls his eyes, still smiling. “Of course I’ve changed. I’m building the life we’ve always dreamed of. The long hours? The Maserati? The wardrobe? It’s all part of an image I have to project. Nobody wants to hire a lawyer who rolls up in a rusty sedan in an off-the-rack suit. Come on. You know that.”
“I’m not talking about that.”
His brows meet. “Then how have I changed?”
“You’re selfish,” I say, “And you never used to be. We used to be in this together. You and me. We used to fit together so easily, and now … now it’s like we don’t even line up anymore.”
“Christ, Leighton. You know I love you. You know you’re the center of my world.” He drags a hand through his damp hair. “I’m sorry my career is overshadowing what we have right now, but I promise it’s not forever.”
My mind replays a moment from last weekend, when we attended a charity gala in downtown Phoenix. I counted at least eight women who couldn’t take their eyes off Grant all night, and the man was well aware. He strutted around, peacock proud, introducing himself to anyone who so much as met his cunning emerald gaze. Never once introducing me as I stood in his shadow like a forgotten afterthought.
There’s a difference between networking and schmoozing.
The old Grant would’ve worn me proudly on his arm, kissed my forehead every chance he got, and introduced me like a true gentleman.
Instead he left me alone by the open bar, at one point spending twenty-five minutes chatting up a leggy redhead in head-to-toe Givenchy. She couldn’t stop smiling in his presence, touching his arm as she laughed at everything he said, and he stood unusually close to her.
I’m not a jealous woman, and I never have been, but seeing how Grant looked at every other woman that night with the same gaze he used to lovingly reserve for me filled me with doubt and made me question our relationship for the first time since we met.
“You scheduled a client dinner on our anniversary last month,” I say. “And you forgot my birthday this year.”
Grant places a hand over his perfect, chiseled chest. “And I apologized for those incidences, did I not?”
“The old you—”
“—the old me?” His brows lift, incredulous. “There is no old me. Stop being dramatic. I’m going to work before you make me late with all of … this.”
A little piece of me dies every time he takes that tone with me, which lately has been more frequent than ever.
He shakes his head, disgusted, and heads to the closet. When he returns with a red gingham tie in hand, he releases a quick breath.
“We’ll finish this when I get home tonight.” He places the tie on a robe hook, and his tone is softer than it was a second ago.
For a splintered moment, I second guess my decision.
Am I being rash?
Do other people spend almost eight years with someone and then wake up one morning and decide it’s over? That it’s not worth trying to salvage? That it’s suddenly come to this?
I watch Grant as he stands over the sink, lathering shaving cream onto his chiseled cheek bones, humming a Rolling Stones song to himself like it’s any other day. I don’t think this man has ever worried for a single second that he might lose me, and maybe that’s why he’s pushed me to the back burner over the last couple of years.
“I love you, Leighton.” He stares into the mirror, our eyes meeting in his reflection. “I’ll fix this. Whatever’s bothering you, we’ll figure it out tonight. I’ll make it right, I promise.”
That’s Grant: cold and cutting one moment, sweet and tender the next.
He never used to be this way.
Grant’s razor drags along his cheek, leaving a track of smooth, tanned skin in its place, and he flashes his trademark disarming smile that makes me think the old him might still be in there somewhere, waiting for me to breathe him back to life.
I pause before stepping out of the bathroom and heading back to bed. Mondays are my late day, and I don’t have to be at work for another three hours, which will give me more time to think this through.
Passing his nightstand, I catch his lit phone screen from the corner of my eye.
Normally I wouldn’t look, but there’s a nagging sensation in the pit of my stomach, a jarring feeling that tells me something isn’t right.
Peering into the bathroom, I don’t see Grant. He must be in the closet, changing into his suit. Sucking in a deep breath, I steal a look at the text message taking up half of the screen.
And then my heart drops to the floor.

I’M READY FOR MY CROSS EXAMINATION THIS MORNING, COUNSELOR, BUT I HAD A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS BEFORE WE PROCEED. LACE OR SILK? MY OFFICE OR YOURS? XO

A million questions swarm my mind, all of them circling at once.
Who is she?
How long has this been going on?
Is she the first?
How could I not know?!
Why would he initiate sex this morning?
Why would he tell me he loves me and then run off to fuck someone else?
“Leighton?” Grant’s voice brings me back, and my frozen stare moves from his phone to the bathroom doorway where he stands. His hands adjust the Windsor knot of his tie, though right now I’m wishing they were my hands, pulling it tighter and tighter still. If I can’t breathe right now, why should he get the privilege? “What’s wrong?”
My vision drowns in warm tears.
It was different earlier. There was a sense of pride in knowing I could make the decision to end things based on principle.
But now …
It seems the decision has been made for me.
There’s no recovering from this.
There’s no bouncing back.
This is the bottom dropping out.
“Leighton, talk to me.” Grant moves closer, lowering to his knees and taking my limp hands in his. I want to recoil at his touch, but I don’t have the energy. “Did something happen? Is it your grandmother?”
He doesn’t get it, at least not right away.
But when his eyes move toward the phone, his breath catches. And then he lets me go, his hands sliding off of mine, slow and careful.
Grant stands, straightening his posture before slipping his phone into his pocket and studying my face.
The weight of his stare is heavy, but the silence between us is heavier.
The man who has argued hundreds of cases over his budding career is officially speechless, unable to defend his reprehensible actions.
And how could he?
The evidence is damning, and his lack of words may as well be a guilty plea.
He leaves.
I stay.
But not for long.


Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.
And if you’d like to be the first to know when a new book is coming out, please sign up for her private mailing list here —> http://eepurl.com/bfQU2j
Author Links

 

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New: Beast by Jordan Marie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order your copy at the following retailers:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2qWr1pW

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2pwiNV4

iBooks: http://apple.co/2lP7KFJ

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

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2kuped7

 

I warned her I wasn’t the man for her.

Now she’ll learn what happens when you tempt an animal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I left my past behind me.

I ran.

I didn’t slow down and I didn’t look back.

I just couldn’t outrun the memories—or the nightmares.

I came to North Carolina to die.

Alone.

I want to be left alone.

Which would have been fine, if she wasn’t here.

Hayden Graham claims to want the same thing I do—to be left alone.

But, she’s a thorn in my side.

The woman stumbles into one mess after another.

This time the mess she’s in puts her life and her unborn child in danger.

I’m barely existing—rotting from the inside out.

She’s a woman in distress, waiting for a Prince to save her.

I’m no Prince. I’m just a wounded animal.

A Beast.

She tastes like Heaven. She only adds to my Hell.

She makes me remember things I don’t want to remember.

Want things that I can’t have.

Hayden might just be the one to finish destroying me.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Jordan

I’m just a girl standing in front of you and asking you to love her

heh (I might watch too many Rom Com’s)

 

Stalk Jordan at: Website / Goodreads / Facebook

 

THANK YOU!

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Review: The Perfect Illusion by Winter Renshaw

 

 

 

 

It’s only pretend…

And it’s only three months.

I’m in the midst of scrawling “I QUIT!” onto his fancy cardstock letterhead when my boss corners me. He needs a favor, he says. And then he asks how well I can act …

Hudson Rutherford needs a fiancée.

With his old-moneyed parents forcing him to marry some bratty hotel heiress and his hedonistic, playboy lifestyle at stake, the only way to get them to back off is to make them think he’s truly, madly, deeply in love … with me—his third personal assistant this year.

But I can hardly stand working for him as it is.

Hudson is crazy hot and well-aware. He’s arrogant, spoiled, and silver-spooned. He checks me out when he thinks I’m not looking, and his life is a revolving door of beautiful women. Plus, he can’t even pronounce my name correctly—how’s he going to convince his family he’s in love with me?!

I’m seconds from giving him a resounding “no” when he flashes his signature dimpled smirk and gives me a number that happens to contain a whole mess of zeroes …

On second thought, I think I can swallow my pride.

But, oh baby, there’s one thing I haven’t told him, one teensy-tiny thing that could make this just a hair complicated …

Here’s hoping this entire thing doesn’t explode in our faces.
MY REVIEW:
This book is for anybody who ever wished they had the right comeback prepared to say when they needed it. Yeah, that’s not me. I always think of something just perfect when it’s way too late. Maybe it’s the Canadian in me, eh? I’m too polite (or too shocked) to put a rude person in his place.
Mari has the exact words she needs in order to skewer her boss on a pin. The question is, will she use them? Yes, please and thank you! She’s direct without being mean and I really liked that about her.
Seems that Hudson likes that about her, too.
Five stars.

Mari

Dear Mr. Rutherford,
I humbly request that you accept this as my two-weeks’ notice. As of Friday, May 26th, I will be stepping down from my position as your personal assistant. I’ll do my best to ensure this is a smooth transition for the company.
Sincerely,
Maribel Collins

I press my pen into his thick cardstock, scratching out my neatly written resignation before crumpling the paper in my hand and pushing it to the corner of my desk. It’s too nice, and Hudson Rutherford does not deserve nice.
It’s half past seven, which means I have thirty minutes to come up with something better than this—something that’s going to leave a lasting impression.
I’m his third personal assistant this year and it’s only May. There’s a reason no one can tolerate working for him longer than a month or two, and someone ought to point this out to him.
Might as well be me.
Clearing my throat, I try again.

Hudson,

You’re rude and inconsiderate, and I no longer wish to work for you. You think the world revolves around you. Your excessive wealth disgusts me, as does your secret Rolodex of women’s phone numbers that you keep hidden in your third desk drawer on the left. Your good looks are overshadowed by your vanity and arrogance, and your kindness, I’m convinced, is non-existent. You treat your employees like indentured servants, and you’re the most hypocritical asshole I’ve ever met.
I work sixty hour weeks for you without so much as a thank you, a raise, or a glowing performance review. I’m tired of running your menial errands, and I didn’t spend four years at college to make photo copies and coffee.
I didn’t sign up for this.
You lied to me.

With zero fondness and absolutely no gratitude,
Mari

Sighing, I crumple this one too. I think my message got lost amongst all the spiteful word vomit, and the last thing I want to do is come across as trite.
Fed up is what I am.
Tired.
Underutilized, underpaid, and overworked.
But not trite.
I toss the wrinkled paper in the waste basket and grab one last sheet of letterhead. Ditching the formalities, I decide to go a more direct route. My mother once told me it’s not in what you say, it’s in what you don’t say. And my father always says actions speak louder than words. Maybe I’ve been overthinking this whole resignation letter? With my pen firmly gripped, I scrawl my final version.

Hudson,

I QUIT!

Mari

It’s perfect.
Smiling, I admire my work, fold it into thirds, then slide it into a cream-colored envelope with Rutherford Architectural’s logo in the upper left corner. Licking the seal and scribbling his name on the front, I stick it on top of a pile of mail I plan to hand to him the second he arrives. I’ll give him a moment to read it, and while he’s doing so, I’ll pack up my things and make a beeline for the elevator before he has a chance to stop me.
“Mary.” I glance up from my work station to see Hudson strolling into work in his signature navy suit and skinny black tie. He’s early today.
“It’s Mari,” I correct him for the millionth time, inhaling his cedar and moss cologne. It’s the only thing I’ve come to like about this man. “Rhymes with sorry—remember?”
His eyes narrow in my direction, and as he angles toward me, I see his right hand lifted to his ear. He’s on the phone.
Hudson says nothing, only gathers the mail from the corner of my desk and strides down the hall toward the enormous glass-walled office that tends to make my stomach twist every time I have to walk in that direction.
This entire office space was his design. Glass walls. Zero privacy. Everything is clean-lined and modern. Chestnut-colored leather seating, white walls, reclaimed wood and custom mid-century modern lighting installations are working in tandem here to create a space buzzing with creative inspiration, and all decorative accessories have to be approved by the head honcho himself. I tried to bring in a gray ceramic planter last month for my dendrobium orchids and Hudson said it was too drab and industrialist. He claimed it would fuck with his energy—and he uses words like “fuck” and “energy” because he thinks he’s some kind of renaissance boss.
My heart’s pounding crazy fast, and I’m stuck trying to determine if I should bolt now or wait. Hudson usually checks his mail first thing in the morning, but for all I know, he’s still on his phone call.
Drumming my fingers against my glass desktop, my feet remain firmly planted on the wood floor, though they may as well be frozen solid. The second my phone rings, it sends my heart leaping into my throat. I’m not afraid of him—I just hate drama. And I have a feeling Hudson’s going to try to make this into a big thing.
“Yes?” I answer, my eyes scanning the caller ID. Hudson’s extension flashes across the screen.
He exhales.
Oh, god.
He read it.
And now, the moment of truth.
“Mary, what is this?” he asks.
“What is … what, sir?” I ask. And that’s another thing—what kind of twenty-nine-year-old architect demands to be called “sir?”
“This invitation to the Brown-Hauer Gala? RSVPs were due two weeks ago. Call and find out if it’s not too late,” he says, his voice monotone. The tear of paper fills the background. He’s quiet.
“I thought you said you didn’t want to go?” I ask. I’m not sure why I’m phrasing this as a question because he did say he didn’t want to go. As a matter of fact, I know I have it in an email …
“I said that?” he asks, a sardonic chuckle in his question.
“Yes.”
“I don’t remember saying that.” He exhales. “I never would’ve said that. Not to the Brown-Hauer. That gala hosts the who’s who in the architectural world, are you fucking kidding me?”
His voice raises slightly, and my breath seizes. I should just hang up and get the hell out of here.
“Mary,” he says.
“Mari,” I correct. “Rhymes with sorry.”
In case he didn’t hear me two minutes ago …
“Can you come back here for a second?” he asks, his voice as stiff as his winning personality. “There’s something we need to discuss. Immediately.”
Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon bestselling author Winter Renshaw is a bona fide daydream believer. She lives somewhere in the middle of the USA and can rarely be seen without her trusty Mead notebook and ultra portable laptop. When she’s not writing, she’s living the American dream with her husband, three kids, and the laziest puggle this side of the Mississippi.

 

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Unstoppable by Cindy Skaggs

 

UNSTOPPABLE

by Cindy Skaggs
Untouchables, #3
Publication Date: May 1, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Ignite, Romantic Suspense

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SYNOPSIS:

Bad boy Mick Donovan has dedicated his life to avenging his brother’s death, even aligning himself with an FBI Task Force to achieve his ends. Which leads him to the mess he’s in now–undercover as the husband of the woman he’s been fantasizing about, despite knowing how off-limits she is, to protect an innocent child.

After an ambush, Destiny Harper is on the run and out of places to hide from a ruthless drug lord hellbent on claiming his son. Charged with protecting the boy, Dez lands in the mountains on a collision course with Mick, a blizzard, and a past she’d rather forget. But even as the close quarters ignites the passion between her and the sexy biker, she knows there’s no future with him. Mick will sacrifice everything for revenge—even her.

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ABOUT CINDY SKAGGS

Most of those stories were even true. She has ten siblings, some of whom are older than her mother, has nieces and nephews older than her, and once went to a horse auction with John Wayne. Well, with him in the sense that he was there, and she was also… there. She was the munchkin in line for his autograph with tangled hair and bruised knees that liked to dance on her daddy’s dusty cowboy boots and listen to his tall tales.

With her love of storytelling and heroes, it’s no wonder she turned to books and stories after her father died. She skipped most of the eighth grade to bury herself in books while hidden in her closet, because she was still looking for the perfect story and the last honest man. Her search took her around the world with the Air Force as well as around the world with her education. She’s visited more countries than she can remember, nearly every state in the U.S., and has more degrees than the Tin Man.

As a single mom, she’s still gambling, betting on herself for the first time in her life, turning her lifelong love of storytelling into the one thing she can’t live without: writing. She writes 10,000 words a week in cafes and coffee shops, and some of those 10,000 words are even worth reading. She has an MA in Creative Writing, is working towards her Master of Fine Arts, and has three jobs, two kids, a Pushcart Nomination, more pets than she can possibly handle, and more works in progress than the crew filling potholes after a long Colorado winter.

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New Release: Forging Forever by Dani Wyatt

 

 

 

 

 

Standing on her tiptoes at a Renaissance Fair, Lela Marshall catches a glimpse of just how hot a forge can get. Even from fifty feet away, she’s never felt this sort of heat. And it’s coming from between her legs.

Miller Rhodes has a gigantic problem. He’s met the woman he knows is destined to be his. Only, she’s disappeared into a crowd and took his heart and his future with her. For once, even work can’t distract him from thoughts of the way her lips tasted for one brief moment under the July sun.

Can a sock-chewing puppy and a meddling mother be the solution to Miller’s problem? Will this knife forging hard-ass find his soft spot in the girl that stole his heart after just one kiss?

Author’s note: Lose yourself in the heat radiating from this filthy talking alpha. He’s a man of few words, but he definitely isn’t lacking on how to use his mouth in other ways. Suspend reality for a bit with this love at first kiss, happily ever after, scorching hot read. Safe, indulgent and *touches finger to butt and listens for the sizzle*.
My dick is forged steel. Sure, it’s been fucking hard ever since I laid my eyes on her, but nothing like this.
This kind of hard-on exists only for her. Well, in three months they’ve all been for her, but right now even my dick knows the universe is speaking and it’s saying that’s all mine.

My mom used to tell me stories about the men in her family. Back then, I didn’t believe that shit. She told me the Rhodes men knew when they found their mate that it’s like a sixth sense and that’s it — there can never be anyone else.  Since my father was missing in action, I took my mom’s name.  And now the Rhodes legend which I’d formerly dismissed, I now know to be gospel.

This acute awareness of her consumes me—that there is one woman for me, only one, and she’s right here. Right now. And there is no question left. I’m taking what’s mine.

I’m ready to gnaw her clothes off and fill her with so much cum she’ll be giving birth to a litter nine months from today.

My tongue pushes between her lips, and the taste of her has me seeing red, planning our fucking wedding. I swear to Christ.

 

Visions of her wearing white and saying “I do” fill my head like a long-lost dream.

Her tongue meets mine, and my hands fly to the back of her head. My fingers tighten in her hair, gripping and holding on for dear life. She tastes like sweet tea and fresh honey. The lust of summer mixed with the freshness of spring.

My erection nearly tears through the top of my pants trying to get at her. I wonder if she’s wet. The thought of it has me ready to nut in my pants.

The little moaning, gasping sounds she’s making as our tongues do a few laps with each other, back and forth, are music. My gut is tight. I’m already desperate to keep her here. To be sure she can never leave.

I pull back from our kiss, needing to see her face. To know she wants me like I want her.

Her cheeks have turned a deep, rose red, more than a blush, and her shimmering blue eyes are half lidded as I devour the beauty of her face. I loosen my grip in her hair even as my mind is filled with the image of me pressing her to her knees, her plump lips opening to take in every inch of my thick cock.

Fuck, I need this girl.

This is beyond wanting. Need. No doubt in my mind I need her in order to draw my next breath.

The tension in my muscles feels as though I’m holding a pose for the judges at Mr. Universe.

I can’t relax. I won’t relax. Not until I’m inside her, showing her just what it’s going to mean to belong to me.

 

Because she does.

She belongs to me.

“Wow.” She brings the back of her hand to her lips.

For a moment, I’m pissed because I think she’s going to swipe it across her mouth and wipe away the wetness of our kiss.

Instead, she presses her knuckles there, her eyes close for a moment, and she breathes long and slow. Her hand flips over, and she sets her fingertips to her lips, as though she’s holding our kiss in place.

Savoring us. I nearly come undone at the beauty of the moment.

“I have a single question for you,” I rumble, standing as close as I can to her without touching. Staring down as she gives me a wary look upward, waiting for what I’m going to say next. “Since that first day we met…”

I trail off, suddenly terrified I won’t get the answer I need. My chest constricts. I swallow hard and throw it out there because I have to know.

“Have you ever touched yourself thinking about me? Imagined me inside you?” I’m fixed on her face, watching for the truth there.

My bold question has her mouth dropping open, her lips quivering in an uneasy smile, but her eyes answer me with a twinkle, staying pinned on mine. The relief floods my body, even as blood fills every remaining micro vessel of my cock. It’s bent at a painful angle inside my pants. The length I know will fill her. The thickness will hurt her, but she needs to be mine in every way. I will be as gentle as I can, but even now I know it may not be possible to make it easy.

 

I want her like an animal. I want to keep her tied to my bed and fuck her until her belly swells and the only word she knows is my name.

“Yes,” she whispers, tugging her lips to the side.

So fucking cute. Damn, she’s perfect.

Her single-word answer confirms what I already know, and her hand leaves her lips, reaching out to touch the side of my face.

 

 

 

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Dani Wyatt loves her alpha men; make them military, cowboys, MMA — any uber alpha with a wicked possessive streak and an insatiable libido. Receive a free exclusive unpublished title when you join Dani’s private readers group for updates, free chapters and discounts.

 

She’s a 40 something regular lady who just happens to love badass alpha males who pull your hair and love their women with a lethal passion.

 

When she’s not writing (which is not often) she is probably laughing about some irony (like A-1 Steak Sauce is vegan), riding her horse, wondering why The Walking Dead can’t have a new episode every night, or looking cross-eyed at some piece of technology sent to ruin her day.
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Review: Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen

 

Summary:

 

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh & Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counterThis book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone. For more about its previous publication, you can read this blog post.

Review:

Joshua and Caleb have a lot of preconceived notions and insecurities to battle, considering where they’ve grown up. They’re very different men. While Josh is more of a homebody and gentle spirit, Caleb is willing to sink his teeth into the real world. But even he is afraid to communicate what he wants from Josh.

After all, when the one person you want could very well reject you, isn’t it better to hide your feelings? Communication doesn’t always work to your advantage.

The supporting cast in this story is super. I’m looking forward to reading more books in this series. Sarina Bowen never disappoints. 4.5 stars

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