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?”

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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 + Giveaway: Pucked Off by Helena Hunting

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Pucked Off, an all-new emotional and sexy STANDALONE from Helena Hunting is LIVE!!

Pucked Off by Helena Hunting

Genre: Contemporary Romance

businessman working on laptop in black suit

***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

Excerpt:

Armed with my clipboard, I walk down the hall to the waiting room. Lance is impossible to miss. Despite the fact that he’s wearing a sweatshirt and the hood is covering half of his face, he’s more than six feet of broad, hockey-playing man.

He’s so wide his shoulders encroach on the chairs on either side, which would explain why no one is sitting next to him. He’s slouched down so his head rests on the back of the chair, and his hands are clasped in his lap, a baseball cap hanging off one knee. His lips, plush and soft—I know since I’ve had them on mine; it might have been a decade ago, but I remember it clearly—are parted. He looks like he’s asleep.

I clear my throat. “Lance Romero?”

He doesn’t move.

Bernadette, the receptionist, gives me a meaningful look.

I clear my throat again and call his name a second time. He jolts awake and the hood falls back, exposing his face. It’s not in good shape. He has a black eye and bruises on his left cheek. There’s a fly bandage across one eyebrow.

Sadly, he’s still hot.

He blinks a few times, yawns, and smacks his lips, his tongue touching the split in the bottom one. His gaze sweeps the room and finally lands on me. Heat explodes in my cheeks and courses through my limbs, warming me from the inside out as he starts at my sneaker-clad feet and roams up over my yoga pants to my company-issued T-shirt before stopping at my face. I can’t look directly at him for more than a couple of seconds. I sincerely hope he doesn’t remember me. I cannot go there and also be professional.

I’m sure the smile he gives me has melted many a panty off a slutty bunny. Mine stay right where they’re supposed to, wedged up my ass.

I force a polite, professional veneer. “I’m ready for you now.”

My Review:

Every time I think one of the books in the Pucked Series is going to be my favourite, Helena tops her own achievements.

Lance Romero has a reputation for being a player on and off the ice, but not everything is as it seems. I honestly was worried that I wouldn’t like this character but he surprised me. He was nothing like I expected and I fell for him. Hard.

Lance has had a hard life and bears some scars. When he meets Poppy, he doesn’t remember her. But she remembers him. He occupies a place in her heart that can’t be overlooked. Poppy is a wonderfully nurturing, kind and patient woman; just what Lance needs.

The content of this book is darker than that of the rest of the series, but there’s something wonderfully healing in the growth of these characters. This book touched my heart in unexpected ways. Five stars.

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Enter the Giveaway for a Complete Signed Set of the Pucked Series!

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About the Author:

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

helenahuntingpic

Connect with Helena:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/helenahunting Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenaHunting

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Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

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Excerpt: Pucked Off by Helena Hunting

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Pucked Off, an all-new STANDALONE from Helena Hunting is coming February 21st!

Pucked Off by Helena Hunting
Publication Date: February 21st, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance

businessman working on laptop  in black suit

***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

Excerpt:

I’ve agreed to go out with Lance. On a date. Two actually. I don’t even know what to think. I grab my purse and slip into my jacket. As fall settles in and the temperature drops, layers are becoming necessary.

When I return, Lance is standing at the desk, checking his phone. He’s smiling.

“Ready to go,” I say.

He hits a couple of buttons, pockets his phone, and turns that grin on me. “Cool.”

I lock up the clinic, and Lance walks me across the lot. This time he doesn’t leave the usual space between us, and the back of his hand grazes my hip.

I’m nervous when we reach my car. His Hummer is parked right behind my Mini this time. I adjust the strap of my purse and look up at him. Strangely, he looks as nervous as me.

He scans my face and takes a small step closer. I can see his hand lifting in my peripheral vision. My hair is in a ponytail, which is sitting on my shoulder. He fingers the end of it.

“Why do I always want to pull this?”

I don’t have the opportunity to answer, because he drops his head and his lips skim my cheek.

“I want to kiss you.”

“You just did,” I whisper.

“I want do it again, but here.” His thumb touches my bottom lip.

“Oh.”

He’s so close. His lips almost touching mine as he asks, “Can I do that?”

“Yes, please.”

His lids grow heavy, and he kisses the corner of my mouth. Lance strokes my cheek and rests his palm on the side of my neck. The other hand skims the length of my arm until he reaches my fingertips.

He leans back a little, and for a second I think it’s over before it’s even begun, but he takes my hand in his. Uncurling my fingers, he lifts it and presses my palm against his cheek. A full-body tremor runs through him, and his eyes drift closed. He turns his head toward my palm, and I smooth my thumb along the contour of his bottom lip. A deep sound comes from the back of his throat, making my skin prickle and heat blossom in my belly.

When he opens his eyes again, the fire in them matches the heat flooding my entire body. “Can you keep yer hand right here?”

“If you want me to, yes.”

“I definitely do.”

He leans in and brushes his lips over mine again. It’s soft and warm. The next time he takes my bottom lip between his, he releases it slowly, and then does the same with the top one. When his tongue flicks out, I might whimper. Light fingers cup my head, and I tilt it back farther.

I part my lips, and his tongue sweeps my mouth. His groan is low, sending a shiver down my spine. He drops the hand that’s keeping mine pressed against his cheek. His arm winds around my waist, and he pulls me in tight against him.

I expect the kiss to grow in intensity. It doesn’t, though I can feel the heat building inside me. That feeling I’ve been searching for all these years is finally back.

Preorder Today!
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About the Author:

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

helenahuntingpic

Connect with Helena:

Instagram: http://instagram.com/helenahunting Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenaHunting
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/Zt1xm5
Facebook Fan group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/385795934890523/
Website: http://www.helenahunting.com/

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Review: Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Pretending never felt so good….

 

Fake Fiancée by Ilsa Madden-Mills is NOW LIVE!

ONLY $0.99 & Free on Kindle Unlimited.

 

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

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

Amazon Paperback:  http://amzn.to/2ldp4TS

 

 

 

Blurb

 

A new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills…

 

They say nothing compares to your first kiss,

But our first kiss was orchestrated for an audience.

Our second kiss…that one was REAL.

He cradled my face like he was terrified he’d f*ck it up.

He stared into my eyes until the air buzzed.

Soft and slow, full of sighs and little laughs,

He inhaled me like I was the finest Belgian chocolate,

And he’d never get another piece.

A nip of his teeth, his hand at my waist…

And I was lost.

I forgot he was paying me to be his fake fiancée.

I forgot we weren’t REAL.

Our kiss was pure magic, and before you laugh and say those kinds of kisses don’t exist…

Then you’ve never touched lips with Max Kent, the hottest quarterback in college history.

 

Get ready for breathtaking kisses and dreamy football players…

EXCERPT

 

Max stalked over to the barrier that divided the stands from the football field and jumped it. The fans went nuts as he brushed past them, some not even realizing it until he was down the aisle. The Jumbotron followed him.

“Good Lordy, what’s he doing?” Mimi asked, clutching at her chest.

“I don’t know,” I said rather weakly, taking the chance to study him the closer he came. He was beautiful, his shoulders impossibly broad. To add to the distraction, his helmet was in his hand and all that dark brown hair was flowing around his chiseled features as if he had a fan in his face. My Viking.

“He’s coming over here,” Mimi commented.

He was. But why?

I stopped breathing . . .right when he came to a halt in front of me and knelt down on one knee.

Eyes the color of a wild ocean gazed at me.

He took my left hand in his right one.

“Max,” I breathed, my heart fluttering.

He gazed up at me. “Sunny Blaine, will you marry me?”

The stadium went wild. In a daze, I looked up at the Jumbotron and felt like I was watching this happen to someone else. Camera phones flashed all around us.

My first clear thought was I’ll kill him.

Aloud, nothing came out but a faint wheeze. Clearly someone had stuffed a giant wad of cotton in my mouth. Clearly I needed something a lot stiffer to drink than this Diet Coke. Clearly my fake boyfriend was a freaking raving lunatic.

He sat his helmet on the ground next to my feet, reached inside it and pulled out a small black box.

No, no, no!

The box opened, and my stomach churned at the sight of the large round solitaire diamond ring that was nestled on the black silk. I blinked repeatedly to clear my vision.

With deft fingers, Max eased it out of the lining and slipped it on my left hand.

I stared down at it. Then back at him.

I was going to murder the hottest quarterback in the country.

Kiss her, Kiss her, the crowd chanted.

We were the focal point of the entire world.

Max stood and tugged me up with him until we were standing. He slid his hand around my neck and pulled his face to mine. The sky was blotted out as he kissed me.

But I hadn’t said yes!

I wouldn’t say yes.

Not to a fake engagement.

The applause of the stadium was deafening. And his kiss—it was deadly. Despite my rage, my body craved him. His lips were hot, so hot, and my tongue met his with a vengeance. We kissed hard, and I nipped at him, my teeth scraping across his lips. But the only one who’d end up bleeding in this scenario was me.

He eased back to take me in, and with a final look at my face he gave a thumbs-up sign to the entire stadium. They went nuts, chanting his name.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered in my ear, letting his hand trail down my arm as he stepped back from me. He walked away backward, eyes on me the entire time. The announcers for the game told everyone who might have missed it that Max Kent had just asked his girlfriend to marry him, and she’d said yes. More cheers came as they replayed him on his knee in front of me with a giant YES written across the top.

I plopped back down in my seat. Frozen.

“. . . did you see her face? Shocked . . .”

“. . . most romantic thing in football . . .”

“. . . luckiest girl in the world . . .”

My face went hot. Even my ears burned. I wanted to crawl under a seat.

God.

What a lie.

The half ended and our offense came out to the field, snapped the ball, and Max threw it straight to Tate who ran it in for another touchdown. My chest constricted and anger churned in my gut.

I didn’t care who won.

I hated football right now.

Most of all, I hated Max Kent, and I was going to make him pay.

 

MY REVIEW:

I always enjoy books by Ilsa Madden-Mills. You can count on a nice meaty plot, a hot, masculine lead, some angst and some humor. I absolutely loved this book. Max is not only a sweetheart, he’s a very smart guy.

There’s a subplot to this book concerning a prior connection between the leads, and it’s worth swooning over. I’d have enjoyed reading more of the back story, but I like angst. As it is, there’s just the right amount of salt to cut the sweet. Five stars.

 

 

About the Author

Wall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

 

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education. When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.

 

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at ilsamaddenmills@gmail.com.

 

 

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Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

 

Summary:

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear

http://amzn.to/2jyN2KF

My Review:

Hockey, hilarity and dogs. Just look at these covers. What’s not to love?

I guarantee you’re going to enjoy this story. Jess Canning just wants a little respect. She never expected to get it from Blake Riley. And oh boy, I love this guy. I’ve already read this book three times. The only thing I could wish is that it be longer. But the sequel is coming and I can’t wait. Five stars.

 

The second book in the WAGS Series will be out in June:

STAY GR LINK

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Cover Reveal: Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills

 

Fake Fiancée is a new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills releasing February 6th!

 

Meet Max Kent & Add Fake Fiancée  to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2jh5mIR

A new standalone romance from Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Ilsa Madden-Mills…

 

Get ready for breathtaking kisses and dreamy football players…

About the Author

Wall Street Journal best selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

 

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Ian Somerhalder, astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos. She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education. When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and fuzzy pajamas.

 

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors. Email her at ilsamaddenmills@gmail.com.

 

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram

 

 

 

THANK YOU!

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Review: Downed by Jen Frederick

ace3

 

ace2He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

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US http://a.co/6KamxCM  UK http://amzn.eu/dLliS0m  CA http://a.co/6qQxJ16 

 

MY REVIEW:

I truly love this book. There’s a surprise at the beginning that just made me cackle with glee. And I wasn’t expecting it because when we met Ace in the previous book, he was a dog. I mean, I heartily disliked the guy.

Bryant gives the impression of being thoroughly put together, but she’s hiding her insecurities behind a facade. And here, she basically tells Ace he’s hers, breaks all her own rules, and thinks she’s going crazy for being incapable of cutting him loose. It’s just so adorable. Meanwhile, the dog is on the leash and doesn’t appear to be sorry for it. He might as well have a ring through his nose for the tow rope. Does Bryant appreciate this? Not a whit.

This story delivers the unexpected. It’s not just zany, it’s thoughtful and sometimes poignant. This is Jen Frederick’s best yet. Five stars.

 

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AUTHOR BIO:

Jen Frederick is the USA Today bestselling author of Unspoken, part of the Woodlands series, and Sacked, part of the Gridiron series. She is also the author of the Charlotte Chronicles and has had several books on the Kindle Top 100 list. She lives in the Midwest with a husband who keeps track of life’s details while she’s writing, a daughter who understands when Mom disappears into her office for hours at a time, and a rambunctious dog who does neither.

jensfrederick@gmail.com

 

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Tour, Review + Giveaway: Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell

 

 MY REVIEW:

Holy Hannah, did I love this book!

A couple of years ago, I discovered a liking for sports romances even though I’m not very sporty. And there are superb ones out there, but they tend to follow certain tropes. This story comes out of left field and provides something delightfully different.

(I know, baseball metaphor about a football story. Sue me.)

I’m not even going to fill you in because being surprised is such a treat. There’s basically nothing I want to tell you about it that isn’t in the summary. And the summary’s got enough to hook you already. The man is a fish out of water. He’s so cute. The girl’s complicated, but she holds all the cards. And the dog? I want a dog like this dog. I loved it all! Five stars.

There’s a link below. All you have to do is click it.

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 AP new - synopsis.jpg

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.


 

With her hand in mine, I hail a cab on Fullerton. She isn’t saying much, and I like that. I like talking to her, getting dirty, watching her lose her words. Because I’ll tell you what, I’m planning on her losing a shitload more than that before I’m done with her. Losing everything to me. That’s the fucking plan.
The cabbie pulls off to the other side of the road a little way up from us and puts on his hazards to tell us he’s waiting. As we head for the crosswalk, I kick aside a drift from one of the plows, but it’s unsteady footing, icy and slick. As she begins to slip, her grip on my hand tightens.
“That’s enough of that,” I tell her, and scoop her up into my arms, newlywed-style.
She squeals and hangs on tight. She fits fucking perfectly in my arms, and I love the way she feels tight against me. Her fingers slip past my collar, and her fingernails dig gently into the back of my neck. “I can walk,” she says, mostly to my mouth. Then she raises her eyes. “It was just slippery.”
I don’t answer right away. I don’t want to come on too strong. I don’t want to scare her, but I don’t want there to be any fucking mistake at all about what I want or how I plan to get it. “I know you can. I’m sure you can do pretty much everything.”
Her eyes glisten, and I hoist her up a little higher in my arms. The walk signal starts flashing its hand as we get to the other curb. “I’m no shrinking violet.”
“Good. Because I’m going to need you to come strong for me tonight.”
Her body reacts before her face does, her back arching under my hand, that bend so delicate under my palm.
“Multiple times. Loudly.”
She presses her face to my chest and moans out what sounds like, “Who are you?”
“And you’re going to tell me what you like and how you like it. We’re not going to fuck around. Communication, pussycat. That’s the key.”
There go her words again. I’m getting to know that glaze in her eye, disoriented with desire. “And what about you?”
Now we’re even with the cab, but I’ve still got some things she needs to know. “I don’t come until you do. At least twice.”
She’s got no answer for that, so I bring her chin up toward me, stretching her pretty neck out with my thumb on her jaw. “You hear me?”
She nods. She breathes. She blinks.
“That’s how it’s going to go.”
“I think I can handle that.”
I laugh, sending a plume of steam out of my nose. This girl has no idea how badly I want her. How badly I need her. How fucking hard I am already to get inside her. “Yeah? You think so? You think you can handle me?”
Her eyes widen a little. “I think so,” she whispers.
Then I let her slip from my arms, such a fucking shame, but I’m not about to let her open her own door. As she gets into the cab—on the street side, the safe side—I say into her ear, “We’ll just see about that.”

A signed copy of Hail Mary and a $50 Sephora Gift Card

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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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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.

 

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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.

 

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Chapter Reveal: Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell

 

 
Coming November 28th
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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.
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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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