Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY SEAL CHRISTMAS by Nicole Helm

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COWBOY SEAL CHRISTMAS (Navy SEAL Cowboys, Book 3) by Nicole Helm  

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

0470A975-B7E2-4A89-A783-1EA9922EADDBThree former Navy SEALs

Injured in the line of duty

Desperate for a new beginning…

Searching for a place to call their own.

Single mom and Revival Ranch’s on-site therapist Monica Finley has dedicated her life to helping brave servicemen and women, but former Navy SEAL Gabe Cortez is the one man whose shell she just can’t crack. Yet with the holidays fast approaching, she may finally have a plan. In a bid to get Gabe to open up, she’ll ask for as much help as possible—cutting down the Christmas tree, stringing lights, the whole nine yards.

Who could possibly be a Grinch with so much holiday cheer in the air?

Gabe has always hated Christmas—the holiday never fails to remind him just how alone he truly is. But the more time he spends with Monica and her young son, the more he finds himself drawn to their cozy little family…and the more he begins to realize his long-suppressed Christmas dreams may finally be coming true.

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Excerpt

And then they were all heading for the stairsMonica and Colin bickering over bedtimes, Alex and Becca sleepily arm in arm, and Gabe was left alone, seemingly forgotten, just him and the dogs.

He got up, ready to head out and ignore any of the idiotic disappointment in his chest. But bottles and glasses littered the coffee table, along with a few paper plates. Hed just grab those and throw them away, cutting down on some of the work Monica had to do. Quickly, before she came back down.

He collected the plates and a few bottles, disposing of them in the appropriate receptacles in the kitchen. Then he figured he could unload the dishwasher real quick, since hed lived here before the bunkhouse had been ready and he knew where everything went.

Once hed done that and added another load, he went back to the living room. Hed just collect the remainder of the glasses and then Monica wouldnt have to do anything.

Oh.

Gabe glanced toward the sound. Monica stood at the bottom of the stairs, and he couldnt read her expression or begin to understand what that oh had meant.

Got most of it done. Just these left.He ignored the glasses hed been going for and moved toward the door. I was getting ready to head out though.

Monica shook her head, grabbing her glass of wine and refilling it with the last of the bottle. Stay. Have a drink with me.

Gabe watched her suspiciously. Why?

She plopped herself onto the couch, staring at the fire instead of back at him. Because otherwise Im going to sit here and wallow about the passage of time. Id rather bicker with you.

Hed regret ithe knew hed regret itand yet he couldnt seem to resist. Much as he hated to admit it, he wasnt tired enough to sleep instead of wallow.

He was at least smart enough to take a seat in the armchair instead of next to her on the couch. And he was not about to drink any more.

So, why arent you with your family?she asked with no preamble.

Family. Funny word, that. Still, he didnt wince. He knew hed be asked. He had his rote answers prepared. They live all the way on the other side of the country.

I do believe they have these things called airplanes.

Really? Havent heard of them.

Her mouth curved, and she looked different in the flickering firelight. Fragile almost, where usually she looked impossibly sturdy and strong.

Why arent you with yours?

My parents are on a cruise celebrating their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary.She smiled fondly, but it died quickly. Colins other grandparents dont much care for us. Well, that isnt fair. We remind them of Dex, and theywell, I suppose they havent fully dealt with their grief. Im not sure I can blame them. Im not sure all the therapist training in the world would help me if I ever lost…” She shook her head. See? Morbid wallowing. I dont want it. Say something obnoxious.

Marines are pussies.

She barked out a laugh, then covered her mouth, presumably since there were people sleeping upstairs.

She had a good laugh. Loud and uninhibited. Hell, he needed a beer.

My dad is not a pussy,she said, sounding far more amused than offended.

Gabe shrugged. Im sure he doesnt think so.

Monica shook her head. Shed worn her hair down today, which she rarely did. In the firelight, it was tinged red, and seriously, he had to get his ass out of this chair and get a beer.

But he sat. And he watched her.

She cleared her throat, holding the wineglass with both hands, staring hard at the fire in the fireplace. The dogs had disappeared at some point when hed been cleaning, so it really was just him and Monica.

I know I dont owe you any explanation about how I treat my son, butwell, youre very good with him. He looks up to you. All three of you really, and its good for him to have you three as influences in his life. But he seems to be particularly connected to you.

Everything in him tensed, chilled. That careful tone of voice, the way she wouldnt meet his gaze. He knew what came next. Hed been here before, hadnt he? And you want me to stay away?

No, not at all.She frowned, her gaze all shock and confusion as it met his. Why would you think that?

Gabe looked down at his hands. He hadnt realized hed gripped them both into tight fists, but there they werewhite knuckled and clenched. He tried to come up with some explanation, but in the end, his scratchy voice just managed some lame excuse. Im not his dad.

No, but he needs people of all stripes in his life, people wholl teach him different things and offer him different opportunities. He needs people to look up to because he feels a connection. Ill always be a shade too overprotective. Ive worked through some of it, butDex died…”

He unclenched his fists and placed his hands on the arms of the chair, ready to push out of it. You dont have to explain it to me.

But I want to. I want you to understand. Youre a part of Colins life.She said it so seriously, so baldly. None of her usual therapist carefulness in picking the words. He knew better than to look, but he couldnt seem to help himself.

She was staring at him, emotion written all over her face. An earnestness, a hope, and, underneath all that, lovelove for her son.

Gabe was somehow rendered speechless by that, and he was never, ever speechless.

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of COWBOY SEAL REDEMPTION

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Nicole Helm grew up with her nose in a book and a dream of becoming a writer. Luckily, after a few failed career choices, a husband, and two kids, she got to pursue that dream. Nicole writes down-to-earth contemporary romance. From farmers to cowboys, midwest to the west, she writes stories about people finding themselves and finding love in the process. When she’s not writing, she spends her time dreaming about someday owning a barn. She lives with her husband and two young sons in Missouri. She is slightly (okay, totally) addicted to Twitter (@nicolethelm), the St. Louis Cardinals, and someday owning a barn.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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RWA 2018 Celebration Giveaway & Author Spotlight

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I wanted to spotlight some authors I met at the Romance Writers of America Blogger Social. They were all so nice and a lot of fun. What better way to thank them for their smiles and laughter than a giveaway! /Donna

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Giveaway

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PRIZE PACK includes 7 books. One paranormal and the others are a mix of contemporary and romantic suspense. Plus enough swag to fill the box. Winner will be chosen Sunday (8/26) by 6PM EST.

★☆ENTER ON FACEBOOK PAGE HERE★☆

*Reading in Pajamas is responsible for this giveaway.

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B8F25C96-E09C-4974-A9CC-E52472B36597LISA OLECH! Her Captains of the Scarlet Night series is full of sexy pirates, and her Stoddard Art School series carries that sexy theme into contemporary romances.

Lisa is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.

Amazon Link

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DBAFE1E4-3A60-4368-A0DD-41D424A8079CTARA WYATT, and all I can say is that her smile lit up the room. She was so much fun to talk with, especially when talking about her steamy romantic suspense books. Her latest, Stripped, came out in May (can you say male strippers?).

Tara Wyatt is a contemporary romance and romantic suspense author. Known for her humor and steamy love scenes, Tara’s writing has won several awards, including the Golden Quill Award and the Booksellers’ Best Award. In addition, she is a 2018 RITA® Finalist for her novella, Until the Sun Sets.

Tara has been writing since 2013, and her first book, NECCESSARY RISK, was published in 2016. Since then, she’s written three more books, three novellas, and has co-written three books, with many more projects in the works.

When she’s not hanging out with your next book boyfriend, she can be found reading, watching movies, and drinking wine. Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the world’s cutest dog and a husband who makes all her of her heroes look like chumps.

Amazon Link

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171B6CD2-68EC-477B-983B-907912BE8898AVRIL TREMAYNE is well known for her romantic comedies. Her newest book, GETTING LUCKY, is a sizzling hot contemporary romance that came out August 1st. She was so much fun to talk to.

Avril Tremayne took the scenic route to becoming a writer, having tried her hand at shoe selling, nursing, teaching and public relations. Along the way, she also studied acting, singing, pottery, oil painting, millinery, German and Arabic – with very mixed results. She figures it’s a perfect background for telling romantic stories. She is a committed urbanite, and lives in Sydney, Australia, where her husband and daughter try to keep her out of trouble – not always successfully. When she’s not writing or reading, Avril can generally be found eating – although she does not cook – drinking wine, and obsessing about shoes!

Amazon Link

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9F62E9F6-6F17-476C-958B-B7D587E9C0C6KATY LEE writes for Love Inspired Suspense, with a lot of stories to choose from. She is a sweetheart to the core!

Katy Lee is a RITA nominated romantic suspense author. Her award-winning stories thrill, inspire and satisfy the reader–from the edge of their seat. A native New Englander, Katy loves to knit warm wooly things. She enjoys traveling the side-roads and exploring the locals’ hideaways. A homeschooling mom of three competitive swimmers, Katy often writes from the stands while cheering them on.

Amazon Link

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EVELYN ADAMS is the author of some steamy, sexy novels. Her Southerland Security series has received rave reviews, as did her contemporary selections. She sure has some stories to tell!

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Evelyn Adams lives in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains with her three children, a handful of wayward animals and the man of her dreams. If she’s not writing steamy romances, she’s chasing kids, gardening or reading other authors’ steamy stories.

Amazon Link

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8CB8374F-1904-4A56-B354-A5FADA4B0AEDHANNAH MEREDITH is a historical romance author. She writes Regency, Victorian and has come out with a Fantasy romance as well. I loved her laughter!

Hannah Meredith is, above all, a storyteller. She’s long been fascinated by the dreams that haunt the human heart and has an abiding interest in English history. This combination led her to write historical romance. She hopes you enjoy her tales.

Amazon Link

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Credit: Mark Oxley/Studio 16

JAMI GOLD is an award winning and bestselling author of paranormal romance. Her Mythos Legacy series has it all, dragons, faerie and unicorns. She was so much fun to talk to.

After an allergic reaction thwarted her attempt to find Atlantis, Jami Gold moved to Arizona and decided to become a writer, where she could put her talent for making up stuff to good use. Fortunately, her muse, an arrogant male who delights in causing her to sound as insane as possible, rewards her with unique and rich story ideas.

Fueled by chocolate, she writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales that range from dark to humorous, but one thing remains the same: Normal need not apply. Just ask her family–and zombie cat.

Amazon Link

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664372CA-C3F4-423A-AD0C-7EFF20203229BRONWYN SCOTT’s newest release in her Russian Royals of Kuban series, Seduced by the Prince’s Kiss, comes out in September. Bronwyn Scott writes historical romances for Harlequin, Mills and Boon. She has over forty titles currently in print with them. Bronwyn’s 2009 novel, The Viscount Claims His Bride was a RomCon finalist for best short historical, as was her 2011 release, A Thoroughly Compromised Lady. Bronwyn enjoys learning foreign languages, traveling, and history.

Amazon Link

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: BRAVE NEW EARL (The Way to a Lord’s Heart) by Jane Ashford

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BRAVE NEW EARL (The Way to a Lord’s Heart Series) by Jane Ashford

Publication Date: July 31, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

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9781492663355_bravenewearlAn Earl mired in melancholy is no match for a determined woman… 

Widower Benjamin Romilly, Earl of Furness, has given up hope of finding happiness. His wife died in childbirth five years ago, leaving him with a broken heart and a child who only reminds him of his loss.

Miss Jean Saunders is a cousin by marriage. She doted on Benjamin’s late Countess, and can’t bear it when she hears rumors that the Earl is too bereaved to care for his young son. She arrives on the scene to evaluate his fitness as a father, and if necessary, to take his son away.

Jean’s sudden eruption into the Earl’s household simultaneously infuriates and invigorates him. She may be the only person who can breathe life into his neglected home—and his aching heart…

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Toward the far end of the attic, Jean came upon a row of leather trunks bound in brass. Resettling her lamp securely, she opened the first. The scent of camphor wafted out at her. Pushing aside a layer of tissue paper, she unearthed a swath of satin brocade in an exquisite shade of peach. Although the fashion of another era, it was one of the loveliest gowns she’d ever seen.

There was no one around, and she was so tired of the few outfits she had with her. She couldn’t resist. She slipped off her much plainer gown, placing it out of the dust on a sheet of tissue, and slithered her way into the peach creation.

The dress was a bit large on her. Fortunately, it laced up the side so she could reach to pull it tighter, but the shoulders still threatened to slip off. Her shift and stays showed above the low neckline, and without the elaborate underpinnings such a garment required, the skirt sagged around her in heavy folds. Even so, she felt very grand.

“Very elegant,” said an appreciative male voice.

Jean whirled and nearly lost the dress. She frowned at Lord Furness, who stood near the head of the attic stair, as she pushed the shoulders back into place. “What are you doing here?”

“This is my house.”

“Yes, but you went riding.”

“And I returned.” Benjamin strolled toward his disheveled houseguest. In his ancestress’s gown, Miss Saunders was an unsettling combination of little girl playing dress-up and lush courtesan, with her clothes falling off and her curling hair making a determined break for freedom.

She gathered the heavy skirts and retreated to a rank of trunks a little distance away. “I was just… I’ll put on my own gown.”

Benjamin walked a bit closer.

“If you will go away.”

“But I came up to help you look for toys for Geoffrey.” It was an increasing delight to tease her. There was something so charming about the look she got, which said she knew precisely what he was up to and refused to stoop to acknowledge it. And yet she couldn’t help but react.

“I haven’t found any.”

“Only a hoard of finery.” Benjamin walked along the row of trunks and glanced inside them. He picked up a satin coat. “I think I remember my grandfather wearing something like this, with lots of lace at his shirtfront. Perhaps it was this very coat.” He held it up and looked closer. “I’m not sure. He died when I was around Geoffrey’s age.” He smiled at his disheveled companion. “Grandpapa didn’t care much for change at the last. Or for what people thought of his appearance. He wore what he liked.” Geoffrey would have appreciated that attitude, Benjamin thought. “He had a dueling scar across his cheek.” His hand went to his own face to demonstrate. “A bit puckered and quite frightening, as I recall. They don’t seem to go together—all this frippery and bloody swordwork.”

“I imagine gentlemen took off their coats when dueling,” replied Miss Saunders.

Benjamin laughed.

“You should try it on,” she added in an odd tone.

He looked at her, hands clutching the brocade bodice to keep it from sliding off, a beam of sunlight shining through the uninhibited glory of her hair. Holding her gaze, Benjamin slowly took off his coat. “No wigs,” he said. “I draw the line there.”

“I haven’t found any,” she answered breathily.

He donned the bright satin garment. It fit well enough, only a little tight in the shoulders. It felt strange to have wide skirts around his legs. He made an elaborate bow. “Pon rep, my lady, I am so pleased to see you. I hope I find you in better health?”

“What do you mean, better?”

Benjamin straightened. Ive been concerned about you since—

“I’m fine,” she interrupted. “My…outburst in the library was quite uncharacteristic, I assure you. It won’t happen again.”

“No apology is necessary.”

“I wasn’t apologizing.” Coppery glints snapped in the depths of her eyes. “Only informing you that all is well.”

He didn’t believe her, though he couldn’t have said why. Her bearing and expression were calm, her manner quelling. Clearly, she didn’t want to talk about the bout of weeping, and he had no right to press her. Why should he wish to? “I don’t know how ladies moved about in those gowns.” He indicated the sweep of peach brocade trailing over the floorboards.

“With stately elegance,” she replied.

“That is to say, very slowly. Have you seen the sort of shoes they wore? Teetering along on four-inch heels must have made it hard to run away.”

“From what?” she asked with a quizzical glance.

“Anything.” Benjamin had spoken randomly. All his attention was on her, leaving his tongue unsupervised. “Bears.”

“Bears?” She laughed.

It was a delightful sound. Benjamin realized he hadn’t heard it nearly often enough. Irresistibly drawn, he stepped closer. “Or impertinent admirers.”

“The gentlemen wore heels, too,” Miss Saunders said. “So it would have been an equal race, mincing along the cobblestones in a satin-draped procession.”

She looked up at him, still smiling. Her eyes were suffused with warmth now, her lips a little parted, and Benjamin couldn’t help himself. He moved closer still and kissed her.

Just a brush of his mouth on hers, an errant impulse.He pulled back at once.

She leaned forward and returned the favor, as if purely in the spirit of experiment. Benjamin felt a startling shudder of desire.

In the next moment, she’d twined her arms around his neck, and they were kissing as if their lives depended on it. He buried his fingers in her hair, as he’d been longing to do for days. It sprang free and tumbled over his hands, a glorious profusion of curls. Hairpins rained onto the attic floor.

Then she pulled back and blinked at him, her eyes wide, dark pools. Her arms dropped to her sides. She took a step away, and another. “Oh.”

The small sound was a breath, a worry, anastonishment. Benjamin struggled with his arousal, glad now of the long, concealing coat.

Miss Saunders put her hands to her wild crown of hair. The lovely lines of her body were outlined in peach brocade and sunlight. “Oh dear.”

“I could help pin it up, if you like.” Benjamin bent and gathered a handful of hairpins.

“No, you couldn’t.”

He gave her the pins. “I have a deft hand,” he said.

“My hair is beyond deftness. It has to be wrestled into submission.”

He nearly lost his careful control at the phrase and the thoughts it elicited. “I have strong fingers.”

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KindleAmazon Paperback

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5 Copies of The Duke Knows Best

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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JANE ASHFORD, a beloved author of historical romances, has been published in Sweden, Italy, England, Denmark, France, Russia, Latvia, and Spain, as well as the United States. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: A WOLF APART (The Legend of All Wolves) by Maria Vale

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A WOLF APART (The Legend of All Wolves) by Maria Vale

Publication Date: July 31, 2018 

Gesnre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

2A9821B7-2E59-4C07-9F50-2D31942A3D63Can a human truly make room in her heart for the Wild?

Thea Villalobos has long since given up trying to be what others expect of her. So in Elijah Sorensson she can see through the man of the world to a man who is passionate to the point of heartbreak. But something inside him is dying…

Elijah Sorensson has all kinds of outward success: bespoke suits, designer New York City apartment, women clamoring for his attention. Except Elijah despises the human life he’s forced to endure. He’s Alpha of his generation of the Great North Pack, and the wolf inside him will no longer be restrained…

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of THE LAST WOLF

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Excerpt

Elijah intentionally lost a challenge that would have brought him back to Homelands. He is battered inside and out and turns to Thea, a woman he doesn’thave any claim on. But she takes him in and cares for his injuries (“a fight” is all he tells her) and when a snowstorm moves in, he stays.  The peace he had hoped for turns to something else.

*****

“‘The great man’”—I try to remember the quotes and strip away the emendations that John made, altering them to our circumstances; “the great wolf” was what he actually said—“‘is the one who in the midst of the crowd’”—John said “of humans”—“‘keeps with perfect sweetness the stillness of the forest.’”

She stares at her book for a moment and then puts her finger on a passage.

“The quote is ‘keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.’ I like yours though.”

“My old English teacher loved Emerson. But I learned it a long time ago. Must have mixed it up.”

Of course, I didn’t. The summer before we were to go Offland, Leonora did her best to make sure that those of us who were leaving understood how to appear human in the world they had re-created in their image.

John tried to do something altogether more subtle and difficult. Whatever disguises we were wearing, he wanted to make sure that we preserved the Homelands within us. He wanted us to make sure that there was a place for the wild inside, even if there wasn’t a place for it anywhere else.

“You liked your English teacher?”

“What? My… Yes. Very much. He was more than an English teacher. He was kind of the…head of our little rural community. We’re very tight-knit, but tempers can run short. He worked hard to keep everyone together.”

She dunks the tea bag a few times before fishing it out with a spoon and, wrapping the string around it, squeezes it dry. “Was it worth fighting for?”

“I didn’t win, if that’s what you mean.”

“Not really. A good fight isn’t about the outcome. It’s about knowing that you’ve made things better by trying.”

Then I hear Victor’s voice. “You will win, Alpha,” he says. My one advocate with his sour, judgmental voice and his sour, judgmental face.

“Honestly, I don’t know if it was worth fighting for. I don’t know anything anymore. And no one seems to know who I am.”

When she blows across her tea, she sends the damp-orchid-and-honey scent to my waiting nose.

“Do you? Know who you are?”

“Of course, I do,” I snap, all the Pack’s skepticism and my own self-doubt suddenly brought to a head by this woman who doesn’t know me from Adam. Then I remember what she is. A woman. A human. “I am a partner in one of the most powerful law firms in the country.”

“You’re not just a lawyer, any more than I am just an ECO.”

“So what else would you say you are?”

“All sorts of things. I’m a woman who doesn’t listen to music in the background, because that’s not actually listening. Who is a vegetarian gun owner.Who makes her living helping people but likes to be alone. Whose ancestors were on this landmass when the people who yell at her to ‘go home’ were sleeping with pigs in Europe. Who likes caffeine and Cheetos. Who was in a sorority for four months. Who is the daughter of dead parents and the sister of a dead brother.

She lifts her tea to her lips.

“What happened to your family?”

“You’re changing the subject. I’m saying that I’ve never met anyone who was just one thing. Who was just ‘a lawyer.’ So, Elijah Sorensson, Esquire, what else are you?”

What else am I? I’m an exile. A disappointment. An Alpha without a Pack. A leader no one wants to follow. A flashy vessel hiding something unspeakably sacred and undeniably fragile. I am a monster: neither one thing nor the other, belonging nowhere.

“Lost,” I say, staring at the fire until my single working eye begins to dry out. “Just. Fucking. Lost.”

My throat feels achy and full, and I turn back to the page, pretending to read, because I feel her ironwood eyes on me, and I know what she sees: an angry, defensive, broken, defeated man in a human’s castoffs and with a wolf-ravaged, bruised-gourd face.

And then I feel something else. I feel Thea’s hand hanging loose between us. She has returned to her book, but the wordless invitation is there. The cabin being what it is, when I let my hand drape to the side of the bed, I’m close enough to touch her.

In the snow-muffled peace of no expectations, I stare sightless at the pages, every nerve focused on the shared heartbeat between our fingers.

When I finally look up from the blurred pages, the mottled fire is reflected in the warmth and welcome of her eyes. I can’t stop myself. I collapse to my knees, my head at her lap, my arm wrapped around her knees, silently asking if thiswoman who makes a living finding people can find me too.

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About the Author

2519C8DF-822E-41D5-9F32-6809592F1626Maria Vale is a journalist who has worked for Publishers Weekly, Glamour magazine, Redbook, the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a logophile and a bibliovore and a worrier about the world. Trained as a medievalist, she tries to shoehorn the language of Beowulf into things that don’t really need it. She currently lives in New York with her husband, two sons and a long line of dead plants. No one will let her have a pet. Visit her at https://www.mariavale.com/.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: BAD REPUTATION by Stefanie London

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BAD REPUTATION (Bad Bachelors) by Stefanie London

Publication Date: August 7, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

ACAA36A1-CD60-41B5-8822-C4B2F82E1743It’s true, Wes is well-endowed.

But everything else is a huge misunderstanding…

Wes Evans, son of Broadway royalty, just wants to achieve something without riding his family’s coattails. Too bad the whole world is talking about his sex life after the notorious Bad Bachelors app dubs him “The Anaconda”. But when he sees a talented ballet dancer, he knows she is exactly what he needs to make his show a success.

Remi Drysdale only had one thought when she fled Australia for New York—never mix business with pleasure again. Ever. Working with Wes is the perfect chance to reclaim her career. Remi promises herself not to tangle with the guy who holds her career in his hands…no matter how enticing his reviews are on the Bad Bachelors app.

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Excerpt

It’d been a heck of a long time since Wes had done anything close to dancing. These days, he favored going for a run through Central Park or chasing his niece around until they were both huffing and puffing. But muscle memory was a fascinating thing, and his body knew exactly what was required. He’d retained some of his fluidity, some of that strong posture and confident, graceful movement. All the things that allowed him to enter a room with a bang.

Most guys his age were monster trucks—big and powerful but clunky. Lumbering. Despite merciless bullying about his dancing when he was a kid, Wes knew it had been the very thing that made him who he was today. A sports car—smooth, stylish. A head turner.

Did that make him cocky? Hell yeah. But modesty didn’t get you anywhere. Not in this city, anyway.

Watching the instructor subtly raise a brow as he followed her steps had been enormously satisfying. She’d underestimated him. 

“Great job, class. We’ve got a few final stretches and then we’re done.” Miss Perky Instructor grinned at the students, the bright expression turning smoky when her eyes landed on him. “Take a port de bras up over your heads and then hinge forward. Touch the floor if you can.”

The first movement of her demonstration grabbed his attention, the gentle whisk of her hands above her head into that perfect port de bras shape. But when she bent forward, folding herself in half and thrusting her pert ass into the air, Wes’s lungs almost gave out. The woman was wildfire.

The floor-to-ceiling mirrors behind her gave him a perfect view of her long, shapely legs and sweet, heart-shaped butt. But he wasn’t only captivated by her gorgeous body—there was something about her movement too. A quiet musicality and grace that hinted at formal training. Perhaps not much, since Wes knew everyone in the New York ballet scene. Though she did have an accent.

“Uncle Wes,” Frankie hissed. “You’re supposed to be standing up.”

He grunted when a small but sharp elbow landed hard against his rib cage. “Sorry, Frankie.”

He righted himself, catching up to the group and enjoying the instructor’s delightful smirk. Busted! She knew he’d been checking her out.

When the class finished, Frankie raced off to change into her sneakers

“Thanks for being a good sport.” The instructor walked over, her feet ever-so-slightlyturned out and her hands brushing delicately by her sides. Yep, she’d definitely trained at some point. Talented too, he’d bet. “Even if you were unprepared.”

“You certainly kept me on my toes.”

“Was that a ballet pun?” She narrowed her eyes, the corner of her mouth fighting a smile.

“Definitely not,” he said with a mock-serious expression.

Because I really dont see the pointe of those. Its not that I have a bad attitude, but I need to set the barre higher than that.” A mischievous twinkle lit her dark eyes.

“That’s impressive.”

“Don’t even try to out-pun me. I’m like the Energizer Bunny with bad jokes.”

He chuckled. “What else you got?”

What animals are poor dancers?” She paused. “Four-legged ones, because they have two left feet.

“I’ll have to tell Frankie that one.”

“Actually, I’m pretty sure she told me that joke.” Remi shook her head. “Your niece has a great sense of humor.”

“It’s a family gift.” He pretended to brush something off his shoulder and was rewardedwith the tinkling sound of her laughter. Damn, that sound was straight out of heaven. “Good turnout and a passion for lame jokes.”

“That all?”

“Well, I have a few personal talents.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Such as?”

“I make a mean stir-fry. And my tendu was pretty damn spectacular, in case you didn’t notice.” He winked, barely able to keep a straight face.

“Oh, I noticed.” The words were fired back and forth lightning fast. Like fireflies zipping around them. “I’m Remi, by the way.” She stuck her hand out.

“Wes.” Her palm slid into his, and he closed his fingers around her hand. Judging by the quick flare of her nostrils, she felt the snap of electricity too. “I know all the ballerinas in New York, but I’ve never seen you before.”

“How lucky for all the ballerinas in New York.” Her voice was husky as she pulled her hand back, severing the crackling connection between them. “You got some kind of tutu fetish?”

“Yeah, I love that scratchy feeling.” He shoved his hands into his back pockets. “And nice job dodging the question, by the way. That’s some politician-level interview skills you got there.”

“I wasn’t aware I was being interviewed,” she replied with a smirk. “And if you watch the replay I think you’ll find you didn’t actually ask me a question.”

The exchange made him even more curious. “How come I haven’t met you already?”

“I’m not from around here, if you couldn’t tell.”

“New Zealand or Australia?” He cocked his head. “I won’t claim to know the difference well enough to pick a side.”

“Chicken,” she teased. “I’m an Aussie, born and bred. But I’m not a ballerina, which would explain why you don’t know me.”

Wes would bet his last dollar bill Remi was classically trained. He’d seen a lot of dancers come in and out of his parents’ school over the years, and if there was one thing he could spot with ease, it was the way a ballerina moved.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” she asked.

“Just wondering why you’re lying to me.”

Remi blinked. “I’m not lying.”

“You said you weren’t a ballerina.”

“I said I’m not a ballerina,” she corrected. “Present tense.”

Ah, that explained it. He was tempted to argue that one never stopped being a ballerina, even if they weren’t training or performing anymore. But instinct told him it was a touchy subject. “Right.”

“You’ve got a good eye, though.”

He wasn’t sure if she was wary or impressed. “Decided it wasn’t for you?”

“Other way around.” Darkness flickered across her face, casting a shadow over her rich brown eyes. “Ballet decided I wasn’t right for it.”

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

5 Copies of BAD BACHELOR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

0CDDA21A-25AA-4D17-B3C5-6F2C76247675Stefanie London is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romances with humor, heat, and heart. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Stefanie now lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband. She loves to read, collect lipsticks, watch zombie movies and drink coffee. Her bestselling book, Pretend It’s Love, was a 2016 Romantic Book of the Year finalist with the Romance Writers of Australia.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR by Linda Broday

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TO CATCH A TEXAS STAR (Texas Heroes, Book 3) by Linda Broday

Publication Date: July 3, 2018

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Synopsis

53614F0A-7BC4-48F6-9238-FDB8E5F55D28He’ll do what it takes to prove his love

The son of a notorious outlaw, Roan Penny yearns to make his life count…but heroism comes with a price. Left badly injured, only the kindness of a gentle stranger can save him. He longs to be with the captivating beauty—his savior, his Texas star, his Marley Rose McClain—but he knows he’d bring her nothing but trouble.

If only he could convince his heart of that.

Marley’s lived a charmed life, and she’s determined to spend the rest of her days at her quiet hero’s side…but she isn’t what she seems. A life-long secret threatens to destroy everything she knows—and everything she could hope to be. As dangerous men threaten to pull her back into the shadows, a desperate Roan must ride hell-bent for leather to save the other half of his heart…before he can lose her light for good.

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1A56B25E-E360-4A51-898F-11F3B2B16498

Excerpt

Unable to bear the torture, Roan whirled and crushed his lips to Marley’s.

A hunger so powerful that it hurt to breathe spread through him, rushing along his limbs and touching off a whirlwind inside him. He stood in the storm and let the emotion wash over his body, healing his ragged spirit and muzzling his fear.

A raspy moan escaped. His heart beating like a thundering herd of buffalo, he held Marley so tightly against him that he expected her to complain. If he could somehow open himself up and draw her inside, he would. He’d protect her with every bit of strength he had and carry the beautiful woman with him forever.

Dear, God, he wanted her. Wanted her more than anything in the world. His hands roamed over her curves, memorizing every indentation and soft swell. She seemed to be learning every inch of him as well, and the way she clutched, kneaded, and caressed him spoke of a great need of her own.

The air seemed to vibrate with this craving that swept through him. His senses filled with her, Roan deepened the kiss and backed her against a work table where they repaired harnesses and saddles. Tightening his grip, he lifted her onto the planks. She reached for him, knocking off his hat and it tumbled to the floor.

His heartbeat roared in his ears and drowned out everything except this overpowering desire for her.

How long they stood wrapped in each other’s arms, he didn’t know. He was barely conscious of where they were, or of the dawn breaking. Men and children would spill out any second and find them.

It took everything he had to break the kiss. He tenderly brushed a tendril of hair from her eyes and studied her dark eyes. “You’re like those shooting stars we watched. You blaze across a man’s life with such a streak of color and pageantry it steals a man’s breath. You’re my Texas star, Marley Rose McClain. That is if you don’t object to the title.”

His Texas Star. Yes, that’s exactly what she would always be.

Marley’s breath hitched. “That’s beautiful. I’ve never been compared to a shooting star before.”

“Well, you are. I don’t know what the future holds or if I’ll ever see you again,” he mumbled against her mouth. “Keep shining, Texas Star, for as long as you live.”

“I will.” Marley’s glistening gaze met his and she ran a fingertip along his jawline. “No promises, no regrets.”

“None.” The rooster finally crowed, reminding Roan he’d best hurry. “Maybe you’ll write a story one day about me and how you saved my life one frosty morn.”

Tears bubbled in her eyes. “You’d better come back or I’ll come looking for you.”

“You will, huh?”

“I’ll brave a den of snakes and go through a hail of bullets to get to you, and you can count on that.” Marley straightened his collar and picked a piece of lint from his coat. “You’re a handsome man, Roan Penny. Women are going to chase you, but it doesn’t mean you have to let them catch you.” Her voice broke.

Roan swallowed a lump in his throat. This was tearing him up inside.

With a cry, she tangled her fingers in his hair and pulled him close for another kiss.

“I’ll pray for you, Roan,” she whispered.

“Save your prayers for those who believe in their power.”

Before the banked fire had a chance to flare again, Roan stepped away from her and issued a stern warning. “Don’t come after me. I mean it. You don’t know the danger waiting in San Saba. If they knew I cared for you, they’d kill you. Promise you’ll stay here. You have topromise not to come after my sorry hide. Go on with your life.”

Marley shook her head, her dark eyes large in the low light. “I can’t do that.”

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

5 Copies of Knight on the Texas Plains

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Linda Broday_newAt a young age, LINDA BRODAY discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She resides in the Texas Panhandle and is inspired every day.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: AN AFFAIR WITH A SPARE by Shana Galen

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AN AFFAIR WITH A SPARE (The Survivors) by Shana Galen

Publication Date: July 3, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis

6D650C84-78E8-45EC-99DF-0AAA7F28F4F0He’s turned seduction into an art form…

Rafe Beaumont, fifth son of an earl, uses his irresistible charm with the ladies to glean dangerous war secrets. Now he’s putting those skills to the ultimate test: capturing an elusive assassin by seducing his daughter. The problem? She’s entirely immune to Rafe’s flattery.

Never before has Collette Fortier met a man as attractive as Rafe. But her father’s life is at stake, and succumbing to Rafe would be disastrous. But when Rafe turns the tables on her, offering support and friendship instead of a fleeting affair, Collette finds herself tempted in ways she never could have imagined…

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Excerpt

In this excerpt from An Affair With a Spare Rafe Beaumont rescues Collette Fournay from an out of control carriage.

 Collette smiled, looking down to hide the expression. When she looked back up, a scream lodged in her throat. The three of them had been forced very near the street because of the people passing them on their way to the museum. And on the street, headed straight for them, was a large cart, the sort used to move heavy items, and it careened toward them at breakneck pace. It seemed something had spooked the team pulling it because the horses were wild eyed and out of control. The driver half stood, whip in hand, hollering at the top of his lungs, but the horses paid no attention. They headed straight for the walkway. Straight for Collette, who had been walking on Beaumont’s other side, closest to the street.

She barely had a moment to react, and her reaction was quite ridiculous. She stopped, crouched, and covered her head. She knew the defensive posture was ridiculous, but she couldn’t seem to summon the will to run, which would have been smarter, although probably just as useless. Collette closed her eyes and said a prayer, waiting for the bone-jarring impact of the carriage on her person.

Instead, she felt strong arms lift her by the waist and drag her away. Then she was falling, something heavy falling beside her.

When she opened her eyes, she realized she must have been killed. The most beautiful man was looking down at her, his violet eyes only inches from hers. And he spoke, but she couldn’t hear him over the high-pitched ringing in her ears. The sunlight lit him from behind. He looked over his shoulder and more people gathered, blocking out the light.

People. Not angels.

This was not heaven but London, and the angel had been Rafe Beaumont.

She tried to speak, but her lungs burned and she could not find her voice.

“Just lie still, Miss Fournay,” Beaumont said. She could hear him, hear everything around her, the sound returning slowly like each piece of an orchestra added one after another.

“You’ve had quite a scare,” he said.

She nodded, still unable to speak. Then she remembered Lady Ravensgate and looked about frantically for the woman. Though Collette did not particularly like her sponsor, she needed the woman to stay in contact with the royalists who had her father.

“She is fine,” Beaumont said, seeming to read her thoughts. “I shoved her aside and then went back for you. I think she may have hurt her ankle. A woman and a man who claims to be a physician are with her. Are you hurt anywhere?”

She didn’t know. She couldn’t feel her body.

“Just stay still, then. I will take you home and see to everything. If you’ll excuse me for one moment.”

“No!” She grabbed his hand, holding on tightly so he could not move away. Her voice sounded strained, as though she had pushed it through a tight opening. “Stay with me.”

“I won’t leave you, sweetheart.” He touched her cheek with one gloved hand. “But I must see to Lady Ravensgate. I promise I will be right back.”

Collette knew she should release his hand, but she could not seem to manage to uncurl her fingers.

“I won’t leave you,” he said. “I won’t ever leave you. Do you believe me?”

She did. His eyes, his beautiful eyes, were so sincere.

Though it terrified her, she let him go. As soon as he moved away, feeling seemed to come back to her body. Everything hurt. Her back, her arms, her head. She had fallen hard, and though she didn’t think anything was broken, every bit of her felt battered and bruised. She closed her eyes against the sting of tears. She could hear the people around her whispering and murmuring about her. How she wanted to move away, to have her privacy back. The whispers and the crowds looking at her reminded her too much of Paris. But then the crowds had not murmured with sympathy. They’d whispered out of fear.

She felt a cool hand on her cheek and opened her eyes again. Beaumont was there, his bare hand on her skin. “Can you stand, sweetheart?”

“Yes,” she whispered. She tried to rise, to make her body do as she commanded, but when she lifted her head, the world spun. “Give me a moment,” she said, putting her fingers to her temple.

“Don’t move,” Beaumont said. “I have you.”

Collette tried to protest when he lifted her into his arms. She did not need to be carried, especially not in front of the prying eyes, but there was no point in arguing. He was already carrying her and doing so with very little effort. He seemed to behave as though she weighed nothing, carrying her as one might carry an infant.

And there was another reason she did not object. She liked being in his arms. The scent of him—spices and musk—tickled her nose. She leaned her head against his strong shoulder and breathed him in. His arms tightened around her, strong arms, powerful arms that cradled her against a muscled chest. For all his appearances, this was not a man given to idleness. She wondered if he would look like the men the Greeks had sculpted. If his legs would be as shapely, his torso as defined, his buttocks as round. And then because the very thought of him naked made her blush, she closed her eyes again.

He carried her into the hackney. When the door closed and Beaumont called out the direction, sheopened her eyes again. He hadn’t set her down, and she found herself on his lap, her arms around his neck. Across from them, the seat was empty.

“Lady Ravensgate!”

“I sent her with the physician and his wife. They had a private carriage, and I thought she would be more comfortable.”

“I see. That was thoughtful of you.” Except that it left the two of them alone.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

~*~*~*~

Giveaway

Shana Galen Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

~*~*~*~

About the Author

imageShana Galen is the national bestselling author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Her books have been sold in Brazil, Russia, and the Netherlands and featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She is a happily married wife and mother of a daughter and a spoiled cat and lives in Houston, Texas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Excerpt Tour: GETTING SCHOOLED by Emma Chase

GETTING SCHOOLED by Emma Chase

Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Genre: Romantic Comedy/ Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

B4CBD1E8-ECE3-4628-9B3A-D12B80D96EFFHead of the class…

Garrett Daniels has this whole life thing figured out.

The cocky, charismatic former high school star quarterback is an idolized football coach and “cool” teacher in the hometown where he’s not just a golden boy — he’s platinum. He has good friends, a great house on the lake, and the best damn sidekick a man could ask for: Snoopy, the albino beagle.

Then…Callie Carpenter comes home.

And knocks him right on his tight end zone.

Back to school…

Callie has a pretty sweet life herself…on the other side of the country. But circumstances — that she’d prefer to never speak of again — have brought her back home, helping out her parents and substitute teaching at her old high school.

Now she’s facing bickering, raging hormones, constant gossip, awkward weirdness, and drama galore…and that’s just the teachers.

Just like old times…

When Garrett offers to show his former high school sweetheart the secrets of his winning teacher ways, Callie jumps at the chance – and then has to stop herself from jumping him.

Good friends are all they can ever be.

Or…these teachers just might end up getting schooled — hard — by love.

Includes a special bonus interview with the author!

©2018 Emma Chase (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

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Excerpt

High school parking lots are one of the most dangerous places on earth. I don’t have statistics to back that up…but I know it’s true.

I pull into the school parking lot Monday morning in my Dad’s giant, newly repaired mint-green Buick, with Back in Black by AC/DC blasting from the speakers. I feel tough, powerful—like I’m driving a tank.

I’m a badass teacher—I’ll run you down even if you’re a student—I’ve got twenty-nine more in class just like you.

The outfit helps too—leather boots, blue jeans, a starched white blouse and a black leather jacket. It’s my armor. The morning air is cool and crisp today, but I barely feel it. I’m locked and loaded and ready to roll.

As I march towards the main entrance, I spot Garrett and Dean and Alison Bellinger outside the doors. They pause when they see me, waiting.

“Damn,” Dean chuckles. “Callie’s got her shit-kickers on. Did you dig them out of a mosh pit from 1993?”

Garrett crosses his arms. “Somebody’s channeling Michelle Pfiefer in Dangerous Minds.”

He looks fantastic. His hair is tousled from the breeze and kisses his brow, and he’s wearing a dark blue sweater that’s snug around his biceps and soft, worn, light blue jeans. I remember his arms around me yesterday on my parent’s porch. The wonder and exhilaration of the moment.

Of him.

The intensity in his eyes, the desire and possessiveness in the grasp of his hands. The scorching feel of his mouth, his wet talented tongue that made my stomach swirl and my head spin.

So much for not complicating things.

But I’m not going to play head games with myself or Garrett—we’re too old for that shit.

I have feelings for him—I always have—our break-up had nothing to do with either of us not wanting each other desperately. But these aren’t just leftover echoes of a sweet, first love—this is something new. A throbbing, breathless attraction to the amazing man he’s become. I want to be near him. I want to know him, inside and out, all over again.

And he feels the same way. Garrett wants this version of me as much as he always did—maybe even more. I heard it in his whispered words and felt it in his kiss.

I don’t know if we have a future, if it can go anywhere. We have separate lives on opposite ends of the country. But I’m not going to worry about that—for now, I’m going to take each day as it comes and enjoy every moment we can.

Except for now. Now is not the time for enjoying or worrying or relationship building…now is the time for focusing. Now is the time to be ice and steel—don’t smile, don’t waver.

“Little fucknutters don’t know who the hell they’re dealing with,” I growl.

Allison pumps her fist. “That’s the spirit.”

Garrett opens the door for me. “Go get ‘em, Gangster’s Paradise.”

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Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Paperback

~*~*~*~

About the Author

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER | TWITTER | GOODREADS | READER FAN GROUP

Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: FRAGILE ORDINARY by Samantha Young

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FRAGILE ORDINARY by Samantha Young

Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Genre: Young Adult Romance

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Impossible Vastness of Us and the On Dublin Street series comes a heartfelt and beautiful new young adult novel, set in Scotland, about daring to dream and embracing who you are. THE FRAGILE ORDINARY is now available where all fine books are sold.

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Synopsis

B8578476-54CE-4CFA-B368-B3966FB445DEI am Comet Caldwell.

And I sort of, kind of, absolutely hate my name.

People expect extraordinary things from a girl named Comet. That she’ll be effortlessly cool and light up a room the way a comet blazes across the sky.

But from the shyness that makes her book-character friends more appealing than real people to the parents whose indifference hurts more than an open wound, Comet has never wanted to be the center of attention. She can’t wait to graduate from her high school in Edinburgh, Scotland, where the only place she ever feels truly herself is on her anonymous poetry blog. But surely that will change once she leaves to attend university somewhere far, far away.

When new student Tobias King blazes in from America and shakes up the school, Comet thinks she’s got the bad boy figured out. Until they’re thrown together for a class assignment and begin to form an unlikely connection. Everything shifts in Comet’s ordinary world. Tobias has a dark past and runs with a tough crowd—and none of them are happy about his interest in Comet. Targeted by bullies and thrown into the spotlight, Comet and Tobias can go their separate ways…or take a risk on something extraordinary.

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53480743-6DDF-43F4-BF38-621A437E74FC

Excerpt

By the time we got to the house and I let us into my bedroom, I was a jittering wreck. Massive waves of nervous energy were emanating from Tobias, making me worse. He was rarely nervous about anything. Once inside my room, I waited impatiently as Tobias slumped down on my bed, elbows on knees, head in hands.

I shrugged out of my jacket and unwound my scarf. Still waiting.

“Comet,” he huffed, not looking up. “Sit down, okay, you’re making me nervous.”

“You’re making me nervous.” I sat on the armchair across from him. “You and Stevie didn’t kill someone, did you? Did Dean dispose of the body for you and now he’s blackmailing you?”

Tobias’s broad shoulders shook and he lifted his head to stare at me with amusement tinged with sadness. “You’ve got to stop reading so many books.”

“Never.”

He smiled at me, his look so tender that I squirmed with the need to shoot across the room and throw my arms around him. Instead I met his gaze and asked directly, “What happened back there?”

“I just chose you over Stevie,” he said.

I swear my eyebrows must have hit my hairline at this pronouncement. “What?”

“Stevie and some of the guys have been hanging around Dean more and more. Dean is a dealer. And he’s part of something bigger—we’re talking an adult-sized, criminal gang who deal drugs and steal cars for a living. Dean deals cocaine to kids. Blair Lochrie High School is one of his grounds. He sells to quite a few kids there.”

At our high school?

Class A drugs at our high school?

“Bloody hell,” I whispered, “Where have I been?”

“Where I prefer you—safe with your nose stuck in a book.”

“Tobias…Stevie?”

Hearing the worry in my voice, he winced. “I tried, Com. I tried to keep him out of it, but he’s so messed up and I couldn’t stop him. I hung around to make sure he was okay.”

“Is that why you’ve been avoiding me?” God, please let that be why he was avoiding me.

“Yes.” A million apologies swirled in his gorgeous eyes. “I didn’t mean for Stevie to find out about you, because I didn’t want you anywhere near the stuff he was getting involved in. But then you two got along, so well I thought you might…have feelings for each other, so I told him that he either stopped hanging around Dean or he stopped hanging around you. He agreed keeping you out of that stuff, away from the boys, was better for you. So we stopped coming around as much and then stopped coming around at all. Tonight was his initiation into Dean’s crew. It was supposed to be both our initiations, I guess, because Dean was sending Stevie to some other party with drugs, and I was following Stevie as backup. Now I’m not.”

There was so much to process in what he’d just said.

My brain blurted out the first thing it wanted to deal with. “Stevie and I don’t have feelings for each other. I don’t like Stevie, Tobias.”

His eyes widened as my tone implied that I liked someone else. “No?”

“No.”

“Good. Because I just left him to that hell.” He stood up and started pacing back and forth. “I tried to help him even if it meant hurting you, and he just let himself get pulled further down into that crap.”

I stood up, reached out to touch him, to slow him down. He stilled, looking at my hand on his arm. “What did you mean? You chose me over Stevie?”

“Comet, Dean made it clear that if I left with you, I couldn’t go around there or anywhere near him again. So I either had to stay and go with Stevie as his backup on a drug deal and leave you to handle Dean on your own, or I could walk out of there with you and leave Stevie to do it alone. For good.” His gaze moved over my face, as if he were committing each feature to memory.

My heart started thudding so hard the blood rushed through my ears. “So you chose me.”

“Of course,” he choked out. “I’d never let anything happen to you. And seeing you there…I never want to see that crap touch you again. It was a wake-up call for me. I don’t want to be a part of that shit either. That’s not me.”

Seeing something in his expression made me brave in a way I never thought I could be. Knees trembling, I stepped up to him and placed a hand on his chest, over his heart. His chest was strong and hard beneath my hand, his body heat surrounding me and that woodsy, spicy, citrusy scent he wore teasing my senses. I wanted to sway into him, hold him tight, and never let go, but I had something important to say first now that I had his absolute attention. “Being a good student, working for something, achieving something, playing hard at football…it wasn’t all for your dad, Tobias. There is no maybe about it. Deep down you want those things for yourself, too. You’re smart and good and such a special person.” I gave him a tremulous smile, wondering if how I felt for him was as obvious to him as it was to apparently everyone else. “You deserve the life you really want.”

His chest rose and fell faster beneath my hand as we stared into one another’s eyes. Tobias licked his lips, as if he was nervous. “What if I want to get my grades back up?”

“Then I’ll help.”

“And join the rugby team?”

“Then you’ll try out.”

He nodded and slowly lifted his hand to cover mine. He took a step closer to me, his breathing sounding a little shaky. The thud of his heart racing beneath my palm made mine accelerate. My legs shook and my fingers curled into Tobias’s shirt. “And…what if what I really want…is you?”

Joy flooded me. I can’t truly describe the feeling. The euphoria. The excitement and thrill and fear and worry that cascaded through me at the thought of being with Tobias King.

No matter the plethora of emotions that came with his question, my answer was instant and absolute. “Then you have me.”

~*~*~*~

76AFACC4-E500-472E-B674-8C6ACDC8E5F1

Buy Links

Kindle | Amazon Hardback

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Giveaway

Signed hardback copy of THE IMPOSSIBLE VASTNESS OF US and THE FRAGILE ORDINARY for 3 winners

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the author

B52CE1BC-5AF3-4F41-AF8D-DF5B85573665Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows.  Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us will be published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017 Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for HeroOn Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: COWBOY SEAL REDEMPTION by Nicole Helm

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COWBOY SEAL REDEMPTION (Navy SEAL Cowboys, Book 2) by Nicole Helm 

Publication Date: June 5, 2018

Genre: Western Romance

Synopsis

0A80E1BD-6600-4971-8A25-89513B1DF202Three former Navy SEALs

Injured in the line of duty

Desperate for a new beginning…

Searching for a place to call their own.

Jack Armstrong’s been slowly piecing his life back together after a career-ending injury bounced him from the SEALs. The only trouble is, his family’s on their way to his new haven in Montana…and Jack refuses to let them know he’s still hurting. Desperate, he makes a deal with local bad girl Rose Rogers: in exchange for some extra security, she’ll play the perfect loving girlfriend.

Rose doesn’t trust any man, much less some tough-as-nails former SEAL. But the more they settle into their ruse, the more things start to feel real, and the more Rose’s true fear surfaces—that she’ll never be good enough for love. But Jack isn’t about to lose Rose. He’s done running when things get tough, and he’s determined to prove—once and for all—that even the most troubled hearts can find their way to redemption.

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Excerpt

No man had ever held her close like this. Like you just held a person because you woke up together. And okay, maybe shed never really spent the night with a guy. The few times shed allowed herself to be charmed into sex, shed always vamoosed either once the act was done or once the guy dozed off.

She didnt stay. She didnt do it again. And she did not, God forbid, cuddle. Someone holding her was supposed to be stifling. It was supposed to feel awkward. She was supposed to want to make fun of an act as soft and pointless as this.

Mostly she wanted to cry again and stay here forever. What was this man doing to her? And why him? Was it the scarsinternal and external? The sob story? Or just those eyes?

Do you have nightmares?he asked out of nowhere.

She shifted in his arms. Why would I have nightmares?

He kissed her bare shoulder. PTSD.

Hate to break it to you, sailor, but I never went to war.

You survived your own hell,he said so matter-of-factly, she couldnt even think up a response. War isnt the only thing that stamps itself on you, and death isnt either. You know, when I was in the rehabilitation center, someone told me foster kids suffer from PTSD at a higher rate than military veterans.

What asshole said that to you while you were in a rehabilitation center?

He shrugged. Mike.

Id like to wring that little fuckers neck.

Jacks mouth curved into a smile. Id rather you didnt. My mother likes you, but she wouldnt approve of that.

Your sister likes me too.Which she shouldnt have said or even thought. What did it matter what his family thought? It was a fake like, for a fake herbut she liked them in return.

Except Dick Bag Mike.

My sister worships you and might not care if you wring Mikes neck.

She laughed. Oh, damn him for having half a charming family. Vivian was adorable, and his parents were

Well, she didnt want to think about how lovely they were.

You had your own trauma, Rose. I just wondered if it still bothered you. Nightmares. Panic attacks. Ive done it all, so…”

Trauma. As though she were a victim. She had been, in a sense, but not like her sisters. Theyd all looked after each other. They had put each other first at great risk to themselves. Only Rose had ever taken their fathers teachings to heart.

Always look out for number one.

Just tell me the truth,he said, and it was all gentle and impossible to fight him off.

The truth. She didnt want to acknowledge the truth, but lying to Jack seemed so impossible. S-sometimes. Ive had nightmares. Rarely, but sometimes.

Mine have gotten fewer ever since I started talking. I told my sister I loved her last night.He paused, rubbing his lightly stubbled chin against her temple. I dont think Ive ever done that. And it was something. Telling Madison how much she hurt me changed something. Ive still got scars, Geiger is still dead, Madison is still married to my brother, but…”

But what?

See, thats the thing. There didnt used to be a but. It was a list of horrible, dark things, and it ended there. Everything was awful. Now? I still feel beat down by those things, by those hurts and scars, buttheres a but. Theres more.

She wanted to cry. For him. Because of him. She knew what it was like to have a but. Her sisters had always been that. It was so strange to realize that, over the past year as her sisters had been building their lives, shed lost that but for herself.

She had her bar, her power, and her freedom. It should have been enough, but the list of bleak was holding her down, and she didnt know how to be as brave as Jack and believe in a but.

Im not your happy ending, Jack,she rasped.

I dont believe in happy endings anymore, Rose. Maybe I never did. I do know we dont get what we deserve, and hard work doesnt always pay off. That doesnt change the beauty and hope of having a but.He smiled then, so open and perfect and beautiful. I care about you, Rose.A gesture she didnt deserve.

I wish you wouldnt,she whispered.

I know.He sighed and brushed his lips across hers, light and quick. I have to go do my chores before the family wakes up. Why dont you come with me?

Come with?

Yeah, you can watch me do manly chores, we can eat breakfast with my family, and then you can head home and get some rest before you have to open the bar.

She should refuse, stop diving deeper into this thing that was going to end so very badly if she let him get more attached.

If you let yourself get more attached.

Say yes,he murmured against her neck, nuzzling there.

And she was a very, very stupid woman, because thats exactly what she said

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Buy Links
Kindle | Amazon Paperback

Amazon Series Link

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Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of COWBOY SEAL HOMECOMING by Nicole Helm!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Nicole Helm grew up with her nose in a book and a dream of becoming a writer. Luckily, after a few failed career choices, a husband, and two kids, she got to pursue that dream. Nicole writes down-to-earth contemporary romance. From farmers to cowboys, midwest to the west, she writes stories about people finding themselves and finding love in the process. When she’s not writing, she spends her time dreaming about someday owning a barn. She lives with her husband and two young sons in Missouri. She is slightly (okay, totally) addicted to Twitter (@nicolethelm), the St. Louis Cardinals, and someday owning a barn.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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