Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: A PIECE OF MY HEART by Sharon Sala

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A PIECE OF MY HEART (Blessings, Georgia Book 4) by Sharon Sala

Publication Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

9781492646020-PRShe’s never had a home

Growing up in a troubled foster home, Mercy Dane knew she could never rely on anyone but herself. She’s used to giving her all to people who don’t give her a second glance, so when she races to Blessings, Georgia, to save the life of an accident victim, she’s flabbergasted when the grateful town opens its arms to her. She never dreamed she’d ever find family or friends—or a man who looks at her as if she hung the stars.

Until she finds peace in his arms

Police Chief Lon Pittman is getting restless living in sleepy little Blessings. But the day Mercy Dane roars into his life on the back of a motorcycle, practically daring him to pull her over, he’s lost. There’s something about Mercy’s tough-yet-vulnerable spirit that calls to Lon, and he will do anything in his power to make her realize that home isn’t just where the heart is—home is where their heart is.

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Excerpt

Read the first 3 chapters of A PIECE OF MY HEART (Blessings, Georgia Book 4) by Sharon Sala

Read Excerpt Here

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Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pSlCUV
B&N: http://bit.ly/2hPklbE
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2pZXvjb
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ryXFym

Amazon Series Link: http://amzn.to/2qywNke

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Giveaway

A Set of Blessings, Georgia Novels!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Sharon Sala is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 100 plus books in print under her name and her pen name, Dinah McCall. She is published in five different genres – Romance, Young Adult, Western, Fiction, and Women’s Fiction. First published in 1991, she’s an eight-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, five time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award, and five time winner of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence, winner of the Heart of Excellence Award, as well as winner of the Booksellers Best Award. In 2011 she was named RWA’s recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. Her books are New York Times , USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.

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Spotlight, Excerpts & Giveaway: Mistletoe Between Friends / The Snowflake Inn by Samantha Chase

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Mistletoe Between Friends / The Snowflake Inn by Samantha Chase

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Synopsis

img_4690Two gorgeous stories about the most romantic time of the year…

The holidays don’t have to be fraught with tension, as lifelong friends Lily Cavanaugh and Cameron Greene discover in Mistletoe Between Friends when they cook up a scheme to fool their family and friends.

The Snowflake Inn shows rivals Grace Brodie and Riley Walsh that Christmas is a time when dreams come true—even if you’ve given up on those dreams long ago.

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Excerpts

Mistletoe Between Friends

Monday morning came way too soon for Lily. She’d given herself multiple pep talks and reminded herself how important it was to do the right thing for Cam.
It just sucked that the right thing for Cam was going to be torture for her.
Ever on time, Cameron arrived to pick Lily up at exactly 7:00 a.m. Knowing he was a stickler about time, she’d made sure that she was ready and waiting for him. But she could tell by the look on his face when she opened the door that he was surprised she was ready.
“What?” she asked.
Cam looked her up and down and then at the suitcase beside her. “You’re ready,” he said with just a hint of disbelief.
A shy smile crept across Lily’s face. “You told me you’d be here at seven, so I was ready for seven. Actually, I was ready at six forty-five. Impressive, right?”
His eyes narrowed slightly. “You’re never ready when I tell you what time I’m coming to pick you up. I build a cushion for Lily time.”
The smile shifted to playful annoyance as Lily cocked a hip and crossed her arms over her chest. “If it would make you feel better, I can change clothes and decide that I want a bowl of cereal before we leave.”
“No, no,” he said with a slight chuckle. “I’m sorry. I guess I should have just said thank you, right?”
“No,” she corrected. “You should have offered to put my suitcase in the car because all this chitchat will make us late.” Without another word, Cameron reached beyond Lily and grabbed her case while she locked up her condo. “I watched the Weather Channel last night while I was packing, and they said it’s going to snow while we’re up there. Won’t that be beautiful? We can see snow in Central Park!”
Cam shrugged; he’d never given much thought to snow in Manhattan and didn’t care about it now. They lived just outside of Raleigh, so it wasn’t as if they’d never seen snow before. But that was just one of the things about Lily he adored—that the little things in life made her happy.
Lily had a bigger heart than anyone he’d ever known. He knew that even though she made light of it, she was easily hurt by her family. It didn’t help that her parents always made her feel like she wasn’t living up to her full potential, or that she had an older sister everyone seemed to think walked on water. Cam knew the real Lily. If anyone took the time to get to know her and saw beyond her inability to find a career, they’d see a person who’d give them the world.
For as far back as Cameron could remember, he’d been in love with Lily Cavanaugh. While everyone else around them treated him like a freak because of his intelligence, Lily always considered him Cam, her friend. He’d never once thought about telling her how he felt because the last thing he wanted was to lose Lily as his friend. Most days, she was the only one who kept him sane.
And now he was going to have her to himself for nearly a week.
Once they were on the road, Cam glanced over at Lily and saw the serene smile on her face. “What are you thinking about right now?” he asked.
“Actually, I was wondering if we were going to play the part of boyfriend and girlfriend during your conference or if we were waiting to kick it into gear when we got back.”
He nodded and then pondered the situation. “I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try out the act around my colleagues before we return home.” His tone was rather cut and dried, like he was talking about a root canal.
“How about a little enthusiasm, champ?” she asked sarcastically. “This was your idea, remember? And if we’re going to pull this off and get four months of freedom from our parents, you can’t talk about our relationship like it’s a chore.”
Cam turned to look at her as if she were crazy. “Talk about our relationship? It’s seven fifteen in the morning, Lil. We haven’t been around anybody except each other. What do you want me to do?”
She sighed. “You’ll need to show a little more excitement if you’re going to be believable as my boyfriend.”
What had he gotten himself into? “Why, exactly, do I have to do that?”
“Cam, everyone who knows me knows that I’m a fairly happy-go-lucky person. You and I are complete opposites. I’m going to have to tone it down a little, but on the flip side, you’re going to have to kick it up a notch. You know, crack a smile or a joke once in a while. Laugh.” She looked at him quizzically. “You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?”
Honestly, he didn’t. When he had devised the plan to have a make-believe romance with Lily to survive the holidays, Cam had simply thought that by saying they were involved, people would get off their backs. But as Lily explained the complexities of the situation, he realized he was greatly unprepared.
And that was simply unacceptable.
Taking a fortifying breath, he said, “Okay. It’s not like we have to play twenty questions to know each other better. We already know everything about each other. What do you suggest?”
“Well,” she said, “it would probably help if we held hands when out in public.”
Cameron considered her suggestions and—without reacting in any way, shape, or form—decided that this wasn’t going to be such a bad thing after all. He’d finally have the opportunity to touch Lily, to kiss Lily, and it was all her idea. He really was brilliant.
“Seems simple enough,” Cam said. “Done.” He reached for her hand and held it while he focused on the road and drove one-handed. He wouldn’t normally do that because safety dictated that he drive with his hands in the ten-and-two position. It took all of thirty seconds for him to start to squirm.
“This is physically painful for you, isn’t it?”
“What? No,” he denied although he was lying through his teeth. He wanted to concentrate on the feel of her hand in his, but couldn’t when they were on the road.
Lily pulled her hand away and almost burst out laughing at how quickly Cam’s hand went back to the steering wheel. “Okay, baby steps. We’ll only hold hands when we’re walking. How does that sound?” She smiled at the annoyance on Cam’s face.
“Safety isn’t something to take lightly, Lily.”
“Of course it isn’t,” she agreed. “I mean, driving twenty miles under the speed limit and one-handed? What was I thinking?”
“It’s a little early for all of this sarcasm,” he said dryly. “So other than hand-holding, what am I supposed to do?”
Was he kidding? At this rate, she could probably convince him to act out every one of her fantasies that she’d ever had about him. But that would be wrong.
Wouldn’t it?
Yes, yes, yes. Bad Lily! What were you thinking?
“Kissing,” she said before she could stop herself. “We’ll probably have to kiss in front of people from time to time. And none of that buddy-buddy, on-the-cheek stuff. Like…real kissing.”
Bad, bad Lily!
She saw him considering the idea from all sides as usual. He never agreed to anything without thinking it through. “I guess I can,” he said, seeming bored with the idea.
“That’s the spirit,” she said and was relieved to see them turning onto the exit ramp for the airport. If all went well, within a matter of hours she would be walking around Manhattan with Cam and presenting the image of a happy couple.
Project Girlfriend had begun!

~*~*~*~

The Snowflake Inn

She was feeling the burn and could clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel—or in this case, the clearing in the trees that meant the parking lot was close—when it happened. Her knee buckled. A cry of dismay escaped before she could help it, and next thing she knew, she was on the ground.
“Dammit,” she cried, pulling her knee to her chest as she rocked. “Why now?” Tears threatened to fall, and all she could think about was the walk to the car and how painful it was going to be. As much as her physical therapist had told her recovery would take time, Grace felt like her body had betrayed her.
“Are you all right?” a deep male voice said from behind her.
Uh-oh… Cute Angry Guy is here, and he’s talking to me! Looking up…and up…and up, her eyes finally met his. Holy cow.
“Miss?”
Oh, right. He asked you a question. “What? Oh, sorry… Um… Yes, I’m fine,” she stammered and tried again to stand. But her darn knee wasn’t quite onboard with the rest of her, and she went down again. She muttered a curse and felt a blush creep up her cheeks in embarrassment.
He quirked a brow as he looked at her. “You don’t look like you’re fine,” he said seriously and crouched beside her. “Did you hurt your knee?”
Grace nodded. “About six months ago in a skiing accident. I was in rehab and physical therapy for months. I just decided to try to go back to my jogging routine—at a slower pace, of course—and I thought I was doing okay. Until about five minutes ago.”
Cute Angry Guy nodded. “You probably just pushed yourself a little too hard.”
She shook her head. “In therapy, I can run twice as long without any issues.”
“That’s on a treadmill. This is an uneven jogging path. It’s completely different.”
Now she glared at him. “Thanks for pointing out the obvious,” she snapped. If she had better luck, she’d be able to jump to her feet and walk away with a sassy sway to her hips.
Clearly, she had no luck. On her third attempt at standing, Cute Angry Guy wrapped a strong arm around her back and helped her to her feet. “Thank you,” she said quietly and did her best to disengage from his embrace. But he didn’t let her go. Looking up, Grace found herself trapped by the bluest eyes she had ever seen. Her breath seemed to catch, and she couldn’t speak, couldn’t breathe. The only thing saving her from complete and total embarrassment was the fact that he seemed just as mesmerized by her as she was by him.
“Can you walk?” he finally asked, his voice sounding rough to her ears. Nodding weakly, unwilling to break their eye contact, she tried once again to move away, but his arm seemed to tighten around her. “I’ll walk you to your car.”
He clearly wasn’t big on conversation. At the moment, that suited Grace just fine because she was having a hard time remembering how to form words. Cute Angry Guy was big and a feast for all of her senses, but she had to be careful to remember that he was a stranger. She knew nothing about him, and as much as she wanted to ask him at least a dozen questions, there was something to be said for companionable silence.
And walking really close together.
Deciding to just enjoy the moment, Grace pressed herself more firmly against his warm, solid frame and began to walk slowly with him toward her car. With the way they had been seeing each other all around town for the past couple of days, she figured he’d know which car was hers without her saying anything.
Sure enough, he did.
As they approached her little white sedan, they stopped and Grace pulled her keys out of her jacket pocket. It was then that she realized what a complete mess she must look like: black leggings, white jacket, and a green wool scarf to match her green socks…ugh. And then there was the hair.
She was so not going to think about the hair.
Normally after her jog, Grace would take a few minutes in the car to relax and apply some lip gloss and fix her hair before going anyplace else. That was why she hadn’t been worried about approaching him the other day in Starbucks. But now that he’d seen her in this—well, in all her ill-fated glory—she was certain her current appearance had killed any attraction (real or imagined).
Quickly and painfully.
Awesome.
“So, um…thanks for the help,” she said, feeling awkward. She fidgeted with her hair, doing her best to tame it, and cursed herself for refusing to wear a hat. At least a hat could have camouflaged the flyaway mess.
His lips twitched with an almost-smile as he watched her fidget around. “Are you going to be okay to drive?”
Grace ran her hand through her hair and cursed when it got stuck. With a wince, she pulled it out and forced herself to play with her keys and try to remain calm. “Yes,” she said, wishing that the parking lot would just open up beneath her and take her away. “I’ll be fine. I’ll go home and do the whole ice-and-heat thing, take some ibuprofen, and call it a day.”
“You should probably call your therapist and let him take a look at it.”
She shook her head. “I don’t have one here.”
“Then you should set up an appointment for when you get home.”
Grace gave him an odd look. “Get home? I am home. I live here.”
Now it was Cute Angry Guy’s turn to give her an odd look. “You live here?”
She nodded. “I just moved here about six weeks ago. I thought I was done with therapy, so I haven’t bothered to look up a therapist. But I guess I’ll have to now.” She shrugged and turned to unlock her car. Once the door was open, she turned and forced a smile on her face. “Anyway,” she said and did her best to relax, “thank you for the help.”
“My pleasure.” His voice was deep and a little rough, and Grace almost wanted to purr. Hearing the word pleasure come from that mouth—which was pretty spectacular too—had her heart rate going into overdrive.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you around,” she said brightly and sat in the car, wincing slightly as she bent her leg.
“Don’t wait to find a therapist. Call the one you know and see if you can get a referral.”
“Thanks, I will.” She was just about to ask his name, but he turned and walked away. And the rear view was as enticing as the front one. Grace almost had to fan herself. Her first instinct was to call out to him, but really, it was probably better not to. If he had been following her these past couple of days, wouldn’t he have asked for her name or phone number? The fact he hadn’t just proved Grace was imagining things. Bad hair and wardrobe aside, the man couldn’t seem to get away from her fast enough.
With a depressed sigh, Grace pulled the car door shut and decided to cut her losses and go. The drive through the small downtown area didn’t take long, and when she saw Starbucks coming up, she decided she could deal with the pain for a little bit longer. A white-chocolate peppermint mocha would go a long way in helping her deal with it, of that she was certain.
It didn’t take long to park, and then she was surrounded by people she was coming to know. She smiled and made small talk while she waited her turn in line at the coffee shop. When one person was left in front of her, Grace felt an odd tingle go down her spine. Turning her head, she had to suppress a grin. There in the doorway stood Cute Angry Guy, and if her eyes weren’t deceiving her, he was doing his best to suppress his own smile.
She wished he’d stop trying to hide it. With a face like that, he had to have a smile that was positively breathtaking. Certain she’d never really know, Grace turned her attention back to the counter and placed her order as she made her way to the register to pay. She was mentally congratulating herself on the fact she hadn’t turned around again. Self-control—she’d known she had it in her somewhere.
“Thank you,” Grace said with a smile as she took the hot beverage from the young barista. Turning slowly in the crowd, she made her way carefully to the door, still doing her best to not look around and see if cute-angry-smirking-guy was still there. I guess I’ll never know, she sighed inwardly and headed back out to her car.
If her knee hadn’t been in so much pain, Grace was certain she’d have a little pep in her step. Being rescued by a sexy stranger was certainly a great way to start her day. A quick glance at her watch showed she needed to get moving or she’d be late for work. And with so much on the line, the last thing she wanted to do was mess that up.
Although she doubted anyone would blame her if they had seen the sexy reason for her delay.

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

 Amazon: http://amzn.to/2f8Tmbr
iBooks: http://apple.co/2edUFEE
B&N: http://bit.ly/2edWdy7

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Giveaway

5 copies of Mistletoe Between Friends/ The Snowflake Inn

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the author

imageNew York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.

When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Excerpt Reveal: Ride Rough: A Raven Riders Novel by Laura Kaye

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Laura Kaye’s RIDE HARD, the first novel in Laura’s Raven Riders Series, is on sale for a very limited time for only $1.99! Be sure you grab it and pre-order RIDE ROUGH, the second novel in the Raven Riders Series releasing April 25, 2017! A sexy romantic suspense, you might’ve first met the Ravens in the Hard Ink world, but this series stands on its own and is even sexier, edgier, and grittier! The Raven Riders Series takes you on a new adventure and kicks it into overdrive!

Get Ready for RIDE ROUGH with an exclusive excerpt AND a Sale on RIDE HARD!

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A NOTE FROM LAURA KAYE:

OMG you guys! I’m so excited! Because the first book in my new Raven Riders series is on sale for the first time AND I’ve got an advance excerpt from the second book here for you to enjoy! The Raven Riders is a new sexy contemporary romance series, and a spin-off from my Hard Ink world, about a different kind of a motorcycle club with a protective mission. Ride Hard tells the story of a naïve woman on the run who’s been rescued by the jaded and tormented president of the Raven Riders, who learns that she’s strong enough to save herself and the man she loves, too. Ride Rough is a second-chance love story that is so hot and emotional that I absolutely adored writing it! I hope you’ll check both out!

Now, enjoy this delicious tease from Ride Rough, coming 4/25/17, and grab your copies of BOTH! Thanks for reading! ~ Laura Kaye

~*~*~*~

Ride Rough (Raven Riders #2) by Laura Kaye

Publication Date: April 25, 2016

Synopsis

img_4585Maverick Rylan won’t apologize for who he is—the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club Vice-President, a sought-after custom bike builder, and a man dedicated to protecting those he loves. So when he learns that the only woman who has ever held his heart is in trouble, he’ll move heaven and earth to save her.

Alexa Harmon thought she had it all—the security of a good job, a beautiful home, and a powerful, charming fiancé who offered the life she never had growing up. But when her dream quickly turns into a nightmare, Alexa realizes she’s fallen for a façade she can’t escape—until sexy, dangerous Maverick offers her a way out.

Forced together to keep Alexa safe, their powerful attraction reignites and Maverick determines to do whatever it takes to earn a second chance—one Alexa is tempted to give. But her ex-fiancé isn’t going to let her go without a fight, one that will threaten everything they both hold dear.

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

It was one of Maverick’s favorite dreams.

He and Alexa had gone up to Swallow Falls in Western Maryland for a weekend getaway and were staying in one of the mini cabins at the state park. After a day of hiking and swimming and picnicking outside, they’d come back to their cabin tired and ready to crash, but getting naked for showers had sidetracked them for hours. And even once they finally fell asleep, Maverick was hard and ready every time he woke up, and he took her again and again, falling asleep still buried inside her . . .

And fuck if he wasn’t ready right now.

He burrowed his face in Alexa’s soft hair and banded his arm around her stomach. His hand filled with the soft mound of her breast. He pulled her back against his chest and ground his erection against the swell of her ass.

“Maverick,” she moaned.

Hell, yeah. He nuzzled her neck, kissed her there, tasting and nipping and sucking. God, he needed in her. “Fuck, Alexa,” he whispered.

Her hand gripped his. “Maverick.”

He rolled her under him and crawled on top of her, his body falling into the cradle of her spread thighs.

“Uh, Maverick.”

He frowned and kissed her jaw, her cheek, her mouth.

It was the kiss that did it. Something wasn’t right. The memory playing out in his sleep-fogged mind didn’t feel like the reality confronting his physical senses. His eyes blinked open.

And he found himself lying on top of Alexa. Not in the cabin at Swallow Falls years before. In the gray morning light of his house. Her wide hazel eyes stared up at him.

He reared off of her in an instant. “Fuck,” he said, coming to stand by the couch. Alexa looked stunned—and so fucking sexy that Maverick barely resisted crawling back on top of her. She lay on her back in his clothes, on his couch, her knees drawn up and falling out, her hair sleep-mussed and sexy. Jesus. He adjusted himself, unable to hide his raging hard-on, and scrubbed at his face. “Goddamn dream. I’m sorry, Alexa. I didn’t mean to do that.”

“You . . . you were dreaming. Of me?” she whispered.

His gaze narrowed. “Don’t ask a question you don’t want the answer to.”

She swallowed and licked her lips. “What if I do want it? The answer,” she added.

Years of need and longing roared through Maverick like a drug he’d mainlined. His thoughts spilled out unfiltered. “Damnit, Al. You’re laying there in my clothes in my house with your thighs spread after I’ve just woken up holding you. My skin smells like you. And I’m sporting an erection because of you. Don’t fuck with me.” The words came out harsher than he intended, but she couldn’t play with him. Not on this. Not when he cared so much. Not when he wanted so much.

Her mouth dropped open and her chest rose and fell a little quicker. “I’m not playing a game. I want to know.”

Planting his hands on his hips, Maverick studied her. Her beautiful, languid body. Her pretty, open face. Her eyes, honest and free of pretense. He felt pulled in a million directions. Between wrong and right, between taking advantage and taking care, between giving in and opening himself up to a world of hurt. “I was dreaming of you. Of us. Up at Swallow Falls.”

“That night we—”

“Yes,” he growled.

“Maverick—”

“Fuck.” He dropped his chin to his chest and closed his eyes. Trying to be bigger than his base needs. Trying to put her before himself. “Whatever is about to come out of your mouth is not a good idea.”

“Mav—”

“I mean it, Al—”

“Maverick!” she nearly yelled. “Listen to me.”

His gaze cut up to hers in time to see her sit up a little and take off her shirt. Well, his shirt. Then she laid back again, her eyes on him, drinking him in, inviting him in. “What if I do want it?” she whispered.

Something inside him snapped.

He was on her in a second. Body covering hers. Hands going to her warm skin. Mouth tasting her everywhere—her shoulder, her throat, her cheek. His chest pressed against her breasts, her hard nipples evident, her excitement palpable. And then his mouth found hers. On a triumphant groan, he claimed her, his lips sucking, his tongue penetrating. His big hand found her breast and kneaded at the soft mound.

And Alexa was right there with him. Moaning, kissing him, clutching on to him. Her thighs wrapped around his hips and her fingers twisted in his hair.

Bad idea bad idea such a fucking bad idea.

Why did bad ideas have to feel so good?

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Add to your Goodreads

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Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1) by Laura Kaye

Now on sale for $1.99 for the first time & for a limited time!

Review 5 Stars: http://wp.me/p3d0RZ-4Rm

Synopsis

img_4588Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders…

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before…

~*~*~*~

Buy Links

$1.99 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Review 5 Stars

Add to your Goodreads

~*~*~*~

About the Author

laura-kaye-headshot

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

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Spotlight, Guest Post & Giveaway: SAFE FROM HARM (Protect and Serve #2) by Kate SeRine

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SAFE FROM HARM (Protect and Serve #2) by Kate SeRine

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Synopsis

img_4318It’s All Harmless Flirting Until Someone Gets Shot…

There’s something about prosecuting attorney Elle McCoy that Deputy Gabe Dawson just can’t get enough of. Even with Gabe’s family legacy in law enforcement and promising career, Elle’s smart, sassy rejection of all his charm makes Gabe want her even more.

But Gabe’s confidence is shaken when he’s shot on the steps of the courthouse, protecting Elle from a terrorist intent on revenge. Worse, Elle isn’t out of danger yet. But as they race to counter the terrorist’s next move, Gabe determines to prove to Elle—and himself—that he’s a man worthy of her.Deputy Gabe Dawson has had his eye on prosecuting attorney Elle McCoy for years. But the smart, sassy redhead is immune to his legendary charm and good looks–until Gabe is shot on the courthouse steps protecting Elle from a vengeful domestic extremist.

Elle has been protecting her heart from the cocky playboy cop. But it’s hard not to notice a guy when he takes a bullet for you and seems determined to turn his life around. With terrorists still at large and Elle a target, Gabe and his law enforcement brothers kick into high gear to take down the threat. And as they work together, Elle realizes she’s losing her heart to a man who will risk it all to keep her safe from harm.

~*~*~*~

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To my readers,

I’m so excited to share Gabe and Elle’s story! Sparks were flying between these two in Stop at Nothing, so I couldn’t wait to bring their relationship to readers. I love these characters—from their flirtatious banter to their deeply emotional moments and everything in between.

Sexy and movie-star handsome, Deputy Gabe Dawson is the golden boy of Fairfield County. With a generations-long family legacy of law enforcement and a single-minded determination to reach the top, Gabe’s career promises to eventually eclipse even that of his famous father. All this makes him one of the most sought after bachelors in town. But the one woman Gabe truly wants doesn’t want anything to do with him.

There’s something about prosecuting attorney Elle McCoy that Gabe just can’t get enough of. She’s beautiful, brilliant, and the sexual tension between them every time they’re in the same room can’t be denied. But her snarky rejection of his charm makes Gabe want her even more. Not used to being turned down like a hot stove, Gabe hopes Elle will eventually give him the chance to show her he’s more than his reputation.

Elle’s had a crush on Gabe Dawson since she was a gangly teenager but was convinced he’d never give a girl like her a second glance. So now that they’re adults and she’s witnessed the famous Dawson charm in action, she doesn’t trust his flirtations—especially considering Gabe’s reputation as a womanizer. But when he takes a bullet for her, his self-sacrifice causes her to take a closer look. Soon she discovers the man he truly is and realizes what was once a schoolgirl crush is now so much more.

I really loved exploring Gabe and Elle’s evolution from frenemies to lovers, and I hope readers enjoy their playful, sultry interactions as much as I enjoyed writing them. But in addition to the romantic story central to the novel, is the story of love and family—regardless of whether that family is related by blood or bound together by loyalty and shared experiences. Exploring these complicated dynamics was an incredible experience and resulted in some of my favorite scenes in the novel.

There’s so much that I loved about writing Safe From Harm, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it now with all of you. Happy reading!

— Kate

~*~*~*~

Excerpt

Gabe started awake, throwing off the covers and bolting to his feet. Pain shot up and down his leg as soon as he made contact with the floor, making him groan through clenched teeth and follow it up with a juicy curse.
“Motherfu—”
“I’ll just come back later.”
His gaze shot up to see Elle standing inside the doorway, gorgeous eyes wide, her peaches-and-cream skin flushed an alluring shade of pink that deepened as he gaped at her. When she dropped her gaze, turning first left, then right, as if forgetting where the door was, he suddenly realized his bare ass was hanging out of the back of his hospital gown giving her quite an eyeful.
“No, that’s okay,” he said in a rush. “Come on in.”
He straightened quickly, wincing with the sudden movement, belatedly realizing his wound apparently hadn’t affected other areas of his anatomy and he was sporting some serious morning wood, which was pitching one helluva tent beneath the thin cotton gown.
He cursed again and dropped down on the bed, throwing the blanket over his lower body in one quick motion and trying unsuccessfully to suppress another groan. He squeezed his eyes shut for a second until the wave of agony passed. When he opened them again, he was surprised to see Elle standing before him, her gaze searching his face.
“Are you okay?” she asked, her hand coming up to cup his jaw. The gentle warmth of her palm sent a chill through him, making him shudder. Her hand immediately dropped away at the response, mistakenly thinking her touch was unwanted when, in fact, he desperately he craved it. “I’ll get the nurse.”
When she reached for the call button hanging near the head of the bed, he gently grasped her wrist and drew her hand away. “Leave it. I’m fine.”
She swallowed and dropped her gaze briefly to their hands, looking like she wanted to bolt and rid herself of his touch. He almost released her, saddened that she found the contact so unwanted. But then he felt her pulse quicken beneath his fingertips.
So maybe it wasn’t revulsion she was feeling after all…
When her gaze drifted back up to his, he decided to test his new theory and let his thumb slowly smooth over her skin. “How are you?” he asked softly.
She gave him a tremulous smile and, God help him, he damned near dragged her into his arms and kissed her. But he managed to restrain himself as she said, “Shaken up a bit. But no lasting harm.”
He narrowed his eyes at that, not believing her for a second. “You sure about that, honey?”
“I’ll be okay,” she assured him, nodding a little, her lips pressed together as if she was trying to convince herself of the truth of her words. “It’s just…” She sighed. “I almost died yesterday.”
There it was. The truth they both needed to face. Elle was no fool. Hell, she was brilliant as far as he was concerned. She must’ve known as certainly as he did how close they’d both come to losing their lives the previous day. So there was no denying her words, no use trying to convince her she was mistaken.
“Yeah,” he said, still caressing her pulse point. “You sleep at all last night?”
She shook her head, her eyes beginning to glisten with unshed tears. “No. All I could see when I closed my eyes was—” Her words broke off when her voice hitched with emotion.
Ah hell.
He slipped his hand into the thick waves of hair at the base of her neck and pulled her toward him. Every inch of him—especially those hidden under the blanket—longed to kiss her, but at the last moment, he pressed his lips to her forehead in a lingering kiss.
He didn’t know what to say to make her feel better. It wasn’t like that time when Todd Jenkins had broken up with her a week before the homecoming dance and Gabe had hinted to Chris that maybe he should ask her. Or the time her biggest rival was made editor of the school yearbook and he’d broken into her locker before school to leave her flowers (anonymously, of course). Or the time he’d given Aaron Maguire a fat lip when that asshole had gotten a little grabby with Elle in spite of her saying no loud and clear. Or the time he’d driven two hours to the college she was attending to fix her car on the sly because her aunt Charlotte had mentioned that it wasn’t running and Elle refused to ask for the money to fix it.
He’d been secretly looking out for Elle for as long as he had known her, never letting on that he was the one, never asking for anything in return. Knowing she was safe and happy was enough. But he was at a loss on how to comfort her this time, when they were very literally face to face.
He’d never known how to deal with a woman when she was upset. He supposed he got that from his father, who wasn’t exactly the most nurturing guy. Normally, Gabe bailed when things got serious enough with a woman that she was actually sharing emotions. Okay, to be honest, he usually bailed way before that. But seeing Elle looking lost and afraid brought out a protective urge in him that he’d never really experienced with anyone else—not to this extent, anyway.
He could lie and say she’d be fine in a few days. But the truth was, it might be something that haunted her far longer. God knew he had plenty of nightmares—some of them walked and talked and dropped by for a visit in his hospital room in the middle of the night.
Elle’s hand came up to rest lightly on his chest, and he felt her breath quicken as tension began to build in the air between them. “Thank you for saving my life,” she whispered. She pulled back enough that their faces were just inches apart. And for a moment, he thought she might actually kiss him. The look in her eyes told him she was considering it, which shocked the hell out of him…

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Buy Links

Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

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Giveaway

(5 Copies of Stop at Nothing by Kate SeRine & Safe from Harm bookmarks)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

img_4316Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) is a hopeless romantic who firmly believes in true love that lasts forever. So it’s no surprise that when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed her characters would always have a happily ever after.

Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project—probably while consuming way too much coffee.

Kate is also the author of the award-winning Transplanted Tales paranormal romance series and the Protect & Serve romantic suspense series.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

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Release Blitz: The Edge of Dominance (The Doms of Her Life) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl

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The Edge of Dominance (The Doms of Her Life) by Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, Isabella LaPearl

Publication Date: September 13, 2016

Genre: Erotica/ Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

04-TEOD-v6Since Macen “Hammer” Hammerman shares the bond he’s long craved with Raine Kendall and his best friend, Liam O’Neill, he should be looking forward to a bright future. But a vengeful force from the past returns to cast a long shadow. As Hammer reels from a bombshell that exhumed struggles he’d buried after his late wife’s passing, he learns her death may not be ruled a suicide after all.

Worse, a figure from Raine’s childhood surfaces, determined to rip her away for good. As the threats against the trio multiply, Hammer must confront his demons while leaning on Liam to keep their new family intact. But with emotions running high and forces mounting against them, can their love survive so they can finally live happily ever after?

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Buy Links

#Kindle  | #Nook  | #iBooks  | #Kobo 

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Amazon Series Link

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ABOUT SHAYLA BLACK:

 Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than forty novels. For over fifteen years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold well over a million copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past seven years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and a very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

Always be in the loop and sign up for Shayla’s FREE Newsletter

Visit Shayla’s website

Visit Shayla on Facebook

Visit her Amazon Author Page

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ABOUT JENNA JACOB:

Bestselling author Jenna Jacob paints a canvas of passion, romance, and humor as her Alpha men and the feisty women who love them unravel their souls and heal their scars to find their happily-ever-after kind of love. Heart-tugging, captivating, and steamy, Jenna’s books will surely leave you breathless and craving more.

A mom of four grown children, Jenna and her Alpha-Hunk husband live in Kansas. Jenna loves books, Harleys, music, and camping. Jenna’s zany sense of humor and lack of filter exemplify her motto: Live. Laugh. Love.

Meet the wild and wicked family in her sultry series: The Doms of Genesis. Or become spellbound by the searing love connection between Raine, Hammer, and Liam in her continuing saga: The Doms of Her Life (co-written with the amazing Shayla Black and Isabella La Pearl). Journey with couples struggling to resolve their pasts to discover unbridled love and devotion in Jenna’s new contemporary series: Passionate Hearts.

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ABOUT ISABELLA LAPEARL

Hello Friends! My name is Isabella and I write sexy, erotic romance. I’m a wife, mother, writer, reader and I love to ride my motorcycle.

To say it’s been an extraordinary journey thus far would be an understatement…what a rush! What a thrill to realize dreams and see them go from a seed to fruition. So for all you aspiring Authors who like me, have a fire inside that burns brightly and demands to be sated by writing… Never give up.

Release Blitz, Top 5 List & Giveaway: LAST KISS OF SUMMER by Marina Adair

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LAST KISS OF SUMMER (Destiny Bay, #1) by Marina Adair

Publication Date: August 30, 2016

Synopsis

imageHe’s one bad apple she just can’t resist…

Kennedy Sinclair never dreamed she’d own a pie shop and an orchard in a small town like Destiny Bay. But nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, it’s the perfect place to cross something off her “Life’s short so eat the icing first” list and start her life over from scratch. Her shop, Sweetie Pies, is famous for its hot, flaky apple turnovers and sinfully delicious deep dish pie. For Kennedy though, nothing is more enticing than the tall, strapping slice of temptation who keeps coming back for more.

Luke Callahan is determined to make his hard cider business a success. With his beloved father’s cider recipe and the opportunity of a lifetime in his grasp, he’ll stop at nothing to get this deal done. There’s just one catch: he needs Kennedy’s apples. At first, he thinks it’ll be as easy as pie to charm those apples right off her trees. But Kennedy isn’t falling for his tender charms or his wicked ways. When the negotiations start heating up, so do the feelings they have for each other. And it takes just one kiss to seal the deal…

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Excerpt

Kennedy rested her elbows on the counter and leaned forward. “You cook, clean, and make house calls? Be still, my heart.”
“I aim to please.” He dried off his hands and brought two steaming mugs of coffee to the counter. “Which is why I was trying to be quiet, so you could get another few minutes of sleep, before I surprised you in bed.” He grinned. It was a wicked grin. “Again.”
Luke had done more than surprise her last night; he’d spoiled her for other men. Sure, he was an incredible lover, but it was the tender moments in between that made her nervous.
This thing between them couldn’t last. She knew that. She also understood that if he was looking for something more permanent, she wouldn’t be the kind of woman to inspire that kind of commitment. She was unable to do it with her perfect match, or even her own mother. The one person who was supposed to love her unconditionally. Which left Kennedy painfully afraid that she was missing that elusive quality that led to forever.
Finding out that she was right, that she was unlovable, from a man who obviously had an incredible capacity to love, as she’d seen with his friends and family, would be too painful to survive. So she took the moment for what it was, committing to memory the warm aroma of the coffee, the way the sun cast a glassy haze over the kitchen, and the sleepy expression on his face that made him look softer. More relaxed. Like this was where he was supposed to be.
In this kitchen—with her.
Kennedy was becoming more attached—she could feel it. The way he treated her, the way he made her feel, even the way he looked at her, like right now, as if she were special. Which made her feel special.

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Marina Adair’s Top 5 Favorite Books:

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  2. Emma by Pride and Prejudice
  3. Honor’s Splendor by Julie Garwood
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  5. Gone Too Far by Suzanne Brockman

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Buy Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2bQGrqu
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2blGM22
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/2bDCtT6
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2c1OFOp
iBooks: http://apple.co/2bFN3pE
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2bMTh9u
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2bG9v6t

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2bMSB3K

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Giveaway

Ten (10) mass market copies of LAST KISS OF SUMMER by Marina Adair

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

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Marina Adair is a #1 National bestselling author of romance novels and holds a Master of Fine arts in creative writing. Along with the Sugar, Georgia series, she is also the author the St. Helena Vineyard series, and her new Heroes of St Helena series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and two neurotic cats in Northern California.

As a writer, Marina is devoted to giving her readers contemporary romance where the towns are small, the personalities large, and the romance explosive.

Author Information:
Author Website: http://bit.ly/2blHBHU
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2bDEjmJ
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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway: WINNER TAKES ALL by Erin Kern

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WINNER TAKES ALL (A Champion Valley Series) by Erin Kern

Publication Date: August 30, 2016

Synopsis

imageMoney. Fame. Endorsements. Blake Carpenter had it all—before his professional football career spiraled out of control. Determined to rebuild his life, he takes on coaching the high school team in his Colorado hometown. Despite a few fumbles, Blake knows he can lead these boys to victory. As long as he can keep his eyes on the prize and off the team’s distractingly gorgeous physical therapist.

Annabelle Turner knows all about the scandal that cost Blake his NFL career, and she’ll be damned if she’s going to let his mistakes hurt her team. What she doesn’t count on is the intense attraction that turns every heated run-in they have into a wildly erotic competition. Point by point, play by play, kiss by kiss, they try to keep things professional for the good of the team. But when the score is this close—and the passion this fierce—it’s anybody’s game . . .

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Excerpt

“I don’t like people interfering with my work, Ms. Turner,” Coach Blake Carpenter told her.

Gee, really?

“And I don’t like people telling me what to do,” he added.

Again. Shock.

“You’re used to having your way, aren’t you?” he asked Annabelle with a tilt of his head.

Always. “Sometimes,” she lied.

“Well, so am I,” he stated.

“No kidding? I never would have guessed.”

This time he did smile. A slow curling of his lips that matched the curling of her toes in. “So who do you think will win, Ms. Turner?”

“You might if you ever stop calling me that.”

He grin grew. “Why would I want to do that?”

Because it turns me on. “Because it’s too formal. Just call me Annabelle.”

“That’s not why you don’t like it,” he countered in a low voice.

They stared at each other like two caged fighters waiting for the other to wave the white flag. Only Annabelle didn’t give up, and she wasn’t about to start now. If Blake Carpenter expected her to admit defeat, he’d better think again.

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Buy Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2bxI5ed
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2b0dJ4i
Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/2bkHGje
iBooks: http://apple.co/2b0cgLl
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2aN5sja

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Giveaway

Ten (10) Mass Market Copies of WINNER TAKES ALL by Erin Kern

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

imageErin was born in Houston, TX. but spent the majority of her life in the Bay Area. She married her high school sweetheart and began her writing career while being a stay-at-home mom to her daughter.

Her first book, Looking for Trouble, was on the Amazon top 100 for four months, and on the indiereads.com top ten for four weeks. The second book in the Trouble series, Here Comes Trouble, was also a top seller on Amazon. Erin currently lives in North Texas with her husband and two children.

Author Information:
Website: http://bit.ly/2bkCDkb
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2bj5EJE
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2aKdXvD
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2aKbWQ8

Follow Forever Online:
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Excerpt Reveal: THE BACHELOR AUCTION (The Bachelors of Arizona) by Rachel Van Dyken

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THE BACHELOR AUCTION (The Bachelors of Arizona) by Rachel Van Dyken

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Synopsis

TheBachelorAuction11_RGB300 (1)Cinderella never had to deal with this crap.

Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. That is, until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes—or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire—maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. A prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk—even if that is just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while he and Jane may not get a fairy tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . . .

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Buy Links

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Excerpt

Thick wavy auburn hair fell in disarray over his forehead. It was lush, shiny, perfect. Were guys born with hair like that? Or was his somehow chemically engineered? His full lips pressed together in a secret smile as the equally handsome man next to him said something, then erupted in laughter.

The first man stiffened, then shook his head. His broad shoulders seemed to grow tight as a drum. A slight tic in his jaw was the only clue that he was irritated or maybe outright angry.

And then his shoulders slumped as he was handed another drink and then another.

Nervous. He must be nervous. But what could a man like that possibly have to be nervous about?

He easily towered over most of the men in attendance. Suddenly his posture changed, then he smiled.

Jane felt her mouth drop open in shock.

Dazzling.

He was…like a duke or a lord or a prince from a storybook. Clearly, she read too many romance novels, but his entire presence demanded attention; screamed authority, importance, and sex. Lots and lots of sex.

Yes, his virility was a tangible thing, as if she could reach out and grasp it with her fingertips.

“What are you doing?” Esmeralda yelled in her right ear, interrupting her blatant sexual fantasy about a complete stranger. Great. That’s what her life had come to. And sadly? It was the most fun she’d had all night.

Jane turned to Esmeralda, prayed for patience, and answered. “Sorry, I was just thinking.”

“You’re so boring.” Esmeralda rolled her eyes. “No wonder you got dumped.”

Another fun fact? Esmeralda was mean when she was drunk.

The reminder of the breakup burned like acid.

It had been a year ago, not that it mattered. It still hurt that the last guy she’d dated had told her that although she was cute, she wasn’t really doing it for him anymore.

Right. Doing it.

Maybe that was because she hadn’t done anything for him or with him, and he found that lacking. But they’d only dated for a few weeks. Did normal girls do that? Put out after a few weeks? Apparently.

She wasn’t normal.

But if that was normal, maybe she was better off being strange.

“Jane, are you even listening to me?” Esmeralda whined. “Essence needs you to dance next to her for a bit. I’m tired and tipsy. I want to sit. Plus your dress blends in enough that it won’t take attention away from her.”

No way. What? What had she just said?

Jane wrapped her arms around her middle. “I’m sorry, what?”

Without warning, Esmeralda grabbed Jane’s hand and jerked her toward the dance floor, causing Jane to lose her footing and crash directly into Esmeralda’s back. Then, like a domino, she slammed back into Essence.

Jane opened her mouth to shout out an apology, but Esmeralda was already too drunk to listen to reason. With determination in her eyes, she reached for the pearls at Jane’s neck but grabbed the fabric of the dress instead.

Her poorly sewn dress ripped instantly, causing the fabric to slink past her strapless bra. A diagonal slit split up her thigh almost all the way to her hip. In an effort to cover herself, she took a step and tripped, thanks to her clunky shoes.

And then she fell to the floor.

Hard.

Her sisters watched in horror—but neither of them offered a hand. They were probably kicking themselves for forcing her to come. Esmeralda leaned over but missed Jane’s shoulder by a mile, grabbing her hair and giving it a tug, which only made Jane wince harder.

Both sisters were completely tanked.

And she was less than two minutes away from being trampled by the other sweaty bodies around her.

She glanced up.

And into the eyes of the man she’d just been lusting after.

Oh God, the humiliation was complete.

That one glance told her he’d seen it all. She swallowed back the thickness building in her throat. Of course the only time he’d notice her would be when she’d ripped her dress and nearly took out a few guests on her way down to the dance floor.

The crowd gathered around her.

And the sexy man disappeared—probably off in search of a girl with perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect clothes.

She really should have stayed home.

Tears filled her eyes as a heel pressed into her right hand. With a jerk she tugged her hand free, struggling to get up to stand on her wobbly feet, when suddenly she was pulled to a standing position and then swept up in strong arms.

Jane’s eyes were still so blurry from unshed tears she couldn’t make out the man’s face as he carried her out of the crowd.

He smelled like heaven.

She fought the insane urge to press her face against his chest and just…close her eyes.

Because he felt safe.

Pathetic, when a stranger’s arms provided more safety than her own family. And yet he felt…right.

In a world where things for the past ten years had felt so wrong.

He felt right.

Maybe she’d had too much champagne.

~*~*~*~

About the Author

rachelborderRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS / NEWSLETTER

 

Excerpt Reveal: THE HARD WAY by Katie Ashley

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THE HARD WAY by Katie Ashley

Publication Date: August 31, 2016 

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Sports + Bad Boy + Second Chance

Add to GOODREADS

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imageCade Hall has always been the golden boy of the gridiron. Because of his talent at football, coupled with his father’s wealth, he’s always gotten his way. But when a night of drunken debauchery lands him in hot water with the college athletic board, neither his influential father nor his charming grin can save him. He finds it a total buzz kill when he is sentenced to community service with troubled youth at an inner-city shelter. But his nightmare is only beginning when his greatest high school regret is the very one in charge of the program, and she has him by the balls in more ways than one.

For Avery Prescott, senior year was a nightmare of epic proportions, and Cade Hall played the lead villain. After she fled her small town for college in the bright lights of Atlanta, she thought she had escaped the painful memories of her past. She never could have imagined Cade would waltz through the door of the outreach program she presided over. But Avery has news for Cade–she isn’t the same shy, doormat of a girl she was in high school. Since she holds Cade’s football future in her hands, she’s more than ready to make payback a real bitch.

Will the two stay in the defensive zone or discover that sometimes life’s greatest lessons are learned the hard way?

~*~*~*~

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Excerpt

Fuuuuuuuuuck! This seriously was not happening. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, apparently the universe didn’t just hate me. It fucking despised me. Not only was I stuck working forty hours a week at this shithole, but now I had the worst blast from my past standing before me. Avery Fucking Prescott.

In every “manwhore with seemingly no soul’s” world, there is one girl he regrets. One girl he thinks about from time to time. One girl he measures all the other ones against. One girl he even cries about when he’s shitfaced.

Mine was Avery Fucking Prescott.

I couldn’t help noticing that the Avery standing in front of me didn’t seem the same. Sure, she still had the same long, dark hair that she swept back in one of those ponytail things. Gone were the glasses, which made it a lot easier to see her green eyes that had flecks of gold in them. Of course, today there was pure and unadulterated hate burning in them directed at me where back in the day, there had been love.

But I had managed to kill that love by being a prick. Yeah, I’m sure you’re thinking that isn’t all too shocking based on the pure stupidity you’ve seen me exhibit so far. The thing is that Avery brought out the good that was buried deep down inside me. The good that you needed a fucking bulldozer to unearth.

While there were slight differences in her appearance, her entire personality seemed different, and no, I don’t mean just about how she hated me with a fiery passion. She wasn’t the wide-eyed, innocent farm girl who seemed so out of place at Harlington Prep. It was like she’d had a personality transplant. It reminded of me of what happened to my older sister, Catherine, the summer she turned fifteen, and my mother sent her off to some glamour school shit to detox the awkward out of her. When she came back a month later, it was like she had become a Stepford Kid. Catherine no longer took the time to play with me. She had “more important” things to do like contouring her brows or preparing for cotillions. Things were never the same between us after that.

My ego couldn’t help wondering if what had happened between us had caused the seismic shift in Avery. Like I’d broken the Old Avery with my actions, and this was what had been rebuilt in its place. But another voice rationalized that unlike me, Avery had probably gotten her shit together in the last three years. College had matured her.

After a few moments of a silent standoff, Avery said, “Hello again, Cade.” Her words might have been polite, but her voice was strained. I could tell it was taking everything within her not to go off on me.

“Oh, you two know each other?” Tammy or Theresa, or whatever the hell her name was, questioned.

Do we know each other? Oh yeah, we know each other. Like in the biblical sense. I can even tell you about the heart-shaped birthmark on the inside of her right thigh.

But I knew I would mortify the hell out of Avery if I said anything like that in front of her boss. So instead, I cocked my brows at Avery for her to take the lead on how she wanted us to respond to that question.

“A little. We went to high school together,” she replied diplomatically. The wounded look that momentarily flashed in her eyes told an entirely different story—the story where I played the villain.

But Tammy didn’t seem to pick up on it. “Well, isn’t it a small world?” she mused.

“Yeah,” Avery and I said in unison.

Tammy smiled at me. “I was just about to sing all of Avery’s praises to you, but since you know her, I don’t need to waste my breath, right?”

“Right,” I muttered.

“Well, then. I’ll leave you two alone to catch up, and for Avery to show you the ropes.”

“Thank you, Tamar,” Avery said politely.

Oh it was Tamar. Shit, I needed to remember that. “Yeah, thanks, Tamar.”

Tamar started out of the door and then stopped. She threw a grin over her shoulder. “Now, Avery, just because you know Cade, you can’t go easy on him. He has a debt to pay to Georgia Tech’s athletic department.”

Avery glared at me before flashing a fake smile at Tamar. “Oh, I promise to make him earn his keep.”

Apparently Tamar wasn’t picking up on the heavy tension between us. “Unfuckingbeliveable,” I muttered under my breath.

“Excuse me?” Avery demanded.

I held up my hands. “Nothing.”

Avery crossed her arms over her chest. “I never thought I’d have to see you again.” She shook her head at me, which caused her ponytail to swish back and forth like a whip. “Yet here you are standing before me. I guess, I must’ve done something epic to piss the universe off this much to put you back in my path.”

Whoa, that was sure as hell not what I was expecting. “I could say the same.”

Her green eyes narrowed to fury-filled slits. “Excuse me? You have some nerve to stand here in front of me and say that considering what you did.”

She was right. Only an epic tool would not immediately apologize for what I did to her. It should have been the first words out of my mouth. And not just to make things run smoothly here at The Ark, but because it was the right thing to do. After all, she had truly been an innocent in the whole fucked up situation of me being an emotionally crippled bastard. I’d let her be tortured by a psychotic chick who thought she belonged to me. I’d humiliated her with my deceptive words and cruel actions. But the greatest of my crimes was I had broken her heart.

But in this instance, I was being King Epic Tool because I couldn’t get those words to come out of my mouth. It wasn’t something I struggled with today. I’d had three years to stay those two words. Hell, I’d started off a hundred texts, but I’d never sent them. I’d even done a few stalkerish drives by her house to say how sorry I was in person, but being an emotional pansy ass, I had never gotten out of the car.

So instead of taking the emotional high road, I went slumming. “It’s been three years, Prescott. You really need to get over that.”

~*~*~*~

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  Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition Series, Runaway Train Series, as well as several New Adult and Young Adult titles. Her latest series, Vicious Cycle, has been picked up for publication by Penguin Books.

She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Sons of Anarchy, Downton Abbey, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

With a BA in English, a BS in Secondary English Education, and a Masters in English Education, she spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

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