Sep 29, 2016

*Cover Reveal* HOLLOW by Karlee Winters

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Title: Hollow
Author: Karlee Winters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Cover Design: Pink Ink Designs

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Synopsis
Things aren’t always what they seem…



To outsiders, Ashlynn Summers has it all: she’s the star of her own TV cooking show, respected by her community, and a devoted wife. Until she discovers something that shakes her rock-solid world. Now, all she wants is to focus on getting her life back on track. Volunteering at a homeless shelter renews her sense of purpose, but when she meets the insolent Luke Brault, Ashlynn can’t help but think there’s more to him than meets the eye.

Although Luke keeps to himself, his daughter is his sole priority. Guilt surrounding his single father status has eaten away at him, leaving a gaping hole. He and Ashlynn become friends, yet Luke fears his past will destroy the bond they’ve created. When they discover their pasts are intertwined and unimaginable secrets are revealed, Ashlynn and Luke find themselves on shaky ground in the aftermath. Suddenly, building something solid on a hollow foundation seems impossible. Can they find a way to repair the damage of the past, or is it too heavy for them to bear?


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Excerpt
“The video’s gone viral.”

            I peered at my assistant, Kiki, from behind my coffee mug. Her dark brown eyes widened, darting nervously between me and her tablet as technicians, gaffers, and interns filtered in through the studio. 

            “I thought you said yesterday it wasn’t that bad,” I whispered as I forced a smile and waved at Corrine, my make-up artist as she walked in.

            “I-I know, and it wasn’t. At first. But I checked again this morning and your video’s had eleven million views over the past twenty-four hours.”

            I sucked in a sharp breath. I was used to being in the public eye, having every little move I made scrutinized by strangers who felt entitled to judge me. Ever since the launch of my cooking show, From Ashes, where I showed viewers how to make gourmet meals out of scraps and leftovers, I’d learned that everyone is a critic and those critics are a lot braver behind a computer screen where their fingers do the talking.

            “Has Steve seen it yet?”

            She bit down on her bottom lip and worried it between her teeth. “I don’t know. His door’s been closed all morning.”

            As if on cue, Steve’s door swung open and he stepped out of his office, clapping his hands together. “All right, people, listen up! I’ve got stuff I need to get done, so let’s get this shoot going. Where’s my star of the show?” His eyes roamed around the room until he spotted me. “There she is!” He started moving toward me, but stopped mid-stride when he realized no one was moving because their eyes were glued to their phones. “I said move it, people! I’m not paying you to stand around.”

            Everyone immediately jumped into action, bustling around the studio to prepare for my segment. Steve approached me and placed a hand on my shoulder. “Hey Ash, let’s grab lunch after we wrap this up, okay?”

            I nodded and smiled brightly at my boss, despite feeling like I was agreeing to walk into the lion’s den.

            It took three hours to film the thirty-minute segment, and by the time we finished, I was more than ready to leave.

Maybe I was just being paranoid, but I swore every time someone picked up their phone, they were watching me lose my shit on camera. I tried not to think about it. I tried to remain focused. I wanted to believe that it was all in my head. I’d worked with a majority of these people for the past three years; surely that meant they were my friends. But then I remembered I was in Los Angeles, a place where your friends are the ones to push you down a flight of stairs before asking if you need help up.

            “You all set?” Steve asked, clapping me on the back.

            “Yeah, let me just grab my purse.”

            We made our way outside the studio, passing by Sharla, one of the newest interns, on the way. Steve winked at her and she blushed. I smiled politely, pretending to ignore the fact that my forty-two- year-old boss was watching her nineteen-year-old ass walk away.

            “Damn,” he mumbled as he pulled out his car keys and unlocked the doors to his brand new Jag. “The things I could do to that ass.”

            “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.”

            “Probably best. That way you have plausible deniability for my next sexual harassment complaint.”

            “I don’t know which is worse, the fact that you’re expecting another complaint, or that even knowing what will happen, you still plan to make a move on her. I’m surprised you even still have a job at this point.”

            We slid into the car and bucked our seatbelts. Steve pulled down his sun visor and smiled at his reflection before pulling out of the parking lot. “They’re not going to fire me. I’m the best producer this network’s seen. Besides, Karen and I have a deal. She keeps the execs off my back, and in exchange, I dust off the cobwebs from her pussy a couple times a year. She may not be as young as I’d like, but the things she can do with that mouth—”

            “Oh, God, stop,” I groaned, shaking my head. “Let’s just end this conversation before it goes any further. You’re my boss and producer.”

            “For a TV show. There’s plenty of sex on TV.”
            “Yes, but I talk about cooking. The only thing that ends up naked is the chicken.”

            He laughed and merged onto the freeway which was congested with cars. The sky was painted a dusty orange color as thin beams of sunlight attempted to pierce through the smog. Giant billboards loomed off to the side, reminding drivers that physical perfection is just a scalpel and a phone call away, and right beside it was a board with the number to call for when you need to sue because perfection didn’t turn out like you thought it would.

            We arrived at my favorite lunch spot, a small Korean BBQ place hidden in the back of a nearly deserted strip-mall. The hostess showed us to a table in the corner and turned the grill on that sat in the center of the table. A few minutes later, our server brought out a tray full of side dishes for us to try alongside slabs of raw meat.

            “Ashlynn.” He grabbed a slice of beef and placed it on the grill, using his chopstick to poke at it until it laid flat. “So, the reason I asked you to lunch is because I actually have to talk to you about something.”

            I didn’t say anything, already knowing what the “something” was.

            “Look, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the network execs saw the video,” he continued. “And now they’re worried about your mental state.”

           “My mental state is fine.”

            “They’re not convinced. They’re worried that your outburst was just the tip of the iceberg.”

            I sighed and rolled a piece of meat with some lettuce. “Steve, you know me. You know I’m not crazy.”

            “Yes, but I can’t deny that what I saw was a bit troublesome.”

            “I’m not crazy,” I repeated. 
 
            “You were running around the hotel lobby, holding a butcher’s knife, threatening to carve his heart out and feed it to the homeless.”

            “Yeah, I was pissed. I’m still pissed. When you go out to dinner and find your husband of six years having an affair with your best friend, you’re gonna be pissed.”

            Two days before, I’d agreed to meet my friend Staci for dinner at a new hotspot in Santa Monica because the chef and I had gone to culinary school together. We decided to grab ice cream before parting ways, and that’s when I saw it. Right across the street was my husband, Ben, with his tongue shoved down the throat of my best friend. Their hands sloppily grabbed and groped each other, as if they were sixteen-year-old kids, desperate to finish their make-out session before curfew.

            He was supposed to be working late at the office.

            He was supposed to be loyal.

            He was supposed to be mine.

            It was a strange sensation feeling betrayal that deep. I’d always imagined that all my emotions would hit at once, sweeping over me like a tidal wave. But it didn’t happen like that. Rather, it started at my feet, as if that’s the only place where shock couldn’t get to quickly enough to numb them. Tiny little pin pricks of agitation, crawling along the nerves, slowly coiling up my ankles, along my calves, wrapping around my knees until they buckled. By then, the shock was beginning to thin, and a solid mass of pain snaked through my intestines, squeezing my stomach with a vice-like grip until I was sure I was going to pass out. The pain curdled as it seeped through my ribs, poisoning my heart until it was black, transforming from pain into something much viler: fury. Anger took my brain hostage, twisting every thought until I was no longer in control of myself. I was simply a marionette, and resentment held the strings.

            How dare he.

            How dare she.

            I stared at my left hand, the gaudy two-carat emerald-cut diamond glinting beneath the bright florescent lights. Mocking me. Taunting me. Ridiculing me until all I wanted to do was rip it off my finger and use it to serrate his heart the way he’d eviscerated mine.

            I watched them on the sidewalk for a couple minutes, before they greeted the doorman like an old friend and stepped through the revolving doors of the Larkspur Hotel - a place he’d once told me was too cheesy for someone like me when I’d asked to spend our anniversary there. I realized then that he hadn’t wanted to take me there because it was theirs. He didn’t want to tarnish the memories of his affair with those of his wife.

            “He says they’re in love,” I scoffed, taking an angry bite of my food. “Sixteen months, that’s how long this has been going on behind my back, and now he wants a divorce so he can be with her.”

            “I’m really sorry, Ash,” Steve said placing his hand over mine. “I know how much they meant to you.”

            “Hilary was my maid-of-honor at our wedding. I’ve known her since we were twelve. I was in the Burger King bathroom with her when she got her first period, and I spent an entire weekend watching The Notebook after Ken Carlson dumped her right after she gave him her virginity. We were supposed to get pregnant together and raise our families next door to each other so that our kids could be best friends…We…” My voice cracked and I stopped to let out a shaky breath. Not wanting to risk another viral video, I cleared my throat and took a sip of water. “Sorry.”

            “Look, I know you’re going through a rough time, so maybe it’s a good thing that the network wants you to take some time off.”

            My eyes cut to his and my whole body stiffened. “I’m sorry?”

            His shoulders slumped as he let out a sigh. “The network execs think maybe you need to take some time off the show. You know, just until things settle down.”

            “Some time…” I said slowly, letting the bitter taste of each syllable slide off my tongue. “And how long exactly is some time?”

            “I’m not sure. They didn’t specify.”

            “Are you fucking kidding me with this Steve?”

            “I’m afraid not. They’re worried about the bad press.”

            “Isn’t that why we have a public relations specialist? Besides, I thought all press was good press.”

            “Pretty sure that only works if you’re a washed-up movie star looking for attention. Your show is about bringing families together with food. How do you expect us to keep airing it after this?”

            He plucked his phone from his pocket and typed something in before turning it towards me. Images of me standing in the hotel lobby, wielding a large butcher’s knife in my hand popped up. My mocha colored hair was no longer hanging neatly in loose waves, but rather, flying recklessly around my face as my lips pulled back in a snarl. My usually pale green eyes looked wild. Unhinged. Destroyed.

            “You can see why the execs are a bit worried,” he continued as he scrolled through various photos.

            “Okay, I get it, you can put it away now,” I replied, waving him off. “Isn’t there something you can do? Talk to Karen. Surely you can think of a way to get her to agree to keep me on…”

            “Ash—”

            “Please,” I begged. “This show is everything to me. I just lost my husband and my best friend, and because we didn’t have a prenup, I’ll probably lose half of everything else I own. Don’t take my show away from me, too.”

            He sighed and leaned back in his seat. “Okay. Just sit tight and lay low. I’m not promising anything, but I’ll see what I can do.”


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About The Author
  Karlee Winters is a romance writer living beneath the hot Arizona sun with her husband and their cat, Kaylie. She devotes her days to working, and her nights writing, allowing the characters in her head to come to life. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, binge-watching Netflix, or playing video games. A romantic at heart, she has a love for stories, and all things ending in happily ever after. Karlee loves to meet new people. Stop by and say hello!  


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Sep 27, 2016

*Spotlight & Review* The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Synopsis:
If she has her way . . .

Willa Davis is wrangling puppies when Keane Winters stalks into her pet shop with frustration in his chocolate-brown eyes and a pink bedazzled cat carrier in his hand. He needs a kitty sitter, stat. But the last thing Willa needs is to rescue a guy who doesn’t even remember her . . .

He’ll get nothing but coal in his stocking.

Saddled with his great-aunt’s Feline from Hell, Keane is desperate to leave her in someone else’s capable hands. But in spite of the fact that he’s sure he’s never seen the drop-dead-gorgeous pet shop owner before, she seems to be mad at him . . .

Unless he tempers “naughty” with a special kind of nice . . .

Willa can’t deny that Keane’s changed since high school: he’s less arrogant, for one thing—but can she trust him not to break her heart again? It’s time to throw a coin in the fountain, make a Christmas wish—and let the mistletoe do its work . . .

Author Bio:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Jill Shalvis' Social Links:
Website: http://jillshalvis.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JillShalvis/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JillShalvis

The Trouble with Mistletoe Buy Links:
Kindle: bit.ly/MistletoeAmazon
iBooks: bit.ly/MistletoeiBooks
Nook: bit.ly/MistletoeNook
Paperback: bit.ly/MistletoePaperback
GooglePlay: bit.ly/MistletoeGooglePlay
Kobo: bit.ly/MistletoeKobo
BAM: bit.ly/MistletoeBAM



Excerpt: http://jillshalvis.com/excerpts/the-trouble-with-mistletoe/

“You want to come upstairs, Willa?”
What she wanted was to put her hands back on his chest now that she knew it was as hard as it looked. Instead she gripped either side of her seat with white knuckles. “Of course not.”
“I think you do. I think you want something else too.”
“What I want,” she said as coolly as she could, “is dinner as promised.”
“Liar,” he chided softly.
“Well that’s just rude, calling your date a liar.”
“So it is a date.” His tone was very male and very smug. It should’ve pissed her off but instead it did something hot and erotic to her insides.
Clearly knowing it, he smiled at her and then dragged his teeth over his lower lip as he contemplated her.
Gah. She wanted to do that. And she wanted to do more too. She wanted him shockingly badly and suddenly she couldn’t remember why she shouldn’t. She tried to access her thought processes on the subject but her brain hiccupped and froze. Which surely was the only reason she let go of the death grip on her seat, slid her fingers into his hair, and . . . brushed her mouth over his.
He didn’t move, not a single muscle, but when she pulled back, his eyes had gone dark as night, piercing her with their intensity.
“Don’t read that the wrong way,” she whispered.
“Is there a wrong way to take it when a beautiful woman kisses you?”


I received an advanced copy of this story for an honest review.

Are you a fan of second chance romance? Of holiday love stories? Of easy and enjoyable reads that will leave you with a smile? Then let me introduce you to The Trouble With Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis.

What I Loved: The Trouble With Mistletoe is a fun modern romance that engages with witty humor, solid tugs on the heartstrings, and the special magic that only Christmas can provide. Leads Keane and Willa have both experienced pain and disappointment from those who were supposed to love them best in their formative years, so their struggle to open up to each other felt honest and I couldn't help but cheer them on to overcome their pasts and embrace happiness in their future. There is also a stellar cast of secondary characters that I absolutely adored. Willa's friends and her "girls" at her pet shop just had me smiling and I could definitely read more about them.

What I Didn't Love: Willa and Keane's high school history felt a tad rushed to resolution and dismissal. I think if that had been addressed a little more this may have shifted to a 5 star read for me.

Favorite Quotes:

"He's male so he might not know much, but he's got a big heart, even if he doesn't know that either."

"Combustible. They'd been - and were - combustible together."

"I'm pretty sure the universe is feminine. A male would've messed that all up."

"He didn't know how and he didn't know when, but the walls guarding his heart had fallen and he'd been conquered. Hard."

I'm fairly new to Jill Shalvis books but I have to say that The Trouble With Mistletoe solidified me as a fan. I will definitely be checking out some of her other books. 

Happy reading.


Sep 26, 2016

*Spotlight & Review* Sex Machine by Marie Force


Marie’s first standalone title in five years!

He’s good for one thing and one thing only—and she wants it bad.
Honey Carmichael has never had a decent orgasm, and she’s out to change that with the one man in town known for his superior skill between the sheets.

Blake Dempsey is happy to help Honey with her “problem” as long as she knows he’s only interested in sex. His heart was broken when his high school girlfriend was killed in the car he was driving, and he has nothing to offer other than more orgasms than Honey can handle.

Which is just fine with her—until fantastic orgasms aren’t enough anymore for either of them and unexpected feelings turn hot sex into messy entanglement—and that most definitely wasn’t in the plans.
But you know what they say about plans…

A sexy, dirty stand-alone romance intended for MATURE audiences. If you can’t take the heat in Blake’s bedroom, stay out or you might get burned. You’ve been warned!




Author Bio:
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold more than 1.2 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Green Mountain Series as well as the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list on her website at marieforce.com for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor, on Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/marieforceauthor/.

Marie's Social Links:
Website: http://marieforce.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieForce

Sex Machine Buy Links:
Kindle: bit.ly/SexMachinePreorder
Print: bit.ly/SexMachinePrint
iBooks: bit.ly/SexMachineiBooks
Nook: bit.ly/SexMachineNook
GooglePlay: bit.ly/SexMachineGooglePlay
Kobo: bit.ly/SexMachineKobo


Excerpt: http://marieforce.com/smexcerpt/

Chapter 1
Honey
“I want you to fuck me.” I’m proud of the fact that I never blink as I stare into the baby blues of the man I just blatantly propositioned. In public, no less.
Blake Dempsey chokes on a mouthful of beer, his eyes watering as beer meets lungs in an unholy alliance.
For the first time since I walked into the dark, dank bar, my resolve begins to waver as I question the wisdom of this mission. But if I don’t take the bull by the horns, literally, I might never know why everyone else makes such a big freaking deal about sex. My best friend, Lauren, has assured me that Blake Dempsey is the answer to my most pressing problem. And she speaks from experience.
Tentatively, I pat him on the back, hoping to get him breathing again so we can get back to our conversation, such as it is. Let’s face it—he’s no use to me dead.
As he continues to hack beer out of his airway, people begin to take notice of us, which is the exact opposite of what I wanted. I’d planned to come into the dive bar where Blake has his end-of-the-day beer at exactly six thirty every night before heading home—alone—make my proposition and walk out of there with him.
I hadn’t counted on him choking on his beer or having the eyes of every man in the place on me as I wait for him to recover and give me an answer. What if he says no? Men never say no to Honey Carmichael, which is part of my problem. I have a reputation for attracting them like bees to. . . well, honey. But I’ve never been tempted to keep one of them, thus my well-earned reputation as a love ’em and leave ’em kind of gal.
It’s not my fault that I’m blessed with thick honey-blonde hair, brown eyes that made the boys start simpering over me in fifth grade and a rack that’s been getting me in trouble since high school. Not to mention the long legs that somehow manage to stay tanned year round and an ass that Tommy Lonergan once referred to as a work of art. So I’ve had my share of men. So what? The one thing I’ve never had is a decent orgasm with a man, which is why I’m still alone at almost thirty and happy that way. Most of the time.
Blake finally quits sputtering long enough to look up at me with eyes still watery from coughing. “You wanna run that by me again?”
“You heard me right the first time.” I resist the urge to fidget and hold his steady gaze.
His steely blue eyes seem to look right through me, as if searching for the truth behind my blatant invitation. As he runs his fingers through a short crop of dirty blond hair, his entire torso ripples with muscles.
My mouth waters at the thought of all those muscles wrapped around me. I lick my lips as my nipples stand up to take notice and my pussy clenches in anticipation. From what I’m told by a reliable source named Lauren, Blake has the biggest cock in town and knows how to use it. That thought causes the throbbing between my legs to intensify. When desperate times call for desperate measures, I believe in hiring the best man for the job. And these are most definitely desperate times.
“What brought this on?” His sexy drawl and the relaxed way he occupies the bar stool belie the intensity of his stare. To look at him, filthy from a day of hard, physical labor, one might dismiss him as just another working man.
One would be mistaken.
Blake runs the most successful construction and renovation business in the area, and judging by his grimy appearance, he works as hard as the many men he employs. On him, the grime only makes him more appealing.
“Did you finally run out of guys to fuck in this town? No one left but me?”
I can’t deny that I’ve probably had too much sex, looking for the elusive something that has other women waxing poetic about the act. To me, it’s nothing special, two bodies coming together to expend some energy. Big deal. I’ve never understood what all the hoopla is about, a sentiment I recently shared with Lauren. After she finished laughing at me, Lauren had said, “If you want to know what the hoopla is about, you need to fuck Blake Dempsey.”
Lauren ought to know. She’d been Blake’s fuck buddy for a short time years ago and had declared him an absolute machine in bed. Lauren assures me that doing the deed with Blake will result in nonstop orgasms and pleasure unlike anything I can possibly imagine. “One night with him,” Lauren had said, “and you won’t wonder anymore.”
“You wouldn’t care?” I’d asked my friend.
Lauren had shrugged. “It was just sex between us. That’s all he’s capable of. Everyone knows that. A girl would be a fool to fall for him, so I took what I could get, and when it was over, it was over. It was a long time ago. Have at him and The Cock.”
Even though I’ve known Blake all my life and have never once considered him boyfriend material—mostly because my best friend dated him ages ago—I’m desperate enough to know what I’ve been missing out on to walk into a bar and utter a sentence that no doubt has my dear, sweet grandmother rolling in her grave.
I can’t think about what Gran would have to say about me unashamedly propositioning a man. All I can think about since the conversation with Lauren a week ago are the words “machine” and “nonstop orgasms.” The best orgasms I’ve ever had are the ones I’ve given myself, thus my need for Blake and his legendary cock.
“Are you gonna answer the question?” Blake drawls.
I snap out of the fog to realize I’ve been staring at him while he waits for me to answer him. “What was the question again?”
“Did you run out of other guys to fuck? Is it down to me?”
I hold back a wince at his judgmental tone. I’m not proud of the number of men I’ve test driven, seeking the hoopla. “What do you care?”
“I don’t.” It’s a well-known fact that Blake Dempsey doesn’t care much about anything other than his family, his business, the people who work for him and a few select friends. He shrugs as he drains the beer bottle and puts it on the bar next to a ten-dollar bill. “It’s your business, not mine.”
When he stands to his full six-foot three-inch height and looks down at me, I nearly swallow my tongue. My nipples stretch against the confines of my bra and tank top, as if they’re reaching for him. I hold my breath waiting to see what he will do.
He brings his head down close to my ear. “Follow me home.” His tone is gruff and sexy and authoritative.
I shiver as my heated core weeps in anticipation. My eyes travel from broad shoulders to lean hips and below where the outline of that legendary cock has me licking my lips once again. Soft faded denim hugs him in all the right places, and it’s all I can do to refrain from reaching for the button and giving it a tug to get things started.
My mouth waters as I pictured his big cock springing free of his clothes, ripe for my mouth, my pussy and anywhere else he chooses to put it.
“Honey?”
Once again I shake off the sexual stupor and force myself to meet his gaze. If thinking about sex with him gets me this hot, I can’t imagine what the actual deed might entail.
“Are you coming?”
Even though Lauren had assured me he wouldn’t say no, I’m still insecure enough to be surprised that he accepted my offer. Oh my God, I’m really going to have sex with Blake Dempsey. Resting a hand on his sculpted chest, I say, “Oh yeah, I’ll be coming, and so will you, big boy.” The cocky statement, exactly what he expects from me, covers the quaking going on inside.
A throbbing pulse in his chiseled jaw is the only sign of emotion in his otherwise blank expression as he takes me by the hand and heads for the door.
Mindless of the prying eyes of the other customers, I scramble to keep up with his long-legged stride.
“Where’s your car?” he asks when we’re outside in the fading sunlight.
Heat from the long summer day rolls off the blacktop in scorching waves, but I shiver from the almost predatory way he looks at me. “There.” I point to my tiny silver car with the decal on the side hawking my photo studio.
“I’ll wait for you.” He drops my hand and stalks to his big black truck with his own company emblem on the side. His long strides eat up the pavement. I watch him go, fascinated, by the way his jeans hug his muscular ass. I can’t wait to see if his ass looks as good naked as it does in denim. Who am I kidding? It’ll look even better.
I order my quivering legs to move. They finally get the message, and I rush to my car, managing to drop my keys in the dusty dirt parking lot. I bend to get them and am scorched by awareness. As I stand up, I venture a glance at his truck and find him watching me intently, his entire focus on my ass. The quaking begins anew as I get into the car and fumble some more with the keys before managing to get the car started. At this rate, I’ll need an insane asylum before I ever get what I want from Blake.
His truck leaves a cloud of dust in its wake as he pulls out of the parking lot onto Highway 90, heading out of downtown Marfa, Texas. The sun is a ball of fire in the sky as I follow him at a safe distance. The last thing I need is to smash into his back end because I’m such a nervous fool. It’s not like I’ve never come on to a guy before. I have. Too many times, but this guy has always been so remote and off-limits that it took all my courage to walk into that bar and say the line that Lauren and I rehearsed until I got it just right. My hands are trembling and sweaty as I reach for my phone.
“What’d he say?” Lauren asks when she picks up on the first ring.
“I’m following him home.”
“To his house?”
“Yes.”
“This is huge! He never takes women to his place.” Lauren lets out a shrill squeal. “I’m so jealous!”
Instantly alarmed, I swerve before I right the car. “You said you didn’t care!” I can’t lose Lauren, the closest thing to family I have left. “I’ll call it off right now if you don’t want me to go with him.”
“I’m not jealous about him. I’m jealous that you get to be with The Cock.”
I swallow hard. “It can’t be that different from all the others.”
Lauren’s dirty chuckle comes through the phone. “Oh, Honey. . . You have no idea what you’re in for. Tomorrow, when you’re walking bow-legged, remember I told you so.”
A bead of sweat slides down my backbone. Propping the phone between my ear and shoulder, I turn the AC on high and follow the black truck as it hangs a left onto Antelope Hills Road. “You always did exaggerate, Lo.”
Lauren snorts with laughter. “You’ll know soon enough that I’m not exaggerating. Call me in the morning. I want every, single detail. In fact, if you could take notes, that’d be great.”
“Shut up.”
“Honey. . .”
The unusual seriousness in Lauren’s voice has me immediately on guard. “What?”
“Ever since your Gran died, you’ve been looking for a place to call home again. It’s not going to be with him. No matter what happens, don’t forget that. Do you hear me?”
“I hear you.”
Blake’s story is well known around town. He blames himself for the car accident our senior year of high school that had claimed the life of his girlfriend, Jordan Pullman, who’d also been a friend of mine and Lauren’s. The loss of Jordan had rocked our entire class, but no one more so than Blake. Even after the police ruled that the accident was the fault of the other driver, Blake continued to blame himself. He’d kept his distance from people—especially women—ever since, throwing his considerable energy into his business. Occasionally, he took a lover, but he never kept her for long.
My story is equally well known. Abandoned at the church when I was days old, Nora Carmichael, who’d never married, took me in and raised me as her own. Because Nora was in her early sixties when I came to live with her, I always called her “Gran.” She died ten years ago when I was only twenty, leaving me to fend for myself in an unforgiving world. I’ve done okay, all things considered, but it’s been a struggle.
“Call me in the morning?” Lauren says.
“I will.”
“Remember: Only sex.”
“I gotcha.”
“Did you use the ‘I want you to fuck me’ line?” Lauren asks. We’d debated a number of ice-breaking lines and had settled on the most direct of the many choices.
“Sure did.”
“I need to try that one on Garrett.”
Poor Lauren has been lusting for years after Garrett McKinley, accountant to Blake’s company and most of the other businesses in town. “What’s stopping you?”
“Um, only the fact that he thinks I’m a brainless floozy.”
“You’re neither brainless nor a floozy. Look at what a booming business you’ve made of the flower shop. How can he think you’re brainless?”
“Maybe because I act that way any time he’s in the same zip code as me?”
“I still say you should hire him to do your books. Then he’ll find out how full of brains you really are.”
“Not happening. I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction.”
I watch Blake pull into a driveway a block in front of me. The door on a two-car garage goes up and Blake pulls in. “I gotta go. We’re at his house.”
“Just sex,” Lauren says one more time.
“I heard you the first ten times. Bye, Lo.” Ending the call, I repeat Lauren’s refrain. “Just sex.” The last place in the world I’m going to find my home is in the arms of the most remote man I know. Determined to take this one night, and only this one night, with him and “The Cock”—a thought that makes me giggle nervously—I follow Blake’s hand signal to pull into the empty half of the two-car garage.
By the time I make it out of my car and into the laundry room that adjoins the garage, he’s removed his work boots and stripped down to boxer briefs that hug his tight ass.
I stare at the muscles on his back that taper down to that most excellent butt—and wonder if we’re going to get busy right here. I clear my throat to remind him I’m here.
He seems in no particular rush as he tosses his clothes into a front-loading washer, adds detergent and starts the cycle. Then, as if I’m not there, he goes into the kitchen.
I’m not sure if I’m supposed to follow him, but I do it anyway.
He hands me a piece of paper. “Tell them to send my usual and get whatever you want.”
I somehow manage to tear my gaze from the most lickable male chest and ripped abs I’ve ever seen to glance at the red and green print on the paper. I recognize the logo of Pizza Foundation. “They don’t deliver.”
“They do for me. I pay extra.”
“I’m not hungry.”
He shoots me a meaningful look. “I worked all day, and if I’m going to be expected to work all night, too, I need fuel—and so do you.”
A burst of heat creeps from my chest to my face as the implications of his statement settle on me. All night. Whoa.
“Make the call. I’m going to grab a shower. There’re drinks in the fridge. Help yourself.”
For a long moment after he leaves the room, I stand motionless in the middle of a nicer-than-expected kitchen. What the hell am I doing here? Did I really go to the bar Blake Dempsey frequents and ask him to fuck me? “You’ve lost what’s left of your mind.”
I could cut my losses and leave while he’s in the shower. Sure, the few times a year that I run into Blake at the grocery store or post office or at the home of a mutual friend would be awkward from now on, but I can live with that if it means saving some face.
My cell phone chimes with a new text message that jostles me out of my temporary paralysis. Digging into my purse, I pull out my phone. From Lauren: No matter what, don’t chicken out. You’ll be sorry forever if you do. Trust me on that!
As always, Lauren’s timing is impeccable. Sucking in a deep breath and releasing it, I call in the pizza order and then take a beer from the fridge. If there’s ever been a time for liquid courage, this is surely it.
Copyright 2016. HTJB, Inc. All rights reserved.





I received an advanced copy of this story for an honest review.

If you are looking for a read that jumps out of the gate with full on steam but balances out the heat with the right amount of tenderness and hope, Sex Machine by Marie Force is just what your looking for. 

What I Loved: Sex Machine is off the charts in terms of hot and steamy but it also packs an emotional punch. Honey and Blake are adults who've had their fair share of heartbreak and their shared history gives credence to their coming together first as a hook-up and then building to potentially more. The overall story is well written and super easy to read.

What I Didn't Love:
Some of the twists and turns of the story are fairly predictable and Blake's nicknames for Honey occasionally made me groan but that's little stuff.

Favorite Quotes:

"She returns my smile and buries her fingers in my hair, drawing me into a kiss that's so sweet and tender, I begin to ache on the inside for what can never be."

"But now, with Honey here with me, it feels new again, like we're creating something from the ashes of what used to be."

"I'll be here to raise you up when the darkness tries to take you down."

Sex Machine is a standalone. Dedicated fans and newbies to Marie Force can both enjoy.

Happy reading.

Sep 22, 2016

*Cover Reveal* WHATEVER IT TAKES by Stephanie Smith

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Title: Whatever It Takes (Try Again, #4)
Author: Stephanie Smith
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 17, 2016

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Blurb
Can a dream really become a reality? Georgia Armstrong is on the hunt—on the hunt for a man. It’s not what you think, though. She’s not looking for love, friendship or companionship. Georgia wants a baby, and she’s on the hunt for a sperm donor. Except her plan is to have the sperm donated the good old-fashioned way. What could possibly go wrong? Henry Marsh knows what he wants, and a wife and family are not it. He doesn’t know where the little blonde bombshell came from, and he doesn’t know what she was thinking when she came up with her plan. And he especially doesn’t know why he agreed to help her. Business quickly turns into pleasure and the lines are blurred as Henry and Georgia begin to break all the rules. How far will Georgia go to become a mother, and what will it cost her? And has Henry finally put his member some place he shouldn't?

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Each book in the Try Again series can be read as a standalone!
 
About Stephanie Smith
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Stephanie is a Happily Ever After addict.

Loving mushy romance, books, movies and music since she was young, and constantly daydreaming up stories and plots, Stephanie decided to put them on paper. Living in South Australia with her own alpha male and two princesses she spends her days reading, writing and playing with the girls out on their property.
 
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Sep 19, 2016

*Release Blitz* Playboy Pilot by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland





Captain Carter and Kendall’s highly anticipated romance is finally here in Playboy Pilot by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland!

NOW LIVE!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2d5XGHP
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2cL3PWq
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2ctOkoz
iBooks: http://apple.co/1rGw4LB
Nook: bit.ly/2caXPEK
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2cJDXO1
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2c5WiRm

Also available on Audible: http://amzn.to/2cy0zl6

Add Playboy Pilot to your TBR list on Goodreads!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29533192-playboy-pilot


Sign up for Penelope & Vi’s mailing list now and be the first one notified of releases! http://eepurl.com/brAPo9

Blurb

From the New York Times bestselling authors of Stuck-Up Suit and Cocky Bastard, comes a sexy new standalone novel.

Money or love? Which would you choose?

You probably just answered the question in your head thinking it's an easy decision.

For me, it's not. Did I mention it's a lot of money? A hell of a lot.

I needed to go far away to think it through.

As I embarked on an impulsive trip, I hit a detour when I met sexy Carter in the airport lounge. We struck up a heated conversation.

Then, he left.

I thought I'd never see him again.

But fate had other plans.

Surprise! He was the pilot of my flight.

The bigger surprise was the adventure that followed after the plane landed.

Carter was dangerous and always on the move.

Even though our connection was magnetic, I knew it was only temporary.

He would give me tickets, and I would follow him around the world to exotic places.

A bevvy of flight attendant exes and rumors about Carter's reputation were never far behind.

I didn't know what to believe.

But I was addicted. Nothing else mattered anymore. And I was going to get hurt. Because a part of me wanted to be the one to finally ground the playboy pilot.

At the very least, he was taking me on a thrilling ride.

All good things must come to an end, right?

Except our ending was one I didn't see coming.



Meet Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of eleven novels. Her books have placed on the New York Times bestseller list fourteen times. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 11-year-old girl with autism (the inspiration for the character Callie in Gemini) and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope, her husband and kids reside in Rhode Island.
           
Other books from Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland

Stuck-Up Suit
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1VK66ll
iBooks: http://apple.co/1Qbwy57

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1RJdUif

Cocky Bastard
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1LfN3fc
iBooks:  http://apple.co/1PffE2J
Kobo:  http://bit.ly/1UxCSUO
B&N:  http://bit.ly/1EjxNpY

Other books from Penelope Ward

Neighbor Dearest
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aS8BPa
iBooks: http://apple.co/29mC6L8
Nook: http://bit.ly/2akQ2aq
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2axt1SY

Stepbrother Dearest
Amazon  http://amzn.to/1mFNMeg
iBooks: http://bit.ly/YER0mT
Nook: http://bit.ly/1taMFjG
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1fJaaBs

RoomHate
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TksrpE
iBooks: http://apple.co/1PgsvE7
Nook: http://bit.ly/1PLGnSL
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1POvSnW

Sins of Sevin
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1F9tbc3
iBooks: http://apple.co/1K8mzGg
Nook: http://bit.ly/1hTKAKE
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1OaGY3D

Jake Undone (Jake #1)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1dJrHBC
iBooks: http://apple.co/1fJayQ8
Nook: http://bit.ly/1obAwJ6
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1SPKl0M

My Skylar
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1obOG2F
iBooks: http://bit.ly/SLNOTR
Nook: http://bit.ly/SLO1qi
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1kNrtAB

Jake Understood (Jake #2)
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1GFdves
iBooks: http://apple.co/1DQQwgC
Nook: http://bit.ly/1FwJC0z
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1LQ7Fvk

Gemini
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgk1SE
iBooks: http://apple.co/1QTaONj
Nook: http://bit.ly/1KfmLHD
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1BGJ2wu


*************************

Vi Keeland is a #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. With more than a million books sold, her titles have appeared in over fifty Bestseller lists and are currently translated in ten languages. She lives in New York with her husband and their three children where she is living out her own happily ever after with the boy she met at age six.

Other books from Vi Keeland

Life on Stage series (2 standalone books)
Beat
http://www.amazon.com/Beat-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00ZOMUV12/
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beat-vi-keeland/1121715501
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beat/id983959123
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/beat-5

Throb
http://www.amazon.com/Throb-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00SS2RYBU
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/throb-vi-keeland/1121112695
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/throb-4
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/throb/id948747986

MMA Fighter series (3 standalone books)
Worth the Fight
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Fight-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00FLG5B9S
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-fight-vi-keeland/1117014180
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-fight
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-fight/id805540252

Worth the Chance
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Chance-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00I2UKQOK
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-the-chance-vi-keeland/1118634058
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-the-chance/id813714461
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-the-chance

Worth Forgiving
http://www.amazon.com/Worth-Forgiving-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00MWL78EG
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/worth-forgiving-vi-keeland/1120173153
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/worth-forgiving
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/worth-forgiving/id906130022?ls=1&mt=11

The Cole Series (2 book serial)
Belong to You
http://www.amazon.com/Belong-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00BUTCXLE/
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/belong-to-you-vi-keeland/1114962845
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/belong-to-you/id639401754
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Made for You
http://www.amazon.com/Made-You-A-Cole-Novel-ebook/dp/B00DPWVKS6
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/made-for-you-vi-keeland/1115883225
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/made-for-you/id84550637
http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/belong-to-you

Standalone novels
Bossman
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a8D5B6
iBooks: http://apple.co/25x2jyX
B&N: http://bit.ly/29sL4H2
Kobo: http://bit.ly/29lW19I
Google Play: http://bit.ly/29JqkL2

The Baller
Amazon: amzn.to/1PBF2hG
iBooks: http://bit.ly/iBooksBaller 
B&N: http://bit.ly/BarnesBaller 
Kobo: http://bit.ly/KoboBaller
Google Play: http://bit.ly/GoogleBaller


Left Behind (A Young Adult Novel)
http://www.amazon.com/Left-Behind-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00OJM92LI/

First Thing I See
http://www.amazon.com/First-Thing-See-Vi-Keeland-ebook/dp/B00AWXY3HG
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/first-thing-i-see-ms-vi-keeland/1114703332

Sep 16, 2016

*Release Blitz* #BAE (The Hashtag Series #8) by Cambria Hebert


#Bae
Cambria Hebert
(Hashtag #8: Conclusion)
Publication date: September 16th 2016
Genres: New Adult College Romance
BEFORE ANYONE ELSE
The Hashtag Series #8
Happily-ever-after.
That’s what happens when you get married.
Right?
Turns out sparkly rings, cake and a fantastic wedding do not automatically grant you that, not even when it’s all you truly want.
I’m even starting to doubt the bottomless, unconditional love I share with the man I married will be enough.
I can’t have happily ever after, know why?
Because I can’t give Romeo what he truly wants. I’ve tried. So hard. I won’t be happy unless he is and something is missing. Someone.
Paparazzi are in my face. The flashing cameras and prying eyes are everywhere. My secret is getting harder to hide, and I know the second the scoop is dished the grip I have on the fraying rope of that happily ever after will snap right in my face.
In our face.
I can’t let that happen. No matter what.
Because with or without a happy ending, Romeo comes Before Anyone Else.
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Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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Sep 14, 2016

*Excerpt Reveal* Down Shift by K. Bromberg


I force myself to look away because . . . well, because he’s a stranger. In my house. Naked. And oh my God, something is wrong with me, because I’m not running and calling 911 like I should.
When his chuckle subsides, he brings his head back down, so I can see the tears in his eyes from laughter. “That thing is my cock, and since this is my bathroom and you seem to be attempting to seduce me in my house, I don’t think you have any right to tell me what to do.” And with that, he leans a hip against the counter and folds his arms across his chest, eyes locked on mine and one eyebrow lifted. Everything else is left hanging out there in the wind.
“Your house? Seduce you?” At that point I realize I’m sputtering and shaking my head. “This is my house. You’re in my house.”
Confusion drifts across his face and his jaw falls lax. “Hold up.” He lifts his hands in the hold on a minute position, drawing my eyes back to where they don’t want to be. If this whole situation weren’t so unbelievable, it would be comical, and yet as true as that is, I don’t seem to be laughing at all. “I think there seems to be some misunderstanding.”
“No shit.” Sarcasm is my fallback and it doesn’t disappoint me now. A lot of good it does me, though, as I’m still doing the naked dance while trying to react to this surreal situation.
The look of disdain he gives me at my comment earns him no points in my book. “While I’m digging the socks with your outfit,” he says with a smirk, eyes veering down and then back up to my strategically placed hands, “you should cover up.” I catch the towel he tosses me and immediately wrap it around myself. I’m certain my mismatching knee-high socks make a statement about me, but I’m beyond caring, because I’m still alone in my house with a strange man and have no answers as to how this has happened.
With one hand clutching onto the towel at my collarbone, I use the other to motion to him. “You too.”
A lightning flash of a grin glances across his lips. “Sorry, but you just took the only towel left.”



Meet Zander & Getty in DOWN SHIFT -
the newest stand alone in the Driven Series by K. Bromberg!

NOW AVAILABLE
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2cOfeZ5
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2cg6Ayp
iBooks:http://apple.co/2c0TqU3
Nook: http://bit.ly/2cMG67O
Kobo:http://bit.ly/2ctJho8





The New York Times bestselling Driven series continues with a story about finding love where you least expect it... 

Behind the wheel, racing champion Zander Donavan is at the top of his game. But after too much excess in his personal life, he’s forced to step away. He needs to accomplish something all on his own—outside of his famous father, Colton Donavan’s, shadow.

Getty Caster is running away from the abuse that clouds her past. She thinks she’s found the perfect escape—until she discovers a stranger in the beachside cottage she’d been promised. He’s undeniably sexy, but she’s there to heal. Alone.

Before long though, fighting with each other turns into fighting their attraction. And giving into desire sets off a chain reaction that has their pasts colliding. With an unexpected love on the line, can they overcome the fallout to build a future?




Sep 13, 2016

*New Release & Review* Awakening Kiss (Watcher's Kiss Book 4)


As part of the Watchers, Rhys is used to all types of combat, pursuit, and interrogation. But hacking and tracking through hidden online channels is where he excels. Shattering codes and sneaking around firewalls comes as easily to him as a swordfight or street brawl with a predatory enemy.

Cooking up sweet new pastry creations is Enza’s dream job. Kitchen appliances never fail her, unlike every computer she’s ever touched. Her fledging baking business is doing well, yet as streetlights flicker with her changing mood, she can’t shake the feeling that she’s different from everyone else. But life as a regular Chicago girl is all she’s ever known…until one hot summer night.

Violence threatens both of them when her world collides with Rhys’s in a dark city alley. As a raw and formidable ability awakens in her mind, she becomes targeted by the last person she expects. Drawn to his sweet baker with a pull he can’t deny, Rhys vows to protect her—no matter the consequences that will change their lives forever.




I received an advanced copy of this story for an honest review.

What I Loved: Romance and Sci-fi/paranormal stories are a weakness of mine and no one blends the two together like Sharon Kay. With alpha male heroes who are super strong but have a soft spot for spunky heroines who can fight for themselves, the Watcher's Kiss books hit solid notes for me. Good stories with a quick moving pace and memorable leads, these books make me happy. Awakening Kiss is a wonderful addition to the series and leads Rhys and Enza have a quiet energy that sparks early and builds to a fulfilling HEA.

What I Didn't Love: Not much to dislike on this one. Awakening Kiss has a lot of second and third tier characters and it can get hard to keep track. Even though some may appear in only a hand full of brief scenes, I'm sure they'll have larger roles to play in future Watcher stories.

Favorite Quotes: 

"Her tummy flipped. No, wait - it did a cartwheel - roundoff combo. He was in her space, he had sought her out, and he was flirting. Oh my god."

"For tonight she was his. Maybe they were just playing roles, but damn if it was the most natural thing he'd ever had to play at."

"You can't go through life beating yourself up about the same thing. If everyone else has moved on and sees it as a thing in the past, then maybe you can too. Because otherwise, you're only holding yourself back."

Awakening Kiss is another solid standalone entry in the world of Solsti and Watcher's. Newbies can jump in to the series with ease and author Kay includes a glossary at the end of the story as a handy reference. Full of action and romance, this is a read paranormal romance fans won't want to miss.

Happy reading.

*Release Blitz* RUNAWAY ROAD by Mira Day

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Title: Runaway Road
Author: Mira Day
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 13, 2016

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Synopsis
Have you ever wondered who was in the car next to you? Wondered where they were going and why? A vacation? Business trip? Or is it someone’s only chance to run away…
Brett Myers needs a change; a soul searching move to another city. Walking in on your brother and girlfriend in bed together will do that. So after two weeks of sleeping on a friend’s couch, Texas is his destination. A new town and a new life. He’s ready to start over.

Mia Brown needs a change; a soul-searching trip to her past. More than ready to leave her controlling boyfriend and life in North Carolina, Mia uses this chance for a fresh start. There’s no plan. Just to hit the road, head out West, and never look back.

When their paths cross on a long stretch of Highway 85, these two strangers will learn just how much they need each other to heal.



Purchase Your Copy Today!
Runaway Road
Excerpt
Carefully refolding the letter, I place it gently on my nightstand. The stack of adoption paperwork is next. I skim the words, not completely sure of the lingo. My dad and Michelle’s names pop out a few times, along with the name Sarah Collins. She was sixteen when she had me. 

I stare at the mirror hanging on the wall opposite of my bed. She was my age. 

Looking down at my stomach, my hand pressing firmly into my skin, I think about how different my life would be if I had a baby right now. The stares and murmurs as I walk through school. No prom, no dating, no driving. I can’t even imagine. 

I finger through the rest of the paperwork before coming across another envelope with my name on it. The handwriting is loopy and unrecognizable.

Opening up this one, I see that it’s from Sarah to me.

My little Roly Poly,

Where do I even begin? I fell in love with you the moment that test said positive.

I don’t know how old you’ll be when you read this. I bet you’re a beautiful girl. I always pictured you to have chestnut hair with green eyes, just like my mom’s. You’ll probably be a mess as you grow older, getting into trouble left and right. But you’ll have the heart of an angel, caring and loving. I hate that I’m going to miss all of this.

Mia, please know that I didn’t want this. Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want. Mr. Dylan seems to be a saint of a man. I could tell from the moment I met him that he was going to take good care of you. If you ever want to get up with me, please, don’t hesitate. Mr. Dylan and I have agreed to stay in touch.

So, as I sit here and stare at you, lying in the nursery with all the other babies, my heart breaks. I love you so much and I will pray every day that you are happy and well.

The letter shakes in my hands. Without hesitation, I grab my phone, dialing the cell phone number left on a contact sheet in the back. I don’t want to talk myself out of it. I just want to hear her voice.

“Hello?”

My tongue is suddenly made of sandpaper. I swallow some spit, hoping to find a voice.

“Hello?” The voice sounds slightly irritated.

“Sarah?” My words come out like a choke, and I cough to clear my voice. “Sarah Collins?”

Now she’s silent and I could hear her shift on the other end. “Yes?”

I clear my throat once more. “Sarah, my name is Mia. I’m…I’m your daughter.”

 
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About The Author
Mira

Mira Day is a Romance writer, born in the Carolinas with a passion for food. She loves the outdoors, NFL football and exclamation points! You'll usually find her working, writing or catching up with Friends on Netflix. Mira has two Holiday Novellas published, Finding the Christmas Spirit and Choking Cupid and her debut novel, Playing House. After Runaway Road, look for her third book, Bourbon and the Midnight Show, coming Spring of 2017. Website | Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram  
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